Warm thoughts on chilly morns

The temperature outside this morning was 6º, the coldest yet. Hubby put the heating on for fifteen minutes to take the chill off the boat, then went up to have a shower, leaving Maggie and I in bed.
frozen marina basin 2Photo:
Basin 2 February 2015

I found myself thinking back to my childhood, in the days when we didn’t have central heating and getting up on a weekday was a chore.

The council house in which I was born 60 odd years ago had an open fire in the lounge, but no other heating. Hot water was by means of an immersion heater on the water tank in the airing cupboard in my parent’s bedroom, so if we wanted a bath, that had to put on for longer, something as I kid I took for granted.
In the winter, we would have flannelette sheets, blankets, eiderdowns and quilts (no such thing as a duvet in our house), and so the weight on the bed was comforting as well as warm.
On really cold nights, we’d wrap our nighties in hot water bottles half an hour before bedtime and drink our hot ovaltine whilst waiting for them to warm up.
Next day, I’d wake up thinking if I got out of bed carefully and quickly made it, then the warmth would still be waiting for me at night.  It never happened (well, I was very young).

We didn’t have an electric fire in our bedroom as kids, so once out of bed and duly washed, it didn’t take us long to get dressed and downstairs for breakfast.
Thick creamy porridge was nearly always on the go in a big saucepan, after which we’d be bundled up in woolly hats, mittens, scarves and winter coats for the walk to school.
Things were so different for kids then, my Mum didn’t drive (then or now), and my Dad had long since left for work, so for kids with little legs, it seemed miles. I’ve been back since and it was a surprising mile long walk from our house to the school gates.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons why life here on the boat wasn’t too much of a culture shock when we arrived two years ago. We were already living frugally on a limited budget, so that definitely helped from a financial point of view, but manual heating controls, hot water preparation and conservation came as second nature with relative ease.

Digital Camera

Ice shelf, January 2016

Digital Camera

Ice shelf, January 2016

It is rumoured that this winter is going to be extremely long and cold.
We have a winter king size duvet (15 tog) on the bed, but also extra blankets and of course my crocheted bedspreads are easily accessible should we need additional layers.

bb bedroom 1Our two oil filled radiators will be adequate most of the time provided the electricity doesn’t fail and our central heating is economical to run if we need to ‘top up’ on boat heat.
We are well insulated, and once we get the windows filmed, that will help keep the condensation at bay. Rather than double-sided tape, it would appear our velcro on the houdini hatch is a winner.
Guess what we’re likely to be doing tomorrow?

This is my 2000th post! Yes, number two thousand. Crikey!!
rosy smiley


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to Warm thoughts on chilly morns

  1. colinandray says:

    Memories of coal fires with a back boiler for water heat. Our radiators were all downstairs “because heat rises”!!! Memories lowering oneself very slowly onto a cold toilet seat! 🙂

    • We didn’t have a back boiler, but when we moved in 1965 to the house that Dad had built for us, we did and central heating rads in all rooms. What bliss. As for cold toilet seats, well yes, I remember those too for my delicate little bottom. However, an aunt had a heated seat, and that was definitely an ‘experience’ on a cold morning!

  2. Heartafire says:

    Courageous lady…I start bit…complaining when it hits 60 degrees F here.

    • I have to admit since losing this weight, I am feeling the cold more………. loss of padding!

      • Heartafire says:

        how did you do it…pray tell!

      • I’ve been documenting my progress under the tag Weight Programme since being eligible for a free 12 week course with Slimming World. I signed up for a second course, and to date have lost 30 pounds in 18 weeks. Still got a way to go mind, but it’s working for me.

      • colinandray says:

        …. and she has been getting loads of phenomenal support from her Blog Followers!

      • Heartafire says:

        Is that a gym type work out thing or an online thing? Congrats on the progress, that’s super.

      • No, it’s like Weight Watchers, where you go to a class for a weekly weigh in and discussions in a group about food, tips and support. The diet plan is good insomuch as you can eat more or less anything but in moderation, with emphasis on fruit and vegetables. There’s no calorie counting as such, and certain things are best weighed/measured, but you get a booklet, there’s a monthly magazine should you wish to buy it full of ideas, recipes and success stories, and they also have a website. It helps that I exercise by walking the dog. It’s very popular over here, and I’m really pleased with my progress.

      • Heartafire says:

        Thanks for the info, I will look further into that, the holidays are coming up, that’s another five pounds,lol.

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