Tomorrow is Friday December 31, so tradition has it that you and millions of others are about to pledge to a New Year resolution that will last for exactly three days. Indeed, in just over a week I will guarantee that gymnasiums (or is that gymnasia?) will have started relieving themselves of their brand new clients on a daily basis. A pal of mine who regularly works out, yet is still quite a nice bloke and who doesn’t actually say - “Hi bro, how much are you ‘benching’ at the moment?” tells me that he avoids his gym in the first three weeks of January every year; but knows when it’s safe to return in early February after the gym novelty has worn off with those whom he calls “barge arses.”
Which, if you think about it, isn’t very nice at all is it? Personally, and please have the good manners not to laugh, I am considering taking up Yoga. Yes, Yoga! At my time of life, I find that just getting up, or indeed sitting down, causes me to make sounds such as aahhh - mmmm and ooooh, not forgetting the occasional ouch! This is not good I’m told. So then my friends, Yoga it is.
Trusting the fact that I will not have to wear a leotard and that nobody will laugh at me, I intend to sign up and become a flexible friend in no time at all. I’m quite looking forward to it - but, do you think that I’ve gone a bit doolally? Well, in fairness, I don’t really care, because this year I am determined to ‘shape up’ both physically and mentally, to cast aside old habits and hangups whilst evolving into a new me - or, some such nonsense.
However, in undertaking all this mindless activity, let it be known that although I will happily martyr myself on the wheel of self-improvement, I promise I will not under any circumstances lecture you as to your wicked ways, but just leave it to a smug smile and superior air to convince you as to my all round virtuousness.
Better that, my friends, than the curse of our modern age i.e. virtue-signalling. Unhappily, this modern phenomenon is perhaps most visible at this time of year as people seek to repair the damage that they have wrought to their bodies over the annual Christmas & New Year car-crash. However, it could be about them airing their social consciences via a charitable cause, or if you are really unlucky, yet another opportunity for ill-disguised food fascism. If I see another social media warrior witter-on about her - I’m sorry, it’s usually a her! - Veganuary - (yawn!) - **Spamuary (just eat Spam) - Nanuary (dress like your Nan) I will scream.
What about Banuary? This is my campaign to ban annoying campaigns during January which everybody knows will end badly and bore everyone to tears. Oh, and don’t we just love those gym based selfies of wonderfully slim and attractive women and hunky chaps, whereupon under the guise of some January campaign - what better excuse can there actually be to freak-out us fatties than for them to show off their buff bodies constantly via social media to all-comers under the guise of sincere humanitarian concern?
Then there are those friends that bang-on about banishing the booze for a so-called dry January. Really? The real show-offs are the one’s that you just know barely sup a beer or sip a glass of wine a week, yet keep up an ongoing commentary as to how they are just about managing to cope without the dreaded booze. It would be a bit like me refusing to take on a daily 10 kilometre run whilst asking my mates for a round of applause for my bravery. Just give us all a break and shut up will you!** I might have made some of these up.
For those readers who are still ‘with me’ at this juncture they will probably know that at certain strategic times of the year I am often moved to publish some Do’s and Don’ts when entertaining non paying guests at ‘yours’ during the summer months. Occasionally, I am upbraided by some readers for being rather rude (I prefer to call it frank!) whilst others like to pretend that their non paying guests are wonderful and never a moments trouble as they linger at their place for a fortnight or more - Ha ha ha ha ha - of course they are!
Anyway, I see that the supposed online Bible of middle-class Yummy-Mummery i.e. Mumsnet, has been receiving quite a lot of post Christmas ‘traffic’ regarding certain inadequacies when visiting close family or friends. Indeed, some are still recovering from the horror of spare bedrooms with less than suitable wardrobe space, inconveniently positioned toilet-roll holders and - please look away now if you are sensitive to this sort of thing - “synthetic bedding” there, I’ve said it. One Mumsnetter began griping on Boxing Day, complaining about the lack of a hairdryer in the spare bedroom.
Other issues apparently include draughts, the lack of a bin in the bedroom, unreliable showers and no locks on bathroom doors. Ahem, why don’t they just jam a foot against it, or sing loudly during their ablutions like everyone else does? However, my own personal favourite in the inappropriate whinge stakes was when a rather demented Mumsnetter railed against the fact that on her free stay over Christmas with her in-laws was that of “Very limited on-street parking.” Come on please!
A wobbly toilet seat, no proper guest towels and (gasp) synthetic bedding with no stated thread count! People shouldn’t be expected to live like this should they?