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Palma-cathedral-boats-morning Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  - PenAndWok.comIt's a funny thing about Mallorca that people seem to think it's boiling hot all year round. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would say one month fairly hot, six months nice... and four to five months freezing.

At least indoors. 

Yesterday morning, for example, it was 4 degrees celcius outside and this morning an even less palatable 2. Normal people don't go out at that time of course, preferring to stay in as long as they can, but they are rewarded with daytime temperatures of more than a very acceptable 20 degrees, in the sun and out of the wind that is. 

But indoors! 

Outdoors can be "Decent day in July in Norway". Indoors: "Death camp Siberia". 

The houses here seem to be built solely for that one month a year when it does get a bit hot.  The bricks are hollow and - and this is the kicker - the floors are covered in huge, shiny tiles. At least this is the case with my gaff and most others I have been in. These floors work like enormous fridges turned inside out; so cold that you can't walk on them barefoot. On the other hand you can just put foodstuffs straight on them and turn off the fridge. 

IMG_5047 Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  - PenAndWok.comWhen I moved into my new place two years ago, I fell in love with the air and light, the large kitchen with a gas cooker and the beautiful view from my office - so in love that I forgot to look down. 

Down was - how can I say this without sounding like I'm criticising other people's taste in interior decorating from 1975 - "interesting". Yes, an "interesting" cacophony swirl of browns and oranges, so "colourful" that no other colour went with it and most of my furniture and objects drowned, pushed into a sea of 70s. 

Gaff-old-floor Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  -

With no indoor heating I soon found myself living in a fridge, but then April came and I forgot all about it. Still, it seems a bit counter intuitive to wear two jumpers and tights indoors, only to go outside and see people walking around in T-shirts.

But this winter I have two secret weapons. I'll do the second one first:

Indoor-boots Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  -

These, shall we say polar jackets you can walk in, are so comfortable and warm that I have been able to experiment with wearing only thick trousers without tights underneath! Because as all women know, tights are the worst pieces of clothing ever invented. 

But my secret weapon number 1 A plus +++ is: AARON! 

Aaron-and-Koldbrann Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  -

I just couldn't live with that floor for so many reasons, so, without having done it before, he first put down a so-called click clack fake wood floor in my office, and then a blissful grey rubber tiles in the living rooms. Now I can look down again without puking, and my furniture and beautiful objects are once again visible! And most importantly, the indoor temperature has risen noticeably. 

Gaff-new-floor Cold Remedy, Secret Weapons and Cantonese  -

This morning it was 2 degrees outside as I said, but I could happily skip and dance to the bathroom in just bare feet and underwear. I had a proper floor, installed by an expert! But more than being just a master craftsman, Aaron is reliable, punctual and intelligent. 

He is available for jobs on Mallorca, and he specialises in wood and carpentry but seems to be a dab hand at absolutely everything he tries. He also put up an awning for me last summer to keep the living room cool. That, sadly,  has been totally unnecessary since October. So don't give me that "it's so hot" thing. It's PLEASANT, then unbearably cold, is what it is. Unless you have my secret weapons. 

Another secret weapon is of course Cantonese. Learning only a few words puts you in a category head and shoulders above almost everyone else on earth, and also keeps dementia at bay! 

Learn Cantonese the Natural Way - from a Norwegian. 

Today's Cantonese: 地下好鬼難睇  - Dei ha hou gwai laan tai - Floor well devil difficult look (The floor is damned ugly)