?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Blue lips are sexy, no really! - Tactical Ninja

May. 25th, 2011

09:33 am - Blue lips are sexy, no really!

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

I was totally coiffed when I left home this morning. Shiny, smooth, not one hair out of place.* Then Wellington happened as Wellington is wont to do, as I walked around the waterfront. Now it's dark again and all stormy and stuff. Half of me is wet - the left half - and I look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards, as does everyone else in the office, even though some of them only walked from their car park to here.

Welcome to Wellington, we have weather! I'm kind of astounded we don't have more windfarms, we certainly have the capacity for them. Then we could sell power to those poor windless fuckers in.. wait. Unzud has wind everywhere.

So why aren't there more windfarms again?


There was a thing on some forum the other day about the standard of living in New Zealand and someone not-from-here said something about how we have 'mild summers and winters'. I left a flip comment along the lines of "Someone's been telling you porkies about our mild conditions. Signed, everyone in Wellington." Cue a shower of people telling me all about how I should harden up because NORWAY! CANADA! etc etc. And, of course, Dunedin.

In a way they're right. Objectively, our temperatures don't usually go below zero. An average Wellington winter's day is around 8-12 Celsius. It gets colder at night, naturally, but you don't get the crazy always-below-zero, snow-everywhere and don't cry because your eyelashes will crack off temperatures that Arctic Circle places get. And even factoring in the windchill that often lowers the temperature 6 or 7 degrees, that blows unimpeded from Antarctica to here, it's still not THAT cold. So those folks are right, we're a pack of whingers and should just harden up right?

Except no. The thing about Canada and Norway is that everyone knows it's cold in those places. Thus, the homes are insulated and double glazed and heated. The infrastructure is set up to deal with extreme cold, and shops sell warm clothes. New Zealand, on the other hand, is a Pacific Island. Think Tahiti! Think Hawai'i! Only not. But when NZ was colonised by the British and homes started being built, there was an assumption that since we're a Pacific Island, insulation wouldn't be necessary. According to stats, around half of NZ's homes have insufficient insulation. It's only in the last couple of years that any effort has been made to do something about retrofitting insulation to NZ homes. It was only in 2007 that the Building Regulations were amended to include a requirement for double glazing as part of thermal resistance in new houses, and many older homes still have highly inefficient open fireplaces. Add to this that we have a high rainfall and a lot of trees and subsequent issues with rising damp, and things are Not So Tropical Ackshully.

So what you end up with is the archetypal (for kiwis) damp student flat with high ceilings, no double glazing, no insulation, draughts and a crappy fireplace. These are everywhere in Wellington, and when we're in the teeth of a howling southerly (with added sleet yay!) it's common for people to be sitting in their lounge wrapped in blankets to keep warm because it's 6 degrees inside as well as outside. I can honestly say I've never been so cold as I was when I lived at my brother's on the north side of Ngaio Gorge. That house was draughty and heaters achieved little to battle it. I would encourage my dog to sit on my feet, and still end up with chillblains.

And just in case nobody's convinced that it does get cold here yet, I've spoken with folks from both Canada and colder European countries who have pretty much unanimously said that they've never been so cold as they have in Wellington. But then, they probably haven't lived in Dunedin - it has all the same issues Wellington has, but is further south so yes, it's colder there. Those folks are seriously hardcore.

On the upside, our summers are kind of mild. It rarely goes over 30 degrees, in fact mostly it sits between 18 and 24. So nobody's about to die of heatstroke here. But I really do wish folks who don't know would shut up and stop telling us that our winters are mild. We don't get snow really, instead we get 40 knot winds off Antarctica, full of mixed ice and water. Then we step inside to rising damp and no insulation. SO MILD.

The house I'm in now is the first one I've lived in that's properly insulated and not draughty. It has a firebox with an exposed flue and lighting it heats the whole house in an hour, which then stays warm most of a night. And it's bloody awesome. All it needs is double glazing on the giant, southerly-facing picture window and it'd be perfect.

Just saying.


I guess that all sprung to mind because having got wet on the way to work I am now kind of cold - our building's central air conditioning system seems to take a day or so to catch up with changes in temperature, and we're in the Roaring Forties so the temperature changes hourly, not weekly.

I can has warm boy now? *forlorn look*

So LJ, please warm me up by telling me about the coldest you've ever been. Apart from abovementioned house, it would have to be fixing broken water troughs in Masterton in -4 Celsius after the bulls broke the valves and water went everywhere. Tip: you can't fix float valves with gloves on, fuckitall.

