Column: New Year, Same Me

This column first appeared on New Year’s Day in the Lancashire Evening Post.

The tree is drooping and the purple Quality Street sit lonely in the bottom of the tub. Nobody likes the purple ones, do they? I think they have nuts in them and that’s like eating fruit and veg. I’m still on a strict diet of chocolate for breakfast and left-over turkey for lunch.

As January lands, I’m sticking steadfast to my first resolution of not following ‘new year’ with ‘new me’. So far, so good.

My Facebook feed is full of people on brisk New Year’s Day walks and ‘checking in’ at the gym.

‘Let’s start as we mean to go on!’ ‘New Year. New Gear.’ ‘Day 1 of dry Jan! Just chucked the booze in the bin!’ Tragic waste, if you ask me.

Like everything in life, it starts well and ends the same way. So this year, I’m starting not as I mean to go on, but how I’m really going to go on.

I’m not going to go to the gym. Still.

I’ve written here before of the hell of the gym. The metal jungle. The posers. The protein guzzling meatheads that will eat you alive. I was always an imposter. When somebody once pointed out that I was using the chest press on my legs, I pretended I’d actually invented a new use for it.

‘Pah. Idiot. You don’t know about using the chest press on your legs?’ I’d said, before scurrying off to the changing room in shame.

Last time I tried, I sat in the carpark for 45 minutes before clipping the top of my thumb as I took the key out the ignition. So strong was my desire to avoid the hell of a work-out that I convinced myself this constituted an injury and that I should probably knock it on the head and go home. Wouldn’t want to do any lasting damage, eh?

I’m not going to give up drinking.

Have you ever spent a Saturday night in the pub without alcohol in your system? I tried it once and it was like the end of the world.

A healthy debate with a man about Brexit fast turned into pub warfare when one bloke suggested Anthea Turner would have probably voted ‘Leave’. He wasn’t having it.

By 9.30pm, I’d run out of hope for civilisation. If I’m going to be faced with the stark reality that we’re all completely doomed, I’d like to be drunk when it happens.

I’m not going to eat less Greggs.

Gwyneth Paltrow will eat anything. Plants, herbs, cardboard. Convince her its healthy and she’s up for it. I once followed a recipe of hers that suggested a specific type of Italian white truffle. Do you know how much specific Italian white truffle costs? £147. And it’s disgusting, tastes like paper and commits you to the toilet for a fortnight. I know this, not because I splashed out and bought it, but simply because it’s been recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow.

While her desire to eat clean and keep lean is admirable, does she know that you can get two sausage rolls for £1 at Greggs? We can only assume not.

Gwyneth Paltrow makes a fortune from being an ‘alternative lifestyle’ guru. Well, I’m entering the market as a ‘conventional lifestyle’ guru. I would urge you to join me in my manifesto. New year, same you.

Skip the gym. Enjoy a responsible drink. Eat whatever you want. Except purple Quality Street. Not even Gwyneth would eat those.

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By Darryl Morris

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