Our straight talking Lancashire lass takes a sideways look at the daily news.
Keeping warm this winter
Today the papers are going ballistic because in some parts of the UK it is snowing. Pardon me, let me adjust my rhetoric accordingly… WINTER CHAOS ENSUES AS MILD NOVEMBER BECOMES A DISTANT MEMORY OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF HYPOYHERMIA PASS THE THERMOS!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE PASS THE FREAKING THERMOS!!!!!
Ahhh, that feels better. The fact of the matter is, it’s winter. Winter in the UK. And being in the Northern hemisphere means that from December to February it gets cold. And, bears sh*t in woods.
So it’s cold and we’re all layering up. I’m also trying to figure out how to keep my winter fuel bills in check, given my energy provider’s propensity to keep putting me on estimated guesses (the world’s largest rip-off if you ask me). So my response is to not have any heating on in my flat, period. It’s probably a bit psychotic – as I’m writing this my fingers can barely move and my breath is steaming up the monitor.
It’s okay for me though. Even though layers of jumpers, blankets, socks and Ugg boots won’t cut it, I won’t die. I’ll be mildly uncomfortable at worst.
It’s vulnerable and elderly people living on the breadline that worry me. Last year there were 25,700 ‘winter deaths’ in the UK, 10% of whom died because they couldn’t afford their heating bills.
This year many people are facing an ‘Eat or Heat’ scenario, where their finances will either stretch to a decent meal or a warm home – but not both. In fact, 27% of UK households are facing a winter of fuel poverty.
So how can we help keep our homes warm without breaking the bank? Layering up is a good idea, but other things like using draft excluders, embracing hot water bottles and having lots of hot tea will help. And if you’re feeling particularly inventive, check out these Winter Warmer gadgets! - I’m particularly liking the hot slippers, they’ll definitely be on my Christmas wish list.
But coming back to the scandalous level of winter deaths in Britain, Age UK are now asking MPs to sign their Winter Pledge to help ensure that the elderly can weather the winter in warmth and comfort. The alternative could be deadly. You can read more information about this campaign here. And remember, wrap up!