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From finding a photo of Rihanna fully clothed to avoiding the World Cup... My 20 new year resolutions I'm hoping come true


British actress Gemma Arterton

British actress Gemma Arterton


British actress Gemma Arterton

1 To be wary of anyone sending a selfie. Egotism is never photogenic.

2 To find a photo of Rihanna fully clothed. I know it's like looking for the lost city of El Dorado. But that photo must exist. I have heard the legends...

3 Try and be a little less confrontational with PPI cold callers.

4 To avoid as much as possible of the World Cup. Football's coming home – to Brazil. Expect photos of Wayne Rooney on Copacabana beach, looking like a lobster that's been boiled alive.

5 To avoid the following words: 'Miley'. 'Cyrus'. 'Twerking'. And, of course, their close friends, 'Robin' and 'Thicke'.

6 To simplify my cafe life. No more skinny mochas with soya milk and a wisp of cinnamon. If a black coffee is okay for cops on a stakeout, then it should be absolutely fine for the rest of us...

7 To try and keep up with what everybody is talking about TV-wise. Having spent the majority of 2013 nodding mock-wisely while people wittered on about Sherlock, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, it's time to end the bluffing before I'm rumbled. I mean, what is Broadchurch?

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8 Not to be so patronising about those Which? computer ads. Who am I kidding? I haven't a clue what to do with my Cloud, apart from telling people to get off of it.

9 To watch loads more local TV. Just for the Sheer Masochistic Thrill of it. Come back Give My Head Peace. Come back, er, Teatime with Tommy, Romper Room, er, Scene Around Six, er...

10 And talking of SMTs, to run up to a Dr Who fan and tell them it's not that good. Actually, it's a kids' programme. (Yeah... yeah playing with important ideas, obliquely commenting on current Britain, blah blah blah). The 50th anniversary 'celebrations' were kind of enough, thanks Doc... And as an alternative religion, it makes even less sense than Hogwarts, or Nazism.

11 To work out how to be 'kind' to Belfast. As the response to the pre-Christmas bomb campaign demonstrated, we are – on the whole – not a bad lot. It's just those of us who don't want to blow the place up are the problem. Plus ca change.

12 To wait patiently for the Charles and Nigella biopic. (My guess would be Gemma Arterton (right) and perhaps one of the very many ex-Doctors for the main roles...)

13 To fade out any conversations about bus lanes in Belfast and to turn the volume up on the real traffic problem in this tiny city. School runs. Belfast is zombie central every holiday.

14 To avoid any speculation into the very secret talks taking place at Stormont. They are so secret, obviously none of the rest of us should intrude on their deliberations. At least until the referendum. (As if.)

15 To restrain my schadenfreude when the plane carrying England's World Cup team touches down at Heathrow a full 10 days before the final takes place. 'Home before the postcards', as Tommy Docherty would say.

16 To work out once and for all who actually runs France, Spain, Greece and Italy these days. We need more long-term demagogues like Putin, Merkel, Adams, Obama and Berlusconi – they make world politics simpler.

17 To pay far more attention to contemporary horse racing, snooker and darts. I have drifted too far away from cosy familiarity with the heroes of these noble pastimes.

18 To figure out why it is that the picture on digital TV breaks up when the weather is bad – something that didn't happen with my old analogue set. Mind you, now I have 240 stations flickering and freezing. Lots not to watch. Right back where we started, then.

19 To encourage my atheist friends to devote 2014 to setting up a secular charity funded by humanist billionaires which will take the pressure off those nasty old religious outfits which spend the festive season feeding and clothing the poor with donations from Christians.

20 Lastly, to be a little less tolerant – just a little – of time-wasters, hypocrites, sourpusses, bigots, nay-sayers and fruitcakes. My store of bye-balls is running low and I'd hope to use what I have left for those who deserve them. One at a time. I've given one already to 2013. I really hope neither I, nor you have to give one to 2014. Have a good one.

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