Friday, 15 November 2013


I was watching a feature on the TV this morning about fuel poverty and how many people are not putting their central heating on, or at least not as much as the lower temperatures demand. They are having to cover up with blankets to keep warm.
However, I was struck by the thin clothing one interviewee was wearing (even though she picked up a blanket to cover herself with) as it was just a very thin looking hoodie, probably made from cotton or acrylic and she didn't appear to have much on underneath it!
Now at this time of year, I am either out at work (warm) or sitting at home typing and being too still - unless I'm gardening! No-one else is at home in the day and to have the central heating on just for one person would be a waste of money - so - I layer up my clothing!  
Activity also keeps me warm - hoovering or exercise, dancing etc all work well, but I take a layer off each time Ifeel too hot and put each layer back on as I cool down.

My layering recipe for keeping warm at home goes like this:
First layer: underwear (bra plus knickers) or a vest/boxers for men!
Second layer: some kind of fine-knit long-sleeved thermal vest if you have it (I wear a thin long-sleeved cotton tee shirt), warm wool or cord trousers or thermal long johns under jeans. Thermal socks if you have them, long socks if possible, two pairs of any other kind worn together if you have to! Slippers are essential - choose ones with a good sole and this will keep you a little bit insulated from cold floors.
Third layer: a thin polo neck sweater or a v-neck sweater with warm scarf or cowl (neck-warmer) to plug the gap!
Fourth layer: a warm sweater or cardigan (think Aran, think long!), a hat - preferably knitted and real wool, fingerless gloves or wristwarmers, but if you don't have these, cut the sleeves off an old sweater, double them over (so you have a double thickness tube) and cut a hole for your thumb - that will be just as good!
Fifth layer: this is desperate measures and would need to be easy to move about in, so I choose a gilet, preferably padded with down, but any kind will do. Mine has a fur-edged hood as well and cost £2.99 from a charity shop!
Hats, wrist warmers, scarves and gilets are all very fashionable - so don't worry about looking like a Michelin man! 
Try to make sure your outer layers are wool or a wool mix. Look out for real wool charity shop jumpers - these are a great find and will keep you warmer than any acrylic layers! Old real wool blankets are also sometimes to be found in charity shops (since we all have duvets now) - although these appear to be getting rarer so snap them up quick if you see them!
Drink hot drinks all day and make soup! It really will make a difference!
Last of all make sure at least one of your under layers are tucked into your jeans! Remember your mum telling you to "tuck your vest in!"? It works!
Keep warm and save money!

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