The world over, atleast in the Northern Hemisphere, we are all fast approaching winter time. In some parts, like my home country of Canada, there has already been snow and low temperatures for a couple of weeks.
Now that I live in the UK, three months thusfar, I’ve had a chance to observe how Brits prepare for winter with regards to their winter wear and road preparations.
My Munkie will point out that I am constantly cold in our flat and this is true. I was never this cold before in my old flat in Toronto .. but mind you, my flat was much better insulated. Maybe because Canada has such a plentiful supply of oil & natural gas reserves, we probably use it rather frivolously I am used to having a warm home during the colder months of the year. Or it could be our homes are better insulated because we are used to such cold temperatures and tend to be better prepared .. who knows? I have blogged before how it unnerves me this lack of trees on the South Coast and I think that may be one reason why British homes tend to be colder .. trees are a natural wind barrier and keep the house warm in the winter and the leaves keep it cool in the summer.
There’s also the issue with the fact that heating costs are loads more expensive in the UK than in Canada – so people tend to ration themselves a lot more and keep their homes much cooler. There are government subsidies in Canada for home heating as it is considered a right to have a warm home – landlords have been taken to court for not providing adequate heating (barring any natural disasters). I haven’t heard of such cases here in the UK. Heating prices tend to be set by private companies here, though there is governmental oversight. I can’t speak for all of Canada, but in Ontario the energy prices are regulated and the largest provider is Power Generation – a Government of Ontario Crown Corporation.
So I shiver in my flat – due to poor insulation, leaky windows, and high fuel prices.
With regards to clothing – I don’t have any winter boots with me. For me winter boots are for dealing with snow, not much else. But come late September I saw all the ladies breaking out the boots. Though many of these boots wouldn’t be able to survive 15cm or more of snow, but then the UK doesn’t get that much in general. I’ve seen parkas also worn. It’s about 1C this morning on the South Coast. I wore an autumn jacket, leggings, ankle socks and some mary-jane shoes .. oh and the usual fluttery tunic top. No scarf, no mittens/gloves.
This morning it was kind of cute, for me, standing at Eastleigh Rail Station waiting for my connection that the overhead announcement was with regards to being careful when we carry on with our onward journey as the platform conditions could be icy. I saw loads of road salt, no ice. I think they are overcompensating with the salt .. saw it also where I had alighted to get to work, lots of salt, no ice.