Sod the gym. Sack off Dry Jan (or congrats if you already have). Renounce your self imposed veganism, and don’t bother buying a bike; it’ll only get nicked.
In fact, if like me you’re not at all interested in setting yourself on the road to self improvement this year, why not do something that helps London be a bit better instead?
Eat, shop and get drunk locally
This year, it’s all about supporting the local shops, cinemas, cafes, restaurants, bars and markets so London’s good bits aren’t infected by the Tesco Drone Machines. Not only are London’s markets brilliant, but independent businesses are 70% more likely to have dogs in them (see Huh in Dalston) and honestly, you haven’t lived unless you’ve bought some meat from my dad’s butchers shop on Mill Hill Broadway. Vested interest in this one? You betcha.
Explore a new bit of the city
Thanks to the Overground’s lovely link-up job completed last November, you can now go in a big, brilliant circle all around London. This also means that those from the south side officially have no need to wistfully look upon north London from afar while sighing “Oh, if only it was within reach” while waiting for their delayed South Eastern train. Come towards the light! It’s wonderful up here, we’ve got tube lines and everything.
Look up (and put your phone down)
We live in one of the most historic, diverse cities in the world, but most of us don’t spend nearly enough time looking at it. And I don’t mean through a camera lens, or even a blog (ironic, yeah) – I mean with your eye things. Same goes for food – stop taking photos and just eat it, will you? I don’t care how meaty your liquor is, at the end of the day, no one needs to see the inside of your kebab. Stop sharing for a minute. Put your phone away, log off Facebook, and stop bashing into people as you write texts on the Strand (guilty). Your mate’s baby might have been born yesterday, but St Paul’s cathedral has been there since 1675. Per-spec-tive.
Don’t be an idiot
Last year I tried setting myself a challenge to smile at at least one person a day – I failed, spectacularly. Not because I’m a miserable, grumpy, sad faced person, but because it’s really, really hard to grin manically at a stranger without freaking them out. Nevertheless, I think we could all put steps in place to turn our music down on those crap Apple earphones and pick stuff up if it’s fallen down (people included). Let’s generally be a bit nicer, and tut, elbow, sigh loudly and slam our rucksacks in peoples faces on the tube a bit less.
If you would like to add to this list of easy things London locals can do, please feel free.
Also, this isn’t a hugely commercially minded blog – but if you run an independent business and want to give me a heads up about it, I will probably take a look. Especially if you have dogs in your shop. I’m all over that.