Robert Garnham’s Words of Advice
1. No one is ever worth writing a poem for, though every now and then you’ll meet someone who’s worth a limerick, particularly if they come from Chard.
2. If someone tells you that they love you, it’s not always a test, it’s an affectation of the status quo, a joy delivered in the beauty of a relationship which actually works, so it’s best not to answer with, oh, that’s good.
3. Shrimp will always give you raging guts ache.
4. Hold on to your nostalgia, otherwise you’ll have nothing to be nostalgic about, except possibly for the time you used to be nostalgic about things, so maybe you can be nostalgic about that.
5. Look at your life. Isolate your fears, your demons, and anything else that gives you the willies. Engage with them and dance, and banish them with a smile and a wave and a cheer. Unless, of course, the thing that scares you the most is crushing loneliness.
6. It’s never too late to learn. It’s never too early to forget.
7. Only concentrate on that which requires no thought.
8. You might not ever mention the elephant in the room, but you can certainly wonder how it got through the door, and up the stairs.
9. Look at the mirror every morning and say, I am loved, I am loved, I am loved. At least this way you’re prepared for any other bullshit that comes along.
10. Everyone you see or meet or talk to has been born. Even Avril Lavigne. And if you think being born was difficult, try getting a mortgage.
11. Go on, help yourself to the last cake in life. Living is all about grabbing the last cake. Go on, have it. Enjoy it. The dog licked it.
12. Get up early one morning, when the dew is still on the grass, and go for a walk barefoot in the park. Let me know when you’re doing this so that I can come round and borrow your vacuum cleaner.
13.Do something that excites you every day. Subvert the rules. Turn things on their head. Naturally this does not apply if you’re an airline pilot.
14. How do we know that opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck? Who was the first person to discover this? How many similar things do we do which are good or bad luck without us knowing? Brandishing a vase on a Thursday? Sitting on a pouffe just after lunch? The mind boggles, Mrs Henderson, the mind boggles.
15. Give as much joy to the small things in life as you do to the large. Which is why me and my ex split up.
16. If at first you don’t succeed, then maybe catching bullets with your teeth isn’t the job for you.
17. If you don’t think you can get it out, why the hell did you put it in there in the first place?