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This is an ongoing discussion for expats living in Prague: those who grew up in sub-zero temperatures don't mind this cold, those of us who grew up in the tropics shiver and share commiserating looks.

We know it's not just the bitter, icy air; it's also the depression that comes with it, our bodies morphing to accommodate some measure of the weather here, our minds struggling to cope with endless months of gray and dark days.

This may well explain why most plumbers now working in the UK are Polish.

British tradesmen have priced themselves out of the market or, are unwilling to work slightly unsocial hours.

It was a major battle to separate the adaptor from the wall socket on one side and from the UK plug on the other.

For nearly a year after our move to Prague, every one of our electrical appliances that we had brought with us from the UK, worked perfectly well with a UK plug inserted into an adaptor and then into the appropriate continental wall socket.

They are instead, designed for phone chargers, laptop computers, hair dryers and the like.

That having been said, our washing machine has worked perfectly well with an adaptor, for the last sixteen months, without any problem.

All over continental Europe, electrical sockets take the form illustrated here; to receive a plug with two round pins.

However, in the UK and Ireland, all electrical appliances are fitted with a plug that has three square pins and all buildings in both countries have the appropriate wall sockets to receive them.

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