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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Staying warm in Sweden

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. Here's how those clever people in Sweden can still enjoy sitting outside a Stockholm cafe (without a patio heater) even when the weather is freezing. This post is by Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about books and blogs)  

To make sure my family is never tempted to turn on the central heating at different times to the specified 7-8.30am and 6-9pm (I think this what Pete has agreed to), there are four rugs in the sitting room that can be used to drape around the body creating a wigwam of heat. Unfortunately when our dog was younger he enjoyed chewing them and the result is a home that looks as if it has been blighted by giant moths. In the dog's defence, he does look cute when he sticks his head through one of the holes he made...

Wrap up warm
I told this story to my friend Julie on a recent two-day trip to her home, which is near Bath. It made her remember how she'd admired the rugs used by Stockholm cafe goers. To stay warm at an outside table they don't light a gas-guzzling, climate change destroying garden heater. Instead they use a rug that's been left on the back of the chair. When they've finished a smorgasbord of conversation (or more likely, a dagens ratt/dish of the day) they fold up the rug and put it neatly back over the chair. 

What a great idea - why can't more cafes and pubs (never mind home owners with patio heaters) do something similar in the UK?

Over to you?
How do you stay cosy during an outdoor winter picnic?


Karin said...

We sometimes use blankets indoors if there is a cold draft coming down the chimney. I refuse to put the heating above 20C as it makes the air too dry and stuffy. Our daughter often uses a blanket as she feels the cold more than hubby and I, although interestingly she often finds her house-mates have made the house too warm for her liking. I think she also worries about the bills when she has to pay a share.

nicolabairduk said...

Fear of bills has to be the best way of changing non-sustainable habits. Not sure if you've ever tried a chimney balloon - quite useful so long as you are not using your fireplace that often as they are a bit of a faff to put and down. Although I have heard of people stuffing the chimney with a bag of plastic bags - just don't forget to remove it before you light the fire!