Keeping warm.

photo by Kayleigh Tallulah Wilson

 Hello Dear Reader,

Another storm. My heart goes out to the coastal communities who are literally having their homes battered by one storm after the next. The photo above is of Kingsand, a coastal village in South East Cornwall and below in the aftermath of that storm is the street full of shingle (small sea pebbles). The debris and the force of the sea smashed down doors and windows. In future, all coastal houses should fit shutters on the outside to protect them from the elements. I notice in France, especially when I go there ‘off season’ that the houses are tucked away behind their blue or red shutters. 

We have central heating but don’t use it to heat the house, instead we use it to keep the house from being cold. It’s a different way of thinking. If I want heat, I light the wood stove. In spite of the weather, this thick walled cottage stays at 19-20 degrees, which is warmer than a lot of people are. Our heating comes on in the evening from 6pm – 9pm and the house seems to retain the heat there after.

We keep ourselves warm. I get home and put slipper socks on and sometimes my slippers on top. If my feet are warm then I am warm. we both slip on woolly jumpers. We keep moving and don’t sit around. We get off to bed early and read with the warmth of an electric blanket that warms our bed. It uses a lot less energ than room heating.

We eat a hot meal in the evening, usually something that has simmered away in the slow cooker. We have plenty of hot drinks. 

photo by the BBC

We don’t have the unpleasant choice between heat or eat and comfortably do both. However, we would feel the pinch financially if we ran our heating at standard temperatures and for the hours that some families do. I would also never suggest that anyone with an illness or if elderly tried to live with as little heating as possible. Everyone else, who’s fit and healthy can (and usually has to due to cost) turn the heating down and have it on for less time.

I’m looking forward to lighting the wood burner tomorrow as I’m having a hunkered down home day…….I’m going to ride out the next storm with a big pot of tea and a good book.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx


20 thoughts on “Keeping warm.

  1. DH showed me a terrible video online last night of waves battering houses along a seafront in the south west. Although we live close to the sea here in Dover we're so lucky to have the harbour between us and the open sea. We only have our heating on at between 16-18 and only for short bursts of 30 minutes a couple of times a day. Like you I wrap up warm and I'm currently wearing 3 pairs of socks, plus slipper boots, and 4 layers of clothing including a dress over my jeans. If I'm still cold I cuddle up on the sofa with a hot water bottle, and I have 2 bottles in bed, one for my feet and one to hug.


  2. Having the choice of heating must be nice. Here in Canada it is far to cold to even consider not having the furnace on. We keep ours at a 21 celsius during the day and down to 18 at night. Without the heat on our plumbing would freeze up and so would we.


  3. I really do feel for those who have had their homes damaged or had to be evacuated. It makes me feel so grateful to have my safe, dry, warm home. Even up here in the north of Scotland, people are saying that we shouldn't moan about the wet, windy weather because we've been extremely lucky compared with many down south. I hope these storms stop soon – they seem to have gone on for such a long time now. Keep warm x


  4. I must have missed a follow up post, I only recall that you were to get the old cottage's wood stove inspected for about $150 with a concern being finding out if the chimney had to be relined or not, to the tune of $1000. Was the stove repaired or redone?


  5. I made myself some slipper boots out of an old pair of ugg type boots by cutting them down with a throat at the front to make them easier to pull on. I then blanket stitched round the cut edge with yarn and they make a huge difference. They were originally given to me by a friend who only paid £6 for them about a decade ago!


  6. “but don't use it to heat the house, instead we use it to keep the house from being cold.” I love this way of saying what I have been trying to say for years. Your weather is awful. I live in Indiana USA and we have had the hardest winter in a decade. So much snow and ice with cold temperatures breaking records….It sure has reminded me how much I enjoy being home. I don't want to go out for anything unless I am really, really have to.


  7. Isn't the weather frightening?
    Here in Melbourne, we are enduring a heat wave. It is so hot and dry and living in a bushy suburb means we are on constant bush fire alert. We have already had 2 scares this summer. Today is forecast to reach 40 degrees with an overnight low of 30. The house is a hot box. Trying not to overuse the air conditioner but when your living room reaches 35+ , there really is no choice.


  8. You two stay safe and warm. Everyone is going to be relieved to see the back of this winter. We have been watching the news programs of all of your terrible weather and you have been in my prayers.
    Tana xoxo


  9. Hi Froogs
    I read your post with great sadness for all the people who have been hammered by the in Dubai, I truly do take the fine weather for granted. Yes it gets really really hot, but we do not have to weather storms like you have had , aside from the odd sand storm which hits us quite hard.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all-keep safe, warm and dry.


