Tag Archives: New Year

Becky says things about … whatever happened to 2016

O abandoned listeners, I’ve got a really good reason for producing only a measly four blog posts in 2016. The reason is that 2016 kidnapped me and threw me into a darkened cell with no nourishment or natural light and pelted me with the corpses of baby bunnies until I was stunned into silence.

And I know you believe me. You believe me because that is just the sort of thing that 2016 would do, because 2016 was a dick.

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Listeners, I really want to believe that 2016 just cocked up. I want to believe that, at 11.45pm on 31st December 2015, 2016 stood in the wings of the Present and muttered ‘Don’t cock up, don’t cock up, don’t cock up,’ but unfortunately, through incompetence and lack of experience, made a complete balls up of the whole thing.

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The thing is, 2016 didn’t just cock up. 2016 knew what it was doing. 2016 was a malicious, calculating badgerfart and, even though it’s left us with an almighty hullabaloo, it’s gone now and we’re well shot of it.

But where did it go, dear listeners? What happened after the evil genius skulked off through the pyrotechnic blaze at the stroke of midnight?

I’ll tell you exactly what happened. First of all, it refused to high-five 2017.

I like to think that an old year high-fives a new year as it passes the mantle in that fraction of a second that their paths cross.

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2016 sauntered past 2017 without high-fiving because 2016 was an arrogant weasel.

And poor old 2017 – who received a cold hard stare when it asked during its interview whether there was any truth in the rumours about the job being a ‘poisoned chalice’ – crept past 2016 like a condemned man on his way to the gallows.

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And while everyone was trying to gee up 2017 and make it welcome and convince it that it wouldn’t be that difficult to undo the irreparable and potentially catastrophic damage wreaked by its hellish predecessor, 2016 strode into the Great Green Room of Years Past, sat down in the biggest, reddest and squeakiest leather chair, crossed one leg over the other, and lit an enormous spliff.

After a few minutes, 2015 and 2014, who were awkwardly sipping tea and nibbling bourbons, plucked up the courage to speak.

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2016 made no acknowledgement of their presence, but merely tilted its head back and exhaled a languid plume of smoke that contained the ashes of our hopes, dreams, and the Great British Bake Off. 2014 and 2015 held their breath and wished they’d never spoken. Eventually 2016 looked straight at them and gave a slow smile.

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An audible gasp went round the Great Green Room of Years Past. In a dusty corner, 1347 slowly shook its hooded, scabbed head. Old 1347 has had some bad press for unleashing the Black Death that killed off nearly half the population of Europe, but, you know, it’s had a long time to think about what it’s done.

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2016 leant forward and poured itself a glass of scotch and cast a cold eye around the Great Green Room of Years Past, smirking disdainfully at 1929 and 2008, who skulked in the corner clutching the remains of livelihoods and life savings. You see, 2016 thought it was a bad-ass. An unbeatable, immovable tyrant, gobbling up and terrifying all in its path.

Slumped wearily against the wall, 1914 and 1939 drew on damp cigarettes, their eyes ringed with the guilt of shattering the world twice over. They viewed 2016 with the despairing wisdom that comes with age and experience. Slowly, 1914 rose to its tired feet, shuffled over to 2016 and looked down at it like a wizened old gangster over a school bully.

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2016 paused, held 1914’s gaze for a few moments, then looked away.

And so 2016 remains, like a despised, despotic aunt who never leaves her room and occasionally yells unreasonable and hateful demands down the stairs.

But what of 2017?

2017, dearest listener, is shitting itself.

I feel for 2017. 2017 has been sold what it thought was a brand new Aston Martin, but has quickly realised that it is in fact an old Astra, the tyres are flat, the windscreen is cracked, and someone has puked all over the back seat.

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We must be gentle with 2017. It has a lot to learn. It has two choices: shrug its shoulders and roll with gay abandon into the doomish cesspit created by 2016, spray shit up the walls and then hold up its hands and say ‘Weren’t me, guv’; or, it can learn from its heinous predecessor’s actions, roll up its sleeves, and try to clean up the mess.

 

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I will say this to 2017: if you lay a finger on Julie Andrews, I’ll rip your throat out.

 

 

 

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Becky says things about … January

Well good day to you my most excellent Listeners! I trust you are in fine fettle and full of the joys and hopes of a shining, sparkling New Year?

Of course you’re not.

It’s January.

The laws of Physics, Biology, Cosmology and other sciencey things dictate that it is virtually impossible to feel anything other than thoroughly depressed in January. It is a terrible month. We plough through December, eating and drinking everything in sight, relying on the fact that on January 1st we shall be injected with a pure elixir of energy, health and enthusiasm for life.

