Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'I'm trying to make my free time exactly that – free'

In The Red

Guess what? I'm on holiday. Yes, again. I know, I know: it's only been a couple of months since the last one – but then that was the first I'd taken in God knows how long, so I feel like I'm entitled to a cheeky autumn break just this once. And, of course, I'm still here, occupying the money pages, so clearly I'm not entirely missing-in-action.

This time, though, I've decided not to go away. Well, I say decided, but it isn't as though I had much of a choice: lovely as my summertime stay in Cornwall may have been, it hasn't left much money for further travel arrangements.

So not only am I "staycationing" in the UK – but I'm taking in to the extreme: I'm "staycationing" in Bethnal Green, trying to sort out all those things that I haven't had time for, not least getting my house market-ready (that wall in the bathroom still has its hole, and my spare room still its untidy inhabitant).

Still, as budget as my break might be, I can't help but feel that I'll probably end up spending more money than if I was still in the office.

True, I won't be popping down to M&S or (worse) Whole Foods for lunches regularly – but at least being bound to a desk exercises some kind of forcible control over your wallet, with the only things I have time to spend money on being lunch and maybe the odd cup of tea.

Free time (because I'm hoping that I will get some of it, despite the copious amounts of life admin that need be accomplished first) necessitates entertainment, and there are only so many episodes of Come Dine With Me that I can contemplate watching. There are several films I want to see, for instance (particularly The September Issue (pictured below), which everyone else in the world appears to have already taken in).

And it's getting cold which, inevitably, necessitates a little wardrobe re-stocking (just a little!). None of which should occupy me for much longer than a grand total of... er, three days. Either I'm going to have to do a lot of cleaning, or I'm going to have to find a way to have fun for free. And fast.

So here's my plan: to find as much to do for as little as possible. This shouldn't be too difficult. London, after all, is renowned around the world for its free amenities: parks, museums, galleries. It's just a question of how long this can keep me entertained. I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
videoJapanese prepare for the afterlife by testing out coffins
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

Extras
indybest
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

    £35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital