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Thursday, 29 November 2012

The cringeworthyness of being cold

Dang! I'm cold.

Our central heating is collapsing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We are used to living in a warm and cosy house. So the shock of being cold in it is emotionally distressing. The worst part is that neither my husband nor the central heating man can figure out what is wrong with it.

So my thoughts are going to the subject of the cringeworthyness of being cold.

One of the first problems with not living in a warm ambient air temperature is the extra energy you expend in trying to keep warm. Currently, I have a hot water bottle on my lap. A blanket over my legs and several jerseys on. This is all very heavy. To do a simply action like going to the loo, you have to remove all the stuff, and then replace it again. Fiddle faddle.

It is a wonderful sunny day - but I'm not going out there today - the hills are covered with snow and I seem to be  sensitive to feeling cold enough and it will be bloody freezing out there. I'm having enough of it inside.

Which brings me to our fire. We have a lovely little gas fire in the lounge with fake coals. You know the kind? The fireplace that never needs cleaning, only dusting? We had it on the night before last, but it makes me feel worried rather than happy. The last one we had in a house here in the UK, was very expensive to run and we had to ration its use. We are not wealthy - or extravagant.

Imagine the cringeworthyness of being a very poor person, deciding whether to eat or keep warm. Of always feeling cold in your house. Of always feeling a little worried rather than comfortable.

One of the jobs I worked at here in the UK was in an ancient building with a loo attached to the back. We were very cold in that building because the central heating had snuffed it and the owner seemed uninterested in fixing it.  But the loo was the coldest place on earth! Having come in from a tropical country, I used to sit on that loo and wonder how ANYONE survived imprisonment in the dungeons of castles that I used to read about in fairy tales about the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, I am sitting here wondering how anyone survived living in houses that were not centrally heated. But they did!

I am sitting here thinking about the absolute cringeworthyness of being cold and feeling sorry for all the people trapped in ice cages in cold places.