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

News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

    £43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there