New year, less guilt?

It’s the time of the year for making resolutions, so I thought I’d come up with 10 things I ought to do – with a Guilty Pleasures twist, of course.

1. Watch more art house/foreign/modern British films

You know how much I like glossy, huge Hollywood blockbusters. I’m really, really bad at watching more off the beaten track fare. I’m especially rubbish at modern British films. So, this year, I’m going to try and broaden my horizons. I may start with Pan’s Labyrinth, which is being shown on Film Four over Christmas and see where we go from there. The Motorcycle Diaries is also on then, too. It’s a start.

2. Contribute to the sites I visit regularly

One thing I really like is when people read my blog and then comment. So why do I never do it at the sites I visit regularly? Shame on me…

3. Embrace Facebook, etc

I’m way too old and boring to get the hang of the networking sites like Facebook, Myspace etc. I do have a Facebook account, but never seem to have the time to go and visit it, much less poke people and become their friends. And it’s not that I’m not up to the technology either, but we can all always learn more.

4. Watch less US TV

Yeah, I know – like that’s ever going to happen. But stop laughing. The writers’ strike may well help with this one as my favourite shows are beginning to shut down, opening up an opportunity. But then I’ll probably just use it to catch up on things I haven’t yet seen (there’s the last season of The West Wing for a start – I haven’t felt up to watching it as yet due to the death of John Spencer).

5. Read more fiction books

My other half looked at my reading pile (to be accurate, one of them!) the other day and asked where the fiction was. I just seem to have been reading a lot of non-fiction in recent months, mostly biographies, history and forensics. I have read some fiction, but mostly the new ones by authors I love (Lindsey Davis, Val McDermid, Mark Gatiss). The winter cold always sets me off reading some gloomy Russian novel (it’s being windswept on a freezing platform that does it) so I may try and finish War and Peace this time (I read most of it but didn’t get to the end), and I must read The Remembrance of Things Past this year – I’ve been meaning to for ages but haven’t got to it.

6. Go to the theatre more

One of those things you really always plan to but rarely do, the main discouragement being the cost. I like to sit at the front, where I can see and hear properly (it’s my age, you know) and that costs an eye-watering amount. There are a couple of interesting things coming up at our local theatre so that may be a good way to get into the habit. The other problem is that there’s so much on that’s not appealing – too political, too radical.

7. See more film I don’t have to review at the cinema

One of the problems with being a film reviewer is that you get very spoilt with screenings. But I can’t get to everything (the day job gets in the way). I’ve become very lazy about seeing new things at the cinema, generally waiting for the DVD to catch up. I used to go at least once a week, but now I’m lucky if I go once a month unless I’m reviewing something.

8. Put something more grown-up on my iPod

My poor iPod has far too many guilty pleasures on it and is full of somewhat questionable choices. This year, I must put something a bit more adult on there. Classical music that’s not film themes or Mozart – something a little more radical (not as radical as Philip Glass for example, but something less familiar). Perhaps some opera? Even my usual sort of thing could be widened – I love musical theatre, but there’s a grown-up side to that, too. I’ve not really been able to get to grips with Sondheim, for example. I love West Side Story and Gypsy, but not the later stuff. So, to start with, I’ve ordered the soundtrack of Tim Burton’s version of Sweeney Todd, due early next year (the trailer looks amazing), even if Johnny Depp does sound like Anthony Newley.

9. Go to the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and see something there

We’ve been to Cardiff several times this year and I’m totally in love with the city. It’s so friendly and vibrant. Probably my favourite place there is Cardiff Bay and, in particular, the Millennium Centre. We haven’t managed to see a show there yet, but we did the backstage tour and it’s an amazing venue. Actually, I’m slightly cheating here, as I know we’ll be doing this in April – John Barrowman in concert was too irresistible!

10. Write more!!

Fitting in writing the blogs isn’t always easy – working on a weekly magazine is fun, but it takes up a lot of time. However, in 2008, I hope to try and do more.

The important thing to do now, however, is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!