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Learning to Love

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru!

Sharing My Thoughts

I have decided to share some thoughts with you on ‘Learning to Love’, which you may think a strange choice of subject for the LSG, since I am used to receiving undying admiration and adoration from my many followers; on the other hand, you may be tempted to think that I have found a new love and that I am going to regale you with tales of my new-found passion, but I wouldn’t be so crass – if you wish for such titillation, try ’50 Shades of Grey’ (again!).

Learning To Love

So what am I ‘learning to love’ I hear you asking. I am learning to love…

1. Ironing

– this is because DODO has set up a television in the back room so that I no longer have to rearrange the furniture in the front room when I wish (I use that word in its very loosest sense) to iron. I cannot do ironing without something to distract me (and the distraction of a glass of wine at 10 o’clock in the morning, especially when combined with a hot iron, is not really a good idea…). Before anybody thinks this is purely a sexist arrangement, I can assure you that ALL the ironing is mine. I would never do anything so silly as to allow DODO to buy clothes that need anything more than minimal attention. So far I have watched two fascinating programmes – one on the RSPCA and one on drunks on planes, but I feel I need to be a bit more adventurous and move on from ‘Panorama’ on the BBC iPlayer…

2. Technology

This has afforded many hours of amusement in just the last day alone as DODO has attempted to set up the new television in the front room to replace the ‘ironing’ television which has been relegated to the back room. I have watched him in a purely advisory capacity – ‘Yes, it’s working; no, it’s not working; why can we only get ITV?’, that sort of helpful thing. When DODO decided to make one final, desperate attempt to get more than one channel, saying, ‘I’ll try the old remote instead of the one that came with the television.’, I refrained from expressing out loud the thought ‘How stupid! How is that going to work?’ I was particularly glad of this restraint when DODO was proved right – I’d forgotten to tell him that the ‘old’ remote was the one that worked the VirginMedia Tivo box!

3. The sound of the smoke alarm

– it means lunch is ready.
And on that thought, I shall wish you all a very good night and wend my weary way to bed after a hard day (well, just over an hour, if I’m honest) slaving over a hot iron, as well as advising on the use of technology, and cooking.

Invalid Thoughts From Home

Invalid or Invalid?

More Invalid Thoughts (from home, rather than invalid home thoughts from abroad)
Good evening, admiring (and admirable) acolytes! To commence, you may interpret ‘invalid’ in the title in whichever way you prefer (depending on your pronunciation, and your thoughts about the LSG’s posts, but please keep these to yourself). Tonight I wish to share with you my hints and tips about keeping poorly people entertained.

In my many attempts to keep DODO amused in his current invalid state, I offered to lend him my tablet while he had to stay overnight in hospital, so that he could access the Kindle books I had downloaded and which would therefore not require an internet connection. He started looking through the titles – I would like to say that they were all classic ones such as The Iliad, and War and Peace, but the first one that showed up was ’30 days to a Clean and Organised House’.

‘Why have you got this?’ he asked in a genuinely puzzled voice. ‘It was free.’ I answered honestly. ‘Any good?’ he responded. ‘No idea.’ I replied, ‘I looked at the first page and it said I would have to do all these tasks every day for the rest of my life, so I lost interest.’ ‘Fair enough,’ he said.

In response to my last post about a rusty microwave, TOFU has explained that it is caused by the steam escaping from the food being cooked, so he suggested leaving the microwave doors (note the use of the plural) open for 15 minutes after any culinary efforts. I share this tip with you freely – when TOFU speaks I listen, since he is a veritable walking encyclopaedia of electrical and engineering information (but he still passes on his cats, which are neither electrical nor engineered, from such diverse places as South Africa and Australia – Tubs was the first black South African I ever met!). I have seen no proliferation of rust as yet, but that may be because microwave no. 3 is STILL waiting to be unpacked – life moves slowly in the LSG household unless we are racing each other to the fridge for the last cold beer…

Positive Thoughts

One thing we’ve found is that positive thoughts are essential:
1. When the plumber doesn’t turn up to look at the poorly boiler, the positive thought is that at least the bathroom got a good clean!
2. Having a poorly boiler may mean cold showers (with the occasional intermittent burst of hot water), but it does ensure that you save on water because you stay in the shower as short a time as possible!
3. When DODO made his own way into town this morning on his own (while I was enjoying myself at the cinema), the positive thought was that he had a good nap on the conveniently-placed seats within the shopping centre so he was able to stay awake when we met for lunch!
4. The special offer on New Zealand wines that’s on at my favourite wine store (Majestic, but other wine stores are available) may cost me money in the short term, but in the long term it will give me many hours of pleasure… and it usually means TOFU comes to visit so that he can stock up as well, so a pleasant weekend is had by all (well, three of us anyway!).

