Friday, 30 January 2009

Revisiting An Age-old Problem

Put cotton in your ears and pebbles in your shoes
Pull on rubber gloves
Smear Vaseline on your glasses
And there you have it; instant old age
Quote from Malcolm Cowley

I'm currently revisiting a problem I only thought I had about 12 months ago when a friend told me that she had bought concessionary tickets for our imminent theatre visit. It turned out that she was winding me up, but I did get a bit worried about the whole thing, because I was 6 years short of 60 at the time and some people had said that I didn't look my true age. (No, they didn't mean I looked 74! Cheeky! Or did they? Hmm...)

Well, this time she's gone and accidentally done it. She was distracted whilst booking the tickets over the telephone and now, I suppose I have a choice. Pick up my ticket from my friend and ring the theatre to explain the mistake, or hope that no one asks me for proof of my age, when I finally present my ticket at the theatre.

I'm considering putting cotton in my ears and pebbles in my shoes, to make myself appear older, for my theatre visit, but my dilemma has also led to me thinking about a few other things, this week, that can generally emphasize the more mature woman's age, or make her look older. So far, I've come up with the following:

1. Listening to Mario Lanza or Russ Conway on her MP3.

2. A toy boy.

3. Clubbing with her daughter.

4. Sending her pocket-sized packet of Rennie soft chews flying across the dance floor, whilst rummaging in her handbag for her embroidered handkerchief.

5. Possessing an embroidered handkerchief.

6. Exposing decollete and cleavage, which would benefit from frequent basting with half a pound of goose fat.

7. A fat face, or fat knees, arising from displacement, caused by prolonged use of her vice-like, but super-slimming bodysuit.

8. Breathing in, but not out.

9. HRT patches accidentally transferred to her face.

10. Matt black hair on the over 65s.

11. A dark tan on wrinkled skin.

12. Lurid make up only usually seen on the ugly sisters during the panto season.

13. False talons varnished bright red.

14. A belly bar or an eyebrow ring.

15. Wearing so much bling-bling that the manager of the local H Samuel stands eagerly on the doorstep of his establishment, whenever she is in the high street.

16. Earrings better suited to hanging from high, drawing room ceilings, rather than ears, combined with large specs.

17. A leotard.

18. Skinny fit clothes designed for supermodels on a diet of cocaine and crumbs.

19. A headscarf.

20. A little scarf, worn under her coat, to keep her neck cosy.

Now, just a minute. Mario Lanza, Rennies, handkerchief, matt black hair, dry skin, lurid make up, bling-bling, headscarf, little scarf. Yay! I'm nearly there! The only thing I'm short of is a toy boy! Any offers?

Silence can be deafening, you know. ;0(

I'm sure that none of you 'more mature' lady bloggers are guilty of any of the above, but feel free to fess up, if you are. There's no one else to hear. I'll admit to listening to Mario Lanza and loving my cosy little neck scarves. Oh, and then there's the belly bar of course and a few of the other things.......

Does anyone want to give me any advice about my dilemma? What would you do? Cough up the extra money or take no notice? How would you choose to look older?

Monday, 26 January 2009

Shock Poll Reveals What Women Mean!

An exclusive poll, conducted by Mean Moody Middle-aged Mom, based on telephone interviews with a remarkably small number of female adults, recently uncovered some shocking facts. Apparently, a tiny minority of women don't necessarily say what they mean in certain situations, when conversing with their partners! A teensy weensy number of the women polled even admitted to neglecting to mention niggling little details, which they considered unimportant and less than one woman openly admitted to the odd white lie!

The reasons behind this sort of behaviour varied considerably, in accordance with the woman's mood, the poll revealed, but included such things as a desire to appear virtuous, or to help her husband become more considerate, a reluctance to upset her partner, or a wish to avoid conflict. Below, in bold, are a few examples, gleaned from the poll, of the sort of things women might say, in some situations, which could have hidden meaning and a few light hearted suggestions of what they could mean in italics.

