Six Things NOT To Do When You’re On Your Own


Be useful. Take a kitchen knife, go out into the vegetable garden, cut a cabbage, then for the family dinner make a big steaming  bowl of  choux  à la manière de Samuel Beckett  (Set an extra place and keep them waiting).


Be active. First thing in the morning, open the door and stretch and bend in the early morning sun, stretch and bend, stretch and bend, stretch and bend at the same time making a continuous humming sound from deep low down  in the diaphragm. Mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. If it’s raining, don’t bother.



Be interactive. Phone a friend who lives in a far-off rainy country and tell her about the weather here and how life goes on and on outdoors because of all the sunshine here. Describe the clothes you are wearing and how bronzée  you have become. Tell her about your natty sandals and about the gorgeous student you met who wants you so much he veel die wizout you. Describe in detail the alfresco  lunch  you had with the jolly Chevalier family on a long table under their apple tree (don’t forget to mention the  bottle of  Chateau Chambertine they opened in your honour).


Be adventurous. Discover your naked self. Take off all your clothes and proceed to the nearest river and practise walking on water. Note that this requires very little skill but a great effort of will power. Persevere. Fail, then fail again (but fail better).
If it’s raining, don’t bother.


Be idiosyncratic. Let out yor inner self. Put on a fancy waistcoat, find the glass ball you have had for years in the attic in the cardboard box  labelled MISC and go into the street with what used to be called a ghetto-blaster. Do a silly dance and wave at the people who gather round. Smile.  Turn the volume up. Proceed  to juggle with the glass ball. Make fun of anyone who shows  either embarrassment or hostility.
If it’s raining don’t bother. 

SIX (If it’s raining )

 Be more extravert. Talk to people. Assert yourself. Go to an Art Gallery and ask one of these Curator chappies about one of the paintings: a simple question like  ‘How old was Cadell when he painted this?’ will do for starters. Then try a more complicated one like  ‘ Is what Guthrie said true?  That he used orange so much in his later paintings because  in the summer of ’26 he got a bulk supply of the stuff at half-price?’
This will give him the chance to show he is not simply there to prevent people from taking  photographs of  the pictures.



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