Brian's Creative Countdown to Christmas 2022

Day 16,

How to keep warm cold during winter...

I don't know when this first came about, but people have become obsessed/brainwashed with the idea that their home should be 20oc+ throughout winter. Here in the UK, as I recall, there was a push some years ago with some branch of the health service handing out these graphical thermometers that labelled the temperature as "too cold - at risk", "too warm", "just right - healthy" or something to that effect, and around 20oc was shown as the temperature everyone should aim their homes to be.

I am curious about who pushed for the above chart/temperature guidelines... what if it stemmed from a scientific study financed by the energy companies. It wouldn't surprise me.

I have numerous issues with this guidance, lets call it bollocks, but of course anyone that is perhaps old and frail, or has a health condition that puts them at risk when the weather gets chilly is not a target of this rant.

Of course, you dear reader, may also object with "hey, but I like to be warm and comfortable", and of course some people "feel the cold" more than others, but largely I put this down to poor diet, a lack of exercise, and being conditioned to live in a "warm home", and perhaps whilst lounging about in a t-shirt.

I don't mean to single anyone out here, but this was my experience when I stayed with my aunty and uncle for a couple of days (and I didn't expect it to be any different); I immediately felt too warm while they commented on how they prefer to be in t-shirts, whilst I, in my own home, am generally layered-up during winter. I find the same when I step into other people's homes, as I tend to do with my work, and often I've arrived by bicycle so I notice it more so.

The irony was when, with my aunty and uncle, we came to watch some TV together in the evening which included a dose of the BBC's Global Warming Spokes Person that is David Attenborough (and I'm certainly not the first to criticise him - there are many outside of the watchers of the BBC that despise him), with an episode of Polar Bears on Ice, or whatever it's called (Frozen Planet?). With each animal the episode presented Attenborough had to include a dig about how conditions for these animals had become harsher over recent decades due to ice caps melting, yada-yada, and we're awww-ing and feeling sorry for them... whilst sat, in winter, with oil-burning central heating on, in t-shirts... I thought of all the other such people doing similar, being emotionally abused by Attenborough's pitty-talk, basically blaming human beings, while also sat in similar conditions, probably oblivious to the link.

While I don't discount climate change, nor do I choose to sit in a cold home to necessarily save the planet, or ride a bike rather than drive my car each day to save the planet, I do actually think each individual plays their part... even though, according to a recent pie chart I saw, the UK (where I live) accounts for 1% of carbon emissions, while China (for example) is close to 50%.

The UK, like many other countries, is offsetting its carbon/pollution to China, by having such a mass of manufacturing carried out there, so this isn't a fair comparison. But still... if we all bought less crap, that would play a part.

Quite simply, my home will not reach 20oc with my heating on, these mornings I wake up to a temperature in single digits and the thermometer above my computer barely gets above 15oc - I could get my lounge warmer with its wood burning stove, but I can't be bothered to light it every day or keep it lit every evening. I grew up in homes that were inadequately heated/insulated, so I'm quite used to it, but when I consider it I think "Winter is supposed to be cold!" I don't mean sit here actually feeling cold, but that it feels right and ok to feel chilly at times.

During the day I will go out on my bike, and/or start the day with a run. Upon my return I'm always well and truly warmed up, which further avoids me putting heating on. I also eat what I consider to be a good diet, not a bunch of processed "meals" and refined carbohydrates that, again, the masses seem to be brain-washed into consuming; if you're wondering why you "feel the cold" these things could be why. Beyond all this, as I mentioned, I layer up; I'm wearing a fleece at the moment, and throughout the day I have been wearing fingerless gloves along with slipper socks to keep my feet warm. I was amused earlier when my cat meowed at me in the kitchen and I could see his breath, he too is acclimatised to the changing seasons.

I also think, and this has been corroborated by numerous BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show topics on this subject, that there are may homes that simply aren't suited to 20oc heating; they might get mould growth, lack insulation, or the heating system has to be pushed well beyond its range of efficiency; I have a central heating boiler on sometimes and it's always simply at its mid-range setting, rather than maximum and I have no room thermostats.

Some further tips:

Keep yourself acclimatised all year round to the seasons; don't live in a bubble that cuts you off from the reality - the weather changes, this is normal for many areas of the planet.

Don't stay up late; it gets colder during the evenings and night time. By going to bed with the sun, and waking up with it, and getting outside more, will increase your exposure to sunlight and increase your body's production of Vitamin D which is great for your health and overall mood and well-being.

Feel free to share your views with me on this topic!