Things That Start To Happen When The Central Heating Comes Back On

Our central heating kicked in over the weekend and it got me thinking about the things that start to happen when the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air.

Is it too early to start my Christmas shopping yet? I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy the last three months of the year. There’s Halloween, Bonfire Night, cosy nights in front of the television watching Strictly Come Dancing and the first signs of Christmas are already being emailed to me as well as showing signs of appearing in the shops.

Autumn leaves on a path
Autumn leaves. My favourite time of the year.

I always plan to start my Christmas shopping early. I do the same thing every year. The moment the central heating comes on for the first time after the autumn equinox, I tell myself I’m going to sit down and write a gift list and start asking family and friends what they want for Christmas.

Of course, it doesn’t help when my sister-in-law flatly refuses to tell me what she wants for Christmas because she’s not even going to start thinking about Christmas until December 1st! Blimey, by then I will already have got myself an advent calendar and will have eaten the first of the 24 chocolates behind those doors. I did buy her an advent calendar one year, but she ended up giving it away to a five-year-old. Maybe the chocolates inside weren’t to her taste, but I could have sworn they were her favourite. Then again, maybe it was because I gave her the calendar in October?

I’ve also sorted out the coat rack. Gone are the light coloured summer jackets and in are the warm snuggly woollens and waterproofs. Along with my wide-brimmed hat, which stops the sun burning my pale complexion, my shorts and milk bottle coloured legs have been put away for another nine months. I’ve also replaced most of the bottles of sunscreen with various cures for colds, coughs and flu, although left one bottle out in the hope that we’ll have lots of cold sunny days this winter. Yes, I even burn in the winter.

Holly bush
Holly. My favourite plant.

I got quite excited at seeing my winter clothes again. It was like opening the front door to a bunch of long lost friends. I even cuddled one of my winter jumpers (the one with the reindeer and snowflakes) and whispered to it ‘soon, very soon.’

My socks have also made their first appearance for five months, now that I’m back to wearing long trousers. I caught a brief glimpse of last year’s Christmas socks, but it’s not quite time to bring them out just yet. No, they’ll have to wait at least another week!

Last night, for pudding, we had apple and blackberry pie with custard. For me, this is a sure sign that the central heating has come back on. Gone are the bowls of healthy fruit salads, ice cream or the ‘no pudding for me, thank you’ and in comes the jam roly poly, spotted dick, treacle sponge, all served with lashings and lashings of hot custard. Can you guess what my favourite pudding is? It’s not one that I’ve mentioned.

Emma Bridgewater Holly Teapot
My Emma Bridgewater Holly Teapot. It’s quite rare which means it stays on display all year!

What happens in your house when the central heating comes back on? Will anyone admit to already having finished their Christmas shopping?

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126 thoughts

  1. I am your sister in law. You are FAR too enthusiastic. Hate winter. Hate the dark. Hate Christmas. and on that cheery note…! lol. I do however love your enthusiasm, in a weird way :p ❤ ❤

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    1. Hate is such a strong word, but I get where you’re coming from. I don’t like the heat or humidity of Summer. I’ve always been a big fan of both Autumn and Winter. Maybe because I’m a Christmas Winter baby? 🎅
      My enthusiasm is one of my strongest points…when I allow it to be.
      Thanks, Sacha. No point buying you a Christmas present then? 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, okay fine, dislike! It’s actually mostly the driving that gets my goat. It’s always us, some christmases we have racked up 1000 miles!!!! It’s not a rest and I end up not enjoying it

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  2. What happens in our house when the central heating comes on? A lot of moaning normally – I hate the cold! having said that, I went sailing at the weekend and was cursing that I’d worn long trousers, so I don’t think it’s that cold yet. And, to be fair, there are the up sides you mentioned: Halloween and Christmas.

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    1. More like chilly rather than cold, Graham. The real cold is often reserved for January and February, although I seem to remember it once snowing in May!
      I’ve already got the treats for Halloween (and hoping and praying that nobody calls, so I can have the lot!). 👻

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      1. We don’t worry about waiting for Halloween to get the treats in – that’s why I’m steadily working towards Type 2 diabetes.
        As it happens, for some reason our street makes a real fuss on Halloween, so we have to stock up big time. We are also not averse to dressing up so we can answer the door in costume – vampire, ghost and skeleton spring immediately to mind, and that was just me. We have a steady stream of kids (also dressed up), often with parents (a surprising number of which are also dressed up) accompanying them from around 5pm till after eight. It’s great fun, and a lovely forerunner to Christmas.

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      2. Trouble is, Graeme, if it’s in the house, I’ve got to eat it!!

        Halloween in your street sounds like great fun. I always used to dress up in black-tie and love splattering my white shirt with real fake blood. I’ll have to dig out some photos and frighten the life out of you all.

        I agree. It’s a lovely run up to Christmas. I also enjoy bonfire night, but Toby (our dog) isn’t so keen on it.

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  3. I loved every word of this post. It made me laugh. I turned on my heat when my nose started to run from the cold inside. Kept thinking a few weeks ago I would have given anything for the AC to cool it down to that temp. Now it’s too cold? I LOVE fall and winter but the holidays are work for me. I have to have all my gifts made by Christmas so I have already started now that the many birthdays are done. Christmas baking will start next weekend. My daughter comes and we do it together. I gift the neighbors and friends with baked goods too. Winter clothes are my favorite as I can hide a few more pounds in them which can’t be hidden in summer wear. Cold weather does bring out the desire for comfort foods and a little brandy. 🙂 Yes, I’ve started the little bit of Christmas shopping I’m going to do. If putting it in your Amazon cart counts. 🙂 Have a wonderful Autumn. Thanks for the smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a lovely opening in a comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post.