Going Out:

I'm nearly ready! I'm nowhere near ready.

I'm not ready yet. It's obvious that I'm not ready, yet, because I'm still drying my hair. Sitting in the car, on the drive, with the engine running won't make my hair dry any faster.

Would you check the doors and windows, before we go out, please? If you're sitting twiddling your thumbs and I'm obviously not yet ready to go out, why don't YOU check the doors and windows, instead of leaving it to me.


I'm just going into Accessorize to buy a pretty scarf for your sister, for her birthday. I'm just going into Accessorize to buy a pretty scarf for your sister, for her birthday and 2 for myself, whilst I'm there.

Don't buy that for me, for my birthday. It's far too expensive. I'll be absolutely thrilled if you buy that for me, for my birthday, in spite of the fact that it's so expensive.

I like both outfits. I can't decide which to have. Could we fast for a week, so that I could buy both of these outfits?

At Home:

Would you mash the potatoes, please? Don't stand doing nothing, in the kitchen, whilst I am running around like a blue arsed fly, trying to do 3 things at the same time.

Would you take the garden rubbish to the tip, please? It's supposed to be your responsibility to take the rubbish to the tip. It's been sitting there for about 4 weeks and it's starting to smell. You can see it and you can smell it as well as I can, so why do I have to nag, before you will do something about it?

It's OK, thanks, I can plug the lawnmower in. It's supposed to be your responsibility to cut the grass, whilst I look after the rest of the garden. If I decide that I ought to cut the grass, because you've not done it for 3 weeks, don't plug the lawnmower in for me. It's infuriating. If you do it again, I shall make you swallow the plug.

Can I have a glass of wine, now, please? When I said, half an hour ago, that I didn't want any wine, I didn't mean that you could instantly knock back the whole bottle, without pausing for breath.

No, I'm not blogging again. I'm just checking my emails. I was blogging, until you interrupted me. Now, I'm checking my emails.

Unavoidable Conflict:

There's nothing wrong. There's something wrong. I can't discuss it with you, yet, because I'm still simmering, but, believe me, I will discuss it, when I come to the boil.

I'm sorry I said that. I didn't mean it. I'm sorry I said that out loud.

It's OK. I know you didn't mean it, when you said that I was an ugly old cow. I'm having a headache, later, so don't bother suggesting any hanky panky. I haven't decided how long it will last, yet.

I forgive you. I'll remember what you did and bring it up in every argument, from now until dementia sets in.

Extra Marital:

Why are you so late home from work all the time? Are you having an affair?

No, I don't mind in the least if you go to watch the match, on Saturday and spend all day Sunday playing golf. I'm having an affair.

Mean Moody Middle-aged Mom would be interested in hearing from anyone, who has had first hand experience of such unscrupulous women. Perhaps your sister, or best friend suffers from such tendencies. Please leave a comment. Mean Mom would like to know.

Male readers please note: In no event will Mean Moody Middle-aged Mom be liable for any arguments or injuries arising, or divorce proceedings instigated, either directly or indirectly as a result of belief in the content of this post.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Memory Lane

I was listening to Brian Matthews, last weekend, when he suddenly played Catch A Falling Star, by Perry Como. I hadn't heard this song for many years and I was immediately transported back in time, to the living room of my parents' terraced house, in the Midlands, where I was brought up. My gaze was directed downwards. I was wearing my favourite dark blue trousers, hand made by my mother, on her old Singer sewing machine and pulling a plastic tipper truck along behind me. I recalled a time of safety and security, a time of open fires, outside toilets, linoleum and ice on the inside the windows in winter.

After a little research on the internet, I discovered that my flashback most probably went back to 1958, when I was just 5 years old. I found some interesting websites, whilst carrying out my detective work and came across some other songs, which also brought back vivid memories.

