Autumnal Traditions

Mark the date.

The heating went on today, the 5th of October.

Not for long, mind. But that’s not the point. We are at the top of a slippery slope leading all the way through winter and feature hours and hours of heat blasting throughout the house.

Today, on what turned out to be quite a pleasant sunny day, I was tasked with the traditional autumn fixture – turning on the heating for the first time in six or seven months to “take away the smell”. Because nothing’s better than the smell of warm dust or whatever else it may be that wafts off your radiators when you first put them on.

It’s like the distinctive smell of a fan heater. It’s like a smell that marks the beginning of the colder months. Autumn might be famous for the change in colour of foliage, but really it’s best known for the smell of hot dust. I’m surprised that Glade – alongside scents such as “open window” and something about a meadow – don’t release a candle which smells almost predominantly of hot dust. And maybe a hint of cinnamon. I’m sure it would catch on.

The one downside of having the heating on was that I was bloody roasting. I’d set it to go for an hour, thinking that would be a decent time to clear all the dust and get the system running again. It seemed like the right thing to do. I lasted fifteen minutes before I was way too hot and had to spend an hour or so with the back door wide open until I attained a normal temperature.

Carole, however, is the opposite of me. She has the worst circulation of anyone, ever. She is incapable of any sort of warmth. So she’ll have the heating on full belt and I’ll be walking round the house in a vest and shorts. And I don’t even own a vest.

So this is where my other autumn tradition kicks in. I have to, on occasion, go into the kitchen and study the boiler. And then, quietly, just flick down a few of the pegs that Carole has flicked up. So that we’re only running the heating for, say, four hours instead of five. I’d love to say it’s because I’m environmentally conscious, or even watching the pennies.

But it’s not that.

I just think it’s wrong to be so warm in October that your balls are sweating.

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