I’ve just finished my ‘kiwi, pear, and carrot’ smoothie so I’m feeling energised and ready to go! Pears are great – not just the taste, but the texture and the health benefits too. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re my favourite fruit – but I think they’re definitely in my top ten.

If I had to choose, I’d probably say blueberries are my number one fruit. My girlfriend and I call them ‘bloobs’, because it’s funny to say ‘look at those massive juicy bloobs’ when we’re at the supermarket – we get some strange looks… Anyway – when I got the call saying this month’s issue theme was ‘pears’ I was a bit surprised – because as delicious as they are, I don’t know how we’re going to fill a whole magazine with Bartletts, Concordes and Forelles.

Oh…. ‘Pairs’? Right…. My bad. This month’s theme is pairs.

So, as we realign our course for that thematic line of ‘pairs’ I’m planning on talking a little bit on romance, couple mentality and doing things with people you love, but first – and I know it’s a little overdue – can I just say a bit about New Year’s Resolutions please?

Firstly, anyone who says NYRs are dumb is an idiot, because it’s so rare in this world that people collectively decide to better themselves. Sure, I’ve already broken my ‘no ale’ pact, but at least my intention was to be healthier! Anyway, I drink smoothies now so I’m going to live forever, so shut up and stop judging me. We all break New Year’s Resolutions, in fact I don’t know anyone who’s ever fulfilled one to completion – but it doesn’t change the fact that pretty much everyone starts off the New Year with the same good intentions. Because apart from those people who said ‘my new year’s resolution is to do some terrorism’, or ‘Happy New Year, I’m going to shoot up a French satirical magazine with my mate’, the world goes into a new year with a new positive mentality – which generally amounts to something good. And I like this.

I mention the Paris shootings not for a cheap laugh, but because what I learned personally from that attack is that censorship means defeat. It goes without saying how tragic the situation was, but what I want to draw attention to is the fraternal pair behind it.

What’s that? A tenuous link to this month’s theme of ‘pairs’? Sure – I’ll go for that! Not just because I want to make this article seem even vaguely topical, but because I think that if the subject of this pair’s actions slips into the realms of taboo it would be a dishonour to the victims’ memories and everything they stood for. The afore-mentioned pair of murderous extremists were misguided enough to commit such an unforgivable massacre without batting an eyelid, but that’s pretty horrible so let me just say this: big respect to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who fell victim, and peace and love to the survivors who are fighting back with the latest magazine issue – a truly pure example of why freedom of speech is so important in today’s society.

Enough of that, though – along the same main theme, let’s talk about the nice things that pairs can do together instead. Like couples, for example… hold your horses though – before you say anything, no I’m not talking about sex. Get your minds out of the gutter. Perverts.

What I read recently (I can’t remember where, probably on the internet) was something that promoted the idea that couples who make up their own words or are creative with the ways in which they talk to each other are apparently happier together – it’s a communication thing I guess, like a secret code that only the two of you understand. My girlfriend and I are constantly making up words, phrases, and just stupid things in general. You remember the ‘bloobs’ fiasco from earlier? It’s basically more of that, but with the majority of words that come out of our mouths. We find ourselves delving into the world of etymology and completely tearing it apart from the inside. It’s nerdy, cute, and actually pretty sickening. N.B. I also do this made-up language thing with my best friend Barney – so I hope this theory isn’t strictly reserved for romantic pairs, and counts for platonic life-partners as well.

P.S. Barney, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I just called us ‘platonic life-partners’.

P.P.S. Actually, no I’m not.

Regardless of who we do it with though, we enjoy it, and I think if I was to preach a message for this month, I’d like to say this: ‘do something you enjoy with someone you love’…. Actually, that still sounds like sex. How about this: ‘find someone with whom to do the things you enjoy’. There we go – how’s that? We’ve already had some pretty horrific events happen this year, and a hot topic seems to be the sensationalism of current affairs. We all know that if it bleeds it leads, but it’s fairly depressing how news stories aren’t just news stories, they’re effectively sales pitches for the platform upon which they are being reported.

So if you want some friendly advice to try and drown out the badness… I like the idea of finding someone, platonically or not – so without sounding like too much of a hippy, take somebody’s hand and find something positive to enjoy together, as a pair.

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