Category: Siblings

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!

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! 

Eggsciting Times!

Tonight, dear devotees, I intend to offer some tips on cooking. As you know, I am particularly adept at producing the perfect Pot Noodle, but you don’t need me to advise you on this culinary creation since the instructions are written on the pot anyway. No, today I wish to offer some advice on poached eggs on toast and, more specifically, poached eggs in the microwave. You may not have realised that poached eggs could be cooked in a microwave, so I am here to broaden your horizons and offer you two alternative methods of poaching eggs in the microwave, as tested by the Lifestyle Support Guru and a male sibling. It is up to you to decide which method you will eventually choose. Both are equally effective. I will set the scene:

Male sibling suggests poached egg on toast for lunch as a change from Pot Noodle. You point out that the sliced bread has mould on it, but accept that the cobs are still relatively fresh, so they could be cut in half in order to fit in the toaster. And now here are the two methods:

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1. Male sibling looks at the instructions for the (until now unused) poached egg device for using in the microwave and breaks two eggs into it, pricking the yolks and whites, as instructed, so that they don’t explode. He then says that he needs to add half a tablespoonful of water to each egg and proceeds to add water straight from the tap rather than go to the trouble of getting a tablespoon out of the drawer. You stand looking on in awe at this facility to measure half a tablespoonful straight from the tap. The instructions go on to say that the eggs should be cooked on low-medium power; unfortunately, neither of us has ever used this function before and can’t work out how to change the power setting, so he takes a chance and stays with ‘high’. (I did offer to get the microwave instructions out, but he said not to bother – so I didn’t.) Meanwhile, he has forced the two halves of the cob into the toaster and there is a wonderful smell of burning coming from it because they are a touch too wide for the slots, At the same time there are some wonderful popping sounds coming from the microwave before it pings. Since the sibling is wrestling with getting the oversized cob halves out of the toaster, you open the microwave and find that there are splatters of egg white decorating all its inner walls and a puddle of water on the microwave plate. Sibling slides the eggs onto his ‘toast’ and goes off to eat them, quite satisfied with his efforts.

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2. You follow the same method as above right up until you realise that you need to add half a TEASPOONFUL of water to each egg, which you duly do. You then get the microwave instructions out and learn how to change the power setting. The eggs are ready to go, so you follow the sibling’s actions with regard to the cob halves. Unfortunately, you have cut them unevenly, so one of them has to be squashed into the slot, which means it comes close to setting the toaster on fire. There is that wonderful smell of burning again! But no popping sounds from the microwave! And no layer of egg white or puddle of water in the bottom (so to speak). You wrestle with the ‘toast’ and eventually have to turn the toaster upside down to get all the bits of cob left inside, but it needed a good clean out anyway. The eggs don’t quite slide smoothly out of the microwave dish – they need a little ‘persuasion’ with a knife, but they taste fine, even if the toast is a little unevenly cooked (or, rather, hardly cooked at all since you started to panic at the first smell of burning) and it doesn’t matter that the whole meal is cold because of the time you spent working on the toaster (which has since remained safely unplugged) because you get an immense feeling of satisfaction from having cooked it all yourself, putting in even more effort than you would for a Pot Noodle. And it only took half an hour from start to finish!

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/Please let me know if you would like more detailed instructions on preparing this healthy, quick and tasty meal. Buoyed by this success, next week we will be attempting Chateaubriand steak with duchesse potatoes and asparagus spears.

Wheels On Fire

www.lifestylesupportguru.comA very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru, and a somewhat belated Happy New Year (or HNY as many people wrote. Why not go the whole hog and just use MC for Merry Christmas and HB for Happy Birthday – saves all that tiresome effort of writing or typing the whole thing out!).

Tonight, I thought I would regale you with the tale of a friend who recently had the misfortune of having to be wheeled through Alicante airport. When I say ‘wheeled’, I mean that she was in a wheelchair, rather than attached to a set of wheels like some strange living suitcase – no way she would have fitted in Ryanair’s overhead cabin lockers! How did this come about? you may well wonder. I shall recount the tale as she recounted it to me.
This very good friend had gone on holiday to Spain over the Christmas period with two siblings, to get away from the hurly-burly of a British Christmas. It was a very enjoyable time, visiting the local bars to get the authentic feel of a foreign country. We went – sorry, THEY went – to places such as ‘The Bog Road’, ‘O’Leary’s’, ‘O’Riordan’s’, all filled with people who had lived there since time immemorial, or at least since the 1970s. There was one upstart newcomer bar called Bushwhacka, but the friends couldn’t see that lasting long because they actually measured out the drinks such as Baileys – rather than just pouring them until you said ‘Stop – AND charged an incredible 3 euros for a large glass of wine, compared with the ‘proper’ local bars which charged a more www.lifestylesupportguru.comacceptable 2 euros. One other bar which showed potential was called Miguel’s (or something equally foreign) and had a lovely tapas menu as well as an owner who only spoke Spanish.

