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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Speaking Spanish, getting fresh, sexy moves...and no clothes.

Have you abandoned your new year's resolutions yet?  Maybe, like me, you don't usually bother with them.

But I had a rather delicious incentive this year to do things a little differently.

It was Claire's idea. She suggested that four of us meet up, over Prosecco. As corks popped, we would produce slips of paper, on which we'd written our personal New Year's resolutions. These would be read aloud to the group, ventured Claire, then "sniggered at, discussed randomly, signed, sealed, and committed into the dark recesses of a Resolutions Box, 2017". We would then meet a year later, see how we'd done.....and start the whole process again.

She had us at 'Prosecco,' frankly. But nevertheless....our resolutions were prepared, penned and produced with a flourish, at our favourite coffee house just days later. Chief protagonist and Prosecco pourer Claire kicked things off in verse--food and booze featuring strongly--but not quite as we'd expected.

Instead of giving up the sauce, Claire resolved to drink a glass of red wine every day, having convinced herself, and us, after a glass or two of fizz, that it would be "good for the health and the digestion." She'd already started eating fresh food every day, too, and was feeling 'revitalised....'.

One and a half bottles were we. Sue-- a seasoned traveller--was already in the throes of planning a trip to Portugal, she revealed.... then a bigger trip--to Burma. She loved taking photographs on her travels, but readily admitted she wasn't making the most of the decent camera she had, or documenting her pictures for posterity on return. This was all due to change, she promised, adding a pledge to read more; organise her emails better...AND learn a new language. We drank to that.

And to Rose's plans, too, which, possibly, were the most eye-opening of the lot.

She lured us in gently: there'd be a walk each day....even if it was just to town and back.While she was at it, she'd shop locally, rather than at the large, budget supermarket that had become a bit of a guilty habit......AND, for good measure, she'd slap a strict weekly spending limit on herself. She'd keep a diary. PLUS--(we gulped here--Prosecco, mainly--at her next proclamation, in case she'd planned to replace us all)-- she'd resolved to forge new, nurturing, and probably female, friendships. (KEEP us!)

But probably the most radical of all the promises made that day...was Rose's decision to "buy no more clothes for the rest of 2017...". She had plenty already to sort through and wear, she reasoned...rounding her list off with a much applauded Polonius promise " thine own self be true...".

Four and a half glasses in....even though every resolution was being cheered rapturously...I was relieved that mine was short and sweet. Only two months before, I'd completed a whistlestop, round the world tour--something I'd always dreamed of doing. the song goes  '...there's such a lot of see....'. Including..sometime.... South America. But you can't really go there without enjoying the music along the way. Especially when your partner is a proficient dancer and all-round party show-off. So my resolution for 2017 is to be learning to dance a half decent, sexy samba. On the tables, this time next year, at Ludlow Cicchetti again, probably. As long someone clears the Prosecco bottles. And Sue leaves her camera at home.... are YOU faring? Resolutely avoiding cakes, booze and pasta? Or steering clear of resolutions themselves? I tested the water today, by throwing that question out to friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.

Three weeks in...both Chris in Japan, and Carol in Reading, said they were still pondering over theirs. Carol suggested that I check in with her next Christmas. Jenefer and Angela said they just don't bother. Nor does Dave--adding, somewhat mournfully, that it would be "just one more thing to fail at." (Cheer up, mate!) At a time when many are opting to take part in 'dry January', Rich said he gave up on giving up." I questioned why I was doing it," he said, "and had no good reason!"

Juliet had a different approach. "I don't think you need a new year to start a new resolution or a change in lifestyle," she wrote--adding that she started her new workout routine to get fit for Christmas--"a nicer goal than just working out 'because it's January' ".

Bob agreed. "Rather than re-inventing the wheel every year with New Year resolutions, I've instead always tended towards setting a long-term compass bearing--and sticking to it," he said.

And then there was this, from Annie, who, thankfully...never takes life too seriously...

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Whatever's in store for you this year....have a fabulous 2017!

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