What is the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance? Some would say a marathon. Others would say 20 marathons in 20 days. Some others would even say completing the Tour de France without any performance enhancing drugs. How about a month without alcohol?
It's very easy to laugh at the people that buy gimmicky products. But, while it's easy to dismiss the buyers as a naïve minority, the reality is that these ads would not keep on appearing on television if it were not for sufficient people buying!
January is a frugal month. But it's not just the waistlines that are affected by strict resolutions. While Christmas can prove bountiful for donations, January is an incredibly tough month for charities... and this January is potentially going to be even worse for charities than the last.
January's growth figure for UK retail sales came in at 0.9%, which is a staggeringly strong showing and well above forecasts of a 0.3% contraction. To put it into perspective, this figure represents the strongest monthly performance since last April's Royal Wedding bonanza.
The emoticon got cool again. The simple and cheeky communicative zeitgeist that is the smiley face of the 21st century is no longer confined to the realm of teenage girls (perhaps because social media is no longer confined to the realm of teenagers).
So, today is Blue Monday, so called because, according to various "experts" it's the day in the year we are most likely to feel utterly miserable due to a combination of factors (money, weather, broken New Year resolutions...more on those later).
Like many of you, I'm a married, employed white male with two children under the age of five and a mortgage. Which means that, like many of you, I'm about two glasses of prosecco away from qualifying as a functional alcoholic.