Not so dry January

I’m totally rubbish at New Year resolutions. I was one of those children who’d ask for a diary for Christmas and would have abandoned keeping a journal by the time we went back to school.

I do, however, usually manage ‘dry January’ (or, as it’s known around our house, ‘almost dry January’) but, like a lot of people who had to alter their Christmas plans, we felt we’d had enough cold turkey for one year and as we watched the Evening News with its choice of rioting rednecks or escalating UK Covid cases, we soon found ourselves reaching for the wine  … and then the gin … and then on our knees frantically scrabbling in the back of a cupboard to find that dusty bottle of ouzo. Maybe we’ll do ‘dry February’ instead? Or, if the vaccine roll-out goes to plan, ‘dry March’? Or even ‘dry April’? Maybe ‘dry October’?

It’s not all bad news though. I am going for more walks. As I do every January. And maybe lockdown will mean that I actually carry on with them this year. And I’m calorie counting. Again. And, you never know, it might even work this time. Limited to a weekly online shop, there can be no casual buying of chocolate as I queue at the till. Or sneaky bags of cheese and onion crisps. Or biscuits. Or Chelsea buns (though admittedly these do require you to leave the queue and go back around the one-way system to find them).

And rather than focussing on all the things I’m missing out on, maybe it’s actually time to celebrate what I’ve gained (other than those lockdown pounds, of course). My new morning ritual of making loose tea in a pot, for instance. As well as saving money, it tastes so much better than that hastily dunked teabag (and has the added advantage of leaving you feeling slightly saintly as there’s less plastic involved). Or, thanks to Grayson Perry’s Art Club, rediscovering my love of drawing after years of never picking up a pencil. Or the happy hours I’ve spent listening to free audio books from my local library. I mean, who ever had the time to listen to stories?

So, this year I’m resolving to appreciate all the little things in life and enjoy them as I go along. That’s the plan, anyway. Now, where has that diary got to? Nicola Jones

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