Throw Another Log on the Thermostat: It's Party Time!

'Will the heating last that long?' Maybe it will. A stupendous development has occurred. The price of oil went down a couple of days ago.

The Oil Tank is our Master
The oil tank (for newcomers to the blog, our rented abode is equipped with a big tank of oil for heating and hot water) has some kind of Bluetooth capacity which it uses to scare the what-nots out of us. A little plug-thingy sits in our kitchen and communicates with the tank. There are digital bars on it - like you get on a mobile phone - that show how much oil is left. Every time a bar disappears, we attempt to turn down the heat. This has resulted in a couple of 'phew - that was a close one!' brushes with hypothermia. Fortunately, the local council offices provide free thermometers for the old or impoverished to work out how far away they are from hypothermia. We picked one up. It usefully shows us the likely cause of death for either/both of us if we don't turn the thermostat up.

Hypothermia Roulette Anyone?
'Ideal' is declared to be 21 degrees C (70 F). Well, that's never going to happen, so we ignore that one. 18/65 is our goal temperature. We feel quite smug if we maintain this in the downstairs rooms (there isn't a hope in Hell of maintaining it upstairs. The upstairs temperatures are so depressing that the thermometer is banned from going upstairs. It protests that it has a 'right to roam' but we lay into it declaring that as long as it is under our roof it must abide by our laws etc, etc... it gets ugly.)

The most accessible temperature for the downstairs rooms is 15/60 - 'Discomfort and risk of respiratory illness.' I keep thinking we'll harden up and be fine at this temperature but, irritatingly, it is actually not terribly comfortable. It doesn't help that I have asthma and as soon as I start wheezing, Hubby raises an eyebrow and turns up the thermostat. Lightweight!

Generally, downstairs, we avoid getting below 12/55 - too cold - 'increased risk of heart attack and strokes in vulnerable people,' and so far we have kept the downstairs rooms above 9/50 - 'risk of hypothermia below this temperature.' Upstairs is a tundra. The bathroom hosts karaoke parties for penguins and polar bears on alternate nights (they can never meet or the QI elves would go into meltdown and Stephen Fry would have a dizzy spell.)

Anyhow, I'm babbling, and babble is the enemy of the blog format so I'll get back to the story. The price of oil plummeted so Hubby rushed to the phone. We had called a few days before and the price of a 'minimum drop' had been insanely high. We crossed our fingers. The price had dropped by £25.

'Buy! Buy!' I shouted. Hubby pointed out the money we needed was in my account, so I had to calm down, recite digits etc and, I have to say, the moment lost some of its drama.

Today, we luxuriate in heat. The thermometer has just edged into 'ideal living room temperature' and we are exchanging 'shall you turn it down or shall I?' looks of guilt. In celebration of the blog's great successes over the last week, I'm giving myself half a day - maybe more - of 'I could almost wear a tee-shirt' bliss.

'Hubby: throw another log on the thermostat - it's party time!'

Brian  – (8 March 2009 at 17:56)  

You have had a busy and successful week this week. You deserve the pleasure a warm home can provide...even for half a day. It is amazing how much the small stuff means to us...especially if we should ever lose it for a time.

Eric  – (9 March 2009 at 03:41)  

Wow, everytime I think I have it bad Rebecca, you remind me how lucky I am. I'm sorry to hear about your woes of watching the thermostat or buying oil at the right time, but I hope you keep yourself warm and healthy for a long time. We would miss your good posts should you ever disappear.

Rebecca Woodhead  – (9 March 2009 at 11:19)  

Thanks for the support chaps. It's not that bad really. Plenty to be thankful for. (Happy to have the heat though!)

Angie Ledbetter  – (9 March 2009 at 13:52)  

Reminds me not to moan about our sauna climate most of the year here in the deep south. :)

Pass the chip and dip, please.

Amy  – (10 March 2009 at 14:09)  

Coming at ya from sunny Florida. What's hypothermia? No, I'm kidding. You and I have a lot in common, right down to the two novels and finding a publisher bit. ever need a sounding board, then shoot me a message. Best of luck to you. Found you through BODA newsletter.

Rebecca Woodhead  – (10 March 2009 at 15:43)  

Hypothermia's no picnic but Florida's TOO hot! The first time I ever flew I was flying to Florida and the plane got struck by lightning in a tropical storm! Of course, it was the first time I'd flown so I thought that was normal. The heat in Florida was insane though.

Thanks for the comments.

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