New Year’s Day 2017 by Juliet Lockwood

Last month’s exercise was to write a piece about A New Year’s Resolution Gone Wrong

The Oxford dictionary describes a resolution as “good intentions that one formulates mentally for virtuous conduct” – wow, I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, and certainly don’t believe in telling them to other people, and as for the virtuous conduct… but this year I had made a secret vow to myself that the year was going to have even more exercise in it than usual.  Well, usual is to walk anything between 20 and 40 miles a week and to play tennis at least two or three times!!!  Not only that, but in view of a booked holiday next month,  where the aged body was going to be exposed to sunshine and swimming costumes, I promised myself I would go without all edible sweet stuff, chocolate, biscuits and cake etc – and that’s really virtuous from someone with a very sweet tooth!

New Year’s Day walk started well, and with no excuses because of the weather, I was co-opted to lead with another keen walker as the scheduled leader was unwell, and surprisingly, in drizzly rain, thirteen keen hikers turned up, anxious to get some wet fresh air after the Christmas indulgences.  My car boot was full of the remaining  mince pies and ginger wine from the pre Christmas walks, to be consumed when we got back.

We set off happily, in spite of the inclement conditions and chalky mud underfoot, devising a route similar to the original leaders’ one,  but had gone less than a mile  when I slithered down a slippery slope, only to have someone just behind me slide on the chalky surface too.  I knew, as my hand hit the ground and the pain shot up my arm, that I had done something!  Luckily the other person was okay.

However, we continued on with the walk and eventually, and thankfully, with the last couple of miles in pouring rain, through the mist (and my pain) I could see the car park where we had started. The group stood in the rain and munched on mince pies and drank ginger wine (traditional) but all I wanted was to be home with a hot cup of tea.   The thought of A & E on New Years Day was more than I could cope with, so sat with frozen blocks on my hugely swollen and rapidly turning purple wrist all evening, taking painkillers every few hours.  Next morning was a four hour wait (they kept to the NHS promise!)  xRay etc, but due to so much swelling I was re- scheduled for  further xRays a few days later.  I walked home from the hospital (so keeping my exercise resolution) and have done several walks since but not my usual distance. The subsequent xRays eventuated in a plaster cast. Tennis, of course, is definitely out for a while, however, the promise to myself to abstain from chocolate, sweets and biscuits has remained firm, very necessary in view of the lesser amount of exercise.

Fortunately my vow about the sweet stuff was just up until my holiday, and I am walking everywhere as I am not able to drive with a plaster case, and  aim to climb Table Mountain in a few week’s time in hot sunshine! But are some folk gluttons for punishment, or are some resolutions just ridiculous?

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About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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