* This might be a lie. Anyone who knows me will also know that my hair is a paid-up member of Hair Going Its Own Way.

PS Queen of Thorns' take on the Wellywood sign is the funniest one I've seen yet, with added QoT supersnark.

Comments:

Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
[User Picture]
From:friggasmuse
Date:May 24th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)

The coldest I have ever been was last winter, when I was working outside in minus fifty degree Celsius with a minus sixty wind chill beside a steam tower which left condensate frozen on my face. I was working as a pipefitter on the largest union oil refinery in Canada and it was so fucking cold. My feet are permanently damaged :/ lol

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 24th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There is something about subzero temperatures and anything to do with water that just.should.not.go.together.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:crsg
Date:May 24th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
But when NZ was colonised by the British and homes started being built, there was an assumption that since we're a Pacific Island, insulation wouldn't be necessary. According to stats, around half of NZ's homes have insufficient insulation.

*shivers* I hear ya. Currently flatting in a house built pre-1920 - it has really high ceilings, really large main rooms, interior concrete walling, and zero insulation. The rooms are fairly impossible to heat unless you close all the doors and warm them one at a time, which is way too expensive, so last winter we just ended up wandering around with duvets 24/7 looking like hobos in order to avoid the bill. Granted, Hamilton is probably far warmer than Wellington (and Canada, and Norway), but it's all the same when the inside of your house in the middle of winter is colder than the outside.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 24th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Your house is beautiful, but even looks cold.

When I was 18 I spent a winter in Hamilton. The house I was in was fairly new and insulated, but what I remember from there was how there'd be a frost/fog combo and the fog wouldn't lift all day, so it was like tiny ice-particles creeping into everything, and a feeling of heavy damp. I vaguely remember never using the washing line to dry my clothes because they just.. didn't.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]
From:polychrome_baby
Date:May 24th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The cold in Georgia can be pretty brutal for the reasons you mentioned. It's not really associated with cold here. So, although the Winter generally has 0 Celsius or lower temps, the homes aren't made for that (they're made for the 38 Celsius 8 month Summers).

Winter clothes are almost never sold here, either. For a lot of poor people, it almost doesn't make sense to buy a true Winter coat for the two to three months you'll need it. This is especially true for children, as you know they won't be able to wear the same size coat the follow Winter.

Probably the coldest I've personally been, though, was on a trip to Washington DC. It was February, and I was such a dolt that I did not truly understand how cold it would be, always. I had long sleeve everything, and had even picked up a Winter jacket. Of course, on the day that a large group of us took several buses to see museums, I was not smart enough to wear the coat, as I figured we'd mostly be inside. So, I choose a hoodie. A hoodie, and long sleeved shirt, and plain jeans.
In the snow.
It wasn't snowing when we left.

I understand better now, I just didn't then.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 24th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Your description of Georgia cold reminds me of Hong Kong. When I went there it was their coldest month (~13 Celsius), which wasn't much colder than Wellington had been when I left but still way colder than I expected. Damn you Hong Kong, you're supposed to be a tropical island!

The people there use the one cold month a year to crack out the winter clothes, so folks were walking around with ski boots and fur-lined hoods and thermal jackets on - even the dogs were wearing winter clothes!

But for the rest of the year their temperatures are warm, warmer and OMG melting, so for them having to dress warm is a huge novelty that folks really seemed to enjoy taking advantage of.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tieke
Date:May 24th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I have a colleague who has spent 3 winters in the Antarctic, and who once started a sentence with "Well, the first time I got frostbite ..."

(which incidentally, was in Canada, and she's never had frostbite in the Antarctic, because you are careful about stuff like that down there).

The coldest I ever got was in a mid-winter blizzard in Chicago, in which the temp was apparently about -35 deg once you took windchill into account. Pretty much the entire city was shut down, and breathing the air felt like breathing shards of glass. Took me about 15 seconds to decide to go back inside and not come out again. I vowed I'd never complain about being cold again, and stuck by that vow for about 2 days (yes I am a complete wuss).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:syn_abounds
Date:May 24th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I grew up in a youth movement which was heavily scouting influenced. Every summer, we'd find an obliging farmer's field, set up our tents for ~100 people, wash in the river, cook using gas bottles, poo in a hole in the ground, that sort of thing.

There was a tradition that the oldest group of kids, 16/17 took over the campsite for 24 hours to get some experience as leaders. When you did this, one person was the Rosh Machane (Head of Camp). Traditionally, the next morning, during tent inspection, the kids would dump old food scraps all over the Rosh.

