Not known for ever taking the easy option with anything, Yours Truly has made not one, but three New Year’s resolutions.
Sticking to the first two may be easier said than done, as they involve me desisting from scoffing my entire body weight in pastry products and not spending every waking hour in front of a computer screen.
These are the kind of promises everybody makes themselves each year and usually fails miserably to keep by the time the final Christmas decoration is removed. The fact is, New Year’s resolutions are rarely stuck to. I mean how many times do you think Sports ‘Personality’ of the Year Andy Murray has resolved to try harder at smiling?
Look where that has got him.
The problem is that most resolutions are made at around 11.59pm on December 31, meaning no or very little thought goes into them. Therefore they mean nothing.
The resolutions already referred to here fall easily into that category, with both being devised between mouthfuls of Blacksticks Blue and leftover lamb curry, just before Jools Holland led the obligatory rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
However, there is one promise I am determined to keep this year, and that is to pay my respects to the millions who lost their lives in one of the most pointlessly brutal conflicts in history – the First World War. For the next 12 months, we will hear much about the huge losses which occurred on Europe’s battlefields exactly 100 years ago.
Although we are implored on an annual basis never to forget, the true scale of the horrors that human beings inflicted on one another is easily overlooked.
It seems everybody can name a distant relative who perished during the Great War, which is unsurprising given that some 16 million troops and civilians died.
There has already been controversy about how the anniversary should be marked, notably when that master of the brickbat, Jeremy Paxman, condemned Government plans for a celebration of the landmark date as ‘idiotic’.
The Bearded One was right – nothing as destructive as the First World War should ever be ‘celebrated’.
I for one am determined to make my own pilgrimage to an otherwise anonymous Belgian village to visit the grave of an ancestor who lost his life for a cause he cannot have known a great deal about. I call that a resolution worth keeping.