I am delighted to report that, half way into January, my year has begun largely how the last one finished - in a flurry of baked produce consumption, alongside the odd glass or two of booze.
In keeping with my tendency to ignore all fads, I have, once again, shunned Dry January and have absolutely turned my back on Veganuary. Of course, I have made some efforts to lessen my girth and do up my top button and, so far this year, I have yet to consume anything in batter nor have I so much as looked at a bag of chips since before Jools Holland's Hootenanny.
I have, however, nearly finished the bumper box of pork scratchings that my wife’s sibling bought me for my birthday the other week. If Carlsberg did brother-in-laws…..
While I can happily go a week (well Sunday night to 6pm on a Friday), without alcohol passing my lips, the idea of enduring the dullest of months without the aid of anything stronger than Tizer leaves me cold.
Hats off to the millions of people who have binned the takeaway menus and spent this month’s beer money on introductory gym membership, but I have been there and have the sweat soaked t-shirt.
But January isn’t just about hangover free Sundays and celery in your lunchbox, as more and more of us are using this month to declutter our homes, and it is an obsession that has now become big business.
Marie Kondo isn’t somebody I had heard of until last week but apparently she is the high priestess of tidying up, so knows a thing or two about slinging out junk. She has flogged some 11 million books and is now the star of her own Netflix’s show, which has given her a new army of fans.
You might have heard of her - she is the Japanese guru who encourages Americans to say thank you to the inanimate object that you are about to chuck into the great dustbin in the sky.
Her methods, known as KonMari, are being adopted by people across the world, who yearn after a clutter-free home or place of work. In the interests of research, I have spent some time studying her methods and it is fair to say there are lots of them, which means that you have to be really dedicated if you want to avoid becoming the next star of Hoarders from Hell or whatever other televisual delight Channel 5 has planned for the eager masses.
Her key rules are discard and organise not to mention asking yourself if a particular possession “sparks joy”. Hand on heart, I am not sure how many of my things make me go weak at the knees but that doesn’t mean that I want to consign them to history.
Most human beings are slaves to self-improvement and being able to see the carpet in your living room is usually high up on the list of priorities for most house proud grown-ups.
Not this one. I have always been of the opinion that a desk is not a desk if you can see any of the surface beneath the piles of yellowing papers and Post-It notes.
It may not be perfect but it works for me. I am pretty sure that I won’t be saying a sincere thank-you to my half-chewed biros as there is still plenty of life left in them yet.