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Moreen Simpson: We’re all doing everything we can to stay warm

Sadly sometimes fashion must be sacrificed for warmth (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)
Sadly sometimes fashion must be sacrificed for warmth (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)

If I didnae hae the shivers when I caught the Covid, I sure hae them now.

Every day the headlines about our cost of living crisis get more scary.

For example, bosses from energy watchdog Ofgem have warned the gas and lecky cap is likely to soar again in October, with many already facing the shock of twice their normal bill. And inflation has hit its highest for 30 years as prices of just about everything rocket by 7%.

Pay and pensions are now minus 1% compared to inflation. National Insurance is up. No wonder millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.

So, it beggars belief what we’ve just found out about the man in charge of our country’s finances. Albeit legally, Rishi Sunak’s billionaire heiress wife has been avoiding paying about £2.1 million a year in tax by claiming non-dom status.

OK, she’s now done a U-turn and agreed to pay her dues to the Treasury, saying it became clear the situation was “incompatible” with her husband’s role. D’uh?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and wife, Akshata Murty (Photo: PA)

Pity it became clear only when they were “outed”. How could any fair-minded politician take money from the pockets of hard-pressed citizens when he knew his wife was keeping so much from the public purse?

Sunak should have been forced to resign. He may well yet.

I’m one of the lucky ones

Most folk I know have already started their own domestic “Save It” campaigns in a bid to claw back on those hideous energy bills. Some of them vowed not to use their heating until after the summer, but more than a week of snow did for that.

Because my big living room window faces south and acts like a solar panel, I usually leave off the heating until about 4pm

I’m one of the lucky ones. As I’ve mentioned before, for some reason I chose a two-year EDF fixed tariff in 2021, which remains the same until February next year. However, with everyone else on an economy drive, and in anticipation of future price hikes, I’ve been trying to slow down that spinning gas dial.

Because my big living room window faces south and acts like a solar panel, I usually leave off the heating until about 4pm. Woe betide the unexpected arrival of my quine and her brood who – horrified – declare my wee hoosie “Baltic”. Tough.

Have you been turning your heating down or even off in recent weeks? (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

After a couple of hours, when the place is toastie, I switch off again. Ready to slouch in front of the telly, I on my fleecy ‘jamas, woollen bed socks, quilted dressing goon and polar microfibre slippers.

Caught in cosy clothes

Fa needs radiators when yer dressed like Shackleton? And fa’s tae see me? Well, I’ll damnt-well tell ye fa.

Last week, came a ring at the doorbell about 7.15pm – just after I’d layered up. Curses. Neighbours from yonks ago, on their way back to Banff after a family anniversary round the corner from me; thought they’d just pop by. Nice to see them, but black affronted at what I looked like.

Through my mask, I muttered I’d Covid and couldnae invite them in (quite apart from the fact they’d be shrammed in my Arctic conditions). But not before they’d caught sight of my uber-thermal apparel.

Departing, sez he: “Just as long as you’re keepin’ warm.” Sarky sod.


Moreen Simpson is a former assistant editor of The Press & Journal and started her journalism career in 1970

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