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The reality is quite different.

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Oh, Listener, you have no idea the effort it is taking to drag my lethargic fingers across these keys. Would I rather be binge-watching anything on Netflix with a plate of cheese resting on my stomach? Of course I would. Because that’s what I spent December doing. But January is here now, and January says NO to everything we did in December. December is the really fun yet irresponsible babysitter who lets us eat all the chocolate and watch unsuitable films, but is now passing us back to our stern January parents who are entirely disapproving of the whole thing.

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In the midst of the grey funk of January, we are expected to reinvent ourselves. We are expected to hoist ourselves out of the gluttonous December coma and be inconceivably motivated. I tried to do this, Listener. On Monday I went to the gym. For the first time in about 347 years. Everyone in the gym could be moved into one of three categories:

1) Those who were doing a sterling job of starting their New Year’s health and fitness routine, who had clearly spent the weekend online ordering vitamin powders and home exercise equipment, and who were sprinting, cycling, lifting, pushing, squatting, and sit-upping with the fearsome determination of movie soldiers running in slow motion through a forest in heavy rain to catch the enemy who had just shot their best buddy Herb against a dramatic soundtrack.

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2) Those who desperately wanted to be in the first category, but who couldn’t quite muster the same level of enthusiasm because they were weeping internally for the loss of justified over-indulgence and the ability to consume an entire wheel of truffle brie without challenge. These folks were slumped wretchedly over the rowing machines and staring at themselves in the mirror whilst mourning their lost happiness.

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3) Those for whom January is just another month of incessant smug fitness and energy, and who were watching the New Year’s Resolutions clutter up their gym with a tedious annual predictability, and who were waiting for us to get the hell off the treadmill and stuff our pathetic faces with the pizza we so tragically desired.

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And the weather will not assuage our torment. In December, we can handle the perpetual greyness because it is lit up with a flurry of twinkling lights and the prospect of endless evenings face down in sausagemeat stuffing against a backdrop of numbing festive television. In January, the greyness is just grey. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. No hope. No joy. Nothing.

Just grey.

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We are overweight. We are dehydrated. We are unfit. We have played with our Christmas presents and had to explain ourselves to the family member who spied their gift to us on eBay. We have received the credit card bill. We try to sleep after an evening of peppermint tea and miso salmon, but lie awake inside a body that screams ‘What is this shit? Give me a full-bodied Merlot and a turkey crown this instant!’ We are oh, so aware of the running shoes that have lain unopened in their box since Christmas morning, and which are now pulsing like Kryptonite at the back of the wardrobe where we have pitifully tried to hide them and forget that they exist.

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Oh, Listeners. I wish I could end your seasonal suffering. I wish I could tell you a sprightly jape or provide some words of comfort to pluck you from your January doom.

But I cannot.

January has us in its clutches. January lies like the cold forgotten sausage at the back of your fridge. Hopeless. Useless. An unbearable disappointment.

My only advice to you is: cook some more sausages.

 

AND NOW FOR A SHAMELESS PLUG…

If you’d like something to cheer up your January, why not buy a copy of my book ‘This Ridiculous Life’? Click ‘Buy This Ridiculous Life’ at the top of the page and hey presto! January is immediately better! 

 

 

 

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Filed under Food, Health and Exercise, Life eh?, Rants, Thoughts and Musings

Becky says things about … a new year

So, dearest Listeners, it’s very nearly 2014, and Stickman, like a lot of us, is feeling a bit pensive.

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Those old niggling feelings of regret and guilt are creeping up on as we teeter towards the cusp of a new year: was I productive enough this year? Was I a good person? Did I do enough exercise? Did I eat and drink too much? Did I finally sort out my iTunes folders?

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We’re vaguely excited about a new year because it means we can start again, and get it right this time. Not like we did all the other years – all the other years, when we promised ourselves we’d be brilliant and then we turned out to be not as  brilliant as we’d hoped – because this year it’ll be different. 

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We’re probably going to a party tonight, and are getting into the party spirit by playing a few excellent tunes, having a cheeky drink, dancing a merry jig, and waving off 2013 as something that happened to us once, and there’ll be plenty of other years ahead to play with. new year4

Or we’re staying at home and reflecting on how quickly it all flies past and how death is imminent.

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Whatever we’re doing, and however we’re feeling, the new year is upon us – whether we like to stick with a lower case new year, or attribute seasonally erroneous capitals to our New Year to give it the magnitude it deserves – and there’s a whole heap of bugger all we can do about it.

