Tis the season where city folks put their central heating on, and country folks stoke their 24 hour wood fires and keep the doors shut.
But I don’t have the time to be stoking my wood fire 24/7 – and so it takes me just a little bit longer to get up the courage to throw the blankets off in the morning and dive into slippers and dressing gown and snuggle under a rug in the arctic climes of the living room with my coffee mug clasped like a bottle of brandy between my icy palms.
Actually, it’s not quite that bad but it is cold. Which would explain the Fire Service’s noble but futile attempt to keep the outdoors warm and cosy by lighting bushfires all around the hills – on the same principle as those restaurants which put braziers outside so their customers can dine al fresco when it’s al freezing. The haze is kinda picturesque in the evenings – but it hasn’t done anything for the ambient temperature.
I notice that living down on the farm, my attitude to everything has got a lot more Scottish. Basically, when you can SEE the water disappearing from your tank with every bathful, and the log pile getting smaller with every cosy evening indoors – you start to think carefully about what you use. So I might stick one log on the fire every hour, and wait till it sinks to Smaug-like embers, before I shove another one in. The Man has prepared many logs for my comfort – but there’s a limit to even his industry. It’s very tempting to have baths, because they warm you up so you think it’s actually balmier than it is – but no, it hasn’t rained for three weeks now so better not.
Given the wintry temperatures (God, it gets down to, what, 5 degrees Celsius!) I let my old kelpie cross in for the first time overnight, last night. In the morning I found an involuntary token of her gratitude on the mat in front of the fire. One dog who routinely piddles on the floor is a trial (but he’s too blind and senile to be left outside). TWO incontinent dogs is pushing it. Cools, you have a delightful kennel. Use it. (As you can see from this picture, Cools is living the dream – at least while the sun shines.)
While The Man isn’t here, the Cat is loyally standing in as a hot water bottle. Who says that cats aren’t useful!