Saturday, 25 October 2014

Keeping Warm

As the weather chills down, we’re aware of the odd draughts and scant insulation in the former workshop that we now call home.

We soon realised that addressing the subject of heating should be given some priority, to enable us to comfortably survive the winter ahead of the main renovation work starting next spring.

The building still contains the original radiators and boiler – although these would need an overhaul – but the oil tank that would formerly have been used to store the oil to run them no longer exists. We did consider installing a new one, but are not sure whether this will be our final choice for heating – we may go for a more energy efficient, eco-friendly system – and will have to think about this over the coming months.

We therefore decided to come up with a temporary heating arrangement that currently consists of a selection of small, portable, plug-in, oil-filled radiators, and an electric fire with faux log effect. In fact, using the log effect setting even without the heat is sometimes enough to kid us into feeling warm and toasty. As it chills further, we’ll make use of the small radiators and will invest in a couple more should the need arise.

Of course, we can also employ more traditional methods of keeping warm: layering our clothing (I have a good line in fluffy jumpers and cosy tops): using hot water bottles to warm beds; drinking lots of warming beverages (and the odd tot of something stronger); I’ve even made a draught excluder out of pompoms!

Over the years we’ve become too accustomed, as have many of us, to living in homes that are kept constantly cosy due to central heating. Yet as I child, I grew up (for the first seven years at least) in a house that had nothing more than a gas fire in the living room and a coal fire in the ‘back room’. During a particularly cold winter, my dad invested in a small paraffin heater that we could position wherever it was most needed – I can still remember the smell! Despite all of this, I still recall waking up to find a thin layer of ice on the bedroom windows!

Of course, we eventually moved to a new house with central heating, and became dependent on the warmth of such systems that we’ve relied on ever since.

So as we head towards our first winter in our new, almost home, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a mild one, but trying to condition our bodies to accept lower temperatures just in case!

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