Lucky me, when I got to be Rosh, it was a freezing cold day, as only a NZ Summer can give you, with fog and rain. I walked around the campsite for an hour, totally soaking wet and covered in old spaghetti and soup from two days ago. By the end of it, my feet and hands were numb, I was pale under my tan, and my lips were blue.

They took me up to the woolshed to have a shower and it helped some. I still sat in the kitchen tent, in polyprops, a hoodie, AND a sleeping bag, shivering for the rest of the day.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tyellas
Date:May 24th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ever since my childhood, the standard of being Actually Cold has been: does the snot inside my nose freeze?

This has never happened to me in New Zealand, but the cold here does have a uniquely penetrating quality. The thing is that we don't get the beautiful, fun side of cold - bare branches turned into sparkling nets of frost, whirling snowflakes, dark icy rivers and ponds for skating, snow to play with. My brothers and I had sleds, and ice skates, and played a game best described as "Icicle-Wielding-Ninjas Attack."
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:t_c_da
Date:May 24th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wellington wind was a breeze after two years in Edinburgh where one could go from toasty warm to freezing just by walking around a corner to the shady side of the road... Up there, one had to wear leather as nothing else kept the freezing wind out of ones body. The prevailing wind was an easterly, straight off the North Sea, running at Gale Force 9 about one day in three for most of the year.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 24th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I have heard that Edinburgh is cold. And based entirely on other-side-of-the-world views of their architecture, I imagine they have similar heating issues too.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]
From:anna_en_route
Date:May 24th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Walking round the Miramar peninsular on one of those 2008 days when it snowed...brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:whatifitworks
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)

Sexy blue Lips ;)

(Link)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)

Re: Sexy blue Lips ;)

(Link)
HAhahaha those would go awesomely with my hair!

(for some values of awesome)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]
From:whatifitworks
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
Also, coldest I have ever been?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
My initial response to that pic: "Wait, what? NO TENT?"
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]
From:ferrouswheel
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
Long term... It was coldest in my first student flat in Christchurch (tall ceilings, no insulation, drafty. We couldn't afford electric heating, and we got frost on the internal walls in winter. In the morning it was often warmer outside when there was sun (the clear nights being the coldest).

The short term times: snow showing in Quebec, and doing orienteering in shorts and a t-shirt in howling southerlies in Dunedin while it was snowing. I lost feeling in my arms.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
I thought orienteers were all with the keeping warm by running about the place constantly!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]
From:heartofawarrior
Date:May 25th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
(Link)
I have the blood pressure of the average corpse, and have been accused of being reptilian or (more often, due to clammy hands) amphibian. So, I spend a lot of time feeling cold, even if it's "not THAT cool in here, but go put a fucking sweatshirt on if it'll stop you fidgeting like a spaz over there."

So, I have no idea where to begin for "coldest ever", but the one that comes to mind as being remarkable and fairly recent is last year's American Le Mans Series race, at Laguna Seca. It's in Monterey, which is coastal, and if it's an onshore breeze, it's "cool" to "downright cold and damp, if not raining." If it's an offshore flow, it's hotter than hell in there (the track is sort of in a valley), and the only shade comes from the bleachers on the front straightaway, or the few trees on the back side of the hill by the Corkscrew. Based on the experience I'd had the previous year, I was anticipating it being hot again - the Rolex Series race had been in May 2009, and it was hot that weekend. I figured the ALMS race would end up the same way, being held around the same time in 2010. Wrongo. The forecast the night before predicted "cool, partly cloudy" with the overcast gradually increasing as evening approached. I thankfully had the foresight to layer up, but even then, I spent most of the day fidgeting and shivering (partly due to cold, partly due to adrenaline), and running from one side of the infield to the other in order to stay warm. I couldn't find my gloves, and even if I had, I couldn't wear them AND work the camera. So, my hands were in pretty rough shape by the end. Totally worth it, though!
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:May 25th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, I noticed the warmth to the wind once I'd dried out. ;-)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:danjite
Date:May 25th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
Loading a rental moving van (alone) with a 3 bedroom house of furniture and 3 motorcycles on a sunny, crisp, breezy day of -22c... with the truck across a sheet of ice from the house thanks to the previous day's ice-storm.

Followed by the next day, smae weather, when the engine BLEW-THE-HELL-UP and I was stuck by the roadside for a long, long, time waiting for a tow.
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)