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.