Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Remembering Albert House in the winter

We've been in Devon for a couple of days and while we're away Husband turns the heating down, meaning that we arrived home late yesterday evening to a cold house. And, more importantly, a cold bed.

I was sort of warm in bed but not properly and couldn't really warm up. I should have got my dressing gown to put over me but that would have meant getting up so I kept hoping I'd just warm up. (I didn't.)

Anyway that reminded me of when I was a child and would wear more clothes to go to bed than I did during the day to go out. Albert House was an old solid terraced house (or attached as I described it in a school essay once) with the original walls, at the back of the house, being 2' thick. It was a double-fronted house so we had two front rooms. Until I was about 11 one of the them was my great-gran's bed/sitting room, and the other front room wasn't really used at all until we had our first television when it became the television room. 

The kitchen with the cooker, food storage and preparation areas and sink, was a one-storied lean-to with a corrugated iron roof that we called the scullery. The room that we ate, sat, lived in, we called the kitchen, and it was in the kitchen that we had the main source of heat: a coal fire. When we had the bathroom installed upstairs a boiler was put behind the fire to heat the water. Before that we'd relied on a little Ascot heater in the scullery - and a hosepipe from it to fill the bath that was also in the scullery at that time. (Our bath was a full size one by the way: I didn't have to bath with my legs dangling over the edge of the bath in front of the fire.)

I guess my great-gran must have had an electric fire in her room and we certainly had one when the other front room housed the television, but, as I said, the only real source of heat in the house was in the kitchen. 

My bedroom was above the kitchen (and was cut in half to make space for the bathroom when I was in my teens) so must have benefited from some warmth from the chimney but you wouldn't have thought it seeing me going to bed on a cold winter's night. It was a good job I was on my own.

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