The twelve days of Christmas 11: “Heating”

You may have noticed that most of my cartoon people have been wearing jumpers recently. This is no coincidence; I’ve spent most of the Christmas holidays muffled up in several layers of wool and my fluffy wolf hat, even indoors.

This is because of our house, most of which we (a.k.a. mum and dad) built ourselves. It’s quirky. It’s been described as a horizontal version of the Burrow, and it’s mostly made of wood and stone. This is all great, and I’m very fond of it, but unfortunately it’s “heated” exclusively by a wood-burning stove, which is generally not lit until the sundown and never really reaches the radiators. The result is a large area of flagstone-floored, french-windowed, semi-arctic living space, and one very small corner of warmth next to the Rayburn.

The other problem with the Rayburn is that it’s temperamental to say the least, and seems to have taken against me. My attempts to light it result in billows of woodsmoke, and things cooked in it follow a trajectory along the lines of “raw, raw, raw, raw, raw, raw, burnt to cinders”. Despite all this, I’m told it’s eco-friendly, and I suppose I wouldn’t appreciate the central heating in my uni accommodation without having experienced a house in which it’s often necessary to wear your entire wardrobe all at once.

Scan 27


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