Looking on the Bright Side

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Hello from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Once again, I am here to share some advice with you to help you make it through the darkening days of autumn. Even the LSG is human and has things that go wrong in her life, just like ordinary people, but there is always a bright side or a silver lining or a redeeming quality or an element of hope or… you get the idea.
1. The Cloud: You have been invited to a birthday party – let’s say your nephew’s 40th – in London but you decide to give it a miss since it may be a bit of a risk to travel there, given the current ‘petrol problem’. If you got stuck ‘darn sarf’, you would have to leave Molly in the cattery until you could get home again, which could cause her untold psychological problems because you told her it would only be for three days – and Molly already has enough psychological problems without adding to them.
The Silver Lining: Now that you’re not going, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t lose the two stone you’d promised yourself you’d do before the party. (Thinking back, two pounds might have been a more realistic goal.)
2. The Cloud: You have a visitor – let’s say a male sibling – who turns up with a streaming cold passed on to him by snotty-nosed kids in school, which means he spends the weekend coughing, sneezing and spluttering, much to the consternation of those around him whenever we go to public places.https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/
The Silver Lining: It isn’t Covid!
3. The Cloud: The sibling goes back to work, leaving you with an empty house and no one to talk to (note: the sibling sees this as his own personal silver lining rather than a cloud).
The Silver Lining: You can now eat things you like, such as lamb, spinach, cheesy mash or hummus.
Exit left, whistling ‘Always look on the bright side of life…’

Taking Back Control

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Good evening! Lifestyle Support Guru here once more, helping you to live your life more fully and today I’m going to tell you how to TAKE BACK CONTROL! (Hmm, I’m sure I’ve heard that phrase somewhere before?)
This morning my alarm went off at 6.15. This is a cruel time of day to expect the LSG to get up and function in a meaningful way, but it was necessary because younger male sibling had to be taken to hospital for his hip replacement operation (or ‘hip-hop’ as I jokingly refer to it in my mind). He had said he could get a taxi, but the LSG is never one to miss an opportunity for martyrdom and to store up a few favours that will need repaying at some future point. (Note, though, that the LSG asks for lifts at sensible times of the day, such as lunchtime.)
Off we set for the hospital, arriving in plenty of time – in fact, so much in time that they hadn’t even unlocked the ‘Inpatients Admissions’ door! It was quite amusing to see a small queue of older (not ‘elderly’, of course!) people standing outside in the rain, leaning on their sticks, or whatever else was available for support, until such time as someone decided to let them in (I waited in the car, of course). Male sibling went straight in first, without even a backward glance or a wave of the hand in recognition of the great sacrifice the LSG had made at that time of the morning. Arriving back at the house at what was still an unearthly hour, there was only really one thing to do – go back to bed! 😊
A couple of hours later, a text came through from the male sibling to say he was about to go into theatre and that he’d ordered spag bol for his lunch. This last item was a totally unnecessary piece of information, as was the comment that followed that it would ‘make a nice change from fish’. https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/I lovingly cook fish all the time because he said he likes fish! I vary the diet between fish fingers, fish cakes and fish fillets – what more can one ask! It was at this point, as the LSG grumbled bitterly to a friend about the ingratitude of some people, that the friend said, ‘TAKE BACK CONTROL!’ So I did – and I took myself out to lunch! https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Garlic prawns followed by asparagus and pea risotto – beats spag bol any day! 😊
Not that the LSG is one to bear grudges, but I texted male sibling this evening (no visitors allowed) to say that I was about to pour myself a glass of wine and would he like a beer? I know how to twist the knife! 😊 He replied that he was just having a cup of tea. I am still smiling at the thought of male sibling drinking tea at 8 o’clock on a Friday evening!
Enjoy your weekend, dear followers! I certainly will because I think I’ll TAKE BACK CONTROL again while I have the chance!