My parents bought me my first Dansette record player a few years later. We crowded around it, in the living room, on the day my father brought it home. By then, I must have been 9, because the first 45 I ever played was Lovesick Blues, by Frank Ifield and, apparently, it was a hit in 1962. In the following months, amongst others I added to my collection, were Venus In Blue Jeans, by Mark Wynter, Return To Sender, by Elvis Presley and The Night Had A Thousand Eyes by Bobby Vee. (If you have a few seconds to spare, the Bobby Vee video is quite comical!) By the time I bought Return To Sender, however, I had been banished to the draughty 'front' room to listen to my favourite pop singers.

By 1964, Liverpool had become the capital of popular music and I enjoyed the Mersey Sound as much as anyone. The Beatles' songs have been played so often, that, on the whole, they don't evoke many memories of the 1960s, for me. Other songs do, though, such as Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My world, by Cilla Black. Whenever I hear these songs, I immediately recall my bedroom, in the same terraced house, back in 1964. The wallpaper has been completely obliterated by posters extracted from Fabulous, one of my favourite 60s magazines, but there is some evidence that my childhood hasn't been totally left behind, as my Tressy doll sits on the shelf, by the side of my bed, wearing clothes I have designed and hand sewn for her.

Many songs released in 1966/67 bring back bitter/sweet memories. Songs such as You Can't Hurry Love, by the Supremes, Reach Out I'll Be There, by the Four Tops, Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck and Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procul Harum. I was 13/14 years old. It was a time of moods, tears, crossing boundaries and arguments with my father. A time of secrecy, first discos, first kisses, first dates and first cigarettes.

A lot of my recollections of 1968 are to do with traditional seaside holidays and day trips, with my best friend and our families. Songs such as This Guy's In Love With You, by Herb Alpert and Do It Again by the Beach Boys remind me of sun, sand, bikinis, transistor radios, knickerbocker glories and formica topped cafe tables. 1968 was a year of Dusty Springfield eyes, the ever shorter skirt, fun fairs, roller coasters, missed curfews and first real relationships.

My best friend and I often went out with our first boyfriends in a foursome. I can still recall the surprise I felt when she confessed that she felt Young Girl, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap had been written especially for her. Contrary to the lyrics, however, she wasn't intending to run away from her situation. I couldn't believe that she was contemplating having sex, with her boyfriend, at fifteen, but she was and she did. I must have been a late developer.

My first relationship lasted 18 months. My friend married her first boyfriend, against her parents' wishes, at the age of 19 and had her first baby at the age of 21. I lost touch with her, at the age of 18, when we both left school, but I caught up with her news, a few years later, when I had a chance meeting with her next door neighbour. I sometimes wonder whether my friend is, now, a proud grandmother.

There are many other songs, from the years I have mentioned and subsequent years, which evoke strong memories, for me, but none as piercing as those I have just described. They were special years and special times, which have remained vivid in my memory, partly due to the popular music of the period.

Are there any songs, which cause waves of nostalgia to wash over you? Are you old enough to remember any of the songs I have mentioned? Do they bring back any memories for you?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A Foolproof Guide To Blogging!

1. Don't start a blog, if your only reason for doing so is that you're hoping for a book deal. Generally, statistics show that there is less likelihood of this occurring than a cold day in hell.

2. If you are a miserable old bat, or a dirty old git and you want to interact with young, attractive members of the opposite sex on your blog, find a photo of someone sexy, young and desirable and put it in your profile. When swapping comments or emails with young, attractive bloggers of the opposite sex, bear in mind that they may have pulled a similar stunt.

3. When publishing your first ever post, don't assume that the world is waiting, with bated breath, to comment. If you want to interact, you first of all have to let people know that you exist.

4. If you have a secret blog, don't open your big mouth, whilst chatting to your nosey friends and say something along the lines of 'I wrote a post about that, on my blog, the other day.' The ensuing silence may be deafening and those you looked upon as friends, may spend the next 3 weeks, singlemindedly scouring blogland, in a quest to uncover your most intimate thoughts and desires.

5. Those who are aware of your blog, are more than likely to view your fellow bloggers as imaginary friends. Never mention them, or their exploits, in conversation. It's comparable to a schizophrenic mentioning the voices in his head and it will provoke a similar reaction.

