Exercising in Lockdown

Hello, hello, hello! Lifestyle Support Guru here, with some advice on getting through lockdown healthily. I am always looking for ways to help you live a more fulfilling life but without expecting you to have to do too much because I don’t believe in overdoing it if I can help it. Now, I know that one of the pieces of advice often given to help keep this virus at bay is to do some exercise and I am aware that I don’t give a great deal of advice on this form of help because, to be honest, exercise always seems like too much hard work to me, but I am open-minded enough to give it a try now and again and that is exactly what I did today!
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Let me set the scene – slightly-younger-sibling (SYS) and I had decided a couple of days ago that we would have a drive out to a nearby tourist attraction – let’s call it Calke Abbey for the sake of argument – because the weather was promised to be sunny and we felt it would make a nice change. SYS could walk around and do some photography and the LSG could get some exercise walking to the café for a hot chocolate. Sorted!
Off we went, although it was most unusual for the LSG to be washed, dressed and out of the house by 10.15 am – practically daybreak! Dressing to go out in public was also a novelty and I opted for the ‘parish priest’ look – a grey V-neck jumper with a black round-necked top underneath (channelling my inner Vicar of Dibley), although I drew the line at a dog collar. Outer garments comprised a red coat and a white scarf, but I decided to forego the green shoes – I felt it would be too much to be wandering around looking like an ambulatory Welsh flag.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/We duly arrived at our destination and SYS set off with his camera in one direction while I headed for the café in the opposite direction, intending to get a hot chocolate and a bit of breakfast, maybe a nice sausage cob. The trouble is, we are so aware of loitering nowadays, especially with people queuing up outside, that I rather rushed my breakfast order and ended up with a hot chocolate and an egg mayo sandwich because I just chose the first thing I saw on the blackboard! Imagine, the LSG – flustered! I went outside, intending to go round the corner and find a table to sit and enjoy my ‘breakfast’, but decided the chances of an empty table and chair were slim, so I opted for standing next to a wooden structure that looked like a tallish table.
And there I was, munching on my egg mayo breakfast, when I suddenly spotted a friend – and regular Wednesday night Facebook quizzer – heading for the café! Gail – I’ll call her that for the sake of anonymity – joined me at my ‘table’, remaining socially distanced, of course, and we stood chatting away, swapping gossip for the best part of an hour, interrupted only by the occasional person wishing to avail themselves of the litter facility, because that’s what my ‘table’ was, dear followers – a well-disguised rubbish bin! Never let it be said that the LSG doesn’t hang around in the best places! The water cooler of the outdoor space!
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/When SYS turned up, I knew it was time to leave, and completed my bout of exercise by heading back to the car. There was only one slight element that spoiled the whole experience – when I got home and looked in the mirror, I found I had two large, black smudges under my eyes where the bright sunshine had made my eyes water and my mascara run! Gail must have thought she was talking to a panda, and no wonder SYS walked off in front of me as if he didn’t know who I was! A lot of people smiled at me, though – they must have known I was the LSG!
Look after yourselves, dear devotees! 

Keeping Busy

Good evening! Lifestyle Support Guru here! Once again I have fallen behind in keeping you distracted and amused in these strange times – I can only say that I have been busy distracting and amusing myself in order to pass on my knowledge to you. How have I been distracting and amusing myself I hear you ask? Two things – shopping and watching films.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/

Shopping

As you know, I am a seasoned shopper and I have also written a number of film reviews which I like to think have been well-received, so you will be getting advice from an expert.
Shopping tips first:
A winter coat is an essential:
1. ‘This £99 coat is the best on the High Street’ screams the headline, continuing, ‘And it’s from M&S’. That’s a good price, you think, even if the coat’s a little dull (official LSG description – grey with bobbly bits). You then look at the accessories suggested to go with this cost-saving coat – earrings, £115; jumper, £325; hat, £470 (or a cheapskate version at a mere £195) and, finally, the pièce de resistance… bag, £710! Over £1,600 extra to go with the savings you’ve made on the M&S coat – marvellous, darlings.
Now, you’ll need some underwear, of course:
2. Bra, £520; knickers, £465. A different one for each day of the week, naturally!
And finally, what about making your home smell nice as you lounge around in this expensive gear because you’re in Tier 3 and can’t go out for several weeks?
3. A ‘Washing Powder’ candle, inspired by ‘the scent of freshly made beds and clean socks’ – only £105. Why not just open your airing cupboard and take a deep breath? Far cheaper. There is, again, a cheapskate version: a diffuser with ‘outdoorsy notes of freshly cut grass and sun-dried laundry’, a mere snip at £62. Just go out and cut the lawn and put your washing out.

