Six little hints, tips or snippets the editor has found useful over the years.

When driving in a traffic jam
If there is nothing you can do about it and you are going to be late for work, miss the train, or whatever – tell yourself there is absolutely nothing to do about it. After all, there is nothing you can do about it, is there? Then just relax. You’ll feel better, no matter how important the journey is. And when you arrive there, you’ll be far more able to deal with any problems being late has thrown up.

When working in London or other major city
Go in half to three-quarters of an hour earlier and call in to a local coffee bar and have a coffee and read the newspaper. Then, as you walk into the office on time, and on time every morning, (a) you will be noticed by your boss as always being punctual and (b) you will be totally relaxed having travelled on the “devil-tube” so much earlier. A bonus is, if there is a rail hold-up, you might miss your coffee, but you’ll still be on time.

Why purchase a Kindle?
Apart from the thousands of free books on the Internet, it is so convenient to carry, and so easy to read on the train – you can choose the size of the text. One book at only 86p is “Free books for Kindle: The secrets of how to get the world’s greatest books for a radical price [Kindle Edition] by Chris Graham. He shows how you can get all those books at hundreds of different websites on the Internet. I am reading all those classics again. Aristotle, Ulysses, The history of Zen, The beginning of the Roman Empire, Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe and dozens more. Yes, there are also crime, romances and other types of books. In addition you can read the books on a Kindle App on your smartphone, and also sync them with your Kindle so you are always at the right place.

Giving back to society
This is not as bad as it sounds. It can be money, if you are well off, or it can be time if you aren’t. All through my life I have given something back. I am not very good with the sick and infirm, but I can still do my bit. I have been on the committee of the old Finchley Chamber of Commerce when it used to meet at Avenue House, this was decades ago. I have been members of clubs and societies either on the committee, even as chairman, or willing to take any job on and help. This is what I can do, so I have always wanted to “do my bit”. You can do things for the country, or just for your local community. I have been, in the past, on the National Executive Committee of a political party (without pay), or have helped in my local community. At the moment, at 72, I haven’t stopped and run the local community newspaper and am building up a one stop website for the local Town, history, societies, small business, contacts etc. And it feels good, makes me feel I am a whole person. Try it.

Do you accept cheques?
At the time of writing, banks are cancelling and withdrawing cheque guarantee cards (CGC), so whether or not any card states it is a CGC, it isn’t so if you accept cheques from strangers, just be aware.

Proof-reading by yourself
This may not help with the spelling inconsistencies, but it will help, not only with your grammar, but with the flow of your words to a reader. Go into a room by yourself, close the door, sit down with a pencil, and read through your letter, article or whatever you have written, but read it extremely loudly. Any bad flow of words, or bad grammar will immediately become apparent. Try it, it works.

I will try and continue this over the months to follow. However, at 72 it is sometimes difficult to remember something until I can write it down. I recently reread Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. The last and first time I read it was when I was six years old. I remembers nearly all of it. Now I find it difficult to remember what I did yesterday. I blame a life of alcohol and debauchery myself!

If you have little simppets I could add to the list, please email them to and add your full name if you would like me to credit you with the snippet.

Andrew Ampers Taylor

Posted in Editorial. Comments Off on Six little hints, tips or snippets the editor has found useful over the years.
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