Heating the Person and Not the Space Has its Drawbacks

It depends on where you live.

Linda Acaster

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Frosty parkland in Yorkshire, UK, close to sunset.
Mistaken for a snowscape. Local park, close to sunset (3.30pm), Yorkshire, UK. Image © Linda Acaster

I had to smile when I read an interesting piece from Clive Thompson In Praise of the Hot-Water Bottle, which he’d sourced from deep in a cupboard when he fell ill.

Here in the UK, hot-water bottles are in every shop imaginable — the traditional flat rubber bottle, the mini, the long-sausage, and the neck & shoulder-ring — but this is a recent development. When electric blankets for beds became popular, the hot-water bottle fell out of fashion and could be found in only pharmacies.

As the cost of energy has soared and households are turning down their heating thermostats, hot-water bottles have again risen in popularity for exactly the reason Clive Thompson gives — they’re portable and they’re cheap.

However, the big push to “heat the person and not the space” has its drawbacks. Much depends on where you live. Continental northern Europe, as a large part of continental North America, endures cold winter temperatures and deep snows because they are landmasses. The islands of the UK and Ireland suffer from damp courtesy of the Gulf Stream, a wide Atlantic Ocean current of warm water sweeping diagonally north-east from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Linda Acaster

British multi-genre fiction author who haunts historical sites - check out her publication 'Escape Into History'. For novel links: www.lindaacaster.com