TOPICS: Aim low to avoid disappointment

HERE at Topics, we like to make you feel good.

Sorry. That sounded less creepy in our heads.

But we want you to know that our mission to look after you, dear reader, isn’t a fleeting thing. 

This time next year, we don’t want you feeling like you’ve squandered another 12 months.

So, as the gyms prepare to overflow in January and empty in February, here are some New Year’s Resolutions You Can Definitely Keep.

Lose some friends

This will happen naturally if you make no effort.

If a text comes through with an invite to a barbecue, you can’t go: you’ve got a family thing on. No worries, drinks next Friday? Nah, having a quiet one. Come to the baby’s christening? Can’t cope with kids. Help me move house? [No reply].

For instant friend-losing possibilities, look no further than Facebook. 

Dave from high school, for example, on our own Facebook, recently showed a knack for this when he posted a rant about gun deaths in the US being the fault of people who ‘‘take God out of the schools’’.

Click – end of friendship. Expertly done, Dave. Only 386 to go.

Get more wrinkles

For a real sense of accomplishment, take a photo today and another in a year’s time.

Pretend Morgan Freeman is narrating a day in your life

‘‘And as he woke up, not for the first time, he spread his toast with butter. Golden butter. Because he figured the day you’re done with livin’ is the day you start dyin’. And that’s all he had to say about that.’’

Watch an infomercial from start to finish

The quality has gone down since the Miracle Blade series of the late ’90s (that thing could fillet a fish and slice a boot), but it’s something we should all do at least once.

The Magic Bullet food compressor has a husband and wife hosting a dinner party and whipping up everything from cocktails to freshly chopped garlic. A must-see 30 minutes.

Adopt an inane new expression and use it all the time

‘‘At the end of the day.’’ ‘‘Let’s get our ducks in a row.’’ ‘‘Everything happens for a reason.’’

Butcher Boys get Wallaby legend

THE first question asked about Peter FitzSimons is ‘‘How did he get Lisa Wilkinson?’’ The second might be ‘‘Does he wear that red bandanna all the time?’’

Yes, he does, according to Lindsay Young, from Central Newcastle Rugby League Football Club.

Young, who is acquainted with the author and broadcaster, has wooed him into speaking at a lunch next month at Central Charlestown Leagues Club.

They’re pretty chuffed about it. But back to the bandanna.

When Young  knocked on FitzSimons’s door to ask him to speak at the lunch, the retired Wallaby answered in a kimono. He offered a bear hug. Sure enough, the red bandanna sat atop his prolific head.

‘‘He wears that bandanna like you and I wear our hair,’’ confided Young.

The Butcher Boys haven’t won the comp since 1949 (‘‘that’s a few years, isn’t it?’’, says Young) and want to build some credit on and off the field.

The lunch with FitzSimons is on Monday, February 11, tickets are $90 and you can find out more by ringing the leagues club on 4943 6622.

Mysterious engraving

LOUISE from Charlestown would like to know who BHowat, immortalised in this carving, is.

‘‘B. Howat – 1965,’’ it says, from what we can make out.

She found the engraving at Redhead Beach, carved into rocks about 20 metres from the shark tower.

‘‘I used sand to make it stand out,’’ says Louise.

If the carving was indeed made in 1965, BHowat must have gone to some trouble. The signature has stood up to the elements all this time.

We wonder if he is still around, or whether he was a holidaymaker passing through.

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