But it has. I can barely believe it but it has. Well, I’ve done it. It didn’t just happen. But it’s in progress so even though it’s first on the list, I ain’t worried about that anymore.
- Get further on with The Impossible Thing. Hope to reach the ‘merely overweight & can use the work step ladders’ stage & then towards the ‘seven stone off’ stage by early February. Okay … March. Something special happens then. Present from my Fitness Guru Extraordinaire (known hereafter as FGE) that’s waiting patiently in a drawer. Then I’m heading towards the ‘one hundred pounds lost’ stage’ & then the ‘lowest weight since school’ stage and, by the end of the year, past the ‘eight stone off’ stage aka the ‘OMG, I lost the equivalent of my FGE’ stage and with maybe less than a stone to go. Possible? Impossible? Just keep swimming, Sal.
- Drink more tea and alcohol. Kind of funny as ‘drink less’ would be a more expected resolution. Especially with ‘Dry January’, which I suspect would be followed by a celebratory ‘Wet February’. Like if I tried giving up cheese or crisps I’d go mad for them when I started back on them again. So why bother. Surely January is bad enough without at least a little of what you like drinking/eating? But the reason for this resolution is that I always want to eat but it seems more normal to be drinking a load of tea or alcohol. Just a mug of tea and some folk are quite happy. And, as for alcohol, why don’t I drink more than just occasionally? Most people do. Maybe it would make me happier. Maybe I’ll finally try gin. Maybe I’ll even try that ‘write drunk, edit sober’ thing.
- Get a cat. I often think this when I see cat videos on Twitter. I liked that one where a cat jumped on a small child and brought it to the ground. They’re so cute, loveable and fluffy, especially when they’re dressed up. A ginger one would be nice or something stripy like a tiger. Not a dog ‘cos I’m allergic. A cat would be company. Might even save on kettle boiling for hot water bottles, though it might be more likely to give me a scathing look as it walked away.
- Swim outdoors in a Lido. There’s one in IIkley – never been - or perhaps I could head South. It would make a good change from the endless back-&-forth in the pool at the VVV, which of course I love and never ever tire of. The Ilkley pool is shaped like a mushroom. I like mushrooms.
- Keep my flat clean and tidy. No washing up from three days ago lurking in the kitchen, a toilet you could eat your dinner off, books dust-free and colour coded, carpet devoid of hair and crumbs. Visitor-ready at all times.
- See either Squeeze, Nick Lowe or both on stage. Somewhere in this country, preferably – remembering my lovely Nick Lowe in Glasgow trip - a place I’ve never been before. Wherever I go I’ll just walk and walk and walk. And maybe do a bit of eating too. I’ll see Chris Difford in March, when he comes to Morecambe. Almost as if he knew I was here. And I have tickets booked for David Baddiel and for Danny Baker too.
- Do more beach walking. Like last August bank holiday, to include finally seeing those rusty men at Crosby beach who stare out to sea waiting for something to happen. Hope we get some good weather on days I’m not at work.
- Front crawl. I only ever do breast stroke and a bit of walking. I'm going to give front crawl a go, even if its just a length or two to start with. Must dig out the goggles and nose clip I got a few years back, at the encouragement of the FGE. Got to confess although I don't mind sticking my head in the water I did say she'd 'taken all the fun out of it'. Time to give it another go.
- Decorate bedroom. This is the next room on my list. Will start in the spring. I plan to buy a fabulous painting by Frances for above the fireplace. For years I’ve had that framed Woody Allen vodka ad from 1966. He’s temporarily covered up by pictures of Chris and Glenn from Squeeze. Woody had to go.
- Do at least one reading. If I get my act together I could have another go in the Pulp Idol heats. I have several novels started that I could work up into something. Could give Kite Children a whirl, though I can imagine the judge’s puzzled faces as I try to explain myself already. Oh dear …
- Finally finish Priscilla Parkin Reluctant Celebrity Chef. The dreaded third novel. Poor Priscilla always gets pushed to the end of the To Do List and ends up falling off into the abyss of stuff-still-not-done. I have four days booked off in Feb when I want to do a full read-through of what I have and tackle the dreaded synopsis. Then I’ll submit to agents again. Third time lucky? Still don’t want to self-publish, which is just as well as I don’t know how to do that.
- Organise a family party for my Mum’s 80th. Am I capable of getting my parents and maybe fifteen other people – some of whom don’t have email or their own transport - to the same restaurant (perhaps The Royal at Heysham) on the same day and add a speech and whatever else and for some of it to be a surprise? Probably not. I wish my brother and I had another sister and brother, maybe older and good at organising. Step up, Sal, you’re fifty-two now. And once that’s done, I need to start planning my Dad’s 80th for the year after.
- Get stories into a couple more anthologies. There are fourteen on Amazon's Sal Page Page (Never fails to amuse me. Thanks Dad, for giving me a good writery name.) There will be one anthology out this year with a story of mine in that I already know about. I came third in the Save As Writers Writing the City competition two years ago, which included doing a reading in Canterbury. The original version of the story was written in 2003. Blimey! Only a decade and half later it gets into a book. Too slow for words.
- Buy a second bicycle. To keep going with the named after sitcom character thing, I’d either call it Lance, after Lance in the detectorists, or Shelley after James Shelley in Shelley. I’d need to make a bit of space in the shed next to Brenda but other than that, no problem.
- Keep adding to my notes for my The Impossible Thing book. I’ll be a millionaire! Or … I just want to help people. Sal solves the obesity crisis single-handedly. Or maybe just inspires a few people. Can’t really write it till I’m at target and maintained but when I think of something I make a note of it.
- Take a class at the health club. It does get mentioned occasionally by one of the staff. ‘Mix it up a bit?’ she says. I’m going to be really daring and try Zumba, I think. I won’t like it but I’ll give it a go. Might take earplugs for if the music’s too loud.
- Finally get to tweet food. I’ve been saying this for years but surely this will become a reality soon. My Dad says you need all the ingredients in a 3D printer the other end and that’s aside from the actual cooking. What does he know? Well, he tells me he predicted the internet, email and social media in 1970. He didn’t mention it at the time though, unless I forgot. I guess at 4 years old I’d have believed anything. So if – massive IF - 2018 is the year of the first ever food-tweeting I want to be in on it. I’ll be able to tweet Stella a mug of tea when her butler is out & she can try whatever I’m cooking. I could tweet AJ a Beef, Bacon and Beer Pie. (All the Bs!) and all of my 1,066 followers could try my Shortbread and Cheesy Oat Cakes. Get everyone hooked then start charging. Free for FlashDogs though, of course.
- Stop buying clothes that don’t fit. Bide my time and save my money. Waiting to be at target. Then, I’m going mad with proper shopping in a big city. Many, many bags and pizza for lunch.
- Laugh more. I reckon I laugh loads anyway but when I got that rail replacement bus the day after Boxing Day and everyone in the long snaky queue was cross and moany and stressed and ‘it’s ridiculous’ ing, I chose to just laugh. If anyone noticed, they probably thought I was laughing ‘with’ somebody. (I wasn’t) or just that I was nuts (I love nuts) but it was great. Yeah, laugh more. Just for the sake of it.
Okay, at least two of these are joke resolutions. Up to you to work out which.
* A HAPPY & BRILLIANT NEW YEAR TO ANYONE WHO READ THIS FAR*