Writing My Memoirs


Advance warning – I am jumping on the bandwagon and I am writing my memoirs!

Happy New Year

Hello, hello, hello and a very happy New Year! Have you forgotten who I am? Have you found other gurus to adore and worship? I do hope not. I haven’t forgotten about you, I can assure you. I just felt I needed time to find myself again and, lacking the funds to relocate to California to do this, as some have done, I have been going to the pub instead. It was during one of these visits that I had the idea to write a book about my life, giving all the salacious details about my family and the rows and adventures that we had. Strangely, someone else seems to have had a similar idea…
I recall one particularly vicious argument many years ago in Wales with one of my male siblings – I’ll call him David for the sake of anonymity – about a baked bean. I had been out for the evening, as had David, and we arrived home at about the same time. We were both hungry and decided to heat up some baked beans our mother had left in a pan. We chose to do the whole gourmet scene and added toast as well, arranging the beans artfully on top. We took it in turns to eat until there was just one bean left. I regarded it as MY baked bean because it was my turn to eat, but David snaffled it before I could get my fork into it. And there it was – gone! A red mist came down in front of my eyes and I screamed that that should have been MY bean and that David had always been a selfish so-and-so. I then stormed off to bed, much aggrieved, convinced that I was starving to death because I hadn’t had my full share of beans. I think alcohol may have played a part. I’m still waiting for the apology for stealing food from under my nose.
Then there was the occasion, again in Wales, when youngest male sibling – who guards his privacy jealously, so I won’t call him Trefor – and I had a jumping competition over a low white fence around the next door neighbour’s front garden. It didn’t end well. We had been out for the evening and it seemed a jolly good idea when we got back into our street to see if we could both jump over the little white fence next door before going into our house. I went first and caught my foot on the fence, falling onto the gravel path inside the fence. I was laughing so much I couldn’t get up before Trefor took his turn and did exactly the same thing, catching his foot and falling – but not onto the path. Oh no… he fell onto my head! I think alcohol may have played a part. Still laughing, we went home, but when I got up the next morning, my hair was plastered to the side of my face where it had been scraped by the gravel as youngest sibling landed on my head! I was deeply hurt when I went to the doctor that morning, an old family friend, to ask for some antibiotics and he said, ‘How did you do that? Do I get the truth or the story you’ve probably told your mother?’ He was quite right, of course! (I’ll tell you the tale I told my mother another time.) I’m still waiting for the apology for sitting on my head.
Of course, none of these incidents was my fault – it is other people who made me the victim of starvation and injury. The LSG doesn’t admit to fault – near-perfection is faultless. I will leave you on that note. Plenty more to come!
PS Recollections may differ.

Advice on the Latest Heat Wave

How fortuitous!
I first published this advice in 2013 when we must have been going through a heatwave (seems like we survived that one), so I felt it appropriate to publish it again!
https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/WARNING! Lifestyle support guru back again, offering some sound advice on how to deal with the heatwave. There is a real danger of HEAT EXHAUSTION in these temperatures, so my advice is…DO NOTHING and that way you won’t become exhausted.
  1. Forget the hoovering: that can be done when it’s raining;
  2. forget the ironing: wear linen as much as you can – it looks creased within five minutes of putting it on anyway, so nobody will know that you haven’t actually ironed it;
  3. don’t cook: it will increase the temperature in your house, so eat lettuce instead because it’s really boring and you won’t want to eat it, so you’ll have the added benefit of losing weight; and finally,
  4. SAVE WATER and help the local economy at the same time: go to the pub and drink beer instead!

I have followed all these rules and I can honestly say that I don’t feel in the least exhausted.

Ouch – Beauty Can Be Painful

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snake chain silver necklace

Aqua Chalcedony blue stone set in silver

Snake Chain Silver Necklace

Good evening, all! It is some time since I shared words of wisdom with you, but I felt that today’s (slightly) painful lesson could serve as a warning to anyone who wears a neck decoration – i.e. a necklace – and in these days of freedom of expression, I know that this could apply to males and females, binary and non-binary, gendered and non-gendered, cats, dogs… have I left any group out?

I’m afraid that the main (slightly gross) subject of this post is more likely to apply to the more mature ones amongst us, although I don’t wish to make any sweeping generalisations – I am nothing if not inclusive.

Skin Tags

So, what am I talking about? Skin tags! You know what I mean – those bumpy little growths that appear on your neck or upper arms with no warning whatsoever and, as you grow older, seem to multiply with a rapidity that is frightening. I’m sure that’s why I’ve put on weight over the years – not because I eat more and exercise less but because I am turning into a giant skin tag!


But what does this have to do with necklaces, I hear you cry? Well, I am about to explain. Let me set the scene:
You buy a rather pretty little necklace consisting of a little blue stone (aqua chalcedony, for those who are interested) set in silver and hanging on a silver chain. The chain is, I believe, what is sometimes called a ‘snake’ chain because of its style. Unfortunately, it’s also a style that gets caught up in your hair if it’s long enough – and my hair (once described as ‘fluffy’ by a young hairdresser) is exactly long enough. This is not necessarily a problem – you just undo the chain, snip the trapped hair off and Bob’s your uncle (or Gareth or Ian or George in my case). However, with age comes great wisdom and… skin tags!
If you are at all squeamish, I suggest you look away now. You know where this is going, don’t you?

Tangled Up

Unfortunately, the hair and the chain somehow managed to get tangled up with a skin tag lying right in the chain’s path. Ouch! You make some effort to untangle them, but this is not an easy procedure when you are looking in the mirror trying not to stab yourself in the neck as you attempt to cut away the hair. You then hope that perhaps they’ll untangle themselves over the next day or so, but no…

Urgent Care Centre

You then wonder what else you can do – by the time you could get an appointment at the doctor’s, your head will be leaning at an angle as more and more hair becomes tangled up; going to the Urgent Care Centre will involve at least a four-hour wait (‘Urgent’ is a relative term), and going to A&E really isn’t an option at this stage – that’s for when your head is trapped at a strange angle by your hair, in a few weeks’ time. Brainwave! Try your local chemist! That was always the solution in the good old days before doctors were invented.

Embarrassing Problem

You explain to the nice young assistant (or very young pharmacist!) what the problem is, attracting the attention of the one other customer, whose head perks up when he hears you whisper, ‘I’ve got a bit of an embarrassing problem.’ You expect the assistant either to burst out laughing or to tell you to take yourself off to the (non-urgent) Urgent Centre, but she is incredibly sympathetic and takes you off to a little cubicle where she patiently and painstakingly snips away at the tangle until finally… voilà! You are free once more! She suggests putting a plaster on it and she hands you over to another assistant who manages to sell you not only plasters but antiseptic wipes, skin tag remover and some tissues and you walk out of the chemist’s feeling lighter both round your neck and in your purse!
And now I probably know why most older people keep their hair short! I shall ring the hairdresser tomorrow!

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!