There is no question that I’m turning into a grumpy old man.  For some time I have been compiling a list of loves and hates in the note book I carry with me (well, I carry with me when I’m wearing a jacket with pockets – I love pockets!).   The loves, including such things as croquet, Schubert, trees, toast, painting watercolours, beetroot, Leonard Cohen, are half the length of the hates; proof, should one be needed,  that I’m becoming a grumpy old man.

I appreciate that you’ll be longing to know what all these hates are and to match them with yours.  (It occurs to me that I might well have created the ultimate test of compatibility that all those dating websites should be using.)

In no order of importance, in other words I hate them all:

  1. Plastic bags and packaging that I can’t open without cursing and swearing and/or with scissors.
  2. Clothes labels that stick up at the back without you knowing, declaring to the world your size (XXL).
  3. Too much choice in supermarkets, e.g. Rivita biscuits.
  4. Being shown photographs of other peoples’ grandchildren (to be brutally honest, being shown other peoples’ photographs of anything).
  5. Computers when they take initiatives that are supposed to be helpful, e.g. continuing to number things when numbering has finished.
  6. People walking straight at me whilst texting or under an umbrella.
  7. Peanut butter.
  8. Shampoo bottles with the word ‘shampoo’ so small that I cannot read it without spectacles (I don’t wear spectacles in the shower which is when I need the information).
  9. With the exception of the piano, most solo instruments e.g. harpsicord, lute, recorders.
  10. Companies that go into liquidation owing me money.
  11. Non-fiction books without an index.
  12. The expression ‘jaw-dropping’.
  13. Older women with lined faces who dye their hair black (just to be clear, I love older women and lined faces but not with black hair).
  14. Cheese that doesn’t taste of anything.
  15. Apples that aren’t crisp.
  16. World premieres of just about anything, but especially modern music (premieres should only happen in the privacy of the composer’s bedroom).
  17. Hoses that kink.
  18. Approximately 80% of the exhibits in the RA Summer Exhibition.
  19. Theatre/concert programmes notes that list everything performers have appeared in but neglect to tell me anything interesting about them as ordinary mortals.
  20. Mumbling.

It’s only fair to warn you; this list is work in progress.

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