My Civic Duty

A very good evening to you all! Lifestyle Support Guru here again! I thought I would post a little something to keep you all amused tonight because there’s nothing else to entertain you, is there? The Lions aren’t playing today and there’s only some little, unimportant game of football between England and Italy, nothing to get excited about, so you might as well do some reading!
I have been doing my civic duty today, helping with the local Picnic on the Green, although I only played a small – but important! – part, setting the Animal Treasure Hunt and selling raffle tickets.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/I also kept t’committee intrigued with my wine glass – being the LSG, I am not one to have any old common-or-garden variety of wine glass. OH NO! This was a non-spill wine glass with optional lid, and the lid had a little shutter on it to stop insects from falling in and consuming one’s beverage! Only one country could come up with such an ingenious drinking item – yes, Australia! Brought back for me by youngest sibling some years ago. (See photo below – of glass, not sibling.)
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/ https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Some members of the aforementioned committee also found it amusing that, out of my cool bag, I produced some wine. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, especially not for the LSG; but this wasn’t any old bottle of wine. OH NO! This was a BOX of wine! Let’s face it – if you’re going to spend the afternoon selling raffle tickets and marking Animal Treasure Hunt answers, you need something to help you along!

The Animal Treasure Hunt caused the LSG far more grief than might have been expected. Twelve pictures of British animals had been hidden around the green and all the dear little children had to do was find the pictures, identify the animals and write their answers down. I didn’t make it too difficult, but I am a little worried about what some of our future generations are being taught – one sheet came back fully completed and all answers correct except one, where the child had identified a swan as a… wood pigeon. You would have expected a child with a name like Hydrangea or Hibiscus, or whatever it was, to have some knowledge of nature!
After the winners were announced, one child came up to me to complain that he hadn’t been given a prize. ‘No,’ I said, ‘that’s because you didn’t win one.’ (The LSG is known for her practical outlook.)
‘But my sister won one.’
‘Sorry, but that’s life. Sisters sometimes win.’ (Or words to that effect.)
He departed with tears in his eyes and then returned, complaining that his friend had also won a prize and had given it to another friend.
‘Well, that’s good of him. Shame he didn’t win two prizes, isn’t it?’ (Sympathy oozing out of the LSG!)
Off he went again with tears in his eyes while his mother came and apologised for the hassle, explaining that he was jealous of his sister winning a prize.
‘Oh,’ I sighed. ‘I fully understand. I have two brothers who are always walking away with tears in their eyes.’
But even the LSG isn’t completely heartless, so I called him back and offered him a Velcro-type bat and ball set (the others got Liquorice Allsorts). His eyes filled with tears again, which I assumed were tears of gratitude this time. OH NO!
‘I’ve already got one of those at home,’ he said, bluntly. In the words of King Lear, an old friend of the LSG’s, ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.’
I think his mother saw the look on my face and quickly sent him off to play with it. Five minutes later he’s back, sister and friend in tow. ‘It’s broken.’ This time he didn’t need his mother to tell him he was pushing his luck! The last I saw of him he was chasing a cat and his sister and friend were playing with the now-mended bat and ball. Roll on next year’s picnic!

The Entertaining Continues

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Good evening! Another garden party, another post!
Following the first summerhouse-warming party, it was felt that another was required in order to build on the success – and to get rid of the remaining yummy snacks before they went out of date. (Whilst the Lifestyle Support Guru has the constitution of an ox – if not quite the build – I recognise that this is not the case with all my acquaintances, but I digress.)
Invitations were given to the lovely construction technician, Jez (i.e., him wot put the summerhouse up), his lovely part-Italian partner, Emma (not to be confused with the not-so-lovely part-Italian Gina Coladangelo who consorted with a certain Mr Hancock), and a third lovely friend known as Chris the Cat (to differentiate her from various other acquaintances of the LSG who are also called Chris). Jez said he would supply the barbecue if I would supply the drink (a good bargain, as it turned out, since two of the three were on a ‘school night’, so not drinking much, and the other one brought her own drink! These are my kind of guests!).
Upon arrival, the guests were given the obligatory tour of the lower level of the house, and it was pointed out that an ironing board had been added to the furnishings since the BFG and BSG had visited. This was greatly admired.
The summerhouse was also much admired, along with the not-quite-out-of-date yummy snacks, and then the LSG suggested that her guests try the zero gravity sun loungers. Well, that was it – the two female guests (am I allowed to say ‘female’ these days?) could not be moved from them for the rest of the evening (although they made half-hearted offers to give them up).
The food was delicious and plentiful and all the better for having been cooked by someone else (I did offer a Pot Noodle as an alternative, but it was thought the pots might melt on the barbecue – you’ll never know until you try, I say!). The conversation ranged far and wide, from bird-spotting (the guests identified a kestrel and a heron, while the LSG identified ‘some birds’) to health. The LSG was fascinated to learn that Chris the Cat has a talking watch which tells her when to move and even when to breathe! Amazing! Luckily, I have two brothers who do that for me (tell me when to move and breathe, I mean, not actually move and breathe for me, of course! I haven’t quite sunk to the level of being an inanimate object – yet!).

