Category Archives: Art

They Do Things Different in Yorkshire, Tha Knows.

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Rob Bates


A very, very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I am in a particularly joyous mood tonight because I have at last been vindicated in my food of choice (or my choice of food). Let me explain:
This afternoon I went to see the film God’s Own Country with my very good friend the BFG (Bazza the Friendly Geordie), although her husband, the BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), was unable to accompany her because he was repairing a temperamental toilet. In fact, thinking about it, the BSG always seems able to find any number of domestic tasks whenever the BFG is meeting the LSG – a mere coincidence, surely? The LSG was accompanied by DODO, but not TOFU or TT (the Tiny Tyke), although DODO went AWOL before the film, since he didn’t think it would be to his taste – he’s more of a ‘shoot ‘em up’ type (although a calf got shot in the film, but I don’t think he would have counted that) .
I had considered asking TOFU and TT along because the film is set in Yorkshire, TOFU’s current place of residence and TT’s birthplace, but they still have to earn a penny or two while the LSG and DODO can make merry to their heart’s content! And so to the film and the reason for the LSG’s delight. (Enough acronyms there to please any writer of government leaflets!)


God’s Own Country (a sort of northern Brokeback Mountain but with sheep farmers instead of cowboys, and a couple of cows instead of horses) is a little bit like Countryfile on steroids, with nudity, sex and strong language thrown in for good measure, Do not expect a ‘Morecambe and Wise Tour of Yorkshire’. However, I feel I learned quite a few things from the film, such as how to skin a lamb or build a drystone wall.

Pot Noodles

So where does the feeling of great joy come from, I hear you cry. Well, this is the first time IBy Philafrenzy (Own work) [<a href="">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a> have ever seen a film that featured… Pot Noodles! Yes, dearest followers, not just one Pot Noodle, but several! A whole bucketful, in fact, which the two young heroes took with them when they went to spend a week in close proximity in a derelict outbuilding on top of the moors during the lambing period.
My only complaint is that there seemed to be a lack of reality in the amount of time allowed for the ‘Pot’ to cook properly – they just poured on the water and started eating instead of allowing the requisite four minutes. I distinctly heard a ‘crunch’ from one of the young men because his Noodles hadn’t softened enough, so to speak. Nor did they have bread and butter, an essential part of the ‘Pot Noodle experience’, but perhaps understandable when eating at a campfire on top of the Yorkshire moors.
So there you have it, Beloved Believers, Pot Noodles on the big screen – is there any greater accolade or mark of respectability, even in a film set in Yorkshire? I leave you with that thought and wish you a very good night.


My career as a film critic, continued:

A very good evening to you all.

Following my last outing as a film critic (Meet Me in St Louis and The Unknown Girl), which met with (almost) universal acclaim (well, one person said they liked it), I have decided to continue this potential new career with a review of ‘Jackie’, which I saw this afternoon. I can sum the film up in one word: pointless. Unfortunately, everyone else who came along thought it was very good.
It was a little bit like ‘Titanic’ in a way – you knew what the ending was, although in this case it was the beginning, when JFK gets shot. It also reminded me of Les Misérables, another film I didn’t enjoy – just when I thought it was going to end, another scene would pop up, usually with John Hurt as a priest who could come up with more meaningless platitudes about the existence of God than I ever thought possible. Unfortunately, I can’t remember his exact words, but some of them had something to do with there being ‘no answer’ – I felt like shouting, ‘The answer is 42!’ (When Russell Crowe threw himself into the Seine in Les Mis, my friend and I were the only ones who said – maybe a little too loudly – ‘Thank God for that!’, while everyone else gasped.)

In fact, I think the script may have been written by someone who had just watched ‘Frozen’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ back to back, with a few quotes from ‘Camelot’ thrown in for good measure. Try saying this out loud with a straight face: “Don’t let it be forgotten that for one brief shining moment, there was a Camelot. There won’t be another Camelot, not another Camelot.” Natalie Portman managed this admirably, but I think she may have had Botox injections beforehand.

The film has been described as a ‘searing…portrait’ of Jackie Kennedy – to me, it was more like an undercooked watercolour of a rather boring woman who didn’t really have a great deal of personality, but who liked wearing pink and red.

My advice? Watch ‘Camelot’ or ‘Pointless’.

Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed!

forest face

Dismayed and distraught

Good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I have to inform you that I am Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed! Unexpected things have occurred and they have made me realise that, perhaps, my life is sometimes closer to the ‘ordinary’ than I might have believed – indeed, closer than you, my dear followers, might yourselves have believed. Yes, the LSG is ALMOST human! But what has caused this toppling of the idol, I hear you ask. How has she developed clay feet? (I hear your voices all the time, my devotees, asking me to explain the deeper mysteries of life such as ‘Where can I get a good pint?’, ‘How much should I pay for a pint of milk?’, ‘Is a beach body worth the effort, especially if you’re only going to Skegness or Barry Island?’)
Imagine the first scene:
I am in a quirky little gift shop (the gifts are quirky, rather than the shop), perusing quirky items and wondering if a friend would appreciate a quirky frog

Quirky ornament

Quirky ornament

ornament for her garden (I decided to buy her a birthday meal instead in the end). A shop assistant, who hadn’t seen me come in, was in a corner of the shop arranging a display of tasteful, miniature wrought iron tea light holders and had her back to me as I pondered the merits of various sizes of frogs (I used to do that all the time when I worked in France). Suddenly, she turned round and screamed when she saw me! I screamed in return, thinking she’d spotted a mad axeman behind me (see a previous blog), but it was simply that she didn’t know I was behind her. I was DISTRAUGHT! The LSG has never had such an effect before!
So, what else has DISTRESSED me this week? Well, I have learned that I CANNOT TRUST WHAT I SEE ON THE NEWS and it is all down to a relative (let’s call him my nephew, for the sake of argument) who is determined to educate me and broaden my horizons, not realising that my horizons (and other parts of me) are already broad enough – after all, I am the LSG!

walking in the rain with umbrella

weather forecast

All these years, I had thought that the nice weather map at the end of the BBC News was a neatly drawn wall display at which the weather wallahs pointed to indicate where it would rain (usually Wales, Ireland, Scotland and most of England except for a small spot above wherever Kate and Wills may be staying). But NO! It is a computer-generated image – they are actually pointing at a blank, blue wall! Oh, the DISMAY, dear devotees! The DESPAIR!

But worse was to come! Apparently, much of the background of the main outside news reports could also be projected in the same way! All this time, I have flinched as I thought John Simpson or Jeremy Bowen were about to be blown up as they reported from some war-torn outpost when, in fact, they may actually be standing indoors, flak vests on, cup of tea to the side, in front of a blue wall onto which some computer geek is projecting scenes from ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Saving Private Ryan’! And that nice Nicholas Witchell could easily be standing inside a nice, warm studio rather than in the pouring rain outside Buckingham Palace waiting to tell us what the Queen had for tea!
Oh, how my dreams were shattered! How my heroes could be idols with feet of clay (see



above)! And I can’t watch the ITV weather girlies instead because their hand movements are so theatrical, daaahlings – one wonders if they are practising for a part in a Bollywood dance film. What is a girl to do? There is only one answer – turn to drink!

And with that thought, I shall go and pour myself a comforting glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watch something soothing like ‘Titanic’ – at least I know THAT is real (although I sometimes wonder how the cameramen survived to bring back all that footage).
Enjoy the rest of your evening!