28 December 2001

Best of intentions for 2002

Another year is about to begin. Its a time of new hope, fresh starts and the prospect of better

times ahead after the nightmare of 2001. Its traditionally also a time when we make resolutions.

Some we keep, some we break. Tim Relf asks some of the people whove appeared in Farmlifes pages

over the past 12 months for a serious and possibly a not-so-serious resolution

Chrissie Green, Farmlife diarist

"My husband Tim is 50 in August, Im 50 in October and its our 30th wedding anniversary in September. I havent yet – and Im quite determined I wont start acting my age.

"Im also going give more moral support to Tim. I tend to nag rather than be positive, so Im going to concentrate on the positive side of things, back Tim up and show him more solidarity.

"Last year, I said I was determined not to lose my sense of humour. It seems like weve had just bad news since the millennium. But Im not, by nature, a pessimist so Im going to try and keep this resolution this year as well."

Ian Bell, co-ordinator, ARC-Addington Fund

"My resolution is to keep together the fantastic team Addington has created to face the social and business problems that will occur in the rural community in the aftermath of foot-and-mouth disease.

"Im also going to find a non-alcoholic way of relaxing at the end of the day."

Charlie King, College Calendar columnist

"Firstly and seriously, I will try to make more time for old friends I seem to have lost touch with since starting college.

"Secondly, I will try to lose the weight gained from three cooked meals a day and from the beer consumed in the evenings."

Judith Morrow, Farmlife diarist

"Im going to try and recycle more. I used to be quite keen but have got a bit lazy. You start throwing things away and, before you know it, youre throwing everything away again. I want to think of ways I can deal with the litter from our open farm.

"Im going have a glass of wine every night instead of a cup of tea. Its for health reasons. Ill live to a healthy old age – the challenge is keeping it to one glass."

Big Dave, Letter from London columnist

"Im going to drive more slowly, avoid going to the pub mid-week and try and stop thinking so much about Baby Spice.

"As for life back on the farm, I am m determined not to fall out with my brother or the old man over who does what. And Im not going to get frustrated when the old man doesnt take my suggestions for changes – at least, not the first half dozen times it happens."

Jean Howells, FWC national organiser

"I am not going to set myself ridiculous unattainable goals for 2002 but hope to continue to learn something new every day, keep my sense of humour no matter what and buy myself a new pogo stick.

"I made the resolution last year to recruit more FWC members and am pleased to report that we started a new group in South Yorks.

"My personal resolutions were to abandon my car at weekends, walk a mile every day and eat a more healthy diet. Well, I can honestly say that I dont often drive at the weekends, last January I did walk every day but in February resorted to the C Food Diet – thats see food and eat it."

Tony McMahon, RABI chief executive

"I want to help RABI reach out to more potential beneficiaries in the UK. We have had 22,000 helpline calls in this dreadful foot-and-mouth crisis and helped over 8000 people, while continuing to help 1640 long-term beneficiaries. But there are a lot more people out there who are either too proud, or dont know how, to get in touch with us.

"On a personal note, Im going to drink slightly less wine – but only slightly less.0"

Janet Godrey, WFU president

"As our planning for 2001 went seriously awry due to the foot-and-mouth epidemic, WFU will again be supporting HGCA in the promotion of the Farmhouse breakfast. We resolve to raise the awareness of the need to start the day with a good British breakfast to as many people as possible – farmers, the general public and school children. Breakfast is good for concentration, stamina and co-ordination throughout the day and helps to relieve the stress of day-to-day living. We will endeavour to demonstrate the relationship between eating a good breakfast, support for local and regional produce and the consequent benefits to the local rural economy.

"Our lovely WFU ladies, meanwhile, will continue to add a touch of glamour to the farming world."

Huw Condron, National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, ARAC committee member

"Id like to see greater awareness of the need for a new entrants scheme for young people into agriculture – especially by the government. If more young people dont come into the industry now, therell be a big problem in 10 or 15 years time.

"Id also like to go to New Zealand to go shearing for six months. I was going to go this year – but with foot-and-mouth, it wasnt a viable option."