When do you turn your heating on?

It’s a British peculiarity to stave off turning on one’s heating for as long as possible. As an immigrant, I am cyclically bemused at this time of every year by ‘heating shaming’. It’s almost a sign of weakness to admit that you have turned your heating on before October, at the very earliest.

Suddenly people who have been complaining about hot summer days become purist about turning the heating on. It’s the weather version of masculinity. Heating is for wimps and freezing in your own home is the height of strength. I have known people develop chest infections but still balk at turning on their heating before mid to late October.

At University, I recall being frozen till the end of October, even when temperatures were in single digits at night before then. This very strange British predilection almost borders on a version of toxic masculinity. Strength lies in numbers – low readings on the mercury.

The machismo of being cold indoors seems to be a type of self-gratification that British people seek. Very odd.

I am writing this blog post while sitting by my fireplace. Call me weak, call me a snowflake but at least I am warm. My version of integrated multiculturalism and British values does not extend to using my fireplace as some sort of ornamental prop without the heat. I would rather take the heat of being shamed for wanting to feel warm.

Go on, turn your heating on and be a rebel.



  1. September 23, 2019 / 10:10 pm

    My rule is not until after the Liberal Democrat conference, but so far I am still doing without it.

    • ambitiousmamas
      September 24, 2019 / 7:48 pm

      Mr Strong Man Calder. Ha ha.

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