Quickly, while Baby Milly is playing studiously with the label on one of her new Christmas toys:
First up: New Year's Resolutions. Number one is to lose half a stone over the course of the year. This, the first and most important, is a Wife's resolution. That is, I've made it on behalf of my husband as well as myself. Simon stood sadly in front of the mirror this morning, readying himself for his first day back to work, having abandoned last year's cheap suit because it wouldn't do up. "It fit last May" he said, mournfully. This year's cheap suit is a size up and is apparently "a little too big around the middle". A wife should believe the things her husband says and not publicly confound them, so I shall say nothing and leave you to make what you will of my use of the word 'apparently'.
So we've weighed ourselves with my brand new Christmas digital scales and I've made a note in the back of Milly's feeding book and next week we shall Compare and Contrast. Theoretically, he ought to have an easier time of it. He just goes to the office in Stratford (On-Avon, not Olympic) and to London, whereas I spend my week carting Milly to the houses of all my NCT friends and it would be rude to turn up without cake.
Number two: finish the novel. When, I can't tell you. Babies and novels are not great bedfellows, but I should be able to manage it within a year, surely. SURELY.
Number three: I did have a third one. What was it? Oh yes, buy a house. Simon and I are habitual renters but now Milly's here it's time to leap as high as we possibly can to try and grab the bottom rung of that property ladder, whence we can dangle triumphantly and sneer at other non-home-owners.
My big idea for Resolutions this year is to set goals that can be achieved by a number of means. I imagine (not having ever kept a Resolution, so I can't speak with authority) that it is much easier to achieve a target, one way or another, than it is to maintain a higher and better standard of behaviour, (which I KNOW can't be done). So I may lose my half stone by diet, or possibly by exercise, or a combination of the two, and I may write a few words every day, or have a big writing blowout every few weeks. We shall have to wait and see. Having said that, there's really only one way to buy a house.
There are other things I plan to do as well, which aren't Resolutions as such, but more General Ideas for Improvement. They lack the officiality of a Resolution, that signed-in-my-own-blood-at-midnight-under-a-blasted-oak-and-witnessed-by-owls fervour that the birth of a new year magically imparts to any changes you decide to make on or around Jan 1st, but they have, in their own way, a quiet determination. "We're not Resolutions" they whisper. "Everyone knows you don't keep Resolutions. You just make them so you'll feel Important and Changeworthy, and because everyone else does. We are the real changes, the ones you don't dare give the name 'Resolution' to in case you jinx us." So, don't tell anyone, but I may well hoover more often, and possibly keep up this blog, and perhaps eat less cake, and finally decide, one way or another, if I'm Team Jacob or Team Edward. (Team Jacob, I think. Simon is a hairy, hairy man, so to choose the Pale, Thin Thing over the Werewolf would be extremely disloyal of this Henwife. Also, werewolves age naturally, and you can bleed near them, and they don't have to answer to David Frost. Just saying.)
But now I shall go. Milly has has grown bored and is beginning to burble grumpily, and we must away into Shipston to get kidney beans and garlic and cider vinegar...