Those of you who dare to be as old as I am may well remember a radio programme called "It's That Man Again" popular in, I think, the Forties and Fifties. Of course, I don't recall the name of That Man but only that it was a comedy programme that we all followed faithfully and felt the better for it. Yes, I do: it was Tommy Handley. There you are, you see, a tee-total New Year's Eve has left the old man in the archive fit and chirpy to push his library steps briskly up to the correct files.(That kind of serendipidy pleases me, as you will understand. I do appreciate the workings of the inner world, mysterious and unpredictable as they are. Incidentally, my American spell-checker has constant catniptions faced with my UK english).
Anyway, the time that has come round again is for the making of New Year Resolutions. Here are a few: 1] I will re-organise (US spell-checker interfering once more, wanting a 'z', I suppose) my clothes cupboard and a) throw some of them at a charity shop b) find my wardrobe renewed by items heretofore hanging at the back or hanging in the wrong place. 11] I will groom my long-haired cat diligently every day in spite of his antipathy to being done underneath and suffer the consequent wounds of war. 111] I will return the books I have taken out of the hospital library and stop counting on the fact that I am the one who deals with the 'books-out' index to hide the fact that I am overdue. 1V] I will arrive on time at the hospital and report to the Volunteers' office, as I should, rather than sneak straight to my post on the first floor. V] I will stop eating croissants and cheese for supper and find a healthier way to avoid cooking. V1] I will take more exercise and cease deliberately to avoid thinking about the person close to me who goes routinely to Boot Camp, which makes me feel guilty, inadequate and stiff. V11] I will go regularly to Eire to see my dear friend who lives there and not grumble about the exigencies of current air travel. I will cease to be too mean to stay over-night in an hotel because, as it happens, the young are worth far more than I am and are certainly not awaiting an inheritance. V111] I will endeavour to differentiate between appropriate interventions in the affairs of strangers and those that are a b....y cheek. eg It is acceptable to smile at and encourage a young Mother with a screaming baby on a full flight but not to tell off the lout who leaned over his chair to ask her what sort of Mother she was. On reflection, it was wrong to tell him off: it had consequences. Murder would have worked better .1X] I will do my best to accept my calendar age and grow up from the forty of my phantasy age. X] The thing is, the only resolution I have any hope of keeping is the one not to make any New Year Resolutions. Bore da and Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda ( Can you imagine the reaction of the spell-checker?)