5th July 2012

When it comes to important scary emails; go by the Schrödinger’s cat rule. Remember, until you actually open it, it still contains both good and bad news; the script treatment is both accepted and rejected, the man is both interested and gently letting me down, the test results are both positive in a figurative and a literal way. Try to put off opening all icky emails for as long as possible. Wait until it either becomes irrelevant or until one of your friends agrees to read it while you hide, with your fingers in your ears, crouched in another room. Then get them to shout out the gist of it under your locked door. I imagine this is how Schrödinger ended his famous experiment, but then in his defence he did probably have an angry radioactive cat to worry about.

When starting a new job, always be in the process of breaking up with someone. This works for both men and women. It immediately endears you to the people you’re working with and will give you plenty to talk about during those awkward first few weeks. Remember to keep it light and breezy, so no tedious trauma just the inevitable end of something that was never really going anywhere anyway. Do throw in a few anecdotes about how rubbish they were to speed up bonding but remember; judge the room, you don’t want to come across as bitter or shrill. Something about a forgotten birthday should be enough to get everybody on side; you’re aiming for feisty and brave, not doomed and broken. If you are actually going out with someone, make sure you change the name of your imaginary ex partner in case they bump into your real one at a later works do and everyone is mad at you for getting back with them.

If you want to seen busy at your job always look worried about something, squint into the middle distance and sigh a lot. Every now and then rub your eyes, complain how badly run the place is and ruefully laugh how you’re amazed it hasn’t closed down years ago. Then return to facebook. Try to carry a lot of files around with you at all times.

If you find yourself in a situation that you know is going to be awkward always bring an attention grabbing prop. It should provide a distraction from whatever is happening and deflate some of the tension. A small child is good, an attention grabbing hat adequate or even, if you know it’s really going to be a right old cringer, a bandaged limb that may be broken. Once, when I knew I was going to bump into someone for the first time after drunkenly making a misjudged move on them, I decided to wear a Christmas wreath on my head for *the laugh*. There was nothing whimsical about my headgear; I knew exactly what I was doing. While everyone thought I was being my usual eccentric self , I was actually being icily cunning. I knew when I bumped into my erstwhile beau; all attention and conversation would be inevitably drawn to the table arrangement precariously balanced on my head and not the events from the night before. Unfortunately, he didn’t call around to the pub that night so I was left with a crown of fir branches on my head, but to be honest, by then, I was really working the look.

When flying home for the first time after moving to London for your triumphant- look at me living my life in the city, proving your parents wrong by how successful and independent you are – make sure you have the details of the airline and airport you are flying from correct. Do not arrive half an hour late, at the wrong airport and try to board the wrong airline. Gatwick and Stanstead are not as you may think “more or less the same” they are, in fact, very far apart. If this does happen, make sure you have enough money in your account to pay for a replacement flight. If this is not possible, make sure you have enough credit on your phone or change in your pocket to ring your dad for his credit card details. If again, this is not possible, try to be nice to the woman behind the desk when she lets you use their phone and apologetic when you have to enlighten your parents of the evening’s events. When you do finally arrive in your home airport long past midnight, after your flight has been delayed for two hours and your Dad is waiting in arrivals, try to drop the defensive I live in London girl swagger and give him a hug. He will have experienced his own share of disappointments that night too.

If you are already half way to the tube before you realise you have a massive stain down the front of top; instead of going home to change, just act surprised when anyone points it out to you, as if it has only happened moments before. Practice looking down and appearing surprised. This should convince everyone you are just a messy eater; ergo: probably good in bed, instead of being a lazy slob; ergo: probably not.

If something happens that you’re desperate to talk about but are scared of word spreading, find your most self obsessed friend and spill the beans to them. You will get all the release of getting it off your chest with the peace of mind of knowing they will probably never even remember the conversation. It’s the human equivalent of talking to the river. Be careful not to include their name in your story as that might trigger certain synapses in their brain to start working. Bookend it all with questions about them as insurance.

If people are talking about a book or film you know nothing about but you are keen to join the conversation pretend that you have seen it and say that it reminds you a lot of another book/ film that you have read. Then start talking about that instead.For example: “Yeah “My Own Private Idaho”, I loved that film. Spellbinding; just so…atmospheric. Keanu Reeves was almost as good as he was in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” They’re making a third film!! Alex Winter returns, now who do you think they should do about the part of Rufus? Recast or would that be sacrilege? Long Live the Wild Stallions!”

When somebody introduces you to a baby for the first time always assume they’re a girl. If they’re a boy, it will be taken as a compliment. The same applies to meeting people with North American accents; always guess Canadian first. Even if you are wrong, they will assume you are obliquely suggesting they had had the benefit of a good health care system.

Whatever happens always ,always remember that if you throw enough shit at a wall, eventually, eventually you will get a hand that smells of shit. A shitty smelling hand and a stench that will follow you around for the rest of your life, tainting everything you do, touch and taste with a constant reminder of the time you tried, failed and gave up.
Best of luck!