So, New Year's Resolutions. I actually take these seriously and do them properly, which I imagine will surprise nobody: I keep them on my battered old palmtop and refer back regularly throughout the year, the better to have something in reserve to lambast myself about in moments of ill-earned hubris. Also, I'm a bit forgetful. Anyway, this year's are reproduced below.
- Write two more novels. Predictable enough, but after the three-year wait for The Writing Class and the probability of a genre trilogy next it seems to me I need a kick up the arse.
- Improve my 10K time. Another crack at the Watford 10K is due, and I want to be a little less ashamed of Lexie Jarrett's lead on me this year (ten fucking minutes! Either I am truly puddingesque or she ran on stilts).
- Drink less. Slightly less. Slightly. I don't binge-drink (although I have been known to lose count and forget to stop, as last Friday: a lapse I paid for with several minor injuries, a broken desklamp, extensive amnesia and the mysterious loss of a credit card) but I can tell bourbons apart by aroma, which is probably not so good. I remain well under the recommended weekly limit but still... slightly less.
- See the sea. I haven't laid eyes upon a body of water in a long time and suddenly I miss it - Clacton was a short bus ride away during my university years and TWC has made me nostalgic.
- Don't give up so easily. I'll explain another time.
- Dress better. Or, more accurately, dress like someone who has a job and not like some vagrant who has recently ram-raided Primark - the problem with working in IT is that one tends to gravitate towards either the jeans and t-shirt of the technical personnel (practical for patching ethernet cables under desks while knee-deep in fluff and spiders but none too good for shrugging off the deathly stereotype of The IT Crowd) or the cut-and-paste suitery of the management (serenely generic so as not to scare people in meetings but unfortunatelely redolent of Dilbert): since I work in a fashion retail environment and most of my supportees are dressed head-to-toe in fabulous it is necessary to try a little harder sartorially to bridge that them-and-us gap which forever keeps IT departments apart from civilised society. I am actually not too well stocked in decent clothing (I was in my youth, but that's why I have no fucking money left now) but two Gap blazers and a three-piece pinstripe can go a surprisingly long way with a bit of attention to detail and some cheap chinos.
- Change aftershave. I've been a Hugo Boss man for too, too long: good for meetings but not for dates, in my opinion. I have already switched in fact, to One Million by Paco Rabanne, housed within the most horrifyingly tacky bottle in all of Christendom but does smell quite good, according to Women Who Know.
I haven't started the next book, and won't for a while yet, but I've made small inroads to the rest of the items enumerated above. Still, though, I feel an odd sort of psychological clog at this time of year: as if I can't quite do anything until I've cleared it. Like Writer's Block, but for living rather than writing. It will pass around mid-February - it usually does, once the vile and soul-destroying ritual of Valentine's Day has been avoided and the resultant depression surmounted with strong drink and bitter quips - but in the meantime I am a bit... clogged.
Sea air, perhaps, will help. Or a bow tie? Yeah, I can pull that off. Anything the Doctor can do...