Miles Kington: Don't count your proverbs before they're hatched

No man is an island. And if what they say about global warming is true, it's just as well

Share
Related Topics

If you haven't met them before, Albanian proverbs are very different from ours. Ours are dry and common sense. Look before you leap. Don't count your eggs. But Albanian proverbs are both allusive and elusive. They sound impressive at first, but when you think about them, they fall flat and play possum. Still, better a dead proverb than no proverb at all. Which, as it happens, is an old Albanian proverb ....

The tragedy of travelling first class is that however comfortable you are, and however many free drinks you get, you still arrive at your destination at the same time as the second-class passengers.

The worst thing that can happen to a trapeze artist: breaking your leg in the safety net.

Better the grass snake you know than the hedgehog you don't.

No one ever started building a cathedral from the top down.

Three days to avoid: someone else's National Holiday, staff training day at a service area, and Speech Day at the Deaf and Dumb College.

Bananas are the only fruit you can pretend to shoot people with. So it must be just a matter of time before they are banned in the war against terrorism.

It is better to be licked by a cow than never to be licked at all.

Happy is the man who wins nothing at the bottle stall, for he shall not get back the truly dreadful bottle of Romanian rosé he donated yesterday.

The only thing you can do after finishing a crossword puzzle is start another one, and who wants to do that?

Nobody was ever asked if they wanted to be a saint.

Does a curtain shut out the darkness, or does it keep in the light?

Do you want to be famous? Have a disease named after you.

Milk would make the best invisible ink, if you could read by smelling.

You can put L plates on a car, but you can teach it nothing.

One nation's famous victory is another's source of rancour. Celebrate Trafalgar at your peril.

We hurry back back to our seats for the second half of the play, glad to enter this haven of peace and quiet after the drama and turmoil of trying to get served at the bar in the interval.

If nobody writes poems about spiders, it is because there is no rhyme for "web".

"Thesaurus" is the Greek word for "treasure", but what is the Greek word for "thesaurus"?

Next time you think how dull it is to watch an orchestra at work, think what it is like for the musicians to have to look at you.

Millions of people have visited Longleat, but not one of them has ever wondered what a "leat" was, and how long they generally are.

The trombone must be the only musical instrument invented by a marine engineer.

Oranges are not the only fruit, but then, did anyone ever say they were?

Two nations which have never fought each other can never be real friends.

No man is an island. And if what they say about global warming is true, it's just as well.

Listen! What is that soft sound in the suburbs? It is the discreet noise of middle-class housewives getting the place tidy before their cleaning ladies arrive.

Three people to avoid: a man who has recently lost his luggage at an airport, a woman who has recently joined a reading group and a child who has recently been given a how-to-be-a-magician kit.

All these are taken from 'The Great Big Book of Albanian Proverbs' (2005 edition )

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Not only is Liz Kendall a shy Tory, but her words are also likely to appeal to racists

Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)