Giving up mixers

5 Jan

Yesterday evening I went to Soho to meet a friend. We had a fine time sitting in the window of a restaurant looking at the world outside. We spotted a few strays braving the wind and the rain; there was nothing much else to see really, but it was good to be out.

It is January after all. People everywhere complain of being broke, or have family issues to resolve and things to piece back together, all against a backdrop of wild and unpredictable weather.  The general feeling seems to be that you’re better off staying inside.

Except, after last night I’m not convinced. I have an empty wallet, but I feel that in a month when the only thing I have to look forward to is my tax return application receipt, it’s the perfect time to gather my pennies and my headful of post-festive sludge, and head for somewhere that looks like it once had some life in it.

I’ve met some doubtful curmudgeons who always advise me to stay away from temptation in the early months of the year. This is, after all, the time when some people enthusiastically list all of their vices, then set out a list of resolutions to help tackle them. If January is the month of well-meaning and abstinence, February is the time for relapse, where all the good is undone and people feel like failures.

Surely if we were sensible we would think “Why choose January to stop all of the things that make life better?” It’s the most un-happening month of the year and yet it’s the popular choice for making daft resolutions that will only lead to misery.

Unless resolutions lead to pleasure I say do away with them altogether. They are only projections of hope for things that we think will make us feel better, and yet they almost undoubtedly lead to disappointment and make us feel worse. Smaller goals are much more achievable, and even then I will wait until July at the earliest to deal with them. In summer it’s warmer, I’m generally in a brighter mood, I’ll probably be better off than I am now and I don’t really feel like eating pies in the heat. A much better month to dust away the cobwebs.

Here are my anti-resolutions, which kicked off last night:

I shared two cigarettes with my friend. I don’t really smoke, but seeing as it’s January, I thought, well, here’s a resolution. I’ll take up smoking again on Wednesdays for the New Year. Then I thought that was too prescriptive so I changed it to “I’ll have a cigarette when I like” which is usually only about once every fortnight, meaning that this month I’ll probably smoke four cigarettes. Not enough to worry anyone,  but I know they’ll taste delicious.

I ate risotto, a large plate of bread and chorizo, some octopus, and a plate of banana fritters. My justification? I like eating, it’s cold outside and I need insulation, and if I’m going to eat out, I might as well make it enjoyable. One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat every supper as if it’s my last.

I had three gin and tonics and two glasses of wine. Gin has been known to make people cry, but in this grim old month I feel overjoyed to be drinking something that tastes as good as it smells. (I have a juniper hand cream that I call my ‘gin and tonic’ pick me up for times when it’s inappropriate to pick up the bottle. I obviously don’t drink the stuff, but the smell reminds me of good times.) A few drinks will always be cheaper than good therapy, so my aim is to exceed my unit allowance for three nights out of seven this month. I may even give up mixers.

I hailed a cab at Brixton station: I took the tube for most of the journey, but having waited five minutes for a bus I thought, gosh, this wind is really quite vicious, and if I stand here any more I may get a kidney infection ( I wasn’t wearing a vest). A black cab with an orange light is a rarity in Brixton so I flagged it.  I also felt virtuous about doing the driver a good deed, when he told me I was the only person he’d picked up in two hours. I may give up walking for a while.

Sadly, I will be staying in for the rest of the month because I can’t afford to live like this every day, but I will be eating, drinking and generally trying to be merry from  the comfort of my own home, while watching all of the best DVDs my shelves have to offer.  Tonight I’m starting with ‘In Treatment’ which is where I won’t be after my month of joyous excess.


2 Responses to “Giving up mixers”

  1. upyoursginaford January 29, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    ‘eat every supper as if it’s my last’ is one of the loveliest things I’ve read in a long time! We need to take pleasure in the simple stuff and, more importantly, try not to berate ourselves for it once we do. Love your anti-resolutions, love your blog…

    • mothersruined January 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      Thank you very much! Good coming from someone whose blog I very much admire. Learning to enjoy the simple things is something I’m getting much better at. I say this with a glass of wine in my hand and a fistful of Minstrels.

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