Here we are approaching the end of January and I imagine that the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions have already gone the way of the Christmas leftovers – discarded and forgotten. Mine, however, has only just started.
New Year’s resolutions are generally fairly predictable, revolving around the concept of losing weight and/ or getting fit. Certainly the sudden increase in attendance at my gym during January supports this. I suppose this is understandable: after a month of extreme over-indulgence it is only natural for us to want to make amends and undo the damage from our Christmas excesses.
I too feel the need to repair my poor abused body, which has developed an uncanny resemblance to one of those large snakes that has just eaten a whole goat. However, January does not seen a good time to set about this.
January is widely recognised as the most depressing month of the year as the post-Christmas anti-climax hits us at the same time as all those Christmas bills start hitting the doormat. Choosing to compound this misery by forcing your body into painful bouts of unaccustomed exercise whilst denying it the comforting food and drink that it craves seems like madness.
It also seems like madness, after a month of extreme over-eating, to suddenly stop cold-turkey (if you’ll excuse the pun). Surely it is better to wind down to more normal levels of eating before attempting to embark on a full blown diet. Personally, I am therefore putting my good intentions on hold and just building up to it (very) slowly until February or March – maybe that is why Lent is timed as it is.
So to my New Year’s resolution, which is much more fun than diet and exercise. I have resolved to see a local band live in one of Gloucester’s pubs at least once a month. This might just be a resolution I keep, but it may not be as easy as it seems.
Here’s the thing: when I was single, I would quite happily go out to the pub with friends every night of the week. Now, however, I am a happily married man, as are most of my friends. As such, when I get home from work, it is all too easy to have some dinner and collapse contentedly in front of the TV. Although I know I will enjoy myself if I go out, it just feels like too much effort. I think this is the way with a lot of people and, as a consequence, we miss out on a lot of fun and social interaction.
So, my first attempt at keeping my resolution was last Friday and I selected to see The Peppermint Hunting Lodge at Café Rene. Given the perceived effort in going out in the week highlighted above, there is an obvious problem of finding people to join me who aren’t inspired to do so by a New Year’s Resolution. Luckily, my friend Biff obliged and we set off into town.
So, I hear you cry, what was the band like? Well, sadly, I couldn’t really tell you! The problem was that they were not due to start until 11:00, so we killed time until they came on in a number of other fine hostelries around town: we went to The Water Poet, The Cross Keys and The Old Bell before finally getting to Café Rene.
There was no sound from the band until after 11:30, and even then it was only much discordant tuning up. By the time they finally started we’d consumed too much beer to really care or pay much attention. The Peppermint Hunting Lodge are a local band from the Forest of Dean, so if you want to check them out for yourselves see http://www.myspace.com/thepepperminthuntinglodge.
So, you could argue that I haven’t really kept to the spirit of my New Year’s resolution, but at least I was out in town supporting the local pubs. And from the look of things, they need the support: despite it being a Friday night, it was depressingly quiet everywhere. I therefore implore you to join me in my resolution and keep the pubs and music alive. Next month I think it may be the turn of the Open Mic Night at The Cross Keys for me, if you’re interested they take place every Wednesday.