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More of This and Less of That

Lately I've been dwelling on things in the world at large that I would like to see either more of or less of in 2015.

About now is the time of year that people realise that the 'resolutions' they so earnestly conjured up on the 1st January have either succeeded with aplomb, or fallen flat on their face. The resolution rigmarole tends to involve an aspiration to do either more or less of something. More exercise and less cake eating, for example. Lately I've been dwelling on things in the world at large that I would like to see either more of or less of in 2015.

1. More smooshed face cats. Dogs are appealing in their own needy, barky way, but cats are amazing and by comparison they make dogs look like decrepit idiots. Cats with smooshed up little faces are, in my humble opinion, particularly magnificent, and I would like to see more of them about in 2015.

2. Fewer limp handshakes, please. They really are most unacceptable.

I think I am speaking on behalf of everybody in expressing my revulsion at this phenomenon, and my desire for limp-handshake occurrences to be permanently eliminated from life. We've all experienced it, that moment of horror when you meet someone for the first time and you're confronted with a creepy, flaccid little paw. It's a rather disarming experience. We are not molluscs; we are creatures with bones and tendons and opposable thumbs! We have the ability to grip, goddamn it! Limp hand-shakers out there - pusillanimous folk that you are - why, but why are you doing it?!

What I do know is that every time I have been on the receiving end of one it has felt like an act of manual violation; my whole being has become suffused with a sense of secret horror, and it has felt as though I had just unwillingly partaken in a sordid and illicit act. The fewer limp handshakes there are in this world, the better, methinks.

3. More juice bars! I am an avid juicing fan, and have been for a while. Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with the benefits of juicing; I'm sure you've heard it all before. The point is, the more juicy establishments there are, then the easier it is to be healthy as and when one wants to. And, I hope, the more juice bars there are, then the more reasonably priced it will become. As it stands, at a particular establishment in Notting Hill one can buy 500ml of bottled green juice for £8.95. Yes, that's right, £8.95. I'm sorry, but that is just silly. Unless the juice has been laced with an essential elixir distilled from the tears of fairies to provide the drinker with eternal youth, then there is no way to justify that price. It's basically extortion. And yet, like a juice junkie I go ahead and buy it anyway, knowing full well I am being completely ripped off. Juice to me is like catnip to cats: it makes me feel good and I need it in my life. I hope 2015 is the year that juice bars make the transition from expensive and niche to affordable and mainstream.

4. Less of Ed Milliband. Quite clearly a limp handshaker.

5. More of the wonderful art exhibitions we saw at the end of 2014. We had Turner, Constable and Rembrandt all at once: a spectacular offering. Sometimes art shows can seem esoteric and pretentious, but these artistic titans remind us what it's all about. A refreshing contrast to the absolute twaddle that some of our most celebrated contemporary artists churn out.

6. Less bad grammar. The times I have experienced people writing "your" when they mean "you're" is quite extraordinary. And as for the gross misuse of the apostrophe. It is offensive; it is deeply offensive and upsetting. There are some standards we should not be willing to let slide. The difference between 'may and can', or 'will and shall', these are nuanced distinctions that have disintegrated as our language has evolved. It would be pedantic to call someone up on such errors. The English language appears to have entered a generalised realm, where precision and subtle shades of meaning are no longer important. This is a real loss, because it equates to less effective communication.

All photos blogger's own

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