Alice-Azania Jarvis: The danger with bank holidays is that free time isn't always free

In The Red

Happy Easter! Unlike Valentine's and Christmas, Easter is an occasion which even the penny pinchers among us can enjoy. There's little expected in the way of spending – and what money you do spend is, at least, on only the most important things in life: chocolate and baked goods. So really, there's very little to complain about.

Until, that is, you consider what to do with yourself. Easter may free us from the confines of the office (good), and remove the need to spend money on commuting (again, good), but it also creates a lot of free time to be filled (potentially, at least, very, very bad). All too often, free time equals financial expenditure; avoiding it means careful planning.

But, never mind. This year occupying myself should be rather easier than usual. For one, I plan to spend a hefty chunk of the weekend marathon training. By the time you read this I will, hopefully, have accomplished my first 20-mile run (planned for yesterday, weather allowing).

For another, I've still got some serious fund-raising to be accomplished. The past couple of weeks have seen me become a little complacent. It's hard not to be when you've raised £1,834.70. But I need to snap out of it. As pleased as I may be with that total, it's not enough – I have another £127 to raise if I'm going to hit my online target, plus I was hoping to raise an extra couple of hundred along the way. As I've not got time for another jumble sale, I'm clearly going to have to find a new way of getting money.

Badgering friends is one option, of course. I've yet to kick into proper nagging mode. But if I'm going to gather as much as I really need I'm going to have to do something more significant. Like a cake sale. Or an auction. Or something. I'll be using the weekend to figure it out.

All of which is unlikely to leave me much time to fill. And the small chunk it does, I have plans for. On Sunday I'll be lunching en famille (I'm not hosting, so there's little to be spent there). On Monday afternoon it's a picnic with friends (home-made food + public park = free fun for all). And on Monday evening I'm going to a friend's gig at the Lock Tavern in Camden. Whether out of goodwill or bar-savvy, entry's free, so again, little lost. Which may all add up to make this the best Easter ever.

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