I see on the news that the UK is in for another bout of what they are calling “extreme weather conditions“, by which they mean the sort of weather which is absolutely normal anywhere from about Berlin eastwards. Since that’s where I live, I thought it would be a good service to the British people to give you at this time my observations on how Poles, Russians and others in a climate that seems to be causing a lot of ructions as it moves across the Britain. It seems that these colder winters are not going to go away as far as the UK is concerned and so you may as well get used to them. I have about 20 East European winters on my climatic CV, so my experience is something which may be of use to you.
- The first item is dress. There’s a Russian saying “Нет плохой погоды, есть только плохая одежда” – that means “There’s no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad dress”. And the thing to go for is many layers of clothing rather than a few layers of what appear to be warm clothing. If you’re going to work in an office which may be well heated, you do not want to be sweaty all day long so you don’t need to have anything more money that you can’t take off when you get there. That’s the disadvantage of thermal vests. A jumper on the other hand can be taken off quite easily. The scarf is very important because that protects the throat which can be an Achilles heel. It is better than a beard as the beard will make a person feel too warm in a heated location. A decent hat is critical as 30% of heat loss goes from the head. A hat with flaps that can be brought down to cover the ears is particularly useful as you will not want to walk around with your ears uncovered once the temperature goes below about -6°C. Really big headphones can also be helpful to keep the ears warm, but in extremes of cold you can also damage the headphones, although I will say that I haven’t yet. On that note digital cameras need to be used sparingly when its cold, as I have ruined one that way, on stocktakes. Read the rest of this entry