We did not move to Turkey under the illusion that it would be warm all of the time. Hilary has been obsessively tracking temperatures in several Turkish cities for just over five years now, we’ve been told how cold it gets in winter and we’ve read about the chilly winters on various blogs and fora. When we were house hunting two things on our list of must-haves (or must be able to gets) were solar panels for water heating and a soba to keep us warm in winter. This place has both. What we didn’t really expect was for it to get this cold this quickly. Looking back over Hilary’s carefully Excelled graphs, it doesn’t usually get this cold this quickly. The thing that has surprised us most is how quickly the temperature drops after the sun goes down.
On the upside, we have still been able to use solar heated water most days. It doesn’t come out of the shower very fast, so it’s best to get the house warm first. We have to boil kettles for washing up but we’re pretty sure it costs less to boil a couple of kettles than it does to heat the water with the electric boiler. It rained in early October but that is the only time it has seriously rained since we moved here. This is very bad for the farmers.
Up until a few days ago we were spending most of our time in the back house. We were heating it with a calor gas heater but the heater ran out far sooner than we expected. Either there is a fault on it or it is more expensive to run than we thought it would be. We bought a refill then moved into the front house last week. The front house is a couple of degrees warmer than the back house during the day and at night, we have the soba. Which heats the entire house (it’s not a very big house) from sunset till about 3 in the morning (we haven’t actually stayed up to see how long It keeps warm after we have turned it low and gone to bed). We have a metric ton of wood. Ashley worked very hard to get most of it down to soba-size. We hope it will see us through the winter.
Our neighbours are all burning sobas. Some burning coal, some wood. We are constantly breathing wood smoke. At sunset there is a haze of wood smoke over the mountains, over the castle, turning the sky a wonderful colour. And, as much of it is peach wood, it smells delicious.