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"So, welcome to 2012. A  New Year awaits us all, clean and sparkling like fresh-fallen snow. All ready for us to mess up and make grubby with our hideous, dirty little habits. The desire for a new start after the wallowing and indulgences of the festive season is entirely human and understandable. Self-determinism is a 21st century orthodoxy, and the belief in physical self-improvement has taken the place of examination of the soul. And therefore, we have New Year’s Resolutions, an enterprise doomed to failure from the outset. We all know this. The gyms will see wild swellings in their memberships in January,only to experience the disappointment of  flaccid fallings-off in March, pristine  running machines will soon appear on Freecycle, costly  electronic cigarettes and Nicotine patches shortly to be shameful secrets in the back of the bathroom cabinet. We vow to give things up which are dear to us; cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate, fighting with our loved ones. We are going to be better people, nicer people,who are  fitter, and more pleasing to behold.

I say we. I mean you. I'm not. I am too old ,too jaded, and I have seen too much, for any such fantasy to have any appeal. I don’t usually  make any resolutions at New Year. I will not collude with any of the bossy-boots in print or elsewhere, who produce sets of figures and scaremongering headlines which are intended to frighten us into behaving ourselves. Anyone who isn’t a unicellular organism knows that smoking, unlimited drinking, gluttony, laziness and unprincipled lust ,will, when taken up too enthusiastically,  lead to disaster. What I object to is the modern notion that if one forgoes these things and drinks enough beetroot and wheatgrass, one will not die at all.

There was quite a heartening report in the news yesterday, though, saying that giving up booze in January, as many people do, is worse than useless. Huzzah! Apparently it just puzzles your organs,particularly the pancreas. And a puzzled pancreas is not a happy pancreas. There was some more stuff further down about units and not drinking all the time, ( Boo!)  but I didn’t bother reading that in case it vexed both  me and my pancreas. Selective reading of medical research reports is the key to a tranquil life. Also, why set oneself up for failure and disappointment, when  life will provide both of those things effortlessly and  in sufficient quantities throughout the coming year? So I have decided that, to give myself a psychological boost, I shall be giving up things that I do not do, have never done, and that will consequently be no hardship whatsoever to abjure.

They will include the following;

  • Country Dancing (any country, including Lapland, since I hear that Lapp-Dancing has now become unaccountably popular).
  • Ski-ing Holidays ( I can be wet, cold, impoverished, and acquire minor abrasions quite well enough at home)
  • Chess ( unbearably slow and interferes with inconsequential chatter)
  • Swedes ( the vegetable, not the people, who are ,in my experience, charming and usually drunk).
  • Zumba ( I am not sure exactly what it is, but I keep getting leaflets about it through the door,which is tantamount to nagging, if you ask me).
  • Tartan, in all and any of its forms.
  • Making things out of felt.
  • Tutting
  • Cutting coupons out of “The Daily Mail”
  • Jogging ( no-one with a bosom should jog)
  • Meerkats
  • Garden Centres
  • Vinegar
  • Beekeeping
  • Attempted tanning
  • Crimplene, in all its forms
  • Counting (particularly aloud)
  • Remembering to buy a shovel
  • Dorset
  • The 2012 Olympics

On the other hand, I don’t want to be negative, entirely. I suppose I ought to apply the same principle to taking up positive actions; doing things more thoroughly or more frequently? Again, I will seek to achieve some “Quick Wins”, as they say in reprehensible business-speaking circles. I shall therefore do more ;

  • Perfect painting of finger and toenails
  • Drinking port (a much neglected drink)
  • Laughing wildly at nonsense
  • Reading soothing novels (nothing written after about 1959).
  • Spending time with people who amuse and divert me
  • Making up silly puns
  • Hunting for very fine denier stockings ( you can get 15 denier but 10 denier  seems to have unaccountably vanished)
  • Thinking about Italy
  • Watching divinely inconsequential films in which everyone dresses beautifully (again, the bar comes down round about 1979)

Now, if you have become hell-bent on packing in the Weed, or cutting down on crystal meth, please don’t think I am not fully as supportive as a very sturdy elastic stocking, for that would be wrong I merely and mischievously suggest that  for every seriously bad habit you relinquish, you might take up a tiny new  little venal thing instead? It will perk you up, and will boost the economy like anything, according to a sound economic law that I invented just this afternoon. .I merely  think it might be nicer and healthier for you if you achieved some balance. Anyway, we older people are lost causes, leave us alone with our unsound ways. The only Resolve I need comes in a packet with ”Extra Strong Plus” on the front." -  Liz x

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