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The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With editor Robyn Wil­lis il­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Cold com­fort in a draughty old house ouse

All right, so it’s re­ally be­gin­ning to feel like winter now.

Get­ting out of bed for work or school in the morn­ing is an in­creas­ingly un­rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tion while com­pe­ti­tion for the best spot on the lounge and best throw rug to go with it is fierce in the evenings.

Even the fam­ily pets have had enough of the cold. Ear­lier this week, one of the cats qui­etly sauntered into the house be­fore I left for work in the morn­ing and set­tled into the one arm­chair that is draped with a sheep­skin rug. And there he stayed for the rest of the day.

But I’m well aware that what passes for winter in Syd­ney is more like spring time in parts of Europe so I’ve been try­ing to make the most of the avail­able sun­shine and warmth on week­ends.

This is eas­ier said than done in a draughty old house.

While the blinds are usu­ally let down on our west-fac­ing house in sum­mer, in winter I’ll draw the ones at the front to let in as much light and heat as pos­si­ble.

This has the added ad­van­tage of watch­ing the sun­light pass through the orig­i­nal rip­pled glass win­dows which I should have re­placed years ago for some­thing more prac­ti­cal — and sound­proof — ex­cept for the beau­ti­ful pat­terns the glass makes on the wall.

On warmer winter days, leav­ing the front door open so that the sun can stream in and up the hall­way makes the floor­boards warm enough to con­tem­plate go­ing bare­foot while find­ing a spot on the front ve­randa sud­denly be­comes a pri­or­ity.

In truth, it’s about the only time of year when I don’t need much prompt­ing to work on the front gar­den, which is now host to a new col­lec­tion of winter flow­er­ing pot­ted plants.

As soon as the sun starts to drop though, it’s time for a hasty re­treat, if only I could get the cat to move over.

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