I've had to hide the chocolates. This is nothing to do with diet-related new year resolutions. Now the schools are back, I can't possibly leave the house littered with boxes of confectionery given to us at Christmas. The place looks like the production line at Nestle and I don’t want the kids to come home while we are at work and chomp their way through seven boxes of Matchmakers, two chocolate oranges and a Toblerone the size of a telegraph pole.
So they’ve been taken out of circulation, to be rationed as I see fit. Rationing may be something we left behind decades ago, and which many of us haven’t ever experienced but, in these times of consumer excess, I feel more and more that we should bring it back.
I realise that that’s not going to happen on a national scale, so the best I can do is introduce it at a local scale, and a very local scale at that — within my home.
These are the things I'd like to see rationed in 2013:
- Mobile phone use. Not for emergencies, of course — that's the main reason I have one and I like to know I can harass my children at the flick of a button. But I'm sick of trying to conduct a conversation with someone — notably my eldest daughter — who is unable to look up from their phone, and who carries on texting as we talk.
Facebook. For similar reasons, this should be used in moderation, not every time you go anywhere or do anything. I'm depressed every time I hear about a friend joining Facebook. My sister, who always spoke out against it, is a massive convert, virtually mapping her life out on it. I find myself competing with it for her time. Her addiction is such that I am starting a campaign to get her off it.
- Rubbish on TV. My youngest daughter lives on a diet of TV drivel. She laps up programmes featuring the Kardashians, Peter Andre and anyone with blonde hair and a spray tan from Essex. Instead of constantly lecturing her that ‘real life isn’t like that’ I’m going to switch off and insist she watches only bite-sized chunks among a regular diet of ground-breaking science and history documentaries.