A series of short articles on everything, from practical ways of getting things done, to how to handle your feelings and find peace in a hectic world.

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59. A New Year, A New You

This year Samoa lost a day as it moved from one time zone into another. When its inhabitants went to bed on 29th December they woke in the morning to 31st December - there was no 30th December. They were not happy. The 750 Samoans who had birthdays on that day were peeved, as were the business-owners who had to pay a full week's wages for only four day's work. The Seventh Day Adventists were particularly upset, apparently, as they felt that God would not appreciate one of his days being wiped out in such a cavalier fashion. Such is our attachment to our calendar, whether it be personal, practical, economical, or moral, and so it is with New Year's Eve. This week's tip looks at New Year and

58. Could Christmas Be Better This Year?

Every Tuesday evening my daughter and I go to a yoga class. It is run by a tiny bird-like woman who, in between exhortations that we contort our bodies into ever more imaginative positions, delivers a chattering commentary on life. Having been a teacher for a long time, and apparently not having any resident teenagers to remind her of how wrong she can be, she spouts forth her views with the gay abandon of someone for whom an opposing view is a rare and minor inconvenience. 'Christmas is so awful,' she said last Tuesday, during our usual fifteen minute warm up period. 'It's just a feast of spending, it means absolutely nothing.' We may be used to such sweeping statements in our class,