What exactly is a Shrove, by the way? It sounds vaguely Biblical, which I suppose is appropriate:
And he came down from the mountain and he shrove them in twain whence they stood. And there was rejoicing. For they were unbecoming. And in need of being shroven.
Actually, it does sound like a past tense verb, now you come to mention it:
Mother: Bernard, what are you doing alone in your room? Why is the door locked?
Bernard: Nothing mum, just shriving.
Mother: You shrove all day yesterday and ended up with blurred vision. Get yourself out in the fresh air.
Ah. I've just had a look at Wikipedia and it turns out that to shrive means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and penance. I think I was possibly heading in the wrong direction with my example.
Anyway. Tomorrow is the first day of Lent, which normally means having to give something up for forty days. I have a bit of a problem with this. OK, you may say, nobody claims it should be easy. That's probably the main idea of it. You know, penance, suffering, the whole hardship and hairshirtedness thing.
It's not as if I couldn't do with giving a few things up. This blog started off as a weight-loss journal, after all. How I look back on those happy days of continually reducing tonnage with fondness. So we've established that my problem isn't exactly finding bad habits to give up.
The issue, for me, is that it's all-or-nothing, black-and-white, binary in nature. You give something up completely, no half measures. For instance, I could say: "I shall be giving up booze for Lent. Well, during the week. I might have a cheeky snifter or two on a Saturday night. And maybe the odd cleansing ale on a Friday if it's been one of of those weeks." But it's not going to work, Lent-wise. My mother, who actually still goes to Mass (on behalf of the rest of us, I suspect) wouldn't approve.
And you don't want to cross my mother. Trust me on this.
So I'm a little stuck. I need some ideas of things I can be absolutist about giving up. Anyone care to share?