Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Weather or Not

I guess I've always been, as the old song goes, a "cock-eyed optimist", but I really am a "glass half full" type of person, as opposed to someone who bemoans the fact that it's half-empty.

So many of my fellow ex-pats living out here start a conversation with a moan about this winter's weather when, frankly, I just don't get it. I think the first and major factor must be the propensity which all British people have to talk about the weather before all else. This then requires that a conversation be started with a comment of some kind about the elements and I think it's a peculiarly British thing to not be seen as an optimist. It's like admitting to being naive or something, but it's maddening sometimes. 

I hope I'm not going to lose any friends over this, but here's a report about the Rhodean winter weather of 2012-2013 so far.

"I'm fed up with all this rain" some have said to me. What, WHAT? Been away from the UK for too long I reckon. As any reader of my ramblings over the years will know, plus if you're reading this having met me on one of my excursions, when I'm 'working' (I know, galling isn't it)... 

See, look, beavering away at the desk job... (or perhaps: "Now, where DID I put those trousers?")'ll know that I often describe a Rhodean winter as like a good British summer. Plus, my wife and I (this bit's sad I know, but...) have a habit of recording days upon which we get some kind of precipitation. In plain English - days when it rains. This, mark you, includes a day when it may only be a shower of half an hour or so, but a little "R" goes on the calendar nevertheless. So far dear reader, we still haven't lived through a calendar month after seven and a half years on Rhodes when it's rained on more than 9 days, yes, 9 days!

Granted, this current winter has seen more heavy periods of rain than for a number of years. Like, OK, yes, this week sees the first run of successively dry days (expected to last for 10 days or so) for a couple of months, granted. But, there hasn't been one single week so far since the winter began (which means from November 1st until now) when we haven't been able to sit outside to eat lunch or take coffee in warm sunshine at least a couple of times. I'd say that this winter so far is very like a British summer. Changeable, yes, but also well blessed with periods of sunshine between the rainy times. This piece of video below was shot two days ago, on Jan 28th, whilst sitting out front of the house. Note the pleasant silence too (the birds having gone to ground for the afternoon as they often do in the UK in the early afternoon) and there being almost no wind to speak of...

The night time temperatures this winter have also been much milder than for some years. Last winter went on record as containing the longest sustained spell of very cold nights for decades. This winter we've hardly used our log-burner. Quite often this past couple of weeks we've spent an entire evening without even thinking about lighting it as we haven't felt cold enough. Now, I'm not trying to rub anything in for you poor mortals still living in Northern climes, but we used heating from September through to May when we lived in the UK. Almost gets annoying when we think of how hard we worked (along with our kindly neighbours Taki and Naomi) to gather logs a few weeks ago.

This past couple of days we've done a lot of work in the garden and I've been sweating away in just a short-sleeved T-shirt. Fed up with all this rain? Not me folks, not me. Frankly, we need all the rain we can get, knowing that, come the summer we're not going to see a drop for months on end.

Average night time temperature this past couple of weeks: 7 - 12 Celsius
Average day time temperature this past couple of weeks: 15-22 Celsius

View of Asklipio Kastro as we walked up there to collect the mail a couple of weeks ago. Can you spot the buzzard?

Yup, the Chrysanths are in full bloom and it's late January

Used to keep this kind of plant in pots in the UK. Have had several of these in the garden for some years, but this is the first time they've flowered. Fab flowerheads aren't they? What are they called, anyone know?

A view south towards Gennadi from the fledgling orchard. Ships often anchor in the bay when the winds are the other side of the island, which is the prevailing direction. We enjoy finding out what they are here. You can zoom right into your area of coast and click on the vessel for loads of photos and interesting info.
Anyway, I have a piece of friendly advice for any other Brits living out here who think their glass is half empty.

Leave it outside. The rain'll eventually top it up for you!


  1. John,According to the two botanist's who spent around an hour taking photos of mine,In English it's called a Tree House Leek !!!!! make of that what you will.
    You want rain come to Tilos lots and lots,but still none in the reservoir....

  2. That's probably 'cos the Greeks resolutely refuse to use a mop and bucket instead of a nozzle-less hosepipe!!

    Thanks for the Tree-House Leek!! Makes is sound like a lumberjack Welshman's dream.

  3. John. This ex pat isnt complaining about the weather even tho we are near Faliraki beach
    Most days are like a British summer
    So far only on 5 nights have we lit our wood burner
    Our wood supplier is going to wonder come next winter why we dont want any wood

  4. Aeonium arboreum and when our 2 weeks worth/several inches of snow was washed away by heavy rain I spent the next morning mopping it up..............gallons of it............bathroom and lounge! it came thro the failing flat roof which will be demolished in round 2 of DIY heaven (or hell) about to start Chez Brown!

    PS Lovely pics as always

    1. Yes folks, thanks to my trusty readers I've now found...