On that note, I shall leave you to think positive thoughts of your own as you prepare for your nightly repose!

Making The Most Of Retirement

 

Making The Most Of Every Minute

The Lifestyle Support Guru is a great believer in making the most of every minute of the day, giving daily life true meaning with fun events such as emptying the dishwasher, then filling it up again. As my sainted mother would have said, ‘Just think of all those poor people around the world who don’t have the same opportunities as you. They would be delighted to be able to empty and fill a dishwasher.’ You grumble back, ‘Yeah, well, they can come and do mine any time’, before realising how silly you sound, having a conversation about a dishwasher with your mother when she’s been dead over 16 years! Anyway, I have found something that’s much more fun – putting together an indoor clothes airer!

Deluxe Clothes Airer

The aforementioned clothes airer is, of course, the ‘de luxe’ version – I wouldn’t have anything less in my abode! – and is therefore more complicated in its arrangement, including wheels!
I spent a great deal of time considering the various options available to me – I was bored – and eventually set off in search of the de luxe airer, not knowing whether it would actually be in stock. On the website where I had spotted it, it was suggested that I ring my local store to check availability, which I duly did, only to hear a recorded message saying that, due to the large size of the store, it was not possible to check the availability of individual items! Oh, the excitement, the anticipation that this created! And the joy I felt when, upon rounding a corner in the shop, I spotted the required item in all its glory (well, in a bright orange box, actually). I asked a kindly young assistant to help me get it off the top shelf, which I would like to say she did with a smile and a cheerful greeting, but that would be stretching the imagination too far…

Construction Set?

Now, call me naïve, but I had assumed that the airer would be complete in its box and would simply need unfolding – hey presto, ready to use! – and I had a load of washing all ready to be aired. Oh no, not a bit of it – inside the box was a Meccano set and a page of instructions. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to put it together! AN HOUR AND A HALF, just so that I could hang some bloody washing up! Not only that, but it’s six foot high and it doesn’t fold down again, as I had thought – only the airing ‘wings’ fold away, so I now have a six foot de luxe airer with bright orange fixings standing in the middle of my dining room (that’s a loose term for the room where I have a table upon which I consume the occasional Pot Noodle but which is otherwise a reading desk, and sleeping area for the cat) because I have nowhere else to put it. But it does have wheels and it holds a lot of clothes…

Good Neighbour Bad Neighbour

Being a Good Neighbour
A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru. Tonight I wish to offer some useful advice on how to be a BAD neighbour or a GOOD neighbour. I have recently ‘acquired’ a new neighbour and I have learned rapidly from this experience just exactly what constitutes a BAD neighbour and felt that you may benefit from my advice so that you can be a GOOD neighbour.

Bad neighbour

Bad neighbour

To be a BAD neighbour, you must:
1. be blonde, slim and athletic-looking and wear fitted clothing that shows off your figure to advantage. This will ensure that your GOOD neighbour feels totally inadequate.
2. have cleared your garden of all weeds and long grass, installed a nice wooden garden bench, put up a new clothes line and scrubbed the wall at the bottom of the garden of its coat of peeling paint, all within the space of a few days. Again, this will create great feelings of inadequacy in your GOOD neighbour.
3. have a housewarming party which is not too noisy and finishes at 10.30 pm, so that the GOOD neighbour feels guilty for wondering at what time she will be able to complain to the police.
4. fill your bin (which is about four feet high) to overflowing with black bin liners, then, in one bound, leap athletically and lithely on top of the aforementioned bin liners and jump up and down on them in a graceful manner to make sure they fit in the bin. This should be done when the GOOD neighbour has just returned from a hard morning’s shopping and is loaded down with purchases; by now the GOOD neighbour will be contemplating moving to find a more congenial neighbour.
5. enjoy the early evening warmth by sitting on the garden bench with an attractive man and sip delicately from a bottle of water rather than the glass of wine which the GOOD neighbour is contemplating whilst looking up house prices in a more downmarket area.
To be a GOOD neighbour, you must:

