lifestylesupportguru

humour for the not so graceful getting older

Category: Art

Yet Another Career Calls

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! This evening I wish to offer advice on new careers for the older woman, but advice which will also be relevant for the younger woman, since it can be stored away for future reference. My numerous forms of employment have included shop assistant, tour guide, travel agent, teacher, quiz setter, proofreader, as well as packer of plastic toy Jumbo Jets into cardboard boxes and packer of Rizla cigarette papers into smaller cardboard boxes. And now, a new career beckons … actor!

How has this happened, I hear you ask! Quite by accident, you will hear me reply!
Next-sibling-down and I replied to an advert by the University of Derby asking for volunteers to read parts in plays written by students on the MA in Writing for Performance course. (Actually, they used the word ‘actors’, but I loosely interpreted this as ‘volunteer’.) We were duly accepted and were sent our scripts – no need to learn any lines since the whole exercise would consist simply of reading the allocated parts for other students to evaluate and comment on the plays themselves. Easy peasy! After a little confusion, I eventually got the right script – a play for just two characters: a mother who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and her alcoholic daughter whose husband has recently been killed in a car crash shortly after their marriage. A cheerful little tale, you will agree. Next-sibling-down was given parts in two plays (he always has to go one better!), one of which included a woman who cuts someone’s tongue out – I’m not sure that the younger generation is growing up entirely happily and I blame it mainly on the Daily Mail.

Anyway, my reading took place this afternoon and seemed to go well – the woman who played my daughter (ha! I bet you thought I’d been cast as the alcoholic!) really threw herself into the part and almost burst into tears when I told her I was dying. I hope it was because of the emotion I put into it (‘I’m dying’) and not because of the emotion I didn’t (there’s not really much you can put into two words, even if they are ‘I’m dying’).

I think she’d done some ‘proper’ acting before, but so have I, although playing the part of the Fat Fairy in a village pantomime may not have offered quite the same depth and range of required emotion. My theme tune was ‘Nobody Loves a Fairy When She’s Forty’, which is quite a moving song when sung with the right level of poignancy and feeling.

After the reading, a thirty-something man came and sat next to me and introduced himself as what I first thought was Darty, but it turns out was Dhaithi, pronounced Dahee, an Irish name – I’m pleased to say he had similar problems with Rhian, so he referred to me instead as Muriel, my character’s name (Muriel!!). He asked me if I would be interested in auditioning for a film that some of his students would be making in the autumn, a story of an older woman (typecast already!) who meets an older man and they form a relationship – if I get the part, I shall make it clear that I will not countenance any nudity.
So, in future, when you hear older actresses complaining that there are no parts written for older women, just point them in the direction of the University of Derby.
Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, eat your hearts out!
Sleep well, dearest devotees!

A Day in the Life…

Good evening, Beloved Believers! Here I am, once again, to brighten up your dreary, mundane lives with tales of my exciting, fun-filled life.
Today was an exceptionally full day.

Movies

Call Me By Your Name

First, I was invited by Bazza the Friendly Geordie (the BFG) to accompany her to a foreign film and, knowing that these foreign films can be strange, I decided I would look for some reviews for it just so that I would be prepared.
Well, Devoted Devotees, the reviews did not disappoint, and I looked forward to seeing a film

which featured ‘sensual boiled eggs’ and which promised that I would never look at a peach in the same way again. The film was ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and was set in Italy in 1983, with accompanying 80s soundtrack, although I have to say I only recognised ‘Words’ by FR David.

It is the story of a burgeoning (good word, and one I chose myself!) romance between a 17-year-old boy, Elio, and his father’s research assistant, Oliver, an older man, one summer in Lombardy. Personally, I thought Oliver was a bit smarmy, although the reviews called him ‘a golden Adonis’; I would have called him a narcissistic show-off who thought he was god’s gift, but that’s only one opinion, even if it is that of the LSG. We were warned of ‘strong sex’ at the start of the film, which made me wonder if one could warn of ‘weak sex’, and just what that might involve, but I digress…

sensual boiled egg

I looked out for the ‘sensual boiled egg’, described by the Telegraph as ‘an unexpected gush of golden yolk which brought confused emotion to Elio’s face’; personally, I didn’t spot the confused emotion – I just thought that Oliver was a messy eater as far as soft-boiled eggs were concerned.

So, all rested on the peach, so to speak – small shivers of anticipation ran through me every time there was a shot of a peach tree, as I waited to see how my view of a peach could be changed for ever. At last the moment arrived – suffice to say that I may never be able to eat a peach again without certain images coming into my mind. I do not wish to offend your sensibilities by describing exactly what happened with said peach, but it involved the stone being dug out of the middle of it by Elio and the peach then being used by him… and I shall leave it at that. A lot messier than the egg yolk, believe me!

