Thursday 7 January 2010
Essential cold weather kit
No.1: Peacock 'Giant' handwarmer. It's stainless steel and runs on lighter fuel (not so easy to find nowadays, to prevent chavs drinking the stuff, or maybe it was to prevent terrorists using it to blow up planes. I forget. Anyhow, shops un-PC enough to still stock tobacco generally have it hidden under the counter). Fill it up, clip the wick in place and fire it up with an ordinary lighter. There's no flame, just a gentle red glow from the platinum catalyst in the wick. Hey presto, a warm glow in your pocket which lasts at least 36 hours (24 in the standard sized version).
No.2: Stainless steel hip flask. I got this one on eBay for about a fiver. If you aren't such a cheapskate as I am, Purdey's have a nice one at £260. Fill it with home-made sloe gin. My tipple was made by Harriet, our sub-editor (must ask her which recipe she used) and bottled in a splendid old-fashioned flip-top bottle with labels she designed herself too (see below). If you didn't get round to making your own this year, Gordons make an acceptable version, £16 at Tesco's. Hey presto, a warm glow inside that lasts well into the next drive.