A Hot and Cold Ramble
I received an email last week concerning the weather. Rather, concerning how some bloggers on Rhodes have stated that they hardly experience a cold day, and yet I am always blathering on about having the shutters closed and being cold here on Symi. How come? Well, along with some photos Neil took the other day, here are some ideas.
I can’t, as they annoyingly say in American TV shows, ‘talk to’ the issue with any great meteorological authority, but I can guess and use my experience. On my blog, I write what I see and experience, so yesterday, I popped out into the courtyard to check the temperature. I realised I had left the thermometer in the sun, and so it read 32 degrees. This was at midday. Out of interest, I then popped it into the bedroom for an hour, and it dropped to 10 degrees. In the courtyard shade, at midday, it has, of late, been wavering around 14. So, no, that’s not that cold. Sadly, I don’t sleep in the sun in the courtyard, if I did I’d have to get my head down between eleven and twelve-thirty as, at this time of year, that’s the only sun it gets.
In the summer, the house heats up, and I mean the stone it’s built from and the concrete that the ‘workhouse’ that houses our offices, is made from. In the winter, the opposite happens. The walls cool down and stay cold. It was eight degrees in my office this morning, despite the warm weather yesterday, and it’s been like that since November. We’ve had rain of late (more debris washed down from the hills, but not as bad as late last year), and so we’ve had clouds, and the wind has been low, so it’s not been that cold. However, with no sun on the house and with our main room facing north and having French doors, and two windows, it only heats up when we turn on the heater, and then (as it’s over 12-feet high and open to the mousandra and corridor to the rest of the house), only stays warm for a short while.
Which, in short form, is a way of saying: we live in a cold house in the winter and a warm one in the summer, but not everyone does. Some folk face south, some can afford more heating, some have better fitting windows and doors… And so on. As for Rhodes… I really don’t know. We in Symi tend to be a few degrees warmer than the reported temperatures on Rhodes in summer, and maybe we’re simply a colder island in the winter. No-one is very far from the sea and, if they are, they are up in the mountains. The point, for me, is, I don’t mind being too cold or too hot because, when one, there are always ways of becoming the other. I keep the shutters closed to keep the heat in, but would open them if we had the sun on the windows between November and March, which we don’t. At this time of year, it’s warm in the sun and feels very cold in the shade.
Whatever the temperature, you’re sure of a warm welcome in Symi, as I am sure you are in Rhodes, whether you’re facing north or have more heaters that we do. But, keeping the house warm is the main aim here in winter… Except for when it starts to get damp. These days we warm up the workhouse in the mornings while the main house has its windows flung wide and shutters open to clear the house of damp. Come lunchtime, there’s a switch around as we settle in and, until the two-bar heater does its job, sit under blankets to warm up. Which is what I am going to do now.