An Alternative Existence

I had a lovely lunch today with my very good friend, BFG (Bazza the Friendly Geordie). Apparently, her husband, BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), would have joined us but when he dropped BFG off at the restaurant, he plaintively informed her that he ‘hadn’t been asked’. Mortified, faithful followers, mortified!

However, since we touched on ‘ladies’ bits’ (just a manner of speech) during the lunch, it was probably a good thing. We also touched on feminism – in a very genteel way, of course – although I have just remembered that I forgot to tell her about the phrase that DoD (Dai of Derby) came across in a book he’s reading: ‘the insects in the room gave off a genital hum’. We still cannot work out if it was a misspelling or if this man was particularly attuned to the sexual habits of insects. Who knows? Who cares?

Anyway, as usual, I digress. The purpose of my missive to you this evening is to help you deal with the difficulties of dementia, something which is becoming a real problem in modern society as we live longer, and which I know many of you have encountered personally. BFG and BSG are currently going through some hard times with his mother, who is in a nursing home (of necessity, not choice) but I am not here to depress you – far from it!

BFG told me of many instances when she and BSG have laughed and she is happy to share such moments with others, so picture these scenes:
1. The BFG’s mother-in-law’s GP has come to see her (the MiL, not the BFG, of course!) to check her over, but MiL is being a little uncooperative, to say the least. The doctor asks if she likes singing and BSG says yes, so BFG sits holding one hand, BSG holds the other, the GP listens to her chest with his stethoscope while all three are singing ‘My Way’. Even Monty Python couldn’t better that!
2. There is a lady called Doris at the home and she likes to wear a leopardskin onesie whilst standing at the front door charging everyone 50p to come in. She also likes to tell you if you have a ‘cheap’ haircut – apparently, BFG’s hair is cheap (I very much doubt that!).
3. There s nothing that’s much more fun than a reading club (so I’ve been told), especially in a nursing home. BFG, BSG, MiL and Margy, another resident, were sitting enjoying some tea – MiL was shovelling down (BFG’s words) a concoction of cream cake with extra cream in which her tablets were hidden (this is a woman who used to enjoy black coffee with no sugar), while Margy was sitting reading ‘Sex in the City’, the front cover describing it as ‘Jane Austen with frilly knickers’. Margy turned to BSG, whom she thinks is the manager of the place, and said, ‘I don’t think Jane Austen wrote this.’ In the meantime, playing in the background is ‘The Banana Boat Song’. Monty Python, where are you now?
4. The inevitable sing-song – My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, followed by ‘Billy, Don’t be a Hero’ – what a choice! It made us wonder – what will be the sing-songs of choice in, say, 30 years? Will the 80s generation be swaying along with their Zimmer frames to Duran Duran, A-Ha, Adam and the Ants, Take That? I shall be expecting Maggie May, Layla, Streets of London, maybe a little Pink Floyd to hum along to (genitally, of course!).
Sleep well, humming genitally to yourselves!

Stuff What I Have Learned Recently

The Strangest Question?

I always like to share my knowledge with you, as you know, so that you will always have a ready fund of useful hints and tips at your fingertips, ready for anything that life may throw at you, and I feel that I may have surpassed even myself this time.
1. Do not assume that Marks and Spencer will ever be fazed by anything that you may ask of them. Some of you will already know the bare outlines of this story if you have read next-sibling-down’s Facebook account, but it was a far more substantial experience in reality.
Next-sibling-down had explained to me that he needed to buy a small bra for a play in which he was appearing, but he didn’t like to ask his co-actor for one of hers, fearing being regarded as a minor Harvey Weinstein – heaven forbid! He knew I was going shopping (or, if he didn’t know, he guessed, since this is a favourite activity of mine, on a par with eating out) and asked if I would find a small, cheap bra. I had decided to do a major refurb of my underwear drawer(s), so this was no hardship. I strolled into M&S, spotting a few other items that might sneak into my bag (not in a shoplifting sort of way, I hasten to add!) as I headed for the underwear section. Having found enough underwear items for myself to satisfy (and even fit) a small Third World country, I went to the fitting rooms where there were two very nice assistants. The conversation went as follows:
LSG: I have a rather strange request which might surprise you.
Assistant: Nothing surprises us. We’ve had all sorts of requests over the years. (Other assistant nods in agreement.)
LSG: I need the smallest, cheapest bra you’ve got.
A: (With just the tiniest hint of surprise as she eyes my ample bosom.) Is it for you?
LSG: No, it’s for my brother. He needs to attach it to his shoe.