Wild Life Friendly Garden

Wild Life Friendly Garden

1. be overweight, wear loose clothing as a disguise and have greying hair. In this way, you create no feelings of insecurity in any other neighbours.
2. maintain what is known as a ‘wildlife garden’, ensuring that there are plenty of flowering weeds which are, apparently, attractive to bees. Thus, you are helping the environment.
3. have no parties because you do not wish to disturb your neighbours (and it would mean cleaning and tidying up and the cats don’t like parties, anyway).
4. only leap up and down (athletically or otherwise) when you tread on one of the cats or the drawing pin you forgot to pick up several days ago.
5. enjoy the early evening warmth by going out to the pub where, as far as you know, they don’t sell water. Thus, you are helping the local economy.
You will have gathered from this that being a GOOD neighbour is far less tiring and requires much less effort than being a BAD neighbour. In addition, you are saving energy environmentally because less electricity will be used if you are in the pub rather than sitting at home; added to this, you will also have had some physical exercise because you walked to the pub, although probably not quite as much exercise as jumping up and down in a bin, but with a far more enjoyable outcome.
And now let’s finish with a short chorus of: “Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…”

Domestic Goddess

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! You may not have noticed my name mentioned as one of the ‘winners’ in the election, but I can let you know that I shall be working undercover as a secret advisor to the government and all the other parties, but if I tell you what I’ll be doing, I’d have to kill you, I’m afraid, so I shall move on to something else.

statue of domestic goddess

Domestic Goddess

Now, as you know, the LSG has skills in many areas, but what some of you may not realise is that I am also a DOMESTIC GODDESS and I am going to help you achieve this status, too. Being a DOMESTIC GODDESS doesn’t have to involve such mundane tasks as cooking, washing up or cleaning the oven. Goodness me, no! All you have to do is get someone else to do it for you (by going out to lunch on as many occasions as possible) or buy a Groupon voucher for an oven cleaner to come and get rid of all the gunge that has somehow gathered inside your oven, even though you use it infrequently (that means ‘almost never’ in LSG-speak). Personally, I blame the cats – I think they may well be secret Michelin-starred chefs.

Now, imagine the scene: you have a professional oven cleaner booked for the afternoon, so what’s the first thing you do? Yes… you clean the oven! You also clean the kitchen itself and, just for good measure, the bathroom – just in case!
The cleaner arrives and you lead him into your sparkling kitchen, show him the oven and he

oven

oven

examines it. ‘Does it have an interior light?’ he asks. You finally manage to stop laughing because this is almost the smallest oven you can buy without it being a Calor gas camping stove, so an interior light would make it look like a floor show every time you open the door!
He opens the oven door and looks inside and you feel a frisson of terror in case he refuses to clean it. ‘Please, tell me you’ve seen worse?’ you plead and he says – slowly – ‘Yes…’ and then there’s silence… until he adds, ‘We also clean carpets,’ as he looks back into the living room where the red carpet has a fine covering of long, white fur as a contrast.

Italian Cofee

Italian coffee

You offer a coffee and he then asks to use the toilet (relief that you put that little bit of extra effort in) and then you explain to him that you will be doing your Italian homework while he’s working, hoping that this will impress him and make him realise that the LSG is far above domestic chores.
The oven cleaning and the Italian homework finish at the same time – guess which one of us said, ‘Well, I’ve done the best I can.’?
To the undomesticated eyes of the LSG, the oven, once again, looks sparkling – if those bloody cats decide they want to start doing cordon bleu cooking, they can go elsewhere! This oven is not for burning!

And there you have it – being a DOMESTIC GODDESS is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, as long as you let other people do everything for you(except your Italian homework). Pot Noodles for me from now on – or lunch out.
Sleep well, dear followers!