Life, photos but not the universe


Yes, as predicted by Rog, the heating oil arrived long before the end of the ten or even five day periods* mentioned last post, thus saving us £240 and a worst scenario of up to 14 days frozen in the Berkshire Wilderness.  The morning of its arrival the Berkshire Wilderness was covered in wet snow as well so when the oil tanker pulled up outside our gate (causing many car drivers to squeeze and creep their way nervously round it, cursing a lot) I was really quite excited.  Unfortunately, the reset button on our boiler isn’t at all easily accessible (whatever Barney says) so I just had to go out and leave all that oil sitting, unused in the tank.   To be fair, if it hadn’t been a bit urgent, the going out, I would have crawled about on the kitchen floor willingly and prized the cover off  the boiler even though it is obscured by the dishwasher which is too heavy for me to move and causes Barney much stress and trouble when he does it.

Whatever.  We are now, gradually, warming up.  Which makes me realise how much heat must be stored in the walls and roof of a thick old building like this.   It takes a good day and a half for all that heat to seep away if the heating is all off and then another day and a half, when it’s turned back on, to soak back in and settle.  The difference between having the chill kept at bay and being cosy is also quite remarkable.  A couple of generations ago, people were very lucky indeed if they could rely on being cosy-warm at home.  In winter, they wore night caps and bed socks because at night all the heat went away.  During the day they wore something warm and thick because all the fires and stoves did was to heat parts of their houses.  I vividly recall sitting in a cold room close to the gas fire and holding my chilled clothes up to warm before putting them on (it must be remembered that I was a total wimp even aged five but even so – most children today would expect their clothes to be just a trifle cooler than body heat when they get ready for school first thing in the morning).  Mum and Dad were well off by most standards – we certainly never had ice on the inside of the windows as Mr Youngest did as a child – but our house wasn’t warm in the morning.  How times have changed – for most of us in the Western World anyway.

Ah well, It’s darker at night than outside as my Grandmother used to say.   I have never known if this was a slightly creative translation from an ancient dutch proverb or whether there really is such a saying in Holland (one could believe anything of the Dutch).  I ran it through google translate and it came back unaltered.  Never mind, I read it as “there are things in my philosophy, Horatio for which yours just just doesn’t have the budget**. ”

Meanwhile, the sun came out.  (It’s not that I can’t take photos without sunshine, honest.  It’s just that when there is light to play with, they come out better.)




So I went looking for a pond and found flooded fields.  Good enough.  In fact after days and days of cold and wet, a bit of sunset and water was very nice indeed.

*After three days, in fact.

** Central heating for instance. 

March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Looks like you’ve been to Bishops Stortford! Oh wait – there’s a bit of a hill so it must not be B S.!

    Comment by dinahmow | March 22, 2013 | Reply

  2. I remember as a child coming from the bath wrapped in a towel and being hustled into my pajamas which had been warmed by the open fire. I can’t imagine it was ever cold enough in Sydney to be really necessary but it certainly gave me a feeling of well being and snugness. I was an only child so there was probably a bit of smugness there too. I’m not sure I could survive in your really cold weather, and I read your weather adventures with relish. Stay warm…

    Comment by Carol | March 22, 2013 | Reply

  3. The Sage and I don’t like a heated bedroom, I wake up with blocked sinuses. So ice on the windows isn’t unknown. However, an electric blanket is essential if my feet are to warm up before 3am. Glad you’ve got your heating functioning again, just in time for the weather to turn back to winter.

    Comment by Z | March 22, 2013 | Reply

  4. I never saw any of Bishops Stortford that looked like that Dinahmow though I suppose I’ve only seen it from the outskirts as we drove past it. That’s actually Stanford Dingley – a far cry from BS!

    I don’t think it’s so very cold Carol – I just whinge a lot! When I was small we did the warm towel thing – it’s a mutual delight for parent and child I think.

    We never seemed to get round to an electric blanket Z, tough we’ve both often wanted one! But we do love a good hot water bottle. Our heating is off at might but I suppose the bedroom stays warm for quite a while.
    Ed: Oops, no glasses – that’s though and night!

    Comment by Mig | March 23, 2013 | Reply

  5. Glad to hear you are warm again. I am lead to understand that this is the coldest March we have had in the UK for 50 years, so I don’t think you are whinging. It is chuffing freezing!

    Before we moved here two-and-a-half years ago, I lived for 11 years in a Victorian terraced house that did not have any central heating. I started saving up to get it installed but then we had a run of mild winters and by the time I could afford to do it, I had met my husband and we had decided to buy somewhere together. Now that I live an a nice centrally heated house, I wonder how on earth I managed for all those years without it (the flat I lived in before I bought my house didn’t have central heating either!)

    I like the colours on that top photo.

    Comment by Liz | March 23, 2013 | Reply

  6. Ahhhhh….I grew up in a huge house with heating on the first floor–none on the second for a very long time (or so it seemed when I was a kiddo). Thanks for that memory….and reminding me how GOOD I have it today. Oy….how soon we forget.
    And how lovely you make a flooded field look.
    How come MINE never seem that lovely?!
    Oh wait….LOL…it’s the photographer! 😉

    Comment by Mel | March 23, 2013 | Reply

  7. It is cold for the time of year Liz, no argument, but compared to some peoples’ cold, it’s very mild! I remember one Victorian terrace in Rochdale where we had hot and cold running rats and a draught that floated the mat in front of the kitchen door across the room.

    Yours do look lovely Mel – well I’m not sure about flooded fields but quilt barns and magical watery places!

    Comment by Mig | March 24, 2013 | Reply

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