A Lifesaving Mission

Hello, hello, hello, Faithful Followers! Lifestyle Support Guru here, hoping to help you lead a more fulfilling life in the present circumstances. Today I am going to tell you how to bring a little excitement into your lives, even though we are on lockdown again and are meant to be sheltering inside our houses. I must say that, given the freezing weather and the fog, that’s where you should be, anyway!https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/
Sibling-I-share-a-house-with and I had to go out this morning on an important mission, but we were a little concerned that we would be stopped by the local constabulary and asked the purpose of our journey and whether it was absolutely essential. The sibling even went so far as to ask, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ I had checked through the rules and decided that our journey was perfectly acceptable (and the LSG is a law unto herself, anyway) but we practised looking serious, just in case. This means not telling any jokes half an hour before leaving the house.
We went outside and started scraping the car clear of frost, but in an unhurried and casual manner, as if it were something we were doing just to pass the time and as a means of exercise, just in case a police car should pass by and eye us suspiciously. Windscreen and lights cleared, we set off on our perilous journey through the ice and fog, finding our way barred at one point by a ‘Road Ahead Closed’ notice, requiring a diversion which took us straight past the police station! Luckily, the said station was closed down several years ago and is now a Premier Inn. A close shave, though!
We continued without further incident and arrived safely at our destination, having encountered no police cars or roadblocks checking if our journey was really necessary.
I delivered the lifesaving parcel, leaving sibling sitting in the car with the engine running in case of a need for a quick getaway (it was to keep the car warm, really). The friend to whom it was delivered answered the door in a summer top, accompanied by her young daughter in a sleeveless party dress. The LSG was more suitably dressed in a vest top (black), warm jumper (white), even warmer coat (orange) and gloves (red). Oh, and light green shoes – a vision of sartorial elegance!
The friend did admit to being cold, especially since she said she’d also left a window open by accident and we stood chatting at the open door for 5 minutes, but otherwise I find nothing wrong with home-schooling in a floaty summer top and a party dress – enjoy life in your own way, I say!
We then wended our weary way home (a whole 9 miles) and made it safely back, having accomplished our mission. And what was the valuable parcel? One of life’s essentials – a roll of bubble wrap! 😊Stay safe!

Being Positive

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Hello, hello, dearest devotees! Lifestyle Support Guru here. Today I was devastated – yes, devastated, faithful followers – to learn that one of my siblings does not see me as a positive, glowing beacon of light shining in the darkness that is this vale of tears called life. I shall not name this sibling, to save her blushes – oops, did I just give it away that the sibling is female, which narrows it down to one of two? – and to save the blushes of her children and grandchildren, who live near her just outside London – oops, did I just give it away that she isn’t the one who lives over the water? How remiss of me!
However, the LSG is nothing if not magnanimous and I am always ready to learn from criticism, harsh and unwarranted though it may be. When have I not been positive, I ask myself? And I fail to find an answer. Even in my darkest moments, I have been able to laugh at the silliness of others – is this not positivity, finding humour in someone else’s misfortunes? When I see someone trip over a paving stone, I laugh and think, ‘Well, they may have lost their dignity, but at least they didn’t break a bone!’ Is this not positivity? When I see someone spill their drink over their best clothes, I laugh and think, ‘Well, they may have lost their dignity today, but a good hot wash should do the trick tomorrow.’ Is this not positivity?


And what was it that triggered this painful accusation of negativity? An account by the anonymous sibling of a fruitless trip to the shops and a comment by the LSG that there were positive sides to it, to which the anonymous sibling replied that positivity wasn’t my strong suit, or words to that effect! This was the basic story:You decide to head to the shops, which have just reopened after lockdown. However, you find that everyone else has had the same idea and it’s impossible to find a parking space. You decide to go and have breakfast at a local café instead, but it all seemed such a waste of time, petrol and make-up.

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I simply suggested that there was another way of looking at it, such as:
a. You’ve got out of the house.
b. You haven’t spent all that money you saved while in lockdown
c. Somebody else has cooked your breakfast.
d. You’ve helped a local shop.
e. You can do it again tomorrow and save even more money!

Instead of gratitude for helping her to see the brighter side, I am told this is not my usual outlook. But am I downhearted? NO! Never let it be said that the LSG cannot bounce back from whatever life may throw at her! Positive thoughts flow from me at all hours of the day and night and especially after a glass of wine, I find… although this may just be coincidence.
Do feel free to contact the LSG if you would like to find a positive aspect to your problems. Discretion and anonymity guaranteed.

