Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The price of living in Cyprus ...

After a pretty steamy and hot July, we have reached the month of August and it is hot, hot, hot. Someone once told us that July and August are the price you pay for living in Cyprus. By common consent the summer of 2016 has been the hottest since we arrived here in 2012. Ann met someone outside a kiosk months ago who told her that, according to NASA, the eastern Mediterranean was going to be very hot this year. Thanks NASA.

It may seem ironic that we, who emigrated to live in a warm climate, are complaining about the heat. But our Cypriot friends are suffering just as much as us, and everyone is looking forward to September and that wonderful time when you can sleep with the windows open (fly screens closed) in a gentle breeze, without air conditioning. Most of the year is perfect as far as I am concerned but a hot summer is to be endured, not enjoyed. Last night we went for a late swim in the pool, and that was just great.

How to endure this weather took us some time to work out. The first thing to realise is that, if you have your windows open, that just lets the hot air in. We always have windows closed, blinds and curtains closed on the sunny side of the house, to control the environment. A couple of fans are always on during the day to circulate the air, but there comes a time when the temperature in the house is in the low thirties. Last year and this year we learned pretty quickly just to switch the air conditioning on, and keep it on until we went to bed. Air conditioning in the bedroom is a must and we switch this on about three quarters of an hour before we go to bed. Another thing learned is that if you switch the air conditioning off, the room heats up much more quickly than it cools down.

Of course electricity has fallen in price quite considerably since we arrived and this keeps the cost down. But, as one of my friends said, there is absolutely no point in coming to live here and being uncomfortably hot in the process. Two things to remember for those following us out here to live. The first is that fly screens are an absolute must. In spring and autumn, open windows are the way to go and you don't want to have all those flying things invading your space. The second is that air conditioning is essential. Just remember those cheap Mediterranean holidays when your hotel room was sweltering and you couldn't sleep. And imagine that for months on end. Air conditioning in your living space is almost as important, as you may find that you retire indoors in the middle of the morning and don't venture outside until late afternoon. Be cool and enjoy your retirement.

If your electricity bill is too high, then have your air conditioning units serviced. Ours have been much more effective this year. When the guys came to service them, the gunk, and dust, and dirt they removed was quite something. And then, if your electricity bill is still too high, eat baked beans on toast until your next pension payment comes through. As we have found, eating in this weather is something we can often do without. Drinking, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether.

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