All in all, it was a successful evening, spoiled only slightly by the fact that it didn’t get quite dark enough for the guests to see the flashing fairy lights around the summerhouse before they had to leave – Jez on his electric bike, Emma walking alongside him (one of them got the rough end of the stick there, I think), Chris the Cat by taxi, still listening carefully to her watch.
I shall probably charge admission for future visits because next-sibling-down has returned from the wilds of Hertfordshire and has brought many items with him to adorn the front and back rooms, so guided tours will, inevitably, take longer. Prices upon application.

A Guided Tour

Good evening to you all! Here I am, back sooner than you probably expected, but I felt I needed to share more of my wisdom with you after offering my support to Nigel in my last post. This is quite a different sort of support, but it may help some of you, especially now that we are being given more freedom (and some have taken advantage of this greater freedom even before it was permitted, haven’t they, Mr Hancock?).
And what is this support? It is about how to welcome visitors into your home, a rare event indeed in the LSG’s household. This is not because the LSG and her male sibling are unsociable creatures – far from it! – but we have learned over the years that welcoming visitors involves a lot more than just opening the door when the doorbell rings. Let me explain.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/You invite a couple of guests to come and admire your newly constructed summerhouse before heading off to a free concert on the nearby green. In preparation, you dash off to a well-known retailer the evening before and stock up with some picnic food to be consumed in the summerhouse. This is not just picnic food, you understand – this is yummy picnic food!
The next morning, you work out what needs to be done before the guests arrive and realise that you are now going to have to fit six months’ worth of cleaning and tidying into about two hours, even though you will be rushing them through the house to get to the garden.
The bathroom comes first, just in case either needs to avail themselves of the facilities. (Have you ever noticed how bleach, whether it’s described as ‘Lemon’, ‘Pine’ or ‘Aqua’, smells just like… well, bleach.)
The doorbell rings and you invite your guests into your humble hovel, first pointing out the wine cases still waiting to be opened, so that they don’t trip over them. Then you apologise for the three large storage boxes in the next room which, you explain, contain all the electrical equipment for the online quizzes – the guests seem suitably impressed, although you hope they will also have noticed the ‘tram lines’ left in the carpet by your quick run over with the hoover and recognise what an effort you’ve made.
Out to the summerhouse and you apologise for the proliferation of weeds on the path, explaining that this is the male sibling’s job, but he’s away. However, they are too amazed by the summerhouse to care about a few piffling weeds – and when you bring out the yummy snacks, they are even more in awe of your hosting skills! Unfortunately, you forgot to take the yummy snacks out of their packaging and so were unable to present them as all your own work, unlike the cheese straws that the guests brought along, still warm from their oven. The wine was suitably chilled, having sat in the chiller for the last week, so that was a success.https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/
And after having fed and watered yourselves (and no one needed to use the bathroom!), you wander off to a very agreeable and relaxing hour or so on the green, listening to a jazz concert. Bazza, the Friendly Geordie (the BFG) and Bazza’s Shy Geordie (the BSG) were very welcome first guests to enjoy the delights of the summerhouse – and there are more guests to come at the end of the week! This entertaining lark could catch on!