Category Archives: Coffee

Making an exhibition of myself

A very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I hope you have all been coping well with the snow and biting winds – don’t you just love a British spring? I have some sound advice for you tonight about visiting exhibitions and how to get the most out of them. I have recently been to two very different exhibitions and I believe that I learned valuable lessons from both. The visits were made as a result of the male siblings’ interests, since one doesn’t come across many exhibitions about my own interests, specifically ‘A hundred ways to prepare a Pot Noodle’ and ‘Cork or screwtop? A wine drinker’s dilemma.’

Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash

The first exhibition was to do with properties abroad, with a view to avoiding the British winter, although that becomes more and more difficult as the years go by because the British winter now seems to last from August to June. This was perhaps the most fun of the two because I simply stood next to youngest sibling and said nothing. (This was, in fact, quite difficult because, as the LSG, I feel it almost essential to offer my valuable advice whenever I think it necessary, which is most of the time. I think this may be the reason that next-youngest sibling always allows youngest sibling to sit in the front of the car when I’m driving, with the words, ‘I’d like some peace and quiet.’) Anyway, I digress. My silence clearly disconcerted the exhibitors because they kept trying to make eye contact with me and include me in their conversation; they are obviously not used to a woman standing saying nothing, just nodding occasionally. I smiled mysteriously at times and at one exhibitor’s stand I actually said, ‘I’m his minder.’ Strangely, they didn’t look surprised – more scared, if anything. We came away with several brochures and a cotton carrier bag which I shall use for dirty laundry when I go on holiday.

The second exhibition was a photography one, which is one of next-youngest sibling’s interests. Unfortunately, when he first said it was a camera exhibition, I misunderstood and thought he said a CAMRA exhibition and I had visions of quaffing lots of pleasant real ales. This was, sadly, not to be, but it was too late to change my mind because he’d already booked tickets. Once we arrived, I told next-youngest sibling to wander off on his own because I didn’t think ‘camera people’ would have the same approach to a silent, smiling bystander as ‘holiday people’ – they would be more likely to take a photo of me and enter it in some ‘Photo of the Year’ competition and win because of the compellingly distinguished features of the LSG.
I headed straight for the nearest coffee outlet since it was still very early in the morning (about 10.15) and I’d only had one coffee instead of my usual two. I then wandered around some of the stands, but could find none selling handbags or linen tops, both of which are high on my list of ‘things I love’, along with Pot Noodles, Pukka Pies, prosecco and frozen peas, so, losing interest, I went for another coffee. It was only on the way out of the exhibition that I spotted a stand that might have some interest for me – leather bags!
Sadly, they had a slightly strange design meant only to carry cameras and their accessories, not a mobile phone; a diary; a fat purse; a Kindle Fire; a little foldup stand for aforementioned Kindle; a little pouch which holds a mobile charger, a power lead, several different connectors, earphones and a USB lead; a Murray Mint; a little notebook; several pens; some money-off vouchers for Majestic Wines; a comb, and a couple of spare contact lenses. We came away with two carrier bags, neither of which will be suitable for dirty laundry and will simply sit in the house while I try to think of what to do with them.

So, there you have it, dear devotees – exhibitionism can enliven your life!

Technology Unplugged

I make no apologies for producing another LSG post so soon after the last one, but I felt I needed to do something to occupy my brain while partaking of a refreshing glass of wine in a local establishment where the New Seekers are playing over the speakers, including the occasional Christmas song (although they are currently in the middle of ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’).
Why does my brain need to be occupied? – because I have just given up on the book I started reading yesterday – the second Sophie Hannah book I have felt obliged to abandon after just a few chapters. If you’re going to write a psychological thriller, get on with it – don’t get all pretentious and long-winded; that doesn’t add to the suspense, it just annoys me! Book review finished.
So what better way to occupy my unexpected spare time than to share with you some of my experiences with technology in the home? As you know, I now have an ‘ironing’ television – not one that irons for me sadly (no, I don’t mean that it irons for me sadly, but that, sadly, it doesn’t iron for me), but one I can watch while ironing in the back room because there is no room in the front room now that DODO is convalescing at home, although he also has a television in his room, but that seems reserved mainly for music videos, whereas the downstairs front room television is for ‘proper’ television such as THE NEWS and A Question of Sport. (The New Seekers have now moved on to ‘Danny Boy’, if you’re interested).

When I switched on the ironing television (which runs on a Fire Stick), nothing happened, even though it had been working perfectly the previous day. (Another digression – a female frequenter of the pub has just said that ‘dogs never forget’ – I think she may have partaken of one too many vodkas and is confusing dogs with elephants; they both have four legs, so an easy mistake, I suppose)

Anyway, DODO had a quick look at the television then switched the ‘downstairs’ Fire Stick for the ‘upstairs’ Fire Stick (i.e. the one in his room) and behold! – everything worked again! No, I don’t know what he did, either, but I think I may now be hooked on ‘Only Connect’ – Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s sense of humour is just delightful! I shall have to find more ironing!
However, technology can defeat us all, I’m sorry to say, even DODO, whom I regard as having one of the greatest technological minds on the planet – along with TOFU and my female siblings; in fact, I am the only member of my immediate family who knows little more than how to switch on a computer (and the iron and the microwaves and the dishwasher and…).

