Today a mystery was solved, one that has kept me puzzled for weeks, but I am going to see if you can solve the puzzle yourselves by answering a straightforward multiple-choice question (think of it as SATs for older people – you will get SUCH a sense of achievement when you get a score that will allow you to enter the University of Life [don’t you just HATE that phrase??]).
I will set the scene:
A few weeks ago, I bought a rather lovely black(ish) t-shirt (lovely longer length and loose enough to hide lumps and bumps, so many of you will understand – and empathise with – my joy) in readiness for holidays abroad (no one told me I wouldn’t actually need to go abroad to get sun and warmth this year). You may ask why I bought a dark t-shirt for holidays in the sun, but trust me when I say that black(ish) sets off a tan beautifully!
I took it with me to Cyprus and Spain (yes, yes, I know teachers are paid FAR too much and get HUGE pensions, which is why I can afford all these lovely holidays – I’ve heard it all before). It wasn’t cheap (yes, yes, I know teachers are paid far too much etc, etc, but I worked on the premise that it would last me a good length of time).
So, where does the mystery come in, I hear you cry (along with ‘Teachers are paid far too much and get a good pension and too many holidays’).
Well, the t-shirt mysteriously disappeared after I got back from Spain at the end of May. I knew I hadn’t left it in Spain because I’d worn it on the journey home (black is a far more useful colour to wear on a plane when turbulence may cause you to spill your red wine). Where was it? I looked through the pile(s) of ironing (anyone fancy a full-time job?) and checked my wardrobe(s) in case I had put it on a hanger under another item of clothing, but no joy (although I did find several other items I’d forgotten about – yes, yes, I know, teachers get paid too much… and all that stuff).
This was now beginning to occupy my mind a lot of the time (doesn’t take much, to be brutally honest), so imagine my complete surprise when I came out of the shower this morning, went into my room and found the t-shirt lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom of my bed! How could this be? I asked myself. A disappearing t-shirt suddenly reappears at the bottom of the bed? Surely, only Molly the ‘gangster cat’ could do this, in much the same way she will suddenly materialise on the bed in the middle of the night and take over two-thirds of it without you noticing until you try to turn over. (Teachers are paid FAR too much if they can afford to keep a cat…)
So, here is the question:
You lose a rather lovely, plain black(ish) t-shirt and wonder how it can have disappeared without any obvious reason. Is it because:
a) It disappeared into the black hole that also swallows odd socks and new bras which then turn up again for no good reason a few months later?
b) It has been lying at the bottom of the wardrobe after falling off a hanger and the gangster cat has been using it as a bed and you didn’t notice because both she and the t-shirt are black?
c) It has been lying in a pile of ironing (full-time job still available) and sibling picked it up with his own t-shirts, thinking it was one of his?
Answers should be written on a postage stamp (which only teachers can afford) and affixed to a homing pigeon (affordable by everyone) to be sent to the LSG, c/o the Cayman Islands (because I used to be a teacher).
I look forward to your deductions, Adoring Acolytes!
A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I realise that it is a little while since I offered any advice on coping with everything that life can throw at you, whether it be avoiding the World Cup or dealing with weeds on the garden path (it’s always a good idea to keep your garden path clear in case anyone ever tries to lead you down it).
Avoiding the World Cup is quite difficult, as I’m sure many of you are probably finding, but it can be done:
1. You can settle down at home with a good book and a glass of wine.
2. You can find a pub without a television and settle down with a good book and a glass of wine.
3. You can download a good book on your Kindle and settle down with a glass of wine.
4. Forget the books and just settle down with a glass of wine.
Clearing the garden path is very easy – all you need is a sibling (or some other family member), some weed killer and a few black bin bags.
1. Persuade your sibling/other family member that your arthritis is really playing you up – limp heavily and often – and say in a pathetic voice that you wish you could bend to clear the garden path (this is actually a downright lie, but needs must…).
2. Sibling/other family member will get so fed up of your pathetic whining that he/she will ask where the weed killer is, which he/she will then spray liberally over the said weeds.
3. You, meanwhile, will be tasked with the dangerous job of keeping the cat indoors, which is best done with a good book and a glass of wine (or was that the World Cup? So easy to get confused.).
