There's something about September that makes me want to go gung ho with a new batch of fresh and risky resolutions.
In a way, September has more meaning to it than the cold, headachey misery of the first of January when you're supposed to do something inspired with beef off-cuts and start to reduce your alcohol intake. Immediately.
I remember the heady days when a new school term meant the unmitigated joy of new exercise books and text books you got to cover in that sticky backed plastic stuff - which always created bubbles no matter how much you smoothed it out.
Gleaming new tins of mathematical 'instruments' - a protractor, a compass and one of those strange half-circles of plastic for doing something with angles. Lovely sharp pencils, a new bottle of ink (ink!!!) or some cartridges for your pen. It all sounds positively Dickensian now, doesn't it?
Now I'm a grown-up (cough), I like to meet the onset of autumn with yet another list of ways in which I will finally improve, dammit.
* not wearing my blue dressing gown at every given opportunity (the Husband says I look like a blue polar bear in it)
* being patient with the kids and not shouting so much. Often difficult.
Whilst 'glamping' last year I regaled the campsite one morning with one of those phrases only parents get to use, viz "I hope you're not torturing those ruddy chickens".
This is decidedly not the level of saccharine plastic parenthood I feel compelled to reach for having read one of the 'green parenting' magazines where there is much floral-ness and all the men have beards. Heck, even the chickens have beards.
* have two alcohol free days in a week. Please note I have not yet decided which week.
* wearing matching underwear and remaining fuzz free.
This is not easy when your natural tendency is to cocoon yourself in Damart and indulge your inner wookee.
* glam up a bit for the school run.
On a good day I've brushed my teeth and had a wash but there's always that one mum who is obviously studying for a diploma in Beauty Therapy and looks groomed and glossy.
* read the kids a bedtime story.
Hands-up this one's a bit infrequent because by the time we've rounded them up, wrestled with them, timed their tooth cleaning and hugged them 72 times it's way past lights out.
* cook rather than reheat.
In reality this will probably mean pasta with tomato sauce and bacon twice, rather than one a week. But I may well go 'mad' and bake another cake.
* have a social life. Oh alright, I made that one up.
* have a regular house-cleaning schedule.
Hmm. My days are generally filled as it is with much wiping down of tables, shouting about towels and bare toilet rolls and moaning that the butter has been left out of the fridge again.
It's funny, isn't it, that we have a whole list of resolutions that we feel we ought to do rather than want to.
Now if I were to write my real resolutions they'd be
* book a babysitter and go out with the husband more
*write a novel
*visit Venice, Vienna, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona
*have unorganised, spontaneous fun with the kids
*bloody well learn to relax
You know what? I've a strange suspicion that if I did those everything else might just fall into place.
Why don't you write your real resolutions list - you might be surprised what's on it!
And the chickens were fine by the way.