Category Archives: Food

Party Animal Aces It!

Party Party

As Lifestyle Support Guru followers know, I was invited to a pre-wedding party and I could well have made a complete and utter fool of myself by turning up at the wrong time, believing it to be an evening ‘soirée’ before finding out it was an afternoon do. As it was, the LSG achieved perfect symmetry by arriving at an acceptable time – a fashionable 20 minutes late – and leaving at 7.30 pm, the time originally planned for arrival. The only sad point was having to leave half a glass of wine because the taxi to take me home turned up unusually early.

Surprise

The afternoon went well, if you discount the bride-to-be – who has known me for several years, including two as her French teacher – introducing me at one point as Ian. I explained that I had not had any gender-reassignment surgery since I had last seen her and she seemed quite satisfied with that, so I shall simply put it down to one glass too many of French wine (which flowed copiously).

Conversations

It was lovely to see so many people whom I hadn’t seen for many years, including the delightful Mark who made so many French language classes a joy to teach, and it was even fun to sit on the ‘sad settee’ with two other women as we discussed Trump, Assad and North Korea while all around us others were reminiscing about the joys of organising school trips before Elf’n’Safety reared its ugly head. I also had a good conversation with the (Irish) husband-to-be about the likely team choices for the forthcoming Lions rugby tour. This may not have been everyone’s idea of a fun afternoon, but I was having the time of my life!

Airport – WHERE?

I think one of my enduring conversational memories (apart from the sex-change operation) will be talking to a friend and ex-colleague about my plans for a visit to Turkey in the near future, flying from Humberside because, as I said, ‘It’s such a small and friendly airport.’ ‘Oh,’ she replied, ‘I didn’t even know they had an airport there, especially for international flights.’ Her husband gave her what can only be termed ‘an old-fashioned look’ and asked me to repeat the name of the airport. ‘Humberside,’ I said. ‘Oh,’ she responded, ‘I thought you said Ambleside.’ Ambleside is a small village in the Lake District!

Under Lock and Key

I was most impressed when the bride-to-be’s father, when I asked for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, produced a set of keys and said, ‘I’ll fetch you one.’ ‘Wow!’ I thought, ‘This must be something special to be under lock and key, especially since they’d been telling me about the bargain they’d got for 2 euros 10.’ It turned out that it was only under lock and key because it was a party-size box that they had to keep in the garage because it wouldn’t fit in the fridge!

It was a wonderful afternoon and the party was still in full flow when I left, so I could easily have turned up at 7.30 pm and still had a good time! Not a sign of cocoa, slippers or ‘Casualty’!

Thank you, one and all, for a joyous afternoon – may your wedding be peaceful, happy and bright, whether you are the bride, the groom, the parents or just friends!

Gin Cheesecake

PS The gin cheesecake was delicious! (= Cheesecake made with gin and lime)

Life Is What You Make It

forest poster

Life is what you make it

Stuff what I have learned this week:

A very good day from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Today I am going to share with you some pieces of wisdom that I feel may help you, faithful followers, in your journey along this rocky road laughingly called ‘life’. As far as I can tell, ‘life’ is what you make it and what you make of it – in my case, perfection has almost been achieved. I say ‘almost’ because to say that I am perfect would be rather bold and would imply that I have nothing left to learn. Nothing could be further from the truth, beloved believers – I am constantly learning (for example, Spanish at the moment) and would never be so presumptuous as to think that I know everything (although some might accuse me of being a ‘know-it-all’, but I put that down to jealousy, pure and simple).

outdoorsBut I digress; here is what I have learned this week, which I hope will be of some use in your own miserable and worthless existences (and please do not think that I insult you by referring to your lives in such words; I use them only in a sense relative to the almost blissful state in which I, the LSG, exist). (Again, note the use of the word ‘almost’, showing my true humility.)

Sainsbury’s

1. If you are on a diet (or, as I prefer to say, starving yourself to death), you would be wise to buy a packet of six corned beef slices from Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available but I haven’t checked their corned beef slices) rather than a packet of three, since there are fewer calories in each slice in the six-pack – in fact, 10 fewer calories per slice, saving you 60 calories in all! This difference in calories I regard as one of the great unsolved mysteries of the world.

