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  • Writer's pictureR. Gavin Monson

Ring that Bell...

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. For those of you who didn't, I've got a sympathetic ear/shoulder that I'm willing to lend. I can appreciate how hard the Holidays can be.

That said, I had a pretty good time. Not because of presents... because I tend to just buy myself the things that I want. Case in point, today I was studying the health benefits of traditional sauerkraut and I decided to buy myself a 10 litre stonework fermentation crock. It's both pretty, functional and healthy. I also know that at some point I'll use it for traditional bread and yoghurt-making. A win/win.

The reason I had a good holiday season is two-fold. I have a phenomenal wife and 5 lovely children. All family activities were uplifting and good. My In-Laws were also well behaved. So family matters were good.

The second reason is a little more silly. I like doing crazy things. When I got married, I stopped doing a lot of the crazy things I love. No more fire walking. No more bungee jumping. No more free climbing cliff faces. I personally consider it unfair to my wife and children to risk my life for the fun of it. It makes me sad, but I'm an adult. I can cope with a little disappointment.

To help me cope with that disappointment, I like to find activities that are crazy but non life-threatening. Enter the New Year's Day 'Dook'. The 'Dook' is a longstanding tradition in Broughty Ferry. You dress up like a crazy person and go swimming in the North Sea on the first day of the year. And it's all for charity.

I've done it every year since finding out about it.

Last year I dressed up as Cthulhu. The year before I was a zombie. The list of costumes also includes a Minion, Space Cowboy and much more. This year I wanted to do something a little crazier. Something I'd seen on Youtube and that had tickled my fancy for a while now. So this year, I did something a little more life threatening. I wore a 2.2m inflatable T Rex costume.

Me in my Tyrannic Majesty. Alongside a 68 yr old patient and one of my daughters.

Alongside a gentleman dressed as a Cave Man, we engaged in mock life and death pictures. We placed in the top 3 of the costume competition. And as you can see by the picture, I wore my non submersible costume into the water.

So, I don't know if you do New Year's Resolutions or not. But let me counsel you. Do something charitable. It's good for the soul. And go do something out of your comfort zone. It's good for your brain and good for your heart. It also helps keep you young.

This year's going to be a good one if we let it.

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