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Something Simpler

The word ‘Resolution’ is derived from the Latin ‘Resolutionem’, meaning the process of reducing something into a simpler form.

In the 1540s the word was used to describe the sense of solving a problem; a few decades later it became the agreed outcome of a meeting. Not until the 1780s did resolutions become something that we made at New Year: intentions to make ourselves better people.

Never having been particularly good at sticking to rules, I’ve generally avoided the concept of making resolutions for myself to break. But there is some appeal in the idea of becoming a better person by reducing life’s everyday conundrums into a simpler sequence of decisions. So here goes…

In 2019, as part of my personal drive to live a healthier lifestyle, I am going to cut down on the amount of sugary sweets and chocolate that I consume. Unless of course anyone happens to offer me a sweet or a chocolate, because to turn one down would just be plain rude. And to put one’s health before another person’s feelings would be selfish in the extreme. And if there happen to be sweets on offer in the shops, I might just help myself to a few, because it’d be folly not to take advantage of economic advantages as and when they present themselves.

I am going to take up regular exercise too. Each week I’m going to take at least three long walks or runs. Unless it’s raining, or quite cold, or too hot, or if I feel a bit tired. After all, no point in making oneself ill.

I will stop betting on losing horses. Except when they’re running at the Cheltenham Festival – you can’t savour the winners if you haven’t backed a few losers first. And also when I’ve been given a tip – because it’s insincere to commiserate with a friend over a losing bet if you haven’t suffered a little bit too. Also… when it’s one of my favourite horses, because I don’t really mind when they lose – but it really hurts when they win and I’ve forgotten that they were even running.

And of course I’ll back all the losers that I’ve tipped in this blog, because it’s unfair to tip losers to other people and not back them yourself. Last year, if you’d put one pound on every selection you’d found in this space, you’d have lost £10.16 – but it was a lot of fun. Wasn’t it??

Don’t worry, we’ll do better in 2019.

In fact that’s one of my resolutions: I’m going to back more winning horses, starting with Houblon Des Obeaux. At the age of twelve, he qualifies as one of those old favourites – so I won’t really mind if he turns out to be another loser. Plus, if we’re reducing the conundrum to a series of simpler thoughts, he’ll like the ground, he’ll stay all day and he’ll start at 20/1. So it’d be rude not back him for Saturday’s Veterans’ Chase Final at Sandown.

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