Thursday, 20 September 2012

Am I Crazy, or is it England?

Okay, it's fall. I accept it. It's officially autumnal outside. The weather for the past 5 days or so has been maximum 15-16°C and lows of 5-11°C.

In Canada, we have these great things called thermostats and central heating. You'd program your thermostat (or just move the little lever-thing at the bottom) to, let's say, 19­°C. . Then, when our buddy thermostat got cold - ie lower than 19° - he'd say to the furnace, "Hey, furnace! Wake up! The house is cold!" and ta-da!! The furnace would warm the house up appropriately - in this case, to 19°.

This is not the case in England, land of radiators, storage-heaters, and poor insulation. Here, even though the house is chilly and you feel somewhat uncomfortable in regular clothes, it is odd - almost looked down upon - for someone to have the heaters on in September. There's this unspoken sort of expectation that we'll just put on another sweater and slippers and just suffer through cold noses and fingertips. Stiff upper lip, and all that.

What is up with that, England?

People have said to me, "But you're Canadian! Surely you're used to being cold!" Um, no. No, no one ever  gets used to being cold. We are just smart enough to turn on the heat. I had a British neighbour last year, who actually said, "It's winter. It's normal to be colder in winter." No, dude, no it is not. It's normal to turn on your heaters, so you aren't  colder in winter! It's not like you're going to win some weird competition with winter by feeling uncomfortably cool in your own home!

And that, my friends, is why I turned the radiators on today. I am Canadian: hear me turn on the heater, and beat winter back.


Sapna said...

I agree--I've only been here ten days , but it is way colder INSIDE the house here than home, for sure. I haven't quite figured out how the whole radiator/thermostat and lack of furnace works over here yet...

Brie said...

BC weather is similar - that wet, damp, bone chilling cold, but I REFUSED to turn on the furnace in September! Same now that we are back in Edmonton. I will not turn it on lol. The fireplace, yes, the furnace, no.