Saturday, 19 December 2009

Cold weather


Still waiting for more snow. Now it is supposed to come from the north. I hope this fella and his pals will be taken into a stable at night.
Because the charges for gas are so high these days, everyone in the UK is using it gently for central heating. Shops are selling blankets with arms, and sleep suits, with feet built-in, for adults.
It serves to remind us all how our historical characters survived life in stone castles and miserable hovels in the countryside, with inadequate food and clothing. Times when a young person might be used as a bedwarmer, when old people sat in the inglenook to stay warm. I can remember coal fires, which scorched your face and shins while your back froze in the draft from the door. Going from the heated living room into the unheated hall and kitchen to make a cup of tea was a shivery shock to the system. If you'd forgotten to bring in coal for the fire, then going outside to get more from the coalhouse was a heroes's task - and usually fell to Father. Funny how most of the really nasty tasks still get left to men - ! Waking up to ice on the inside of windows and arctic bathrooms....but at least we had glass in the windows. I suppose communal living in ancient days was one way of keeping warm in winter. Makes me feel glad for the things we have today - thermal underwear and fleeces, heavy jackets and gloves, weatherproof boots and an easy place to get food as often as we need it without the men going out hunting for it. We've a lot to be thankful for in these days of easy living.
But I wish my laptop would stop trying to second guess the word I'm about to use because it is coming up with some odd choices. If I hadn't read this post back, I'd have left the word scorned in place instead of scorched.

1 comment:

Anne Gilbert said...

Jen, I had similar thought a couple of times, right here in Rain City Otherwise Known As Seattle, in some very bad weather, the last few years. One was a windstorm/rainstorm that knocked power out of most places in the city and surrounding areas for varying lengthos of time. Where I lived, we were "out" three days, due to lots of trees falling down on power lines. There was a flood that killed people, too. I was really forced to think about how medieval people lived in situations like that. Then, last December, we had a snowstorm that essentially shut everything down around here, for about a week, the week before Christmas. Again, one has to wonder how medieval people coped, whether they lived in castles or manor houses, or in huts in the countryside. There was a lot more "outdoor" activity then, too, and not just for men, although men, as now, often did the "heavy" stuff.
Anne G