2010年1月17日日曜日

we'd be better off....

This is an old house.

This is a cold area.

That means this is an old, cold house.

Not your average, 'brrr, that's a little chilly, think I'll put on a sweater' kind of cold.

More like 'honey? the fish tank has frozen, the drain in the wash basin has iced over, I can't wipe the table because the cloth is frozen to the sink and oh, the olive oil has gone solid again' kind of cold.

This morning it was -8 in the kitchen when we got up.*

Brrrr....

But it was -11 outside so we were still winning on my "we're still better off living in a house" check. (Gotta look on the positive side of life, eh?)

But today someone pointed this article out to me:

Igloo as a snowhouse

Frobisher Bay, an illustration from Charles Francis Hall's Arctic Researches and Life Among the Esquimaux, published in 1865

...Although igloos are usually associated with all Inuit, they were predominantly constructed by people ofCanada's Central Arctic and Greenland's Thulearea. ...Snow was used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator. On the outside, temperatures may be as low as −45 °C (−49.0 °F), but on the inside the temperature may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) when warmed by body heat alone.[4]


That last sentence- an igloo gets as warm as 16 degrees when outside temperatures are as low as -45????


Aghhhhhh!!! We'd be better off living in a freaking igloo!!!


*Dear Mum, Dad, Matsumoto Child Welfare etc etc, please don't worry. Of course we turn the heaters on as soon as we get up. Within about 10 minutes we're out of the minus temperatures altogether- even 6 degrees feels positively balmy after that! But there is something satisfying about checking the thermometer and knowing that you're not just being a wimp- it really is freezing in here!

10 件のコメント:

Brenda さんのコメント...

I am glad to know we're not the only people with frozen olive oil. I noticed it for the first time earlier this week and thought Akinori had just put away an empty bottle after using up the contents, as he has been known to do, because nothing came out when I tried to use it. So I set it aside to rinse and bin, and when I came back to it an hour later, it had melted and started to pour out. The coldness of Nagano and the lack of insulation in their homes never ceases to amaze me!

bastish さんのコメント...

I can't wait to build the kamakura with you and your family! It really is warm in there... especially if there are a lot of warm bodies. Even if you choose not to spend the night there, its a great place for hot cocoa or hot sake.

RE your comment on my blog, we do have somewhat of an igloo effect - the snow is above our first-floor windows. We just keep baby in the room with the fire stove during day, and she sleeps with me in my futon at night (I am quite hot)

Lulu さんのコメント...

OMG, and I am having trouble coping with the night temperatures here which are like 5-6 degrees or something.

I am pretty sure your girls would jump a the chance to live in an igloo though!

Gaijin Wife さんのコメント...

Oh shit seriously? Frozen olive oil, frozen dish cloth stuck to the sink. Made me laugh. Wouldn't be so amusing if it was me but. That's the last time I complain about a bit of snow and frost.

warm wishes to you and your lot.

Kim さんのコメント...

I LOVE thermometers! I love to be able to prove that I'm freezing to death. Roasting isn't as interesting. Our living room was 7 this morning (we don't close curtains/blinds/anything), and the kitchen was 11, I think. Balmy! Maybe you could pack snow around around your house and make an igloo type house? You know, if the girls have extra energy they need to burn off!

Xana さんのコメント...

It reminds me of when I lived in Shimane, going to brush my teeth and realizing I had toothpaste on an icecube on a stick. And the toilet would always freeze over. I trained my cat to turn on the kerosene stove as soon as the alarm went off so I could stay under the covers until it warmed up a bit. He was smart and had a fur coat!

Now we live in balmy Gifu now where the inside temperatures rarely drop below freezing! We pay for it with the horrible summers. Bleah.

It is warmer here, but at New Years, we would come home from a day at the in-laws and open the fridge to put away the piles of food they gave us, and wow, did it feel warm in there. I had never realized that refrigerators can serve the dual purpose of keeping food cool in summer and unfrozen in winter.

Looking forward to the igloo photos!

Nay さんのコメント...

Gosh and I am known to complain to Naoki when I wake up and the thermometre in the lounge room says 13 degrees!! LOL!!

Ok, I hearby swear never to whinge about the 'cold' again...

Japan Mama さんのコメント...

Wow! I feel cold here every morning, and it is nowhere near - figures inside. Well to be fair, it's only -1 or -2 out these mornings. Do you have much snow there? Maybe you could use the snow as extra insulation ;) ?

Coffeegrl さんのコメント...

My husband and I joke that once his parents move out of the house here, we should just build an igloo in the center of the house structure. That would be cheaper than tearing down the old building and starting all over and since the house frame itself is large and made of steel, it seems sort of silly not to make use of it in some way. Still, our place gets cold (not quite as cold as Nagano for sure!) and we figure that a small interior structure, like an igloo, would be the perfect solution. Now I know we're right!!!

thefukases さんのコメント...

frozen olive oil, frozen toothpaste, K''s contact lens solution even froze- welcome to Nagano!

Having lived in Fukushima and here I can really attest that snow = warmth. There we had metres of snow all winter but here we get amazing blue skies, raging winds and frigid temperature. Oh yeah.

If you're moving to Nagano head for Bastish's place! No need to join a gym with all that snow shovelling wither, hey?

Xana- reckon your cat could be trained to put wood on the fire? Might need to get me one of them....

I think cold is relative though, I felt really cold in Australia in winter, too and it was only in the low teens there.

Kim- totally addictive, huh?

coffeegrl- everytime I read the thermometre I think of my neighbour in the house with the wooden shutters- she has big gaps between the window and the windowsill. ouch!