Before we came to Cyprus, a little over ten years ago, we assumed our main problems would be with the heat. We packed all our shorts and tee-shirts (little worn in the UK) and a few thin sweatshirts, in case it got chilly in the evenings. We also - after some reflection - packed our thin (4.5 tog) duvet, since someone had warned us that the nights could be cold. We laughed inwardly. Cold in Cyprus, we thought, would be like midsummer in the UK. or, at least, a warm spring day.
We quickly learned our mistake.
Our first hint was seeing a large Damart store in Larnaka. (Damart, in case anyone doesn't know, are best known for thermal underwear). But then we saw Cypriots dressed in long jeans and warm jackets when the temperature was still 20C and sunny, and just assumed they felt colder because they were acclimatised.
By the time we had been here three months (it was then January 1998) we realised that it does get very cold, particularly in unheated houses. Well... 'very cold' is, of course, a relative term. The temperature never drops below about 3-4C, so we don't get frosts. But when there's no central heating, just a few small electric heaters, bare marble floors, and the windows don't fit very well, it feels FAR colder than a centrally-heated and carpeted house in the UK.
So, over the years, we have brought out our warmer clothes, and thicker duvets. And were very pleased, when moved to the house we liked, that it had central heating.
We've also acclimatised. As I said in yesterday's post about the weather, I now feel chilly when the house is around 19C, if I'm sitting still.
So last night, Richard serviced the central heating. He set it to come on this morning at 6am, and I very much enjoyed the warmth as I came downstairs. We only run it for about an hour in the morning, and the same in the evening, until it gets much colder (even then it's rare to run it all day) but it takes the chill off the house.
This morning, when I changed the bed sheets, I put the 9 tog duvet on our bed. I don't suppose I'll ever get used to the rapid changes of season. Only three weeks ago I put the 4.5 tog duvet on the bed, not really sure if we would need it yet. Now I'm switching to double that weight. It will probably only be a few more weeks before I velcro them together and use the full 13.5 tog weight.