As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:
You probably wouldn't sleep very comfortably with your head in the cooker and your feet in the fridge, but if a statistician came along they'd soon convince you that on average you were comfortable.
Well? How do you feel about your personal finances? Hot or cold? Warm or cool? Or does it all depend where you decide to stick the thermometer?
One of the difficulties of responding to an autumn budget statement is that of arguing from the particular to the general. If you have lost your job recently it is hard to be convinced that things in general are picking up. A mugging victim will be slow to agree that crime figures are down.
Rainy spells are good for umbrella makers. Doctors earn money because we get sick. Self-curing concrete (an invention highlighted on the programme) sounds astonishing, but, if successful, it will force the manufacturers of conventional concrete to change.
So politicians look at the country on average - in general - regardless of who is doing well and who badly.
When I had dependent children I looked forward to the day when I could have more disposable income. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to save but my money earns next to no interest. And anyway, even thirty something children ask for occasional handouts.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
I hear Jesus' words as told by Luke, 'Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a person's life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions.' And I remember that, as we approach Christmas, it is better to give than to receive, nicer to contribute than to moan, and far, far more comfortable to sleep in the bedroom than in the kitchen.