1.Choose a personal theme tune early on and stick with it. This is extremely useful for the cinematic enhancement of dramatic life moments such as break-ups, anniversaries and celebrations. It will also provide comfort during time spent on runways waiting for Easy Jet flights to take off (approx. 98 hours in the average lifetime), childbirth and terrible sex. My theme tune for example, is Saturday Night Fever and when my daughters were born, there was only wah-wah guitar in my head. That and the vision John Travolta’s white nylon-clad buttocks. But that’s Pethidine for you.
2. Enjoy those perky nugga nuggas. One day you will be able to tune into Radio 4 with them.
3. Laugh often. Some day this will be accompanied by small amounts of wee.
4. Whereas I could floss my teeth with your underwear, you could raise a small family of baboons in mine.
5. When you kiss someone, kiss them like you could die. Abandon all reason, climb inside the moment heart and soul, surrender to love and all its possibilites, and then steal their wallet. (I have found that being a combination of Jane Eyre and the Artful Dodger is practically irresistible to men).
6. The same boy who is currently breaking your heart will one day be capable only of breaking wind. One day, he will be an unemployed security guard living in Leighton Buzzard with a wife he hates. One day, his hairline will receed. And also his gums. (N.B. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental).
7. You are rubbish at sex and will be until you are at least 30.
8. When (if) you say, “I do”, it is perfectly normal to have an evil genius voice inside your head going, “Hehehe… or do I?”
9. The intangible feeling that you should either be doing something else, be somewhere else, living a different life or that you’ve forgotten something important, never, ever goes away.
10. It is still a man’s world.
11. Karaoke is a cure-all for all ailments for all women. There is, in fact, an underground insurgency taking place in karaoke bars around the world vis-a-vis the above fact of it being a man’s world. Fuck burning your bra. Wear a good one with decent support and SING SISTER SING!
12. If you decide to mother, do it unconditionally and with complete abandon. Thinking you can still do anything else leads to utter despair and an addiction to Jaffa Cakes
13. Also, if you decide to mother, during pregnancy, sandpaper your nipples daily. No one advises this but it is a genius idea and prepares you for the reality of breast feeding.
14. In mid-life, inexplicably, one armpit will start to smell worse than the other. (Or is that just me?)
15. Some day, you will really understand what sisterhood is all about and it will save you. Now sisterhood is all, “Can I borrow your Top Shop jeans,” and “Will you hold my hair back while I chunder up this WKD?” but one day, you will find solace in another woman’s empathic smile as you wipe baby sick off your jacket. You will love beyond measure those girlfriends who drag you out to celebrate your divorce. Sisterhood will save you when the blokes all start popping off earlier than us tough old birds. When we stop being in competition with each other and judging one another’s mothering/parenting/looks/size/shape/choices, women are awesome.
16. Whatever your age, if you have music in your bones, nothing will be as joyful as standing in a muddy field at sunset when the bass kicks in.
17. When you are a teenager, there’s a lot of hassle about best friends, boyfriends, bitchy friends, twitchy friends, new friends, old friends. In middle-age the only friend you need is good lighting.
18. That old saying about being a ‘Wise Woman’ in later years is actually a misreading of the term ‘Pies Woman’ which is what you become after you stop giving a damn what boys think.
19. Because I was born with all my eggs, as all women are, it means that when I was in my mum’s belly, you were there too. Remember your maternal grandmother’s story and pass it on. It matters.
20. One day you will look in the mirror and see me.