Exercising in Lockdown

Hello, hello, hello! Lifestyle Support Guru here, with some advice on getting through lockdown healthily. I am always looking for ways to help you live a more fulfilling life but without expecting you to have to do too much because I don’t believe in overdoing it if I can help it. Now, I know that one of the pieces of advice often given to help keep this virus at bay is to do some exercise and I am aware that I don’t give a great deal of advice on this form of help because, to be honest, exercise always seems like too much hard work to me, but I am open-minded enough to give it a try now and again and that is exactly what I did today!
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Let me set the scene – slightly-younger-sibling (SYS) and I had decided a couple of days ago that we would have a drive out to a nearby tourist attraction – let’s call it Calke Abbey for the sake of argument – because the weather was promised to be sunny and we felt it would make a nice change. SYS could walk around and do some photography and the LSG could get some exercise walking to the café for a hot chocolate. Sorted!
Off we went, although it was most unusual for the LSG to be washed, dressed and out of the house by 10.15 am – practically daybreak! Dressing to go out in public was also a novelty and I opted for the ‘parish priest’ look – a grey V-neck jumper with a black round-necked top underneath (channelling my inner Vicar of Dibley), although I drew the line at a dog collar. Outer garments comprised a red coat and a white scarf, but I decided to forego the green shoes – I felt it would be too much to be wandering around looking like an ambulatory Welsh flag.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/We duly arrived at our destination and SYS set off with his camera in one direction while I headed for the café in the opposite direction, intending to get a hot chocolate and a bit of breakfast, maybe a nice sausage cob. The trouble is, we are so aware of loitering nowadays, especially with people queuing up outside, that I rather rushed my breakfast order and ended up with a hot chocolate and an egg mayo sandwich because I just chose the first thing I saw on the blackboard! Imagine, the LSG – flustered! I went outside, intending to go round the corner and find a table to sit and enjoy my ‘breakfast’, but decided the chances of an empty table and chair were slim, so I opted for standing next to a wooden structure that looked like a tallish table.
And there I was, munching on my egg mayo breakfast, when I suddenly spotted a friend – and regular Wednesday night Facebook quizzer – heading for the café! Gail – I’ll call her that for the sake of anonymity – joined me at my ‘table’, remaining socially distanced, of course, and we stood chatting away, swapping gossip for the best part of an hour, interrupted only by the occasional person wishing to avail themselves of the litter facility, because that’s what my ‘table’ was, dear followers – a well-disguised rubbish bin! Never let it be said that the LSG doesn’t hang around in the best places! The water cooler of the outdoor space!
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/When SYS turned up, I knew it was time to leave, and completed my bout of exercise by heading back to the car. There was only one slight element that spoiled the whole experience – when I got home and looked in the mirror, I found I had two large, black smudges under my eyes where the bright sunshine had made my eyes water and my mascara run! Gail must have thought she was talking to a panda, and no wonder SYS walked off in front of me as if he didn’t know who I was! A lot of people smiled at me, though – they must have known I was the LSG!
Look after yourselves, dear devotees! 

Keeping Busy

Good evening! Lifestyle Support Guru here! Once again I have fallen behind in keeping you distracted and amused in these strange times – I can only say that I have been busy distracting and amusing myself in order to pass on my knowledge to you. How have I been distracting and amusing myself I hear you ask? Two things – shopping and watching films.
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Shopping

As you know, I am a seasoned shopper and I have also written a number of film reviews which I like to think have been well-received, so you will be getting advice from an expert.
Shopping tips first:
A winter coat is an essential:
1. ‘This £99 coat is the best on the High Street’ screams the headline, continuing, ‘And it’s from M&S’. That’s a good price, you think, even if the coat’s a little dull (official LSG description – grey with bobbly bits). You then look at the accessories suggested to go with this cost-saving coat – earrings, £115; jumper, £325; hat, £470 (or a cheapskate version at a mere £195) and, finally, the pièce de resistance… bag, £710! Over £1,600 extra to go with the savings you’ve made on the M&S coat – marvellous, darlings.
Now, you’ll need some underwear, of course:
2. Bra, £520; knickers, £465. A different one for each day of the week, naturally!
And finally, what about making your home smell nice as you lounge around in this expensive gear because you’re in Tier 3 and can’t go out for several weeks?
3. A ‘Washing Powder’ candle, inspired by ‘the scent of freshly made beds and clean socks’ – only £105. Why not just open your airing cupboard and take a deep breath? Far cheaper. There is, again, a cheapskate version: a diffuser with ‘outdoorsy notes of freshly cut grass and sun-dried laundry’, a mere snip at £62. Just go out and cut the lawn and put your washing out.

