Category Archives: Domestic

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.

Domestic Bliss

A very good evening

from the Lifestyle Support Guru! As you know, I am an expert in the kitchen, especially when it comes to Pot Noodles or microwave meals – these are the talk of the town! Today, however, I decided to branch out a little and turn the oven on (this is known as a ‘blue moon oven’) so that I would be able to prepare a tasty, healthy and nutritious feast for the sickly DODO.
I had all the necessary ingredients to prepare oven-baked cod fillets and potato rösti. By ‘ingredients’, I mean, of course, that the items had instructions on their packaging. The rösti instructions were fine – put in the oven and turn once halfway through. In case I had misunderstood the instructions, I not only turned the rösti but did a little turn myself in a joyful, exuberant manner, skipping up and down the kitchen, singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ (mainly because my efforts hadn’t yet activated the smoke alarm).

It was the cod fillets that caused some consternation, however, since their instructions required them to be ‘wrapped in lightly oiled foil, making a small parcel’. A parcel? A PARCEL? (screeched in my head in the manner of Lady Bracknell exclaiming ‘A handbag? A HANDBAG?’ in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’). For goodness’ sake, these are cod fillets, not birthday or Christmas presents. The only time anyone gets anything wrapped from me is when I order something through Amazon and it asks if it’s a gift.

I finally found the foil wrap (on top of the kitchen cupboard), brushed the dust off it, and ‘lightly oiled’ it – in other words, I liberally sprayed some of that ‘one cal’ cooking spray all over it – then lovingly wrapped the cod fillets in it as if they were delicate items of china and placed them gently on the baking tray alongside the rösti before I did my turn up and down the kitchen. (I am considering ‘I Will Survive’ for my next rendition.)

DODO ate everything and pronounced the fish tastier than the fish he’d had in a rather lovely French restaurant the week before! I did another turn up and down the kitchen, this time singing ‘Food, Glorious Food’. I am considering putting myself forward for the next season of ‘Masterchef’ – indeed, I may even aim for ‘Celebrity Masterchef’. ‘Reach for the Stars’, she sings joyfully,
(About ten minutes ago I asked DODO to look up the act who sang this and he dutifully did so, playing it out loud for me on his iPad to check he had the right song… we are now barred from the local.)

Nigella and SClub7, eat your hearts out!

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!