The scenery was beautiful and at times I thought I was, in fact, watching ‘A Place in the Sun’, although they didn’t produce a ‘mystery house’ as the final choice – unnecessary, anyway, as the peach was enough of a mystery!
The BFG enjoyed it, as did I – if I don’t fall asleep, that means it’s a good film.

This was then followed by some ironing (at home, not in the cinema) – ‘How is that exciting?’ I hear you cry. It was exciting because, when I handed DODO his freshly-laundered clothes, he went upstairs to put them away, then rushed back downstairs and said, smiling, ‘I thought I’d left this in Turkey!’, referring to a particular polo shirt which had been waiting to be ironed for ever such a long time… (he returned from Turkey in June…)

And finally today, we went to Derby Night Market where, firstly, DODO was amazed that the LSG managed to walk away from the leather handbag stall without buying anything (the handbags were leather, not the stall, and I already have two purchased from there on previous occasions, which DODO may not have realised…); DODO went off to take some photogenic photos of the cathedral while the LSG went for some refreshment (shopping is exhausting). Interesting to have a glass of wine in a place where one is used to having toast and coffee…

What a lovely day, full of a variety of events, friends (well, one – the BFG), food, drink, eggs, peaches…
Sleep well, Adoring Acolytes

They Do Things Different in Yorkshire, Tha Knows.

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px;" href="https://unsplash.com/@inksurgeon?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Rob Bates"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white;" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title></title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;">Rob Bates</span></a>
Rob Bates

Acronyms!

A very, very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I am in a particularly joyous mood tonight because I have at last been vindicated in my food of choice (or my choice of food). Let me explain:
This afternoon I went to see the film God’s Own Country with my very good friend the BFG (Bazza the Friendly Geordie), although her husband, the BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), was unable to accompany her because he was repairing a temperamental toilet. In fact, thinking about it, the BSG always seems able to find any number of domestic tasks whenever the BFG is meeting the LSG – a mere coincidence, surely? The LSG was accompanied by DODO, but not TOFU or TT (the Tiny Tyke), although DODO went AWOL before the film, since he didn’t think it would be to his taste – he’s more of a ‘shoot ‘em up’ type (although a calf got shot in the film, but I don’t think he would have counted that) .
I had considered asking TOFU and TT along because the film is set in Yorkshire, TOFU’s current place of residence and TT’s birthplace, but they still have to earn a penny or two while the LSG and DODO can make merry to their heart’s content! And so to the film and the reason for the LSG’s delight. (Enough acronyms there to please any writer of government leaflets!)

Review

God’s Own Country (a sort of northern Brokeback Mountain but with sheep farmers instead of cowboys, and a couple of cows instead of horses) is a little bit like Countryfile on steroids, with nudity, sex and strong language thrown in for good measure, Do not expect a ‘Morecambe and Wise Tour of Yorkshire’. However, I feel I learned quite a few things from the film, such as how to skin a lamb or build a drystone wall.

Pot Noodles

So where does the feeling of great joy come from, I hear you cry. Well, this is the first time IBy Philafrenzy (Own work) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AChicken_%26_Mushroom_Pot_Noodle.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a> have ever seen a film that featured… Pot Noodles! Yes, dearest followers, not just one Pot Noodle, but several! A whole bucketful, in fact, which the two young heroes took with them when they went to spend a week in close proximity in a derelict outbuilding on top of the moors during the lambing period.
My only complaint is that there seemed to be a lack of reality in the amount of time allowed for the ‘Pot’ to cook properly – they just poured on the water and started eating instead of allowing the requisite four minutes. I distinctly heard a ‘crunch’ from one of the young men because his Noodles hadn’t softened enough, so to speak. Nor did they have bread and butter, an essential part of the ‘Pot Noodle experience’, but perhaps understandable when eating at a campfire on top of the Yorkshire moors.
So there you have it, Beloved Believers, Pot Noodles on the big screen – is there any greater accolade or mark of respectability, even in a film set in Yorkshire? I leave you with that thought and wish you a very good night.

 

My career as a film critic, continued:

A very good evening to you all.

