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Keeping the cold out online
THE decorations have come down and we're munching our way through the last stringy bits of old bird and drinking the dregs of Advocat. Even the January sales are looking a bit forlorn with sequined party pieces and mince pies looking well past their sell-by dates.
The festive season is well and truly over and now it's time to embrace three months or so of icy weather, Lemsip and red noses.
Few people enjoy the winter, but there are ways of preparing for it and going online is a pretty good way to start.
The first thing to do is embrace winter fashion and whether you're a fashionista or more practically-minded www.damartonline.co.uk is an excellent place to stock up on your winter undies.
Damart has a huge selection of undergarments including everything from girlie vests to passion killing long johns which, as any skier will tell you, are perfect for keeping cosy in winter.
The entire range incorporates Thermolactyl technology to keep in warmth and the online ordering service is extremely efficient and has a helpful size chart to ensure you get the right fit.
Orders are sent out within four days and there is a flat rate of £2 per order, regardless of size.
Another stylish way to keep warm this winter is by copying the A-listers and donning a pair of sheepskin-lined booties.
They might make you look like you're wearing two small animals on your feet, but they're comfy, warm and at least for the moment fashionable.
As they originated Down Under, it's difficult to track down British suppliers, but www.nznature.co.nz will ship to the UK and prices start from a reasonable £70, which includes delivery costs.
Delivery takes up to ten days and there is an online conversion table to help you choose the right size.
Those who want something practical rather than pretty should take a look at www.millets.co.uk, an online version of the high street outdoor equipment shop.
As you'd expect, the emphasis is on performance and there are plenty of styles of jacket to choose from with zips and technical fabrics galore.
The winter sale is now on, so you could snap up a bargain and there's a ten per cent discount for first-time customers.
Apart from clothing, there are other ways to keep warm this winter. www.energywatch.org.uk is a gas and electricity suppliers watchdog and has lots of information about how to get the most from your fuel provider.
There are links to www.saveonyourbills.co.uk, an online search for your cheapest gas and electricity supplier.
For advice on keeping warm for the elderly and those on benefits visit www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/winterfuel. The site explains who is eligible for a one-off Winter Fuel Payment to contribute towards heating costs. Claim forms are downloadable from the site.
And finally, if you want to keep tabs on the weather system go to www.met-office.gov.uk which gives regularly updated forecasts and is crammed full of interesting statistics about what an unseasonably mild winter we're having.