2nd January 2011

Any point in new resolutions? Well, yes. Ever since Janus - he of the 2 heads - started looking both back and forwards in the year 153 BCE, it's been a good time to reflect on your life. Here are a few of my own, made from personal experience here in France:
1. Take a tip from the French and never sing Auld Lang Syne on new year's eve. No-one knows all the words anyway, even the Scots.
2. Improve your language skills. Here's Happy New Year in various languages: French: Bonne Annee; Hebrew: Leshonah Tovah Tikatevu; German: Prosit neujahr; Hindi: niya saa mubaraak; Chinese: Shu ten shan; Arabic: Kulaam u antum salimoun. But, I quite like the Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz anno Novo - enjoy many good parties. I'm all in favour of that.
3. Get more exercise. At a recent occitan dance I was amazed at how even 80 year olds had so much stamina - they were still dancing when I left exhausted at 2 a.m.
4. Learn from listening rather than looking things up in the dictionary. You can easily come a cropper without realising it - and you don't have to be English to do that. Below is how a perfectly knowledgeable French gite owner fell into the trap:
'Warning! Do not put hot bottoms on the worktops.'
No answer to that. A very happy and healthy new year to you all!

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