Baltic Edinburgh in December 2022

 Wow it has been absolutely Baltic so far this December!   We didn’t do much in the garden over November as I managed to hurt my right elbow (medial epicondylitis) and on account of being paraplegic having to do many transfers, this meant that I over-used my left arm when compensating for my sore elbow, so now have painful left triceps and shoulder.  Harry tweaked his back, and Debs (my garden help lady who comes for 1½ hours per week) also tweaked her back.  We did however manage to plant a tree during national tree week. That is the Royal ‘we’ – Harry did the work while I supervised.  It is a Malus sylvestris Evereste half-standard.  Hopefully if it survives being planted then immediately getting snowed on and plummeted down to -8°C, it should have lovely blossom in the spring, followed by green foliage in the summer and beautiful autumnal foliage in the autumn with crab apples fruits.  This tree should hold onto it’s fruit throughout winter.

We live in an old bungalow which we have tried to draught-proof and had insulating throughout, but it still remains a very chilly house.  At the moment in this Baltic cold spell being around -3°C and under we are really struggling to keep the place warm.  The heating goes on for a few hours in the morning and the same at night and it is costing us around £20 per day and we are still not warm enough.  If we have to put the heating on all day this will easily go to £35 or more per day!  I have an oil heater on in the craft room and the room barely gets to 14°C so I am typing this trying to keep warm with scarf and fingerless gloves, hot-water bottle and a lap blanket.  I am wearing at least 3 layers of clothing and am still shivering.  I feel the cold terribly and I know part of it is from having poor blood circulation and lack of muscle mass.  I also have Sjogrens syndrome which can cause reynaud’s disease where your hands and feet have much reduced blood flow and they turn yellow then blue, and when the blood does finally return to them they are very painful.  It isn’t just the humans feeling the cold but even the house plants are suffering.  So this year I have had to move some plants from the conservatory as it is too cold for them.  Normally I would keep the conservatory just above freezing (around 5°C)
using a greenhouse fan heater.  This year however with the price hikes
and cost of living being so high I dare not put on the fan heater.  Therefore I am not having a nice Christmas display, but instead am having to cover the remaining plants with fleece and hope for the best.  In the coldest of nights we have succumbed to putting a small oil filled radiator on low just to.keep the place form freezing,  Harry and I are just getting over having a cold which was absolutely miserable especially when you just can’t keep warm.  I would have loved to go out and get take some beautiful crisp, frosty photographs but all I could manage was one frosty rose on my way to feed the birds.  If it is like this now and it is only December, then I do wonder what it is going to be like come February when we normally get hit with the real icy cold and snowy weather.

crab apple tree newly planted
Malus sylverstris Evereste

frosted rose image
Frosted Rose

snowy view from the patio
View from the patio

fleece over some plants in the conservatory
Fleece keeping some plants warm in conservatory

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