Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I saw a man in the street the other day, who looked like he might well have been homeless, and thought "Shit, I don't like the idea of being without shelter in this weather". And, it seems, dozens of people here and in Poland have actually died from the cold in the last few days, many of them homeless.
Grim. If you can't find shelter, I honestly think there's little chance of surviving ...

I'm told that the temperature here (-10 to -15) is not so unusual for this time of year, nevertheless it's still top of everyone's list of conversation topics. Odessits may be familiar with this degree of cold, but they don't like it any more than us newbies, it seems. And the fur coats and hats are out in force! I hope to get some photos tomorrow - if the camera operates, and my fingers don't freeze to the metal :{

One interesting (and more light-hearted) consequence of the weather is that the presence of snow brings a near-army of babushkas out onto the pavements, all bearing traditional, twig broomsticks, with which they brush determinedly away at the snow. They don't wear conical hats, though, nor do they utter obscure imprecations in rhyme, so the impression that Odessa is hosting a convention for witches from fairy stories is merely fleeting. Anyway, watching them, my first thought was that this place could do with some snow-throwers, because if these besom-wielding biddies (sorry, couldn't resist it!) were trying to sweep the pavements clear, they were, not to put too fine a point on it, entirely failing. But then I started to wonder if they were actually trying to do something else, like maybe just stir the snow up, so that it doesn't solidify into treacherous ice. If I can find anyone who a) knows and b) can understand what I'm asking, I'll ask.

Another thing that happens because of the cold is that, if my breath, from behind my scarf, goes up my face, it mists up my spectacles, but usually just on one side - with the entirely unexpected consequence that I instantly lose my depth vision. Several times yesterday and today I nearly stepped into a hole in the pavement several inches deep, or could not tell how high the kerbstone I was about to step off actually was. Just another thing to be careful of, as well as the simple slipperiness ...

Having successfully traversed snow-bound territory, ranging from the mountain peaks of the harrowing to the uneven pavements of the banal, in this blog post, I think it's now time to stop. Spokoinoi nochi.


  1. It says Spokoinoi nochi. Posted at 14.12.

  2. Blogger doesn't appear to offer the option to change the time zone. Or, if it does, it's hidden away in some obscure submenu somewhere. We shouldn't be surprised. Google is, after all, American. Different time zones? That's like acknowledging that civilization actually exists beyond the coastline of God's own country ... Silly idea!