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Life's Challenges Never End

Being retired and staying at home most of the time means making conscious decisions about heating...

Hi there,

I trust you have all had another good week and have not suffered too much in the cold weather or snow. I live in Yorkshire, and the temperature has hardly risen above 2 degrees this week. When I was pushed out of bed to venture downstairs to make the morning brew the last two mornings, the temperature gauge indicated -2 degrees. I have never made tea so quickly in order to snuggle back into bed.

Playing golf this week wasn’t much fun, either. I had so many layers on my top half I couldn’t even swing the club. The only good thing was that I was out in the fresh air and getting some exercise. My wife thinks I’m mad even going to golf when it’s so cold.

Being retired and staying at home most of the time means making conscious decisions about heating. You can’t keep the heating on all day. It’s just not affordable. I don’t know about other people who are at home all day, but we put the central heating on for an hour and a half in the morning, turn the gas fire on in the lounge for an hour or so in the afternoon, and then the central heating comes on again for three hours in the evening. Then it’s early to bed with the electric blanket. All family members are wearing extra layers of clothes to keep out the cold.

What my wife and I have been doing for a change is going to Weatherspoons in town for breakfast and staying there for at least 3 hours so I can write in the warm. Coffee costs £1.35, and you can re-fill as often as possible. We probably have at least 4/5 cups every time, making the cost per cup between 27p and 34p. That’s not bad value for money.

Not everybody is fortunate to have Weatherspoons nearby, but there are alternatives. Go to your local library, join a club, go to an indoor shopping centre on your own or with friends and sit in the social areas, visit a café, go to the gym or go for a long bus ride (as long as the driver has the heating on).

You will have your own ideas of where to go during the day, but wherever you go, you will save on your heating bills, and it’s good for your mental and physical well-being to get out and about.

My heart goes out to those who can’t get out for whatever reason and must remain indoors. Even more difficult decisions have to be made: heating or eating. In this day and age, it is a travesty that we are in such a position. Whatever your circumstance, take good care and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Changing the subject entirely, my heart was warmed by my five-year-old grandchild this

week when she starred in her class nativity play. I felt so proud of this little girl.

Only another two weeks to Christmas. Time to get the decorations up if you haven’t already done so.

Take care and happy reading,


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