A cold lesson in checking the oil tank more often fb

jan snow 2015 003The cold slowly seeps in to my bones as it becomes obvious that we have no heat. We have run out of oil, and the man won’t deliver till Wednesday at the earliest.  The joys of living in an off grid property in Yorkshire.  I peered into the oil tank and there were 4 inches, it should have lasted a week but the cold snap came, so we turned the heating on early.  It was minus 5 last night for goodness sake, we are not softies up here on the edge of the Dales.  So now the old fashioned stove is alight all day, and we stack wood. Keeping warm becomes a fixation. Fingers are either stiff with cold, or being burned on the stove top.  I hope the curious shade of blue all over my hands is not the onset of Reynard’s disease, but actually the coal dust from the coal bucket. Coal, without a doubt burns hottest. I realise no one would get divorced in winter time. Your partner has a use as a living hot water bottle if nothing else.  And this was normal until 50 years ago. How did people manage the biting cold, its relentless attack on the bones and the hunched over stiff shoulders?  And of course in the UK our houses are not built for these extremes. The insulation barely exists at all. As I ponder the beauty of snow, and the ineptitude of our housing stock I promise myself that never again will I forget to order the oil. But I said that last time…. Maybe I can have a hot bath at Bungalow Lils.

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