6. Don't make your posts long and complicated. Very few bloggers want to read a tome. If they do, they will go to the library and borrow something penned by a real writer, such as Les Miserables (unabridged), War and Peace, or Lord of the Rings. At last, I think I know where I'm going wrong.

7. Don't publish anything that you would feel uncomfortable with dirty old Tom, dirty old Dick, or dirty old Harry viewing. Unfortunately, they have access to Blogland, too.

8. If you're not bothered about dirty old Tom, Dick or Harry, and you are desperate for a disproportionate amount of anonymous hits on your site, write something smutty, with plenty of appropriate labels.

9. Try not to weep inconsolably when you publish a new post and you don't have any comments within the first 10 minutes. Unlike you, other bloggers may have a life.

10. Try not to be a blog tart. If you comment indiscriminately on 100 sites, within 5 minutes, in an attempt to drastically increase your comment count, you have a much higher chance of accidentally encountering the Superbitch From Hell, or the Devil's Spawn. Discriminate!

11. Don't waste time pouring over Site Meter, wondering why one of your favourite bloggers visited without leaving a comment. She may have been abruptly dragged away by a family member to conjure up some sort of nourishment, or she may have been coaxed away by the gardener, to the potting shed, for a little afternoon delight. A male blogger could have been dragged off by his other half to do a little grouting, or could have fallen from his chair, when he received a surprise proposition from Kelly Brook - in his dreams, naturally.

12. Switch off your monitor, if any of your offspring are spying on your blog, over your shoulder. Even your finest post will sound remarkably lame, when read out with pompous attitude, by one of your mischievous munchkins.

13. When choosing between looking after house and garden and blogging, choose blogging until the neighbours gang up and complain to the council.

14. Never blog unless you should be doing something much more important. The resulting pangs of guilt can only be described as exquisite.

15. If you are short of blogging time, buy a laptop, so that you can multi task. You can then brown your mince with one hand, whilst typing with the other, or watch The One Show with your left eye, whilst reading posts with your right.

16. If you blog naked, never let on. Some people are surprisingly put off by the thought of this.

17. When blogging naked, at least wear your glasses. Tipping mistekes can be very annoying for the weader. I wish someone had warned me about this.

18. Don't risk posting or commenting, if you're too drunk to maintain an upright position on your blogging chair. You could suffer serious repercussions next day, when offended bloggers wreak their revenge.

19. Don't sleep until you've blogged. Sleep is easier to catch up with.

20. Last, but not least, get your priorities right! If you are really determined to be a top blogger, never let real life interfere with regular blogging!

Monday, 12 January 2009

I Can Do Positive Spin, Too (Part 2)

Thanks for your comments on my previous post. I do feel, however, that at least one of you might have commiserated with me, about the lack of a paper hat in my Christmas cracker. It was quite a traumatic experience and I think that I may need counselling in order to come to terms with it.

Anyway, on with the rest of the story:

We spent the time, between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, looking forward to my husband's family coming to stay and share in our New Year celebrations.

Husband was at work on the 29th and 30th December, so he wasn't around much to help with the preparations. My usually helpful student son became suddenly rebellious and refused to give me any extra help, even though I was still suffering from the after effects of flu.

I had to work hard in the house, for 3 full days, so that our visitors wouldn't run the risk of strangulation by cobwebs, or sustain a compound fracture as a result of tripping over piles of stuff, littering the hall and landing. I developed eczema between my fingers and a throbbing whitlow on my left thumb, which proved difficult to keep covered with a plaster.

Our visitors were arriving in time for lunch on 31 December, so Husband and I sprang out of bed that morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, heading for the shops at an early hour, so that we could stock up on the necessary provisions to feed 10 people over a 3 day stay.

Husband and I dragged ourselves out of bed and were late leaving for the shops, on the day that our visitors were arriving, as we realised that our tom cat had sprayed somewhere in the newly cleaned dining room and we couldn't find out exactly where.

