My new year resolutions

There is a saying ‘a resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.’

It’s very witty, I don’t know who said it, it sounds like one of Dorothy Parker’s, the greatest of all quote makers. I thought about one of her sayings on New Year’s Day: “A hangover is the wrath of grapes.” In my case this year it was the wrath of grapes, malted barley, yeast, hops, cake, cheese and if anybody tells me that stilton and port go well together, well they can have my share next time round. So, on January 2, 2013, I made my resolutions. I always think there is no point making a resolution on the first day of the new year because I know that by the middle of the afternoon I will have broken at least three of them.

This year I resolve 1: not to eat dripping 2: to fix a window that leaks every time the rain comes from the south. 3: to have one less rasher of bacon on my scuffler on a Saturday morning. 4. to stop saying the words “random” and “bizarre.” 5. to buy a small canvas and paint a picture 6: to finish a new book I’ve been avoiding working on for too long (here again I’m of the Dorothy Parker school of thought: “I love writing, especially when it’s finished.” 7: I have walked to Pontefract and back more than 100 times last year, I want to try for 200 this year.

Now, before I start to concentrate too hard on this year’s resolutions, how did I do with last year’s?

My main one from last year was to stop buying stuff that I don’t really need. I was thinking here mainly about ‘one click’ buying on Amazon and other internet sites. I was looking at some of my credit card bills and though I have spent less than last year I don’t think I’ve done as well as I wanted to.

The main problem is I can’t really decide whether something is what I need or not. When I see a book or CD for sale and my pointing finger is poised mid air over the mouse like a kestrel about to dive, it doesn’t really enter my head to ask myself if it’s needed or not, just whether I can afford it.

If I decide I’ve got enough money, I click. That’s probably why there are thirty odd books at the side of my bed waiting to be read and a pile of CDs that have been listened to once, usually when I’m boiling a kettle or trying not to burn my toast. So, I’ll put that down as a partial success and mainly a failure.

My second big resolution of last year was to try to use more little shops and use my own shopping bag as opposed to plastic carriers. I’ve done quite well here. I buy bread from a shop that sells bread, meat from a butcher and fish from a fishmonger and I have been using my own shopping bag, so much so that I have had to repair my bag three times this year. So I’m quite chuffed about this, though I still go to supermarkets and use plastic carriers, I wish I didn’t have to but I do recycle them. I’ve also recycled a lot of my glass jam jars this time to a lady who makes homemade pickles and preserves, therefore I’m taking a brownie point for that.

Next, I decided I would try to do more work that allows me to get home every night to spend time with my family. I failed miserably in the first few months of the year and stayed in hotels for a lot of February and March, but then I found more work nearer home for the rest of the year and apart from a couple of nights in London and one in Bridlington, I made it home most nights for the rest of the time, even if sometimes it was nine and ten at night and I flopped on the settee for an hour before going to bed having only managed to say a few sentences about what I’d been up to and then got distracted when Heather and Edward started talking to me.

My other resolution last time was never to use the expression “lol” on Facebook. I can confirm a 100 per cent success rate on this matter. Mind you, that wasn’t too difficult, because like David Cameron, I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. Any other similarity between me and David Cameron will be entirely accidental.

How did you do with your new year resolutions?