Films

Now, onto the films. I have watched two very different films over the last couple of days, which you may well have seen yourselves, but it’s always worth getting someone else’s perspective on them, especially if that ‘someone else’ is the LSG.
First film: ‘1917’. A very good film, I must say, but I’m afraid the warning at the beginning about what to expect was not quite accurate: ‘Drugs, swearing, sexuality, violence’ it warned. To paraphrase Meat Loaf, ‘two out of four ain’t bad’. There were a lot of soldiers smoking, as you’d expect in those days, but I didn’t spot anyone mainlining heroin or snorting a line of coke as they waited to ‘go over the top’. And the sexuality? The nearest they came to it was when the hero was in the same underground room as a woman – unless it was the dog sitting on a soldier’s lap and I missed the significance of that?
Second: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ – yes, I hang my head in shame! My finger slipped on the ‘record’ button the other night, so I felt obliged to watch it, having gone to all that trouble! It is not the way to spend a Tuesday afternoon, believe me! And I thought the book was bad (head hangs even lower in shame). I decided to watch it after having had my usual afternoon nap, but I didn’t enjoy it for two or three reasons:
i. I was terrified in case David came downstairs while I was watching it.
ii. I had to keep fast forwarding through the sex bits (1917 could have learned from these) in case David came downstairs.
iii. It was rubbish, which I would have said to David if he had come downstairs.
I wish I’d done the ironing instead now! 😂
PS Anyone know when ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ will be on?

Clearing up the Confusion about Coronavirus

Hello, hello, hello from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I feel that it is about time that I stepped into the coronavirus ‘pond’ and helped clear some of the muddy water that is https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/causing confusion, with more to come by the sound of it. Now that Birmingham has been fenced off (some might say it should have been done sooner, but that’s just spitefulness) and there are restrictions on how many people you may meet up with, I felt I needed to clarify just exactly what you can and can’t do. You can then print out these clarifications and carry them with you as a reminder in your handbag or wallet or pocket or even down your underwear (and remember that the LSG does not discriminate, so get those Wonderbras out, boys; unpack those y-fronts, girls!). I will try to condense them as best as I can.
If you live in England:
1. You may not travel into or out of Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford or anywhere else beginning with B unless you have an exceptionally good reason. The only exemption is Barnard Castle, and this is only available to people whose initials are DC.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/2. You may meet up in groups of six in order to eat or drink and generally make merry. If you don’t have five friends to make up a group of six, you are barred from socialising altogether and must sit at home staring soulfully out of your window.
3. If you live in a household of more than six, you will need to get rid of one or more of the household. I suggest that you choose the unfortunate victim(s) by means of a short straw; or perhaps choose by age, or height? Or how much they eat? The ‘chosen ones’ will then have to look for a household with fewer than six in it and ask if they can join it.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/4. Wear a face mask as often as possible – according to the government website, ‘An infected person can pass on the virus even if they do not have any symptoms, through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing.’ You should therefore try to avoid doing any of these, although you may find the breathing restriction a little difficult at first, but persevere – it will be worth it.
5. Further advice from the government: ‘When with people you do not live with, you should also avoid physical contact; being close and face-to-face; and shouting or singing close to them.’ My plan of going out and cheering people up by hugging complete strangers and singing ‘Men of Harlech’ into their faces looks like it will have to be postponed…
6. There are exceptions to the ‘rule of six’ – ‘wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or other religious life-cycle ceremonies – where up to 30 people will be able to attend; funerals – where up to 30 people will be able to attend… protests and political activities… ’ I’m not sure what ‘other religious life-cycle ceremonies’ are, but it’s clear that you can have a wonderful party if you can find someone who’s about to get married, someone who’s popped their clogs, and a couple of political activists and combine them all together on the same day.
7. Fill up your car with petrol in case you need a covid test – you may be asked to travel to Wales or Scotland to get one.
Remember that there are different guidelines for Wales and Scotland – I suggest not visiting either of these countries until they have learned to speak properly and can explain their rules clearly. Northern Ireland is staying quiet – unusually!
Remember – Hands, Face, Space – or Clap, Slap, Gap! Goodnight and sleep well.