4. Once the weeds have been sprayed, sibling/other family member will cover the area with black bin liners, stating that they will remain in place for the foreseeable future because they will block the sun, thus discouraging the weeds from daring to show their faces ever again. You accept this as the absolute truth because you have imbibed so much wine that you no longer care that the garden path now looks like the aftermath of a rock festival, bin liners fluttering gently in the breeze, held down by an assortment of garden items ranging from garden chairs to rotting plastic watering cans, and part of a hydraulic jack which has been a feature of the garden since you moved in and which you haven’t thrown away because you’re sure you can make it a ‘proper’ garden feature, maybe even a postmodern water feature, with a gentle stream of water trickling softly over the side. Or maybe just wait for it to rain …
And there you have it – football and gardening sorted, providing you have a good book, a sibling/other family member, weed killer, bin liners, a cat and, of course, a plentiful supply of wine …
I will finish by saying that I may adopt an ancient Roman habit of those in high places – to employ a slave to whisper in your ear that you are only human. (The slave should also be able to pour a glass of wine without spilling a drop…)
Sleep well, adoring acolytes!
ADVANCE NOTICE (if I were a taxi driver or someone who wrote roadworks signs, that would say ADVANCED NOTICE, but I wish to give you prior notice of something, not notice of something at a higher level).
Advice From The LSG
Studio Set Up
The Lifestyle Support Guru will be offering advice during DODO’s radio programme on Tuesday, October 24th. This advice is in response to a listener’s query, advice which I hope she will find useful when she hears it. Her anonymity is guaranteed (I am the soul of discretion, Debbie of Willington).
However, I am not writing about the query, because that would spoil your enjoyment, dear listeners; no, I wish to let you know about the trials and tribulations I had to undergo in order to record the said advice. It is not just a case of sitting in front of a microphone and speaking – oh no, nothing so simple, beloved believers!
Recording In The Home Studio
Let me set the scene:
DODO has his room set up as a mini recording studio and tells me he will do the same to mine so that we can speak to each other while recording. This involves:
i) Running wires for the microphone and headset from his room to mine via the hallway and over my door (he LOVES wires!)
ii) Almost yanking my head off my shoulders as the headset wire catches on his sleeve as he leaves my room
iii) Telling me he can hear the traffic outside over his headphones – I close my window
iv) Telling me he can hear a clock ticking in my room – I hide the clock under the duvet
v) Telling me he can hear Molly purring (she’s sitting on my keyboard) – I hide Molly under the duvet
Once we have finished the recording, I ask if the wires can be removed because Molly (who has found her way out from under the duvet) is now looking up at them in a very interested way and I can see her calculating the shortest distance between the wires and the bookcase (which I now wish I’d fixed securely to the wall). Luckily, her attention is caught by her tail (which she’s had all her life, but which still seems to take her by surprise every couple of days) and we are able to remove the wires without any problems.
As I write this, and while enjoying a cool glass of wine in the pub (well, it IS Saturday night after all), DODO and I have been having a little discussion about the other customers in the bar. Far be it from us to be judgemental, but our original opinion that they were ‘very special needs’ has been revised downwards to ‘excluded as soon as they started in Year 7’.
Now, back to my original topic – ADVANCE NOTICE: every Tuesday, 7-9 pm (UK time), David on http://in2derby.co.uk/ playing some wonderful music and featuring the LSG!! (Only available on t’internet at present.)
Turn on and tune in!
PS The Excludeds have gone out for a ciggie – I feel like I’ve gone deaf!
Champagne Charlie’s Obituary
This evening, I am going to invite you to raise a glass to Champagne Charlie although, to the best of my knowledge, he didn’t like champagne; however, he absolutely adored cream cheese, which I will now have to cross off my shopping list.
Charlie Had Good Taste
He wasn’t a vain cat, but he knew what suited him – he would never get on my bed if the duvet had a blue cover, but he was straight there if it had a green, orange or yellow one – and he hated the wind blowing his fur about. As far as I know, he never killed a bird – he wouldn’t know what to do with one! He wasn’t a proud or haughty cat, either – he was just a lovely, charming and beautiful animal, even if he looked grumpy; he was the least grumpy cat in the world, with an incredibly loud and soothing purr.
