Our long awaited and slightly overdue load of logs arrived, 2 cubic metres of hardwood, for £150. For us, that is a good deal as it varies anywhere up to £225 for the same amount. This had no delivery charge so that also helps.
Last year, the bulk of the delivery was of logs cut almost perfectly to fit our small stove. This time, only around a quarter of it was the correct size. DB says he will have to spend many Saturdays (don't know why he has chosen that particular day), cutting them in half or splitting the thicker ones down the middle.
Anyway, 1 hour and 10 minutes after delivery, I had wheel-barrowed them around to him, he had stored them and we had cleared up. We then moved my mini greenhouse away from the window (from which it receives drips during rain and makes a noise) and filled it with kindling.
Hopefully, we have enough newspapers, kindling, pine cones, scrap wood, logs and oil to take us through to next summer. Other than the rain, the weather for the next few days, is not set to be too cold (getting slightly cooler), so we shouldn't need to organise any heating or fires yet.
Our first port of call when cold is more clothing. Then we put on hand warmers. After that, we microwave bean bags. If using all three and we are still cold, the heating might get a half hour blast to take the edge off things. Once the weather turns nasty, the wood burner will be lit mid to late afternoon and we shall stay in the front room where it lives. Cooking the tea takes the edge off the cold in the kitchen and dining room.
Bathing can be a little dicey in the run up to and throughout winter, but generally, we find keeping the door shut whilst the bath is filling (on a timer), fills the room with steam, which keeps us just about warm enough. Once we have finished, the window is opened to vent the room but the door is kept shut. We dive into the front room and dress in the warmth. It's like going back to the 40's and 50's before homes had central heating and all activities took place in the front room - the only place to have had a fire.We have just finished our first year of metered water and used around 62
cubic metres - a huge amount less than before - more saving.
Heating and hot water in winter, is usually on for 45 minutes before 7:30am (when our cheap electricity switches off) and doesn't get used again unless it is very cold. Then it will be on for maybe 15-20 minutes to take away the chill, and so it goes all through the cold weather. Doing this for the first time last year, meant our oil lasted 13 months rather than the normal 6, when the heating used to be on and off all day. That is a huge saving in costs as oil is very expensive and we don't have gas in the village.
Using the heating and hot water less, uses less electricity. Lights are only on in the room we are in and generally our annual bill is around the £330 mark.
Obviously when we have guests, the heating is on for longer but not all day. We like to put it on for them late evening so the bedrooms are warm for undressing. When no guests are around, we undress in the front room then put our clothes on the bedroom radiators, where they are toasty warm come morning. Luckily for us, the few guests we have are like minded which helps no end.