Pros and Cons (by alaric)
The downside of this morning:
Jean woke up about at 2:30am, when I was just drifting off after unwinding with a good book after a late night working, and wailed. I went and picked her up, and she quietened instantly, then fell asleep on my chest as I sat with her. I slipped her back into her cot, substituted her teddy bear for myself in her arms, and went to bed.
About half an hour later, I was starting to drift off again, when she started to wail again.
Repeat this a few times.
Then after a while, she stopped falling asleep on my chest, and instead was playful. But then screamed if I left her alone. Brought her into my room to see if she'd fall asleep being hugged, but just ended up being poked in the face by a curious baby. So we set a DVD playing to keep her entertained in her room, and tried to get to sleep again.
But the DVD finished, so she started crying. I went back and made it play again. This time, she started crying before it was finished.
Tried getting her to sleep in the bed with us again, no cigar.
Eventually, she drops off at about 6am or so. I'd never quite made it to sleep, but I managed to at about 6:30am. Slept clean through the 7:30am and 8:00am alarms to wake up in time to take Jean into nursery and woke up at about 11:30am, feeling a bit grotty. At the time of writing (3pm), Jean is still sleeping happily in her cot (thankfully...).
That's the bad news.
The good news is that the electricity bill came today!
Now, last winter, when we'd just moved in, Sarah was cold, and Jean was cold, and all we had to heat things with were electrical heating and the single coal fire at one end of the (long, thin) building, so we used a LOAD of electricity. Out here in the sticks there's no gas pipeline, and we don't have gas or oil tanks; electricity heats our water, cooks our food, and (apart from the coal fire) heats the house.
The bill for that quarter was based on an estimate. An under estimate. When they got a reading last summer, we ended up with a wopping huge bill, that they said we could pay off in installments, along with our predicted next bill, based on the new estimate of our usage.
So for six months, we've been paying Â£300 a month in electricity bills; half paying off the winter before, half paying for this winter.
So it's a good thing that the bill has come, because it means this period is over. The bill was for fifty pounds; their estimate of our usage, minus what we paid in direct debits. And since we now have draught-reducing and convection-limiting thick curtains over all the windows, have figured out how to convert the coal fire into a blast furnace, and have portable gas heaters, when we send them our meter readings, we're hoping they'll have found they overestimated our usage and pay us back money...
Which will be welcome, as things are still rather tight!