We returned home, with everything we needed, plus some little extras, arriving in plenty of time to prepare a delicious lunch for our visitors.

Husband's family arrived before we got back (although student son was at home) and we realised much later, that we had forgotten to buy crackers, fireworks and eggs for cooked breakfasts.

Husband and brother-in-law cooked us a wonderful barbecue in the evening and we toasted in the New Year, using our new, expensive, lead crystal wine glasses, one of the many Christmas presents showered upon us by my sister-in-law.

The barbecue wasn't ready until 10.30pm, by which time we were all self digesting. It wasn't necessary for any of us to toast in the New Year out of mugs, like last year, when Husband and I forgot to buy new wine glasses. My glass only contained water, because anything else was still making me cough incessantly.

We celebrated into the early hours, before we all retired to bed to catch up with our sleep.

I was up until 4am, clearing away and washing up the stuff that wouldn't fit into the dishwasher.

Husband and I had no problem waking early enough to cook a substantial breakfast for our guests on New Year's Day.

We crawled downstairs, half awake, mid morning, to start cooking breakfast. I poured oil into the frying pan, ready to fry the eggs, which my sister-in-law had managed to obtain from the local Esso garage. I was annoyed to discover that a small piece of ham had strayed into my pan, the second I turned my back. This was very puzzling, as I wasn't cooking ham and I couldn't imagine where it had come from. Husband, who enjoys the benefits of contact lenses, finally managed to explain, between bouts of uncontrollable laughter, that it was the plaster which had fallen off my left thumb.

After breakfast, everyone set off for a healthy walk and lots of fresh air, leaving my mother-in-law and I to relax and watch Mamma Mia, undisturbed, on DVD. We then met up, later, at my son's new house, which our visitors had not yet seen, for another delicious family meal.

We were all supposed to meet up at my son's house, after the walk, so that my husband's family could have a look around and then return to our house, for our evening meal. (We ate breakfast so late, that it turned into brunch, so lunch became unnecessary.) The walk took such a long time, however, that, in order to avoid a very late evening meal, I had to load up all of the food, plus extra crockery, into the car, so that I could cook and prepare everything at my son's house. Trying to prepare a buffet, which included some hot food, in my son's small kitchen was quite challenging. I was short of space, plates and help. My son's girlfriend, a wonderful girl, did her best to help, but it was still incredibly hard work.

After tea, the men decided to light the wood burning stove in my son's living room. (The central heating wasn't enough for them, apparently) The atmosphere became so dry, that I couldn't stop coughing and had to sit in the dining room.

The next day husband and I cooked a tasty brunch for our guests, before bidding them a fond farewell, in the middle of the afternoon. We were all in total agreement that a jolly good time had been had by all!

Husband and I had to get up incredibly early, as we had booked an appointment, a few days before, to take our 3 cats to the vet for their boosters, assuming that our visitors would be leaving after tea, on New Year's Day, as usual. By the time we had paid for 2 months' flea treatment, as well as their injections, the total bill came to £190.00.

I really did enjoy spending time with my husband's family over New Year, but it was still an immense relief to collapse on the sofa, with a nice cup of tea, when they had finally left for home. Oddly enough, a few minutes after their departure, when Husband bounced into the living room, in a very lively manner, suggesting that we should go for a nice country walk, I was already fast asleep and snoring. Yes, OK, I may even have been dribbling - just a little.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

I Can Do Positive Spin, Too!

Part One

Those of you who read my post of 17 December, will already know that I get slightly peed off, every year, when I receive a round robin from an acquaintance on whom the sun always shines - according to her, anyway. I have never sent her a round robin, in return, but I'm beginning to feel tempted. I feel that I could probably start my December 2009 round robin, to my acquaintance, with a blow by blow account of my personal, festive experiences in late 2008/early 2009, which would run along similar lines to the missive below. As my true blogging friends, you will, of course, be privvy to the truth, or extra details, which I would not choose to share with her, in italics, as well as to the positive spin, in bold.

