Winter in Bermuda

Yay for NASA socks to keep my feet warm!

Well winter’s definitely here in Bermuda.  In the last few days it snowed, really snowed.  No not here, about a metre of snow up in Canada.  Now when the winds blowing South-West, we then get the cold air coming from that direction.  The temperature reads about the same as it always does, around nineteen degrees Celsius, which should be warm for me, a Southern girl.  But it’s not.

I can hear you all thinking, nineteen’s not cold!  It even sounds like I might be showing off, but it’s cold.  My lovely friend in Wales said ‘it’s only eight here’. But I have to tell you that it won’t feel as cold there.  I’ve been wondering why, and I have a few ideas about that.

The waters still blue even with the wintry grey sky over Coney Island

Firstly, Bermuda has high humidity.  At this tine of the year, the air gets humid, and the ground gets wet with rain, and nothing really has a chance to dry.  That means the damp sets in.  In your limp hair, your clingy clothing, the black mould starting to sneak in the wardrobe, and through to your bones.  Today I have a singlet, long sleeve skivvy, jeans, my cool NASA socks, hoodie and my favourite slippers on; but I am cold.  I have the ceiling fans slowly rotating on low, and a window open just a little to circulate air and try and keep it dry.  But I can’t get warm.  My hands are cold, I keep wanting to make a hot drink, and I have procrastinated all day from writing my blog, because I just don’t want to stay still long enough to do it!  Air circulation is imperative to keep that black stuff away.  Rotate your clothes, hang them out whenever you can in the sun to nip it in the bud, and check, check, check.  There’s nothing worse than having an important meeting and finding your only suit is covered in spots and smells awful!  I have those suction storage bags, you know the ones you put clothes in, then squish out the air and they become vacuum sealed?  Well if you don’t know about them, they are great.  I pop in anything I’m not wearing, suck out the air, then store it in a suitcase.  Great for small space living as well.  Leaving the drawer open just a little helps too, but I constantly forget and shut them again.

Secondly, the houses are built for the heat and hurricanes.  That’s walls up to a foot thick of limestone or concrete, and roofs made of the same material as well.  There’s lots of windows for letting in fresh air when it’s hot.  We are lucky because we have double glazing and just shut all the windows, and the house warms up.  I have noticed though with several days of gray sky and no sun, and gale force cold winds, the house isn’t warming up so well.  Last night we put the oven on to cook tea, and we were taking off jerseys and slippers, and opening windows, it really is that effective.  We don’t have a heater and haven’t had to consider buying one, yet.   Some houses have fire places and when I’ve been out and about, walk past smokey chimneys on occasion.  It amazed me when I first got here that I’d ever be cold enough to consider a fire. This time last year I was still snorkelling!

Thirdly we are sitting on a great big swimming pool, which is usually warm.  Its cooled down now, so it’s like when your hottie gets cold in bed, turf it!  Can’t do that, because we need to drink, cook and shower in it.  The water tank is imperative to survival here, and it goes without saying, it’s in line before me in the pecking order.

Fourthly the temperature range is only around three degrees.  So if it’s nineteen now and that ‘s the high for the day, then it will get to sixteen overnight, and without sun nothing gets a chance to warm up or dry out.  I have a huge basket of washing pending, but it just has to wait until that illusive sunny day.  I think that’s this Saturday.  Now when the sun does peek out from behind those clouds, it’s really hot.  We’ll spend a day in t-shirts and shorts again, fishing out the sunscreen to protect our skin, and with the humidity start to sweat once more! The steam coming off the roads is impressive.  But when the sun goes behind a cloud, it’s instantly cold again.

I read a lovely blog recently about a lady who lives down in the Caymen Islands, and how much they look forward to getting out their winter clothes which sit idle all year.  The blog described the excitement of favourite trousers, shoes and patterned knitted scarfs and wool coats.  But how short lived it was, for they get around three days of cold, and it’s back to hot again.  So fifthly, this is my second winter here in Bermuda, and I’m unsure if I’ve acclimatised, or if its actually colder than last year.  The Bermudians just don’t go out when its cold.  Streets are abandoned, events are cancelled, and no one answers their door because they’re in their warm pyjamas snuggled up in bed.  Well that’s what I did this morning anyway! 

One soggy boat under repair ready to be bailed out, again.

I had to get up to go down to the dock and check the boat to see if it needed bailing out again.  It has to be upright during repairs, so as you can imagine, its filling up every few hours. And that reminds me that I also have a correction to tell you.  I mentioned tank rain in several of my blogs.  Recently I found out that tank rain is only when it comes straight down, if the wind is blowing it around, it doesn’t qualify.  I thought surely if it wets you right through in less than a minute, it should qualify, but it turns out it doesn’t.

The little birds we’ve been feeding have been camped on the doorstep for the last few days.  What a mess they’ve made, poop everywhere.  Each time I go near a window, a sparrow flies at me head height through the glass, then gives up again.  To make it worse we’ve run out of seed, and have forgotten to get more, twice, so they think they are really suffering.  I popped up to the letterbox yesterday, braving the horizontal rain, leaving the door open for fresh air while I was away.  I returned a few minutes later to find about forty sparrows perched on the carpet, who were quick to take flight.  What a performance.  Cheeky buggers. That kept me warm cleaning up after them!

So please excuse my lateness for this blog. My laptop decided to throw a wobbly, and pretended I didn’t have any word documents. I have a poisoned finger and with it being a bit trickier to type, and the computer going crazy, I gave up. I opened it all back up again today and it’s like it never happened. My fingers on the mend, so alls good here! Just in time for the weekend.

More soon – Sally


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