Keeping it old school – take 3

Red hot water bottle on a blue cloth

Our younger boy has decided this year that perhaps we keep our bedrooms a little too cool for sleeping. The antidote, I’m glad to say, is extremely simple. A basic red rubber hot water bottle that I’ve owned at least since I spent three cold, damp winter months living in Ireland many years ago. Nothing else warms a cold, empty bed so nicely, and that’s all that’s needed.

Anyone else attached to using a hot water bottle or with fond memories of times past when you needed one? Are you holding fast to any other old school traditions or ways of doing things? I have a confession to make about one slow-living accoutrement that I’ve recently given up (sad to say)…more on that soon.

Here are links to my previous posts on some of the ways that we like to keep it old school around our home, including the post that started it all, about our gorgeous old school bell:

Keeping it old school
Keeping it old school – take 2

22 thoughts on “Keeping it old school – take 3

  1. I have two of these (one up and one downstairs). I’ve had one forever (like at least 20 years), the other is since the girls were born. There’s a very small one too, from England, with Puss in Boots in raised relief on the surface, for which my grandmother made a plush cover out of leopard spot material to mimic my current favourite story book creature of the time, Appely Dappely (a baby leopard). The bottle doesn’t leak, but it is very small, so not often used anymore.

    1. Thanks for sharing about your collection. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mini or under-sized hot water bottle – yours sounds so sweet! I’ve been musing about a cover for ours; at the moment, I just wrap it in a pillow case, but I’d love to make a cover now that it’s in regular use again. Leopard spot fabric sounds wonderful!

  2. Good idea! We rarely turn on our heat, preferring instead to use lots of blankets on the bed. A hot water bottle would really make the bed nice and toasty. I read that in the old days, pioneers would put a hot baked potato in the bed to keep their feet warm, and then would eat the potato in the morning for breakfast.

    1. I love the baked potato idea; I remember reading that in wagons and sleighs they’d use them to keep their feet from going numb. So clever to end up with something to eat afterwards! We’re not so naturally resourceful these days, are we.

  3. Funny – I was just thinking the other day that it was time to bring out my water bottle. In the past, when my husband is not home to keep the bed warm and my cat is out and about, I like to put a hot water bottle in the bed about 20 minutes before I retire. It certainly helps!

    1. It’s definitely nice when the weather is damp too, don’t you find? It’s not like it’s terribly cold here right now, but the damp is very much in the air. I bet a cat could warm the bed nicely; sadly my older boy is allergic, so no cats here!

  4. I’ve never used a hot water bottle — but it sounds perfect! We like to keep the house cooler for sleeping too. Just find that we sleep better that way. But sometimes we wonder about the kids. At their ages, I think they’d just open it up and make a big mess! 🙂 But maybe when they get older. And actually, they haven’t complained, so maybe they like the cool air.

    1. I’m with you; I’d definitely wait until (if ever) your kids complain about it being too cool to sleep. It’s funny, we sprang for an extra-warm duvet for the same son this past year, but all of a sudden he can’t pile on too many layers and he’s loving the hot water bottle. They are easy remedies, and nice rituals, so I can’t complain!

  5. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and it’s lovely to read of others singing the praises of the good old rubber hot water bottle. I absolutely adore them and use them all the time here in the UK. I remember them well from my earliest childhood before the days of central heating, getting dressed for bed in front of an open fire, then cuddling my hot water bottle as I went off upstairs to bed. If I was really lucky, my mum would already have put a second bottle in my bed beforehand to warm it up. All these years later, the smell of the warm rubber still evokes fond memories of my childhood and a nice feeling of comfort and warmth.

    As a child I always felt sad when a bottle became worn out and ended up in the bin, but my mum always seemed to have a replacement readily available. Even after all these years I still don’t like throwing them away, but I found this web-site which gives many ideas for re-using them. http://www.wikihow.com/Recycle-an-Old-Hot-Water-Bottle
    I don’t know how you yourself feel about throwing your old hot water bottles away but I just thought, if you feel at all like I do, you might be interested in putting them to some other use.
    Hot water bottles forever!
    Lesley

    1. Lesley, thank you so much for sharing your reminiscences. I love hearing of memories like these, and to know of another fellow hot water bottle fan. They are so practical and evoke such comfort. I’ve had a look at the link you shared – there are some great ideas there! I love the idea of a waterproof cushion to kneel on in the garden, what a clever idea. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

      1. Hi df and thanks for your kind reply to my comments. I agree with you about the garden kneeling cushion. The next bottle I have to replace has been earmarked for this use. Having only recently adopted the recycling mode with regard to hot water bottles, I’ve so far only re-used one which provided me with a rather cute mouse mat and two small plant pot stands. The left over bits were cut up and used as fire lighters to get our wood-burner going. Rubber burns really well!
        When I was young, my dear old mum always used to say that old hot water bottles were only fit for the dustbin. I’m pleased to say she was wrong! I have to confess to being a bit of an ‘addict’ when it comes to hot water bottles, and it’s so nice to talk to another fan. Please feel free to email me if you think of any other uses for them.

      2. Lovely to hear back form you Lesley. Oh, you are one up on me with the hot water bottle; I haven’t yet had to recycle one, though I suspect the day will come before too long. And now I’ll know what to do! I’ll definitely remember you if I come up with any ideas for other uses. I have a teenager who is phenomenally good at recycling old stuff in his efforts to make dioramas (for tank models that he builds!), and I’ll put a bug in his ear about this.

I'd love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s