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Current: December 2016

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MONTH TWELVE

It's the first of December (and not, as my resolutely mechanical watch tells me, the 31st of November - I must wind it on). Where has this year gone? It seems to have flown by. In January I was worried about the future and having trouble sleeping. Now I have a new job and I fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. I'm still worried about the future, it's just I'm worried for different reasons...

MERCURY FALLING

I got back from London last night and even thought I'd set the heating to come on for a couple of hours each evening while I was away, the temperature inside the house had dropped to single figures. Outside at midnight it was -5°C and the night before, the minimum temperature had plummeted to -8°C. The simplest solution was to fill up a hot water bottle and wrap myself up in the duvet. Although it's sunny outside, there's no warmth to the sunshine. Winter has definitely arrived.

Today I've been working at home, so I felt quite justified in turning the gas fire on for a bit. It provides a different sort of warmth to the central heating system: it's less subtle, more powerful (as is quite obvious from the kilograms of carbon dioxide my smart meter says I've produced so far today). It's a more satisfying warmth than a central heating system can provide, somehow; it might not be in the same league as a wood-burning stove or a real log fire, but it seems to fulfil a primal need for comfort far more readily than a bunch of pipes and radiators does. If I ever move house again, a proper fire will be high up on the list of must-have features of the property.

At this time of year, once the structure of the house cools down, it takes quite a while to bring the temperature back up again - there's a lot of mass to get warm. By lunchtime the outside temperature was still stuck below zero, and the ice on the roof of the conservatory hadn't shifted at all even with a fan heater running in there. I'm going to take this as an indication of how good the double glazing is in insulating the inside from the outside...