I have been here two winters before this and I was only ever less than perfectly comfortable for a couple of days in spring when the temperature hovered at exactly 10° for several consecutive days. The global thermostat for the whole area would switch the heating on if the temperature dropped below that, and it would be lovely and cosy inside, and the house is so well insulated that it took several days after the heating was switched off for the inside temperature to equilibrate back to 10°. If it was -20° outside I would be perfectly comfortable indoors, and I'd have to get rid of some bedcovers so I didn't get too warm at night. I was enthusing to all and sundry about how living this far north, with the harsh winters, doesn't matter since buildings are made to decent standards and well heated.
This year there's something wrong. It's not even that cold yet, around freezing and it's been snowing on and off all weekend (it's very pretty outdoors!) It's slightly somewhat warmer indoors than out; wearing several layers of jumpers and thick socks is just about enough to be approximately comfortable, and the air doesn't hurt on my skin. I'm starting to think that this is just an illusion due to the fact that it's sheltered, though. But being constantly on the edge of being unpleasantly cold is making me depressed. Seriously, I'll get home and have the initial pleasure of getting out of the wind and snow and convince myself it's ok now and the place is finally warming up, but after about half an hour I'll need to go and put on most of my outdoor clothes again (I'm stopping short of coat, hat and scarf, but perhaps I should admit defeat and wear those indoors as well). This makes me not want to do anything except sit drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself, which of course makes me even colder. I have a problem with procrastination anyway, but being cold indoors is making it far worse.
I think the heating is partly working; at least, if I touch the radiators they feel slightly warm rather than unpleasantly cold like inert metal around at this temperature, but not enough to restore the feeling in my fingertips. And the few times when it's got really cold, not happening often yet, but a few dips of definitely sub-zero temperatures, the flat's started to warm up a bit. I suspected that partly working radiators indicated airlocks, and mentioned this to my landlord, who dutifully came and bled them. But he reported he couldn't find any airlocks and as far as he could tell the heating is working fine. So my hypotheses are, from most likely to least likely: the thermostat is set too low, (but I don't know which thermostat; if it's the one that controls the whole district, surely other people would have complained by now, and I don't know if there's any thermostat regulating this flat alone). The central heating is working intermittently, and the patterns I seem to see are just psychological noise. There's something wrong with me, my flat is actually perfectly warm but I'm not feeling it for some reason. I am not mechanically minded at all.
I think I need to have another word with my landlord, because I don't really want to put up with this all winter. But I don't quite know what to say to him to convince him that there's actually a problem, when he's looked at it already and declared it ok.
Plus, cartesiandaemon is coming here next weekend and I feel really embarrassed at bringing a guest into an unpleasantly cold flat. And also I'd rather not have to wear several layers of jumpers throughout his visit.
Sorry for whining at everyone; this is getting me down surprisingly much.
Crikey, your flat sounds even colder than mine. (I'm currently wearing two layers of socks, and have a jumper draped over my knees like an old granny; and appear to have damaged the 13A socket on the extension wire my heater is plugged into by leaving it plugged in permanently, rather than via the plug-in thermostat—I'm going to have to get a replacement on the way home tomorrow.)
There's something wrong with me, my flat is actually perfectly warm but I'm not feeling it for some reason. I am not mechanically minded at all.
Well, there's an easy way to disprove that: get a thermometer and check the temperature! Comfortable internal temperatures should be in the range 60–70°F. *ahem*, I mean 16–21°C. (This range is one of the ones I've never managed to convert to thinking of in Centigrade...)
Second the suggestion of buying a thermometer so you can check what the temperature actually is + show it to the landlord and of a fan heater as at least a temporary measure. Being cold is miserable. Offers hot water bottles and more blankets.
Two more ideas - first, your landlord's nice, right? So can you invite them to dinner or something, and thus give them a chance to see how darn cold it is?
Second, you've got a fireplace. Does cartesiandaemon know how to light fires? If not, can you nobble up someone from shul or work? It's okay wanting to be taught, people aren't born knowing these things. Like your peeps and the siddur. Fireplace isn't the same as radiators, I know, but it'd be something.
Oh, and can you ask the other people in the building if they're also cold? This would give you more data, anyway.
I think feeling cold is a totally legitimate thing to be unhappy about, it's just a sensation that lots of people with functioning central heating forget about. But when you are cold, all the time, even by a few degrees below comfort level, it can make a huge difference to your health and well-being. (I'm dealing with some difficult things within my family to do with fuel poverty and the effects of not being able to keep warm, FWIW). It has psychological effects, too, when you're having to sit around in outdoor clothing all the time. I knew it was time to switch on the central heating and make sure it was working when I caught myself wearing *two* scarves at my desk, one for my throat and one for my chest... Warmth really is tremendously important, and people tend to take it for granted.
If you do decide to use your fireplace and you are not sure how to go about lighting a fire, I can show you: I'll be in Stockholm the weekend after next.
I would really, really, really love a lesson in fire-lighting. And I would love to hang out with you while you're in Stockholm, too. My life is going to be stupidly complicated this coming weekend, though; can you email me @lj so we can sort things out? (I hope you get comment notifications while you're deleted, otherwise it's going to be tough to communicate with you.)
You are not mad, and I doubt that your sensations have become unreliable all of a sudden. Sounds like it is just cold in your flat. Which is a perfectly legitimate reason to feel bad (speaking as someone who cant cope with cold indoors at all well). And it needs fixing. And we should talk sometime :)