The problem sub-zero temperatures create is something that is more than an inconvenience and it is quite amazing how quickly one forgets how is was in years past. I looked back over my diaries from three years ago and found that dealing with the extremes cold isn't that difficult if your heating energy is not from a third party.
Last year, we missed the winter here, the year before that we were in the village all winter and although more difficult that in other months the fact we had a wood burner solved most of our problems. Even without water, gas or electric on occasions the wood burner dealt with most of these problems. A wood burner provided heat for the house and for cooking. It melted the snow from the garden and when on to boil the water. It gave light, much more than any candles could give and of course kept us warm all through the night as we lived, ate and slept in the same room. It wasn’t noisy like air-conditioning systems (klimatik) and bottled gas fires. We also like the romantic side of it as well.
In the town it is much more difficult. We don’t have a wood burner just bottled gas fires and an air conditioning system for the main room, which is on all the time at the moment as Baba sleeps in that main room. The two bottled gas fires are for Ivo’s bedroom (which is a living room) and our bedroom. These are used just 20 minutes to warm the room up before going to bed. Our bedroom is well below zero at 6:30 in the morning when we wake. My glass of water that sits on the chair by our bed had ice crystals in it the last three mornings. The number and the weight of blankets we use to combat the cold at nights gives us a work out everytime we want to turn over. We are of course fully clothed, pyjamas just aren't warm enough. This is not needed in the village with the wood burner!
For the last three days we have had no water and no gas in the Yambol City home, and ithe snow in the City, unlike the village, is not edible. The advice that stands of don’t eat yellow snow is the best advice right now. With Yambol City being snow-covered for the last two weeks, the toiletry habits of Bulgarians show up quite clearly. Toiletry footprints are all over the place which backs up the theory that Bulgarians prefer to use the outside toilets and public places rather than inside toilets!
It has been more than difficult to get water, which has had to be bought. Washing in freezing cold water rationed to a margarine tub each first thing in the morning is tough for our family. I quite like roughing it, that is partly why I am living here, but I feel sorry for the rest of the Bulgarian household having to go through this. I commented on a friend's site who had a interesting article about 'Weather talk in Thailand', it was mentioned that is wasn't only Brits talking about weather, but Bulgarians love to talk about the weather just as much as the Brits. Well it's not surprising as the weather really does affect the way of life here right now.
With temperatures not getting about freezing point both day and night for the last 10 days or so and set to continue, we cannot see us getting any running water for quite a while to come. As for the gas, we will have to wait and see?
There are many other things that are affected, but this is a blog not a novel.