Films

Now, onto the films. I have watched two very different films over the last couple of days, which you may well have seen yourselves, but it’s always worth getting someone else’s perspective on them, especially if that ‘someone else’ is the LSG.
First film: ‘1917’. A very good film, I must say, but I’m afraid the warning at the beginning about what to expect was not quite accurate: ‘Drugs, swearing, sexuality, violence’ it warned. To paraphrase Meat Loaf, ‘two out of four ain’t bad’. There were a lot of soldiers smoking, as you’d expect in those days, but I didn’t spot anyone mainlining heroin or snorting a line of coke as they waited to ‘go over the top’. And the sexuality? The nearest they came to it was when the hero was in the same underground room as a woman – unless it was the dog sitting on a soldier’s lap and I missed the significance of that?
Second: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ – yes, I hang my head in shame! My finger slipped on the ‘record’ button the other night, so I felt obliged to watch it, having gone to all that trouble! It is not the way to spend a Tuesday afternoon, believe me! And I thought the book was bad (head hangs even lower in shame). I decided to watch it after having had my usual afternoon nap, but I didn’t enjoy it for two or three reasons:
i. I was terrified in case David came downstairs while I was watching it.
ii. I had to keep fast forwarding through the sex bits (1917 could have learned from these) in case David came downstairs.
iii. It was rubbish, which I would have said to David if he had come downstairs.
I wish I’d done the ironing instead now! 😂
PS Anyone know when ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ will be on?

Clearing up the Confusion about Coronavirus

Hello, hello, hello from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I feel that it is about time that I stepped into the coronavirus ‘pond’ and helped clear some of the muddy water that is https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/causing confusion, with more to come by the sound of it. Now that Birmingham has been fenced off (some might say it should have been done sooner, but that’s just spitefulness) and there are restrictions on how many people you may meet up with, I felt I needed to clarify just exactly what you can and can’t do. You can then print out these clarifications and carry them with you as a reminder in your handbag or wallet or pocket or even down your underwear (and remember that the LSG does not discriminate, so get those Wonderbras out, boys; unpack those y-fronts, girls!). I will try to condense them as best as I can.
If you live in England:
1. You may not travel into or out of Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford or anywhere else beginning with B unless you have an exceptionally good reason. The only exemption is Barnard Castle, and this is only available to people whose initials are DC.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/2. You may meet up in groups of six in order to eat or drink and generally make merry. If you don’t have five friends to make up a group of six, you are barred from socialising altogether and must sit at home staring soulfully out of your window.
3. If you live in a household of more than six, you will need to get rid of one or more of the household. I suggest that you choose the unfortunate victim(s) by means of a short straw; or perhaps choose by age, or height? Or how much they eat? The ‘chosen ones’ will then have to look for a household with fewer than six in it and ask if they can join it.
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/4. Wear a face mask as often as possible – according to the government website, ‘An infected person can pass on the virus even if they do not have any symptoms, through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing.’ You should therefore try to avoid doing any of these, although you may find the breathing restriction a little difficult at first, but persevere – it will be worth it.
5. Further advice from the government: ‘When with people you do not live with, you should also avoid physical contact; being close and face-to-face; and shouting or singing close to them.’ My plan of going out and cheering people up by hugging complete strangers and singing ‘Men of Harlech’ into their faces looks like it will have to be postponed…
6. There are exceptions to the ‘rule of six’ – ‘wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or other religious life-cycle ceremonies – where up to 30 people will be able to attend; funerals – where up to 30 people will be able to attend… protests and political activities… ’ I’m not sure what ‘other religious life-cycle ceremonies’ are, but it’s clear that you can have a wonderful party if you can find someone who’s about to get married, someone who’s popped their clogs, and a couple of political activists and combine them all together on the same day.
7. Fill up your car with petrol in case you need a covid test – you may be asked to travel to Wales or Scotland to get one.
Remember that there are different guidelines for Wales and Scotland – I suggest not visiting either of these countries until they have learned to speak properly and can explain their rules clearly. Northern Ireland is staying quiet – unusually!
Remember – Hands, Face, Space – or Clap, Slap, Gap! Goodnight and sleep well.