But it has been a lovely Christmas.
As always, the majority of the week was spent on the sofa in front of the fire in assorted variations on pyjamas, but – oh joy – as my clever and fabulous husband bought me a sumptuous cross between an oversized cardigan and a dressing gown in whisper-soft pale grey cashmere I was even more than usually unapologetic about this. It is a thing of such glamour and loveliness that it almost makes me believe I can turn into the kind of serene person who rises early to drink herbal tea and calmly dash off a couple of thousand inspired words before doing an hour of yogic meditation and facing the school run with calm competence. In fact, I may not take it off much in the next grueling month as I thrash out this book, although I do have to admit that this will test its personality-transforming capabilities to the limit.
Which brings me neatly onto Kathy's point about New Year’s resolutions. In the past I’ve been a bit casual about these for the simple reason that I’m all too aware of my dismal lack of willpower and know that by vowing to swap chocolate and wine for gym membership (shudder) and carrot juice I’d be setting myself up to fail spectacularly. However, since this is the year that I’m going to turn 40 I’ve reluctantly decided that it’s probably time to be a bit more grown-up in several areas of my life. So, in view of that and the curent Book Situation I’ve come up with the following:
- To be... unafraid.
This has a pleasingly grandiloquent ring to it, but it actually means I intend to stop lying awake staring at the crack in the bedroom ceiling and worrying that it’s a sign of drastic subsidence and the entire house is going to implode any second, in the style of that building in Venice at the end of Casino Royale. It also means I'm going to try to give up obsessing over life-threatening illness, hideous freak accidents and my children becoming a statistic in the government’s figures for vicious crime, teenage binge drinking and cyber bullying because let’s face it, there are so many more appealing things to obsess about. (James D’Arcy, Daniel Craig for starters. And both together since I watched Flashbacks of a Fool the other night. Good film. Great soundtrack. Glorious first five minutes.)
- To be... more efficient.
Oh yes, this is the Big One. The time has come for the High Priestess of Procrastination to embrace the concept of time management. I absolutely can’t continue to lose whole days to ‘research’ (browsing youtube) or messing about rearranging a couple of paragraphs before deciding to scrap them and start again. I need to sharpen up and force myself to focus. I need a masterclass in efficiency and self-discipline from Kate Hardy, or Kate Hewitt (both uber-romance goddesses with families and an awesome catalogue of brilliant books behind them.) And I as my hopelessly-messed-about-with and book is due terrifyingly soon, I need it NOW.
- To be... more wholesome.
Must give up scoffing chocolate digestives straight from the packet and feeding the children supermarket pizza because I’ve been too busy not writing to cook something proper. Shall capitalize on last year’s success with the runner beans and lettuces and bring forth a bountiful harvest of organic goodness from the meagre soil of our garden this summer. (Though obviously have to master 2.) Time management first. And also not compromise too much on 4.) which is….)
- To be... more high maintenance
Because I know it’s the depths of winter and baths are for wallowing and dreaming and drinking wine/tea/damson gin and reading, but really… would it kill me to drag a razor over my legs once in a while?
Gulp. There they are and I feel weary already. Now I’ve told you mine, you tell me yours!