Monday, January 23, 2006

Cold and Grey

The weather, currently, is miserable. The sky has been grey all day, the house has felt chilly, and none of us feel like doing anything much. Rain is predicted for most of the week. Yes, we need it. No, we don't like it. Or if it must rain, I prefer it either overnight, or in a great downpour followed by sunshine. Not this ongoing dampness where we never seem to feel really warm. Except when waking up in the morning, and then we have to get up into the cold bedrooms and even colder bathroom...

Today I packed and sent a parcel to Daniel. He phoned on Friday, shortly before leaving Germany for a week of pre-ship safety training. It was lovely to hear from him, difficult to say goodbye. He was waiting for a washing-machine to finish...

He asked if I could send him another pair of his 'long shorts' and another pair of thin cotton trousers. He's realised that in going around parts of the Gulf and then India and on to the Far East, he'll be in summer climates for the next year or so. He took a fair number of clothes for winter, remembering how chilly he got in South Africa in August, and that limited his weight for cooler-weather wear.

He also asked if I could send him the clarinet part for some music he's been playing. Somehow he managed to take the piano part with him (which he doesn't need) and forget the clarinet part! He did say that if it was too expensive, I shouldn't bother. But he also asked if I could do it as soon as possible, since the next container leaves Germany on Feb 1st on its way to the Doulos. All mail has to go to the OM centre in Germany, where it's forwarded either by air freight (if under 300g weight) or by container, for heavier parcels. We're warned that the containers aren't sent out very often, so it can take up to six months for packages to arrive.

I thought I might send the shorts on their own, so that if they arrived too late for this container they could be sent via air freight and arrive a few weeks later. Unfortunately, when I put them in a jiffy bag, they weighed over 300g. Not much over, but I expect they're very exact about what they will and won't send by air. Did I mention we bought some electronic kitchen scales a couple of weeks ago? Our old analogue kitchen scales had almost broken, and were never really very accurate. These scales weigh in 2g increments and tell us the temperature of the room too!

So I found a larger jiffy bag, and put in the music, the shorts and the trousers. That came to about 800g. I checked the Cyprus air mail costs, and realised that anything over 500g and under 1kg costs the same amount to send to Germany (£8 - which is about $15US) so I thought I might as well fill it up a bit. Alas, I couldn't enclose one of the 200g bars of Christmas chocolate he left behind or the cost would have shot up even higher. However I made a CD with all the photos of the house we're going to buy (God willing) and some pictures of the cats. That took the weight to nearly 900g, so the last thing I added was a selection of herbal tea-bags. He took quite a few with him in his luggage, but they're very light and he may not be able to buy any easily.

I stopped at 930g. Electronic scales are very useful, but I didn't know how well they'd match the scales at the Post Office. Thankfully the parcel was under the 1kg mark so I sent it off this morning. I hope it arrives in time.

Even after walking as fast as I could to the Post Office, wearing a sweatshirt, a warm sweater AND my winter jacket, I still felt chilled. By the time I'd walked home again I was a little warmer but when I took off my jacket I put on my fleece immediately. Then sat in front of an electric halogen heater.

Nearly time to go and make a hot water bottle...

4 comments:

mreddie said...

Don't care for the damp, dark days either and it has been that way all day here - unusual for us. But it is supposed to clear up by noon tomorrow - I hope. I did like your last post, especially about opening the cookie package. :) ec

Lora said...

You desdription of the weather reminds me of my memories of England at this time of year and the feeling that I would never be warm again.

Electronic home scales are wonderful, I bought one a few years ago to aide me in a diet nd it's turned into one of the handiest gadgets in the house.

adannells said...

Just recently we had 28 days of rain straight here in Washington! I enjoy the rain but eventually you do start to long for some sunshine. We have had a few days break from the rain and now we are back on another streak. The forcast for the next week: RAIN!
The next sunny day we have I am planning on going for a nice long walk on the waterfront in Gig Harbor!! I need it! :)

Sue said...

28 days of rain, wow!!

Yes, the weather's been a bit like England, the difference is that most houses in the UK have central heating!! They're also rather smaller with lower ceilings, and carpeted floors. Still, at least it doesn't usually last long here.