Tag: wine

A Wet Weekend in Worcester

Original art by Joseph Morewood Staniforth (died 1921) - Western Mail (Wales), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6643053Hello, Beloved Believers! Here I am again, the Lifestyle Support Guru, fresh from my annual rugby trip with a few followers, this time to Worcester, which is a very nice place to visit, with lots of pubs and friendly people who were quite happy to let us eat and drink well after the time they were going to close – well done, Worcesterians, or whatever people from Worcester may be called.

However, not everything was perfect, starting with sibling’s choice of transportation for his change of clothing for the weekend. We have a range of cases and holdalls, from small to large, to cover all holiday eventualities, but his personal preference? A large, bright blue recycling bag with ‘GLASS’ printed in large letters on the side. I didn’t ask what he had done with the actual recycling …

We collected the Tiny Tyke and set off, arriving in good time and just ahead of the other party members whom I shall call Nigel and Ian for the sake of anonymity. This early arrival turned out to be very fortuitous because, somehow, Nigel – to be referred to as NN (Nigel the Nincompoop) from now on – had made a real mess of his booking. I shall try to explain this.

NN only had one job and that was to book two rooms – one for him, one for Ian; he managed to book three: two through the hotel chain’s central reservation and one through an agency – the LSG is still trying to follow the logic of that. On top of that, he booked them for the wrong date! One job, Nigel, that’s all you had! That was not the end of it by any means, though. He changed the dates – or so he thought – and offered one of the rooms to the LSG, who had not yet booked her allocation for the Derby Deputation. The offer was accepted and the LSG went on to book two more rooms for sibling and TT (Tiny Tyke). All’s well that ends well – or does it? It turned out that only two of the three rooms had been changed to the correct date and that the other one had been classed as a ‘no show’ for the previous weekend, so we were one room short. When I say ‘we’, I mean NN was short of a room… To cut a long story short, the LSG, TT and recycling sibling went off to the pub while NN and Ian the Intelligent tried to sort out the rooms. The story ended with NN having to check into another hotel, but that’s for another day …

glass of red wine

glass of red wine

What else did the LSG learn about Worcester? Well, I knew it was posh because it has a Waitrose, but this Waitrose has … a wine bar!! That’s a difficult decision – shopping or wine bar? Wine bar or shopping? It’s a little bit like baked beans and sherry trifle – both nice, but you wouldn’t put them together (well, you might if you’re the TT because he likes weird mixtures of food, but there again, he IS from Yorkshire). Even the LSG wouldn’t combine shopping and wine, much as she enjoys both – that way lies disaster and a much-depleted bank account!

There was much laughter and jollity over the weekend ( although most of it shouldn’t be repeated in polite company) and much quaffing of alcoholic drinks and I would recommend Worcester as a place to visit, but don’t – I repeat, DON’T – let the Nincompoop book your rooms. Let your mantra be: Leave it to the LSG!

The Cost Of Being Single

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru.

I decided to write this after reading an article in that esteemed, if just the teensiest bit left-wing, newspaper, The Grauniad (not to be confused with its sister paper, The Guardian), about the TRUE cost of being single.

‘Aha!’ I thought, ‘someone else who has wondered why M&S doesn’t do a ‘Dine in for One for £5 with free bottle of wine’, instead of assuming that everyone has someone with whom they wish to share their Gastropub Fish Pie or Gastropub Steak Lasagne with a side of Wild Rocket (that’s a SIDE dish?? That’s just a few pieces of grass which stick in your teeth and tickle your throat, making you cough and choke!)

He Doesn’t Like Vegetables!

In fact, come to think of it, there are probably people who are NOT single who would not wish to share their Gastropub Fish Pie or Gastropub Steak Lasagne, but they are called ‘greedy’ (and they’d probably go for the side dish of Chunky Chips rather than the Wild Rocket, and the other person in their life wouldn’t even get a look in at the Profiterole Stack).

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/But I digress. How disappointed I was when I read the article in full and found that it was just a whiney piece by some woman who was bemoaning the fact that she hadn’t found her rock, her soulmate, her ‘yang’ to her ‘yin’, her Andy Pandy to her Looby Loo, her Simon to her Garfunkel, her Thelma to her Louise (I’m being fully inclusive here), and how the government is bleeding her dry because of that. She came up with one or two interesting facts, I have to say – there are more unmarried women alive today than at any point in history, apparently, although I’m not sure if this will still be the same tomorrow or the day after…

However, on the plus side, I find I’ve saved money because she says, on average, women spend £1,280 a year on dates. The obvious answer is – just don’t go on dates, you stupid woman!
Hah! Bet some of you thought I was going to make some obvious, sexist remark about how women shouldn’t pay on dates anyway – believe me, I learned my lesson on that a long time ago in Redditch (where I was working at the time) when my date paid for the meal but said I could choose the wine since I spoke French (logic?) then said he only drank Liebfraumilch (not my favourite tipple, as Beloved Believers will know). Not only that, when he drove me back to my flat and I politely asked him if he wanted a coffee – hoping he’d say no – he produced a LITRE bottle of Liebfraumilch from the back seat and said we could drink that instead. He got coffee.

