Saturday, 27 February 2016


The sky is dull and grey today, overcast, a blanket of low cloud from horizon to horizon. Looking out my window, my world seems close and tight, claustrophobic. The air is still, the somber skies keeping sound in, amplifying the traffic noise from the street below. The air is cooler, the Chinook arch which has been giving us double digit temperatures lately has receded, northern air coming in to take its place, bringing this gloomy weather, the rain soon to fall.

Even though the air outside is cool, it's warm inside my apartment. My home is always warm, even hot sometimes, despite the season. In summer it becomes stultifying; in winter it's just mildly sweating. This excess of warmth inside my walls is thanks to my positioning in the building. There are heated spaces on five of the six sides of this constructed box in which I live. On the top, bottom, and both sides, there are other apartments. On the inner wall, there is a heated hallway. On my outer exposure, facing east, the sun beats warm against the windows, heating up the inside of my home no matter what the temperature outside.

To combat this incessant warming, I have completely turned off the heat in my apartment. It's a kind of a shame, because heating is included in my condominium fees, and I don't ever use it. In fact I use my portable air conditioner on more days, many more days, than I would ever consider turning on the heat. There are not more than a few days a year when I might refer to my place as being even close to chilly.

I don't mind being warm. It can be uncomfortable when we have a group here, especially more than three or four people. Many days it's warm enough that, even in the midst of winter, we need to open the sliding doors to my balcony to let in cooler air. Today, when the temperature is 7C outside, the window is open wide. Yet still I am warm, almost too warm, sitting here in my shorts and shirt.

The only time it can really cool down in here is at night, although often that refreshing chill does not arrive until the middle of the night, when my neighbours have turned down their heat and when the sun is long gone, when temperatures return to near freezing outside. By then I am curled up under my blanket, warm, waiting for the morning sun to start heating me up all over again.

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