A Sad Day

<a title="Llywelyn2000 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Welsh_Dragon_at_Welsh_Memorial_Park_Ieper_(Ypres)_Parc_Coffa%27r_Cymry,_Gwlad_Belg_17.jpg"><img width="256" alt="Welsh Dragon at Welsh Memorial Park Ieper (Ypres) Parc Coffa'r Cymry, Gwlad Belg 17" src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3e/Welsh_Dragon_at_Welsh_Memorial_Park_Ieper_%28Ypres%29_Parc_Coffa%27r_Cymry%2C_Gwlad_Belg_17.jpg/256px-Welsh_Dragon_at_Welsh_Memorial_Park_Ieper_%28Ypres%29_Parc_Coffa%27r_Cymry%2C_Gwlad_Belg_17.jpg"></a> From the LifestyleSupportGuru.comIt is with a heavy heart and an ineffable (lovely word!) sadness that I have to tell you that, I, the Lifestyle Support Guru, have had to make an executive decision and withdraw the privileged status of ‘Honorary Welshman’ from one of the select few on whom this honour has been bestowed. Some of you may know this person, since I have referred to him in previous posts. It is none other than TT, the Tiny Tyke!

‘How has this unprecedented event come about?’ I hear you cry. ‘We know that he has accompanied you on trips to Pontypridd, Llandudno, and other places such as Rugby and Market Harborough on rugby weekends, supporting Wales with almost as much fervour as a REAL Welsh person (except when Wales is playing England, of course, but allowances can be made).’

Let me set the scene …
The TT enjoys nothing more than a quiz, and he has a wide range of knowledge, although he can be a little impetuous at times in his eagerness to give an answer, as was the case when he was involved in a head-to-head fastest-first tie breaker where the LSG was question master some years ago:

 

ww.lifestylesupportguru.comLSG: What was the name of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner in ‘A Christmas Carol’?
TT: Bob Marley!
I couldn’t speak for laughing at the thought of Bob Marley and Scrooge Jammin’ together!

At other times, he cannot be talked out of an answer if he’s convinced he’s right, especially if he’s got the pen:
The TT was in a team of four, one of whom was a French teacher (although TT was unaware of this at the time) – this is an important point to keep in mind.
The question was: ‘What is the English name for the French wine area of Bourgogne?’
TT immediately wrote down ‘Bordeaux’ and could not be talked out of this answer, even though the French teacher tried to tell him it was ‘Burgundy’ and that the English name for Bordeaux is … Bordeaux. (She modestly didn’t tell him about her linguistic qualifications!) It was the LSG who had to put him straight at the end of the quiz.

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So, what is the quiz-related heinous crime that has been committed by TT? Last night it was my turn to do the Sunday quiz at the local and TT decided to come along since he wasn’t at work today, so he didn’t need an early night. The first ten questions were on St David and St Patrick – in reality, questions on Wales and Ireland – and the very first question was ‘What flower is the national emblem of Wales?’
The teams swap answer sheets to mark, so it wasn’t until the end of the quiz that I was informed of TT’s answer by the team that marked his sheet – he had written ‘Shamrock’! SHAMROCK!!!
TT said that he had ‘misheard’ the question (which was asked twice), but how can you ‘mishear’ ‘flower’ and ‘Wales’ for ‘plant’ and ‘Ireland’?
Tiny Tyke, it will take a lot of grovelling and many more rugby weekends to be considered even remotely for the reinstatement of the honour of being an ‘Honorary Welshman’! A sad day for England and Yorkshire!

Try Not To Laugh Challenge – Funny Cat & Dog

Not A Grumpy Cat

The Lifestyle Support Guru loves cats and often posts about them. As she and you probably know, cats are notoriously independent and have a mind of their own. Can you really teach a cat new tricks? Sometimes, their antics are so funny, pet owners just have to video them to show others what their cats and dogs do. Take a look at the video below to see some real howlers from your favorite animals. And read through the tips to try and discipline your cat!

