Thursday, November 03, 2005

November in Cyprus

If you found this page hoping for general information about temperatures in November in Cyprus, rather than personal anecdotes, you might want to check the page for Autumn weather in Cyprus on my other site.

Before we lived here, we had read that Cyprus has 360 days of sunshine per year. Well, in a sense, that's probably true. I should think that on 360 days of the year, the sun does shine for at least some of the time. But we have considerably more than 5 days when it rains, and yet more when it's rather grey and cloudy.

We also thought Cyprus would be much warmer than the UK. Certainly it is during the summer, when the sun shines almost continually. Even in winter (roughly early November until about the middle of March) the outside temperatures are generally higher than those in the UK. Today, for instance, it was apparently about 22C outside at lunchtime, and now - at nearly 10pm - it's 16C according to the weather site. Those who read this in a few hours' time will see from the weather image at the side of the site that it may get to as low as 12C before tomorrow morning. In Birmingham, my home town in the UK, 12C is only about the maximum daytime temperature during November.

But here's the difference: in Birmingham, we had central heating. The radiators would come on about an hour before we woke up, making the rooms pleasantly warm to get dressed. Even the bathroom had a radiator. We could set the inside of the house - or individual rooms - to be 20C or even more, and then dress up warmly to go outside.

Here, we have no central heating. Some of the newer houses do have it, but mostly places like ours are built for summer, not winter. Marble floors with rugs, rather than fitted carpets. Much better for allergies, no doubt, but chilly for bare feet in the winter. The ceilings are four metres high (that's about 13 feet in the imperial system). Heat rises, so it may well be warmer several feet above my head. The rooms are large and spacious, which is pleasant in the summer, but means that they're remarkably difficult to get warm in the winter.

We do have one kerosene-powered heater in our middle room, but it's not yet been serviced so we can't yet use it. We also have three or four electric halogen heaters, but they're still in the little attic space above the bathroom, where we packed them away when we got the fans out. Time to do another switch, I suppose.

Having been to the UK during most of October, it all seems quite sudden this year. Before we went away, we were too hot in tee-shirts and shorts. Today I wore a sweatshirt and jeans all day, and am feeling quite chilly now; I suppose I should have put a fleece on top once it got dark. Before we went away, we just used sheets at night. Now we've got all the duvets out, and it still takes awhile for the bed to feel warm. Before we went away, the cats were in their noctural mode; now they're sleeping on us, keeping our feet warm.

There are some benefits, of course. I like cooking and baking when the kitchen is cooler; it gets all the morning sun, which is a nuisance in summer as it becomes unbearably hot, but at this time of year it's a good place to be. Yesterday Tim and I baked some chocolate-and-orange muffins (a bit chewy, but not bad), some oaty biscuits, and also made some jam tarts with leftover pastry. Today I was going to bake some bread, but got caught up in organising photos until it was too late. In the next few days I must bake this year's Christmas cake, which needs six weeks or so to mature, and make some mincemeat and a Christmas pudding.


jj said...

One thing about living in New Zealand at the moment, which makes me really miss my home in England, is that there are no radiators in the house either, or central heating. It's Spring at the moment over here, and Summer is fast on it's way - but some days (like today) it gets really cold. So, I empathise with you. Last night I was grateful that the one cat in this family chose to sleep with me rather than anyone else! Yay!

Anvilcloud said...

We learn to adapt, both in terms of housing and clohting but also phyiscally. I once met two guys from Mississippi in the Rockies. They were wearing windbreakers (windcheaters) and saying how cold it was. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.