Can I Think About Cushions Yet?




Another box ticked.. the bedroom painting is done.

In the end we went for white. It’s bright. It’s modern. And I can add pops of colour with the soft furnishings in due course. New lime plaster absorbs a heck of a lot of paint, even though the first coat was well watered down. Cue much scrabbling around to secure the local supplier’s last tin. But secure it we did and Mike’s done a grand job.

The upstairs rooms are so much lighter in winter. The windows nestle underneath the overhang of the thatch which in summer effectively shields the interior from the stronger light. When (if?) the sun appears in winter the yellow orb is much lower in the sky. Rays of sunlight shine straight in. With every bit of light so precious at this time of year, reflective surfaces serve to bounce it around the room.




The radiators are up. Better yet, they’re even connected.

According to the weather forecast we should expect nights dipping below freezing this coming week. It’s already been pretty bloomin’ cold. Mike had been leaving the door of this room open to let in heat from the rest of the house, never mind that the temperature then goes into freefall everywhere else. Bastion Study to the rescue once more. Door tightly shut. What a blessing it was that my refuge got renovated first.

The problem with winter, for me, all revolves around feeling the cold. It seems to have worsened as I’ve got older. This year, with a slow and deliberate attempt to lose some weight, a layer of insulation has literally disappeared! So I’ve gone big with the radiators. Taken the maximum number from the plumber’s recommended range of BTU’s, added a bit, and then added a whole chunk more again. It’s better to be too hot. Thermostatic valves can always be turned down, happy in the knowledge that there’ll still be more to play with when it gets seriously cold.




With walls as straight as a corkscrew nothing is easy to fit. As well as the Devon pegs used to gain purchase within the cob the builder had to deploy spacer batons behind each of the radiators, scribed to the undulations of the wall. The plumber’s task was no easier, burrowing through joists in the confined space underneath the floorboards to find an invisible route for new pipework. But we got there in the end. Can there be any better sound at the start of winter than water rushing through valves newly opened and the creak, creak, creak of metal gently heating up?




My thoughts have gone back to our trip to Norway last year. With their concept of hygge, no-one does cosy quite as well as the Scandinavians. And it’s hardly surprising. Given several weeks in permanent darkness and temperatures reaching -40 deg C in the far north, embracing winter is not just a matter of choice.

The place we stayed was extremely warm and cosy. Perhaps too warm, even for me. But it’s not just about the physical temperature inside the room, it’s the little touches of detail which create that psychological comfort and feeling of well being, however cold it is outside.




Flickering candlelight and a comfy armchair to curl up in for the darkest of nights




Textural fabrics, fleeces and throws made from soft natural fibres. Hmmmm..




A secluded corner and plenty to read to while the hours away




Could this be the trick for coming to terms with winter?




Got to be worth a try.