I just woke up to the news that Terry Pratchett has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and I’m immeasurably sad about it. While this blog is a list of life lessons I’m learning from Jessica Fletcher, in the beginning was the word and the word was written by Terry Pratchett.

So, here’s a list of life lessons I’ve learned from reading Terry Pratchett’s books.

1. The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues. (Moving Pictures)

2. Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

3. The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

4. Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life. (Jingo)

5. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry. (Thief of Time)

6. Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (Men at Arms: the play)

7. It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done. (A Hat Full of Sky)

8. His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink. (Small Gods)

9. Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. (Jingo)

10. …inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

11. Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken? (Going Postal)


And last, but possibly most importantly:

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.

Rest in Peace Terry. And thanks.