Can You Train A Cat?

Training your cat takes time and patience. It takes more of that than it does with a dog. A sure fire way to get results is to use positive reinforcement. Whatever you do, don’t scold your cat because she is likely to just misbehave when you aren’t looking. Instead, praise good behavior and have the video camera ready! Any cat can learn. It is wise to first start when the pet is young, about eight to ten weeks old. But the pet can do well at any age. And if you are ready with the camera, you may well get some funny footage as the cat interacts with you or just has to misbehave to show their independence.

To Get Started

How do you get started? The first thing to start with is training your cat to come when called. Hold your cat’s favorite treat and call his name. You’ll want to make sure he’s in a good mood. You’ll also want to make sure there isn’t a lot of noise either. Distractions will slow down the cat or confuse him. Decide on one command and use it solely. The command should be short and easy to say. For example, “come kitty” works well or “here kitty” will work too.

Now, get down on her level by sitting or kneeling on the floor. Give the command. Make sure your voice is exciting and happy. When the cat comes to you, reward him with the treat. Also, ensure that you praise the cat as well. Then, move away and do the same thing again. The goal is to use the same tone of voice and the same command. Work on it for no more than ten minutes. If the cat is bored or frustrated, stop for the time. Try to do this two or three times a day for about a week. Once he gets this command, you can move on to others. For some cats, the thought of a treat will have them running so fast, they may even fall over themselves. Others may just act bored, then steal the treat when you are not looking!

The Crate Or Cat Carrier

When it comes to the cat carrier, it can be done a little simpler. Cats like warm dark places so put a comfortable blanket and maybe even a favorite toy of the cat’s inside the crate. Give him praise when you place him in it. Then, leave him there for a few minutes. Let him out within three to five minutes. Don’t praise him when he’s coming out of the crate because you do not want him to think this is the good thing. Make sure to reward him, though whenever he goes in. Leave the cat in the crate a little longer each time. Eventually your cat will be trained well enough to keep him in there. Except that when it is time to go to the vet’s or the holiday kennels, your cat will be nowhere to be found, especially not near the crate.

I hope these simple tips will show you how useful it can be to give your cat a little discipline.

Confessions Of A Rugby Supporter

A very good evening yet again from the Lifestyle Support Guru! After being silent for so long, I now find myself producing another missive within 24 hours of the last one – a bit like buses, I suppose: none come along for ages and then several turn up at once!
As many of you will know, we are currently speeding towards the end of the 6 Nations rugby season and there is everything to play for!
www.lifestylesupportguru.comWhen watching the rugby, I like to watch it either in the company of a group of friends or at home on my own where I can rant and rave or cheer as loudly as I want, frightening the cat along the way. Today, I decided to watch the game on the big screen in my local, mainly because I knew there would be nobody else in to watch it – a) it’s a football pub and b) Derby was playing at home, so most would be at the game anyway.
I settled myself in glorious solitude at a table in front of the big screen and watched the first half undisturbed – apart from someone coming up halfway through the Welsh anthem to ask me if I would sign their passport photos!

And then, from out of nowhere, during the interval, a man came and set his drink down on ‘my’ table and asked if I minded if he sat next to me. I replied that that was fine as long as he didn’t speak during the game and he said he knew nothing about rugby anyway, to which I replied, ‘Well, don’t expect me to explain it to you.’ (this is called ‘Welsh hospitality’). You may have gathered that I’m not one for chitchat during an important game.
He settled himself down with his pint and a packet of Mini Cheddars. Within two minutes, however, he had gone up to the bar and bought another pint (the other one was still full) and two more packets of Mini Cheddars, this time in Branston Pickle flavour – I HATE Branston Pickle! Halfway through the second half, he went up to the bar again and bought himself another pint (he’d still got a pint and a half left from previous rounds) and 3 – THREE! – more packets of Branston Pickle Mini Cheddars! This man has a worse diet then me – at least I went home and had a hot meal (courtesy of the microwave, of course).
The game ended and ‘mystery man’ took it as a sign that he could now chat away to his heart’s content. Sadly, for him, I had finished my drink and was ready to go home. I left him heading towards some other unsuspecting patron while I wended my way to the microwave.
Everyone else gets the ‘nutters on the bus’ – why do I get them in the pub?? Good night!

