Having just this minute found out that the children's writer Jenny Nimmo lived without central heating until her book sales in America took off about four years ago, I offer the following survival guide to anybody else who is, like us, entering their second week without heating. You only need three things, here listed strictly in the sequence in which they came into this cold, cold house:
1) sunflowers, in my case courtesy of Louette Harding who brought two huge bunches from a place she called "that supermarket", because, she told me, in her experience they have the longest lasting ones. Still casting sun-drenched light all round my kitchen...
2) Jean Shindler's vegetable soup - immaculately cut cubes of potato, courgette, celery, carrots (I think), laden with pearl barley and doused with dill.
3) Pink Martini's debut album, Sympathique, the cover the same sun-baked yellow as the sunflowers, and hot, hot music. Thank you Kasia.