What a surprise! It snowed heavily Sunday afternoon and that’s quite rare these days, as we haven’t had snow in the south of England in any quantity since February 2019, but we’re in the midst of a long cold spell of weather with temperatures well below 0C (32F). That was yesterday late afternoon.
I know those temperatures must seem like nothing at all to those of you who live in colder climes but this is cold for the southern parts of England. And don’t forget our cold is a damp, wet kind of cold, which gets right into the bones particularly when there’s a north wind.
I don’t know about you but while I love the look of snow I’m not over-keen on how it leaves the pavements (sidewalks). We don’t drive into town more than once, or maybe twice a week at the most, preferring to walk in. But the snow was heavy yesterday, so I shall see about walking out today. The thing is as a country we think we have middle-of-the-road, mild weather, neither too hot or too cold. So when we get hot and/or cold weather we don’t know how to cope with it. Consequently, cars get abandoned on snowed out roads as we don’t do winter tyres, gritters don’t go down any of the smaller roads, and trains and planes grind to a halt.
This was taken whilst lying in bed with my morning cup of tea!
My word though, we are so glad we’ve moved as our flat in Lewes is very toasty and warm – it is well insulated, so much so that we hardly have the heating on at all.
Even though the heating is hardly on, or perhaps because of that, I do layer up. If the country doesn’t know how to cope with the cold weather I cetainly do and that means over my bra and pants, I wear a vest, a slip, leggings, and two pairs of socks, then a wool skirt, and two further tops, one thin, the other a woollen sweater or jumper as we call them. I love my skirts and think that in the winter they’re the best protection against the cold.
This one is the first of two skirts I bought at the same time from my favourite charity shop in Kemptown, Brighton. They are good quality skirts from M&S and they wouldn’t have cost more than £10 each.
So I feel fine as the temperature in the flat seems to stay at 20C (68F) throughout the day after half an hour of the heating on in the morning and half an hour in the evening. Yes, we are lucky as the last flat was freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer and all due to its lack of insulation, which is something a lot of housing in the UK lacks.
Because this weather has lasted an unusually long time and is forecast to go on for another week you could be getting Cold Weather Payments of £25 a day. This is a benefit which is given when the weather is below 0C for 7 consecutive days. Well that’s what the weather is like now. And just in case you are not sure who gets this money, the following people on these benefits are eligible:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
It may not apply to you but I wonder if you know people who might be eligible for Pension Credit and aren’t claiming it. Click on this link for a guide as to who can claim this as there are apparently many pensioners who don’t claim it or don’t even know about this benefit and think that because they have have savings, or own their own home they won’t qualify. But it is available to all pensioners who have a low income, and it’s a really great benefit to have if you are eligible as it is the gateway to other benefits which could be very helpful if you are on a low income.
Here’s another shot of the black M&S skirt. I’ve topped it with another charity shop find, the mustard/beige (not sure what the colour is) woollen sweater which cost £5.50. I love its long sleeves
You can see we’ve put our Christmas tree up!
I’m pointing to the oldest Christmas decoration we have. It was bought shortly after my parents came back from India in 1947, so that makes it 75 years old. It’s a miracle it’s survived all the moves we’ve made!
Here’s the other skirt from M&S worn with a very jolly sweater, scarf and beret.
I got all three of the fun pink items from Primark. I know, I know, but I actually won’t criticise this store as for some it is all they can afford. It is rare for me to buy new fast fashion clothes. But I just couldn’t resist the colour.
And then when going out I have choice of several coats. But this one in the photo is my choice for these cold days as it is thickly lined and, just as important, buttons up right down the length of the coat, so it is very toasty.
That’s all for now, but do tell me how you’re coping with the cold weather, I know I haven’t even begun to talk about the cost of living and the price of energy here in the UK. But I’ll leave that for My Other Blog – starting a piece for it right now.
And if you live somewhere cold, do tell how you cope with winter 🙂
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper