We all have our own ways of dealing with loss and I have suggested to Nigel that he should empty his wine cellar (aka ‘the cupboard under the stairs’ or ‘the lake’) of current stock to make plenty of room for replacements. The last I heard this evening, he was on his third bottle, so he has clearly listened to my advice. I have also heard that his wife is filing for divorce (that’ll give you more room when the handbag collection has gone). Win some, lose some, Nige…
Hello, Faithful Followers! Lifestyle Support Guru here after a long absence. Have you missed me? Such wonderful news – today, I went out on a ‘social occasion’ and met up with not one, but two – yes, TWO –acquaintances! However, please keep it to yourselves that we were a ‘ménage à trois’ (so to speak), since we are only supposed to meet one other person, and in a public space, but we were in a garden, so not technically a ‘public’ space, but it was in the open air, so we felt that we were staying within the rules – more or less.
And what was the reason for this ‘social occasion’? An exchange of alcoholic beverages and literary works – in other words, swapping bottles of wine and books. I swapped a bottle of Sardinian white wine and a book about ‘cork dorks’ (wine nerds) for a bottle of Provençal rosé and a book written by an anti-fascist about his exile in a remote region of southern Italy. I think this says a lot about our differing literary tastes and intellectual capacities – I leave it up you to decide who is the ‘lightweight’.
We had a jolly chinwag as Bazza, the Friendly Geordie, (BFG), who has appeared in my stories before, and the LSG sat at the garden table, wrapped up warmly, while her paramour, BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), sat just inside the kitchen door, so should the riot police come charging into the garden, they would find no one breaking any rules. We are a law-abiding lot, even though we compared speeding offences during our conversation!
(It was lucky that it wasn’t a warm spring day, otherwise I would have had to remove my jacket and thus shown that the (new) jumper I was wearing was in sore need of ironing, having not long been taken out of its wrapper, but that is now a secret I can take to my grave.)
Having swapped our various items, including a bottle of out-of-date beer, which happened to be lying around in the LSG’s kitchen, BFG suddenly asked – apropos of nothing – if I liked hummus! ‘Yes,’ I replied with great enthusiasm. ‘Oh good. Would you like to take some home with you?’ ‘Yes, please.’ I said, thinking that perhaps they had purchased too much on a recent shopping trip and were trying to fob the LSG off with some out-of-date hummus in exchange for the out-of-date beer, knowing that the LSG has the constitution of an ox and would laugh at the idea of wasting something simply because of its ‘use by’ date – this is someone who, only a week ago, safely consumed a packet of microwave rice that was seven years past its ‘best before’ date! (Yes, YEARS!)
But I digress – this hummus was not out of date, but homemade! HOMEMADE! Who knew there was such a thing! I thought Sainsbury’s and M&S had cornered the market in hummus! HOMEMADE! And so a tub packed to its brim with hummus – HOMEMADE! – was duly put into the LSG’s bag along with the rosé and the anti-fascist book – oh, and a book about an Italian detective.
But this was not the end of the surprises at this very convivial social occasion – oh no! BSG then said that, when cutting BFG’s hair in the garden yesterday, he had missed a few bits, so he thought he might get at them while she was outdoors, at which point BFG asked if I would like to stay and watch! I was overcome! Such a personal invitation! And I was told that I could take photos if I wished! There is no end to this couple’s generosity! And to prove how enjoyable this event was, I have attached a small number of photos from the Sweeney Todd Barber Shop (Mickleover branch). I turned down the offer of having my own locks trimmed – I was anxious to get home and taste the hummus – HOMEMADE! – but I am expecting a delivery of meat pies next week
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.
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.