Yes, about an hour after my post last evening, the rain came down and melted the whiteness into a chilling wet grey again. Today the bright, sunny skies suddenly turned dramatically gloomy and hailstones were soon bouncing around along with tumbling temperatures.
It made me wonder what hints and tips we might all share for keeping ourselves, and our homes, warm now that it costs such an enormous amount to crank up the central heating. I've been using the oven rather than cooking on the stove top so I can put a few things in together and avoid too much steam in the kitchen which can soon make the air even chillier as it adds moisture to the air. Then, when I've finished cooking, I leave the oven door open to let the extra heat into the room.
I don't have a hot water bottle at the moment as the old one went all brittle and crumbly, so I'm using an empty squash bottle instead! When I put the kettle on for a cuppa I pour any excess boiled water into the bottle (with some cool water already in there of course to stop it from melting) and park it beside me while I have my coffee.
I think that feeling warm can be aided psychologically too, so I like to light some candles - which do give off a bit of heat of course, but mainly because the flickering flames make me feel cosy! The same goes for incense sticks...I'm burning Frankincense ones just now (very appropriately).....no heat there but the spicy aromas just help to stave away the feelings of chilliness.
Of course, Tara and Thomas are great sources of heat too! Unfortunately, neither of them can be forced to have cuddles and make their annoyance known all too quickly if I try! So, I have to wait for them to honour me with their warm presence.....
.....not sure what I was watching on the box here, but Tara obviously couldn't bear to look!
I definitely find the bath becoming more appealing than the shower on these cold evenings, especially with all the exotic fizzers etc that I got for Christmas. Heather thought it was very amusing when I told her how long it took me to clean the bath after I used the one that was covered with fine red glitter mind you! I was not only warm, but I sparkled as well! They do say that applying a body cream or oil right after bathing is like adding an extra layer of clothing, so that's a good excuse for a bit more pampering too.
Well, I feel quite cosy after thinking about those ways to keep snuggly, but I'd welcome any other good ideas as I do think it's going to keep chilling down for a while longer yet.
I've got the ingredients ready for another of my pasta bakes - you know, the one that I'm still eating four days later! This time, as well as a little steak mince, I have two pork, tomato and basil sausages that I'm going to cut up and add to the mix for a bit of a change - talk about adventurous! I stir fry whatever vegetables I have, as well as garlic, tomato puree and herbs, mix in the cooked pasta and spoon it into a big oven proof dish which I pop into the fridge. Next I make a simple bechemal sauce with a few good pinches of nutmeg, pour it over the cooled pasta mixture and top with some grated cheese before baking for about forty minutes or so. I have to say that the first batch never tastes as good as the seconds, thirds and fourths on consequent days! It's not exactly Michel Roux, but it's tasty and filling.
Tonight is my brain stimulation evening - University Challenge followed by Only Connect. Just about the trickiest two quiz shows on TV so I always feel really chuffed if I do reasonably well! For "reasonably well" read five answers right on UC and three rounds on OC! I'm hoping that I'll tire my brain out tonight so that I'll get a decent sleep after two insomnia filled nights in a row.
Tomorrow is filled with working on more designs and getting as much done as I can before my new stamps arrive and I have to turn my attention to those.
Thanks, as always, for everyone's comments which are always read and appreciated. Apologies to anyone waiting for a reply to an email, but my system is playing up this evening so there may be a delay. Keep warm and stay snug!
PS I managed to get twelve right answers in University Challenge but only one round of a really tricky Only Connect....I did get eight of the missing vowels round right though! None of that will mean anything if you don't watch OC of course!!!