December 2009

Dear Wilhelmina, Walter and Winifred

Thanks so much for your numerous missives over the past few years. It seemed about time for me to return the compliment, so here is a lengthy and tedious summary of our experiences over the past 12 months or so, beginning with December 2008.

We began our annual festive spend, in the middle of December, by refurbishing the family bathroom to a high standard, so that our invited guests could enjoy the use of our superior facilities, over the New Year period.

We were expecting my husband's family to stay with us, over New Year, as usual, so I was forced into finding someone, quickly, with the necessary expertise, to carry out much needed repairs to our family bathroom, after a fairly disastrous installation by * & * (diy chain, rhyming with 'Me & You'). I won't bore you with the painful details, but it had something to do with a dodgy fitter on contract, a repeatedly broken seal around the shower tray, a supposedly 'independent' inspector and investigating body, who decided against us and a near nervous breakdown (MINE!).

After paying out £360, a few days before Christmas, to have the damaged bathroom walls repaired and re-tiled etc, we discovered that the shower cartridge needed replacing, due to lack of regular use, which added another £112 to the total bill.

A week before Christmas, I went out with more friends than you did, Wilhelmina, to the most renowned and expensive restaurant in our affluent locality, where we enjoyed our usual Christmas feast.

A week before Christmas, I went out to the local pub, with some of my friends, for our usual Christmas lunch. I had no paper hat in my cracker and the friend sitting opposite me, coughed and shivered throughout lunch, even though it was hotter than the caverns of hell, in the pub. 2 days later, I was suffering in the same way. I'm pretty sure that it was flu, because it knocked me off my feet and, 3 weeks later, I'm still feeling the effects.

I am constantly amazed by the increasing amount of Christmas cards, we receive each year. There were so many this year, that I grew tired of trying to find places to put them.

I was so ill in the days leading up to Christmas, that I didn't have the energy to put up this year's Christmas cards.

Student son put up the Christmas tree and lights in the house, as he does every year. He likes to make a contribution and is helpful and thoughtful, by nature.

Student son knows that I wouldn't put up the tree until Christmas Eve, so he puts it up earlier, himself. He sellotapes Christmas lights around all of the windows, every year, leaving me to get rid of the sticky patches left behind, when the lights are taken down.

I enjoyed a deliberately late, last minute expedition to the shops on Christmas Eve, so that I could admire the colourful Christmas lights, illuminating the velvety darkness in our small country town and so that I could treat the whole family to some extra little luxuries for the Christmas period.

I forced myself to crawl to the shops, just before they closed, on Christmas Eve, whilst I was still feeling ill, as I was in desperate need of several essential food items.

I was so busy dashing around, in the days just before Christmas, that I shed 4 lbs, which, strictly speaking, I couldn't really afford to lose!

I couldn't eat when I was ill, so I lost 4 lbs. I put it back on again, as soon as I was feeling better.

We had lots to fit in, on Christmas day. We leapt out of bed, early, opened our mountain of presents, went to eldest sons for lunch, drove to pick up my aunt, in the Midlands, late afternoon and arrived at my parents' house in time for tea. It was a tremendously busy, but fun-filled day.

I was over the worst of my illness and no longer contagious, by Christmas day, so we were able to fit in everything we had planned, even though I would have preferred to spend the time in bed. I spent the whole day coughing and couldn't finish my Christmas lunch. I had to drink water instead of port, because of my cough.

The luxury crackers we splashed out on and took over to my son's house to pull before Christmas lunch, were very much appreciated and very well received.

My husband bought some luxury crackers from Asda and everyone complained that they were crap.

My 3 sons were exceptionally thrilled with the rhythm sticks we bought them for one of their surprise presents, this year.

We could only afford one surprise present for our sons, this year. Unfortunately, I had no idea that my middle son had bought a more sophisticated version of the same sort of thing, for his elder and younger brothers, which resulted in elder brother being a bit incredulous and grumpy. (He's only 25. He hasn't yet learned how to cope with crap Christmas presents in a diplomatic fashion.)

