Thursday, 31 December 2015


"Every year it's December then January. Do not detox or sign up for a gym. January is dark, you must drink, create, dream, read good books."

Every year it's December and then January

And millions of people join gyms but quit after going just once or twice. All the best intentions in the world are soaped, lathered and showered away in gym changing rooms. Just think of all those dreams spiralling down those plug holes, all those vacuous dreams of being younger and thinner and fitter and envied and tedious, all washed away with the foam and bubbles. After signing a contract with a gym, like signing a pact with the devil, you are burdened by it forever, at least until you can prove you cannot go, even if you sail away to go and live on some remote tropical island or you drop dead they will want their monthly fee. Seriously, it is worse than trying to leave LinkedIn. If you find a free class or another sport you prefer, gym companies make sure it is really difficult to cancel that contract. It's like doing class in your pants and vest, but financially. 

We are reminded here, that exercise is important, it's key for battling depression and helpful to lift the winter blues, but there are some great ways to get fit for free. There are online classes, cycling, walking and running are free and swimming is great and relatively cheaper. Go to your local library for information and hey, while you are there support your library, borrow some free books and feed your head and your heart, also all for free. If you like group activity then join a local class which doesn't have some watertight contract that binds you for the next two years. So much can change in one year, who knows what tomorrow brings. But signing up for a direct debit to a huge organisation like LA Fitness, will suck your soul away. Trust me.

If you have spare cash I urge you to donate to charity, the homeless, the refugees and the small businesses wreaked by the floods and storms. You may find the act of giving is very cleansing, the act of being active will give you a youthful glow. Helping others is the new helping your self. Please scroll down to the bottom of this blog for a list of websites and information. 

January is dark

The dark is not the lack of sun. In fact as I write this the sky is a perfect ice blue. But I refer to the dark that is the indoctrinated puritanical guilt that follows the glittery hype of Christmas: Food guilt. Family guilt. Money guilt. Health guilt. Work guilt. Death to the guilt. I say dump the January guilt. The 'fun police' installed this onto your hard-drives as children. One minute it's Mary Poppins and Christmas magic and fairies then suddenly they frown and it's sensible o-clock. It brings with it a memory of panic and an urgent dread. Fight the fun police, switch it off, shout bollocks and have even more fun.

Looking back 2015 will be remembered for being a violent and disappointing year, with no solutions for the ongoing conflict and bombs, the escalating refugee crisis, everybody banging on about Fifty Shades of Grey and the Tories and those pig head allegations: Let there be more light in 2016

Do not talk about your nutribullet, nor boast of your detox and run, You make mockery of this time for pyjamas, books, cake and rum!‬

If ever there is a time of year to own rum time, it is right now. Now is the time for the cave, now is the time for the fire. A time to visualise dreams, to listen to your own voice and plug in and recharge. Empowerment is found in the challenge of being creative and making things and finishing things. Empowerment is found by investing in your dreams and your ideas. You are so much more interesting than your morning run and juicer. I am happy that you are having  a firm and regular poo after all that fibre. But come on, what adventures will your brain take you on this year, where will your soul fly, what countries do you plan to see, what books will you discover? The paintings, the theatre, the music you will hear or songs you will make, the film and the colours and oh the things you could do, the things you can do and will do. The person you are, the person you are becoming, you are a living organism, growing and changing every day. What a brilliant adventure living is. Your heart pounding in your chest, without applause, but because it can and will, so use that will, it is your will. The being in the now, the being connected. You must rest and daydream now...

I love today, this time between times. It isn't a time to quit anything. This is not the time to feel guilty. It is bear cave time, this is book time.

We're all so blessed. Christmas is over so fast. We spend months being bombarded with Christmas adverts, planning everything, the pressure building, the excitement escalating, the presents and food and preparations and to me it seems a pity to enjoy it for just one day. On Boxing day there was already talk and adverts about cleanse diets and gyms. Stop it. You killjoys. And as for 'Dry January' you bunch of amateur hipsters, for Lemmy's sake, drink some Jack Daniels. Remember when school is done and dusted, you don't remember any of the homework you did on time, but you remember the classes you skipped, the time you stole and the laughs you had. When you see your friends to catch up and reminisce will you say "Ah I loved that time we did sit-ups and drank kale juice." Or will you say "Ah I loved that time it was full moon and we got naked, jumped in the river and drank whiskey!" Yes. You can do both. You can do it all. Perhaps not at the same time though, kale and whiskey would be disgusting...But you can do it all.  

Happy New Year! 

Enjoy it, enjoy this here, this now, it goes quickly, suddenly your life is past tense. All you have to do is remember to eat your greens and clean your teeth everyday, to wear sun cream and to write things down, to be kind to others and take care of your heart. Be sure to dream big dreams and dance in kitchens. Hold on tightly when you are strong, and when you have to, let go gently. Fuck the guilt, beat the to-do list, do your to-be list. Read books, diverse books, unusual books, outsider books, second-hand books, old books. Don't do as you are told because only you know your way around you, write and paint, play and create, eat chocolate and drink chocolate in a bath of chocolate...with a shot of rum.

January makes people make promises, let's promise to make a difference this year, make time to read more, read more broadly, make space to be creative, make jokes, make colour, make love, make light, make peace and make cocktails.


More words and pictures: 

Radio and audio archives:

Hey thanks for scrolling down, please share this info and donate to these charities and organisations. Also if you find you have spare food and toiletries,  unwanted christmas gifts, please don't throw it away, please donate it and take it to a food bank.

● Save the Children: distributing essentials such as nappies, hygiene kits and food
Red Cross: providing emergency health services at central train stations
● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea
● International Rescue Committee:  improving living conditions by setting up camps
● The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, healthcare
● Refugee Action: advice about asylum, the asylum process, asylum support

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