13 July 2015

Past freezing

One thing I had definitely not really appreciated in making this move north was how FREAKING cold it gets overnight in the Waikato.

Many people have been surprised that we have been finding it so cold in the mornings and have commented 'but surely it's colder in Wellington?'

And that's partly true. During the day the wind chill factor in Wellington would make a sunny 10 degree day feel much, much colder. Even in a nasty southerly storm when the temperatures were at their lowest, we could usually guarantee an overnight minimum of 3-4 degrees even if the midday temperatures didn't then rise much above 5-6.

Last week we hit another patch of frosty temperatures overnight - I think yesterday morning took the cake - when I looked at the metservice website it said it was -4.4 outside - the coldest one yet. Although earlier in the week, there was also a morning where I'd had to physically yank the car door open as it was frozen shut!

But the biggest issue for us over the past month had been the lack of proper heating in the house. Unfortunately the heat pump broke down about 2 days after we moved in and it took several visits by the repair company to be able to properly diagnose the problem, and then fix what they thought was the problem with the control board only to find once that was finally fixed that it was actually another problem with the fan motor.

So not only was it colder overnight than we were used to but we were limping along with one oil fin heater trying to keep one room warm (and also take the chill off in the kids rooms using wall panel heaters). It basically meant we never really felt warm at all. In the middle of this all, we got a lovely email from the people who bought our house in Wellington saying how lovely and warm they were finding our house with its central heating - which was somewhat ironic to read and went down with us like a cup of cold sick!

So it's probably no great surprise that I got the worst case of chilblains I've ever seen on a person. Basically all the backs of my toes on my right foot had chilblain blisters as well as a giant one on my big toe on the other foot. I spent the best part of two weeks hobbling around until they gradually went away. Chilblains basically come about when your feet (or hands or ears) get too cold and go numb and then get too hot too quickly straight afterwards. I put mine down to a cold morning of exercise where my feet went numb and then I probably warmed my feet too quickly with the car heater on them on the way to work.

Morning exercise - working out on the bike trainer in the cold garage complete with hat, gloves and puffer jacket is a completely new experience for me!

Lesson learnt though. I subsequently went to Kathmandu and invested in some merino socks that were thin enough that I could wear two pairs at a time AND bought some new sheepskin boots on special at Farmers called Mi Woolies. Cold feet begone I say!

And for the past two days of below zero temperatures overnight, the heat pump has finally been fixed. Oh man what a massive difference a warm house makes!

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