Well, so far this year is turning out to be as absurd as the previous 54.
On January 1st I made the only New Year resolution I actually intend to keep – to finish and publish two books this year. I have not had a day off work since!
Today I intended to shop for materials for the leaf experiment after work because I was to finish at 6 pm. Plenty of relevant shops still open then. However, Boss had two applications for Stimpy’s job and needed me to stay so she could interview them. Okay, I thought, it’s worth it as long as one of them is employable because we could get back to normal working hours again. So I stayed, and neither of the buggers showed up for interview. Many people don’t want jobs, they just want to tell the benefits office they’ve applied for them.
Tomorrow I will shop for materials before work starts. I’m taking no chances this time.
On the plus side, all this work gets me out of the house. Which means I’m at a lower risk of cancer or heart disease, apparently.
In fact, like most smokers, I’m at a lower risk from ‘toxic air’ anyway. Smokers do tend to be big fans of ventilation, as you might expect. At this time of year we don’t open the windows wide but when it’s not actually blowing a gale, there are some windows open. All the vents in the window frames are always open. I’ve lived here for 15 years (the house is under 20 years old) and have had to replace a worn-out extractor fan.
None of it was necessary when we all had open fireplaces. The air flowing up the chimney drew in new air all the time. All those mould spores and volatile cleaning chemicals just flew up the chimney. So did tobacco smoke. Whoosh – gone. Sure, it was not so warm but you know, it wasn’t all that bad really. Frost on the inside of windows was a matter of curiosity, not terror. We wore thick clothes and had beds piled up with blankets and quilts.
Most of all, the air inside the house was almost as fresh as the air outside. Asthma was rare and so were most other modern breathing problems.
Then along came central heating and everyone loved it. Not hard to understand why. Setting the fire in the morning was a filthy chore and was always done in the freezing cold. There was no heat until the fire was lit. Before setting the fire there was the job of clearing the ashes of yesterday’s fire from the grate and apart from a few weeks in summer, this had to be done every single day. In the cold.
The idea of just setting a timer and having radiators warm the house half an hour before you had to get up… well, who could resist?
The only real mistake was getting rid of the chimney. Blocked ones could be brought back into use – won’t be cheap but it can be done.
Houses like mine were built with no chimney so it would be a huge expense to have one fitted now. Probably cheaper to move, but the Gubblement is determined to ‘btring old housing up to Green Standard by… silencing the fireplace and sealing every crack and draught.
So this problem highlighted by the Mail can only get worse.
Except for smokers. We’ll still be ventilating our homes.