Welcome to January. It’s dark, wet, and freaking freezing.
Now given the fact that it’s 2017, I am well aware of the inventions of modern-day civilization, namely the blessed metal box god of warmth: the radiator.
But alas, the radiator is only fueled by the fire and power of the boiler, which is in-turn fueled by our utility bill. And while I am no longer a student, I live with two PhD students and I am presently barely employed. So for the sake of financial survival, we have decided to keep our heat turned off for a good portion of each day.
For those of you reading this who have also decided to live with the cold this winter, you might be well aware of how one survives winter without a constant flow of heat. Here are six things I’ve learned to do to brave the winter cold indoors:
Every morning starts with regretting the decision to leave the cocoon of heat that was my bed, then quickly finding the warmest pair of trousers and jumper that I can find. Five minutes later I’ll add a t-shirt underneath said jumper.
Before you know it I’m wearing more layers than is socially acceptable, but at least I will have regained feeling in most of my body parts.
2. All of the coffee and tea
Warm beverages are brilliant all-year round, but during winter months they serve an additional purpose: hand warmers.
And, if necessary, face warmers.
Never-mind the fact that you’re already addicted to caffeine.
Because if you keep the coffee at a near constant flow, chances are your heart will be working a lot faster and your core body temperature will rise–fighting the cold in more ways than one!
3. Socks and slippers
Much like the layering process, the level of coverage my feet get tends to progress according to how hard I’m shivering in the morning.
Socks are always a must, but often the heavy duty ones have to come out.
And if I can see my breath I know it’s a day for fuzzy slippers and coffee combined
There comes a point where you can only wear so many layers. And so, like any sensible money-saving person would do, you start adding blankets to your battle against the cold.
You might end up looking like a polar-bear or, more accurately, an alarmingly fluffy mutant emerging from its multi-layered cocoon of warmth.
But you will be warm, and your flatmates will be mildly amused.
Because science and years of watching the discovery channel tells me that body heat is a perfectly reasonable source of survival.
Good sources of cuddling and extra heat include, but are not limited to: your dog, your cat, your friend’s dog or cat, a stranger’s dog or cat, a significant other, your flatmates. Some of these may have varying levels of success on the quest for cuddling.
I recommend extreme caution when approaching unsuspecting flatmates for a warmth-seeking cuddle session, relying instead on the comfort and almost-warmth of a stuffed R2-D2.
6. Accept your fate as forever freaking frozen
But take comfort in the fact that your heating bill will probably be a couple pounds less than it would have been if you decided to be warm all winter.