Hello, thank you for calling in. Today has been a full and busy day. I am ITCHING to go for a proper ride on my bicycle again but alas, we haven't seen any sun here for more than a week. The colours are still washed out of the landscape and it is still very cold. Brrrrrr!
Now, I am used to the cold and fortunately, I cope quite well, unlike The Teacher, who "feels the cold" if you know what I mean. I grew up in a large and very draughty Victorian house in which my bedroom had two outside walls, one of which faced east and the other north and sometimes in the winter, there was snow on the INSIDE windowsills. The large gaps in the sash windows were stuffed with newspaper. When we felt cold, we put on an extra cardigan and we got on with it. When I was a student, living in a run-down, damp, cold house, I bought a large men's dressing gown to wear over my clothes during the winter.
In the January when The Mathematician was twelve months old, we returned from a weekend away visiting her grandparents to a broken-down boiler. It was more than twenty-five years old and the broken part couldn't be replaced, so we needed a whole new boiler, but the Best Beloved was out of work at the time and I wasn't earning so we just couldn't afford it straight away. For four months, from January until May, with two young children, we had no central heating. Fortunately, we could heat water electrically so we were able to bathe, but it's no joke taking your clothes off in the winter with no heating! It was back to the olden days for us: bathing on Saturday evenings and dashing through to the living room to dry off in front of the fire, where pyjamas were warming over the back of a chair!
The central heating works just fine now but gas is so expensive that we only have it on for 5 hours each day, two in the mornings and three in the evenings. It's back to extra cardigans here, and I have discovered the benefits of wearing a shawl. When we go to bed we have a warm duvet with an oversized, heavy cotton bedspread over the top and of course, I have one of these -
a hot water bottle! The knitted jacket makes a massive difference as it means the water inside can be hotter as there is a barrier between it and my feet and the insulation means that it is still warm in the morning! I cannot tell you just how lovely it is to wake up, put your feet on the hottie and feel the warmth coming through. Bliss.
And so it was my hottie which made me happy as soon as I awoke this morning, and the thought of my hottie which is now making me happy as I prepare to go to bed. I know that it's a very simple thing, and maybe a bit silly or a bit obvious, but in the bitter cold, it's the thing which makes you warm which makes you happy.
I'll be back tomorrow and I hope that you will, too.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x