Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Cold Inside

"It's so cold my face hurts," moaned McColleague as she returned from the freezing conditions in the Great Hall to the relative warmth of my office.

It is very cold in there. The old circa 1970s storage heaters stopped working a couple of years ago and curatorial debate over replacement heating is still in progress. (For those of you familiar with the Lord of the Rings, Ents make speedy decisions in comparison with those responsible for deciding what light fitting or heating system should be put in place in our historic buildings.) In the meantime McColleague and I plug in electric heaters (and lamps) where we can and put on several layers of clothing before venturing into the showrooms.

"I don't know how our volunteers are going to manage when we open in a couple of weeks time. This cold snap isn't forecast to end anytime soon. They're likely to freeze to the flagstones."

We ponder for a while.

"I'm not lifting the ban on hot drinks in the house," I assert. "Not after the coffee ring on the chest incident."

In the end we decide to let the volunteers keep the front door closed and stay in the Parlour, the warmest room in the house, emerging only to meet and greet visitors as they spot them coming up the path. That and as many trips to warm up in the staff room with a cup of tea as they like should help keep hypothermia at bay. And possibly taking it in turns to wear the Stately Moans fleece (budget restraints mean I can't buy one for each individual, sadly. I'm happy to share mine though, if people don't mind the fact it has paint on it and biscuit crumbs.)

"It's all moot though if the cold snap continues and the drive stays icy."

This is true. The drive down to the house is two miles of twisty-turny, slippy-slidey ungritted ice when the temperatures drop to below freezing. Getting down is a scary yielding to gravity and the patron saints of bobsleigh teams. Getting up is impossible. I spent two weeks back in the January snows dependant on Lovely Warden bringing in supplies over the fields on the Gator and what I could wrestle off the cows in the barn.

"Ah well, it's all beyond our control. Now give us that fleece and I'll go back and finish the bat covers."


Boz said...

I'm sensing a Winter Olympics themed event coming on.. looks beautiful though!

cogidubnus said...

Apologies for not commenting earlier...been recovering from some broken ribs and not spending long on the computer...

Whilst understanding that the issue of heating in the context of an historic building/furnishings/artefacts is probably a sensitive one, I really can't see that a total absence of heating (and consequent risk of damp) is any kind of option!

Presumably it hasn't deterred the bats though!

Nexus said...

I would so love to see your stately home. It just sounds incredible. (I'm in NZ so it's not like I'd stalk you or anything). Would you consider emailing me details of where I could see photos?

cogidubnus said...

Oy...wake up love...April's in soon and we all miss you!

Doris said...

I know, I know, I keep doing this. I disappear for months, then I return and vow to start anew and never leave you again.

All I can say is that things are so very, very busy and so very, very uncertain at the moment I just haven't had the time or the heart to update my beloved Stately Moans.

William Rey Ong said...

Wow. . . I feed cold too!

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