Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Brr....... It's cold!

There's no pleasing some folks and I'm one of them at the mo'. Now cold during the day is bearable, wrap up well, keep yourself busy and all is well. Cold at night isn't fun.

Shep and Co live in a cottage made of wood, with very thin walls and at the moment it seems the cold coming in is beating the heat we are trying to generate. My ears in the morning when I awake are able to forecast the weather outside, so cold that I imagine they might snap off means a hard frost, just cold enough to be uncomfortable probably means there is a slight frost. This morning I realised it must have come fresh - well it was snowing on peering out; the same thing really as the air temperature has to rise a bit for the snow to fall and so it had. How had I concluded this? Well my ears were just cold, not COLD........

We were very lucky just before Christmas as we were very kindly given a load of Ash from a local farmer. Not the ash that comes with cinders, no the sort that grows into a tree. Now this wood is still green but as the saying goes 'Ash when green is fit for a Queen'. It is burning quite well although we do dry it for a day in the oven next to the fire before burning it.

Bad organisation is what it all boils down to - no dry firewood. There has been a lot of firewood gathered, cut and chopped lately but by rights that ought to be for next winter when it gets dried out, it doesn't generate as much heat when you hear it sizzling on the fire.

Not to worry, we are coping, the coal man very kindly delivered the week before Christmas which means we can ladle it on alongside the sizzling wood. Should life get too bad oil filled electric radiators may well get used, however a horrendous electricity bill a few years back has meant their use tends to be limited.

We are fortunate as there are two open fires in this house. A small grate in the bedroom which gets lit every evening to try and remove the chill as it ain't a lot of fun to get into bed and find your breath turning to water on the covers. Mind you the first cottage I ever had I well remember one hard winter having ice on the covers when I awoke - life is definitely better since those days.

The airing cupboard door is left open to allow the heat from the hot tank to escape into the rest of the house - our one and only radiator! By the way we don't have an immersion heater so this heat is the left over from the back boiler and as the fire is on 24/7 at the mo' there is plenty of hot water, unlike the summer when we have to light the fire to have a bath, in the winter we run the bath to get rid of the hot water - mental note:must look into running radiators off it

Life could be worse, the dogs have to sleep outside in a kennel with no heating, the cat gets kicked out every night after having cooked herself at the fireside for hours and I have to say that by this time of night the house is warming up nicely it just seems to lose that heat so rapidly overnight and the following day is spent trying to raise the indoor temperature again. It's all short lived as spring and summer are on the way once again and Shep will be able to complain about the heat!!

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