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Without an electric blanket, Rab may have to sleep in socks, gloves, scarf and hat

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I’ve been thinking again. You say: “What have we told you about that? No good will come of it. You’ll only get a sore head.”

Well, it’s too late noo. My head is buzzing with thoughts of … an electric blanket. Calm yourselves. It’s not going to happen. I get the same idea at the onset of every winter and, in the end, what do I do? Correct: I pooh-pooh it.

But whence this pooh-pooh? Why do I get this notion and, after spinning it round my brain like a tumble-drier, reject it once again?

Let me explain. Electric blankets and I have history. On paper – or, more practically, under the duvet – they’re a great idea. I used to so look forward to getting to my bed when it was all toasty. I was like a dog in the snow, rolling around and kicking my legs in the air.

Of course, the idea of such bedding is disconcerting. You lie on an electrified sheet which, if done wrongly (ie forgetting to switch it off), could lead to you frying yourself like an egg.

But, no, the real problem came when I read something. Yes, reading. In my experience, that’s almost as troublesome as thinking. Indeed, the two are linked, one setting off the other, usually with disastrous consequences, particularly when the reading material is at the back of a magazine (all right, no need to nod so enthusiastically).

I read that, rather than have your bed, and indeed your bedroom, all toasty when you lob yourself in last thing at night, everything should be cold. It’s completely counter-intuitive and disappointingly like so much on – [checks location on Google Maps] – the planet Earth. That is to say, if it’s good it’s bad.

But there it is. I think the science is as follows. To get a good kip, your body needs to warm up your surroundings, rather than your surroundings warming up you. It’s why a bath before bedtime is good for a decent sleep.

I’ve tried that, and it works, though I couldn’t be bothered doing it every night. Besides, it’s a bit irritating to think that you, homo sapiens, master of the world, is now effectively the electric blanket for the bed. I swear my duvet rolls around and kicks its legs in the air when I get in.

You might also say: “It’s not very manly having an electric blanket.” Unhand me at once, madam! You may have a point, admittedly, but I’m past caring about that sort of thing.

If I can’t get a blanket, I might get some thick socks – for the rugged, outdoor man, ken? – and wear them in bed, because my feet are always freezing. I’m not tall at all but even my pins stretch right to the end of the bed. I don’t know how really tall people manage. Is it time bed sizes were updated?

At any rate, I’m always having to pull my feet back in under the duvet, particularly after icicles form on them. If I can’t have an electric blanket then, as well as socks, I’m just going to have to wear thick gloves, a scarf and a woolly hat to bed. A bit over-dressed perhaps. But, as the words on my coat of arms say: “Better over than under.”

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