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My daughter M1 recently reminded me recently of the influence I’ve had on her life. This is a strong, accomplished and caring individual who makes the world a better place (both daughters are actually), which makes me feel as if I have indeed achieved something in my own life. But the advice she heeds most is sometimes a little unexpected.

I am pleased to note that she is now adopting one of my important life philosophies, this one pertaining to jewellery. That is, when you buy a necklace, always buy the matching earrings as well (unless you have something that will work already), or it will come back to rue you. Of course you will never find anything in the same colour/texture/pattern that works quite as well. Ahhh, buyer’s regret! I get that a lot. Mr T tries to counter my belated regretful moaning by encouraging me to buy everything when I’m in any sort of doubt at the point of purchase. I think the technical term for him is ‘feeder’.

Actually, I have a couple more philosophies about jewellery: you can never have too many pearls; one should aim to wear a necklace each day; never throw any of it out, even the stuff from school days; check vintage stores for surprise bargains; buying jewellery when you travel is just a way of helping local economies, etc. You get the picture.

I have also developed another means of acquiring jewellery, much to Mr T’s horror. I wrote about it previously. He’s still feeling awkward about it all.

But not all of my life advice pertains to jewellery. Here’s a couple of my favourites. Ignore at your peril.

    • Don’t put a plastic bag on your head. I think my girls were around 8 and 10 when they finally twigged that this action, while entirely stupid and unnecessary, would NOT instantly result in their untimely death, unlike other foolhardy actions which would, like putting a knife in a heated toaster, and therefore are even more unwise. However, the warning and subsequent fear mongering was sufficient to prevent them from doing it in their early years, and they survived those, so mission accomplished.
    • Never run with scissors. Nothing more to say.
  • Always match your earrings to your necklace (see above). It used to be the fashion advice of the day (my day) that your handbag should match your shoes. Though not always possible, I try to do that mostly too. Clearly I am someone who’s big on rules and just a little bit matchy-matchy.
  • Life’s too short for bad food, or bad wine. I believe in this firmly. It’s a pity I’m such a lazy cook but very lucky Mr T is a dedicated one. Win.
  • Never ask your dog to mind your ice cream.
  • Never take a laxative and a sleeping tablet at the same time.
  • Be kind to everyone, always. (Actually, that one negates the need for 1000 different religions, or any at all – that’s all we need to do.)
  • Use your knife and fork properly. Just grrrrrrr. Personal bug bear.
  • Learn to use words like ‘literally’, ‘obviously’ and ‘alternate’ correctly. Even more grrrrrrrrrrrr. I feel an entirely separate blog post coming about that.
  • And (my personal fave) If Mum’s not happy, nobody’s happy.

Life would be better all round, I’m sure, if we all did these, and certainly less dangerous. Maybe not necessarily the one about necklaces.

This has got me thinking about what my parents passed on to me. First and foremost, it would be family is everything. My mum taught us we could do whatever we chose to, and my Dad encouraged us to work hard and be fair and kind. I’m also pretty sure I got my scisssors and plastic bag paranoia from my own Mum.

Now that I have a couple of little grand-munchkins in my life, I have many important things to pass on to them as well. Like how to do cloud gazing, for example, and about cappuccinos, even if they are takeaway.

Anyone got any other pearls of wisdom?

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