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Dave Woodhall’s Blog



He’s promising not to get wound up in 2009…but Dave Woodhall has already broken his resolution.

How many of us make New Year’s resolutions? And how many of us think it’s so very funny to say “My New Year’s resolution is not to make New Year’s resolutions”? Very funny indeed. Rib-ticklingly hilarious, in fact. I bet you don’t vote because it only encourages them, don’t you? And there’s no point because the government always gets in. The spirit of Tony Hancock is embedded deep inside the Brummie psyche.

I’ve made two resolutions. The first is to get that Goldberg bloke off my back by writing more for him. The second is to stop reacting to life’s petty obstacles in a way that gets me even more wound up.

I have to confess, I’ve already failed the first test. Sunday morning, a certain branch of Sainsbury’s. ‘Chris’ at the check-out says “Alright mate.”  One of my pet hates leaps up at me before the first week is over. You, Chris, are a spotty adolescent. I am a grown man. I have never clapped eyes on you before and am not likely to frequent any of the same places you do, nor share any leisure or cultural interests.

I am not, nor am I ever likely to be, your mate. A simple “Good morning sir” would suffice. But we’ll let that one pass.

I’m putting my shopping away, Chris has stopped ringing the purchases up and is picking his nails. A small queue has built up by the time I’ve finished, and I’m feeling a bit hacked off in an “everyone’s blaming me for holding them up” type of way.

"You could have offered to help"

"We don't have to any more, mate."


"We offer you bags but you have to ask us for help, mate."

"I'm not your mate."

And off I go to find a grown-up, who confirms the staff don’t have to offer to help any more but she’ll have a word with Chris.

I resolve to try harder next time, and to go to Asda next week.

Monday, the Post Office. It’s closing as a Post Office next month so for some reason the owner has already cut back on the number of staff. In front of me Mr Idiot is sending off ebay parcels, except he’s taking forever because he’s taping them up as he’s paying. I feel like offering to help, but refrain.

Buoyed by this small victory I step out of what will almost certainly be a discount off-licence this time next month.

Iron-willed, I let a lorry pull in front of me on Highgate roundabout without flashing my lights or sounding my horn. An elderly lady gets served in front of me in a shop without comment. I hear bigoted stupidity in a bus queue and the urge to correct the political correspondent of Travel West Midlands soon passes.

I’m at one with the world. Peaceful, serene, and less likely to get battered by some big bloke I’ve just sworn at because he threw a piece of paper on the floor . Seven days gone, 358 to go.



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