How to Be a Failure (Part T)

Making the mistakes, so you don’t have to

Annie Trevaskis
4 min readFeb 26, 2023


A black board with white tile letters spelling out: “We all make mistakes and that is ok. we are learning.” The A in mistakes is upside down.
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I learnt how to change a motorcycle tyre the hard way. It was in the days before the internet and YouTube videos, so I did not have a clue. But I had a puncture and a puncture repair kit and figured I could do it.

My first mistake was thinking I could do it, and the second was not fully deflating the tyre first.

My third mistake was to use kitchen spoons and spanners because I didn’t know there was such a thing as a tyre iron.

Photo of someone kneeling beside a motorcycle tire, with a spanner in her hand
Photo by cottonbro studio: on

But eventually, I did manage to get the tyre off, repair the puncture and somehow, using brute force, get the tyre back on again. Yay!

No one could have been more surprised than I was when I travelled a few metres and the tyre went flat again. I got off to inspect the damage. There were some indentations in the tyre that looked suspiciously spanner-shaped.

Yep, I had managed to leave a spanner inside the tyre. The inner tube was damaged beyond repair. Honestly!

Time, Tequila and Travelling

I was flying back to London from Riga once with a girlfriend. We were horribly early for the flight and decided it would be a good idea to partake of some Tequila shots while we were waiting. We got so carried away that before we knew it, our names were being called on the loudspeaker. Take-off was delayed, and we had to do the walk of shame onto the aeroplane.

Photo of a shot of tequila with a wedge of line and some salt at the side
Photo by Francisco Galarza on Unsplash

There was a stopover in Stockholm, and we were determined not to get into any more trouble. We checked the flight time and had two hours to kill. Cue more Tequila and laughter. Just over an hour later, our names were called over the tannoy again. Unbeknownst to us, there was a one-hour time difference between Riga and Stockholm. This was in the days before mobile phones magically synchronise to local time, and we had…



Annie Trevaskis

I came, I wrote, I conquered. That last bit might not be true, but at least I am putting up a good fight.