April 20th, 2008

The Central Heating's Bust

I was born in another age. We were reasonably well to do but we didn't have central heating until I was about twelve. Before then we made do with electric heaters and open fires. You moved from hot spot to hot spot through great gaps of cold. And even when you were within the aura of a heat source the side of you facing it would be warm and the other side freezing.

I'd get into bed on a winter's evening and it'd be like slipping between sheets of ice. I had a hot water bottle in a red, knitted jacket. I hardly dared move because the only patch of the bed that was the least bit warm was the bit in direct contact with my body. 

And just as winter could be bone-numbingly cold, so summer was sometimes insupportably hot.  Central heating and air conditioning have blanded out the year. The seasons have become a lot less noticeable. Our homes and offices and cars are climate controlled. Those of us who don't work outside- which is most of us- can dodge the extremes. In the past there was no escape.
You know what? I think we've lost something.