Christmas and New Year celebrations are now all over and done with and life returns to some semblance of normality, whatever that is.
This is the time of year for resolutions and pledges to be, in some way, better people. Of course, these resolutions often fail to see it through to the end of the month, but it is good to come up with some annual good intentions to pave your way to hell.
As I turn my eyes inwards upon myself, there is clearly much to be improved.
As you will know if you have stumbled upon this blog before, over the past year I have been on a mission to visit all of Gloucester’s pubs. This means that I have spent a good part of the year in pubs drinking inadvisable amounts of alcohol.
Add to that the havoc that is always wrecked by the over-indulgence of the festive period, and what you get is a body that it battered, abused and broken.
My resolutions, therefore, must include losing some weight and regaining some modicum of fitness. I’m not aiming to get carried away here: I don’t anticipate forging the ripped body of an Olympic athlete by the end of the year, but some improvement is required.
This means cutting back on my drinking.
Many people seem to be having the same thoughts and there is much talk of ‘dry January’.
This appears to be a cruel description as hurricane force winds lash torrential rain across the country, rivers burst their banks and people look upon already water logged fields in dismay as the prospect of more flooding looms.
But what we are talking of here is, of course, not dryness in meteorological terms, but abstinence from alcohol.
There is a certain drive at this time of year to do this: to detox the body, driving out the alcoholic demons to start the New Year all shiny and healthy.
I confess I thought about it myself, but even by my standard this was a spectacularly short lived resolution. It was always doomed to failure as my friend, Nick, has a birthday on 3 January. She generally hates her birthday for this very reason: nobody wants to celebrate as they are all piously dedicating themselves to abstinence.
This year, however, we decided this wasn’t going to happen: Nick was going to have herself a good birthday. So a large group of us descended upon Gloucester and had a great evening.
Much alcohol was consumed.
So the year didn’t get off to a great start, health wise, but it was a lot more fun. January is a crappy enough month as it is, so why make it even more unbearable by going cold turkey and giving up alcohol entirely (surely everyone has had enough of cold turkey by now!)
So my advice is aim for greater moderation, not abstinence, although I fear even that may be a bit too much of a challenge for me.
However you are starting you New Year I wish you all well and hope it’s a good one.