310116_5679With just over two hours to go, I’m confident I’ll complete January’s no alcohol month.  It’s not been particularly challenging, in part because I was away for most of the month so in a different routine and mainly eating dinners on my own.  I did have two cherry liquor chocolates though, which I felt temporarily guilty about having consumed, particularly as I enjoyed them more than perhaps a cherry liquor chocolate warrants.

I had thought I wouldn’t “bother” to drink any alcohol on 1st February but I am planning to sample (to aid sleep, obviously, and fend off the various cold and fluey bugs that are going round) a new bottle of whisky that I’m convinced will make a polar explorer of me.  Unlikely, I know, but if it was good enough for Ernest Shackleton on his Antarctic expedition …

Incidentally, in a year with a monthly “first experience”, this will be my first blended whisky, though that’s probably not an adequately impressive first!

February’s challenge is going to be to write and send 29 letters, cards or postcards (ie one for every day of February but not necessarily one every day).  As with my alcohol-free January, I have also done two letter-writing Februarys (though one per posting day and with a mere 28 days in the month!) so I’m starting the first sixth of the year on familiar territory.  It should really be a treat month, February, but the treat will be the 29 replies I get … right?!




Room Service afternoon tea copyAlthough my 2016 resolution to get things done sooner rather than later has failed with this post being almost three weeks late, this failure has led to a re-think of how to best make changes to my life in 2016.

I have concluded that I am inherently lazy and hideously prone to procrastination and dumping things on all clear surfaces, the latter which well represents my general mindset.  To stop doing such things would be far too vague a resolution so I have decided to set myself more specific challenges to encourage some self-discipline.  However, I didn’t want a year, or even a month, of merely abstaining from luxuries; I wanted to find a way to instil better habits, both to stop doing things and to start doing things.

So, here it is, 2016:

  1. Alternate a month of giving something up with a month of doing more of something, starting with no alcohol (completely lacking originality, I know) in January.
  2. Have a massage or beauty treatment once a month, starting with an aromatherapy massage, a pedicure and potential for another spa treatment in January (that one has started a little too enthusiastically, I fear).
  3. Not watch television for a year.  Not that I watch much television but I want to find other ways to fill my sitting around time.  The small print of this is no catchup TV, short news clips on, eg, BBC news apps ok, DVDs ok, if I’m at someone else’s house or in a pub where TV is playing, that’s ok; I’m not going to demand other people don’t watch TV because I’m in the room.  But not to go to anyone’s house knowing something I want to watch is on TV, eg Eurovision, in the hope that they’ll happen to be watching it and I can sneakily watch it.  This is also a great resolution as I won’t have to renew my TV licence when it expires in February and our (smaller) new flat won’t have to accommodate a TV stand or TV.
  4. Read one book per month.  (I’m too embarrassed to reveal book one, but I am only reading it as it can be left in the hotel I’m staying in when I’ve finished as I don’t want to keep it)
  5. (ongoing from 20th July 2015 to 19th July 2016) to buy no new clothes, shoes, bags or accessories other than from charity shops.
  6. Actively seek out something to do that I’ve never done before at least once a month, ie not just to do something then announce, “oh, I’ve never done that before, tick”.  I have already completed January’s, which was to order room service dinner and eat it in my dressing gown, which to me still seems like the height of decadence and which I might even do again this month (seeing as I’m writing this from a lovely five star hotel in Guernsey that work is paying for, though not the room service element, it seems slightly rude not to make that first into a second too, and even a third.  Ahem, actually, the afternoon tea in the photo was the second time).

et cetera