With National Grid warning that UK households could lose power for up to three hours at a time this winter if gas supplies run extremely low, despite Scotland being a net exporter of electricity, generating enough renewable electricity to meet nearly 100% of our domestic needs, it’s time to wrap up, indoors as well as out as we head back to the 1970s.
I’m not talking 1970s in terms of the groovy ambience of that hipster cafe that’s opened in your neighbourhood where it’s all vivid orange, mustard and chocolate wallpaper, formica tabletops and single origin coffee pomegranate oat milk lattes, although I’m excited for when they bring back orange cheese on squares of white bread toasties and builder’s tea in a proper big pot.
I’m talking 1970s as in “put another jumper on then” and parents suggesting you take a bath with your brother to conserve power. Apart from the obvious need to distance yourself from siblings and avoid unnecessary contact - private displays of affection, never mind public, were discouraged - this would have involved removing too many clothes in our ahead of its time cryotherapy bathroom. With one parent who grew up without an inside toilet and another who didn’t see a banana till she was 12 (not sure how that was relevant but she liked to tell us), sympathy was in short supply.
Only my granny and grandad’s house was a sanctuary of heat with its coal fire that blazed day and night, the endless supply of coal a welcome legacy of his being an ex-miner. I’m not sure it made up for the broken fingers, blue-stained scars that stamped his entire body like a poor man’s David Beckham or the fatal pneumoconiosis, but you’ve got to sound upbeat haven’t you? No-one likes a fun tampon.
So, on the bright side, If you work from home, sitting at a screen for hours at a time, you’re probably already familiar with the brisk five minute walk outside to warm up - just increase it to ten. And invest in onesies and oddies and other cutesy namesyied overprice-ied synthetic head-to-toe garments for the family. The ones with kangaroo pockets, bobbity tails and little ears that make you look like you got lost on your way to a plush party are fun. I’d suggest 100% wool pin you to the bed, planet-friendly blankets, but it seems they went out in the 1970s.