I’m sure it isn’t normal to be sitting at my desk in coat, scarf and my favourite Brora fingerless gloves (see left). But with Arctic-like temperatures and the windows of our Victorian house rattling alarmingly, it’s the only way to keep warm. The ancient radiators come on at four pm but they are fighting a losing battle. To put it bluntly they don’t heat the place up at all.
Up until now I’d always prided myself on being tough. I mean, for three years we lived in a north-facing farmhouse in the shadow of Lancashire’s Pendle Hill with no central heating at all and I coped absolutely fine.
It was the first house my son lived in – which is probably why he’s happy to brave the outdoors in all weathers on his bike. Our only heating was a coal-fired Rayburn that burned so much fuel that we could never go out for more than three hours at a time. If we did, the Rayburn sulked and went out, meaning that we were not only freezing but we couldn’t cook supper either.