Saturday, 8 January 2011

A New Year: Plus ça change

' 2011, therefore, began with neither a hangover, nor a developing cold sore'.

I find the prospect of a new year wildly appealing. I imagine a beautifully decadent blowout- for which I don classy, yet inappropriately tight clothing, quaff Moët and, eventually, find myself completely ratted and draped chicly round a stripper’s pole- followed by a quasi-rebirth on 1st January from which I emerge purer, thinner and spiritually fulfilled à la Liz Gilbert.

In reality, however, my New Year’s Eve was more Bridget Jones than Kate Moss, as I spent it at home in my pyjamas with a glass of wine. I simply had no desire to venture into town on a night when bars are full, drinks are more expensive and you need to remortgage your house to afford the taxi back home. Fortuitously, however, I avoided getting horribly drunk and having to kiss a sweaty randomer at the stroke of midnight; my 2011, therefore, began with neither a hangover, nor a developing cold sore. But just as my desire for the perfect New Year’s Eve is nothing more than a pipedream- influenced by reading one too many editions of GQ- so, too, is my view of New Year’s resolutions.

Case in point: finding myself in the throes of a particularly vicious post-Christmas hangover, I resolved to give up alcohol in 2011. I decided that it was time to release myself from the shackles of Sauvignon Blanc and live life as a teetotaller. I also- and here’s where my resolution really enters into the realm of fantasy- opted to give up coffee. Yes, I was to swap Cappuccino and Pinot Grigio for Green Tea and water with lemon.

Needless to say, it didn’t last. To be precise, it lasted about 24 hours; but then, come on, I can’t be expected to have a glass of Sprite on a date, can I? It was in those abstemious 24 hours that I realised that I like the taste of coffee, and that I like the taste of wine. I also remembered just how much I enjoy the social aspect of both alcohol and coffee; and as I am not- despite what my posts may suggest- an alcoholic, nor do I drink that much coffee, I really have no reason to give it up, other than as a sign of my own will power. And after three years of Anorexia, I can safely say I have a pretty strong will. Thus, my abstinence came to a dry, fruity end.

While I may love the prospect of a new year as an opportunity for a self-renaissance, a change in the calendar does not signify a change in who we are as people. I am no more or less likely to covet a glass of Pinot Noir in 2011 as I was in 2010. And so, while my drinking remains at a sensible level- as in I’m not so desperate for booze that I’m making Hooch out of Co-op mouthwash- I will eschew prohibition in favour of happiness. I am, therefore, cheerfully entering 2011 with the same vices I had in 2010. 

Sod New Year’s resolutions!  Although, worryingly, I’ve just realised that throughout this article I have compared myself to women. Perhaps my New Year’s resolution should be to remember I’m, er, male. 


  1. What a lovely piece of writing CJ. Early January is often typified by drearily worthy preachifying from people who've given up booze/fags/stimulants but taken up talking about it instead, so it's refreshing to see such a cheerfully defiant rebuke to all that.

    Cheers to 2011!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, and for reading my post. As much as I love a fad diet, giving up wine was just a step too far. All the best for 2011. Cj xx

  3. I really enjoyed these two January pieces! I think eschewing Prohibition in favour of happiness is an exceptionally worthy resolution, and one I can gladly subscribe to.