Tag Archives: dryathlon

The two faces of January

Well once again Christmas is over, last year’s calendars have been taken down (well nearly, I keep forgetting about the one in the bedroom but it does have a lovely orang-utan picture on it) and New Year’s resolutions have been made ready to be broken.

It seems this year that rather than making actual New Year resolutions, the more popular options are to just make changes for January with numerous challenges being advertised. There is Jantastic (which I must confess to taking part in) where you set an exercise goal for the 4 weeks. You then hope to achieve your goal by telling everyone who’ll listen that you are doing it and hopefully someone will remember enough to ask you how you are getting on later. Luckily you can change your goals at any time so if you don’t quite make it then it’s easy to change them.

There is Veganuary, which as you can probably guess is where people give up all animal products for the month. This is something I’d quite like to try as have always fancied giving veganism a go. Unfortunately there are two problems for me with this. I’m addicted to mayonnaise, and we currently have enough cheese in our fridge to rebuild the entire moon. I hate to waste food so maybe not this year.

There is also of course the popular Dryathlon, where people ask for sponsorship for giving up drinking alcohol for a month. I’m sure everyone would agree that cutting down on alcohol is a good idea. However there is something about this event that just makes me a little uneasy. There are lots of people out there for whom drink is a real battle so maybe all donations should be given to AA instead. Not that I’m knocking anyone doing it, every little helps as Tesco says. Any event which raises money for charity as well as raising awareness of the cause is a worthy thing to do. However I just wonder if rather than putting up a poster and ticking off the days until the next alcoholic drink, maybe raising money for cancer research by cutting down alcohol intake for a whole year would be more beneficial rather than this current all or nothing approach.

Personally I think rather than doing a month of something and then stopping whether it be exercise, diet or learning a language it would be much better to try and make permanent changes. That’s why I like the reading challenges going around. They are for a year not just for January. Obviously most people are focussing on Mark Zuckerberg and his personal ‘read a book a fortnight’ resolution. Yet before he jumped on the bandwagon there were others out there doing similar things.

The excellent Goodreads website encourages people to say how many books they want to read in a year and tell people on their website (https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge) If ever there was a suggestion that people don’t read anymore this surely proves them wrong, so far over 580 000 people have signed up pledging to read an average of 51 books, that’s a lot of books to be read in 2015.

Of course these are all just the challenges and resolutions that are newsworthy and I’ve no doubt that all over the world people have made their own targets for 2015. Personally mine are to read 50 books, to participate in at least 5 10ks this year (note I don’t say run them all!), to swim at least twice a week and to remember to take down the 2014 calendar that’s in the bedroom. Fingers crossed I remember what I’ve said by the end of the month.







Filed under blogging


So just in case you missed it, last week saw the start of 2014. This year on New Year’s Eve I did something I haven’t done for about 10 years and headed to York Minster for midnight. We stood with a few hundred other people all looking slightly bemused as there was no countdown or fireworks or party to acknowledge the date change. There were of course chimes at midnight and it was a lovely evening nonetheless.

So 2014 begins and it’s time for everyone to start making their New Year resolutions. As those of you who were reading this blog last year will know, I’m not a fan of the New Year resolution (and for the rest of you if you want to know you can find it here) but that doesn’t seem to stop the rest of the human race. Once again people are vowing to lose weight, get fit, save money and start doing fun things.

Giving up chocolate seems to be a big one this year (well at least til February when people can then devour the hundreds of half price selection boxes they’ve bought in the sales, before announcing to everyone that they’ll be giving it up again for lent) Chocolate may have been the death of many in crime novels as Margot Kinberg eloquently puts here. Yet whilst I’d hope there are not too many poisoned chocolates floating around. I’m not sure the whole feast and famine approach is a particularly healthy way to go either.

Apparently the latest craze in resolutions is having a dry January. Now this is one I was all in favour of when someone told me about it. I hate getting wet, and rain really makes my hair go frizzy. However further investigation shows they apparently meant they were giving up alcohol for a month. That soon put a dampener (no pun intended) on that plan. We are in a recession you know and pubs rely on the likes of me to keep their businesses ticking over. Even more ridiculous is the idea that you can get sponsored for not drinking for a month in a dryathlon. Are people seriously trying to say that giving up their favourite beverage is on a par with running a marathon or hiking across the Himalayas? Maybe it would be if you were Harry Hole or Homer Simpson, but otherwise surely it’s not really much of an achievement.

Apparently coming in at number ten of the top ten resolutions people make is the wish to read more books. I read this on a website that had asked people to fill in a survey on what resolutions they were going to make. Well there’s one of the problems straight away, rather than filling in the survey people should just have picked up a book and read that instead. That way rather than have to make a resolution saying they are going to do something, they can actually do something.

I, of course, don’t need to make a resolution to read more, I just pick up one of the numerous books I have hanging around. I haven’t yet had a tally up of the number of books I read last year which I should do. I do know however, that I’ve read many more than I’ve had time to review. Therefore maybe my resolution should be to write more reviews. I’m not calling it a New Year one though, that’s just asking to fail.

Anyway Happy New Year All.


Filed under blogging, Reading