I have to confess that 'cold' to us is a relative concept, not meaning snow or frost. Indeed, even our nighttime temperatures rarely go below 8 or 9 degrees C. No, cold to us means heavy rain for perhaps three days on end after the passing of one of our rainless summers, before the sun shines again. Thus, most of us here don't know the meaning of the words 'central heating' but when it rains we feel exaggeratedly chilly and make a great fuss. So it was that my husband instructed me to ask Big Son to return our oil heater which has been on long-term loan to him for the last three years, since he and his family returned to SA from the UK and lived in a flat which suffered from damp. As they also had a new baby, we 'lent' them our tumble-dryer as well. "Tell him," my husband said,"that we are freezing our a......s off here." Further, I was not to feel sorry for them as Big Son had let slip that he had spent £75 on a light for his bicycle while working in the UK last month. So I duly made the request in these very words as soon as Big Son next set foot in my house. Somewhat taken aback, "I thought you gave us that heater", (Big son's memory is short), he agreed to return it. Five minutes later, my telephone rang: my daughter, "Please tell M that we are freezing our a.......s off over here, and can he please give back the gas heater we asked him to look after while we moved house." Shame. I didn't feel I could ask for the tumble-dryer on the same day. I'll leave that until the next 'cold' spell.