After writing the previous post I had a serious talk to myself and told myself not to be such a wuss. Then I picked up the phone and phoned British Gas to discuss my account (deafness causes me to panic rather at this type of call.) The young man I spoke to could not have been more helpful. In a matter of minutes everything was sorted out, new smart meters were agreed on, direct debits were organised - I ended up very proud of my achievements and decided I had to pull my socks/ankle high tights up and get on with living.
Polar winter on its way next week they say - so I shall pile on extra layers, turn the heating up and go to earth until it is over. Keep warm.