People living in glass houses should consider drawing the curtains.

   If you dream you’ve found a toilet, don’t use it.   What a great piece of advice.   It hasn’t happened to me so far, but with age and the necessity of getting up in the middle of the night it can only be a question of time!   Sir Thomas Beecham famously said that you should try everything once except incest and Morris dancing which still strikes me as pretty sound advice.   However, many old sayings are not relevant today.   I was brought up on things like –  A stitch in time saves nine, but I can scarcely thread a needle and most people today would rather throw things away than mend then – although that is probably changing back now, but perhaps the modern version of it might be A stitch in time tells me I’m not ready to run a marathon.  Don’t cut off your nose to…..No!  Just don’t cut off your nose, never, under any circumstances.  

Advice is always readily available.   Most people are flattered if you ask them for advice and only too happy to give it (frequently unsolicited).   For every problem there will be several, probably conflicting, pieces of advice.

Asking for advice can be a good way of clarifying your thoughts.   Depending on your reaction to the advice you can often work out what to do.   For example, if you were thinking of having a face lift and your friend said that you should definitely do it and your reaction to this advice is that you now have a good reason to go ahead, then you must have been leaning in this direction.  On the other hand if you feel even more hesitant then it probably means that you aren’t really keen. Although you could question what sort of friend it is who tells you that you need a face lift!   Go with your instinct, but try to ask people you respect for advice.   And be very wary of gratuitous advice.  It depends not only on who is giving the advice but why!   If you ask your ‘best friend’ if you should go on a diet you have to think of it from her point of view as well.   Has she got your best interests at heart or hers?   If she really loves you she might not want to hurt your feelings by suggesting you are too fat but equally if she fancies your boyfriend she might not want you to lose weight so that she would have more of a chance with your boyfriend.  A bit convoluted but hopefully you can follow that!

Some general advice that is good and to the point, for example: No matter how nice the hand soap smells, don’t leave the bathroom smelling your fingers.

My parents gave some quite reasonable bits of advice.   My father’s were:  Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge as you never know when you might need it.   I still do that to this day.  Secondly – Never put your hand in front of your mouth when laughing because people will think you have badly fitting false teeth!   Have to say that has never been a consideration of mine, although I don’t put my hand in front of my mouth when laughing so maybe…!

My, much married, mother gave me two pieces of advice, the first was: Never learn to change a tyre or you may have to.  I have changed a tyre in my time although not sure I could do it now.   In the days before mobiles if you were stuck on a lonely road, you didn’t have much option.   Her second piece of advice was:  Always be on with the new love before you are off with the old.   I didn’t actually stick to that one – quite a tricky game to play unless you are naturally fairly devious.

My grandfather had two remarkably sound pieces of advice and they were – Always turn you car round on arrival and Never drink anything out of a jug (by which he meant a punch or mixed drink).

Other general pieces of advice are: If you want to look Young and Thin hang around with Old, Fat people. And You don’t need a parachute to go skydiving, you only need one to go skydiving twice.


What advice do I gave – I like to think that it is sage and worth listening to but the only thing I ever seem to do is to tell people to ‘Drive Carefully’ and as my son invariably replies “Thank goodness you said that I had been intending to drive like a maniac.”


Join the Conversation


  1. My Father’s advice was similar in that always point the car in the right direction, so it is easy when you leave,as quite likely that you may be sloshed


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: