Alan Dee: Cold facts about temperature control

It would be a dull old world if we all agreed with each other, wouldn’t it? Yes, life would be a sight simpler if we could all just put that religion nonsense to one side and try to get along, but whatever obstacles to understanding we are able to remove we’ll always have to deal with our differences.

And the most pronounced areas of divergence, of course, become apparent when the question of sex raises its ugly head.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all confessional and reveal that 50 Shades Of Grey has become some sort of instruction manual chez Dee – I’m talking about the differences between men and woman. Or more particularly, the differences between me and her.

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You’ve probably noticed that the thermometer has been dipping down a bit in recent days. You’ll have dug out your insulating gloves and your scarf, you’ll have commiserated with the neighbours about how warm it still is where they spent Christmas, compared to bracing Blighty, Just me? OK, let’s move on.

Now neither of us is the sort who insists on a home being easily mistaken for a sauna. We were raised to wear slippers rather than pad about the house in bare feet, to put on a jumper before reaching for the thermostat.

But here we begin to diverge. Me, I believe that if you’re lucky enough to have radiators scattered around the house it makes sense, when winter strikes, to have them on – at a nice low setting, mind you – all the time, and then nudge them up to a higher mark in those rooms which are most regularly used.

Well, you’d think I was a proponent of melting down gold bars into the shape of empty soup cans and putting them into the recycling. Her firm belief is that only the room you’re in at any one time should have the benefit of heat, because anything else is sinful self-indulgence.

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I have tried in vain to explain that this means, for example, that bathrooms and bedrooms are approximations of Antarctica when they are actually pressed into service, but she won’t have it.

My only hope is to convince her that it costs no more, and preferably costs a bit less, to have the heat on bubbling away in the background rather than to turn it up to full when you up sticks to another part of the house, and then shiver until it kicks in.

But as I have yet to get her to see sense on the matter of lights – I say it’s more efficient not to keep switching lights on and off for brief periods, she apparently reckons that the Luftwaffe is still circling overhead and that a blackout is the best option – I sense that there will be times in the weeks ahead that my toes will resemble blocks of ice and, if I know what’s good for me, my tongue remains similarly frozen.

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