Still the eyebrows moved in only the tiniest acknowledgement of an unusual request.
I then explained the exact circumstances and the assistant couldn’t have been more helpful, and became thoroughly absorbed in the task, suggesting that an underwired, padded, colourful bra might be more visible on stage, especially if velcroed to a shoe.
We eventually settled on a special offer of two plain, white bras for a tenner (and I had an offer of 20% off as well), but the lovely assistant also suggested that I compare prices in Primark and bring the M&S ones back if I could get them cheaper at Primark. You do NOT get service like that in most places!
I mentioned Primark to next-sibling-down, but he had already taken the labels off and tried one of the bras on…
2. Dealing with past disappointments:
I read a quote recently which said, ‘No one remembers who comes second.’ and I thought, ‘I DO! I DO!’
I came second in a Miss Cilfynydd contest many years ago. There was a very good reason for this (to my mind, anyway!) – the girl who won was going out with the captain of the local football team, while I had ‘palled up’ (for want of a better phrase!) with the captain of the local rugby team. Since the competition was taking place in the local rugby club, one might have expected that the votes would have been overwhelmingly in favour of the rugby captain’s ‘squeeze’, but NOOO! The football captain had rounded up all his mates for the night and they greatly outnumbered the rugby captain’s mates – he hadn’t rounded them up because he hadn’t expected such a level of opposition – bit like Hillary Clinton, really.
But the best thing? Miss Cilfynydd decided she couldn’t be bothered to turn up and be crowned at the August Bank Holiday fete, so I got the crown and my photo in the paper! Second best is better than nothing, as Plato said (or was it Cicero? It may even have been the captain of the rugby club!)
3. This final piece of information is possibly the best you may ever come across and should be remembered for ever. It was passed on to me by youngest sibling, who knows everything about everything, especially if it’s scientific.
If you want to dispose of a body ENTIRELY, forget acid – use BLEACH. I have stocked up.

Sleep well! 😊

Magnetic Attraction

There are occasions when life as the Lifestyle Support Guru can be very difficult, but it is my job to give you, Beloved Believers, a glimpse from time to time of how simple and straightforward life for you as an ordinary person can be – you will never know the trials faced by the LSG as I try to lead a ‘normal’ life. As an ‘ordinary’ being, you will not have to face situations such as I endured at the bus stop today. Let me set the scene:

Wishing to experience the same ‘ordinariness’ as others, so that I may better advise you on how to live your life more fully, I made my way to the bus stop (with the intention of going into town to spend some of my hard-earned pension), where someone was already waiting: a gentleman of ‘a certain age’, as the French so delicately put it – in other words, he was old! After politely nodding to him, I studied the bus timetable for the sake of something to do whilst waiting for the bus, even though I had a book in my hand – but I always feel there’s something a little…pretentious about standing at a bus stop reading. One should always stand at a bus stop gazing hopefully, even wistfully, in the direction from which the bus will appear, but with a certain amount of resignation written on one’s face as well, especially at this particular bus stop. ‘Why resignation?’ I hear you ask (I hear you clearly because I have very good hearing, unlike three out of my four siblings, who are descending rapidly into senility towards the likelihood of using an ear trumpet). The resignation is because, although every bus that picks up at this stop goes directly into town, not every bus heading for town picks up at this stop. Are you following this? I have stood at this very bus stop and watched six – yes, SIX! – buses sail past while I wait in the cold and wind that constitute a British summer – two school buses, one Park and Ride, the ‘Express’ from Belper, the ‘Comet’ from Chesterfield and a random National Express coach heading from Bradford to Aberdare – not a route that gets booked up quickly, I should imagine.
But I digress. Whilst lost in a reverie of admiration for the complexities of not one, but TWO bus timetables (because of competing bus companies), I became aware that the gentleman with whom I was sharing the bus shelter was speaking to me. This is not uncommon, of course – the LSG attracts attention from all! Unfortunately, he was speaking in a VERY broad Scottish accent (apologies to my Scottish friends!) and I could only understand every other word. Unfortunately, again, every other word seemed to be the same one – ‘f***’ (or variations thereof). As I attuned myself to his speech (I pride myself on my linguistic ability – I can understand many dialects, from Geordie to Brummie via Scouse and North Waleian, which is VERY difficult), I realised he was talking about the cold weather and his recent visit to Scotland for his mother’s funeral where he hadn’t been able to get a taxi to the funeral because of the snow. I didn’t ask why he hadn’t hired a funeral car – I felt this might lead to a long explanation and even the LSG doesn’t possess infinite patience. You will be pleased to know, however, that he DID get to the funeral – by bus! Scottish buses run in all weathers, apparently, unlike those in England, which stop at the first sign of a snowflake, or so the Scottish gentleman told me. Luckily, our own bus arrived at this point, so I was spared further details (and expletives). I was a little worried that he might sit next to me and continue his tale, but he sat next to someone else and proceeded to tell them exactly the same story!
Since this adventure, however, I have discovered that, occasionally, the LSG can remain incognito – nobody in the pub this evening seems to have noticed that I am wearing a jumper with baked bean stains from this afternoon’s lunch! (I hadn’t noticed until now either!) 😊
Sleep well!