Today is the 7th January - just seven days into a brand, spanking, new year. I wonder how many of you reading this have already abandoned resolutions made just a few short days ago?

Never mind, it was ever thus and anyway, losing weight - cutting back on the booze and generally becoming a wonderful person isn’t done on a whim, it takes time and dare I say it - very often a change of lifestyle is involved, so that’s no good then is it? As I quit smoking eight years ago and as I already have the body of a Greek god, I’m rather stuck on what to do to make myself even better. I suppose I could stop buying and drinking cheap and nasty wine, but what would happen to the bottom end of the vino market if I did that?

No, my resolution for 2023 is to become a nicer and more positive person. Indeed, as I have intimated before in these columns, no more shouting at mealy-mouthed politicians or vacuous celebrities on the telly, nor when buying a copy of the Big Issue from a homeless person feeling the need to lecture them about “getting a job.”

Then there’s the whole business of nothing being right. Yes, I know, hard to believe it, but in the past I really could moan for both Mallorca and Gloucestershire on a truly heroic scale. For instance, the young chap ‘next-door-but-one’ who likes to park his rather flashy sports car in my usual parking space - will from now on, receive an amiable smile of recognition from me, rather than the usual grunted scowl of disapproval. According to her indoors, this - “…rather dishy” bloke, may well have been doing what he insists upon doing only to wind-me-up. This of course maybe a distinct possibility, if so it has worked a treat.

So as not to be too hard on those who have yet to abandon resolutions, I will give them until March 1 to do so. Even as I write this; gymnasia (good word!) all across western Europe have started emptying themselves of their brand new clients. A pal of mine who regularly works out, yet is still quite a nice fellow, who doesn’t actually walk about as if he’s holding something between his buttocks tells me that he avoids his gym in January every year; but also knows when it is safe to return after the novelty has worn off with those whom he calls “the thunder thigh brigade” which, if you think about it, isn’t very nice at all now is it?

Personally, and please have the good manners not to laugh, I am considering taking up Pilates; as at my time of life, I find that just getting up, or indeed sitting down, causes me to make unfortunate sounds - from straightforward groaning to the noisy release of wind from my lower body. So I intend to sign up for Pilates sessions in the local church hall just up the road from here and become as fit as a ‘butchers dog’ in no time at all.