It's the time of year when I'd usually be lighting up my multifuel stove at least for some evenings, and I've had a fair supply of logs and smokeless fuel delivered.
No question of going and getting them this year, for one thing, (and that adds a £20 delivery charge: one more little extra for being ill).
But I hadn't thought of in advance was the actual effort it takes to keep a real fire serviced and fed: my energy budget for a solid-fuel stove.
In previous years that would be part of a minimal, unnoticed energy spend. Not now.
Ten minutes removing ash, stacking the day's logs and filling coal scuttle: that goes to two hours, including required rests.
And one hour's allowance every two hours for refuelling activity.
It looks like the fire is going to be for when I'm spending a day crashed out by the fire. Not that that's unappealing.
(Darda toy cars, lower right, were part of what got me through last Christmas)
Time to check the oil-tank level: I'm going to be using more of the central heating than I usually do, this winter.
Money, money, money, must be funny...