https://www.lifestylesupportguru.com/To compound matters, as he was leaving shortly after (I made him drink his coffee very quickly), he gave me a goodnight kiss and said I was a very sweet person. SWEET? SWEET?? SWEET??? The LSG may be many things – all-seeing, all-knowing, all over the place, but SWEET??? Reader, I did not marry him…

But I have strayed from the subject again. There are times when I feel aggrieved because I have to pay a supplement for being single (hotels, holidays, that sort of thing) but they have not yet started charging a premium on single women drinking wine, and that is something for which I am eternally grateful… unless someone from the government reads this and thinks, ‘What a jolly wheeze! Let’s start a new tax for all those people drinking on their own, even if they’re happy doing that. In fact, let’s tax them even more simply because they’re happy being on their own!’ They’d make a fortune from at least three people in my family!
Have a good weekend, dear LSG followers. I shall spend it avoiding anywhere and anyone that offers me a glass of Liebfraumilch…
… and paying for my own meal.

Losing weight

Hello, hello, hello! I realise that it has been quite some time since I offered any advice, but life has been its usual hectic, never-ending round of parties and trips abroad.
Actually, when I say ‘parties’, I really mean saying ‘hello’ to one or two people in the local and a Christmas meal with the charity committee from the local.

And when I say ‘abroad’, I really mean York, where I spent Christmas with the unmarried siblings. We had a jolly time, even bumping into the Tiny Tyke (TT) unexpectedly when he bounded up to us like an overexcited puppy in the first pub we visited! And he didn’t spill a drop of his drink as he bounded up to us, which rather impressed us!

Anyway, I digress, since this is about losing weight – but fear not! I have not succumbed to offering advice about the dreaded post-Christmas/New Year diet – no point, because you’ll only have to do it all again next year. No, this is about a medical ‘procedure’, as operations are now called. But fear not! I have not had a gastric band fitted or gone for liposuction (that could create a fatberg all of its own!). This was a ‘female’ procedure, so the boys may want to look away now. But fear not! I shall not be going into the details of the ‘procedure’ – no, no, no! The LSG has far more discretion.


All you need to know is that this required the removal of ‘bits’ which were considered ‘at risk’, although not at any life-threatening level, and I was only in for a day, although it seemed longer, since I had to be at the hospital at 7.30 in the morning, which, for the past seven years, I hadn’t realised existed any more. In addition, I was put last on the list (they obviously didn’t know who I am), which meant that, by the time they eventually got to me, I had answered questions such as ‘Are you wearing any make-up?’ (obvious answer – NO!) and ‘Do you have any body piercings?’ (also NO!), as well as ‘Do you still live at …?’ (answer – I haven’t had the chance to move house in the last eight hours) several times, even within two minutes of each other. I realise the NHS has to be careful, but there are limits…

I survived, despite the surgeon passing me a consent form for the ‘procedure’ and asking me to ‘sign my life away’ – not quite what one wishes to hear from the person who has your life in their hands. She smiled in a rather evil way, I thought, when I said, ‘I hope not!’ – jealousy of the LSG, I believe.

Large glass red wine

When I came round, I felt as if I had drunk several bottles of a strong red wine (Shiraz, perhaps?) without the benefit of going through the enjoyable phase! Youngest sibling came to collect me in the evening – not because he had a deep desire to travel from Hull to spend a Friday evening with the LSG (although many would!), but because next-youngest sibling had to go to a play rehearsal in the evening and it is recommended that you are not left on your own for 24 hours after a ‘procedure’ and Molly-the-all-black-cat was not considered a suitable companion. However, she ended up being my carer anyway, since I sent the two siblings off to the pub. There are limits to how long one can bear looking at the faces of two men who wish they were anywhere rather than sitting watching a woman who’s just had ‘bits’ removed and who don’t want ANY of the details!
I am recovering well – provided I wear elasticated trousers and ‘big’ knickers and don’t cough, sneeze or laugh.

And the weight loss? How much do ovaries weigh?

Technology Unplugged

I make no apologies for producing another LSG post so soon after the last one, but I felt I needed to do something to occupy my brain while partaking of a refreshing glass of wine in a local establishment where the New Seekers are playing over the speakers, including the occasional Christmas song (although they are currently in the middle of ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’).
Why does my brain need to be occupied? – because I have just given up on the book I started reading yesterday – the second Sophie Hannah book I have felt obliged to abandon after just a few chapters. If you’re going to write a psychological thriller, get on with it – don’t get all pretentious and long-winded; that doesn’t add to the suspense, it just annoys me! Book review finished.
So what better way to occupy my unexpected spare time than to share with you some of my experiences with technology in the home? As you know, I now have an ‘ironing’ television – not one that irons for me sadly (no, I don’t mean that it irons for me sadly, but that, sadly, it doesn’t iron for me), but one I can watch while ironing in the back room because there is no room in the front room now that DODO is convalescing at home, although he also has a television in his room, but that seems reserved mainly for music videos, whereas the downstairs front room television is for ‘proper’ television such as THE NEWS and A Question of Sport. (The New Seekers have now moved on to ‘Danny Boy’, if you’re interested).

