Were YOU ready for a month of sobriety after the excesses of Christmas and New Year? Tssssk.

I once didn’t drink alcohol for about fifteen years straight!
Admittedly I was a kid but that is entirely beside the point.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always really glad to get through the first couple of weeks of January.

January seems like such a long depressing month. In reality, it’s no longer than six other months of the year but for reasons unknown to me, it always feels so endless.

As for doing it ‘dry’, good grief can you imagine anything more depressing than electing to go through the entire month without a single glass of fizz?
No thank you!
My version of ‘Dry January’ would have to be drinking solely Brut Champagne.
There were quite a lot of ‘Dry January’ Memes but these two were my favourites.

 

For instance, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone that I will be doing fat-arse, lazy January by taking an entire month off from doing any exercise, I just get on with it or not as the case may be. Actually, as a blogger that is probably untrue as I do kind of end up telling everyone about everything.

Anyway, if any of my friends happened to announce on social media that they were taking part in ‘Dry January’, well I’m sorry that you got neither my applause or my congratulations. Only if it is on very serious medical grounds will you have my full understanding, my compassion and my every sympathy.

I mean, please tell me, what is the actual point of a ‘non-alcoholic’ cocktail? Anybody?

None what so ever. So there we have it, January is hard enough, without making it any harder.

Now, I wouldn’t want any of you to start thinking that I have a bit of a drinking problem or anything like that, those that know me know that this is farthest from the truth but it has to be said that I do enjoy a few glasses of bubbles at the weekend, normally on a Sunday when the family descend on us for their weekly dinner and I don’t see any reason to stop enjoying those just because of some arbitrary fad that sweeps the nation at the beginning of each year.

A bit like this one.  The mass January Gym membership sign-up:


Hmmm let me think, rubs chin perspicaciously, how else can I make myself poorer just after the enormous expense of Christmas, I know by joining a gym for a full years membership at the princely sum of £540 to end up using it just TWICE, once for the inaugural session overseen by some twelve year old ‘personal fitness trainer’ and once again the day before your membership is due to expire.

I’m much happier once the cold, harsh, underwhelming, over-promising and under-delivering month of January is far behind us, followed swiftly by February and then we can start to look forward to glimpses of Spring because round about now I’m thoroughly bored of the daily chore of the log burner, the never-ending rain, wearing socks, the short gloomy days, the obligatory winter Sunday roast dinners. In fact, I’m thoroughly bored of winter as soon as Christmas is over and sometimes it hasn’t even really kicked in at that point. We’ve actually had 21 degrees here on Christmas Day and then had Winters that last until June!

This is absolutely why in January my attention always turns immediately to plans for the coming year, things to look forward to with much anticipation. As you know from my last blog, by 2nd January I had already booked two holidays. Booked I might add but definitely not paid for!

With those holidays in the pipeline but seemingly an eternity away still, my thoughts turned to more immediate fixes of fun and excitement and with my husband away this week for the whole week, and let me tell you by only Tuesday afternoon it already felt like he had been gone for an entire week, I definitely needed some cheering up.

Perusing through Ryanair (as you do) I spotted some ridiculously cheap flights to Stansted and when I say ridiculously cheap I’m talking about the same price that they charge you for an Instant coffee and a Kit-Kat on board.

I kid you not!

I managed to pick up return flights for €4,99 per person each way, so I promptly booked tickets for myself and my husband to visit family for a long weekend from Thursday to Sunday at the end of January. I then added car hire and extra insurance. After determining that my London based friend would be busy for the entire three days I would be in the UK,  I subsequently decided to extend my visit so that some time with my bezzie could be scheduled. My husband will still return home on the Sunday as planned as he has to work from the Monday again, whereas I’m free as a bird so I binned my €4,99 return flight (I know, extravagant or what?) and purchased another flight for the Wednesday, this one five times the cost but realistically still pretty cheap as far as International travel goes. I then had to carefully plan my getting to and fro using only public transport as it made more sense for my husband to return the hire car than for me to drive him to the airport and back and forth, plus I haven’t driven in the UK for about six years now and these quiet (more like deserted) French roads are not quite the same as navigating all that outer London traffic, so public transport, believe it or not, was the lesser of the two evils.

With the extended visit to my friend now planned, talk soon turned to West end shows and trips to London for shopping and lunch in Covent Garden. The visit taking on an ever more extravagant air than one would have expected of the original bargain basement flights at €4,99.

Ah well, we save on the mundane so we can splash out on the finer things in life. Isn’t that so?

After two days of almost constant messages and phone calls back and forth, plans were finalised and I am now rather excited to not only be looking forward to seeing my gorgeous little niece, my brother, my sister in law, Mama J and any of the Old Basing Massive that care to join in but also my best friend and her darling dear of a husband who makes absolutely the best cocktails and is a fabulous host, plus tickets to see Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre, dinner in Covent Garden and whatever else we can manage to squeeze into a quick visit.

All happening at the end of January and by the time I’m back home we will be welcoming February. All in all, not such a shabby way to bring January to its conclusion.

I should really be updating my Blog. Not updating as in writing, I do that regularly enough, I mean updating the WordPress features, the themes, the plugins. I have steadily watched the little ‘updates available’ box reach double figures but I keep putting them off. Probably because despite an entire career in IT, I am not very techy and I’m worried that I will break it and it will never work again, but also because it’s boring and who would rather be doing that instead of booking fabulous frivolities with your nearest and dearest.

I’ve also found the time, whilst avoiding all other and frankly more dull priorities, to start working on a new writing project. Not a post for my blog but a much more involved chapter.
Could this ultimately be my masterpiece I wonder? It is moreover, just a concept at the moment, with a few pages roughed out but it is exciting to finally have the bit between my teeth again and feeling that sense of empowerment as I start to take charge of a new personal mission.

If you never hear about it again then I’ll thank you not to ask and you can be certain that it has fallen by the wayside but at the moment I’m feeling quite positive about it, long may it continue.

Onto this weeks Birthday mentions, since this seems to be becoming a regular spot:

Neal, a fellow creative writer and my partner in crime when it comes to just having a bloody good old moan about ‘everything’ and banging the world to rights, turned 33 yesterday. Many happy returns young man, long may you continue to avail me of your dry wit and sarcasm my friend. I’ve told you so many times that we should join forces and become a formidable writing partnership, imagine the dizzy heights we could reach as a team, we could get subscribers into the double figures. Better be quick though, I might be too busy and important once I’m a bestselling author…..lol. xx

My childhood friend Teresa turns 45 today but to me, she will forever remain the cute, dimple-cheeked little girl that I used to go to Brownies with whilst diligently serving our Queen and Country!  Happy Birthday to you my lovely. I hope your hints for your little family of Duckies haven’t fallen on totally deaf ears, Quack Quack. xx

And to the rest of you, I wish you a wonderful mid-January weekend.
Bottoms Up and you can stick Dry January where the sun don’t shine!

The Virtual Recluse

 “I promise that I will do my best, to do my duty to God,
to serve the Queen and to help other people
and to keep the Brownie Guide Law”

A solemn promise indeed from someone who was all of about nine!