It’s over. In a moment of weakness, willpower crumbled; I succumbed.
I feel like such a failure. The resolve not to turn the central heating on ‘til November 1, done for.
I wimped out of our pact, a valiant attempt to stick a chilblained finger up at the fat-cat energy suppliers bleeding the ordinary family dry (and keep the winter gas bills below five figures). All after a hard day’s toil defrosting a chest freezer on Sunday.
Four black bags-ful of bread and supermarket BOGOFFs circa 2005, runner beans, plums and gooseberries from the Great Allotment gluts of 2007 and 2009 and assorted takeaway containers crammed with unidentifiable leftovers that now look like either sick or cardboard, were a salient reminder that freezers of such size and shape are not an economy measure at all.
They are a complete waste of space and money. The bottom 12 inches becomes a trench, a frozen slurry of food you will never eat A. Because you can’t be bothered to dig down to it and B. You’ve forgotten it’s there anyway.
Once every five years, when it is becoming almost impossible to ram down the lid and it’s a couple of months off Christmas, you decide you really must bottom it. And reader, it is a cold, wet, horrible job.
Bent double, hacking off Arctic layers with the ice scraper from your car, your fingers turn blue and lose all sensation. But what doesn’t go numb is that sickening feeling that you are being wasteful; throwing what was once good food away when half the world is starving and recession-sunk South Yorkshire has a rapidly expanding chain of food banks.
Chilled to the bone, I needed comfort. A Morrisons custard tart didn’t hit the spot. Only one thing would provide sufficient succour; throwing caution and soaring energy prices to the winds and flicking that switch two weeks early.
Oh, it was lovely; we lounged like basking sharks in front of Downton. No rugs on knees. No wooly-pullies.
Now we’re doomed, though. After the Big Switch-on, it’s so hard to go back to clock-cold radiators and washing taking days to dry.
British Gas have us over an oil barrel. Them and the makers of black opaque tights (autumn’s inaugural pair, dragged from the drawer on Monday). Try as I might, I can’t winter without either.