Not A Grumpy Cat
Life confused him – he could never understand why the door wasn’t always open and, in his later years, he would stand for minutes at a time staring into space as if some other being were speaking to him.
A last Cuddle
Last night he curled up on my lap as I watched television, something that he wouldn’t normally do, and this morning I woke up to find him lying next to me, again unusual, as if he knew it wouldn’t happen again.
Unicorns and Fairies
I believe that Charlie lived in a land of unicorns and fairies, a land unknown to mere mortals, and I’m sure that he’s back there now. Run with the unicorns and fly with the fairies, Charlie – you deserve it.
So, even if you’re not too keen on cats, I’d like to ask you to join me in a toast – to Cream Cheese Charlie!
A very good day to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru and I hope you are looking forward to the weekend. I have so many subjects to tackle, such as ‘Coping with Technology’, because everyone seems to be ‘coping with’ something these days, don’t they? The topics can range from ‘Coping with a blocked drain’ to ‘Coping with a broken fingernail’ or from ‘Dealing with a depressed dog’ to ‘Dealing drugs’. (Oops! Sorry – that should say ‘Dealing WITH drugs’.) I also wish to discuss ‘Becoming Rich and Famous’, but I have decided these topics can wait because I have had an experience today from which I have learned many valuable lessons that I wish to share with you so that your lives, too, will become more fulfilled and fulfilling, more varied and valuable, more like the LSG’s life, which is fulfilment personified, varied (or do I mean ‘variable’?) and valuable (not the same as ‘rich’, unfortunately, but I have plans for that…).
1. START your day with a visit to the dental hygienist. The main lesson to be learned here is that it is better than FINISHING your day with such a visit because the latter will require you to avoid eating anything that is even vaguely spiced (such as Beef and Tomato Pot Noodle), whereas Red Cherry Wheat Bites are completely spice-free, so can safely be eaten prior to your visit .
2. Call in at a well-known supermarket on the way home (other well-known supermarkets are available, so take your pick of whichever is closest to you) to check the air in your tyres because you have a long and arduous journey ahead of you the following day to meet youngest sibling in Keighley because it is national ‘Take your sibling to Keighley for his birthday’ day (well, there seems to be a ‘day’ for everything else, so why not?). There is a long queue for the air machine – you’ve forgotten that it is national ‘Check the air in your tyres’ day – so you head to another branch of the same well-known supermarket to see if the queue is shorter.
3. On arrival at the next branch, you find that the queue is of a similar length – it’s definitely ‘Check the air in your tyres’ day – so you decide that, rather than wasting your journey, you will call in at the café and revive yourself with coffee and a toasted teacake (a taste for toasted teacakes seems to develop with age). Whilst reviving yourself, you read the café’s copy of the Daily Express and discover that, according to a dating website, people with dogs are three times more attractive to people looking for love (or ‘my soulmate’ or ‘my rock’) than those with cats; in fact, you learn that even people with rabbits have more success.
Resolve to acquire more cats.
You then see a headline asking ‘Why does my Labrador smell?’, but life is too short to even begin thinking of an answer to that – and, besides, you’ve finished your teacake.
4. Remember that you are running low on toilet paper (I am unable to explain why I remembered this after eating a toasted teacake) and head for the ‘Toilet paper’ aisle, which just happens to be via the new ‘Spring collection’ clothing aisle (if you make a detour) and you spot a rather attractive navy and white top, just right for a long and arduous journey to Keighley, even though you know you have several tops in a similar colour combination. (Some of you may recall a post from some time ago where I debated the difference between a navy and white top and a white and navy top, but there is no need for debate here because you know FOR CERTAIN that you have neither a navy and white top nor a white and navy top WITH A VERTICAL STRIPE RUNNING DOWN EACH ARM.) Besides, there’s 25% off all items – Keighley, here I come in my new navy and white top WITH A VERTICAL STRIPE RUNNING DOWN EACH ARM! I may even find somewhere to indulge in a toasted teacake…
May your weekend be filled with toasted teacakes, toilet paper and cats – unless you’re looking for love? In that case, get yourself a dog. Me? I’m off to the Cats Protection League…