Avoiding People

A very good evening to you all! I’m back! Have you missed me? Did you notice my absence? I expect you did – life without the Lifestyle Support Guru is not really life, it’s just a meaningless existence. Fear not, I am here to give shape and meaning to your life once more and, to start you off, I am going to give you some advice on ‘avoiding people’ which may help you should you find yourself in similar difficult circumstances.
ww.lifestylesupportguru.com1. An acquaintance from another part of the country texts you to say that he would like to call in on you on his way to somewhere else. There are two problems –
i) you have already arranged to meet a friend for an outing to the cinema
ii) you know that ‘call in’ is a euphemism for ‘stop the night and eat you out of house and home’ (well, out of Pot Noodles at the very least)
You inform a friend of this and she says she’s quite happy to offer him a cup of tea and then send him on his way, so you pass this information on to the acquaintance, who’s quite happy with that. You head off to the cinema with a spring in your step and enjoy the film. However, all pleasure disappears when you leave the cinema and receive a text from your friend to say that the acquaintance is still around and is hoping that you will join them in the pub. Knowing that this will lead to the overnight stay mentioned earlier, and which you really wish to avoid, you reply and ask the friend to tell the acquaintance that she thinks you are going to be a while yet because you are going on for a meal.

Now, there is a slight problem here that I haven’t yet mentioned – if you catch the bus home, you will have to pass directly in front of the pub where the acquaintance is being entertained by your friend (who has far more patience than you) and the scenario you are dreading will come to pass if he spots you. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You hang around in town for an hour or more, calling in for a coffee now and again at nearby cafés, and helping a little old lady who has fallen over, before catching the bus and scurrying to the house where you sit in darkness for two hours, not daring to turn on the lights or television, until you get the ‘All clear’ text from your friend. What jolly japes!

www.lifestylesupportguru.com2. An acquaintance from another part of the country turns up unexpectedly on your doorstep one afternoon, saying that he is just ‘calling in’ on his way to another destination. You invite him in and offer him a cup of tea, which he drinks and then promptly falls asleep, stretched across your sofa. He wakes up and says that he’ll take you out for a meal a little later (translation: I’m hoping for a bed for the night), then falls asleep again. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You go into the kitchen and ring your landline from your mobile (don’t EVER get rid of your landline!). When you answer the landline, you hold a one-sided conversation along the lines of: ‘NOOO!! How could he do that just after Christmas? And he’s left you with the kids? NOOO!! I’ll be straight round!’ You then turn to the acquaintance and explain that your best friend’s husband has just walked out and left her with two children under three and you need to go and see her, so you’ll have to ask him to leave because you may have to stay the night with the friend. The acquaintance drives off and you drive off behind him, turning in a different direction to drive up to the top of a local mountain in the Welsh valleys where you sit for an hour or two until you’re pretty sure that the acquaintance won’t still be hanging around (in case he saw through your story!) before you go home. What jolly japes!

3. You are at home one Saturday lunchtime, reading and enjoying a refreshing glass of lager, while your husband is upstairs doing some DIY. You look through the window and spot some feckless student coming down the road, knocking on doors and obviously trying to sell something. You’re not in the mood for small talk and trying to get out of buying something you don’t want, and the feckless student will spot you through the window, so you take your book and your drink to the cupboard under the stairs, where there’s a little seat, and settle yourself down until he goes away. This method almost works:
www.lifestylesupportguru.com• As expected, the student knocks, but he doesn’t go away because … your husband answers the door and invites him in!! Said husband then offers the student a lager and sits talking to him and looking at the lithographs he’s trying to sell. Eventually, the student gets ready to leave and your husband says, ‘Oh, before you go, would you like to meet the wife?’ and he opens the cupboard door to reveal you sitting there with your book and glass of lager! The husband had spotted the student from upstairs and realised what you’d done to avoid him! The jolliest jape of all!
Good night all!

