Alphabetical Advice

I’m not at all sure you’ll want my advice. Nevertheless, that’s the prompt…

Always look on the bright side of life, tee tum, tee tum tee tum tee tum… Not that I do. More of a Marvin the Paranoid Android myself.

Bats can be nice. Wherever I move, there always seem to be these little furry beings. They’re not creepy at all and watching them flittering and fluttering in the gathering gloom provides an hour or so of free entertainment.

Concentrate on one thing at a time. The world will do it’s very best to stop you and mostly it will succeed.

Don’t go anywhere without a large, old-fashioned paper book. This will enable you to avoid staring gormlessly at gormlessly-staring people on public transport. You don’t have to read it.

Eggs are a waste of time. You buy half a dozen and they sit in the fridge – and they sit in the fridge – and then you throw them out because you start to wonder whether little hens might even now be germinating inside them…

Football – shouldn’t be allowed. Or if it has to be allowed it should be allowed on one easily-avoidable TV channel only. Similarly golf, darts, snooker, indoor bowls, curling, party political broadcasts…

God may or may not exist. If he doesn’t, the only way to get your revenge on a bleak and meaninglessly random universe is to love one another regardless. All we can do is assert our humanity.

Heart-warming: any film described as heart-warming, good family entertainment, gritty – or containing Gwyneth Paltrow – will be rubbish.

Ideas – good ones tend to vanish in seconds – bad ones hang about forever and won’t leave you alone till you have acted on them and discovered exactly how bad they are. Carry a notebook. Act only on ideas you would otherwise have forgotten.

Judi Dench – conversely, any film containing Judi Dench is going to be good.

Kermit says: Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, ya know? Maybe you just need one person.

Learn it your own way. If school isn’t working, make up your own pattern; knit your own degree. They’re probably not teaching you right.

Men have feelings too. Proceed on that assumption.

Never apologise to someone else for something they just did to you.

Oranges are not the only fruit. Bananas make a change.

Polishing shoes is just one of the many things life is too short for, along with stuffing mushrooms and making your own Christmas table centrepieces. Buy trainers, jelly shoes, go barefoot, whatever. And remember – leather shoes are made of dead cows.

Q – if you have just spent several hours wondering when a U is going to turn up so that you can make a word out of it, it’s possible you need to get out more. Mind you, there’s always Qi, Faqir, Niqab…

Red should never have been invented. Then people in tiny, ugly houses wouldn’t be tempted to create feature walls with scarlet poppy wallpaper. Similarly, Union Jack cushions and those curly wooden or transfer mottoes – the one in the bathroom saying SOAK, the one in the bedroom saying DREAM…

Serviettes are useful for writing poems on. Gravy, spaghetti and everything else will soak straight through into your skirt.

Try, try and try again, if at first you don’t succeed. Or maybe rethink your ambitions.

Understanding the universe, at last? Isn’t going to happen.

Vegetables taste the same whatever shape they are.

Walk if you’re miserable. Walk if you’re not.

Xcruciatingly difficult to think of advices beginning with X.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a cop-out.

Zzzzzzzzzzz… bored, now.

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