Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Getting gradually colder

Big news: major hot water pipeline broke in Vantaa last night. 150 000 homes were without heating. They say flats cool one degree in 3 hours (tells something about insulation, and why we have double doors and triple windows). Detached houses cooled faster, but most of them have an alternative heating system or at least a sauna.

Heating homes with hot water is a very typical way to heat Finnish urban areas. The same powerplants which create electricity, also create hot water, and that runs to offices and resident buildings (usually each block of flats has a closed system which exchanges heat with the central system). Nowadays, the returning lukewarm water often runs below pavement to keep that ice-free.

Yes, breakages happen, but less often than in direct electricity heating, and as the local systems have quite big mass, cooling happens slowly.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A tad chilly

Days like this I used to be so proud of the Finnish infrastructure. We've had -20..-30 C in Helsinki area, and down to -40 farther north. There have been delays in trains, 15 minutes or so (but yesterday Tampere train was hours late!). TV news interviewed kindergarten teachers who said kid are anxious as they had decided not to go out and play if it is colder than -15 and windy.

The adult things to do in this weather:
  • cleaning of the freezer. Food out to balcony, and when you take it bask, it's even colder than before.
  • airing bedclothes
  • ice lanterns - very ecological decoration for garden and graveyard

Thursday, February 1, 2007

We are famous !

Dave has noticed frequent comments, and even asked his co-workers whether we are them !
(How do you make a flattered smiley ?)

The things which lead to opening of this blog were.
  • two us us get frequent visits of former co-workers , who travel so much they want to see something else than the hotel lobby and minibar. The hosts keep needing links to sport-places etc.
  • two of us (but not the same two) wanted to comment blogs which do not allow anonymous comments
  • we all expect a special friend to move in town in March, and promised to help her in acclimatization
  • we later heard about two others who will come for some months

And then there was the Kate Fox book "Watching the English", and our correspondence with Mike (watching an Englishman reading watching the English ?) . A thread of this blog should be called watching the Finns, but abovementioned Dave seems to do it for us.