Early Winter Snow And An Upgrade That Got Down Graded

Friday night brought Storm Arwen and a dusting of snow to Manchester. Since Thursday, day temperatures have barely reach 6 degrees and the nights have dipped to minus 2. Then on Sunday it snowed all day. This is not the start I wanted to a more expensive winter, bills wise. I am watching the costs, comparing them to last year whilst knowing I can’t possibly, given the price rises in recent months. Three more small energy providers have gone bust this week. I am still hanging in there.

Heating is rationed to 5-11pm as it’s always been and I’ve been hard pushed to keep it off this last week. I am dreading the meter read on the 12th. I suspect it’s going to be at least as high as last year’s December read, but it’s going to come with a higher price. My only salvation is that I am sticking to my electric light ban. I’ve even had to finish off my dried mushrooms in my oven as they have started to soften in their paper bags due to the colder temperatures in my flat. I hope to save them as they are a valuable resource.

Eating has been relatively low down on my list this last week. Despite being masked up everywhere I go and avoiding humans wherever possible, I still seem to have caught some sort of gastric winter bug, my second in the last couple of months. I suspect so many months keeping my distance have affected my immune levels. It’s a great reason to keep using masks and I have no problem with that.

Some years ago, I lived next door to a couple who lived in a very old-fashioned way. They were a youngish couple with two kids, but they had working fireplaces in their house, no central heating, the original sash windows and wooden floors. They were tough.

They also had a whistling kettle which they used on their gas hob. And from that moment on I have always wanted one. But having dumped my electric kettle and moved onto a milk pan a couple of years back, I didn’t NEED the kettle and I certainly wasn’t going to go out and buy one just for the aesthetic.

And yet I got into a conversation the other day on Twitter about boiling water on a hob and that whistling kettle crept back into my mind. So that evening I posted a request on Trash Nothing and the next afternoon I was driving twenty minutes down to Wythenshawe to pick up a ‘surplus to requirements’ whistling kettle. And it’s beautiful. And it whistles. And it cost me nothing. It may be second hand, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve acquired this year.

But there’s a problem. It’s slower to boil water than my milk pan. So for now, given the problem with energy bills, it’s going to have to sit there looking pretty and my milk pan has been reinstated.

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