Category Archives: Advice

The Party’s Over

Camilo Ayala

Great Sadness

It is with great sadness and an aching heart (but an immense sense of relief) that I have to announce that I no longer regard myself as a PARTY ANIMAL. How has it come to this, you may ask yourself. How can the Lifestyle Support Guru have reached this sorry state? What momentous event can have caused this? Let me tell you…

DODO and I decided that we would venture into the city centre to sample the bright lights of a Saturday night, something we had not done for some time. THIS WAS A MISTAKE.

We started in a new ‘games pub’ where everyone was playing board games, which wasn’t so bad, although it’s not how I personally would have chosen to spend my Saturday nights when I was in my twenties (or thirties, or forties, or…).
Looking for something just a touch more lively, we moved on to a Latin-American-themed establishment. THIS WAS A MISTAKE.

At first we were ignored by the bar staff, who probably thought we were the cleaners and had arrived early. After getting served (we were the only ones not drinking cocktails), we managed to get a seat and gazed around at the clientele. I came to a number of conclusions:
i) Too many women were wearing dresses at least one size too small
ii) Too many women had failed to purchase ‘no VPL’ (no Visible Panty Line) underwear to go under their small dresses
iii) Too many women had not practised walking in stilettos before coming out for the night
iv) Too many women were too concerned about flicking their hair alluringly over their shoulder then looking round to see who’d seen them do it
v) Too many women were ‘shaking their booty’ – not a pretty sight in a dress two sizes too small, and quite unnerving for DODO because they were ‘shaking it’ in his face. He almost choked on his beer!

I am all for self-expression and not judging others, but there are limits… I doubt very much that the young woman with the VERY large bust and VERY narrow hips wearing a VERY short, tight dress with large flowers (possibly peonies or cabbage roses) on it had intended to look like a drag queen… THIS WAS A MISTAKE.

But there has been one final ‘event’ that has settled it in my mind that my PARTY ANIMAL days are finished. I was preparing a gourmet Sunday lunch (fish and chips – or ‘frites’, since they were from M&S) for myself and DODO. It was as I was lifting out the baking tray to turn the ‘frites’ over halfway through cooking, as per the instructions (is there a knack to this? They seem to end up on the floor or not turned over unless I use my fingers, which HURTS!) that a thought sprang unbidden into my mind – ‘Hmm, I could do with some new oven gloves.’ NEW OVEN GLOVES? NEW OVEN GLOVES? NEVER in the LSG’s long(ish) and illustrious life have oven gloves ever featured in any significant way. And certainly not on a Sunday afternoon with lunch and a glass of wine waiting.

And that, beloved believers, is when I realised that my PARTY ANIMAL days are finally over. One cannot allow PARTY ANIMAL and OVEN GLOVES to exist in the same mind. I am off to the Aga shop tomorrow…
THIS MAY BE A MISTAKE.

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.

Invalid Thoughts From Home

Invalid or Invalid?

More Invalid Thoughts (from home, rather than invalid home thoughts from abroad)
Good evening, admiring (and admirable) acolytes! To commence, you may interpret ‘invalid’ in the title in whichever way you prefer (depending on your pronunciation, and your thoughts about the LSG’s posts, but please keep these to yourself). Tonight I wish to share with you my hints and tips about keeping poorly people entertained.

In my many attempts to keep DODO amused in his current invalid state, I offered to lend him my tablet while he had to stay overnight in hospital, so that he could access the Kindle books I had downloaded and which would therefore not require an internet connection. He started looking through the titles – I would like to say that they were all classic ones such as The Iliad, and War and Peace, but the first one that showed up was ’30 days to a Clean and Organised House’.

‘Why have you got this?’ he asked in a genuinely puzzled voice. ‘It was free.’ I answered honestly. ‘Any good?’ he responded. ‘No idea.’ I replied, ‘I looked at the first page and it said I would have to do all these tasks every day for the rest of my life, so I lost interest.’ ‘Fair enough,’ he said.

In response to my last post about a rusty microwave, TOFU has explained that it is caused by the steam escaping from the food being cooked, so he suggested leaving the microwave doors (note the use of the plural) open for 15 minutes after any culinary efforts. I share this tip with you freely – when TOFU speaks I listen, since he is a veritable walking encyclopaedia of electrical and engineering information (but he still passes on his cats, which are neither electrical nor engineered, from such diverse places as South Africa and Australia – Tubs was the first black South African I ever met!). I have seen no proliferation of rust as yet, but that may be because microwave no. 3 is STILL waiting to be unpacked – life moves slowly in the LSG household unless we are racing each other to the fridge for the last cold beer…

Positive Thoughts

One thing we’ve found is that positive thoughts are essential:
1. When the plumber doesn’t turn up to look at the poorly boiler, the positive thought is that at least the bathroom got a good clean!
2. Having a poorly boiler may mean cold showers (with the occasional intermittent burst of hot water), but it does ensure that you save on water because you stay in the shower as short a time as possible!
3. When DODO made his own way into town this morning on his own (while I was enjoying myself at the cinema), the positive thought was that he had a good nap on the conveniently-placed seats within the shopping centre so he was able to stay awake when we met for lunch!
4. The special offer on New Zealand wines that’s on at my favourite wine store (Majestic, but other wine stores are available) may cost me money in the short term, but in the long term it will give me many hours of pleasure… and it usually means TOFU comes to visit so that he can stock up as well, so a pleasant weekend is had by all (well, three of us anyway!).

On that note, I shall leave you to think positive thoughts of your own as you prepare for your nightly repose!