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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!

HurdyGurdy Mon 17-Sep-18 17:13:44

knikas63 - you stole my idea!!!!

make heaters out of clay flowerpost and tealights

oldbatty Mon 17-Sep-18 17:17:52

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

I find this very offensive indeed. I have suffered from depression for years and had a particularly terrifying time post partum. I do not take buckets of pills. Thankfully I have recently been in conversation with a young GP who has helped me a great deal. I also pay for therapy. I didn't ask for depression, anymore than a diabetic requests his /her illness.
Depression is not a sign of weakness or something which can be remedied overnight.
We can't all clear off to the Hebrides or the South of France.

luluaugust Mon 17-Sep-18 17:42:18

I like the idea of the onesie but I don't think breathing in very cold air all night when we are a little older is a good idea, your friend obviously copes well but go in the warmer weather.

Eglantine21 Mon 17-Sep-18 18:13:54

Wow, that candle pot heater looks amazing. I’ll definitely see if we can do that. I think it would really interest her.

She’s very resistant to taking any money. I’ve left little secret stashes before now. Coins down the sofa, that sort of thing.

Still not sure about introducing electrical stuff, not just the cost but it’s kind of going against the way of life she’s adopted.

I absolutely didn’t mean there to be any sneer in referring to her way of dealing with her heath problems. She was overwhelmed by demands at work and the pressure of life and decided to opt out. Not everyone can do that, I know.

And I’m not being saintly. She’s some of the best company ever. It would be my loss if I didn’t go!!

Oh she has one of those old fashioned coppers in an outhouse for washing clothes. Monday is washday. Just like it used to be!

Khironneedsagranparent Mon 17-Sep-18 18:50:40

Could you get a big load of wood delivered as a one off winter treat. That way you could keep fuelling it when you visit. It may help if money's tight. Silk thermals are supposed to be very good too. Your friend sounds like a great character and it would be such a shame to reduce your visits.

JanaNana Mon 17-Sep-18 18:55:03

It sounds like my kind of adventure. I lived in a remote part of Scotland for 5 years and the winters were extremely cold so I can visualise your need to try and find ways to keep warm. First is there a way you could cut down from four visits to three?, but staying slightly longer on each of these to make up for it. Or rearranging the four visits to coincide with slightly warmer weather......bypassing January/February and making your first visit of the year in early March...then doing other visits until November. One way to keep your feet warm in bed is to first soak them in a bowl of hot soapy water before going to bed and straightaway putting on thick bedsocks and having a couple of hot water bottles in bed for at least half an hour beforehand.
Does your friend have any flannelette sheets, you can still buy these and they hold the warmth very well....also a fleecy under blanket (not electric) are good to hold the heat as well.
Using the Royal Mail to send some advance parcels of treats is a good idea...if you are canny and pack carefully you can send a small parcel for £3.95 ( signed for) up to 2 kilos, but does have to meet size requirements as well as weight. Sending two parcels this way is far more cost effective than one larger parcel. The post office have leaflets giving the specifics. A lot of heat is lost from the head so lots of warm hats/scarves and gloves with mittens worn on top really keep your hands warm.....and maybe a few of her favourite paperbacks to keep her going through the coldest weather. Enjoy it all.

GabriellaG Mon 17-Sep-18 19:02:04

The comment wasn't aimed at you so I've no idea why you're taking umbrage.
If you could find a solution to your health problems that meant you could give up pills, I think most people would be pleased.
The friend of the OP has obviously found a solution that suits HER.
I did not infer that everyone should do likewise. Don't be so touchy.

Fearless Mon 17-Sep-18 19:04:49

If you go to a sport shop and buy long johns and a vest intended for skiing, you'll find them much warmer than thermal underwear from other shops. This is what I wore when we had no heating one year, 11 degrees C downstairs and 4 degrees upstairs and I hate to be cold but these kept me lovely and snug.

