I don't know if I've mentioned it before but we don't have the heating on in our house until half term. It is a sort of rule and- annoyingly- nobody in the house except me seems to find it challenging as October goes on and the chillier nights draw in. This makes me feel like a wimp and I tend to just brave it although I've learnt a few little wrinkles to keep me warmer. For anyone who is still managing without heating, this is my advice on keeping warm.
1. Layers- you've heard it before and it is true. Fleeces are also great as is a blanket in the evenings. Marks and Spencer's thermal socks with slippers are indispensable.
2. Warming food- we tend to make casseroles and soups at this time of year. This kind of fare is both warming and healthy as it delivers lots of vegetables and is usually reasonably low in fat. I do also sometime treat myself to crumble and custard which is an instant warmer.
3. Exercise. If feeling the chill, I take myself off to the gym, usually early evening or late afternoon at the weekends. After working out strenuously it takes me most of the evening to cool down. Again, it is not only warming, it lifts your mood and is so good for you. If we could bottle the benefits of exercise it would be a wonder drug - and it can help you cut down on the heating bills!
4. A hot water bottle. One of the pleasures of the colder weather is the comfort afforded by a lovely hot water bottle, electric blanket or best of all a warmer partner to put your icy feet on. If said partner is the one who insists you don't need the heating on yet, be completely unapologetic!
5. Memory. Some of you can no doubt remember a world without central heating and the arctic experience of waking up on mornings when there was ice on the inside of the windows and the fire was not yet lit or had yet to get going properly. As kids we lived in a chilly curate's house in Wales and we used to steel ourselves, leap out of bed then dash downstairs to dress in front of the fire. I never spared a thought for my mum who had had to get up to light that fire. I was telling an older teacher about this once and she said that they had children who rarely had heat in the house and whose parents slapped on a layer of goose fat on their kids'chests to serve as insulation at the start of winter, covered it with brown paper and left them in the same clothes until the spring.
Just be glad we don't live in conditions like that anymore!