Monday, 23 November 2015

How to keep warm ... when you're husband decides to fiddle with the radiators

I write this from bitter experience. Husband decided to 'tinker' with a radiator on Friday . Never a good idea when the temperature outside has just plummeted by 10 degrees or more. I advised against it but this fell on deaf ears.

Husband informed me, after getting out his toolkit ( and no that is not a euphemism for anything rude sadly ) and poking at a radiator valve that was making a strange gurgling sound, that it was something to do with trapped air ( that IS a euphemism for something else ) .

Unsurprising therefore to discover that we had no heating the following morning, as the entire system decided to malfunction overnight and reduce the house to a scene from Frozen. With difficulty I refrained from uttering  'I told you so' and set about emergency measures ; retrieving ancient fan heater from attic, drawing all curtains and doubling up on layers.

It is now Monday morning and we've had no heating for 48 hours. It would seem that every boiler repair man is on triple time, booked until after Christmas or has left the country for warmer climes.
I'm therefore resorting to some handy hints for those married to the kind of husband that decides they're an expert on heating engineering at an inappropriate time of the year.

1. Your hairdryer is your new best friend - set it on HIGH heat and stick it up your jumper taking care not to singe your vest in the process.

2. Talking of vests - dig them out of the furthest reaches of your drawers and layer them up.

3. Cashmere would be nice, if unaffordable, so go for heat-trapping polyester instead and remember to stock up on deodorant at the next opportunity.

4. Open the fridge door occasionally and stick your head in - the 5 degrees of heat will be a welcome warm-up compared to the sub zero temperature of your kitchen.

5. Alternatively do a a lot of baking ( providing your cooker still works ) . I wouldn't advise sticking your head in , especially if its a gas oven. This may look a little desperate.

6. Make sure you're first in the queue for a shower in the morning. I write this having just stood under a cold trickle having been pipped to the post by all 3 men in our house. Having said that it was nice to feel the relative 'warmth' after  the cold water torture had stopped.

7. Pop outside occasionally for another warm up. If your BBQ is still in working order , have sausages for lunch and grill them for a very very very long time.

8. Wear you cat/s for an extra layer of warmth, they're covered in fur and  probably warmer than you. Do NOT let them get down from your lap.

9. In times of absolute desperation , warm your hands under a light bulb. Believe me , I have resorted to this.

10. Warn any visitors not to take their coats of when they arrive. They probably won't stay long so this is the ideal time to catch up on those 'must come round for a coffee' invites that have been stacking up in your diary.

If all else fails ,  as you sit shivering, because the cold has got into your bones and you feel like a polar explorer ( without the joy of seeing a single penguin or polar bear ) even though you are nowhere near a treadmill or a cross trainer ( swear words in our house ) , comfort yourself in the certain knowledge that you are burning calories like billy-oh whilst not even moving ... which will come in handy when you reach for another cup of hot chocolate.


  1. Oh poor you. Our heating is being temperamental at the moment ... as in it has to be switched on manually (which suggests an electrical issue, the boiler is fine). My hubbie and I take it in turns to be first out of bed in order to switch the heating on. But at least it gets warm after 20 min or so.
    Hope yours is sorted soon!
    PS laughed out loud at some of your suggestions, just imagining the singed vests and cats clutched to you as you stand next to a lamp of the fridge.

  2. I sorry for your loss...of warmth! Bit as usual that was so well written I had to laugh.

    Hope to see you at Cheam sometime again xxx