Well winter has certainly made an appearance here in Auckland and already The Greens are calling for Government assistance for those families struggling to heat their homes, one of the prime reasons being to prevent children becoming sick. And a worthy reason it is because none of us likes to contemplate chilly children becoming sicker and sicker. In fact Ms Turei goes further and says that no child should be expected to go through the winter in a cold, damp home that parents cannot afford to heat.
I do so wish she had initiated a public brainstorming session on this issue. I could have acquainted her with the systems in place when I was growing up all those years ago in North Kent where winters could be quite cold. It was no fun at all waking up to find ice on the windows and a stretch of snow six inches thick between you and the outside lavvy, but there you go; you donned your coat and off you trekked. Oh yes indeed, icicles certainly hung by the wall and while Dick the shepherd attended to his nails, milk really did come frozen home in the bottle in the bad old days. I know for sure about the latter because it was my job to collect it from the doorstep.
But I digress because what I really wanted to share with Ms Turei is how we managed to keep warm at least some of the time. It was a thing called `A Fire’ and you used screwed up paper and logs of wood to get it going. While you were waiting for the flames to warm the room because sometimes it took a while I have to admit, you piled on an extra layer, usually in the form of a novel garment called `A Jumper’. It was made of wool and each year before winter set in your mother knitted you a new one and the old one was handed down to a younger sibling.
Oh, and before I go, because I’m sure by now I might be in danger of generating boredom, if you were cold in bed (and often you were), you piled your winter coat on top of the blankets (no duvets around in those days) and you had a rubber gadget called `A Hot Water Bottle’ which you filled of course with – yes, hot water!
I’m not joking – the above measures actually seemed to work!