I have been asked, obscurely, to provide a "top tip". I sat and fretted about this for a while, marvelling at the blankness of that part of my brain. I know lots of things that don't work.
Conkers, cloves, freezing your clothes - none of these prevent moth infestation. At least, not infestation by my super-evolved über-moths.
I thought about advising 'don't buy a dog', but it sounded bitter.
'Don't cook on a gas hob wearing a dressing gown with voluminous sleeves'. I have the singe marks to prove it.
Or "Just because the HSBC offers you £9000 credit on your card doesn't mean you have £9000 of actual money".
Nothing positive though. More a series of life lessons learned, or not even learned, from mistakes. I was looking for something marginally more inspirational, so I threw it open to the floor.
Replies came in various categories.
There were the practical tips:
"Shine up your scuffed patent leather with Windolene "
"If your butter is too hard to bake with, grate it into the mixture, it'll warm up faster"
"Those tiny bottles of false nail glue (bottle w/ brush) better than Superglue for EVERYTHING + easier to apply "
"Non-oily eye makeup remover gets almost any stain out of anything, including carpets".
"Lipbalm = best thing in the world if your shoes are starting to blister the backs of your feet and you have no plasters"
"Keep individual lemon wedges in the freezer. Then you are never more than 20 secs from a cold gin and tonic".
Then there were verging on surreal.
"No binoculars? don't fret, simply stand closer to the object you wish to see"
"Tie a double knot in your shoelaces and make sure your skirt isn't tucked into your knickers"
"Don't waste money on expensive face creams, simply replace all the light bulbs in the country with 20 watt soft tone"
"Pop a magnet in your mouth and dip your chin in iron filings for instant designer stubble!"
"Two walnut shells banged together will give impression of very small horse approaching".
"HEDGEHOGS make unusual mobile cheese & pineapple cube nibble dispensers at parties"
"Use a disposable nappy in lieu of a tea cosy - keeps it drinkably hot for ages"
"On returning from a night out, look carefully at the tubes around your sink, or you might end up brushing your teeth with Veet". (or, let me add, washing your face with Sisley Celluli-Pro).
Dave Yello came up with "Keep your tail close and your enemies closer". I was a little surprised it wasn't the other way round, but you don't argue with a T-Rex.
My BMF said "Always carry a tea tree infused flannel" . "What on EARTH for?" I asked him. "Er, I just feel safer knowing I can always be clean?". It's an abiding mystery how we manage to be friends. It was even worse when my children still liked raisins. He HATES raisins. Of course, now there's the dog, that might be even worse. Dog or raisins, BMF?
M shares my brain, so she was no use. She just flapped around a bit and said "Masking tape?"
The whole process ground to a halt when some one sent me a link to these Top Tips. They are magnificent. I had such a hard time deciding which one I liked best. I have a soft spot for the frozen toothpaste slices as after dinner mints, but ultimately I thought the best tip ever, surely, was this one.
Do you have a top tip? And if not, why not?
Ps: In the end I went for "Lower your standards".