The battle with heating


I live in an old house. As with many old, stone, Northern houses, mine has it’s very own special climate.

In the summer, the thick, stone walls are brilliant at heating the house, resulting in a sweltering upstairs and leaving us generally feeling like sweaty, limp, overcooked spinach. But the stone floors provide a refreshing contrast on bare feet, a pleasant coolness as we pad from the baking sun outside to take shelter indoors.

Unfortunately, in the winter, the thick, stone walls are also brilliant at keeping any source of heat firmly outside, and chilling the inside of the house to a refrigerator-like ambience. Even with the bodged-up heating system on full whack, my houses ‘special’ brand of micro-climate only tops out at approximately 15 degrees Celsius. Not great for 2014, guys. Most people whack the heating up only to find themselves wandering around in bathing shorts and pretending they’re on a tropical beach.

And so the battle commences. How many jumpers can you fit on? I bet it’s more than you think. For example, I currently have on 4 lovely jumpers, in varying degrees of antiquity, culminating in an extra fashionable outer layer of ‘fisherman’s friend’ inspired brown cable knit, size XXL, at least 14 years old. (see pic above) Arr me hearties.

Great for keeping warm, great for pretending you’re Captain Birdseye. What’s not to love?

My point is this. Don’t waste heat. I know someone who lives on top of a moor in a house way older, bigger and possibly even draughtier than mine. She hardly ever puts the heating on as she’s always moving and not cold.

Coldness stemming from voluntary inactivity cannot be complained about. Get up. Move. You’ll warm up in 5 minutes, way quicker than the heating takes. Bake some biscuits.

A winter of extra heating, extra money wasted and extra environmental impact? Or a winter of hilarious charity shop rescued jumpers and the odd blanket,  the opportunity for endless ‘catch of the day’ themed spontaneous outbursts, and lots of money saved on your gas and lekky bills. Plus you’re not churning out loads of heat/fuel waste so you can also feel a little bit smug. Everybody knows smugness generates heat.

Take inspiration from a time when we used to do a lot of things right and say no to laziness. Bounce past the thermostat and bung another jumper on.