Phil P

Crumbs! In 2016 I’ll be three score years and ten. I hope the bible’s wrong about all that! Nevertheless, I’d better get my affairs in order. What have I got to achieve in 2016 to ensure, pearly-gateswise, that I leave no unfinished business?

Better start with resolving to lead a more blameless life: after all, it is New Year. Let’s start with a review of the Seven Deadly Sins.

What were they again? Ah yes: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath and Sloth. Hmm


Shouldn't be an issue as I don't own any lions.


No problem, one or two less sprouts with Sunday lunch shouldn't be too difficult.


Difficult one this. I mean, I’d cut back, but the Memsahib already thinks I’m shirking. Perhaps that could be reclassified under Loving Thy Neighbour and be counted as a virtue. I’ll check with the vicar and come back to that one.


Really tough…I deeply and sincerely yearn for a 1957 Gibson L5C and covet the one I saw that guy with at last week’s gig. I’ll get back to you on that one too.


I thought I’d dealt with that one under sprouts? OK, just one bottle of champagne a week in future.


Really? Do I have to? Oh, all right then, David Cameron is the kindest and most generous person ever to have inhabited the planet.


I hereby resolve to get up before 10.00 am every morning regardless of the weather. So that's the sin side dealt with, more or less. Time to move on to Virtues, I think.

According to Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (look him up), there are Seven Heavenly Virtues, with which I am sure you are familiar:

Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and Humility


Blimey Guv, I’m nearly seventy, chance would be a fine thing! Need I say more?


Now there’s a technical issue here, if I may say so: that extra pint makes a major contribution to the promotion of chastity nowadays, so make up your mind and let me know.


Dogs Home, sorted!


Look, I just haven't got round to it yet, but I definitely will, honest.


OK, I promise to download the app and play every day.


I think we can agree that I’ve done everything possible in that department, if I do say so myself. (See David Cameron above).


Call me Uriah Heap. There is absolutely nobody in the UK more ‘Umble than me.

That’s fixed up what we might call the spiritual side of things. What about the physical?

First and foremost, I really will get more exercise. I will definitely start going down the paper shop on my bike. Yes, I know I haven't been on it since I bought it off that chap in the pub, but I will certainly start after I find the bicycle pump. Moreover, I hereby promise to park the car further from the entrance to Waitrose. I know we usually shop at Lidl, but Lidl has a very small car park, and the extra walking at Waitrose will do me good. Anyway I like their cakes better.

Also, I will mow the lawn more often. It will be the envy of the village, there will be beautiful parallel stripes and the edges will be neatly clipped. As long as I’m not too tired, in which case the gardener will do it. Likewise the weeding

Any other improvements to my lifestyle that need consideration once I have officially become extremely old (i.e. 70) will be reflected upon deeply and acted upon with Diligence (q.v.) once I have slept on them (see Sloth). My wife assures me that she will do everything in her power to guide and counsel me in the achievement of the above objectives, as indeed she normally does.

What could possibly be nicer?