Usually I spend the darkest, coldest months in my spiritual home
Having the heating on is the one area of environmental conservation on which I simply won’t compromise. I am immensely proud of the fact that I have only ever spent one winter in
I know a lot of people who believe that having a cold house is good for you. You learn to ask, ‘will you have the heating on?’, when they invite you to dinner. They usually sigh, ‘yes’, with grumpy resignation and put the gas fire in the lounge on for half an hour to ‘warm up the room’. They switch it off the minute they hand you your first ice cold gin and tonic. I had to purchase NASA approved thermal underwear so that I don’t expire between courses. I also usually take fingerless gloves too as I’ve noticed it’s difficult to butter bread wearing mittens.
When my hardy friends come to my house, they need to strip down to their underwear and throw open all the windows which makes for an interesting dinner party. Of course they would draw the line at frostbite but they honestly do think that a little cold never hurt anyone. I, on the other hand, believe that you are less inclined to reach the heights of erudition of which you know yourself to be capable if your teeth are chattering. Up until now, the coldies have laughed at my inability to acclimatise but now I feel I’ve finally clambered up the slippery slope and planted my feeble little flag on the moral high ground.
Every year, around 25,000 elderly people die in
Very sensibly, someone has finally done some research into why so many elderly people die of cold when it isn’t actually that cold.Professor Bill Keatinge of I knew it!
I knew it!
It seems that low room temperatures make you prone to heart attacks and strokes. According to Prof Keatinge, if your room temperature is lower than 20C you begin to be at risk of death. In genuinely cold countries they can’t be doing with this bracing fresh air mentality and they keep their home fires well stoked. People who have cruel friends or work in chilly basements should start taking a room thermometer to work or next dinner party and suing the Argyll socks off their tormentors.
Patrick Sachon from the Met Office warned ‘In this country, people don't think about what getting cold will do to them because it doesn't kill them immediately. We don't have well insulated houses and we have a culture that believes having a window open to let in lots of fresh air is good for us, even though it is not. People need to realise that cold can kill and they need to keep warm.’
So, there we have it, definitive evidence if ever it were needed. It’s a bit of a shame that it comes just as the energy companies are about to raise their prices to a level that no pensioner could possibly afford. Perhaps they could all move to