(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

on being warm.

I wish I could say it is because I had a man in my bed, but saying I have some heat will have to do.

For weeks, I've been (at first) gently chided by friends regarding my heating situation ... my house has a radiator system and 3 fireplaces so I've responded with my usual harumphs and eyerolls.

I've been repeatedly warned about the fast and unyielding change in temperature that accompanies the move into autumn.  

"Je sais, je sais! Les Etats-Units ont les saisons aussi! C'etait froid en Oregon!"  his turn to harumph and eyeroll.

Then my daughter arrived.  Complaining from day one about the cold.  I told her to put on a sweater.  

I was hounded to order wood.  I didn't know where to get wood.  Then at dinner one night at Marjo's, Johnelle regalled the table with stories of the climate in our house.  She pronounced me to be half bear!

Peals of laughter ensued.  One nice thing about being in France is the entertainment factor I provide to all of my new friends...

So, last week was colder by the day.  The weather right now is glorious sunny skies during the day, even inching up to warmish.  At night the thermostat plummets.  Well it would if I had a thermostat.

Samedi soir (Saturday night) was the climax.  The reverse climax, I guess.  And not the kind I've been longing for.  I slept in pyjamas, a pullover sweater, my huge winter robe, socks, a down comforter and an extra blanket.  It was painful to don my pyjamas because it meant removing my warm layer of clothing and putting on freezing cold articles of clothing and then climbing in to a freezing bed.  I tried to get the fire going in my bedroom but it would kick in and I was too cold to keep trying so I just got into bed.  I don't think I really got even close to comfortable..all night.

The even more pathetic part is that Saturday, after taking Johnelle to the gare, I drove straight to BricoDepot and bought a portable petrol (kerosene) heater.  and a huge (maybe 5 liters?) container of petrol.

But it was the last heater in stock, out of box and with no instructions.  So I didn't know how to use it.  So I froze in my frigid house with a heater sitting in the hallway.

Sunday morning I called Jean-Yves and left a message.  On Monday, can you please bring that electric radiator you found? (slight chuckle) d'accord J-Y.  Tu es vrais.

Fifteen minutes later my phone rings.  Laughter on the other end.  "Oh Keem, were you cold last night?" more laughter.

I can't really get mad ... especially since he came over later in the day and put together the kerosene heater and showed me how to work it AND installed the electric radiator in the other bedroom so my freshly arrived houseguests (more on that and their crazy selves later) don't become human popsicles.

So here I am, early Monday morning, basking in the glow of my first night's sleep with a heater in my room.  I swear it was almost too warm!  no, not really.

Wish I could say I slept like a baby, but was another rather fitful night.  a warm one though.  very very very warm.  and warm is good.  


Our Juicy Life said...

K - I'm with you girl...fucking freezing the last 2 nights. Frost on the meadow. We have a wood burning stove and luckily the people we rented from had us buy wood last month because he said if we bought it too late it would be wet and not burn well. $400.00 worth of wood. I have a feeling we'll run out if it stays this cold.

Hot water bottles - that's the ticket and we just bought some from Hyper U. Everyone had told me to get them and stick them at the end of your bed for your feet.

We have small wall raditaors in the bedrooms, but havent turned them on yet, have had a fire from like 6:00 pm on. I am hearing what we have experienced isn't really the cold we will be getting, great.

Get yourself some wood NOW and get some hot water bottles, because I also hear the electric heaters are very very expensive. I'm typing this and wearing a big sweater. At least we can both laugh about this, right? My blood is so thin from 20 years in Los Angeles with the coldest temp around 50. I used to turn on the central heat (oh I love that word) when it was 60. Now I'll just have to throw another log on the fire.

I'm dreaming of spring already.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

OJL-hot water bottles! good idea! also bought a petrol heater...not too too bad.

nate b said...

haha, having lived 3 years in rustic cabins with only wood heat on an island along the canadian border -- i can so relate. nothing quite like the misery of not being able to sleep all night due to cold, it's the worst. i'm completely spoiled by this point with LAs perpetual t-shirt weather year round (nearly), but i'm considering a move to chicago! wtf?

glad to hear you got some heat.

La Belette Rouge said...

Saturday it got down to 65 degrees. It was the first time I have been semi-cold in over 7 months. I am craving cold. Reading about sweaters, heaters and firewood is making me long for real cold weather. Le sigh!!

La Framéricaine said...

This morning, Monday, was our first official chilly morning in the beater trailer. Soon we will be switching on the gas heater instead of the mini-air-conditioner that replaced the genuiiiine swamp cooler that just bit the dust.

Thank gawd this was our last summer in trailer park heaven! However, you can see why we have been dragging our feet on the way to Le Blanc. We have been jockeying to slip into France around April when it will be cool but not freezing!

I am so happy that you have started to get your heating alternatives set up--1,2,3. It makes a great case for thick bathrobes, flannel jammies, and those houseshoes with fur in 'em. You gotta get some of those Oregonians to send you some classic winter bedwear from home!

Keep toasty, Miss Thang!

Randal Graves said...

Any trees nearby? Chop a few down, toss the logs in the fireplace et voilà, French lingerie time!

Randal Graves said...

I hate to interrupt your being nice and warm, but you've been tagged.

Utah Savage said...

Glad JY is kind to you and finds a way to keep you warm.