Confessions Of A Rugby Supporter

A very good evening yet again from the Lifestyle Support Guru! After being silent for so long, I now find myself producing another missive within 24 hours of the last one – a bit like buses, I suppose: none come along for ages and then several turn up at once!
As many of you will know, we are currently speeding towards the end of the 6 Nations rugby season and there is everything to play for!
www.lifestylesupportguru.comWhen watching the rugby, I like to watch it either in the company of a group of friends or at home on my own where I can rant and rave or cheer as loudly as I want, frightening the cat along the way. Today, I decided to watch the game on the big screen in my local, mainly because I knew there would be nobody else in to watch it – a) it’s a football pub and b) Derby was playing at home, so most would be at the game anyway.
I settled myself in glorious solitude at a table in front of the big screen and watched the first half undisturbed – apart from someone coming up halfway through the Welsh anthem to ask me if I would sign their passport photos!

And then, from out of nowhere, during the interval, a man came and set his drink down on ‘my’ table and asked if I minded if he sat next to me. I replied that that was fine as long as he didn’t speak during the game and he said he knew nothing about rugby anyway, to which I replied, ‘Well, don’t expect me to explain it to you.’ (this is called ‘Welsh hospitality’). You may have gathered that I’m not one for chitchat during an important game.
He settled himself down with his pint and a packet of Mini Cheddars. Within two minutes, however, he had gone up to the bar and bought another pint (the other one was still full) and two more packets of Mini Cheddars, this time in Branston Pickle flavour – I HATE Branston Pickle! Halfway through the second half, he went up to the bar again and bought himself another pint (he’d still got a pint and a half left from previous rounds) and 3 – THREE! – more packets of Branston Pickle Mini Cheddars! This man has a worse diet then me – at least I went home and had a hot meal (courtesy of the microwave, of course).
The game ended and ‘mystery man’ took it as a sign that he could now chat away to his heart’s content. Sadly, for him, I had finished my drink and was ready to go home. I left him heading towards some other unsuspecting patron while I wended my way to the microwave.
Everyone else gets the ‘nutters on the bus’ – why do I get them in the pub?? Good night!

Avoiding People

A very good evening to you all! I’m back! Have you missed me? Did you notice my absence? I expect you did – life without the Lifestyle Support Guru is not really life, it’s just a meaningless existence. Fear not, I am here to give shape and meaning to your life once more and, to start you off, I am going to give you some advice on ‘avoiding people’ which may help you should you find yourself in similar difficult circumstances.
ww.lifestylesupportguru.com1. An acquaintance from another part of the country texts you to say that he would like to call in on you on his way to somewhere else. There are two problems –
i) you have already arranged to meet a friend for an outing to the cinema
ii) you know that ‘call in’ is a euphemism for ‘stop the night and eat you out of house and home’ (well, out of Pot Noodles at the very least)
You inform a friend of this and she says she’s quite happy to offer him a cup of tea and then send him on his way, so you pass this information on to the acquaintance, who’s quite happy with that. You head off to the cinema with a spring in your step and enjoy the film. However, all pleasure disappears when you leave the cinema and receive a text from your friend to say that the acquaintance is still around and is hoping that you will join them in the pub. Knowing that this will lead to the overnight stay mentioned earlier, and which you really wish to avoid, you reply and ask the friend to tell the acquaintance that she thinks you are going to be a while yet because you are going on for a meal.

Now, there is a slight problem here that I haven’t yet mentioned – if you catch the bus home, you will have to pass directly in front of the pub where the acquaintance is being entertained by your friend (who has far more patience than you) and the scenario you are dreading will come to pass if he spots you. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You hang around in town for an hour or more, calling in for a coffee now and again at nearby cafés, and helping a little old lady who has fallen over, before catching the bus and scurrying to the house where you sit in darkness for two hours, not daring to turn on the lights or television, until you get the ‘All clear’ text from your friend. What jolly japes!

www.lifestylesupportguru.com2. An acquaintance from another part of the country turns up unexpectedly on your doorstep one afternoon, saying that he is just ‘calling in’ on his way to another destination. You invite him in and offer him a cup of tea, which he drinks and then promptly falls asleep, stretched across your sofa. He wakes up and says that he’ll take you out for a meal a little later (translation: I’m hoping for a bed for the night), then falls asleep again. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You go into the kitchen and ring your landline from your mobile (don’t EVER get rid of your landline!). When you answer the landline, you hold a one-sided conversation along the lines of: ‘NOOO!! How could he do that just after Christmas? And he’s left you with the kids? NOOO!! I’ll be straight round!’ You then turn to the acquaintance and explain that your best friend’s husband has just walked out and left her with two children under three and you need to go and see her, so you’ll have to ask him to leave because you may have to stay the night with the friend. The acquaintance drives off and you drive off behind him, turning in a different direction to drive up to the top of a local mountain in the Welsh valleys where you sit for an hour or two until you’re pretty sure that the acquaintance won’t still be hanging around (in case he saw through your story!) before you go home. What jolly japes!