National Trust

2. If you visit a National Trust property with extensive grounds where the entrance is some electricbuggytextdistance from the car park, try to follow someone of ‘mature years’ to the initial information point where she will ask if it is possible to have a lift on the electric buggy to the entrance. With luck (of which I have an inordinate amount), she will turn around and ask if you would also like a lift – I admit I may have been looking a little fragile (a practised look) and I may (just ‘may’) have exaggerated the limp slightly – so you accept (reluctantly, of course) and drag youngest sibling on with you. At first he is a little unhappy at being driven on what is, essentially, an oversized mobility scooter, but soon starts enjoying himself when we use the royal wave as we zoom past the hordes making their way to the entrance on foot. Indeed, he enjoyed himself so much that it was he who insisted on ordering the buggy for the return journey after we had spent an exhausting hour eating parsnip and apple soup and perusing the items for sale in the shop. No calories were harmed in this activity.

Leeds

3. If you decide to visit Leeds, be aware that it is a VERY big city. It takes EIGHT minutes just to walk from the car park to your hotel – you could do almost the whole of Derby in this time! This time does not include checking Google Maps every two minutes before realising it would be quicker to ask a passer-by for accurate directions, nor stopping to look in a shop window to admire a rather nice large, green, woolly scarf just right for winter and making a mental note to look for said scarf in the Derby branch of the shop (sibling’s comment: ‘Looks expensive.’ Personal thought: ‘And?’).

And there you have the collected wisdom of yet another LSG visit ‘oop north’ – next week I shall be buying a flat cap and a whippet after building a homing pigeon reserve in the back yard.

Living The High Life!

Rucksack

Rucksack

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru.
I had considered giving some advice on avoiding little old ladies in pubs who whisper, ‘Can I ask for your advice?’, as happened to me about 30 minutes ago – as it turned out, she wanted to know what she should do about a rucksack she had found at a bus stop on her way home from the pub the other night. The police no longer accept lost property, so she said; I suggested getting in touch with the bus company but she said she didn’t have a ‘slidey phone’ like mine, just an ordinary one at home. ‘Ah,’ I exclaimed, ‘a landline! You can use that instead.’ (Thinks: you’re not getting a free phone call on my phone – I’m on a pension too, you know, AND I know you get a taxi to and from the pub every night AND you manage quite a few vodkas over the evening before you head back to a pub nearer where you live. Not that I’m judging, you understand. Who am I to judge?) I gave her the necessary numbers, which I found on my slidey phone. Still, at least she didn’t want advice on bladder control, which was what I first thought – I shouldn’t have liked to discuss that over my Sauvignon Blanc, I have to be honest.

Anyway, enough of little old ladies (LOLs for short); I know that you, my devoted followers, are

Cheshire

Cheshire

far more interested in knowing what life can be like in the fast lane, as experienced by my male siblings and me in Cheshire at the weekend as we prepared to send DOT off on the next stage of his life (or having fun whilst working, as I call it). These are the rules, as far as I could work out:
1. A Range Rover is absolutely essential for driving up and down the main street and parking outside small boutique shops where the sales are on and a pair of tights is reduced from £40 to £20 – a bargain!
2. The Range Rover must be black or white; no other colour is acceptable (or even available, judging by the car showrooms we passed).
3. The Range Rover must not look as if it has been anywhere near something that might resemble an off-road route for which it was originally designed.
4. The only other acceptable vehicles are: BMW (black), Audi (deep red); Mercedes (silver); anything convertible, providing it’s a Bentley or a cute little Italian job in pale green.
5. All women (except the LSG, who is above such ‘rules’ because her ‘diet’ doesn’t allow for it) must be stick thin and wear tight black dresses (bought in the sale, a bargain at £390) and very high heels.
6. Restaurants are not called ‘restaurants’; they are either an ‘Eatery’, a ‘Grill’ or a ‘Food House’.
7. The ‘house wine’ will be sold out and the next available ‘house’ wine will be at least £6 more expensive than the already-expensive house wine.
8. Red wine and coke is a ‘classic Spanish cocktail’, according to one menu – just trying to remember how many Spaniards I’ve seen quaffing this delightful combination.

It’s just like being abroad, but you don’t have to learn the language! Happy holidays!