The Handbook
The Handbook

Like it’s alter-ego Brexit, Veganuary is the portmanteau nobody invited to the party, and now it seems like they’re here to stay. If being lectured by someone chewing on a celery stick for an entire month is already getting your on your goat (sorry, your tofu goat substitute), then fear not, here are some alternative -Uarys to experience instead…

Japanuary...

Veganuary get in the sea: the suSHI (almost works). Instead of gorging on cauliflower steaks, bring out the tuna steaks; sashimi, tempura and grilled eel are all waiting for you this month. Not only is sushi available in pretty much every Sainsbury’s Local, there are no end of brilliant Japanese restaurants throughout London. Start with Nobu and work your way down to Yo! Sushi.

Website: Check out these Japanese restaurants for inspiration...

CallYourGranuary...

Do you call your granny enough? Does anybody? They’re a wasting asset and you’re almost certainly not getting on the phone often enough. Hence, CallYourGranuary. Give her a ring, ask about her petunias and her feud with Beryl from across the road. You’d be surprised how much fun your January will be.

FindAManuary...

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, is big business for one comodity: breakups. If you had a Fairytale of New York, Pogues-style festive season, you may be newly single yourself, or perhaps you’re longtime unattached waiting for the moment to turn on the charm. Well here it is. FindAManuary is all about stepping outside your comfort zone, if not in a ‘safe-word’ sense then at least by hitting the apps, slipping into the DMs or, y’know, just meeting people in bars like in the olden-days.

Website: Dating ideas. 101 of them...

Where'sUzbekistanuary..?

Wouldn’t we all like to be a little smarter? A little bit more clued up. If you’re perpetually feeling like a Bridget Jones (“ChechneYA”) then why not use your January to make some changes? Learn a language, sign up for a course, get your head round long division, knowledge is power (power to win at Trivial Pursuit next Christmas).

Website: www.soas.ac.uk

FakeTanuary...

The days are short, the summer’s on the other side of the planet and, well, just brrrrr. But even though you’re a good six months away from your closest sun-lounger, doesn’t mean you can’t go Tango orange. Go and get a fake tan, and pretend to anyone looking that you’ve just come back from Barbados. Or Chingford.

AllBranuary...

All Bran, Bran Flakes, Bran-anything: the high-fibre breakfasts that’ll make you go. Get your dose of roughage this January and then some by adopting AllBranuary, the diet that’s great for your gut, but not for your social life. But as we all know, Branny knows best…

Photo: BBC

I'veGotACunningPlanuary...

Along with ‘mum jeans’, block colours and Tory parliamentary majorities, reliving the 80s is not only ‘in’ this season, there’s one element of the decade that we can all get behind: Blackadder. The TV series ran four seasons between 1983 and 1989 and if you’ve not yet had the pleasure, you should absolutely get acquainted. Maybe don’t start with the first season (considered something of a connoisseur’s choice) but you will absolutely love it (look out for House but with a proper accent in seasons three and four).

Website: www.netflix.com

DuranDuranuary...

Back in the days when mullets and shoulder pads roamed the earth ruling all they beheld, this New Wave Brummie band dominated Top of the Pops… and now they can take over your January. And with 30 top 40 hits over the years, you can listen to one each day of the month (preferably on repeat for at least twelve hours) as you dance across the Rio Grande…

Website: www.duranduran.warnereprise.com

ManAndVanuary...

Fact: you’ve almost certainly got too much stuff. Why not spend this January having a clear-out? Go full-on Marie Kondo as you throw away all your junk, unwanted pressies and minutes from work meetings three years ago. Then Man & Van it all to the local dump, charity shop it or just stuff it all into storage while you work out what to do next…

LearnToMakeAFlanuary...

Can you cook a flan? Damned if I can; I can’t even cook beans on toast without setting off the smoke alarm. Which is probably why I need to take a cookery course. January is the time to try new things, like making a white sauce, so expect gourmet dinner in time for Valentine’s Day. In theory…

Website: www.theavenuecookeryschool.com

MIlanuary...

It’s cold, wet and, well, London. January in town is grey and miserable, but the warmer or more cultural bits of Europe are all only an hour or two on a plane. January is a great time to get away, so why not book a plane to Milan. Or Madrid. Or anywhere…?

There’s plenty more where this nonsense came from (FryingPanuary and Violinuary amongst them), but if you’re trying any new ‘uarys, then we’d love to hear about them, email me at [email protected]