Five well-known people on their new year’s resolutions

On the threshold of the year to come, some well-known people tell Donal O’Keeffe their new year’s resolutions.

Five well-known people on their new year’s resolutions

On the threshold of the year to come, some well-known people tell Donal O’Keeffe their new year’s resolutions.

Joe Duffy

My first resolution, which will glide quietly into the new year, is to use the “20/20 vision” gag only once, and quietly retire it. This is primarily for the sake of my three children who, as they are about to turn 25, are fed with up and embarrassed by dad-gags. However, despite their pleading, I will not retire my dad gags until they resolve to flee the nest — it’s not as if we are holding them hostage here in our small penal settlement in Clontarf.

So as long as they are under their parents’ roof, they will have to endure me asking strangers in restaurants and pubs – ‘Do you know who I bumped into in Specsavers the other day?’ — ‘Everybody!’ — Boom boom!

I resolve to get out into nature more, to appreciate trees, to grow more of them — even if is only a Bonsai. I love colour, I love painting, so why can’t I start gardening and appreciate nature’s beautiful life cycle? So, I also resolve to take more interest in the garden,and to visit garden centres, botanic gardens, neighbours’ gardens, and to see Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden on March 19, 2020!

Joe Duffy presents ‘Liveline’ and is the author — along with Freya McClements — of Children of the Troubles, the untold story of the young lives lost in the Northern Ireland conflict.

Catherine Corless

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions. I’m told I don’t have any vices (mainly by those who don’t know me). Well, I don’t smoke, drink, have no taste the sweet stuff, early to bed and early to rise, God, I’m a bore.

I’m a vegetarian too, but one who doesn’t eat vegetables, you know, those ugly green/yellow/purple things, I dislike them intensely. For as long as I can remember, I’ve survived on porridge, muesli, bread, and cheese. All carbohydrate stuff, I know. A carbohydrate diet was fine while I was running a busy household of offspring, gardening, animals and farming, but life has quietened down a lot now, with most of my energy spent standing in front of a computer researching and trying to find family for the multitude of survivors from mother and baby homes who strive to find their identity. It lightens my heart when I’m successful in giving them that identity. I digress. I do have a 2020 resolution — vegetables. Yes, I am going to try them, a plate a day. You see, my carbohydrate diet has finally caught up with me, along with the awful ageing process of the disappearance of my waistline, with the odd clump of flesh where I least need it. A plate of vegetables to replace my much-loved, well-buttered bread and cheese sandwich. A small step, but in the right direction.

Catherine Corless’ work as a local history researcher helped to uncover the Tuam Babies scandal. In 2018, President Higgins said: “All of us in this republic owe a debt of gratitude to Catherine for what was an extraordinary act of civic virtue.”

Victoria Smurfit

Every year I make these grandiose pronouncements to myself about how I am going to be better, stronger, faster, more successful, more capable, present, forthright. Then life comes along and smashes you into the path it wants for you. The lessons you’re meant to learn. It’s never anything like MY plan. Ever.

But to be fair to whoever is in charge, it does make you better, even if you have to take the dusty road to get there. My resolution this year is to just be. I’m not going to fight it. My plan is to be the leaf on the rolling ocean. That leaf never drowns. It bobs along, feels the ride and sees the world. That’s my resolution.

Well, that and do squats till I get an ass.

Victoria Smurfit is an actress, producer and mother of three. She is ambassador for Fighting Blindness. She is currently shooting Hair Raisers, a comedy with Angeline Ball, in Dublin.

Lilian Smith

I love a good new year’s resolution, but I hate the thought of depriving myself, so a good few years ago I resolved, ahem, to start something every year instead of giving something up. My reasoning is sound. It’s January, a dark and dreadful month of penury, why on Earth would you deprive yourself of a bag of crisps or a glass of wine? Gyms have a word for people who join in January and are never seen again: profit.

Treat yourself to an online reading challenge, actually pick up the phone and ask the community organisation if they need more volunteers, resolve to walk the dogs more often, learn how to ride a motorbike (my new year’s resolution every year), start doing yoga on the landing and if you’re still at it in February, then you’re allowed to pay for a class.

Most importantly it’s a tough time of year, so why set yourself up for failure by resolving to do something punishing to your poor mind and body? So, for 2020 my new year’s resolution is to speak to myself as nicely as I speak to friends. And find the number for Two Wheel Training.

Lilian Smith presents The Weekend on One at 6am Saturdays and Sundays, RTÉ Radio 1 from RTÉ Cork’s studios on Father Mathew Quay.

Cónal Creedon

Don’t get me started on the new year, I am a Christmas person and never the twain shall meet.

I live for the fizz and sparkle of yuletide — that spiralling anticipation that explodes in a mid-winter orgy of frivolity — that emotional roller-coaster ride of sepia-toned glimpses into our past, present, and future, where all is laid bare under the intense spotlight of conscience and morality highlighting the excess of poverty and the penury of plenty. Christmas is an island of insanity that keeps me sane. If we didn’t have it, we’d have to invent it.

Alas, all other red-letter days in the almanac, be it Easter, Halloween or Valentine’s — leave me cold, and nothing compares to the bitter chill of anti-climactic reality that comes with new year.

For me, new year is a killjoy — a death knell to the merriment of Christmas. With the Twelfth Night but a week away — the bubble of fantasy deflates, tinsel loses its lustre and flashing lights become dim. It’s time to wrap it up for another year, time to turn our backs to the warm glow of the fire, time to face the reality and rain. And so, we set forth into a new year to wallow in the habitual and the banal of our day-to-day, humdrum existence.

And if that isn’t bad enough, in time-honoured tradition, we mark New Year with a resolution of self- denial. Well this year, rather than give something up for New Year, I’ve decided to take something up.

My new year’s resolution is to extend the joy and happiness and inclusion of Christmas into 2020. New year? Bah Humbug!

Season’s Greetings everybody!

Cónal Creedon’s novel Begotten Not Made is available from Waterstones Cork.

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