5 minutes away from covering myself in embrocation

It’s the only solution to this intense cold.

Honestly, why did we ever rent this house? The cold reaches out from the cellar and wraps itself around your toes; it seeps through the window glass and sinks into your bones. It’s actually colder inside the house than it is outside a lot of the time. And when you pass the stairs to the attic on your way to your nice cosy bed (the only haven of warmth in the whole place) you can feel an icy draft either sucking upwards as every scrap of heat is dispersed through the poorly-insulated loft conversion, or gusting down into your shivering, despondent face like sarcastic laughter. This house bullies you with the cold. Mr Bones and I spend our nights huddled on the settee, blank-faced and bitter. And forget warming up with a shag – nothing is as unsexy as stripping off in zero degree temperatures. I’ve been sleeping in a jumper every night this week. If the snow continues I may graduate to a coat and gloves.

Curious things are afoot in our lives at the moment; we’re planning a move back down south after spending four years living in the Midlands and it’s stressfully exciting. Mr Bones is in pursuit of a job, being currently in a state of suspense over the outcome of two interviews he had last week. That’s true dedication to family life: my heart swelled with pride as he trudged out of the house on Tuesday morning looking like an Arctic explorer, managing to get down to and around the big town without incident on a day when the news was full of ‘travel chaos’. Meanwhile Baby Bones and I spent a second day admiring the weather from the tropical climes of the duvet. How fortunate I felt.

Of course, by the start of a housebound Thursday my attitude was rather different and I probably would have run naked into the slush if it meant getting a break from being trapped indoors. Thankfully on Friday, just as cabin fever was settling in, a friend texted to say she was going mad and did anybody want to come over for tea and sanity? Spending the day with other mums (and letting our babies hang out with each other) was good for all of us. Baby Bones stopped looking at me with that eye-rolling ‘not you again’ glaze; I stopped tearing out what little hair I have left.

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