High fives are no substitute for a big, wet lickery kiss

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I’m not a big fan of high fives. Especially not when they’re used as a substitute for displays of affection.

As a consequence of having children of my own I’ve been spending a lot more time in the company of babies and toddlers recently.

Something I’ve noticed from this proximity to little people is that an awful lot of their parents are encouraging them to give high fives in lieu of hugs and kisses.

And while it’s commendable that they’ve got the co-ordination to be able to make hand-to-hand tessellation with their peers and seniors, for me, it’s no match for a big hug or a peck on the cheek.

Even a floppy handshake would be preferable.

Karen and I have encouraged Lucy to give hugs and kisses when someone is departing and we’ll be doing the same with Ben when he’s old enough to comply.

Getting a big wet, lickery kiss on the cheek from my daughter is worth all the tea in China to me. The fact I don’t drink tea is irrelevant.

My fear is, if the majority of parents are giving high fives the thumbs up, then Lucy and Ben will stand out as weirdos while the hundreds of children slapping hands like they’ve just won the Superbowl or an unnecessary war will be seen as the acceptable norm.

Perhaps all of this stems from the fact that, kids excluded, I’m rubbish at showing affection to my family.

Rather than replace hugs and kisses with high fives, I’ve gone one step further and in order to show my family that I love them I subject them to regular and sustained mockery.

My mum and dad celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this week and to mark the occasion you’d have thought it would be the perfect opportunity to shower them with hugs and kisses.

I ended up sending them a witty email.

But my lack of affection wasn’t my fault. They were both on holidays so electronic communication was my only means.

Before you go jumping to crazy conclusions that they were away together - my dad was in Australia while my mother was in Montenegro. Perhaps I’m not the only one with affection issues.

My dad has been away for nearly a month following the Lions in Australia. He returns from the victorious tour this week and when he does so I will meet him at the airport and shower him with hugs and kisses.

Who am I trying to kid? I’ll probably punch him on the arm and tell him he’s put on weight.

Murray vs Perry

Andy Murray provided the human equivalent of Factor 50 sun cream on Sunday.

With temperatures soaring, Murray’s magnificent performance at the final of Wimbledon ensured that millions of people stayed indoors and out of the sun’s range.

I was one of those who turned down the deckchair in favour of the armchair to watch a British player win Wimbledon for the first time since 1936.

Murray is understandably over the moon to follow in the footsteps of Fred Perry.

The praise that’s been heaped on the Scot is richly deserved and I’d go as far as saying he deserves even more credit than Perry.

Murray set himself the clear target of winning Wimbledon and has devoted his entire career to achieving that goal, not once being deterred by setbacks.

Perry on the other hand only entered the tournament to raise a bit of publicity for his clothing range.