Category Archives: Challenge

Making Your Own Fun…

A very good evening to you all. As you know, the Lifestyle Support Guru tries very hard to lighten your burden by offering supportive and positive advice on all aspects of LIFE. Tonight, I wish to help you enjoy life more by suggesting different ways of amusing yourself, based, of course, upon my own vast experience.

So I put the question, what is amusement? Amusement is…

1. …celebrating youngest sibling’s birthday by going to Keighley for a night. Keighley… enough to make anyone laugh out loud!

2. …sitting in a hostelry (I could have said ‘café’, but you wouldn’t have believed me) with youngest sibling and asking for advice on downloading WhatsApp onto recently-acquired iPhone.
YS: Just go into Apps and look for the WhatsApp app. (He then returns to looking at his own [superior] phone)
Me: Is this what I need: ‘WhatsApp for iPhone Free’?
YS: (sighing, and without looking up from his own phone): No, you haven’t got an iPhone 3, it’s an iPhone 5.
(Spend next five minutes giggling hysterically while bar staff wonder whether to keep serving you.)

3. …measuring your ironing board for a new cover by standing next to it when it’s leaning against the wall, because you can’t find a measuring tape.

4. …standing in the aisle at Sainsbury’s for five minutes trying to work out if the ironing board cover on offer (£3 – a bargain!) will fit your ironing board. It says it’s 125 cm or 49 ins in length, and you know that you’re about 5 ft 6 in tall. (Contemplate asking a Sainsbury’s assistant to measure you from shoulder to ankle but realise that you’d then have to explain why and life is too short.) The ironing board at home came to just above the top of your shoulder and down to just above your ankle, so you stand working out roughly how long your head is and how high off the ground your ankle is to get an idea of the length. You then calculate that 49 in is about 8 ft (it had been a long morning…) but realise that that can’t be right because otherwise you’d have the biggest ironing board in the world and you’d be 10 ft tall. Recalculate to make it about 4 ft and look yourself up and down from ankle to shoulder and think that that’s about right.
5. …seriously contemplating taking the above-mentioned ironing board cover out of its packaging, unfolding it and holding it up to see how it measures against you, but realise that this may not be a good idea in a public place…
6. …buying the ironing board cover anyway.

Following these simple, but effective, rules will give you a whole new outlook on LIFE! Anyone want me to measure up for curtains? Reasonable rates…

Making The Most Of Retirement


Making The Most Of Every Minute

The Lifestyle Support Guru is a great believer in making the most of every minute of the day, giving daily life true meaning with fun events such as emptying the dishwasher, then filling it up again. As my sainted mother would have said, ‘Just think of all those poor people around the world who don’t have the same opportunities as you. They would be delighted to be able to empty and fill a dishwasher.’ You grumble back, ‘Yeah, well, they can come and do mine any time’, before realising how silly you sound, having a conversation about a dishwasher with your mother when she’s been dead over 16 years! Anyway, I have found something that’s much more fun – putting together an indoor clothes airer!

Deluxe Clothes Airer

The aforementioned clothes airer is, of course, the ‘de luxe’ version – I wouldn’t have anything less in my abode! – and is therefore more complicated in its arrangement, including wheels!
I spent a great deal of time considering the various options available to me – I was bored – and eventually set off in search of the de luxe airer, not knowing whether it would actually be in stock. On the website where I had spotted it, it was suggested that I ring my local store to check availability, which I duly did, only to hear a recorded message saying that, due to the large size of the store, it was not possible to check the availability of individual items! Oh, the excitement, the anticipation that this created! And the joy I felt when, upon rounding a corner in the shop, I spotted the required item in all its glory (well, in a bright orange box, actually). I asked a kindly young assistant to help me get it off the top shelf, which I would like to say she did with a smile and a cheerful greeting, but that would be stretching the imagination too far…

Construction Set?

Now, call me naïve, but I had assumed that the airer would be complete in its box and would simply need unfolding – hey presto, ready to use! – and I had a load of washing all ready to be aired. Oh no, not a bit of it – inside the box was a Meccano set and a page of instructions. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to put it together! AN HOUR AND A HALF, just so that I could hang some bloody washing up! Not only that, but it’s six foot high and it doesn’t fold down again, as I had thought – only the airing ‘wings’ fold away, so I now have a six foot de luxe airer with bright orange fixings standing in the middle of my dining room (that’s a loose term for the room where I have a table upon which I consume the occasional Pot Noodle but which is otherwise a reading desk, and sleeping area for the cat) because I have nowhere else to put it. But it does have wheels and it holds a lot of clothes…

The EU Referendum – In or Out?


Yes or No?

Confused? Puzzled? Don’t know which way to turn? Feel as if you are swaying first one way and then the other? In? Out? Shaken it all about? First, check that you are not drunk and in the middle of the hokey-cokey. If not, then you must be one of the millions who need the support of the Lifestyle Support Guru to give some guidance on the EU Referendum. I am not here to tell you which way to vote: that is between you and your conscience – assuming you have one, of course. Personally, I have managed very well without one for many years now and do not intend to start using it in the immediate future. Life is so much easier that way; but I digress…
Firstly, I have heard many people argue that we would be better off maintaining the Status Quo, but I haven’t heard Francis Rossi or Rick Parfitt say anything about staying in or leaving. I don’t think they’re bothered, although they’re thinking of re-releasing a couple of their singles – ‘Living on an Island’ and ‘Down the Dustpipe’, but they feel ‘Ain’t Complainin’ might be a little bit too hard to believe.
Here, as I see it, are the main points to consider:
If we leave:
– What will happen in the Eurovision? Will we still be allowed to enter? I don’t see why not, since Israel and Australia are allowed to enter and they cannot be called ‘European’ by any stretch of the imagination. We won it twice before we joined the EU – in 1967 and 1969 (joint winners with Spain, the Netherlands and France) – and three times since joining in 1973 – in 1976, 1981 and 1997. Clearly, if we leave the EU, we are less likely to win, given these statistics. Surely, everyone in their right minds wants us to lose so that we don’t have to host it? If we have to host it, just think of all those Johnny Foreigners coming to our shores to cheer on their acts! Just think of the burden on our infrastructure – the taxis all these visitors will need; the hotel rooms filled up; the fish and chip shops overrun; the post-event counselling when we lose – again. The list is endless.

– We are better off out.

If we stay:
– Apparently, France still has a ‘wine lake’ – if we leave, will they still allow us to swim in it? I think not; or, at least, only at a highly inflated price. If we stay, we can still be at the table and decide if we want a Merlot, a Bordeaux, a Chablis, a Beaujolais; if we leave, it is likely that we will only be offered ‘vin de table’ in 2-litre plastic bottles. The thought is frightening! Will the Italians allow us to maintain so many Italian restaurant chains if we leave? Will they put up the price of their prosecco? And what of Nando’s? The Portuguese (with Mozambican influences) may well decide not to let us have a choice of ‘chicken with lemon and herb, mango and lime, medium, hot, extra hot or extra extra hot’ dishes if we depart the EU. This will leave us with a surfeit of chickens, which we will then have to sell to KFC. Do you really want to bring your children up on a diet of ‘Double Bucket Deals’ for the rest of their lives?

– We are better off in.

Clearly, the choice is yours – Eurovision or Nando’s? It’s a hard decision and you only have until June 23rd to make it. Print out this handy little guide and keep it with you when you go to vote so that you can remind yourselves of the arguments. In, out, in, out, shake it all about…