Thursday 27 November 2014

Keeping Warm

The house is cold, very cold, we couldn't have been without central heating and hot water at a worse time of year really, but we just have to grit our teeth and make do and manage until the jobs are all done.  So I thought for posterity I would do a post about how I am managing. 

The other day the sun came out and stayed out for a few hours, so I quickly got a couple of loads of washing done.  The biggest items, the towels and jeans were draped over the Aga for a while, taking it in turns to be on the rail and on the top lids.  As soon as the worst of the dampness was off them they were relegated to the airer which was set up in the spare bedroom near the window, to catch as many rays as possible.

Things like my jumper which come out just damp were put on hangers and hung from any available handle and knob to bask in the sunshine.

Lovely Hubby's T shirts from the previous day's wash were hung from the curtain rail to catch more heat, and a new knicks and socks that just felt chilled after being on the airer yesterday were laid in sun patches on the bed to warm up.  You can see in this picture a couple of pairs of socks on the radiator airers, these are damp and straight from the washer but as long as I drape them over two rails they dry in about a day and half without making the room feel too damp.  We have these little airers on all the upstairs radiators, and they work a treat when we have the heating on.

It's a real art at the moment getting the washing done and dried.  It's much too damp to hang anything outside, things go out and then come back in a few hours later with no perceptible difference, and with all the sawdust and mess of the building work at the moment I think they would actually come back in dirtier than before they were washed!!

As dusk fell after the day of lovely sunshine, and indeed on all other other days I quickly went into 'heat conservation mode'.  The blinds are all pulled down ....

... and then the curtains are pulled across, in every room of the house.  Doors to all rooms not in use are closed, and then and only then, is the wood burner lit.  I quickly get the living room nice and toasty during the evening, and then towards bedtime the hall door is half opened to allow some of the heat to escape into the bedroom upstairs,  the bathroom door is also half opened to make the bathroom (which is downstairs) tolerable for a shower.  Luckily the shower is run independently of the heating so we still have hot water for this ....phew!!

Hot water for washing pots etc is achieved by boiling the electric kettle, but to help with economies we also have the two Aga kettles sat on the Aga all the time.  Just leaving them their filled to capacity gives us two kettle fulls of water heated for 'free', without allowing any of the Aga's heat to escape by opening the lids.

One kettle full of water fills the two hot water bottles and these are popped into the bed an hour before we are going up, the difference these make is amazing.  No more hopping into bed with sharp intakes of breath :-)

I do a lot of these things all the time, but it seems even more vital at the moment.  Keeping up to date with washing and keeping warm are my main priorities for the next week or so.  The thing I'm most looking forward to having back is hot water, to be able to turn on a tap and have gushing hot water after a couple of seconds and to actually have a bath will be brilliant.

Things are coming on great with the building work and I think almost all the first layer of supporting beams are in place.

The overhang is changing my mind about the appearance of the conservatory, it will deflect bad weather from the building all year round and will also offer us a degree or two of shade in the Summer.

There is one Velux window going in on the side of the conservatory that has no windows to bring in some extra light, and the hole for it is now in place.  I'm a bit concerned that it is smaller than I imagined it was going to be, but as it's been manufactured to order it's too late to have a whinge and a moan about it ..... so for once I'm keeping quiet.

Unusual for me!!

Now I'm off to empty the washer and begin all over again ... but without the sunshine.

Charley is doing well by the way, she's back to the vets this afternoon for her post-op check and another anti-biotic shot, but she's coping well.  And although she overdid it a little bit yesterday, she will be resting with me on the sofa when she gets back from the vets.  I'll be lighting the wood burner a bit earlier and getting us all nice and warm in front of the television with a Christmas movie or two.

Sue xx


  1. We are in the process of building a sunroom...actually my husband is building it and I make design decisions...we are changing our screened porch into a room that we can use all year round...over here, almost all of the windows sold have UV blocking windows, which keep the sun's heat out , too. It has been hell finding windows with regular glass....
    Love watching the building progress! Stay warm!

  2. Sue, my heart goes out to you for all your challenges with the things we all take for granted. Hopefully, this too shall pass and it will all be worth it. Have a happy day.

  3. It will soon be over and we'll all be ogling your new room with envy x

  4. Sue, you have a lovely home and all the inconvenience will be worth it in the long run.. Glad Charlie is recovering well. Wrap up well!

  5. Hope it's over soon and you get many year's enjoyment from your new your kitty snuggled in the bed..glad to hear Charley is doing well. Janet

  6. Sensible, common-sense and practical advice Sue. It will be dark in a few minutes and I've just been round closing all the blinds and curtains - I always do, it makes a huge difference.

    Glad you are feeling better about the conservatory roof. I confess to more than a twinge of envy at the overhang you will have - I've always wanted a veranda area like that. Great news about Charley too :-}

  7. Every wınter ı put my cotton sheets away and ınstead use fleece throws.I have quıte a few now bought from our local market and not expensıve.They are lıke sleepıng ın warm cotton wool and dry very quıckly after washıng.Do try them --you,ll be so glad you dıd!

  8. All looking good ....
    Good job we know how to keep warm and toasty in difficult conditions ... hurrah for the hotwater bottle!

    Vicky x

  9. We keep the bedrooms cold, use flannel (brushed cotton in the UK?), and pile on the quilts....I love my hot water bottles and microwave wheat bags!

  10. You are doing a great job keeping warm and getting things dry. I like a couple of duvets under our bottom sheet on the bed. It's mainly for my dodgy back but i t's lovely and snuggly too

  11. When we did our extension 5 years ago, we lost the boiler the first day and the back of the house was opened up with the knocking down of the lean to thingy, it was July so not to bad, then come winter we still didnt have a back on the house, a working bathroom or boiler, I longed for hot water all we had for heating was a small log burner in the lounge, visitors used to put there coats on in the house, I said never again would I live on a building site, hubby used to say its character building.
    It will be worth it in the end Sue and you will enjoy your new room, heating and hot water :-)

  12. Your new daily routine has reminded me of childhood... No radiators, open fire in the front room and hot water bottles in bed ( if you forgot it was terrible ). You had to steel yourself to have a bath as it was so cold when you got out... I wouldn't want to go back to that, poor you, and mess too.

  13. Hi Sue!
    Just wondering if you have covers for your hot water bottles?
    I find they keep warmer for much longer.
    Hope you are back to 'normal' soon.

  14. My best investment this winter is a heated mattress pad -- love crawling into a warm bed!

  15. I love the way blogs like this give little glimpses into peoples lives. You live in a beautiful part of the world judging from the photos. I was smiling at your rushing around to get damp washing in sunny positions. I do the same thing. It's amazing how much you can dry clothes out simply by leaving them by a sunny window.


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