There is a much hackneyed phrase applicable to the stereotypical English winter. It goes, ‘It is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’ although my father’s adaption thereof used to be, ‘It’s that cold they’ll be laying men off at the brass foundry son’. Either phrase fits this specific winter, one that has lingered a little longer than usual – in short it remains well below 10 degrees and is cloudy and overcast most days.
Such inclement weather has coincided with our move to our Victorian home – one that is ‘new’ to us, yet very old to the world. That the place is insulated and double glazed should mean it is warm and snug yet ten days into our occupancy with central heating blasting away on the highest thermostat setting and both my wife and I clad in a multiplicity of thermal clothes and woolly jumpers we were frozen to the marrow. Also we had returned to active service a myriad of old electric blow heaters salvaged from our office when selling our business back in 2008 yet still we froze. Indeed some days my fingers particularly turn a horrible shade of distraught mellow yellow and I cannot not feel a single thing – not that my Shirley would let me! There came a point just a couple of days ago that I began to doubt the prudence of purchasing this place to reside in.
At the top of the property there are three rooms that constitute a flat. Our son George has taken up residence there. As an impoverished musician, not that long out of university having gained a first class degree and seeking to start his own production business we thought that he needed both space and privacy as plainly a place of his own is off the agenda for the foreseeable future. He has a large attic room as his lounge, a rather tasty bedroom with an en-suite plus a spare room he is presently converting into a sound proof booth for recording purposes. He likes the place and we leave him to his own devices save for meal times when we all, as families should, get together around the dinner table.
Yesterday I had cause take some post up to George. Upon entering his quarters I noticed not just the doors opened wide but his widows also. I located him up in the attic room, dormer windows ajar as far as their mechanism allowed, clad in a t-shirt and shorts, barefoot strumming away on his 12 string guitar lost to the world in thought – we are very similar in that regard!
“Here’s your post…aren’t you cold?”
“Cold! You must be joking I’m so very, very hot I can’t think clearly…you haven’t got an air conditioning unit I could have anywhere have you?”
Then it dawned on me. Then I knew just where all the heat had gone. The bastard!
“Stuff me George with everything wide open I’m paying the utility companies a King’s Ransom to heat the fucking sky. It is little wonder that I’m freezing and have to swallow hard every time I feel two lumps in my throat. What on earth are you playing at mate?”
“Well you might be cold but I’ve never been so hot…well not since the Loire Valley in 2012.”
Following that brief chat we reached an accord. He could have his windows open as wide as he likes on the basis that henceforth he keeps his doors shut tight.
All is well in the Steeden home once more. In point of fact Shirl and I were even a tad too hot last evening!
“Shirl what with it being so unbearably hot don’t you think you’re a tad overdressed…you know you might want to shed one, or maybe two garments…or more even…I don’t mind if you do, honest I don’t…I mean if you felt so inclined to take the lot off I won’t be offended or anything.”
“Don’t push your luck just yet sunshine,” her cruel and selfish riposte.