So then. First things first: a very happy New Year to you all, even if you don't wish me one, fellow chaps and chapettes. I have lost count of the number of times I have uttered these words over the past few days, and I am amazed at how such a cheery, upbeat greeting of goodwill has more often than not been met with grunts, snorts, retching and sounds akin to someone keeling over and dying.
"Happy New Year!" you beam to colleagues, friends and members of your family, and all they can spout back to you is "meh, pfft, gnarrr... GRR", followed by, if you are lucky, a coherent sentence of such negativity that you, too, feel like keeling over and dying.
Let's face it: the New Year is not a happy time. It is a time of darkness, illness, obesity and self-loathing. It is a time when you look back at the year gone by, ask what you have achieved and realise that the answer is: nothing, except maybe when I changed the light bulbs back in June to eco-friendly ones, though they are now giving me migraines.
And so you look ahead to the next 12 months, and you make New Year resolutions. The problem with resolutions is if they worked, we wouldn't have to keep making them every year.
I chuckled for the first time this month when I saw an advertisement for a big health shop that promises to make you give up smoking/lose weight/stop drinking, and I thought: "This advert is exactly the same as the one you put out a year ago. If it worked that well, you wouldn't be running it again, would you?"
That aside I intend to see this year with a positive attitude in my every step, push aside the negative types and grab life by the scrotum and proclaim to the sky "I demand a refund".
Cherrio and bring on Easter.