When, during the last few days ofJanuary, I heard that the keeper’s wife had found her false teeth embedded in ice over night (resembling those prehistoric insects which have been found embedded in amber) I knew that this winter was becomlng pretty rough. I awoke on the 26th to find all the outside pipes frozen, and there was a sullen lake in the bottom of the bath which refused to gurgle away. I have no truck with blowlamps. I wrap rags round thc pipcs and set them alight with the help of paraffin. Then I sit down and await that discreet gurgle and the subsequent rush of water down the plug hole. This system of unfreczing pipes is better than calling the plumber or fiddling around with blow lamps which snuff out in the slightest breeze. But don’t make the fire too big or you may have to call the fire brigade. This method is not recommended for wooden bungalows or lath-and-plaster Essex walls.

Denys James Watkins-Pitchford