Sophia Money-Coutts

Back to stuff 10:42am Wednesday 30th December 2015

Ten important New Year resolutions

1. Buy a new pair of earplugs. I have to sleep with them every night – a boarding school habit – but the pair I’m currently using are now so old they look like fossilised broad beans.

2. Read my gas meter. I get increasingly pleading emails from British Gas about this. And yet somehow, even though I seem to be able to waste entire hours days sitting on the sofa watching Nashville, I can’t find a spare three minutes to walk to my gas meter, jot down the reading and email it back to them.

3. Get better at films. When I worked on a newspaper in Abu Dhabi a few years ago, I sat next to our film expert, Oli. One day, he drew up a list of 100 or so movies that he still hadn’t seen but thought he should have. Classics, mostly. There wasn’t a huge amount to do in Abu Dhabi in the summer when it was so hot that your hair and nails started melting if you stepped outside. So Oli spent his weekends watching films, crossing things off his list, then adding more to it. Needless to say, I’d seen about three of the films on his list, and have always been particularly ashamed that I’ve never seen a Hitchcock. This is why I’m implementing an exciting new routine from next week and will be watching a Hitchcock film at home every Monday night. ‘Hitchcock Mondays,’ I have dubbed them. Catchy. Any thoughts on the order to watch them gratefully received.

4. Actually throw away all the pizza leaflets/cleaner adverts/estate agency toss that gets posted through my letterbox instead of stepping over them for two or three weeks and then throwing them away.

5. If I change a password – banking, email, Amazon, Facebook, Paypal, Easyjet etc etc – I will not make it something that I think is easy to remember, but will in fact be forgotten within the next five minutes. I estimate that I have spent 46 percent of 2015 trying to remember online passwords. This is not an efficient use of time. I could have been doing my gas meter reading instead.

6. Turn off my phone at night. A constant internal battle, this. I work for Tatler, so it is unlikely that I will be disturbed by important state matters at 3am. And yet I still check my email if I wake up in the middle of the night, just in case. This, too, must end.

7. Pick up all the dry cleaning items of clothing that have been decorating my bedroom floor since 1987 and take them to the dry cleaner.

8. Collect all items of clothing from the dry cleaner instead of leaving them there for several months.

9. Read War and Peace. It’s about to appear on BBC starring Lady Rose off of Downton and James Norton, who I loved even when he was being a psycho on Happy Valley, and I have been meaning to read it ever since my brother gave me a copy as a confirmation present when I was 13. The trouble is that it’s 587, 287 words. But that’s alright, because I’ve worked out that if I read 2,000 words every day (after I’ve done all the other chores on this list) then it’ll only take me 294 days to finish it, or until the end of next October.

10. Finish writing my own book. I have spent much of this year wrangling with something possibly less epic than War and Peace but with more rude bits, and I’d quite like to finish it in 2016. Although to be fair, Tolstoy took six years to write W&P. The idle toad.

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