These words rarely bring good news. I am tired of acquaintances and, indeed, strangers, telling me to wear a helmet on my bike. It is hard to rehearse the pros and cons of this argument with a passer-by. If people would stop telling me that my handbag will be stolen because I have it in my basket, that would also be welcome. During a lifetime of cycling, including in rough parts of the city, no one has ever tried to pinch my bag and nor have I heard of anyone ever having a bag stolen in these circumstances. Do me the credit of thinking that I have considered the risks and it’s a chance I am prepared to take. Or as I say to my nearest and dearest, “Have you idiot-proofed that suggestion?”
The other day, as I was shepherding the children out of our local cafe, a woman approached me, “Do you mind, if I say something to you?” I tensed up. “You have a lovely way with your children.” This is quite the nicest thing a stranger has ever said to me. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose.
Do share the most annoying thing that people say to you.