Whilst visiting my parents at the weekend my Mum suddenly appeared clutching a plastic bag that she had found whilst clearing up the house. Â From it she produced my old hot water bottle from when I was very little. Â I had forgotten all about it but instantly remembered the smell of rubber when clutching it close to me to keep warm when going to bed in the winter in the days before our house had central heating.
This water bottle was made out of blue rubber, and was in the shape of a bunny rabbit with big long ears. Â It was still sat inside its cover, which was made of a furry blue fabric with a picture of a teddy bear sewn on the side. Â The cover was important as it both helped retain the heat for longer, but also stopped the hot water bottle from feeling too hot.
Unfortunately though, time had not been kind to my poor old water bottle, and the rubber had completely perished, separating the head of the rabbit from it’s body, poor thing. Â There seemed little point in taking a picture of it in this state, hence the more generic picture accompanying this post, which I think is a good thing as the tartan covers in the picture are far more evocative of what an old hot water bottle generally looked like.
Seeing this little piece of personal history made me realise how much better we have things today. Â I remember going to bed with several blankets, hot water bottle and dressing gown since we didn’t have any wall heaters in our house for several years. Â These days you take central heating for granted, and generally only need a duvet to keep you warm and snug all night.
Today we also have all these other home improvements such as double glazing, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and so on, which until the early to mid 1980’s were much rarer to find installed in houses. Â With everybody trying to be greener and most houses now having most of these improvements made to them, it does make you wonder how much energy we wasted back then compared to now.
So, does anybody out there still have a hot water bottle that they use regularly?