vests and hot water bottles

Last night the classic thing happened. I was just dozing off to sleep, snuggly and warm, when a trickle of an idea for a story wormed its way into my dozing brain. Jot a few notes, put something on your phone, even if its just a word, go on, go on, you can do it! So what was this great idea? Well, obviously I don’t know, because of course I was too snuggly, warm and dozy and I couldn’t sneak my arm out from under the cosy duvet to grab my phone and find my glasses.

Like most people – or most people I know, we have been trying desperately to be economical with what we spend on energy so our house is pretty cold, and upstairs it seems arctic. We’re turning lights off after us, and keeping the heating off, or as low as possible, only heating the water when necessary. I’m sitting here now, writing, with my normal winter clothes on, plus a blanket wrapped round me, plus a padded jacket and hankies up my sleeve for when my nose runs (I know you didn’t want to know that last thing, but it’s true, sniff!). We try not to use the oven as we used to – it’s a big oven for a couple of jacket potatoes or a small pie! We’ve bought draught excluders to put against the bottoms of the doors and at some point we’ll get a curtain across the front door. I’m sure lots of people are doing the same and more, and I’m sure lots of people my age are thinking back to when they were children with no central heating and no double glazing.

Thinking about my childhood, wearing vests and with hot water bottles at bed time,  I can’t help but think that there are many people now who aren’t as fortunate as we are now. They have no central heating to turn down, they have no double glazing, they can’t afford to buy draught excluders and curtains for the doors, and unlike my parents (who weren’t well off, but by no means impoverished) they can’t even afford fuel to heat their accommodation, or heat their food.

So back to last night, and the story I had wandering around inside my head. I didn’t write it down and now it’s wandered off. It was about a guy called Colin, that’s all I can remember. Perhaps it will come back to me tonight, in which case I will jot something  down.


  1. andrewbeechroad

    So farewell Colin,
    You held out so much promise,
    As I snuggled under the duvet
    With thoughts of you
    But you proved an illusion.
    A transitory link to hot water bottles, eiderdowns
    And the warming cup of bedtime Horlicks.
    No doubt in your paleaceous sixty room home
    In deepest Home Counties
    The lights blaze all night while your thermal footprint illuminates the night-time sky.
    No worries about fuel bills
    Only the perennial chores of checking the overseas accounts,
    Ordering another case of that “delightful” Samoan rice wine,
    And penning that letter to the Telegraph of the need
    For the equality of sacrifice

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rosie Scribblah

    Yes, we’re using hotties in bed and blankies on the settee these few months now. It takes us back to childhood, like you say no double glazing and central heating, but at least now Husb and I can afford to turn the heating on when it gets really freezing. Pity those who can’t. Why on earth are we in this situation?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      It’s such a shocking state isn’t it. Yes, we’re taking care with electricity use etc, but we could turn on the heating as you say – some, actually many people have no choice. Those who have the power to change have absolutely no idea what life is like for many, absolutely no clue. Eton et al. should be raised to the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

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