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BEATRIX CLARK: As a new year begins, it's time to face the facts

PUBLISHED: 10:52 12 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 September 2010

New Year s resolutions – I really must make some but where to begin? In some respects I m lucky. I eat vegetables, go to the gym, don t smoke and only eat chocolate in moderation. But there s definitely room for improvement, particularly as virtually ever

New Year's resolutions - I really must make some but where to begin?

In some respects I'm lucky. I eat vegetables, go to the gym, don't smoke and only eat chocolate in moderation.

But there's definitely room for improvement, particularly as virtually everything these days is supposed to be bad for us, someone else or the environment.

I could start with the obvious - recycle more, do some charity work and never mix cocktails with wine and champagne. The last time I did the latter I woke up the following day feeling 94 and had to go to bed for two hours as soon as I'd dropped the kids off. Time to face facts - I'm a middle-aged mother of two and can't party like I used to.

Then there's the resolution I made last year about always putting extra money in the pay and display, which worked well until I got stuck in a queue in Primark and found I'd been clamped. And there's the one about not going so mental when the kids lose bits of clothing. It's a sweatshirt after all, not the family silver.

These I can probably attempt with some chance of success. But the one New Year's resolution I really need to make - to be on time - is, I fear, doomed to failure.

Punctuality just isn't something I'm good at. Getting anywhere early seems a waste of time. Why sit in a waiting room looking at ancient copies of Country Life when you could spend a few more minutes chatting to a mate or looking at handbags on ebay? So I don't leave until the last minute, get caught behind a dustcart or at some of Ken Livingstone's many new traffic lights - and end up being late. And even when I vow to get out of the house in good time, such as to drop my son off at school, I rarely manage it. Just as we're about to leave, I realise I've got no wallet and spend 10 minutes looking for it. Or I remember I've forgotten to return the form about the chess club and need to fill it in immediately.

Things could be worse. I've never missed a plane, parents' evening or wedding. Although when our friends got married in Staffordshire we came close and had to get dressed in a public toilet.

We all have our foibles, which is probably why New Year's resolutions were invented. Anyway must be going - I'm supposed to be somewhere in five minutes. Damn - where's my mobile?

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