How to Be a Failure (Part Y)

The penultimate episode

Annie Trevaskis
3 min readOct 11, 2023


A teenage boy with head bowed, standing in front of a blackboard with a complicated formula
Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.— Bruce Lee

I’m going to be honest, Bruce. I’m not entirely sure that my attempts to get to grips with . . .


. . . could accurately be described as “great”. If only I had known I would be writing about failures, I could have entertained you here with approximately 56 photos of flat bread rather than the single photo I took of my one and only success. Behold!

Photo by the author of the single loaf of bread I eventually managed. Even then, it went as hard as a stone after about ten minutes and proved impossible to slice. Two knives were destroyed in the attempt.


I failed on numerous counts yesterday. But I did learn from three of them.

Just a fraction of the piles of paper wrapping used in our house move. Photo by author.

We have just moved house, and the next time we move (hopefully NEVER), I am going to give the removal men who do the packing the following guide:

  1. If you wrap anything sharp, please use this red Sharpie pen and write SHARP in big letters on the paper so that I do not cut myself unwrapping the kitchen knives.
  2. If you wrap anything very small up, please use this red Sharpie pen and put SMALL ITEM on each side of the scrunched-up bit of paper. If you don’t, I will throw it into the paper pile and lose it. It will take me two days to go through the 1.3 million pieces of paper and smooth them all out in search of a single ceramic mustard spoon that you thoughtlessly scrunched into a ball that bore a strong resemblance to all the other scrunched-up balls you used as general packaging material.
It took me two days to find that spoon. Photo by author.


I finally got around to reading the meters at the new house. There are Smart, new-fangled ones here that I have never encountered before.



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.