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Rachael Hoyle Bradwell Welcomes 2019

For many 2018 has been a challenging year. As the fireworks burst and light up the sky at midnight on the 31st December, how do we feel about the blank slate that 2019 is? 365 opportunities to get things right, 12 new chapters, ‘my year’ … the inspiring quotes surround us encouraging change. The most common commitments we make ahead of the new year are to lose weight, pay off those credit cards, quit smoking and try and show some self control!

December at the Hoyle- Bradwell household if you’re interested was incredibly self indulgent as my wife Nicola has her birthday that month, and this year we packed itfull of fun. The wonderful Christmas market a festive treat for us city dwellers all too easily visited for a cheeky hotdog and mulled wine as we shop for presents. We were lucky enough this year to see both Christmas divas Mariah Carey and Jane Macdonald perform their festive shows at the Arena, and found ourselves indulging at the wonderful Arnold’s on both occasions beforehand. Dakota Deluxe for festive cocktails even though its midweek and the only thing to celebrate is that it’s nearly Christmas. Mince pies and Pringles for breakfast? Why not? Melted cheese with everything? Sure! Before long pure Baileys is running through my veins and I develop a new grunt as I haul myself off the couch to go to the fridge. I think a New Year’s resolution is essential at this point as its more life-saving than merely jumping on the ‘New Year new you’ band wagon.

I’ve toyed with the idea of trying out trendy Veganuary, but a brand new Five Guys obsession I’ve started makes that out of question, until at least a plant-based burger is created to taste half as good. If you’ve read any of my food reviews you will know how food occupies about 90% of my thoughts, so trying to cut something out (other than the essential ‘quit adding cheese to everything’), doesn’t seem doable in the long-term. So in the interests of survival, the wife and I are embarking on Dry January. Already we have had to bow out of a few upcoming social occasions where flimsy self control will be severely tested. No doubt we will be considered boring, and the highlight of the week will be rearranging the sock drawer as distractions from the usual couch and Gin combo isn’t an option. I know friends will be supportive, but I think a successful booze-free January will need bigger changes than avoiding the frosty bottles that live temptingly in the fridge.

We are lucky enough to live in a city with so much outdoor space. Mere minutes away on the train is a green paradise of rural Yorkshire and so many beaches beckon for brisk winter walks and romantic salty kisses. Roundhay Park an oasis of calm and getting back to nature, quiet in the winter but waiting to be explored. We are toying with the idea of joining a gym to fill those suddenly quiet dark evenings that recently have been filled with Christmas merriment, and I know that Nuffield at the Light is convenient for us city folk, and also has the bonus of a fill sized pool and hot-tub.

I think a good place to start is to keep things really simple. Many things get lost in the busy festive season, and why not invest in your biggest asset… you!! Self care is a word banded about to encourage us to spend more on bubble face masks and bath bombs but putting aside time to indulge and look after out bodies isa wonderful idea. Lose an hour in a hot bath with those beauty products unwrapped on Christmas day and plan a wonderful summer holiday. Cook your favourite meal from scratch instead of an expensive takeaway and enjoy creating something delicious. Spend more time with those you love. I think in this world that can be a bit scary maybe just being nice to each other and doing nice things for no reason is a good place to start making 2019 your best year, but making others’ 2019 a nicer year for them too.

Have a Great New Year, Rachael


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