Tonight the house feels cosy.
We've been laying insulation in the loft over the last couple of days. We've bought the thin insulation that is a silver sandwich, with strange types of foam and fabric between the outer layers. It's horrendously expensive, but has the virtue of being easier to handle and less likely to be a nest for furry creatures than glass fibre. It's meant to go on walls and under the roof and in time that's where it will be. For the moment it is lying on the attic floor, like a silver eiderdown.
We've also bought a calor gas heater for the lounge, while we sort out the badly smoking Godin stove. I was in Briconaute (the French for DIY is bricolage and all DIY shops are brico-something) and there it was - the only one among rows of paraffin heaters (which we refuse to have because of the smell). I think it was probably the display model, but no one seemed to mind as we wheeled it away.
So when I came back after the carol service on Sunday evening with Paul and Judy who had given me a lift, I could proudly usher them into our warm lounge. We shed our outer coats and sat on the sofa drinking Tod's home-made scalding hot, sweet tasting borscht.