GabriellaG Mon 17-Sep-18 19:05:38

Sorry to say that you're wrong about most heat being lost through the head. That was disproved years ago as a fallacy.

oldbatty Mon 17-Sep-18 19:40:18

I don't care about taking pills, why should I? They keep me well. There isn't some sort of hierarchy where medication, or buckets of pills , is the bottom of the pile.

As for don't be so touchy, that's just plain rude.

GabriellaG Mon 17-Sep-18 20:16:02

Your response indicates that you are indeed touchy. If saying that, is 'rude' then lord knows what some of the language on here is deemed to be.
I recommend a glass of whatever or a chill pill. wink

oldbatty Mon 17-Sep-18 20:21:40

This is a thread about somebody visiting her friend and I hope she has a great time and takes her thermals. So I will not selfishly make it about me.

To suggest that somebody can adopt an alternative lifestyle or take buckets of pills to help cope with depression reveals at best, a lack of empathy.

elfies Mon 17-Sep-18 20:54:03

Please forgive me , but could your friends home be cold because she tries to economise on electric and heating.
If she is , then electric throws and blankets might not be too useful.
You sound a lovely friend , and so does she. Enjoy each others company , just pack lots of thermals and warm clothes .

MissAdventure Mon 17-Sep-18 21:20:21

It sounds lovely!
I'd really enjoy staying somewhere like your friends house. smile

lemongrove Mon 17-Sep-18 21:28:20

I second the idea from the poster who mentioned Dunelm and the teddy bear bedding.It’s a soft slightly furry material, very warm and easy to wash and dry.I have a throw and a cushion in it, so cosy.

lottagelady Mon 17-Sep-18 21:52:55

She sounds absolutely delightful! I wish I could come too!

I also do not feel the cold and although I am pretty unwell/disabled in quite a number of ways, I too sleep in the depths of winter (I sleep in the kitchen bizarrely in a riser recliner as I am so much more comfortable than in a bed) with my door open, and like her, do not get colds or flu at all, not for over a decade now - last winter there seemed to be a very nasty viral thing that went around flattening everyone, except me! If I thought about it hard enough I could have had a very mild sniffle whilst all around me were moaning and groaning! Reminiscent of those TB hospitals where they were all out in their beds on the verandahs in all weathers!

I agree with not getting stuff that uses electricity, but a trip to an 'outdoorsy' type of shop and I reckon you will find plenty of ideas - yes you can change the address on Amazon, so get your stuff online and send it to yourself at her house .... jib done and have a smashing time! xx

SueDonim Mon 17-Sep-18 22:17:07

I saw something today that might be your dream solution, Eglantine. It's a hip flask that holds three pints of spirits! It might not make you any warmer but I think you'll be 'comfortably numb' if you take that with you. grin

Eglantine21 Mon 17-Sep-18 23:09:35

grin ???‍♀️??

Shizam Tue 18-Sep-18 01:27:52

Yes to sleeping bags, hand warming gear.. Head gear too.
No to Amazon purchases, if you can. Please support smaller suppliers. Who pay taxes. It does help. Thank you!

JustAGodmother Tue 18-Sep-18 02:41:21

A HUGE +1 for the heated cozee home heated throw - we live in the wilds of Scotland and yes, our heating does work - but we still have two of these for those horrid days

JustAGodmother Tue 18-Sep-18 02:49:15

I should mention they use almost no electricity - something like the same as a 60W lightbulb for an hour for 24 hours use and honestly you turn them off after an hour

kitnsimon Tue 18-Sep-18 06:08:47

Ocado is a brilliant delivery service and will deliver to any address. They carry a huge amount of stock , if you cannot find something elsewhere you can be assured Ocado will have it !!!

SueDonim Tue 18-Sep-18 11:45:47

Sadly, Kitnsimon Ocado don't deliver everywhere. Or at least, not to my address and I doubt I'm the only person that can't get their deliveries.