Baby, It’s Cold Inside

OHAH - The Column / Friday, January 26th, 2018

The winter sun is mocking us these days. It’s bright light is generously streaming through the wide bay window into our living room, yet there is no warmth to it. In fact, stepping down the stairs from the first floor to the ground floor is like walking into a fridge. No matter how high the heating is on or how many candles are burning, downstairs requires another layer or a duvet or preferable both.

When we first viewed our house, we loved the open door frames around the downstairs. It created a welcome feeling of space in an otherwise dim and small terraced house and for almost a year we didn’t even realise what a problem that might cause. In fact, when we moved in it was summer and the heat of the long sunshine filled days made the living room almost unbearable to sit in. By the time the days began to shorten and the outside air to cool and it might have been a little less than cozy in front of the telly, we were well and truly lulled in by the hazy days of the newborn stage, spending most of our time snuggled up in bed.

This winter, however, with a playful toddler in tow has really chilled us down. As much as I would love to spend all day in bed with the littlest lady, her adventurous side really requires more space. Or a dad who regularly tidies away his phones, wires, pocket knives and all the other bits and bobs, he retrieved from his trousers the night before. Until then, our bedroom makes for a relaxed resting place (for our electronics) but not a playground. Therefore the living room it has to be.

We did therefore make an effort recently to heat up the downstairs by draught proving the entrance door. Diligently, we filled all the gaps around it with a foam strip. We did such a good job that we are now unable to look the door from the outside. Inside, we’re still huddled up under blankets. While there might not be any new cold air creeping through the cracks, the warm one still escapes upstairs through all the open doors.
Now, we could obviously just add doors downstairs. But where’s the fun in that, right.
Also, the Englishman has yet to succumb to the charm of door curtains, beaded or not. And of course the littlest lady would need convincing too not to pull them down every time she walks past.

As there is no remedy in the foreseeable future to my dilemma I temporarily moved at least my “office” back into the bedroom. Two bissful nap hours a day, actual naps happening permitted, I spend in the warmth of our bed just like last winter. In fact, as I’m writing this little tale, the pillows are stacked high behind my back, my feet our neatly tucked under the duvet and a candle is flickering by my side. If I’m not working, however, we spend a lot of our time elsewhere; like that well known Swedish furniture supplier just around the corner. Their living room is not only a lot bigger but also well heated. Win-win. For the brief occasions we do venture downstairs and stay there, I’ve stocked up on all the cosy textiles, blankets, cushions, socks, you name it. A little bit of hygge decoration goes a long way in these cold winter months, they say. The candles – of course – are well out of reach.

Oh & H – a homemakers column. A weekly sharing of life’s little stories between a tiny terraced house and an overgrowing allotment.

2 thoughts on “Baby, It’s Cold Inside

  1. I sympathise. We’ve just moved to the Isle of Skye and are renting (temporarily) an old farmhouse. Draughty windows, no insulation anywhere, gaps under doors. We were happily basking in the central heating until we realised our first month’s bill will be almost £700!!! So now we’re layering up and still shivering, doggedly avoiding the ‘on’ switch and watching our breath in the air. Being cold indoors is no fun. I keep repeating the same mantra: One day we’ll look back at this and laugh. But right now it feels like we’re living in the 1930s with none of the glamour!
    Hope you find a way of keeping warm. Our hot water bottles and thermals are apparently out for delivery. I can’t wait!

    1. Hi Sarah, Waterbottles are a good idea, can’t believe I didn’t even think of them. We do relish the central heating all winter – although especially in the living room it seems to make no difference – but thankfully we don’t require any in the summer. Which means in the end the bill evens itself out. I don’t know what we’d do otherwise. I hope the delivery person hurries up for you! Until then Keep warm! x

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