  10. I have many online friends in the areas currently hit by the storms. They are in my thoughts daily. I've never lived so close to the ocean that it was a problem in big storms, but when we lived in the woods, lying awake at night and hearing very big trees come down was a bit scary. It was impossible to tell how far away they were or if they would hit the roof of the cabin. We were lucky, though. Not everyone will be with these storms. I think the idea of storm shutters is a great one.
    My 91 yr old Mum and I keep the temp in her apt at around 17C; we both wear warm clothes and a sweater if needed. I have several shawls, too, so if my Aunty (94) comes up, we can keep her warm, too. She's about 5 ft tall and weighs something around 70 lb or less. We have hot drinks often, too, and use Mum's hand-made quilts at night. It's been yo-yo weather here; varying from -30C or more to +7 or 8C in between. So we don't change the thermostat unless we have a cold wind from the west. Both of us wish we had a woodstove as we did years ago. I miss out hotwater bottles, too, as I haven't been able to find one here in the city. But when I lived in the woods and other country places with no electricity, one thing I did was to keep a few large stones on the wood stove. In the evening, they would be wrapped in rags and old towels, then put in the bed to warm it. Kept us toasty all night! Stay dry and cosy as possible, both you and Helen. ~ Linne


  11. I don't often see the news but caught a little but about the storms and floods last night. It's heartbreaking to see people's livelihoods and homes getting destroyed.

    With 2 pre-schoolers in the home throughout the day, we have our central heating on 2 times a day, usually in the morning and mid-afternoon to give the house a blast of heat (we're on an economy 7 electricity meter where we have cheaper rates throughout the day so we make the most of those times). Our thermostat is set to 15 degrees which is very comfortable for us, and on chilly evenings we use the electric fire in the living room. Not particularly eco-friendly or frugal, but it's the heating we have.

    Now that we've moved to a home which is well insulated with decent windows etc we really notice the difference in the houses' atmosphere (i.e. not cold & damp!!) & maintaining heat is so much easier.

    I'm just bracing myself for the chilly days now. Temperatures up here have been at 0 or just above 0 most days but the feel factor has been around -8. We're on high, unprotected ground so I'm sure it will be getting colder before it gets warmer!



  12. Our home's colder than yours (17 degree on average) and we keep our heating on from 6 to 9 pm and a couple hours from 6 to 8 am when we wake up and get ready for work. We're happy with 18 degrees here, because our house if pretty cold so with 18 it already seems to be warm enough!
    When I come home I usually wear my pj before the heating wents off and then add layers of clothes on top of it, usually a thick jumper and warm socks and slippers at my feet. I agree with you: the warmer your feet are, the warmer you feel.
    I usually read or blog after dinner, sitting on the sittee, under a tartan cover that keeps me warm enough.
    Of course no old people could live with this temperature, nor we could keep it at this degree if we had a baby or a toddler at home. But with the two of us only we try and keep it low, so as to save up as much as we can.


  13. Froogs I've been watching the news and some youtube videos – I just can't imagine how those poor folk are going to put their lives together having lost everything – or even those who've “just” had their lower floors swamped. Heartbreaking doesn't cover it. Here in West Norfolk we are OK but up on the North coast they have had it bad. Yes, we are also in the position of being able to afford to eat AND heat but a bit of frugality never hurt anyone, and we are sensible with our resources. And that includes following your very helpful, informative – and entertaining blog! Hoping this weekend brings a bit of sunshine and not too damp for you.


  14. Oh my goodness sitting here in our safe home, we're more or less in the middle of the UK, it's heartbreaking to see peoples homes taking a battering year after year. We're on the edge of the Peak district and are having high winds that are damaging a few older fences/sheds and the garden furniture is thrown around on some gardens but nothing anywhere near what they are suffering it's all damage that only takes a few £'s to repair we're lucky. Perhaps now the authorities in these area's will make the decision to spend some money on sea defences.

    Stay safe everyone

    Peg x


  15. The weather has been totally shocking since just before Christmas and my heart really goes out to all those who have been so badly affected by it all.

    As I trudged through the wind and the mud to put the chickens to bed a few minutes ago, at least, I thought I am only trudging through mud, we've not lost anything (well almost the wheelie bin which made a dash for freedom in the gale force winds we've had on and off all day, across the main road, but I fetched it back sharpish) there are so many folks so much worse off.


  16. A i work from home we keep switching the heating on then switching it of again as soon as we are warmed through and it goes off completely a soon as 7pm comes as its a smaller house we moved to last year it keeps warm and if it goes a bit chilly before we go to bed we use blankets , i don't like the bedroom to hot anyway because i cant sleep in it , we have saved about thirty pounds a month in energy moving to a smaller home too , I hope the storms don't last much longer so people affected can hopefully get back to normal x


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