Boy it’s jolly chilly!

Boy it’s jolly chilly! Like many if not most people we are trying our best to be economical in everything, but at this time of year it’s fuel bills which are the biggest concern. Keeping warm, having light, having hot water, keeping things like fridges working – these surely are essentials, but for many, many people, it’s shocking that they are struggling with these basics. So even though it’s so very cold, we don’t have our heating on during the day, we wear more clothes. We do have our gas fire on later in the evening, and put the hot water on for a brief period so we can shower. We don’t wash up our dishes as soon as we’ve used them, but save them for when we have a bowl full so we don’t waste hot water – the dishwasher died last year and we didn’t replace it. When I put the washing machine on I have it on the coolest setting, on the most economical cycle. We turn off lights, we turn off plugs and switches, we do what we can.

Thinking back to when I was young, we lived in a ground floor flat – a very nice, two bedroomed flat, a bathroom and a lavatory, a kitchen and a sitting room. It was a new flat, we were the first people to live in it, so it was well-built, the doors properly hung, the windows secure, no unnecessary draughts. We had a coal fire in the sitting room, a paraffin heater in the passage way leading to the bedrooms and hot water bottles in our beds. There were no radiators or any form of central heating. The windows were curtained but single-glazed, there was no insulation in the walls, there were no fitted carpets – just rugs. There was  no boiler in an airing-cupboard, our water was heated by an ascot . As we were in the downstairs flat we were insulated by the flat above but that was beneath an un-insulated roof space.

I’m not going to say we were tougher then or that we are wimpy now – times were different and our lives were different in very, very many ways.  I guess we wore vests and more layers of thicker clothes, we wore warm dressing gowns, we had draught excluders in front of the doors, we had winter clothes and summer clothes. It was just the way things were. We were lucky in our modern well-built flat, but plenty of friends I visited, and my grandparents lived in draughty homes where the wind whistled under the door and round the window frames, the panes of glass rattling when it was windy. Now we have returned to those days, draught exluders in front of the doors, layers of clothing, warm pyjamas, and I must find the bot water bottles!


    1. Lois

      I confess that I’m actually writing this in bed – husband watching something on tv so I’ve retreated. Will be up in an hour or so to rush to the pub and enjoy their warmth – and beer! 😀 It really is bloomin’ freezing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      That’s tragic, a lovely ethical café that our writing group used to meet in has closed for the same reason, they just couldn’t continue and maintain their standards. I wonder about our pub, and other local places too,

      Liked by 1 person

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