      How lovely that your daughter also joins you when the Christmas baking starts. It’s things like this that bring people together which we should encourage a lot more of. I love that you also do your gift making over a long stretch of time so that there is no last minute panicking. Leaving it in the Amazon cart? At least you have made a start. Some of us wait until December (when the shops are busier).

      Enjoy the cooler days and chilly nights. At least I can now sleep under the covers.

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    1. Good for her, Andrew. I admire people who do that. It’s the best time to do it, although the sales do seem to start a few weeks before Christmas now.
      I’ve never been to Trecco Bay. Bring some extra layers with you. You’ll need them.

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  4. I have to admit I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I went to Primark the other day and saw all the new winter clothes. Scarfs, jumpers, cardigans, gloves oh my!

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    1. I think some of the shops have had their Winter collections out since August! Always make me laugh when it’s hot and sunny the winter clothes are in the shops, and when it’s cold and wet the summer clothes are in the shops. There must be some crazy method behind it.

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  5. Oh, I so enjoyed reading this post, Hugh! No, it’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas. Such a joyous time of year. I will admit to having purchased mini China tea sets in an Alice in Wonderland pattern for my two of my little grand-daughters. Couldn’t resist! I love your tea pot-I collect Christmas tea pots, myself. We usually enjoy home-made apple crumb pie for Christmas desert, not to mention all of the cookies I bake. Oh, I can’t wait!!! Thank you, Hugh.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I’ve been delighted with the reaction to this post.

      I’d love to see those Christmas teapots. Do you use them? I have a collection of Christmas mugs and plates. Too many of them to ever all use up. However, my niece uses her Christmas themed mugs all year round. Good for her, not so good for her mum (who is my sister-in-law and won’t talk about Christmas until December 1st!)

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      1. After Thanksgiving, I’ll write a post about my holiday tea-pots, Hugh. I display them year-round, and use one or two at Christmastime. They all give me great pleasure. Yours is absolutely lovely!

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  6. I’ve just come back from Barcelona where it was still 24 degrees, so at the moment it’s a shock to the system. I’m not sure if I’m coming or going, but living alone, other than the clothes, I don’t see much change (oh, and winter tyres). I carry on with salads no matter the weather. I’m tough like that…;) (Oh, and I’m with your sister on Xmas. The later the better).

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    1. I can imagine it being quite a shock, Olga, although I do prefer this autumnal weather compared to the very hot and humid days summer can bring.
      Enjoy your salads. I don’t know why, but they just don’t taste the same to me when it’s cold outside. I seem to prefer a big bowl of hot soup.

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      1. Yeah, I hear that. Where I live (Abu Dhabi) we have two seasons. Actually, it’s just a variation of one: hot and dang hot. It does make for an easy wardrobe.

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  7. Sure sounds like you are ready for the cold winds to blow and the snow to come, Hugh. I am enjoying the fall for now. Don’t like to think of the cold weather just yet. I will begin shopping second week of November for Christmas.
    Love to make pumpkin and apple pies, chocolate chip cookies and Portuguese Bisquits for the holiday even though I can’t eat any of them (gluten allergy). Sigh! I can at least enjoy the smells though of them baking! Yumm! I will make a gluten free dessert for myself so I won’t feel left out. LOL! Being from USA I don’t know any of those desserts you mentioned but I do like custard if I can make it with lactose free milk, another allergy.
    I like to make crockpot meals in the winter months, delicious one dish norishing meals. The house smells so good too! I think I am getting into the cold weather mode too! Haha! 😘

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    1. Your house sounds the place to be during the Autumn, Janice. All that homemade baking – wow!

      Those puddings I mentioned are classic British desserts. There are many more. I only have to look at a Jam Roly-Poly and custard and the pounds pile on.

      I love crockpot meals as well. We’ve had a couple this week and they were delicious. I’m very lucky to have an excellent cook for a partner. If it weren’t for him, I’d be living on baked beans on toast!

      Happy Autumn.

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  8. Hugh, this is a wonderful celebration of Autumn and the winter to come! Our central heating was on now and then during the cold summer days (I’m a softie!) but now it’s chugging non-stop and I’m still cold wrapped up in a fleece. Our winter coats made their first appearance last weekend – so snug and the summer outside cushions are safely packed away in the loft. Hats, gloves and scarves also ready for use (I’m off to Sweden next week where I’ll definitely need them as it’s considerably colder!). Yeah, someone else who enjoys early Xmas shopping and each year I’m given at least two advent calendars – one of which is chocolate! I do open on the actual days though. Loved the photo and I’m ready to don my wellies and go leaf kicking – nothing quite so liberating!

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    1. Thank you, Annika. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of Autumn and cosy evenings. The late afternoon light at this time of year brings me up in goosebumps. Strange, I know, but it always has.

      I expect Sweden to be far colder, so you’ll need plenty of layers. And yes, I only ever open one window a day on all my advent calendars. I seem to get quite a few given to me and usually end up buying one for myself. Oh, and did I mention the advent candle? 😃 No? I should have done.

      Have a wonderful time in Sweden.

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