1. That 'Frances can be verbose' wasn't a compliment. A Junior School teacher wrote it on my school report and until I was thirty-nine I thought it meant 'good with words'.*
2. That the secret of looking confident is usually just that. Looking it. And most people don't get past that stage, and still manage.
3. That other people don't always appreciate you singing along, so my Granny was right to clamp her hand over my mouth in 1972 when she took me to see 'The Sound of Music' and I was screeching 'Climb Every Mountain'.
4. That in the middle of the night, a classroom seating plan or a phone call to a difficult relative is a Massive Issue, but at nine in the morning, can be calmed with marmalade on toast.
5. That the friend's mother who said I had a 'silly little face' in the 1980s wasn't exactly an oil painting herself ...
|.... unless it was THIS oil painting.|
6. That people who can't sew, demonstrated by having made a pair of flares at school in 1976 which turned out as jodhpurs because the legs were the wrong way up, should delegate their sewing to other people and just be cool with it.
7. That a creative oeuvre comprising hundreds of teenage angst-filled poems should not be stuffed in a bin at the age of eighteen in an attempt to prove oneself a grown-up.
8. That colours which match youthful skin tones can make an older skin look as though jaundice - or death - has taken hold.
9. That if you're under eighteen, all adults are forty-five or older.
10. That tears when you're upset or angry shouldn't be resisted, because otherwise they turn into big stones called Despair and Resentment in your upper chest which hang on in there, their arms folded, until allowed out.
* I know. I know. I see the irony, too. Bitter, bitter irony.