When I was nine my New Years’ resolution for 1967 was to give up Class A drugs.
My mum would force-feed me Virol and Haliborange tablets to ward off flu, consumption and, because of the 1965 scare, small pox. Because of these theories, my mother never made it as a GP.
Having missed a Haliborange tablet one day, one day I took two; I feared I would never leave our communal bathroom, such was the ferocity of the Vitamin C overload.
It was apparent: if I couldn’t handle Haliborange tablets, tolerating heroin, cocaine or Skittles (which has the effect of what I assume LSD is like) was always going to be a no-no.
Because fitness is today is what small pox was in the mid-sixties, I will see new people at my gym within the next week. They will come until they give up going to the gym for Lent.
But beware anyone coming to my gym as there are protocols: at the weekend the cross-trainer is reserved for my mates who, for several decades, have been menacing in the Shed end at Stamford Bridge. The free weight area is not open to people who are heavily tattooed, think they can lift six times their own body weight or are incapable of training alone. This area is for people discussing the various footballing merits of Palace, Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. The armchairs are not in this area for aesthetic reasons.
There will be people, for two months only, believing they are potential Olympic rowers; their action betrays them demonstrating they are not so much Steve Redgrave, more Vanessa. There will be others doing a spin class for the first time and would not have witnessed nausea quite like it since they went on the decrepit Soviet-run rides within Sokolniki Park, Moscow.
My New Years’ resolution will be to drink less Absinthe; it may have worked for Picasso, but then I’ve always been rubbish at drawing women with three ears and a nose on the top of their heads.
Happy New Year – keep off that cross-trainer. And the Absinthe.