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From: Sandy Lubkin
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 13:04:16 +0000
Subject: Moscow Weather Report


I know I've been quiet lately, and I thank you for your patience. Part of it has been that I've been working on our webpage (which we're planning to release very very soon - we will announce it), attaching some of our photographs to the old newsletters. And some of it has been the weather. It's been pretty cold here the last couple weeks.

Yesterday and today have been a bit warmer. We're expecting to reach a high temperature of perhaps 10C/50F, rather than the highs of 2C/35F to 4C/40F which we've been having for the last week. (Although it's only made it up to 5C/41F so far, and it's already 2pm.) The temperature has gone below freezing on several nights, but I haven't noticed any snowflakes - just the intermitten light rain that's accompanied the cold weather.

The house has been so cold without the heat on that I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen, baking cookies, boiling water, roasting hazlenuts - any excuse to turn on the oven and stove. It's been the only halfway warm room in the house.

We had a good laugh the other day (I think our high was 2C/35F that day) when Bela checked his email and found an invitation to a beach party. "There aren't too many warm nights left so we'd better take advantage of them..." I was wearing two pair of socks, thermal underwear, jeans, a ski shirt, a wool sweater, a stocking cap and a wool blanket when he read that to me :) :) :)

I believe I told you previously that all hot water is created in a central location in Moscow, and then pumped to all the houses. (So the 6 weeks when we had no hot water, all of Moscow had none.) The heat is also centralized, created at the same plant as the hot water. This makes sense because our heaters are hot water radiators. The heat is usually turned on on October 1 each year, but we've been colder than usual so far this year. Yesterday (September 28) at midnight, they turned the heat on, and I'm much happier now. The radiators and water pipes make a lovely sound like bamboo wind chimes. That was my first clue that they'd turned the heat on, before it had made much difference to the temperature. The apartment isn't very warm, but at least I don't have to wear my hat and a blanket now.

[22 November 1997 -- I've since found out that water and heat are *not* central for the entire city, but for sections of it. Makes more sense to do it that way. Some parts of the city were without hot water for only a couple weeks during the summer (annual maintenance) while our section was without hot water for much longer. And when the heat was turned on for our section, that was sooner than for some other sections.]

Sandy (Cannady) Lubkin
currently in Moscow, Russia

All text and pictures copyright 1997 Sandy and Bela Lubkin, all rights reserved.