I received some wonderful Christmas presents, including a beautiful, hardback, glossy book about dollshouses and miniatures, some lovely soaps, expensive perfume, a very large box of chocolates and some luxury shower cream.

I did have some lovely presents, but I never eat chocolates, due to my past dental problems and any shower lotion, other than Sanex, brings me out in a rash. I've hidden the chocolates in the bedroom, hoping that middle son will forget he bought them for me, but he keeps asking if I've opened them yet. I've put the shower gel with the other 3 bottles that my husband has bought me in the past, which I am also unable to use, because I haven't yet found the words to remind him that I can only use one particular brand.

OK. I'm leaving it there, for today, because I can hear some of you snoring. Part 2 is ready to publish, but you obviously need a little rest. You're not dribbling, on my blog, are you? You know that I have a thing about that! Don't forget to come back when you can face part 2!

To be continued.........

Monday, 5 January 2009

Realistic Resolutions

Working Mum reminded me, in her post of Thursday 1 January, that it is the time for New Year's resolutions. I've made a few, broken a few and, generally, lost interest in a few over the years. I suspect that a lot of you have done the same.

I hate to feel a failure and we all know how important it is to feel good about ourselves, so I have drawn up a list of realistic New Year's resolutions, from which you can choose to follow as many, or as few, as you like. I feel that they are definitely doable. I hope that you feel the same way.


1. Sign up for 12 months' membership to the gym and attend twice.

2. Search out and buy one of the new fitness dvds, which are coming on to the market at the moment. This will take some perseverance, as there aren't many about. Store your copy on the little shelf, under the tv and never take it out of the cellophane wrapper. You don't need to watch it, or do the exercises - possessing it is sufficient.

3. Walk to work/to the shops/to school with the children, every day. Do this only until the first day that it rains, or until the first day that you are running late, whichever is the sooner. If, amazingly, neither of these things occur within the first week of January, do it until you get fed up.

Weight Loss:

1. Join a club, such as WeightWatchers. Attend 3 times, or until you put on weight, as opposed to losing it, whichever is the sooner.

2. Follow a strict diet for 2 weeks and lose half a stone. Return to your normal diet for less than a week and put on a stone.

Eating More Healthily:

1. Eat lots of fresh fruit and salad, unless the weather is cold, in which case you should wait until July, when it might turn a bit warmer. There's nothing worse than trying to push down lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes, when it's snowing outside.

2. Instead of snacking on biscuits and cakes, cut up raw carrots and celery into matchstick sized pieces and store them in plastic bags in the fridge, ready for when hunger strikes. Do this on 2 occasions only, or until you are weeping from chopping boredom, then revert to biscuits and cakes. They are much better for your mental health.

3. Cut out chocolate completely, but only after you have finished up your Christmas chocs, of course. When you have finished up your Christmas chocs, give up chocolate, unless the day ends in a 'y'.

4. Prepare more homemade meals, with fresh ingredients, until you have a busy, tiring day and then revert to anything you can pick up from the 'chilled' counter, which cooks on a baking tray, in 25 minutes.


1. Give it up totally, unless you are having a cup of coffee, or downing something alcoholic, or feeling a bit stressed out.


1. Give it up totally, until you have a bad day and need to wind down, or until someone suggests that you go to the pub for a drink.

Saving Money:

1. Spend less, but not until the January sales are over, of course. When the sales are over, put money to one side, but only until you see a pair of must-have shoes, or a new frock that you know will be a perfect fit.

Well, I think that's about it, then. I feel that I've covered the most popular subjects concerning New Year's resolutions. I hope you've found 2 or 3, that you think will be suitable for you and that you feel you have a chance of sticking to.

I've chosen my resolutions for this year and I will keep them, this time, I know, because, not only are they realistic, they are also known only to me and this has to be the true secret of success, doesn't it?