Well this is a post that I never thought I would be writing. When it comes to weather Kuwait is extreme when it comes to heat, so when moving to the hottest place on earth, I didn’t for one minute think that I would be complaining about being cold! So two and half years into life in the sandpit, we have just had four days of unseasonably cold weather and all us desert girls have done nothing but complain. What is wrong with us!?
So it would seem there is no pleasing us. We moan when it gets too hot and we moan when its cold. To be fair I am simply no longer built for colder climes and the past week has made me feel truly like a local, wrapping up like I’m heading into the artic, just to take a 10 minute walk to the supermarket. Even my Scottish lass was ridiculed by her fellow Scotts, declaring she had turned soft, if she thought that 4 degrees was deemed freezing. It’s hilarious that we simply can’t cope anymore and it certainly isn’t what we expect from life in the desert.
As an island girl, we have never had severe winters, we are always a few degrees warmer than the UK, rarely get snow and whilst the sharp coastal winds can certainly nip at your toes, we are fairly lucky in terms of low temperature periods. So when this island girl headed off for her first expat adventure, things were about to change. I landed in Prague one December day and it was 7 feet of snow and temperatures well below zero. This initially was exciting, as little Jersey me had only had snow about 5 times in my life, and I still think its magical especially in December. So whilst I quickly adapted to icy cobbles, investing in proper footwear, I loved these beautiful winter days ahead.
In Jersey, when there is even a flurry of snow EVERYTHING stops! Kids are sent home from school, traffic comes to a standstill (apart from the 4×4 mummy brigade) and work forces cease. It’s ridiculous really, but we just aren’t built for it, prepared for it and as its only happens once in a blue moon, no one invests in it. In Prague, the city never stops, sleeps or cares that there is a mountain of snow. Trams still run, people still work, you wrap up and get on it. So after four years, I would trundle to the supermarket in all weathers and learnt that minus 20 wasn’t a big deal, when you dress appropriately. I had become hard core (I’m doing a snarl and fist pump when I say hard core by the way)
The hilarious thing, was when apartment hunting, all we concerned ourselves with was decent heating and a bath (one has to be able to warm those bones once in a while) we didn’t for one minute think about air con. So when the summer hit the bohemian city of spires, our loft apartment became a furnace. There was absolutely now respite. We knew of the extreme winter temperatures but we did not research or know it could easily rise to the mid 30’s come summer time. Being in a land locked city was a nightmare, no where to lay and enjoy it, no where to cool off. So we had got used to the cold and now couldn’t handle the heat, so what did we decide to do?……….
oh yeah, let’s move to the desert and arrive in 50 degree August!
The story continued with my poor body now trying to get used to the crazy, skin tingling, heights of the desert sun. The only saving grace, was this time round everywhere was air con induced and you could cool off at a moments notice. So another house hunting mission insued and this time, air con and a shower where the top of the list, thinking only of staying cool. As time passed we again adapated to the heat, feeling cold every time we returned to the UK, even in the summer it didn’t seem that hot. Family members rolling their eyes, when visiting in winter we would be donning hats and scarves, when it was still double figures. We had reversed everything four years of Czech living had taught us and were more than happy basking in the sunshine all year round.
To be clear we had experienced some chilly January weather, whilst being here, but it was for 2 weeks and nothing major, maybe wearing a light sweater rather than a tshirt but you can’t begrudge it for only a few weeks right? We had invested in a very small fan heater to take the edge off (after discovering that you actually do need some heating once in a while, we still hadn’t learnt from our Prague experience to think about both hot and cold) but in all honesty last year I think we used it for all of about 4 days, so nothing to complain about. I was even boasting to my desert girls over brunch last week, that looking back at Insta shots I was sunbathing by valentines, so we could look forward to getting our pasty white bodies glowing once more. Then it struck.
Last Thursday morning I woke up with the usual sun streaming through my bedroom window. The room felt a little chilly but as I was playing my usual game of 5 more minutes with my alarm, I had convinced myself it was because I was snuggled and warm under my duvet and nothing more. So dressed in a hoodie and jeans I ventured out to the gym. OH MY GOOD GOD it was flipping freezing! I could not believe it. As I ventured down the road, my hands were numbing and my head was finding it hard to think and I was muttering to myself like a crazy person, all the way, its so bloody cold. Well that was it, I was certainly not stripping down to my swimsuit to swim in the open air pool that’s for sure! So as I started up my treadmill all I could hear around me, were people becoming Micheal Fish (a very famous UK weather man for my non British readers) declaring their meteorological summaries of this weird cold snap.
That was it. My Facebook feed was filled with everyone posting screen shots of their weather apps, no one could cope with it. I couldn’t cope with it. Quite frankly I staying in doors with multiple layers, my sofa blanket (only there for decor purposes) actually had to be used, god forbid, as a blanket!
I even had to dig out my proper long legged, long sleeve PJ’s
My coat came out of storage, which still had a Prague tram ticket in the pocket so that’s how long ago I had used it and my little heater was on round the clock. Had I really turned this soft!?
In fairness when Hubby landed back in Kuwait on Saturday morning, the pilot did announce the outside temperature to be minus 3, much to the dismay of the bloke next to him, who had only brought tshirts with him on his week long trip, so I am not over exaggerating too much when I say its cold. The sun is still shining, which is lovely but it certainly not what we had anticipated for this time of year or this life.
You will be happy to hear that today is much warmer, I think we are back into double figures and reaching 16 degrees by mid afternoon, so the phenomenon of icicles in the desert and snow on the Saudi borders will be banished to the history books. I am just happy that it was only a blip. If I want to have the same temperature as home, I would rather be at home, where you can snuggle in front of a fire, enjoy proper British comfort food and sip on hot toddies.
Whilst I’m here, enjoying desert life, I want the sun on my back and to see the world through rose tinted sun glasses not a ski mask and bobble hat!