Tuesday, October 18, 2005

On Being Damp

Being damp and a little bit cold reminds me of home. I never used to bother with an umbrella because Edinburgh rain so often came with gusty winds that it was too much hassle and you got wet anyway. Besides the fear of thwacking a passerby with your brolly because of an ill-timed puff of wind.

Right now I'm sitting at my desk with damp feet, I stepped in a puddle and my formerly waterproof wondershoes are evidently wondershoes no longer. Just soggy moccasins.

The odd thing about rainy weather is that it makes me homesick. You'd think I'd be extra glad to live in California when it rains, because the rain here is only a small part of the year, but it makes me miss my parents' house and the fireplaces. Damp cold weather NEEDS a roaring fire to toast yourself in front of. My electric fan heater doesn't quite cut it. I have to resist the urge to make this an excuse to live on tomato soup and fried cheese.

Now that I think about it I was cold a lot growing up, which is probably why I'm such a heat seeker now, except for when the weather gets over 90F and I turn into a melted puddle of grumpy goo. Cold bathrooms: trying to keep my entire body under the stream of hot water in the shower because despite the steam, the air stayed resolutely chilly; being thankful for wooden toilet seats, so they were never that cold to sit on. Cold bedroom: getting into bed and spending the first few minutes shivering until my body heat warmed up the pocket of blankets I was in; trying to change into my pajamas under the blankets so I never had to be completely uncovered; giving up on my bedroom and just getting dressed for the morning in the kitchen, in front of the AGA, on which I would pre-warm my shirt.

I wonder if it would drive me crazy now to be so cold. I don't think so, our flat on 30th street was so uninsulated we referred to it as a shack, we'd wake up able to see our breath and shuffle quickly to the livingroom and turn on the heater. Which, by the way, was mounted about 6 feet above the floor level so it very kindly heated all the air next to the ceiling before it started to do us any good. Chilly mornings huddled into a bathrobe and slippers are my favourites, they make it so much more fun to wrap your hands around a mug of hot tea or coffee, rainy weather makes me appreciate my nice dry flat full of warm colours, and it really makes me appreciate the fact that Marble is a well trained foot-warmer. She's quite happy to take a nap on top of my feet.

1 comment:

K said...

I hear you. Guess who was shiveringly awake until 2.30am last night, until in desperation she ill-advisedly turned the electric blanket on while still in the bed? (Only for ten minutes.)

Then of course by morning the bed was toasty warm. I will admit to getting dressed under the covers. Getting out of bed in winter is the worst thing.

Actually I don't feel the cold much once I'm properly awake and moving around. Good circulation. My boss just came in and asked if my heater was working, and I had tell him it wasn't turned on: it hadn't occurred to me that it was cold enough to need it.

But it is raining.