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Some practical suggestions please!

(74 Posts)
Eglantine21 Sun 16-Sep-18 13:00:01

Four times a year (seasonally) I go to visit a friend. She had some mental health problems several years ago and solved them by buying a small holding in a remote part of the country where she lives very happily with an assortment of animals and visits from people she likes!?

It is a distance from me but fortunately I can fly from my local airport to hers and then a taxi, so it’s not difficult except for the baggage.

Now the problem. Well two really.

Obviously she’s not rolling in money and she won’t take any contribution from me. Up till now I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces before I left the airport but these are luxury things really and I think she needs something that makes more of a contribution to the housekeeping. There is no delivery service to where she lives so getting a supermarket to bring a load of stuff isn’t an option.

Secondly, and more important, I’m beginning to be too old to face the rigours of her life! Last January I did think “I can’t do this” as I tried to wash in the freezing cold bathroom. She only has a wood burner in the living room to warm the whole cottage, she heats a kettle on there for washing etc. I had two hot water bottles in bed and was still cold in the night. We wear our coats in the house during the day.

I’ve just been for a week and she was planning the after Christmas visit.

I’ll take any practical suggestions to make the visit easier. I really want to keep going. She’s such fun!

loopyloo Sun 16-Sep-18 20:07:46

Could you buy her some solar panels to heat the house? As a Christmas present?

Melanieeastanglia Sun 16-Sep-18 21:51:34

Would it be possible for you to take an electric blanket? In order to fit a small one in your suitcase, you'd have to take fewer clothes but it might be worth it.

Perhaps only visit in the better weather.

Your friend sounds as if she's got spirit. Talking of spirits, how about a hot toddy before bed when you visit?

lemongrove Sun 16-Sep-18 22:08:30

You must be a wonderful friend, I couldn’t stand a visit in those circumstances, coats on all day in the house?!
Take small gifts, scotch, chocolate, Damart clothing!
Good luck.?

grannyqueenie Sun 16-Sep-18 22:31:31

What a loyal and good friend you are eglantine, lots of good suggestions here. But I do now have a vision of you being unable to actually sit down on the plane trip due to all the thermal laters you’ve added! grin

jacq10 Sun 16-Sep-18 22:44:03

My DH who lives with acute heart failure and other health problems really feels the cold - has had his side of the electric blanket on every night over the hotest summer we have had for years!! The best buy I have made recently is a heated throw - it's quite warm over his knees without switching on the heating element but when we went on a short break over the summer I took it with us and used it as an overblanket on the bed. He has started using it all the time now when sitting in his chair so well worth the money.

Eglantine21 Sun 16-Sep-18 23:10:33

I appreciate the number of electric blanket/throw suggestions but am reluctant to use electric much because she is so careful with it. Hardly uses it at all really. I’m afraid I might up the bill!

I think I may have made it sound horrendous but I love going there. It’s so mad and out of this world and things like finding the chickens have laid extra eggs suddenly becomes the event of the day!

She’s very happy and not cold ever, at all. Well I suppose she’s a bit cold if she keeps her coat on but it just seems an entirely natural thing to be wearing when you’re there.

It’s going to be fine???

luluaugust Mon 17-Sep-18 09:53:48

We used to visit a friend with a similar way of life and it is wonderful but I think you should book yourself in for March at the earliest, it sounds like she looks forward to your visits but as time moves on you must consider the health aspects. I see you fly so difficult to take very much with you, just wonder if you could do a small shop of slightly less exotic foods and take as hand luggage.

Ivegotnothing Mon 17-Sep-18 14:14:46

I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this is a duplicate....I would suggest a sleeping bag for nights. The ones that you use mountaineering up Everest, like mummy shaped with a hood. They are seriously warm, yet very light to pack and carry...and under normal bedding I think you'd be in heaven. Would be a great gift too!

Theoddbird Mon 17-Sep-18 14:15:23

Thermal underwear is very light weight now. Get ones that go to ankles and wrists. Get her some as well. Before I bought my narrow boat I lived in a small converted cowshed
with just a wood burner to heat it as I do on my boat. I have a heated throw...soft and cosy to snuggle in during the evening. She is probably used to the chilly rooms as I was. I never got colds or flu. Sounds to me as if she has a lovely life. She probably loves your visits so don't stop the winter one...that is when she needs company the most

Chinesecrested Mon 17-Sep-18 14:16:08

Can't you restrict your visits just to the summertime? It must be lovely there when it's warm and sunny.

