Friday, October 16, 2009

To heat or not to Heat

Well last Saturday I was laying on the beach in Sicily enjoying the warm weather and watching the last few British tourists pretending that the sea was still warm. Today I am working from home with a jumper under a fleece jacket (fashion goddess that I am) shivering as the tempeature has dropped due to a cold front from Russia. I am not talking about a visit from Silvio's good mate for cup of tea and a digestive.
Winter is arriving. The secret day passed when all Italians put their summer clothes away and it suddenly a 'faux pas' to open a window on the bus or metro. How do they know? There no gradual change, but its like a secret code. One day summer dresses, the next winter coats. Maybe its on the news.

I work from home at the moment and I am freezing. My fingers can hardly type and my furry socks are scaring the neighbours. We have central heating but I cannot put it on. Why not? well because here it is controlled centrally. Last year I thought that this meant the apartment block had a central switch and you need to wait for someone to turn it on, the date being prearranged. But I was wrong.

The date is prearranged but it is the commune that decide (the city council), and they have chosen November 11th. So on that day, all the residences in Rome can put their heating on, but even if is sub zero degrees first, we cannot intervene. They also decide when it goes off and for the last two springs, I can remember having the heating on and all the windows open to cool down.

Can you imagine that in a city in the UK or the US? Well Mr Smith, I know its snowing and you are 85, but another 3 weeks to go.... have you had your flu jab by the way?

Anyway, just off to get my hot water bottle.

Brrrrr

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