Tony Allen: And finally... Here we go again!

Jan 25 | 2023

Blimey, how time flies! I seem to spend my whole life writing an article for The Mover in relation to yet another New Year.

Tony AllenI suppose there’s no point in asking how your 2022 was; that’s done and dusted. But what do we hope to achieve in 2023? At least that’s something over which we have a degree of control.

The problem is that our lives seem to have so many uncertainties at the moment, although this is not something upon which I wish to elaborate. We always seem to idealise the past and consequently venerate it in comparison with the present – so let’s try to be positive.

There are things which we could try to achieve in 2023. These are not resolutions as they always seem to be a waste of time, but here’s a few ideas.

Personal fitness: This is not something that we tend to bother about as we pass along the passage of time. I’m always going on about this, but a healthy body is a healthy mind, although it doesn’t seem to work as well the other way round. Marathons are to be run and not eaten, so set a target and start by walking and then move on from there. It’s not too late, the year’s hardly started.

By the way, did you get a Fitbit for Christmas? Fat chance! I’m taking steps to acquire one.

Get yourself a dog, dog walkers apparently live longer, this is probably to do with bending over to fill up their doggy poo bags ready to be knotted and hung from trees. By the way I’ve been offered a part in a film about dog walking – I’m playing the lead!

Reading: In case you think that this is about a town in Berkshire, it’s not! This is the other one, that is pronounced differently.

We probably don’t read enough, but it’s a wonderful form of escapism. I’m definitely going to find more time for this and not just with newspapers but proper books. Are electronic books proper books? I’m not quite sure, but it’s certainly a convenient way of reading and at minimal charge!

Cooking: I’ve covered this topic before. I repeat that I am not good at cooking, but I’d like to be. There’s not much impetus when you can just pick up a phone and order a meal and have it delivered to your door within minutes. This is also very confusing to somebody whose only previous experience of a ‘take away’ was in the maths class at school.

Anyway, one of my current goals is to achieve a certain skill in cooking, which is now almost de rigueur for the male member of any household. If this can be achieved by somebody who thought that the Michelin Guide was a book about tyres, then anything is possible.

And whilst we are on the subject of food, don’t forget to keep your body mass index (BMI) within acceptable bounds.

Music: This is a great form of relaxation, but I don’t just mean listening to it, I mean physically playing it.

Yes I know that some people have a natural talent for playing music and others simply do not, but don’t let this put you off. So why not set yourself a task this year of learning to play a musical instrument?

It doesn’t have to be too complicated, in fact preferably not. For example, I learnt to play the spoons a few years back and these always create a stir. One year, and as a joke, somebody bought me a ukulele, which as it turned out I really enjoyed learning to play - and now ukulele bands are cropping up all over the country and they are even replacing the dreaded recorder in school music lessons. I’m also a member of a ukulele band myself which is populated by people who thought they would never be able to play a musical instrument and can now even play in front of an audience.

So there we are, why not make 2023 a year of personal achievement.  I’m not talking about anything particularly dramatic. We are quite used to setting personal business goals, but maybe it’s time to apply goals for our private life. Whether you classify these as being achievements, goals or ambitions is totally irrelevant because, before you know where you are, it will be 2024. At least you will be able to look back with a certain sense of pride.

Photo: Tony Allen.