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The siblings were quite prepared to spend the holidays there, improving their foreign language skills and working their way through the tapas menu. Imagine their disappointment when they turned up the next day and saw a notice on the door; ‘Cerrado hasta febraro’ – ‘Closed until February’! Miguel obviously hadn’t realised quite how much business he could have had over a 12-day period with the siblings.
So, what does this have to do with the friend being wheeled through Alicante airport? Well, nothing, really – I was just trying to give some local colour and tell a tale!

Without boring you with details, suffice to say that, for unknown reasons, the good friend had developed some problems with breathlessness during the holiday and it was thought best to ask for assistance at the airport for the return journey.
www.lifestylesupportguru.comUpon the siblings’ arrival there on the day of departure, a very nice young lady turned up with a wheelchair and wheeled the friend off to the special queue for the less mobile, followed by one sibling wheeling two suitcases (the other sibling would be following a few days later). They joined a queue of other similarly afflicted people, none below the age of 70, apart from my friend – God’s waiting room, indeed! Once through the security check (helpers on either side of the stand-up screening machine in case anyone wobbled or fell over), the wheelchairs were all lined up alongside each other to await a helper to take them to the aircraft – this was true GTA! (No, not Grand Theft Auto, more Geriatrics To Alicante!)

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Luckily, the friend had her sibling to push her along – the airport was pretty busy, but the sibling managed to find a space for a wheelchair to await the announcement of the flight departure. (Did I mention that this space was in an airport bar and that every other wheelchair-bound person had found their way there as well?)
All went well, including the friend being ‘offloaded’ at East Midlands Airport via the mobility lift from the plane, during which time she made a friend for life – between getting in the mobility lift and going through passport control, this other invalid had told the friend her full life story, from where she’d been born to why she was on the mobility lift.
The only worrying part was when they seemed to be one wheelchair short and it looked as if my friend was going to have to be loaded back onto the plane and returned to Alicante like some piece of discarded and unwanted baggage. Maybe the siblings could have claimed something on the insurance?
The friend has made a full recovery – well, when I say ‘full’, I mean as full as is possible for a lazy, overweight person who avoids most form of exercise other than walking to the pub. Good night!

A Christmas Message from the LSG

A very merry Christmas to you all! I am delighted to share my Christmas message with you all today, especially since it’s after Her Majesty’s, so you will already have fallen asleep in front of the television stuffed full of turkey or nut roast and several glasses of champagne, prosecco and wine – that’s you stuffed full, of course, not the television – and you will now be ready for some uplifting words of wisdom and support to help you through the rest of the evening and the days that follow until you can fall meekly into 2019!

Even though I have the body of a weak and feeble woman – my doctor might disagree slightly with that description – I have the heart and stomach of a demi-god and can help you negotiate a safe path through the trials of a hectic time until you can relax with a small glass of dry sherry at the end of the day and watch whichever repeats may be offered to you as entertainment. (I can recite verbatim almost every script from Morecambe and Wise!)

I hope you enjoyed Christmas morning, although I suspect many of you were probably up around 4 am with the excitement – and that’s just the adults! – and are now ready to fall asleep again. I hope you haven’t already run out of batteries or found that you bought the wrong size and won’t be able to get any now until tomorrow. If that’s the case, the rest of Christmas night is going to be a disaster, I’m afraid. You’re going to have to resort to Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit instead of Hungry Hippos and Lego robots.
If you went to church, I hope you took a good slurp of communion wine in preparation for the fray.
I shan’t send you a message from God because I don’t know which god or gods you worship, or even if you worship one. That is entirely up to you – personally, I favour the Ancient Greek and Roman ways of worshipping different gods for different things and I particularly like Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family – how can you not worship a goddess who created delightful dishes such as Vesta curry, paella and chow mein? And I think she had a son called Pot Noodle.
Anyway, I digress. The Christmas message I want to send to all of you is one of hope, faith and charity.
Hope that you made it to the end of Christmas day without trying to murder that ageing aunt who insisted on telling you how much better she could have cooked the lunch if only she could stand for long enough, but you resisted the urge to tell her that she should have stayed off the sherry in that case!

Faith in yourself to cater for all the family, including the picky eater, the vegetarian and the vegan, the one who won’t eat sprouts and the cousin who insists on ONLY eating sprouts – just be glad he left straight after lunch to visit his mother!

And charity – the charity to keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you … to meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
I’m sure I’ve used those lines before …
https://amzn.to/2SpzNe8 Available in the UK from Amazon via www.lifestylesupportguru.comAnd in case you want to know what I got for Christmas, just look at the accompanying photos to spot the treasure from youngest sibling, brought all the way from Australia.

And you will, of course, enjoy looking at the genuine Armani watches I bought from a lovely street seller as a Christmas treat for myself, one in black, one in white (genuine plastic watchstraps, and one works on what I call ‘Armani time’, falling behind by about ten minutes every two hours or whenever it feels like it – but that’s what you get for paying a lot of money for something).

And, finally, Christmas lunch in the sun – not a turkey or sprout in sight!

A very merry Christmas to you all!