Or at least that's the case if you're a dyed in the wool old West Country Boy (or girl).
Many a time during my youth did I overhear conversations along the lines of:
'Old Bob's gone on' (gone on means died, just in case you're mistaken and think he's 'gone on the bus' or something equally less terminal).
'Oooooooooooo (deep intake of breath). Well you know what that's down to then, don't you?'.
(The obvious answer would be that Bob was 106 and his time was up but no....)
'Yup, he'd had the Central Heating put in' (you'd think by the way they said Central Heating it akin to Crack Cocaine)
'Yup, said it would be the end of him and it was'.
'Yup. And 'is brother's Aunt's dog's gone on too. That there Central Heating stopped it's heart - the shock - dropped down it did'.
Going by what the old timers believe, the Winter Fuel Allowance is in reality a form of Genocide for the over 60's.
And it's not just death and canine destruction that Central Heating allegedly causes. I have also heard it held responsible for:
- all skin complaints that have ever existed.
- all breathing problems that have ever existed.
- all joint problems that have ever existed.
- all hair loss problems that have ever existed.
- lax morals.
- compulsive gambling (as in 'they got that there Central Heating and that t'internet and the next thing she's on that Foxy Bingo 24/7. Gambled the house. Central Heating and all....).
- infidelity ('well what do you expect? They got that Central Heating put in and before you know it she's walking the floors in her smalls and having men in')
Oddly the one thing I've never heard it held responsible for is Global Warming.
Anyway, I'm staying at my mum's and it's cold. Very cold. She does have Central Heating but to turn it on you need to have started to show secondary symptoms of Frostbite. However she has lit the fire which is marvelous - as long as your sat by it and don't need to move anywhere. Ever.
However, I am attempting to embrace this sensation because come Saturday I'm off to my Mother in Law's house. Yup - the one who lives in Lincolnshire's equivalent of a Tropical Biome and collects figurines so horrific they should come with a blindfold....
Don't worry - I'll blog about it once I get back and have managed to re-hydrate and restore my lax morals.