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So, I suggest we all have a good time, we all hug our friends, we all get a little bit merry and say something mildly inappropriate to at least one person, and we all look forward to being brilliant in 2014 and finally getting round to sorting out our iTunes folders.

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A very happy new year, or Happy New Year – however you like to play it – for 2014 from myself and Stickman, and may the New Year bring You very many Good Things, a lot of Laughs, few Cries, Much Love, excellent Fortune, and a WhiMsicaL attItuDe To cApiTAl LeTTeRs.

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Filed under Adventures of Stickman, Life eh?, The Beauty of Life, Thoughts and Musings

Becky says things about … New Years

New years are exhausting, aren’t they? You’re caught between a desperate surge of optimism for a fresh, sparkly year in which you will definitely do everything you haven’t done in previous years but will definitely do this year, and the clawing, irrepressible doom that reminds you that that’s another year of your precious life gone forever, you will never get it back, you haven’t done half the things you said you’d do last New Year, and to top it all off you are one year closer to death.

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And to add to that emotionally exhausting turmoil with which you must contend on New Year’s Eve, you must also have the Best Night of Your Life Ever in the History of Best Nights Ever in the World Ever.

I’ve never really got my head round New Year’s Eve. The pressure to have the Best Night of Your Life Ever in the History of Best Nights Ever in the World Ever is like having an unsmiling and slightly frightening bearded man relentlessly staring you in the face waiting for you to make some magnificent arrangements, and threatening death by social disapproval if you fail.

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The very nature of New Year’s Eve surely dictates that you may well have the very opposite of the Best Night of Your Life Ever in the History of Best Nights Ever in the World Ever: everything is twice the price, twice as busy, queues are twice as long, everyone is twice as drunk, twice as emotional and twice as unstable, and if you’ve got a mathematical brain like I have, you will have worked out that all those doubled factors means that the sum of your enjoyment is slashed by at least six eighths, leaving you with a rather paltry enjoyment probability of minus four and a half.

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So how do you go about having the Best Night of Your Life Ever in the History of Best Nights Ever in the World Ever? Do you brave a pub and spend your New Year’s Eve pressed up against a drunken local who’s slurring about how much he hates his job and is going to form a band in the New Year and go and live on a ranch in Montana, and then get snogged by him at midnight before he throws up on your shins, leaving you with the vague assurance that at least it can only be uphill from here?

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Do you trek up to your nearest city with the billions of other revelers, stand in a universally-recognised street, square or harbour in the rain, enjoy a reasonably exciting few minutes of fireworks and loud music, and then endure a journey home that is the exact opposite of everything that is exciting, fun, or pleasant, to arrive home at 7am on New Year’s Day cold, shattered, penniless, probably bleeding, and with a general abhorrence for the whole of mankind?

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Do you go to a house party that is filled to the brim with people who didn’t want to go to the pub or into the city, get horrendously drunk on your Co-Op gin, which you have to drink neat because the host has run out of Co-Op tonic water, spend an hour and a half in a toilet comforting a girl you don’t know who’s crying about her boyfriend’s dead gerbil, then find yourself alone in the kitchen foraging for food and suddenly hear cheers and applause from the next room and realise you’ve just spent the stroke of midnight with your hand in a box of Sugar Puffs that isn’t yours?

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And then once you’ve got the Best Night of Your Life Ever in the History of Best Nights Ever in the World Ever over and done with, you’ve got to go through New Year’s Day, which should of course be the Most Perfect, Wholesome and Saintly Day You’ve Ever Had in Your Life Ever.

On this day you eat nothing but fruit, leaves and raw fish, drink nothing but nettle tea and filtered water (with a slice of lemon and a dainty sprig fresh mint), you go for a sprightly jog, you read the first three chapters of your new book How To Be An Excellent Human Being and Make Others and Yourself Spectacularly Happy Whilst Doing It, you do ten minutes of invigorating yoga, you smile at a robin and ruffle a child’s hair, and you go to sleep at 9 o’clock with a cup of warm milk and an enormous sense of wellbeing.

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Or, more likely, you do literally none of those things and instead spend the day watching awful films and eating terrible food and telling yourself you’ll definitely start all the good things tomorrow.

However you spent your new year, I hope it was happy, and myself and Stickman wish you all a joyous and plentiful 2013.

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NB – Stickman is much better now, thank you. After several weeks of intense therapy and a few good sessions of colonic irrigation, he felt much better and now enjoys a relatively stable existence and doesn’t eat cheese before bed.

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