diamond geezer

 Saturday, December 03, 2022

Advice to me 50 years ago (aged 7)
• Just try not to show off, OK?
• Your class teacher is a real stickler for teaching handwriting the old fashioned way, and you won't realise yet but you're going to be complimented on your cursive italic for decades to come.
• Don't worry, you won't be sharing a bedroom with your brother forever.
• You'll get the hang of cycling eventually - the trick is to ignore how uncoordinated you are and try not to be frightened. Swimming will take rather longer.
• You're going to be in the local paper on Thursday. When the photographer comes round after school and suggests sitting crosslegged on the sofa with a bus timetable in your hands, try to talk him out of it. Maybe grin a bit less too. But well done for taking the bus company to task and getting a response out of them - there is totally a future in this.
• Ultimately the violin is a complete waste of time but go with it, it'll really get you places.
• You'll have spotted by now that not having butter or margarine in your sandwiches makes you stand out as a bit abnormal, but it'll turn out to be the long term healthy option.
• Make sure you watch the Moon landing on TV next week because after this, unbelievably, nobody's going back.
• When you're getting your toenails cut over the next few months, ask them to be particularly careful with the big toe on your right foot.
• You have so much ahead of you, you lucky lucky boy.... enjoy.

Advice to me 40 years ago (aged 17)
• Try a little harder to keep in touch with your schoolmates, because they're all about to fade into social oblivion and by the time Friends Reunited comes along it'll be too late.
• Sorry, you won't be getting rid of those new glasses you ordered yesterday any time soon. But when the option of contact lenses comes up don't worry about the eyeball-touching bit, just go for it.
• Mushrooms aren't horrible, honest.
• Today's interview is a complete waste of time. You will never again see any of the awkward suited adolescents you shared the common room with.
• Next week's interview though - total gamechanger, the hinge on which your life turns. No pressure.
• Also, stay on the extra night after the interview and experience a burst of independent life for a change, maybe even meet a few people, you'll totally regret coming back early just to go into school for an unnecessary day.
• You don't need sugar in your tea, it's fine without.
• When you come to do your first driving test at the end of the month, make sure you turn the wheel fully during the three point turn. Even knowing that a white stick with two red reflective bands means deaf and blind will be no use if you've already hit the kerb.
• Stick a tape in your cassette player and record the opening of tomorrow night's first Janice Long show, she's going to be a legend. And then turn it over for Gary Davies' debut afterwards.
• You've still not worked it out yet, have you? Ask someone, anyone.

Advice to me 30 years ago (aged 27)
• Don't worry, you'll never go potholing again and there wasn't any lasting damage.
• Take your left contact lens out carefully tonight otherwise it'll rip.
• Go and see your grandmother, she'd love to see you and you never know how many more times you'll see her. (I do know and, well... go and see your grandmother)
• When your hifi goes wrong at the weekend it's not actually broken so don't rush out and buy a new one.
• The next few years are going to be all work and very little play, which is partly because nobody else at work is your age, but mainly because you're not very good at making friends. Try a bit harder, you're letting your youth slip away for no recognisable gain. London's barely half an hour away by train, you should go down more often.
• On the bright side you are going to manage your first relationship next month. Admittedly it'll only last 19 days but it'll open your eyes to the possibilities, and the second one in May will last four months just to prove you really can do it.
• Go and walk Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters now, don't miss out on the joy of it for another 15 years.
• It's going to go down a storm, but there'd be no harm in shortening your best man's speech by five or ten minutes.
• The Conservatives aren't going to be in power forever, just for most of your life.
• One day you'll be older than your Dad is now.

Advice to me 20 years ago (aged 37)
• Socially this is as good as it gets. Embrace every night out life throws at you. It won't last.
• BestMate comes back.
• The big boss you're having festive nibbles with after work tonight will be resigning in disgrace before the end of the month. Go for the turkey yorkshires, they're delicious.
• The band you're seeing tonight in Shoreditch, and who you'll engage in smalltalk over a Becks, will manage a number 82 hit single before vanishing without trace.
• Today is just the first time at work they'll ask you to swap desks. There are at least a dozen more swaps to go... but this is by far the best view you're ever going to get.
• Come back from California with as many cinnamon TicTacs as you can because they're going to stop making them.
• Your workmate isn't interested.
• You'll still be living here in 20 years time, so you could actually unpack some of those boxes.
• Boris Johnson is going to end up in 10 Downing Street. Put a bet on it now, you could win big.
• Keep on writing the new blog, it is definitely going somewhere...

Advice to me 10 years ago (aged 47)
• That health niggle you were a bit worried about. Totally doesn't happen.
• Last week's meet-up maybe left you a bit confused about where the 'relationship' was going. Next week's will confirm it's over, going nowhere, and I'm sorry but that's your last one, there are no more, so best get used to being single.
• Buy a spare cassette recorder now while they're still making them.
• Don't have the fourth gin cocktail, you'll wake up in someone else's bed with no memory of how you got there.
• You can tell BestMate tonight that yes, OtherHalf is cheating and needs to be ditched... but then next week when he mentions an intended replacement you should tell him no, NewOtherHalf is going to be even worse.
• Book the helicopter for the day after your birthday.
• Water your grandmother's cacti a bit more often. But just a bit.
• You might think politics is bad at the moment but it gets so much worse in a few years time so make the most of the relative calm of the coalition.
• You don't get any younger. This is evergreen advice, but especially the case over the next decade.
• Don't book a holiday in 2020.

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jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

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