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Hibernation: the on-trend way people in YOUR neighbourhood are subsisting NOW!

With eating, heating, dressing and not being curled up in a whimpering, frostbitten ball becoming nostalgic memories of long-fled luxuries, millions are realising hunkering down in a state of sub-consciousness (aka the operating level of Eamonn Holmes) as their only hope to surviving the winter. So banish all memories of the time Peter Purves picked Tommy the tortoise from his haybox come spring and a leg fell out of his rattling shell (that hardly ever happens), and follow our top tips to smashing it like a snoozy fat-tailed dwarf lemur. Or a cooler animal which hibernates. Like a mite-ridden ground squirrel. Yeah.

Fatten up

Bit of a catch-22, this one; if food was readily available, you wouldn’t be licking Rustlers wrappers out of the corner shop bin and eyeing up another tea of woodchip wallpaper and ennui right now, but to survive a few months blissful dribblefest you need to blubber up like a Primark shopper ambushed by the Krispy Kreme concession. Thanks to the government failing to implement phase 2 of the sugar tax, Sunny D is still readily available if you want to load up on calories, e-numbers banned in 47 countries, and bonus in-bottle embalming fluid. Or it’s a record acorn harvest this year, if you’ve got the strength to see off a few pawsy squirrels and get yourself tanked up on tannin, protein-tastic cankerworms, and- ooh, niacin!

Prepare a suitable receptacle

Hmmm, a cosy box, as sealed and insulated as possible. Well, the fridge is nice and toasty- and, bonus, furry- since you switched it off to save on ’leccy last month when E.ON advised your bill was going up to approximately the annual GDP of a small Pacific island. Per unit. However, unlike Madonna, you will still need to take the occasional breath. Remember when you ordered that single screen protector from Amazon, and it came in a box the size of a Shetland pony? Bingo! Take care not to let any of your unchecked tears dampen the shredded final demands and rescinded mortgage offers you need to fill it with, but just before you climb in, remember you also need to…

Secrete yourself in an undisturbed location

Try staying in a corner of your rapidly cooling, crumbling house, and you’ll be disturbed by a rotating Evildex of busybodies, bailiffs, election candidates, estate agents, and endearingly amateur Jehovah’s Witnesses fleeing rampaging hordes of professional End Of The Worlders hyped up on Prepper podcasts and Snowpiercer. So, somewhere warm and soporific, where you won’t be bothered, provisionally for years on end? It’s got to be the backbenches of the House of Lords; just make sure you’re hunkered down before Sanatogen Friday, when things can get a little last-days-of-Rome-y.

Switch off WhatsAapp

However well jell you’re hoping your neighbourhood group will be by your foresight and cunning, it’s vital not to be disturbed; every time your body is roused from torpor through semi-consciousness to the unstoppable screaming that comes with the dawning, horrific realisation this is reality, and not just a… I remember that stuff- used to come from really big dogs, with udders. Tasted of catsick and Farmer Jeremy Clarkson’s ejaculate. Was last able to afford a Babybel in 2011- dream, you’ll start burning calories quicker than a Tory backbencher through restraining orders. We know this will be the hardest step, but you MUST switch off all webcams and social media. Also don’t write ‘Found myself a great box, about to go down, wish me luck! Hoping to get off nice and quickly’ as your last post- it’s probably not the Twitter legacy you want to leave.

When to emerge- or just don’t bother?

Really, what’s the point? Compared to crawling, hollow-cheeked, blackened-toed and ruptured-spleened, into whatever post-apocalyptic ravaged landscape exists in spring 2023 …even worse in 2033 …you're having a laugh, mate 2187?; the prospect of slow, lingering, semi-conscious starvation seems like the golden time you got to rub up against Frankie Hinkle to ‘Relax’ at the Scouts disco two glorious rotations in a row. Pop in your earbuds, wince that you forgot to cancel SKY, and close your eyes...

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