‘I hate to say it…’ said husband sheepishly.
‘The boilers stopped working!’.
Our Christmas cheer turned into Christmas drear as realisation sunk in that we would be freezing our botts off for the rest of our holidays. Great, just great! ‘At least we have hot water’ he added hoping to win me over.
Husband has a cowboy trader fear and as our only trusted person who could fix the system was out of town, it meant a glorious whole week of knees-a-knocking, teeth rattling and ruddy-red-noses-and-cheeks-a-glowing.
I contemplated shipping off the pets to any of our neighbours that would take them and checking into a hotel, but with a bit of team work we managed to find a way to keep things bearable.
This is how we did it…
1) Borrow or buy 2 portable heaters…quick!
When it’s wet, windy and very cold a portable heater is the best way to blow the chill out of the air. We found a great deal at Maplins for an oil filled portable radiator heater and bought 2. This meant that we were able to move 1 upstairs for little buttons bedtime whilst keeping 1 downstairs for the pets and grown ups. I would really recommend this type of heater, and don’t know what I would have done without them. It’s worth remembering that these work best when heating one room, keeping doors closed.
2) Work that tumble dryer
Our washing pile resembled a mountain at the beginning of the week and I am pretty glad in a way. Washing everyday, I put small loads of clothes in the dryer at times when we would be in the kitchen. The heat from the tumble dryer helped to warm us up a bit, and when the clothes were finished, we left the dryer door open to snatch that extra bit of heat.
3) Now is the time to oven cook something that takes ages
Who would have thought that a kitchen could generate so much heat! I whipped up a prolonged storm in the kitchen by choosing to cook things that took a super long time in the oven. The results were delightful! Don’t forget to leave the oven door open to let out any extra warmth once you are done cooking, supervise children closely if doing this.
4) Dig out any hot water bottles
You can’t leave portable heaters on all night, so I filled up our hot water bottles to help to keep the bed warm through the night. For little ones, put these at the foot of the bed and don’t use boiling water. A child’s microwaveable toy might be a better idea if you have one as these are filled with heat retaining seeds rather than hot water.
5) Take the edge of cold sheets
No one likes jumping into a freezing bed at the best of times. I set my hair dryer to high and blow-dried the bed warm before we jumped in. If your pj’s shrink in the dryer, then you could also blow-dry them warm before getting changed.
6) Get out and about
Though none of us felt particularly motivated to get out and about because of the cold. This did actually help. We turned up the heating in the car, and took our time round the warm shops rather than making the usual quick dash. Lunches out for a perk-me-up treat kept smiles beaming.
7) Get layered up
Even if you are not planning to go out, make sure you keep warm by layering up with vests, t-shirts and jumpers. Extra socks can make a difference, and we even had an afternoon of wearing our gloves to keep our fingers warm during a particularly freezing afternoon.
Fingers crossed today is our last day without heating, but just in case, if you have any other tips on how to keep warm when the heating is on the blink please do share them here.