No need for tension about tenses
Someone probably told you once about the sequence of tenses—how the tense of the verb in a main clause dictates the tense of the verb in a subordinate clause. This is of particular concern to journalists because they must write reported speech so frequently. So:
Past tense main verb/past tense subordinate verb: She said she knew who put the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.
Present tense main verb/present tense subordinate verb: She says she knows who put the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.
Past tense main verb/conditional subordinate verb: She said she would give her regards to Broadway.
Present tense main verb/future tense subordinate verb: She says she will give her regards to Broadway.
Present tense main verb/present perfect subordinate verb: He says he has had a hot time in the old town tonight.
Past tense main verb/past perfect subordinate verb: He said he had had a hot time in the old town that night.
On Twitter, @guardianstyle has recently been ringing some of these changes, but one instance demands a quibble:
Reported speech (1) - She said "I like chocolate" (present tense) becomes in reported speech "she said she LIKED chocolate"
The exception to past/past sequence is the statement that is continuing or perpetually true. Thus, she said she liked chocolate could be understood to mean that she liked chocolate as a child but lost her taste for it as an adult. She said she likes chocolate means that her taste for it continues into the present.
Also, don’t get your feet tangled in infinitives when you have past-tense verbs. Write she would have liked to waltz around again with Willie, not she would have liked to have waltzed around again with Willie.