If you don’t have a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed as Australia heads into the colder, rainier months, I’m begging you to reconsider. Sure, you can wear warm socks or tuck your feet under a human or canine companion. But dogs don’t stay in place, and people tend to shriek “Eek! Your feet are cold!” before rolling over and stealing your covers.
A hot water bottle has none of those downsides, and keeps your feet even toastier. No, I don’t mean a bottle of drinking water warmed up, although that will do in a pinch. We’re talking about rubber bottles designed for exactly this purpose. I’m partial to the wide-mouth ones, since it’s easier to fill them without splashing hot water on yourself, but the traditional red rubber model is fine too.
On an average cold night, I fill my bottle with hot tap water. But if it’s going to be one of those bone chilling, blizzardy nights, I’ll heat up some water on the stove. (The instructions say not to use boiling water, but I like living on the edge.) Be careful pouring the water, then screw the cap in tight. If you have a cute little knitted cosy, put it on.
The cover absorbs any water that dripped onto the outside of the bottle, but more importantly it keeps heat from escaping too quickly. You’ll get the toastiest toes if you roll your bottle up in a bath towel and put it, and yourself, underneath a pile of heavy blankets. It may even be warm in the morning. I like a fuzzy blanket underneath a down doona underneath a regular quilt. Can you tell I am cold right now, writing this? I can’t wait to get back in bed with a hot water bottle.