Wheels On Fire

www.lifestylesupportguru.comA very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru, and a somewhat belated Happy New Year (or HNY as many people wrote. Why not go the whole hog and just use MC for Merry Christmas and HB for Happy Birthday – saves all that tiresome effort of writing or typing the whole thing out!).

Tonight, I thought I would regale you with the tale of a friend who recently had the misfortune of having to be wheeled through Alicante airport. When I say ‘wheeled’, I mean that she was in a wheelchair, rather than attached to a set of wheels like some strange living suitcase – no way she would have fitted in Ryanair’s overhead cabin lockers! How did this come about? you may well wonder. I shall recount the tale as she recounted it to me.
This very good friend had gone on holiday to Spain over the Christmas period with two siblings, to get away from the hurly-burly of a British Christmas. It was a very enjoyable time, visiting the local bars to get the authentic feel of a foreign country. We went – sorry, THEY went – to places such as ‘The Bog Road’, ‘O’Leary’s’, ‘O’Riordan’s’, all filled with people who had lived there since time immemorial, or at least since the 1970s. There was one upstart newcomer bar called Bushwhacka, but the friends couldn’t see that lasting long because they actually measured out the drinks such as Baileys – rather than just pouring them until you said ‘Stop – AND charged an incredible 3 euros for a large glass of wine, compared with the ‘proper’ local bars which charged a more www.lifestylesupportguru.comacceptable 2 euros. One other bar which showed potential was called Miguel’s (or something equally foreign) and had a lovely tapas menu as well as an owner who only spoke Spanish.

 

The siblings were quite prepared to spend the holidays there, improving their foreign language skills and working their way through the tapas menu. Imagine their disappointment when they turned up the next day and saw a notice on the door; ‘Cerrado hasta febraro’ – ‘Closed until February’! Miguel obviously hadn’t realised quite how much business he could have had over a 12-day period with the siblings.
So, what does this have to do with the friend being wheeled through Alicante airport? Well, nothing, really – I was just trying to give some local colour and tell a tale!

Without boring you with details, suffice to say that, for unknown reasons, the good friend had developed some problems with breathlessness during the holiday and it was thought best to ask for assistance at the airport for the return journey.
www.lifestylesupportguru.comUpon the siblings’ arrival there on the day of departure, a very nice young lady turned up with a wheelchair and wheeled the friend off to the special queue for the less mobile, followed by one sibling wheeling two suitcases (the other sibling would be following a few days later). They joined a queue of other similarly afflicted people, none below the age of 70, apart from my friend – God’s waiting room, indeed! Once through the security check (helpers on either side of the stand-up screening machine in case anyone wobbled or fell over), the wheelchairs were all lined up alongside each other to await a helper to take them to the aircraft – this was true GTA! (No, not Grand Theft Auto, more Geriatrics To Alicante!)

 

Luckily, the friend had her sibling to push her along – the airport was pretty busy, but the sibling managed to find a space for a wheelchair to await the announcement of the flight departure. (Did I mention that this space was in an airport bar and that every other wheelchair-bound person had found their way there as well?)
All went well, including the friend being ‘offloaded’ at East Midlands Airport via the mobility lift from the plane, during which time she made a friend for life – between getting in the mobility lift and going through passport control, this other invalid had told the friend her full life story, from where she’d been born to why she was on the mobility lift.
The only worrying part was when they seemed to be one wheelchair short and it looked as if my friend was going to have to be loaded back onto the plane and returned to Alicante like some piece of discarded and unwanted baggage. Maybe the siblings could have claimed something on the insurance?
The friend has made a full recovery – well, when I say ‘full’, I mean as full as is possible for a lazy, overweight person who avoids most form of exercise other than walking to the pub. Good night!