Even the locals are talkin' about it (or - Not another post about the weather).

I know Canadians and Siberians would scoff at this post - but holy HELL, it's cold in LV at the moment!  It's so cold that even the locals are talkin' about it - it's one of the main stories in our daily newspaper every day this week.  Last night when we went to bed, our thermometers told us it was approaching -28 degrees celsius (that's about - 18 degrees farenheit).  It's been so freezing that the boys got two days off school last week. Mind you, I think the rule about primary school kids not having to go to school if it's under minus 20 was invented for those poor country kids who have to walk 3 kms to school.  Not the spoilt city kids who go from a heated house to a heated car to a heated school.  In my book, the boys should TOTALLY have been at school every day last week - but I just couldn't let them down when they were excitedly jumping around in their pyjamas because the thermometer said they were getting a day off...  could you?  Don't you remember the days in Brisbane (if you grew up there, that is) when you wished for the thermometer to hit +40 degrees so you could get a day off school?  I can't remember if I it ever happened.  But I certainly remember wishing, hoping, dreaming that it would.
So last week I left the kids all toasty at home and braved the walk to work.  In this cold your nose hairs snap freeze everytime you breathe in.  Your face  has pins and needles from the freezing air, and after a 10 minutes or so, the tips of your toes and nose start to get sharp, searing pains.  Or at least that's what it's like for me.  The cold is all pervading, and although our new house is well insulated, the sub-zero winds (dare I call them - evil Latvian draughts) seem to find their way in through random cracks and tiny un-insulated portions of wall.  As a result, I no longer have any water in my kitchen or laundry taps - the pipes are full of ice, as they are for many other home owners around the country.  Lucky the loos still work :)  Power lines for trolley buses are snapping, in Vilnius the central heating central burst last week. Our wood pellet heating system is chewing through the pellets, and even so, our indoor temperature would not be more than +16 or 17 degrees. Great temp for museum objects, not so comfortable for humans.
On a lighter note, cold days like this always come with no cloud cover and bright sunlight on white, snowy terrain.  Ice flowers on windows and clear, crisp, crunchy outdoor dashes - to the car, to the shop, back home again.  Friends of ours are going on a quick trip to Italy, leaving tonight, and are looking forward to "winter" Italian style - can't help wishing it were me.  Instead we get to babysit their dog until they get back, and I am under strict instructions to take it for a walk twice a day.  HA!!!  Poor pooch will have to make peace with one quick - VERY quick - trot around the local park occasionally...

5 Responses so far.

  1. Didn't winter over there start out quite mild? I've been watching the news reports on the weather in Europe. I don't envy you. It's about 9am now, and I'm sticky with humidity already.

    I think your description of walking in the cold is pretty accurate. I remember being in Washington DC one Christmas, and having to walk to a bus stop from the house I was staying at ... I thought I was going to die from cold on the footpath. Die, I tell you! (I didn't.)

  2. Cannot even fathom sub zero temperatures- perhaps you need to start crocheting a big blankie that you can just drape over yourself under the guise of crafting. Stinking hot and muggy here, we have had buckets of rain, grass is long, mould everywhere and hot hot hot days where every layer has to be peeled off just to do a wee. melx

  3. Mamma M says:

    I grew up with snow days.... and they are indeed the best! Mind you, our snow days are called when the streets are deemed too dangerous for buses (because most schools have those good ole yellow school buses that you Aussies would surely recognize)- not because it's too cold. Although, when it's too cold, outdoor recess gets called off. I have to say... teachers look forward to snow days as much as the kids do! :) know they can be a pain for parents though. :)

  4. Holey dooley that's cold....where we lived once (3 hours from Sydney) it was -14...Now it barely gets below 0 here...I wouldn't make a very good Latvian...I like my drafts here on the coast ha ha...Stay warm...

  5. Em Bee says:

    For the record, I never *once* got a day off for 40+ degrees in Brisbane: not at school, uni or work! Bah! In fact, one summer several years ago it was 42 and 43 degrees on consecutive weekends one February. Weekends!! I actually *wanted* to be at work because work had air conditioning and my flat in New Farm didn't. We had a pool in the complex, but it wasn't under shade, so getting into it was like getting into a bowl of soup...!

    I've actually come to love the cold after so long in the sub-tropics. I got temperatures like the ones you're describing when I was in Iceland last year: I took to wrapping my scarf around my face when I walked!! :-)

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