Taking Stock - October 7, 2013

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Hasn’t autumn crept up on us?

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are tumbling from the trees and making a bee-line for the path to my front doors.

Wasps have gone from slightly mental to desperately unhinged and, worst of all, most of the best blackberries are gone.

It’s the season for comforting fruit pies, dusting off scarves and domestic tension.

Why the latter?

Well, it’s time for the annual battle of the heating.

I’m writing this with the sun steaming through the windows – well at least the bits of the windows that the semi-leafless Sycamore doesn’t block.

But there’s no denying there have already been a few days where there’s been a nip in the air.

I’ve already cracked out my football match thermals and it’s only a matter of time before I break into the collection of embarrassing winter hats.

But the heating, so far, has stayed off.

I know from the schoolyard there are some folks who have already given into temptation.

Doing so in my house would incur the wrath of My Good Wife – AKA She Who Pays The Gas Bill.

It’s the only thing that does come out of her wages, rather than mine but it does mean she keeps a close eye on the thermostat.

Which is a problem because, given I’ve always suspected I was built for the tropics, (Singapore in August is just about right for me) I like the house to be toasty warm.

Back at our old terraced spot I could get away with it.

‘Doesn’t it hold the heat well,’ she’d say, thinking the neighbours had cranked up their radiators while she’d nipped to the supermarket.

Little did she know I’d been enjoying a good half hour of centrally heated bliss.

I can’t get away with such cheap deception these days.

Instead I’ll be relying on extra thick socks, a selection of eye-wateringly bad jumpers and a hot water bottle shaped like a hippo.

Anything to stave off the moment when we have to flick that switch and start, quite literally, burning money.