3. You are at home one Saturday lunchtime, reading and enjoying a refreshing glass of lager, while your husband is upstairs doing some DIY. You look through the window and spot some feckless student coming down the road, knocking on doors and obviously trying to sell something. You’re not in the mood for small talk and trying to get out of buying something you don’t want, and the feckless student will spot you through the window, so you take your book and your drink to the cupboard under the stairs, where there’s a little seat, and settle yourself down until he goes away. This method almost works:
www.lifestylesupportguru.com• As expected, the student knocks, but he doesn’t go away because … your husband answers the door and invites him in!! Said husband then offers the student a lager and sits talking to him and looking at the lithographs he’s trying to sell. Eventually, the student gets ready to leave and your husband says, ‘Oh, before you go, would you like to meet the wife?’ and he opens the cupboard door to reveal you sitting there with your book and glass of lager! The husband had spotted the student from upstairs and realised what you’d done to avoid him! The jolliest jape of all!
Good night all!

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.

 

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!)

 

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!

Livestock Lessons

A very good day to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! It has been a little while since I offered any advice, but this morning I had to visit the vet’s, although I was 24 hours late and I feel that this was meant to be, otherwise I would not have witnessed scenes which taught me a lot in just half an hour.

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Molly

I was late because Molly the Mobster had realised that something was up yesterday when I didn’t have a second cup of coffee because I was taking her for her booster shot and I didn’t have time for a second cup. She shot off and hid under the bed in the spare room and I was unable to reach her – she just sat there purring as if to say, ‘Ha! I’m smarter than you! I know your exact habits!’

 

 

Thank goodness the vet doesn’t charge for missed appointments! Therefore, this morning I made sure I had a second coffee, thus fooling her completely. She followed me meekly downstairs, expecting treats, where I was able to pick her up and shove her into her carrier. She then sat there emitting a pathetic miaow from time to time, but I hardened my heart and carried her to the car.

So, where do lessons learned come in to this feline tale? Well, as soon as I got to the vet’s surgery, I realised I was seriously underdressed – there is now clearly a uniform for visiting the vet. It is as follows:

https://amzn.to/2Txvbnk
1. Leggings in a bright pattern, preferably with flashes of pink.
2. Pink trainers.
3. A turtle neck jumper, with splashes of pink.
4. A gilet, not necessarily pink, but preferably Barbour.
5. Blonde hair tied up in a loose bun (à la Meghan Markle).
6. A stretchy hairband (with the regulation flash of pink) holding aforementioned blonde hair off the face.
7. A white dog (any size).

I was wearing plain black trousers and a rust-coloured (luckily not rust-covered) jumper, a bobble-covered navy woollen jacket and nice, comfortable ‘granny’ shoes in an understated grey and I had a black cat with me rather than a white dog. I felt this was suitable attire for visiting a place that was going to take money off me – don’t look as if you can afford the exorbitant fees!

And this was where the second lesson came in. While I was studying the visions in pink sharing space in the waiting room, a man came in carrying a dog lead, but with no dog attached – my first assumption was that he had come to collect his pet, but no … he had come to let off steam! He started haranguing the poor receptionist about having to pay extra to his pet insurance company over and above the £800 a year he was already paying. £800!! I felt his pain! Apparently, the insurance company had told him that it was https://amzn.to/2TBNcRBthe vet’s fault for taking the dog’s tooth out when he brought him in for a scale and polish. (For a nanosecond I thought maybe I had wandered into the dentist’s by mistake.) Apparently, the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the extraction and were trying to say it was the vet’s fault for taking the tooth out in the first place. The receptionist was very patient and explained that this was the insurance company doing their usual thing of trying to wriggle out of paying for procedures. She then went on to say that they charged less than other vets (try telling that to my bank card!) because they know that the insurance companies will do what they can not to pay for ‘little extras’ (they are probably run by Philip Hammond). The man calmed down and went off, still carrying his empty dog lead and muttering to himself about rip-off insurance companies. And the lesson? If you want to take your anger out on someone, go to a vet’s surgery! (But I’m still wondering why he brought his dog lead with him.)

Molly was then called in to see the vet, who said she had lost weight (Molly, not the vet), but nothing to worry about, all the while looking at me as if to say, ‘Maybe you should follow Molly’s example.’ We then went back into reception where the following animals were called for: Holly (a nervous dog), Polly (a yappy dog) and Poppy (an old, grey dog with a sad face). Lesson 3? It is now clearly a legal requirement to give your pet a two-syllable name ending in ‘y’. I am well within the law.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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