I am not big on New Year resolutions but I am big on hopes and dreams. So, here are my hopes for the next year. Good health and happiness for family and friends are givens. World peace and politicians learning to shut the hell up will not happen, so it's pointless pretending. Social media numpties waiting to be offended and boo-hoo celebrities inventing terrible childhoods and journeys are also impossible to eradicate. So, I'm thinking of things that could happen with the right intentions, a good tail wind or, the fail safe kick up the arse.
I hope for the return of good manners, politeness in the form of increased 'after yous', 'pleases' and 'thank yous'.
I hope the world can re-learn how to take a joke and thereby reduce high levels of toxic apoplexy.
I hope that supermarkets will have enough checkouts open
I hope that shops will refrain from sticking advertising A-boards outside their doors, cluttering up the pavements and creating slalom courses on busy days.
I hope councils and private companies will change their bandit 'no change given' car parking machines.
I hope shops get rid of their shrieking diva music blaring out of the ceiling.
I hope that motorists will twig that double yellow lines mean 'no parking'.
I hope the postman delivers the mail in the mornings.
I hope coffee shops stop wasting my time and just have a jug of instant ready for a speedy transaction.
I hope teenage celebrities refrain from writing their autobiographies.
I hope to see, hear and read less random studies, research, reports, surveys and opinion polls warning me to buy both a handcart and a ticket to Hell.
I hope to see less salad garnish on my dinner plate. (Lettuce hope indeed!)
I hope the weather people abandon cute names for storms. If they have to be named, call them Satan, Armageddon, Warlord........
I hope to see an end to pages and pages of tootinytoread terms and conditions attached to receipts for every purchase on Earth.
I hope to see a law passed banning train passengers from eating smelly food.
I hope to see fewer people walking and texting, oblivious to their surroundings, unless they fall down a manhole which would be hilarious.
I hope TV continuity announcers stop telling us about a forthcoming programme seconds after we have watched a trailer for the same forthcoming programme.
I hope to see an end to the reinvention of Sherlock Holmes as a superhuman, techno-wizard who lives and texts in modern times. They might call it Sherlock but Sherlock Holmes it ain't.
And finally, on a more serious note...... I hope to get to the bottom of the mystery of my father's 22 missing years from leaving Belfast in 1960 to his death at 57 in Clapham, London in 1982.
Whatever your hopes, wishes, dreams and needs in 2017, good luck and good fortune.