Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'It's summer – no heating bills, thanks goodness'

In The Red

Okay, I should probably warn you: for the extent of this column there's going to be an elephant in the room. Or, rather, a rhino. Because I am not going to talk about the (whisper it) London Marathon. Nor am I going to talk about my fund-raising. Because the Big Day (aka the marathon, for which I have spend the past six months fund-raising) is tomorrow and, frankly, I'm too nervous to be reminded of it. Also, I've hurt my knee so it's all a bit of a sore point, so to speak.

Instead, I'm going to talk about the weather. Yes, that's right, the weather. And no, not in the sense of "Oh my gosh, isn't it hot? I'm not sure I can run in this weather." As in, "It's summer! Wahey! No more heating bills. Thank goodness. And much, much lower electricity. And days spent in the park instead of sitting in some overpriced café/cinema/restaurant." Summer, as well as being generally better for one's mental state, is infinitely superior to its colder cousin when it comes to saving money.

The one exception to this, of course, is the Summer Holiday. These rarely come cheap – as I learned to my (or my bank balance's) detriment last year when I attempted, folly of follies, a staycation. How naïve I was! Cornwall, it turned out, was lovely. But also, very, very expensive. Accommodation was considerably dearer than it would be abroad, and the cost of driving down made easyJet look like Primark. True, I didn't need to go away at all, but I'd saved up and thought my funds would go further. By day five, my boyfriend had reached the end of his overdraft and by day seven, I was getting there.

This year, however, I'm planning something else entirely: a week on a farm in Spain. It's ideal. Firstly, the nearest town is quite a way away – meaning that if I want to go and spend money, I'll have to make an effort. Also, Spain being the UK's favourite destination, the flights are numerous and cheap. I've managed to find a cottage to rent which, when divided between two people, works out at little more than a hostel but still has its own swimming pool.

It should be a delightful, well-earned break after ... well, I said I'm not going to mention it so I won't. Except to say this: if anyone fancies donating lastminute cash to Save The Rhino, you can do so at www.justgiving.com/alicerunsthemarathon. I'll let you know the outcome next weekend. Wish me luck!

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
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

    Trust Accountant - Kent

    NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

    Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

    Law Costs

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

    SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) - Hertfordshire/Middlesex

    £300 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer (Stored Procedures) Watford...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style