When I switched on the ironing television (which runs on a Fire Stick), nothing happened, even though it had been working perfectly the previous day. (Another digression – a female frequenter of the pub has just said that ‘dogs never forget’ – I think she may have partaken of one too many vodkas and is confusing dogs with elephants; they both have four legs, so an easy mistake, I suppose)

Anyway, DODO had a quick look at the television then switched the ‘downstairs’ Fire Stick for the ‘upstairs’ Fire Stick (i.e. the one in his room) and behold! – everything worked again! No, I don’t know what he did, either, but I think I may now be hooked on ‘Only Connect’ – Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s sense of humour is just delightful! I shall have to find more ironing!
However, technology can defeat us all, I’m sorry to say, even DODO, whom I regard as having one of the greatest technological minds on the planet – along with TOFU and my female siblings; in fact, I am the only member of my immediate family who knows little more than how to switch on a computer (and the iron and the microwaves and the dishwasher and…).

DODO has been having a clear-out in his room and the carpet needed hoovering, so this evening he asked if the small handheld hoover was fully charged. I suggested he’d be better using the upright cordless to cover a bigger area, so he carried it up to his room while I settled at the computer in my room. I could hear no sound of the hoover being used, but I could hear a strange swishing sound, so I went to his room and found him sweeping the cordless hoover over the carpet, not realising it wasn’t just a carpet sweeper! Oh, how I laughed! (Tears streaming down my face, in fact!) He agreed that it worked much better when it was switched on! (And no, it wasn’t a ploy to get me to do the hoovering because he thinks women are much better at that sort of thing than men – this is DODO, not Godfrey Bloom [the UKIP guy who condemned women for not cleaning behind their cookers!]. DODO would never condemn me for not cleaning behind the cooker, since he would never do it himself. TOFU, however…😂)

The music has now changed to Bread (we’ve got the original vinyl album) and the ‘dogs never forget’ vodka drinker has gone home, so I no longer need to occupy my mind, and the first episode of ‘Trust Me’ calls, so I shall end here and wish you all a very good evening, especially since I have an early morning appointment tomorrow for CACAC (Coffee And Crumpets At Costa).

Sleep well and don’t let the silent hoover disturb your dreams!

Learning to Love

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru!

Sharing My Thoughts

I have decided to share some thoughts with you on ‘Learning to Love’, which you may think a strange choice of subject for the LSG, since I am used to receiving undying admiration and adoration from my many followers; on the other hand, you may be tempted to think that I have found a new love and that I am going to regale you with tales of my new-found passion, but I wouldn’t be so crass – if you wish for such titillation, try ’50 Shades of Grey’ (again!).

Learning To Love

So what am I ‘learning to love’ I hear you asking. I am learning to love…

1. Ironing

– this is because DODO has set up a television in the back room so that I no longer have to rearrange the furniture in the front room when I wish (I use that word in its very loosest sense) to iron. I cannot do ironing without something to distract me (and the distraction of a glass of wine at 10 o’clock in the morning, especially when combined with a hot iron, is not really a good idea…). Before anybody thinks this is purely a sexist arrangement, I can assure you that ALL the ironing is mine. I would never do anything so silly as to allow DODO to buy clothes that need anything more than minimal attention. So far I have watched two fascinating programmes – one on the RSPCA and one on drunks on planes, but I feel I need to be a bit more adventurous and move on from ‘Panorama’ on the BBC iPlayer…

2. Technology

This has afforded many hours of amusement in just the last day alone as DODO has attempted to set up the new television in the front room to replace the ‘ironing’ television which has been relegated to the back room. I have watched him in a purely advisory capacity – ‘Yes, it’s working; no, it’s not working; why can we only get ITV?’, that sort of helpful thing. When DODO decided to make one final, desperate attempt to get more than one channel, saying, ‘I’ll try the old remote instead of the one that came with the television.’, I refrained from expressing out loud the thought ‘How stupid! How is that going to work?’ I was particularly glad of this restraint when DODO was proved right – I’d forgotten to tell him that the ‘old’ remote was the one that worked the VirginMedia Tivo box!

3. The sound of the smoke alarm

– it means lunch is ready.
And on that thought, I shall wish you all a very good night and wend my weary way to bed after a hard day (well, just over an hour, if I’m honest) slaving over a hot iron, as well as advising on the use of technology, and cooking.