DECOR * (bare and tired) DRINK ** (not a lot of choice at the time) PRICE *** (reasonable but could do with more promotions) ATMOSPHERE * (as dead as Nick Clegg’s policies) STAFF ** (looked either hungover or bored)

NEW Year’s resolutions are a bit like Teflon — not a bad idea but impossible to stick to for any longer than the time it takes to flush those ciggies down the bog or pee away your savings on well intentioned, but expensive, gym memberships.

Yet every year at the stroke of midnight we find ourselves naively pledging to ditch our dirty habits and turn over new leaves in the vain hope we will become better (and possibly thinner) people.

And this year I was no exception.

While revellers raised their glasses in an optimistic toast and slurred Auld Lang Syne, I had my head down a pub’s grotty toilet bowl retching up the contents of my ale sodden stomach and vowing to never let my lips touch the demon drink again.

As my head hung heavy over the loo and my eyes struggled to focus on what I was sure looked like a segment of my small intestine, utopian visions of the new, booze-free life I would lead flashed before me.

I would swap pubs for cafes and sip on fluffy cappucinos while reading poetry and munching on biscotti.

It wasn’t until the morning and I smelt the sweet scent of alcohol on my partner’s hungover breath I realised the only cure for a night of excess was the hair of the dog.

So, almost two weeks later, here I am at The Windmill and wondering what the hell I am doing wasting my time in a boozer which even my century old gran wouldn’t have her last drink in for fear of falling into a deathly boredom-induced coma so deep, even the ear-piercing wails of drunken ladettes at the Friday night karaoke wouldn’t stir her.

With its faded green carpet, bare walls and dreary looking upholstery, there’s little to keep your mind and legs from wandering out the front door and on to another pub with at least a modicum of warmth and character.

It’s a boozer which looks and feels like an unloved and neglected Wetherspoon’s, which is not surprising considering it was owned by the cheapo chain a couple of years ago.

But when Spoons departed, they left behind an empty shell, which its current owner has yet to fill with anything resembling a heart.

The New Year has also heralded a new era of price increases, which many pubs have responded to by offering a range of offers and deals on drinks.

However, there’s barely a whiff of austerity relief here, with the only promotion being a pint of Fosters for £2 before 5pm.

And despite advertising a large range of ales, including Landlord and Palmers, only Old Speckled Hen (£2.40 a pint) and Best were on tap at the time.

With record numbers of London boozers calling time for good, it would be a shame to see this cavernous and potentially convivial watering hole go to waste.

In traditional New Year spirit, the landlord would do well to resolve to undertake a major refurbishment of The Windmill and, unlike me, keep his promise.

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