happy new year!

By amy ~ January 5th, 2009 @ 10:02 am

Despite an unexpectedly long and pleasantly energetic weekend, and flushed with the prospect of a new and exciting year ahead, I have today been busy taking down decorations, reorganising cupboards and freezer and unusually for me, finalising New Year resolutions, a tradition which I have until recently paid little heed, but have decided to resurrect this year in the hope that a little virtuosity will be good not only for me but also my visitors and surroundings – I have been somewhat lackadaisical lately in terms of diet, exercise and vacuuming, and while this is hardly an unknown phenomenon at Christmas, it would never do to prolong such undignified behaviour into the coming weeks whilst others bravely take on the gym, Weight Watchers classes (other public humiliation exercises are available) and supermarket salad aisles (truly soul-destroying at precisely the time of year whose climate demands the most rich, robust and gratifyingly stodgy of foods).

With this at the forefront of my mind I am very excited about a forthcoming trip to the beautiful city of Budapest, (spiritual home of the stew-and-dumpling) with a wonderful, gentle (and clearly impulsive) caller whom I have been delighted to entertain over the weekend. Hopefully my companion will realise that the type of lingerie outlets I generally frequent do not specialise in warmth and practicality, and some effort on my part will have to made to customise and decorate whatever thermal horrors I will be bringing along; on the other hand it will make for some very lengthy and enjoyable undressing upon retiring!

I have certainly been making up for my lack of mileage with a New Year dash to Southampton and back (and I was fortunate indeed to get back, given that the fog at Leeds Bradford airport resembled soup and required substantial effort to even walk through) and a flying visit to my homeland in the North East earlier last week. Thankfully, I am free for the next ten days or so to take local appointments and am already looking forward to greeting several new visitors this week; I am clearly not the only one to have thought carefully about resolutions!

So far I have decided: To no longer waste valuable time languishing on my monster settee all evening eating Battenburg cake and watching poorly-made television, and to this end have decided to purchase the intriguing gadget known as Wii Fit, which apparently allows you to box, ski, play tennis and perform feats of yoga in the privacy of your living room. As many of you know,  I am more than happy to play on my own but always welcome enthusiastic contributions from others, even if they only wish to take the role of spectator; thus, any callers who wish to participate are welcome to do so (time permitting).

To think twice about eating anything which is presented in a container made of polystyrene, particularly when it is already hot at the point of acquisition. This is excluding fish and chips (which seems to be increasingly packaged like this), and also the type of Chinese takeaway that is delivered in those eminently practical, and addictively collectible clear rectangular containers with snap-on lids, which I am extremely fond of  and use for keeping many of the invaluable small items which are crucial to my day-to-day goings on. This resolution would also include food which can demonstrably soak a grease stain though thick card in under ten minutes (unmistakable examples of this are stacked shamefully next to my new kitchen rubbish bin as I write).

To fastidiously vacuum everywhere my hair has been (and therefore still is) on a daily basis. This includes all rugs, the kitchen floor and the inside of the bed. Anyone visiting who requests that my hair be worn loose and unfettered should be aware that unless they know someone with a longhair black dog, they are likely to have some explaining to do (which is why I keep a roll of sellotape and a clothes brush next to the door).

To finally put up the large mirror I have in my bedroom, which will add an interesting dimension to meetings! (it will also be invaluable in providing reasons for my first two resolutions).  I also need to think about hanging the gigantic mirror in my living room, which is proving a popular distraction in itself, and definitely needs to be properly secured in case of any impromptu activity which could cause the floor to shake and damage it.

This is as far as I have got as yet; it remains to be seen which survives the longest but any suggestions for other self-improvement will be gratefully received, as will any ideas on how to ruin my new-found fortitude. Most enjoyable suggestion will almost certainly win; prizes will vary according to mood, availability and the current ambient temperature.

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