New Year, New Me!

22/01/2024 | 2 comments

By Roz Hartley

I’ve got a dirty secret.

​I live a simple life in a small cottage in Dorset. I love my garden. I love my cricket. I love my children (not necessarily in that order but, yes, in that order today!) but there is a room in my house which makes most of my friends twitch. The most compulsive of them can’t resist taking a peek into it when they come round. Some of them visibly shudder as they shut the door again and quickly change the subject. Others have offered to come round and help me with it. I pretend it doesn’t bother me but somewhere, deep down, I feel ashamed.


​We’re not talking Fifty Shades of Grey secret room. It’s just my utility room/ crafting room/ general dumping ground. People are coming over for dinner – I open the door and throw the debris in. Online delivery arrives – shove the packaging in there. Stuff waiting for the charity shop – pop a bag in the utility room. The detritus of life has a terrible knack of building up until you can hardly open the door. I dread the question, 

​as I know they are in there somewhere, muddy and manky, under layers of other lost, forgotten paraphernalia. I joke with my daughter that;


Well, not anymore. It’s finally time. New year, new me and all that.

​Some are getting down the gym, some are training for marathons. Some poor fools have given up alcohol and others are learning to dance. I am sorting out my utility room and erasing my dirty secret. It’s the only thing that I can do, for free, that will enhance my life and make me feel like a shiny new me.


Did you try something new? Did it last longer than the second week of January?

​I looked back at my resolutions for last year and the declaration I publicly made in 2023’s January newsletter was to eat more seasonally and buy more locally. I like to think that the promise I made to myself has now become part of my everyday, a shift in habits which I hope is being echoed around the country as shoppers realise that they have the power to choose where they spend their pounds. Meals created from fresh, seasonal, local produce benefit our bodies, our planet and our communities. That’s a big outcome for a little new year’s resolution!


​And how’s my clear up going? Well, I can now open the door so check in next year and I might be able to see the floor.


  1. Ann Williams

    We all have a room (or two, or three) like that .Call it a pantry or an airing cupboard or a freezer shed or even the “dining room”.
    Yes- we will sort it out- after Christmas!
    But somehow January has crept by and other more interesting projects have taken over. Like thinking of new ways to offer our home bred produce to customers. Home made Dexter Beef and Ale Pies, anyone? Next week’s special is Steak and Merlot pie freshly made on the farm from our grass fed, pedigree Dexter, native breed beef.

  2. Oliver Dowding

    I know how you feel! Just that we haven’t got to our “utility room” – a.k.a. the spare bedroom – yet. Then there are the overspill spaces!!!


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