I had quite a shock on Monday morning. I don't know what made me do it, I had no real reason to, but as we were coming back in from Hubby's latest visit to the doctor I checked our meters. I'd already looked on Friday and was a little concerned about how fast the electric was going down so I'd topped it up with the last few pounds in my purse; the gas meter had been pretty much where I'd expected it to be and we'd continued to be careful since then. I had no reason to think that either one of them was in any danger of running out, and yet I checked. Something made me hesitate as we hurried to get back indoors and out of the bitter January chill. Something made me spend that extra minute fighting with the swollen door of the outside cupboard that houses meters and recycling box and gardening tools. Something made me press the little button that lights up the digital screen on the gas meter instead of following hubby eagerly up the stairs towards kitchen, kettle and coffee.
Arrrggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could it possibly be that low? I'd put the emergency on on Saturday evening, which gives us £5 credit. I'd fully expected that to last through until Wednesday; pension day. Last week I'd used the emergency on the Friday and it'd run out Tuesday evening, so it stood to reason that we could make it from Saturday to Wednesday surely? and yet there we were, Monday morning with only £1.12 on the meter. Oh heck!
This cold snap will be the death of me. On a normal week we don't use the emergency at all. At the moment we are putting extra on the meter, using the emergency, and still running out. I'm not sure how though, we aren't exactly being extravagant with the heating :(
So our home is a little chilly at the moment! I never put the central heating on first thing in the morning, no matter how cold it is, if I get dressed fast enough I don't notice the shock ;) besides, it's invigorating, gets the blood pumping! So the last time our heating was on was Sunday evening. We did give in last night and put the little electric fan heater on in the bedroom for ten minutes before we went to bed, but other than that it's been hot water bottles and piling on the layers. We're saving that little bit of gas left on the meter for cooking. We can put up with a bit of cold for a while but not without a hot meal inside us. I'm using the slow cooker as much as I can and saving the gas cooker for making porridge for breakfast, or heating soup for lunch. It may may be that I'm being a bit over cautious as far as that's concerned, but rather that than find we have nothing hot to eat.
Last night was particularly cold, we've had no snow but we did have a hail storm come rolling in about 11pm last night coating everywhere with crunchy white. It looked very pretty. It must be a little milder now though as it rained this afternoon so the white is all gone and we're back to the grey.
The aroma from the kitchen is making me hungry. There are a few sausages, the last couple of potatoes and onions in the slow cooker. I'll add the last of a bag of frozen veg to it soon. Have you ever noticed that the less food you have in your cupboards the hungrier you are? I'm starting to really notice the bite now from this weeks bill paying. I know we did the right thing, paying it off in one go, but I hate to see my cupboards so bare. I'm very glad of course that they were well stocked enough to see us through, but I also know it's going to take me a while to build up those stocks again. It's not like I can afford to just go out and do one big shop and replace it all. Hubby's pension comes in tomorrow but there won't be much of that left for food, there are too many other things that need to be paid out of it.
I had thought we were in for a difficult week, and it has been, but the reality of it is, we're in for several difficult weeks. Especially if the weather stays this cold.