This traditionally the time of year when I write myself a to-do list of utterly unachievable tasks e.g.

a)    Learn to like milk

b)   Remember to take vitamins

c)    Wear sensible shoes

d)   And pants

e)    Train menace to use punctuation

f)     And stop weeing in inappropriate places

g)    Do not roll eyes whenever Mrs Nadin snr claims you will die certain slow horrible death if you do not do all of the above.

As with most lists, I last two days until I have broken one, if not all of the resolutions (by eschewing a pint of semi-skimmed whilst cleaning up wee spillage in a pair of three inch Mary Janes).

Yet somehow, 2011 still worked out pretty darn good. I met a whole heap of new, interesting, and largely tattooed friends. I learned to ice skate. I wrote books that got recognized by the literary greats Roald Dahl and Richard Madeley. I persuaded the menace that foxes were, actually, real. And, having sworn to stay away from men, I finally met the one of my dreams (yeah, so I dream about hairy giants from Wigan. Nothing wrong with that).

There were downsides too. I finally had to capitulate to wiser medical minds (and Mrs Nadin snr) and give up the heels. The death of Barry the moronic hamster devastated the household. And I had to accept that football was, once again, the dominant calendar event, around which all other engagements had to be arranged.

But mostly I’ve worked out that life happens, however hard you resolve otherwise. You just have to sit back and enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you. As long as you follow some simple rules. As the legendary Woody Guthrie says: Shine shoes. Change socks. Don’t be lonesome.

So here’s to a another rollercoaster in 2012. With clean underwear and sheets, and a glad heart.

Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Year's Resolutions.

About Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature. I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name. I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
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