Keeping warm and cooling down in Malmesbury and Uppsala

After a struggle with my conscience, I have invested in a source of direct heating as my flat is so cold at night that it interferes with my sleep. It’s probably environmentally logical to turn the central heating down then as many people like to sleep in a cool bedroom. But for a 75-year-old with somewhat wonky circulation, it’s not a great solution.

I get up at the crack of dawn, or at least 07.30 (perhaps the chasm of dawn…) to collect my acquisition from the local postal point, relieved to find that it’s a neat rather small package and not the elephantine encumbrance of my worst fears. I can get it back on my shopping trolley and don’t have to risk playing Russian roulette with Covid on the bus.

Having extracted it from its casing, I immediately take to it when I discover that the manufacturing company has its UK headquarters in Malmesbury in north Wiltshire. A fine little town around the historic Malmesbury Abbey, where, according to Wikipedia, there is a Daniel’s well named after a monk called Daniel of Winchester, who “is said to have submerged himself in cold water every day for decades to quell fiery passions”. The article also refers to the historian William of Malmesbury (1095-1143), who described how another monk, Eilmer, flew a primitive hang glider from a tower for 180 metres before landing and breaking both legs. It’s not clear from Wiki what his motivations were but presumably not to quell the passions.

After this diversion, I get to grips with the accompanying 70-page Book of Babel, telling me in a slew of languages all the horrible things that can happen to me if I mistreat my heater. It’s not too bad – after a deep breath, I feel calm enough to discover a few words of English tucked away in the manual and even manage to clip the apparatus on to its stand without either breaking it or having this problem dominating my life for a couple of weeks.

I will test run it tonight. It is sufficiently sophisticated that it has a timer (if I can get my head around this in the accompanying Book of Babel), the plan being to run it for an hour or two until I’m properly asleep and then let it shut down.

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