Twelve things I have learned in my miss-spent life…
1) Good weather should always be appreciated.
2) Getting drunk is great, but it passes. Being hung-over is hell, but it too passes. And the same thing goes for all experiences, foul as well as fun. To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
3) Do not wait until you are desperate before you go to the loo, if you have an arm in plaster.
4) Fear can ruin anything.
5) Health is wealth. It really is. And friends really are a treasure precious above rubies.
6) It is also true that travel expands the mind. Never pass up on an opportunity to travel.
7) Life is too short to refuse chocolate, crisps, ice cream, pie, decent cheese, single malt whisky, MacSweens’ Vegetarian Haggis, blackcurrants, passion fruit, damson jam, or any recipe involving aubergines (or eggplants, if you’re not in Europe).
8) Nothing is so much of a thrill as doing creative work when it is flowing. Nothing.
9) It is worth saying “please”, “thank you” and "excuse me". Courtesy really does cost nothing, and it makes life more civilised.
10) If you see someone holding a map and looking lost, and you know the area, stop and try to help.
11) If you want good food, learn to cook. If you want something mended, mend it yourself. If you want clean clothes, wash them. If you want a garden full of flowers, plant some. Self-reliance is under-rated.
12) The only hot-air hand driers that work are the ones that seem to be squashing your hands out of shape. Don’t watch, or put up with having wet hands.
13) Say yes to freebies. New taste experiences, new bootlace varieties, new brands of contact lens fluid, you name it, it’s worth a try. Also always enter free prize draws, raffles, tombolas and the like. Over the years I’ve won a fuchsia, six wine goblets, a deckchair, a stuffed toy dog, a five pound voucher for Cadbury’s chocolate, a ten pound book token, two cinema tickets and a hundred pounds off a holiday in Greece. You can’t say no to that!