DODO has been having a clear-out in his room and the carpet needed hoovering, so this evening he asked if the small handheld hoover was fully charged. I suggested he’d be better using the upright cordless to cover a bigger area, so he carried it up to his room while I settled at the computer in my room. I could hear no sound of the hoover being used, but I could hear a strange swishing sound, so I went to his room and found him sweeping the cordless hoover over the carpet, not realising it wasn’t just a carpet sweeper! Oh, how I laughed! (Tears streaming down my face, in fact!) He agreed that it worked much better when it was switched on! (And no, it wasn’t a ploy to get me to do the hoovering because he thinks women are much better at that sort of thing than men – this is DODO, not Godfrey Bloom [the UKIP guy who condemned women for not cleaning behind their cookers!]. DODO would never condemn me for not cleaning behind the cooker, since he would never do it himself. TOFU, however…😂)

The music has now changed to Bread (we’ve got the original vinyl album) and the ‘dogs never forget’ vodka drinker has gone home, so I no longer need to occupy my mind, and the first episode of ‘Trust Me’ calls, so I shall end here and wish you all a very good evening, especially since I have an early morning appointment tomorrow for CACAC (Coffee And Crumpets At Costa).

Sleep well and don’t let the silent hoover disturb your dreams!

The Importance of Being Hygienic

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…

Decisions And Choices

Decision, Choice of route

Which way?

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru. Today, I want to talk to you about making DECISIONS and CHOICES, something that we all have to do at some point in life. DECISIONS can range from the mundane, such as ‘Do I want jam on my toast this morning?’ to the very IMPORTANT such as ‘Do I want this top in a yellow or a green stripe?’ (although I am trying to wean myself off stripes after realising that 6 out of 7 tops on my washing line the other day were striped).
I was recently faced with several (well, two, to be precise) situations which involved making DECISIONS, situations which I thought I would share with you, my dear followers, so that you know what you might encounter should you find yourself in similar positions.
You decide to go into town to purchase some new underwear and you visit a well-known supplier of such items – let’s use the initials M&S, just as an example, although other purveyors of such items are available, but these tend to be more ‘unreliable’ (for want of a better word) or well beyond one’s budget. And this is where the first DECISIONS have to be made. You find yourself presented with a bewildering array of CHOICES: ‘Balcony’, ‘Plunge’, ‘More Cleavage’, ‘Uplift’, ‘Padded’, ‘Wired’, ‘NonWired’, ‘Minimiser’, ‘Sport'(unlikely for the LSG) or a mixture – at this point you feel like shouting ‘I just want a BRA!’ Almost any combination is possible! There was one which was described as an ‘Uplift Runway’, which sounded more like something where you might expect to find a Boeing 747 rather than female appendages. (Boys, don’t think I am

aeroplane Boeing 747

aeroplane Boeing 747

excluding you – as you know, the LSG is fully inclusive, so feel free to learn from this experience, either personally or for a ‘significant other’.) Of course, having found a perfectly acceptable style which is not going to squeeze you into a shape resembling a cross between Katie Price and Kim Kardashian, you are now faced with a CHOICE of colours, but by this time you just want a coffee and you grab the nearest white one (because the flesh-coloured ones are slightly creepy) and pay.
And this is where the next DECISION comes in:
Where to have a coffee? The LSG is fond of independent cafes rather than the chains which don’t pay their taxes and are sometimes too pretentious for their own good, but your need for some refreshment overcomes your principles and you head for a nearby café which shall remain anonymous but whose name begins with C and ends in A. After reading the ‘menu’, you ask if they have ‘an ordinary decaff coffee’, which leads to the first set of raised eyebrows – ‘ORDINARY?’ is almost written in the pained expression on the barista’s face.
‘Medium or large?’
‘Do you do small?’
Again, the raised eyebrows, and the barista (he’s a bloody waiter when all’s said and done) pointedly searches for a small cup.
‘Full or skimmed milk?’

cup of coffee with milk being poured

coffee

Wearily) ‘Do you have semi-skimmed?’
More raised eyebrows, then, seeing the growing frustration on your face: ‘I can do half and half.’
You finally get your coffee – which costs almost as much as your newly-purchased bra – and seat yourself in the furthest reaches of this establishment, well away from the possibility of contact with any other human being. The LSG may wish to help others live a fuller and more enjoyable life, but there are times when even she feels the weight of this responsibility falling heavily on her shoulders and needs to withdraw from the hubbub of daily life. (I would have gone to the pub, but they weren’t open at that hour.)

Enjoy the long Bank Holiday weekend, dear devotees! May the rain fall elsewhere other than on you!