January is a funny old month. It’s that strange mix of the post Christmas let down, coupled with so much promise for the year to come. You can bet your bottom dollar that the media will be FULL of stories about how to be a new you for the new year; how to lose weight; why cutting out alcohol, or sugar, or jogging for 1200 miles every week will make you an all round happier, better human being. It drives me up the wall! I refuse to actively cultivate misery in this coldest and darkest of months, so here is my manifesto: Five reasons you will n-e-v-e-r catch me doing dry January.
1. Empirically it might be good for the waistline, but it's definitely not good for the soul. There’s no getting away from it, the weather in January is rarely kind. You don’t get the crisp frosty pre-Christmas winter, and you don’t get the buds and the hints of green that comes with March. Drizzle and cold are on the menu this month, so why make it worse? Plus, the alcohol cupboard is likely to be crammed with festive leftovers, so making that Christmas cheer last a little longer is oh-so easy!
2. January gets bad press, but there’s still a whole lot to celebrate this month. It’s a fresh new year for you to tackle with aplomb – smash your goals, make new friends and make it one to remember. Not to mention (ready for this?) National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, National Hugging Day, National Cream Puff Day, National Kiss a Ginger Day, National Irish Coffee Day and National Bloody Mary Day. I swear these are all real – so cheers!
3. There are some seriously talented bartenders and drink smiths out there. I’m an honorary Sheffield girl, and some of my local haunts include The Great Gatsby, Picture House Social and The Botanist. These tipple temples contain some masters of their craft, and I hate that January and people’s resolutions of abstinence could make their business suffer. Just to whet your appetite, you can find such delights as a peach and apricot bourbon smash served in a flower pot, complete with fog; a twist on the classic Zombie that is actually served ON FIRE; or a garlic and rosemary Bloody Mary (you’ll need that to toast to its National Day, after all!). Get out there with good food, good friends and allow yourself to enjoy yourself. ** Disclaimer, I am, of course, not advocating bingeing of any sort, but everything in moderation is a fine motto to live by!
4. Champagne is good for your brain. No, really! According to a study by the University of Columbia, the bubbly stuff contains proteins that actually improve your short-term memory, and three glasses a week can help you keep those memory muscles in tip-top shape. Now that’s an exercise plan I can get on board with.
5. As a cake artist and creator of fabulous celebration and wedding cakes, I am in the happiness business, and I’m bloody proud of that. I don’t subscribe to this culture of self-denial equalling a happier or more fulfilled life. A slice of delicious cake, or a glass of wine at the end of a long day are treats I truly believe you deserve. Instead of ‘dry January’, or ‘sugar free January’, I would urge you instead to try ‘smile more January’, or ‘call your long distance friends more January’. Do more, not less.
Life is short – eat the damn cake, and wash it down with a glass of something lovely while you’re at it!
Much Love, Lisa x