Sunday, 6 October 2013

A cold wind doth blow

I know I seem to be obsessed with the weather at the moment, but I can't believe how cold it has suddenly become. There is such a cold wind at the moment that it feels cold even when the sun is shining. We are so pleased that we have put the new sheds where they are because it has given us a really enclosed small courtyard area to sit in providing a little suntrap out of the wind. Such a shame we don't have the time to just sit there all day.

In fairness, not once during the summer have I complained about the heat and we have carried on working outside throughout the summer, so I do feel entitled to moan about the cold. Already the fleecy jim jams have come out of hibernation and last night I actually took a hot water bottle to bed with me. Call me a wimp if you like but I really hate the cold. We are only just into October and it shouldn't be this cold yet.

We do have central heating run by a wood burning stove, but it seems too early to light it yet, quite apart from the expense of running it for longer which is not really written into our budget. Last year the pipework in the hall sprung a leak. Of course the company that installed it are no longer in existence so we have to decide what to do about that. I know we have had all summer to sort it, but then it wasn't a priority, now it is.

One of the big problems with buying a villa here is that they really are built for summer occupancy, and it takes time and money to make them comfortably habitable for the winter months. When we had our central heating system installed a couple of years ago, we even had to have the existing fireplace removed and a new one built. It looked very nice but was not functional in any way at all. All of the heat went straight up the chimney and all of the smoke filled the sitting room when we tried to use it, so we were cold and choking!

We thought we would get one step ahead and have heating installed whilst we were holidaying here, so that it was ready and waiting when we moved here permanently. In spite of assurances that the company we used could finish the job during a three week holiday we had booked, as we entered week three it was obvious it wasn't going to be the case. Unfortunately, I had to return to work so it was David (as he was self employed) that changed his flights and stayed on to see it through. At the time I was a bit jealous, but actually as things turned out it was a good thing.

David came down one morning half awake and as he stepped off the bottom stair he realised he was ankle deep in water! The entire bottom floor of the house was awash. The rugs were bobbing along past him as he went into the sitting room and all of the furniture, including our brand new sofas, were sitting in a flood.

On first sight he said he didn't know whether to be angry or cry and didn't know where to start with clearing it up. After a coffee however, he set to and it took him all day to clear up, and a few more days for all the furniture and rugs to dry out in the garden. It transpired that the brand new firebox had sprung a leak and water had been running out all night. Eventually he managed to clear up, they sorted the unit and incredibly all the rugs and furniture survived undamaged, but it still wasn't a pleasant time for him.

It isn't just the lack of heating in these villas that is a problem though. Our open plan sitting-room/kitchen has windows on all four sides and lots of them. Fabulous as this may be in the summer it is hideous in the winter. In the future we may well separate the rooms in an attempt to stay warmer in the winter. We have put insulation around all of the Windows but they still let in a draught. I am seriously considering sealing some of them up for the winter the Turkish way - putting tin foil over them. I really don't care how it looks or if is a bit darker than normal as long as I am warm!

I would certainly urge anyone purchasing a property with a view to moving to Turkey permanently to consider how much it would cost to stay warm in the winter months. It does get surprisingly cold here at times and it is a few degrees colder up in Uzumlu where we live than it is down at the coast.

In the press today it has been reported that we can expect a cold winter  "The General Directorate of Meteorology has forecast that Turkey will experience very low temperatures this winter, seeing a decrease in temperatures of between three to 10 degrees Celsius." (taken from Sunday Zaman).

We have some friends who are going to Thailand for most of the winter, I think I may have to slip into their suitcase. When they arrive I can get out of the case with a bottle of wine in my hand and shout "Surprise!!!!!!"

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