Something odd has happened to the weather these last two days – it’s gone all mild. Warm, even. I’ve had to shed a couple of layers even when I’m just sitting in the kitchen, let alone doing anything more active in the garden. Whether this is spring, or some sort of softening up process before the next onslaught, I don’t know but for now it’s jolly pleasant.
At least, it’s pleasant in the kitchen, and it’s pleasant outside too – although we’re not talking shorts here, this is still Scotland. But the cottage is – like a lot of the cottages round here – built on a sort of railway carriage principle with all the rooms in a long line. The bathroom, spare bedroom, other half’s cave, and kitchen are all in a row and the heat from the rayburn alone is enough to keep them at 18° C. Then there’s a tiny entranceway, and beyond that – in what we’re calling the north wing – the sitting room and beyond that the main bedroom. We can’t open the door from the kitchen to spread the heat into there because it would all go out of the front door on the way. So any heating is left to the fireplace, which doesn’t really do much, and the central heating, which is too expensive and inefficient to run for more than an hour or two a day. The upshot is that we moved out to the spare bedroom long ago, and confine our visits to our bedroom to brief raids for clean socks, and only have a fire when we’re also running the heating, just to take the chill off the rest of the room.
With the milder weather, I started thinking we should maybe move back to our own bedroom and reacquaint ourselves with the rest of our clothes. But I’ve just measured the temperature both outside and in the bedroom. A balmy 11° C on the front step, even out of the sun. And a rather less balmy 9° C indoors. At least, I think it’s 9° . The thermometer doesn’t actually register any lower
If anyone’s living in the tropics, and wants somewhere cool to retreat to in the heat of the day, can I recommend a Scottish stone-built cottage? A bit of a bugger to ship out, and you’ll probably have to hose it down periodically to keep it nice and damp, but other than that, it’s absolutely the thing.