Following my last outing as a film critic (Meet Me in St Louis and The Unknown Girl), which met with (almost) universal acclaim (well, one person said they liked it), I have decided to continue this potential new career with a review of ‘Jackie’, which I saw this afternoon. I can sum the film up in one word: pointless. Unfortunately, everyone else who came along thought it was very good.
It was a little bit like ‘Titanic’ in a way – you knew what the ending was, although in this case it was the beginning, when JFK gets shot. It also reminded me of Les Misérables, another film I didn’t enjoy – just when I thought it was going to end, another scene would pop up, usually with John Hurt as a priest who could come up with more meaningless platitudes about the existence of God than I ever thought possible. Unfortunately, I can’t remember his exact words, but some of them had something to do with there being ‘no answer’ – I felt like shouting, ‘The answer is 42!’ (When Russell Crowe threw himself into the Seine in Les Mis, my friend and I were the only ones who said – maybe a little too loudly – ‘Thank God for that!’, while everyone else gasped.)

In fact, I think the script may have been written by someone who had just watched ‘Frozen’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ back to back, with a few quotes from ‘Camelot’ thrown in for good measure. Try saying this out loud with a straight face: “Don’t let it be forgotten that for one brief shining moment, there was a Camelot. There won’t be another Camelot, not another Camelot.” Natalie Portman managed this admirably, but I think she may have had Botox injections beforehand.

The film has been described as a ‘searing…portrait’ of Jackie Kennedy – to me, it was more like an undercooked watercolour of a rather boring woman who didn’t really have a great deal of personality, but who liked wearing pink and red.

My advice? Watch ‘Camelot’ or ‘Pointless’.

Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed!

forest face

Dismayed and distraught

Good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I have to inform you that I am Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed! Unexpected things have occurred and they have made me realise that, perhaps, my life is sometimes closer to the ‘ordinary’ than I might have believed – indeed, closer than you, my dear followers, might yourselves have believed. Yes, the LSG is ALMOST human! But what has caused this toppling of the idol, I hear you ask. How has she developed clay feet? (I hear your voices all the time, my devotees, asking me to explain the deeper mysteries of life such as ‘Where can I get a good pint?’, ‘How much should I pay for a pint of milk?’, ‘Is a beach body worth the effort, especially if you’re only going to Skegness or Barry Island?’)
Imagine the first scene:
I am in a quirky little gift shop (the gifts are quirky, rather than the shop), perusing quirky items and wondering if a friend would appreciate a quirky frog

Quirky ornament

Quirky ornament

ornament for her garden (I decided to buy her a birthday meal instead in the end). A shop assistant, who hadn’t seen me come in, was in a corner of the shop arranging a display of tasteful, miniature wrought iron tea light holders and had her back to me as I pondered the merits of various sizes of frogs (I used to do that all the time when I worked in France). Suddenly, she turned round and screamed when she saw me! I screamed in return, thinking she’d spotted a mad axeman behind me (see a previous blog), but it was simply that she didn’t know I was behind her. I was DISTRAUGHT! The LSG has never had such an effect before!
So, what else has DISTRESSED me this week? Well, I have learned that I CANNOT TRUST WHAT I SEE ON THE NEWS and it is all down to a relative (let’s call him my nephew, for the sake of argument) who is determined to educate me and broaden my horizons, not realising that my horizons (and other parts of me) are already broad enough – after all, I am the LSG!

walking in the rain with umbrella

weather forecast

All these years, I had thought that the nice weather map at the end of the BBC News was a neatly drawn wall display at which the weather wallahs pointed to indicate where it would rain (usually Wales, Ireland, Scotland and most of England except for a small spot above wherever Kate and Wills may be staying). But NO! It is a computer-generated image – they are actually pointing at a blank, blue wall! Oh, the DISMAY, dear devotees! The DESPAIR!

But worse was to come! Apparently, much of the background of the main outside news reports could also be projected in the same way! All this time, I have flinched as I thought John Simpson or Jeremy Bowen were about to be blown up as they reported from some war-torn outpost when, in fact, they may actually be standing indoors, flak vests on, cup of tea to the side, in front of a blue wall onto which some computer geek is projecting scenes from ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Saving Private Ryan’! And that nice Nicholas Witchell could easily be standing inside a nice, warm studio rather than in the pouring rain outside Buckingham Palace waiting to tell us what the Queen had for tea!
Oh, how my dreams were shattered! How my heroes could be idols with feet of clay (see

Corkscrew

Corkscrew

above)! And I can’t watch the ITV weather girlies instead because their hand movements are so theatrical, daaahlings – one wonders if they are practising for a part in a Bollywood dance film. What is a girl to do? There is only one answer – turn to drink!

And with that thought, I shall go and pour myself a comforting glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watch something soothing like ‘Titanic’ – at least I know THAT is real (although I sometimes wonder how the cameramen survived to bring back all that footage).
Enjoy the rest of your evening!

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