A new bedfellow has been luring me under the duvet in this exceptionally cold London winter, promising to make me hot all over.
On a night when temperatures dropped below zero, I opened my forlorn underbed drawer in search of a disused hot water bottle, promptly brought back to action. An addiction was soon developed.
A new night time ritual now marks the end of my days. The application of face cream, hand cream, and eye contour cream in succession is now followed by a surreptitious trip to the kitchen to boil water. At the beginning, I moved around the kitchen in the dark to avoid being seen with my unfashionable bedfellow, invariably ending up burning my hands. Hearing me sneak into the kitchen night after night, my flatmates suspected I must have developed a drinking problem.
To be fair, hot water bottles have made an appearance in shops across the city in this snowy winter, even peeping out of the windows of fashionable ones. Topshop displayed them in a prominent spot between jewellery and bags, categorising them as an accessory. If shops so decree, then the bottle must be a legitimate belonging for a girl. The derided bottle has even become a cute present this season, with lots of varieties to choose from: velvety, fluffy, or plastic – for the hardcore. A colleague who is always cold got two as a gift for her January birthday.
There is more to a hot water bottle than fighting the cold. Plump and warm, it is there to be hugged, kept close to your body all night long. When I wake up the next morning, I’m still clasping it. Unlike a boyfriend, the hot water bottle will not turn on his side as soon as you fall asleep, and will not steal your blanket during the night. It serves an emotional function, prompting sweet dreams. Reliable and available, it is there for you on those lonely, cold nights. It is indispensable for girls with no boyfriend and no double glazing. Compensating like no other for the lack of a man, the humble water bottle is the ultimate pleasure toy.
It’s been only a few years since knitting went from grandma’s pastime to hobby of the movie stars. My prediction is that the hot water bottle will enjoy a similar rediscovery. While I wait and see if I am right, I will keep mine in my secret drawer. Like a guilty pleasure, evidence must be removed after use.