We used to have an oil refill in October (900 litres) for our hot water and central heating. And another just before Christmas plus a final one in February that would generally see us through to the Autumn.
This year it was different. We used the wood burning stove in the kitchen after dark. So the hub of the house was always warm in the evening. The oil fired heating and hot water used to run for nine hours a day in the past and was blissful. This year we cut it back to just one hour in the morning and one in the evening. This two hours a day added up to a massive saving. We are still on the October fill and have a third left of oil in our tank. If we’re canny and plan ahead, we shower in a heated bathroom in the morning. And still have enough time for hot water to reheat for the rest of the day.
As Danny loves open windows upstairs, even during a deep freeze, we‘ve discovered the joy of several hot water bottles in the bed along with the Min Pins that are attached to them. Living covers that conserve the heat till almost dawn.
Our wood burning stove has saved the day. By letting the ash build up, we can be warm for a whole evening on just three logs smouldering in the hearth.
I’m snug this evening. I didn’t have time to light the stove but I’m warm in my windproof jacket. I’ve only just twigged that I’m still wearing it. In the end you get used to the extra layers without feeling like a trainee Victorian Artic explorer.
Last week I was searching Jalopy’s boot for my sun hat. These past three days I’ve been wearing my scarf, gloves and elfin hat – working in a biting outside wind that was so strong that it made the paint hard to control. It dried quickly and a brush full was scattered far beyond the place that I was painting.
We are ahead, garden wise, this year. The new vegetable border. The twin to Danny’s new potato border was celebrated by planting 36 summer cauliflower plants gratis from John Coe. The rest of the space will be planted by winter cauli’s and Brussels sprouts – raised in the greenhouse. These will be interplanted with Mizuna, Little Gem lettuces and salad leaves. We now finally seem to have enough space to grow and eat our own veg all year round. I suspect that we need just a bit more space to be totally self sufficient. I’m already eying the borders in the pond garden. Growing vegetables can be hugely addictive. Especially when you’ve tasted the bounty.
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