Theoddbird Mon 17-Sep-18 14:17:28

Oh and electric blankets and throws cost pennies to heat by the way

chelseababy Mon 17-Sep-18 14:26:23

Bed socks and fingerless gloves.

nannalyn53 Mon 17-Sep-18 14:51:29

When I used the train a lot for work I always carried a pack of self generating heat pads in my suitcase in winter in case the train broke down. ( one long wait in the cold and dark wa enough). The kind you buy for backache or period pain - you stick them to your underwear and they warm you up for hours. The other useful item is a heat pad designed for small animals, available ongtge internet. You heat it for 6 mins in a microwave and it stays warm for 8 hours. I realise your friend may not have a microwave though. Good luck.

sandelf Mon 17-Sep-18 14:56:16

Used to do archery outdoors in winter - salopettes, hand warmers in pockets, big shoes/boots and woolly socks, cover head all the time. Dunelm are doing 'teddy bear' bedding this autumn - some might appeal - and be a gift for your friend. And a wee nip may be handy from time to time. Have fun.

willa45 Mon 17-Sep-18 15:34:26

Why not get her a portable electric heater? I know why some people think they're unsightly, but a few years ago we bought one that looks like a small fireplace and has a fake flame. I know it sounds silly, but it is much cozier than a square boxy space heater. We absolutely love it! So much so, we gave each of our adult children the same thing for Christmas. Even our 'snobby' child, ended up loving it. We have a real fireplace in our house, but it can't heat up the entire house and some days are just not cold enough, but cold nonetheless. It's also nice that you can move the heater to wherever it's needed.

I couldn't find the exact make and model, but here's a link to one that is very similar..... (link looks funny, but it works).,eid-ygcnqnyulq&gtim=CP-Rj_6ixIrufxCCoZq__aizmHYYsOafLiIDVVNEKJC0q90F&utm_campaign=102436587&gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OuhK4r6bCTN96V3AEVb3xwfpM7BqVyPhGWRJnWIXlLwKbcW0ZUVxIaArIzEALw_wcB

willa45 Mon 17-Sep-18 15:38:06

Portable fireplace heater........Try this link...,eid-ygcnqnyulq&gtim=CP-Rj_6ixIrufxCCoZq__aizmHYYsOafLiIDVVNEKJC0q90F&utm_campaign=102436587&gclid=Cj0KCQjwof3cBRD9ARIsAP8x70OFYxS7BQTlOA3OHTujqt0XDf5k3KWDFsEcZ-eSjuWEgBJWKvUmd8kaAsaXEALw_wcB

grandtanteJE65 Mon 17-Sep-18 15:59:50

I would tell her as kindly as possible that you love seeing her, but that for health reasons you will have to limit your visits to the summer, as you no longer can stand cold.

If that is not possible take an electric blanket with you and work out in advance how much electricity it uses during your stay, and insist she accepts the money before you leave.

Neither my DH nor I would be able to pay a friend a week's visit in winter in the conditions you describe.

Pinkrinse Mon 17-Sep-18 16:22:18

I’d only go and visit her in August when it’s relativelt hot!

knickas63 Mon 17-Sep-18 16:32:27

Re PaddyAnn's suggestion. My brother, who is clearly similar to your friend, uses this.
Not usre if allowed this link or if it will work. If not - look up Candle powered Air heater.

GabriellaG Mon 17-Sep-18 16:42:38

How about buying a onsie each plus get a parcel sent via Royal Mail or a courier service to her address OR the local PO, if they don't deliver to her home (unlikely).
You could buy a couple of really nice thick throws (one for your bed) and heat up a kettle of water to get washed in, although it won't warm the b'room.
You could purchase a moveable electric heater to plug into your bedroom and when you leave, put some money into an envelope with a note saying that it's 'towards' the electricity bill.
My guess is that she may use it in her own bedroom after you've gone.
Some of them are very cheap to use, pennies per hour so a bit of research online and get it deliverd just before you arrive.
You could also ring or write to her explaining that you are having some surprise parcels sent to her address but please don't open them until you arrive.
How does she wash bedding? A kettle surely wouldn't be sufficient...confused
Anyway, I hope your friend is well and it's good to know that she took steps to help herself. A very wise move and better than buckets of pills.
Enjoy your next trip.

GabriellaG Mon 17-Sep-18 16:45:20

What a mad comment. Do you know how much they cost? If it's freezing up there then there won't be much sun to energise the panels.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 17-Sep-18 16:51:51

A really good duck down sleeping bag and hot water bottle to sleep in. during the day you will just have to keep moving. Are you able to get hold of her bank details and put some money in it to cover the cost of your stay. Just a thought.

CrazyGrandma2 Mon 17-Sep-18 16:59:11

Eglantine21 we regularly receive parcels addressed to our son from Amazon so it must be possible!

Lorelei Mon 17-Sep-18 17:11:25

Thermals, fleeces, warm hoodies, slankets etc are a good idea but I would add that it might be worth looking at fishing clothing - I had leggings and a top that are suitable to minus 10 - I still wear them as loungewear/nightwear indoors when cold. You are a good friend and it would be nice if you could find solutions so that you are able to continue visiting.

oldbatty Mon 17-Sep-18 17:13:38

would your friend like to try a couple of nights in a nearby hotel?