A Coronavirus Tale for Our Times

Hello, dear Followers and Believers! Lifestyle Support Guru here, once again trying to help you make sense of life and all its attendant problems, of which there are many at https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/the moment. I know that many of you are still concerned about the coronavirus and you may be losing sleep through worry, so I thought I would share a little story with you that I wrote for my female siblings and some of their offspring, who seem to like strange stories. This may help you sleep better (although a glass of wine can have the same effect) because it clears up a lot of confusion about some of the theories surrounding coronavirus. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
Once upon a time there was a bat called Boris who caught a bad cold; unfortunately, https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/instead of staying in until he recovered, like his mummy had told him, he went out to play with his friends and he passed it on to them. One of his friends, called Dominic (not a cool name for a bat, but he didn’t care), decided to visit his family in another part of the country. Dominic didn’t know that he had caught Boris’s cold, and so he passed it on to his family and friends and they, in turn, passed it on to their friends. Meanwhile, other friends of Boris had caught this cold and were merrily passing it on to everyone else they met – Hank Matcock, Sharp Grant, Dominic Rabid and Rees-Moggy, the local tomcat who liked to tell everyone else how to live their lives, did a sterling job of ensuring that as many animals as possible caught this nasty cold. Some even died, but Boris and his friends lost count of how many, so they pretended that the numbers weren’t as high as they really were and, since many animals can’t count very high – usually only to 3, sometimes 4 – nobody was very concerned.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Oh dear, thought Boris, this can’t all be my fault. It must have been caused by something else; so he consulted lots of other very clever animals – some of whom could count to 5! – and they learned that Ickie the Iguana had originally created the virus by accident when he was shape-shifting one day, using different viruses to help him change from being a Nile crocodile – because they get such bad press! – to something smaller and cuter like a turtle; unfortunately, Ickie mixed his viruses wrongly, which is how he ended up as an iguana, but he didn’t really mind, because iguanas are quite popular, almost as much as turtles. However, one of his friends, Donald the horny lizard, caught the mixed-up virus and passed it on to another shape-shifter, called Billy Gator (his brother Ally had shape-shifted once too often and was now stuck as a wart snake, which nobody liked very much at all).
Billy Gator was a very caring reptile and helped lots of other creatures, even those that weren’t reptiles, but some creatures didn’t like him doing this and accused him of https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/working with the Big Farmer. NOBODY liked the Big Farmer because he didn’t care very much for other creatures, only himself and making as much money as he could. Billy was very upset by this accusation and consulted some of his REALLY important friends – the Gods in the Skies! He spoke to Plautus, the Greek god of wealth, and asked him if he could help reclaim his reputation, but Plautus was too busy handing out wealth right, left and centre (the centre consisted solely of Libdem, a cheerful, if small, rabbit) to help Billy. So, Billy went to Anubis, the https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Egyptian dog of death (Billy thought Anubis was a god, but he’d never been any good at spelling), but Anubis was also busy, embalming dead animals and looking after the Underworld with his Greek mate Hades who, for some unknown reason, had changed his name to Pluto, which confused the animals enormously because they either got him mixed up with Plautus, the one giving away money, or a dwarf living up in the sky at the end of a terraced row of planets, or a large, long-eared dog who was the pet of a large mouse called Mickey.
When Boris learned all this, he was really pleased, because it meant he hadn’t started it all and now he could wash his hands of the whole thing – except that bats don’t have hands… and therein lies the moral of the story…😁
Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite – you never know what disease they may be carrying!

Learning to Live with Lockdown

It is months and months and months since I last wrote anything to help you cope with life and all its pitfalls, but even I, the Lifestyle Support Guru, could not have foreseen the arrival of coronavirus and the fallout from it. I hope you have all come through it safely, if not sanely. There is so much I could tell you (although it’s a little late to offer advice now) and I have made many discoveries during Lockdown (I afford it the importance of a capital letter because it completely changed my life, as you will learn).
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/As part of the change in our lives because of Lockdown, younger sibling and I have been watching much more television, even though the pubs are open again, and we decided to watch The Revenant last night because neither of us had seen it and we wanted to see if it deserved its Oscars. If you haven’t seen it and intend to, beware that there are spoilers!
What a tedious film! I thought the grizzly bear was more deserving of an Oscar than DiCaprio, who spent most of the film grunting and staring around him; at least the bear showed a bit of emotion as she tried to kill him for getting in between her and her cubs, although she wouldn’t really have come out of hibernation at that time of year anyway, but maybe I’m being picky.https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/ I suppose the scenery wouldn’t have been as spectacular later in the year when all the snow had disappeared (which it did completely in one scene, then reappeared in the next!). And as for the number of times DiCaprio got soaked through by wading across rivers or floating down rapids but never once succumbed to hypothermia – what can I say? And not a sign of septicaemia from his wounds – you only have to walk past a hospital in this country and you’re hit by it!
The director obviously liked scenery shots, particularly of tall trees – it was rather like a French film, but with lingering shots of the snow-covered treetops instead of heroines gazing into the distance (see my previous film review). I would also have liked subtitles all the way through, not just when the Native Americans or French were talking – in common with many other American films, I found the speech garbled and almost incomprehensible at times, although, admittedly, DiCaprio had a large hole in his throat, made by the aforementioned bear, which clearly made speaking a little difficult. But Tom Hardy seemed to garble at times and then at other times spoke in a clear English accent!
The film was described as ‘an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit.’ on Rotten Tomatoes. ‘Extraordinary power of the human spirit’ – you can say that again! I couldn’t have got through it without that power – and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc!
Watch it if you must! I shall stick to Carry On and James Bond films from now on, I think!