Well, this past three days has been very cold, in fact, record-breakingly cold. Our old friend Kostas, who's Rhodes born and bred (notwithstanding the fact that he lived for about ten years in Canada, so he knows about cold!) and is now around seventy, told us on Thursday night that he'd never experienced cold like this on Rhodes - ever!
We had a flow of air-masses down from the Balkans and beyond that took our overnight temperatures down to around zero C (32ºF) and even to -1 on exposed ground facing the north-northwesterly wind and during the day to around 4 to 7ºC at best. We've lived here since August 2005 and we can vouch for Kostas' estimation of the rarity of these temperatures. Brrr! OK, so in Bulgaria they were down to -18ºC overnight, but that's just nuts - hence no brass monkeys to be seen anywhere, eh?
And Judy, over there in Alaska, before you say anything - we know we're a bunch of jessies and wimps, OK? Good, I'm glad we got that out of the way.
Fortunately, the temperatures are already rising back to what we'd expect for the time of year. In fact, tomorrow night's forecast is for 13 and during the day Monday it should be back to the upper teens, which means for us, if the sun's out, 20-21ºC, much more like what we expect. I tell you, we've been mighty glad of the log-burner and even had it on all day on Wednesday, something that we never normally have to do.
The great benefit of this cold spell has been, though, exceptionally low humidity and wonderful light conditions. Hence the following series of photos that I snapped just yesterday, when we had to make a trip up to Rhodes Town. Here goes then...
|Our friendly neighbourhood Seat Ibiza shepherd brings his flock of a couple of hundred sheep past our gate every morning at the moment and they were just coming past when I got the car out.|
|I can't ever remember seeing the Turkish mountains so clearly. We could even see them from Pefkos, almost unheard of usually. These few, though, were taken between Mandraki and the Old Harbour, as seasoned Rhodophiles will, of course, know.|
|I couldn't resist snapping this because the old fella walking, well, shuffling really, with his stick looked so evocative, poor old soul.|
I don't know whether you know the old polar bear joke, but here it is anyway.
A polar bear toddler is playing near his mother on an ice flow in the arctic. He comes up to his mum and asks, "Mum, am I really a polar bear?" Of course, his mother replies, "What do you mean son? 'am I a polar bear?' What colour's your fur, white, right? So you're a polar bear. Now go play in the snow."
Ten minutes later he's back to ask his mum. "Mum, am I really, really a polar bear?" To which his mum answers, slightly irritated this time, "Son. Look, your mother's a polar bear and you've got white fur. So, what does that make you? You're a polar bear, now go play in the snow."
Ten minutes later, back he comes. "Mum, are you sure I'm a polar bear?"
Really ratty now, she says: "Look, your father's a polar bear. Your mother's a polar bear. You have white fur like your parents. You live in the arctic. You are a POLAR BEAR. Why, for goodness sake, do you keep asking me if you're really are a polar bear?"
He answers, "Because I'm ruddy FREEZING!!!"
Now why did I think of that joke? Ask a brass monkey, ...if you can find one that is.