One of the things about living in a really cold house is the layers of clothes that one has to wear EVEN IN BED preclude any kind of romantic activity whatsoever. Sometimes because of laughing.
Imagine the scene:
Me: in a thermal t-shirt, pyjamas and bed socks, all smelling slightly of baby-sick, sitting up in bed reading 'How To Build Your Own Strawbale House'. The bed is covered in a duvet, a blanket, a double sleeping bag and three cats, all of whom are wearing woolly hats.
B: hopping round the bedroom in two t-shirts whilst attempting to pull on a pair of thermal long-johns two sizes too big and cut in a VERY peculiar fashion around the calves so that they are so tight that you can hardly get your foot through.
Me: I suppose sex is off, then?
Both: Collapse giggling, B with one foot still lodged in the funny calf-bit.
I can quite understand why people used to rub themselves all over with goose fat and sew themselves in to their rabbits skins or whatever for the winter; if goose fat wasn't so bloody expensive I'd be doing it myself.
On the plus side, though, we came home from Ma's on Monday with five sacks of logs small enough to fit in to the ridiculously inefficient and possibly lethally badly connected woodburner in the lounge. We have been burning a mixture of coal and HUGE logs left by some previous tenant that the landlady very kindly said we could use up. The logs are nice; but about 70% of them are too big to go in the fire and cutting them has been pretty difficult. The coal is very basic stuff, and very wet. Once you get it going it's okay; but it takes a while and involves shovelling it up off the floor where it's bags have degraded. It also doesn't burn very efficiently and leaves us with loads of cinders. We are gradually using these to fill in the wrong-way-round-trench across the middle of the orchard that is draining a small waterfall down the steps in to the back door. Why don't people THINK before they dig things like that? It's draining very efficiently - just in the opposite direction to the ideal.
We have also bitten the bullet since we came back on Monday and put the heating on all the time. We ordered half a tank of oil a couple of weeks ago and we have resigned ourselves to it only lasting two or three months. It's just not fair on the kids to have the house so cold that it's misty when you breath out. I now need to find four hundred quid to pay for it ... but we can just about manage that and it means that I'm not checking the kids for hypothermia four times a night.
We also came home from Ma's with a large rabbit, which has made a fantastic casserole with mushrooms, potatoes and spinach and some of the ham that we made from the half a pig we got last year. I've got some pictures of the salting process to post at some point, when I can get Ubuntu to talk to my phone.
We have made some decisions regarding moving to Somerset. We are going to try to do it. The next move is to make an appointment to talk to the planners about whether an independent dwelling or an annexe is a more realistic way to go.
On that note, I go in to the Room Of Doom to try and sort out some boxes.