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LIVE A LITERAL LIFE OF PROVERBS AND IDIOMS

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ALWAYS PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

I spent too much time trying to decide which foot was best and I missed my opportunity. How do I know which foot is best? It’s a bit like stepping over the stones on the beach or on a country wall in the West of Ireland. You place one foot tentatively on the first stone and if it doesn’t wobble you go for the second stone, then the third stone and so on. By the time you get to your destination all the best bits in life have been grabbed by the brave and adventurous ones. I’m taking my feet back to the maker and getting a new pair.

 

BUCKET LIST

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I spent years wondering why people referred to their bucket list. Finally, ‘the penny dropped’ into the bucket with a clang. So, before I ‘kick the bucket,’ or become defunct I have filled a bucket with oodles of wish lists. Every time I pass it I kick it just to remind myself to do something of import (archaic word for importance) every day. I reach in and grab a handful of wishes. Buy a Ferrari. Buy Prada shoes. Go on a 3-month cruise. Gamble $1000 dollars in Las Vegas. Purchase a penthouse in the Riviera. Pay the electric bill. Okay, the only one achievable there is to pay the electric bill. Everything else needs a lottery win. Maybe I should change my bucket list or else ‘a fool and his money will soon be parted.’

 

CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT

I was wondering why my cat died. Sad to say it wandered into the lion’s den thinking it was its -momma. The lion’s name was Curiosity. Sure, what could I do? If the cat has no sense and isn’t street-wise it’s not my fault. Blame its parents. It’s what the rest of us do.

 

DON’T BLOW YOUR OWN TRUMPET

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That’s not a problem as I don’t own a trumpet. The modern equivalent of this idiom is to have a Facebook account. Tell the world how amazing you are, not in words, but by the stuff you post online. Promote yourself. Boast how ‘deep’ you are by posting supposedly clever quotes, which are really passive aggressive. Share and show you care about world events. Really? Like, love, laugh and be sad. Does anyone ever ‘dislike?’ Personally, I think we should all buy a trumpet and form a band. We could call it The Strumpets. Maybe the US Master of Trumpery will help us.

EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE, MAKES A MAN HEALTHY, WEALTHY AND WISE.

Oh, ye of little faith who watch box sets till 2am, or party till dawn, you’ll never be healthy, wealthy, or wise. I prefer the olde englysshe prouerbe. “Who soo woll ryse erly shall be holy helthy & zely.” It’s got such panache. Can you imagine trotting that line out at a posh party? Or maybe it’s more of a Mr Bean quote. One of life’s ironies is to ensure you can’t sleep when you most need to. When you’re working and the alarm clock goes off it’s no problem to roll over and snooze for another half hour, or enjoy a lie-in at weekends. When you’re retired you wake up too early. Th old bod won’t let you have a lie-in.

FALL SEVEN TIMES STAND UP EIGHT

No problem. I can do this standing on my head and that guarantees the 1st fall. Tripping the light fantastic in my Manolo Blahnik heels which are not made for 65 plus ladies guarantees the 2nd fall. Standing on one leg and whoops there’s the 3rd fall. Trying out my grand daughter’s roller skates truly guarantees the 4th fall. The 5th fall was accidental. Trying to swing off the lower branches on a tree. One way to discover I’m not a monkey. Visualizing skating on ice, beautiful as a swan was the 6th fall. And that was just visualizing it! The 7th fall was trying to stand on my head. Inevitable. Did I stand up 8 times? Eventually and I’m still in the same position. I don’t want to create a new idiom by falling over 8 times.

OPPORTUNITY NEVER KNOCKS TWICE AT A MAN’S DOOR.

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Nor did ‘opportunity knock until I built a door.’ And it’s still not knocking. I needed a sledgehammer to make a hole in the wall and wood and tools to make a door. They were all on the other side of the wall. ‘A poor workman always blames his tools,’ but I couldn’t use that as an excuse to get me out of this dilemma. I should have listened to my wise pal whose constant refrain was – ‘Don’t bite off more than you can chew.’ Building a house when you aren’t experienced was, in hindsight, a bad idea. I was boxed in, surrounded by four walls and nary a window or door in sight.

 

BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

To say that someone ‘has a face only a mother could love’ is not very kind. And if a friend tells you she’s going home to get some ‘beauty sleep,’ do not reply – ‘you need to,’ not even in jest. ‘Let your freak flag fly,’ is one of my favourites. In other words, show how unique you are. If you’re unique people might bypass the fact that you’re not quite first in the beauty stakes. ‘She has a great personality,’ – a catty way of saying someone is lacking in the beauty arena. Maybe she’s too ‘unique’ for you. Get a life! Cop on to yourself! Be kind. It will take that twisted smarmy look off your own face and you’re in with a chance of becoming an idiom instead of a jealous idiot.

BEAUTY SLEEP

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This does not apply to me. I wake up with a creased face and look like I’ve done ten rounds in the boxing ring. Apparently sleeping on a silk pillowcase is supposed to banish the creased rumpled look. I want to know how Sleeping Beauty managed to wake up after 100 years looking so fresh and radiant. Is that the secret? Sleep for 100 years, or is it a secret recipe for a cream with 100 ingredients? Either way, I’m definitely not on a winning streak. If beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, my beholder is a one-eyed Cyclops, not a Greek god waiting to whisk me off my feet into the beautiful land of Never Ever.

 

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Helena

My name is Helena Abrahams and I’m from the West of Ireland, where we currently live. I’ve been married to Richard for almost 40 years and. (Bravery award pending). We have 3 beautiful adult children, 2 sons and a daughter. They are the treasures in my kingdom.

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