I have realised that a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other, so I have resolved to stop making them once and for all.

via Wikimedia Commons

I used to resolve every year that I would lose some weight so that rather than being a bit overweight I would just lose enough to be of average weight, but as the world population has gotten fatter and fatter over the last decade or so, it has all caught up with me so that I am now considered to be only of average weight. That’s one resolution I don’t have to worry about any more thanks to McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

My resolutions to learn another language have also gone by the wayside having spent the last 10 years trying to learn French as a resident, and having only become increasingly confused the more that I try to speak it, my only achievement being the ability to recognise the different parts of a pig when I see them on a French menu. (See “Vive le French language” posted September 19, 2011). I have now gotten to the stage that I realise that as my French language skills improve my English language skills are deteriorating, making me understand that I have a limited amount of language memory storage in my brain, having limited its total capacity to ensure that I do not forget the names of my wife, daughters and grand-daughters and the physical location of my house, rather than being able to conjugate some French verbs correctly.

I have also given up on deciding that I need to be nicer and gentler to those around me as I creep inexorably and more readily into the “grumpy old man” category, complaining about modern youth, modern music, the state of the world, the uselessness of politicians, the French attitude to work, and the rest of the world’s attitude to the French. I have decided that the dictionary definition of grumpy as being “discontentedly or sullenly irritable” is an acceptable state and don’t understand anymore why I considered this to be negative when I was younger. I understand now that if the “shoo-off” fits, then one should wear it. Anyway as I become more French over time, I have adopted the French attitude that anyone who smiles for no reason at all is either up to something or is someone of feeble mind, so have given up smiling in an attempt to look more like a local.

Author: viZZZual.com; via Wikimedia Commons

Becoming a world class equestrian show jumper (see “Do something every year that scares you” posted July 13, 2010) has also gone by the wayside having tried to control one of these magnificent but uncontrollable creatures, and having spent some time on Victoria’s horse Patrick (over 18 hands high) and realising that it is an incredibly long way to the ground. Beyond that he wasn’t really very interested in having my 100 kilos bearing down upon his back and let me know it by trying to bite me on the leg. I didn’t even know that horses could bend their necks back quite so far. I have therefore decided to move more into the feeding and cleaning-up role rather than becoming the French jousting champion at our village medieval festival.

Facebook has taken away my old and frequent resolutions to make more effort to stay in touch with friends and family. I post regularly and if they want to know what I am up to all they have to do is log on and find out. Is it my fault if they can’t be bothered doing this to find out the state of my sauce and chutney making endeavours? I have delivered on my half of the relationship and hold them responsible for their side. I do this specifically in an attempt to think young, as the majority of young people seem to have given up on one to one communication in favour of one to many, as now have I.

I have not been a smoker since January 3, 1983 (amazing how ex-smokers can remember the date that they quit) so I don’t have to resolve to give up that particular bad habit. All the other so called bad habits that I have developed over my lifetime are so embedded in my persona that I now consider them to be “quirks” rather than things negative, and hence part of my charming and endearing personality, so it would detract from my attractiveness if I was to drive them out of my soul. I even have managed to keep my wine intake down to the medically recommended 3 glasses per day by buying some extremely large wine glasses. Since I found some that can hold a whole litre I have actually cut back to just a single glass with lunch and with dinner, leaving a whole glass still available in reserve if needed.

Author: Sissi Lin; via Wikimedia Commons

The resolve to become physically fitter has also gone away since I realised that elderly men only do this to try and appear attractive to young women in their 20s and 30s, which is an impossible task anyway. The only exercise equipment that an elderly man can use to attract a young woman is an ATM, and unless men in their dotage are prepared, just as a starter, to have their nose and ear hairs trimmed professionally on a daily basis they are so far behind the starting line that they would be just as successful in the youth attractiveness stakes by having these hairs platted with red ribbons. I believe that fitness at my age involves the ability to walk up a flight of stairs without having to have a cup of tea and a nap half way, and being able to get out of the bathtub without the use of an industrial hoist.

So … no more new year’s resolutions for me.

As was said by Mark Twain

“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”



  1. Nicci Whitehouse says:

    Lovely post Les…I knew there was a reason why I counselled my husband to stop smiling endlessaly at everyone and anyone in France!
    Bonne annee nonetheless.

    • leshayman says:

      Nicci, good counsel to your husband. The French limit smiling to seeing some tourists in a rental car trying to get through the traffic at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and smiling at strangers is considered flirting (or feeble mindedness). I once had a tour group of elderly ladies from Lille follow me home when I accidently smiled at them as I walked past. 🙂 Les

  2. Great post, Les. One of my resolutions is to actually get some work done on a Monday morning. Is there any chance you could move your weekly blog to a Tuesday?

  3. leshayman says:

    Gav, I resolved a long time ago to never change a schedule once it was in place and my 35 hour work week limits my posts to a Monday morning. I am such a slow keeboarder that this takes up about a third of my work week leaving the rest of the time available for some Ch Bauduc libations … You can choose whether you wish me to cut back on my 3 glasses per day. Les

  4. Frank says:

    Les, Happy new year, I resolved a few years ago to give up new years resolutions, because I couldn’t come up with any that excited or motivated me.
    I like your “grumpy” position, my granddaughter calls me “Grumps”..(my insistence)
    Because my visit to the ATM even disappoints me, I’ve kept up my fitness regime..5.45am Monday to Friday at the gym, but I’m not sure I’m getting a return on my investment..but I am suitably addicted to endorphins.
    Thanks again for a good laugh to start the new year.. health, wealth and happiness to all.

  5. Lyn Maltus says:

    As ever – an inspiration to us all and a great start to Mondays! Happy resolution-less New Year.

  6. leshayman says:

    Frank, keep up the fitness regime … there are side benefits beyond appealling to the young. Have a spectacular 2012. Les

  7. leshayman says:

    Lynn, I have never questionned your resolve to do whatever is needed. Best wishes for a wonderful year to all the Maltesers. Love, Les

  8. Les your best yet – a masterpiece…
    Happy New Year xx

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