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

Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; Moorgate up to £23k

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; ...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Sales Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This fragrance store are looking for enthusias...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role ...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Executive - UK / International

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a long-established, renown...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Old London Bridge; how to fight UKIP; and wolves

John Rentoul
Muslim men pray at the East London Mosque  

Sadly, it needs to be said again: being a Muslim is not a crime

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible