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January 3, 2019

Here we go again. After two weeks of festive feasting, it is payback time.

You have had your Christmas dinner; eaten all the selection boxes and drunk more gin cocktails than you thought existed. Hogmanay has been celebrated and the aftermath cleared up.

From now until mid-February, we can all look forward to being bombarded with advice to eat less, exercise more and cut out anything that might brighten the incoming winter weather.

It always strikes me that there is quite a finger-waving, moralistic tone to much of it.

You'll have had your fun and now it is time to atone and feel guilty about the good times. All sins must be paid and so on.

Cold, dark and wet

A lot of the advice will centre around cutting out certain products. You have had too much and now you must deny yourself as punishment.

Fancy a glass of red wine? Not if you're attempting JanuaDry.

How about a pork chop and salad - just the ticket for a midweek dinner. Only if you haven't signed up for Veganuary.

Well, it's not happening on my watch.

If you want to deny yourself the simple pleasure of a good whisky on a cold night then go ahead. I'll toast your efforts with a dram.

You may feel so guilty about your recent pigs-in-blankets consumption that you are only eating plants for the next few weeks. Fair enough if that is your choice but I feel a chicken stir-fry coming on.

It is the start of January and, unless we get lucky, the next few weeks will be cold, dark and probably wet.

Don't deny small comforts

This is not the time to make yourself more miserable by denying yourself small comforts.

I'm not suggesting that we all carry on as though the Bells have just rung and the corks are popping like fireworks. Nobody wants that 365 days a year.

What I am suggesting is that this all or nothing approach is too austere. Many of us might feel as though we had too much food, drink, meat, sugar, whatever over the last few days.

Fine, I get it. So cut down. Completely cutting out many of life's pleasure seems over the top whereas enjoying all things in moderation seems a much more sensible approach to this blogger.

5pm Dining Sale

And if you are looking for ways to jolly up January then the 5pm Sale has just started.

We have dozens of restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh which are running two or three course meals - some with a drink included - for just £12.

The main pic shows Cafe Andaluz in Glasgow's West End. As part of the sale, they are offering three tapas for £12.

You can browse all the offers and book from here.