Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'I've noticed a sudden need to switch things on at every opportunity'

In The Red

Have you noticed it yet? No, not the sudden drop in temperature – though that too – I mean the sudden rise in your fuel bill. Actually, I have to say I haven't – though that may have to do less to do with a sudden conservation drive, and more to do with the fact that it's not yet time for my quarterly energy breakdown to pop through the letterbox. What I have noticed is my sudden need to switch things on at every opportunity: the stove (goodbye salad, hello soup), the kettle, the hot water and, of course, the heating. It's that time of year again.

Every autumn, I make the same resolution: this winter, I promise myself, I'm not going to need the heating on. Not until, ooh ... 20 December. At the earliest. Who cares if I'm cold, I reason? I'll just wear layers. Lots of layers. I can carry a hot water bottle if need be. I'll drink herbal tea.

All so well intended, and then – whoops! – we get to mid-November and suddenly my resolve crumbles. Bugger this, I think. It's not worth it. I'm putting the heating on.

And maybe it's not worth it. Maybe it's not really worth freezing half to death for the sake of one utility bill. But it does rather throw my spending schedule off. Every November I plan to start preparing for the next month's festive spend-fest, putting away a bit of cash here and there for good measure, eyeing up the giftable bargains, snapping up cheap booze when I see it, and making lists of exactly what I'm going to buy for whom, before inevitably, giving up and leaving it all until the last minute, while the ever-present in-store reminders make me feel more guilty by the minute.

Speaking of which: I think I may have found a way to get over the horrifying eagerness with which the shops deck themselves out in the run-up to Christmas. Of course, they've been doing it for a good few weeks now. My local Sainsbury's was made to look tardy by waiting until after Hallowe'en; most shops seemed to stick up the tinsel sometime in late September.

Still, I managed – possibly for the first time in my life – if not quite actually to ignore their nauseating enthusiasm, then at least to rise above it. Somehow, and in marked contrast to last year's pre-Christmas rage, I've stopped it from getting to me. I suspect that this won't last.

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

Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits