The frozen sausage

Stroppy was a cold, cold sausage

I would like to think I’m a pretty simple man.

There aren’t too many luxuries that I couldn’t live without.

Don’t get me wrong, the day someone tells me I can’t have cheese grated onto my beans on toast will be a sad day;

The day the world runs out of tea bags… No, I can’t even finish that sentence.

But there is one luxury, if you can call it that, I absolutely cannot live without; I demand it; I would be more than prepared to throw all of my proverbial toys out of any given proverbial pram to get it.

I can’t stress this enough.

I have to be warm.

My bed, for example, has four layers of thick blankets and a duvet. It is the bed to end all beds. Actually, I challenge anyone who thinks their bed could be warmer than mine to get in touch (so I can tell you how wrong you are).

When it’s remotely chilly, I won’t go outside unless I’m wearing a jumper, a coat, gloves and scarf – minimum. To me November has been chilly so far this year. So, true to form, I have looked good this month.

It’s pretty safe to say that fashion goes out of the window when I want to be warm; the warmest thing I own is a hideous orange and brown-striped hoody. So, needless to say, I wear that a lot. Come to think of it, people probably think I’m a tramp.

I do own other clothes.

So, yes, I like to be warm. I dislike anything that causes me to feel chilly (I’m probably going to be one of those old people who constantly complains about the draft – when there isn’t a draft).

This leads me nicely into the point of this post.

I am chilly. I’m absolutely freezing.

You know that thing that happens to your nipples when you’re cold? Well my nipples have been like this continuously for an entire week. I’m tired. My nipples are tired.

One of the worst things that could ever happen to me is the death of the boiler during winter. But the boiler is dead, or it’s dying. Whichever way you look at it, our boiler is on its backside right now and it’s my nipples that are paying the price.

When we first moved into this house the boiler didn’t work. A man came to fix it, his name was Rod. It turns out his name wasn’t actually Rod but he answered to it for a good few hours so how were we supposed to know any better?

No-name-Rod supposedly fixed the boiler and everything seemed to be going well… Until we decided we wanted to use the central heating.

They (women) say men can’t multitask (apparently simultaneously scratching and burping doesn’t count) and if you believe this then you will agree that my boiler is a man-boiler. It will heat the water, but not the house.

When we ask it to do both it gets confused, makes some interesting banging sounds, and then goes to sleep – refusing to heat anything at all.

We called another repairman, whose name I didn’t actually get (probably Rod) and he ‘fixed’ the boiler. His last words before he left were, “see how you get on with that.” Hours later the boiler broke again – leading me to believe that Rod number two spent an hour replacing, what I can only assume, were perfectly functional parts of the boiler.

So now we’re waiting on another Rod, one who knows how to fix a boiler hopefully.

In the meantime, I’m finding it almost impossible to get out of my ridiculously warm bed in the mornings because we live in a fridge. I’m pretty sure it’s warmer outside. As for the shower, have you ever been naked in a fridge? That’s pretty much what it feels like when I get out of the shower right now.

I might just stop showering, especially if people think I’m a tramp anyway.

So maybe I’ve had problems with the boiler; at the end of the day, I might have to wait a little longer (although I hope not) but it will get sorted and I’ll be cosy and warm again, finding other things to strop over.

It won’t be a cosy winter for those living in fuel poverty.

Most of these people probably have perfectly functional boilers, but won’t be using them.

The latest fuel poverty statistics report suggests that there were 4million UK households living in fuel poverty in 2009. Back in 2001 it affected 1.7million homes. That’s an increase of 2.3million; Quite a cock-up, considering 2001 was the year the government launched its fuel poverty strategy.

On one hand this increase in fuel poverty shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, there’s been no hiding from the well-publicised increase in energy prices. But on the other hand, as part of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000, the government not only has a moral obligation to eradicate fuel poverty, but it has a legal duty to do so.

If I acted against government legislature I would expect to be punished by the long arm of the law. Who will be punished for this legal obligation not being met? I could hazard a guess. Nobody. This sausage thinks that the words ‘government’ and ‘accountability’ need to be associated with each other far more frequently.

Or shall we just ignore fuel poverty and the deepening crisis that numerous governments have failed to fully address?

There are campaigns to end fuel poverty – but in the meantime anyone finding themselves struggling with the bills this winter, or ever, should check out the plug the debt initiative – a joint venture between Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice.

For me, I guess it’s plenty of tea (assuming the world hasn’t ran out) and a hot water bottle to keep me warm until the boiler gets fixed, assuming Rod number three knows how to fix a boiler.

I’m sure a few of you will be thinking that I’m overreacting slightly, but we’ve already established that I’m a skinny sausage – I’m not well insulated!

I need warmth.

How many days until summer?