Category Archives: Marks And Spencer

DOT calling LSG – Advice Please

I have received this heartfelt plea from DOT and, although I was going to post some sound advice about going oop north to Halifax, I felt this merited a more urgent response. Halifax can wait – we’ll always have Halifax, as Humphrey Bogart said so movingly in ‘Casablanca’ (or was that ‘Carry on, Casablanca’?).

“to: Lifestyle Support Guru

Tanzania

Tanzania

Message to LSG from DOT (Dai of Tanzania)
Dear LSG, I shall soon be making a brief (ha ha – you’ll get the joke later) visit to the UK, where I shall change from DOT (Dai of Tanzania) to DOT (Dai of Turkey). My letter is not about my change of name, but a necessary change in my circumstances.

Istanbul

Istanbul

I need a reputable place, recommended by you, to buy a complete new set of underwear. You may recall that on my last visit I also had a similar need and purchased 10 pairs from M&S. I can hear you wondering how I could have worked my way through 10 pairs of underwear in such a short time.
I didn’t.
The items in question were all several sizes too large and none of the assistants at the aforesaid shop pointed this out to me, or even raised an eyebrow.

men's underwear

boxer shorts

At first I found the extra room useful. I cut down enormously on my excess baggage to Tanzania by simply filling my underwear with towels, and other soft furnishings, such as pillows, a duvet, 2 waterbottles and 20 pairs of socks. They didn’t set off the alarm at the airport, and my body shape ensured that undesirables didn’t wish to seat themselves next to me. However, things haven’t gone as smoothly since.
I have had to learn to walk with a mincing step whilst in Tanzania: left hand firmly inside the back belt of my trousers holding on to the waistband of the undergarments to ensure they don’t end up around my knees. Occasional forgetfulness has me having to hunt, using my complete arm down inside the trousers, whilst smiling and nodding at alarmed passers-by. Shopping has become problematic as I often need both hands to carry the bags, and the faltering garments ensure the mincing steps become more exaggerated at these times, only able to move my lower limbs from the knees downwards, attracting unwanted attention.
I haven’t replaced them whilst here as I’m never sure that someone hasn’t worn said items previously.
So, all I want is a reputable place where the assistants will raise their eyebrows and ask suitable questions like, “Are these for your own use, sir?”, or “How many people are you expecting to get into each pair?”
Dear LSG. Please help. I can’t spend another 2 years like the last. And as you are a Support Guru, this seemed an appropriate plea.”

Oh, DOT, DOT, DOT … (Did you see what I did there? Ha ha!) What can I say? If only I had read this before I went to Netherthong in the Yorkshire Dales …
Firstly, I have to congratulate you on your highly inventive use of the extra luggage space created by your purchase of over-large undergarments. With careful marketing, you could branch out (so to speak) into the travel industry, offering Ryanair customers a foolproof means of packing all their holiday clothing without having to pay those pesky ‘hold luggage’ charges. (‘Hold luggage’ is not, I hasten to add, an order – that could lead to charges of a very different kind and at least one night’s stay in a local prison cell as you try to explain just what you were attempting to do with your arm buried down your trousers. I don’t think ‘Looking for my underpants’ will translate too well into Turkish.)

CHEESE

CHEESE

You could, of course, pop along to Derby’s Eagle Market, which still advertises itself as ‘Britain’s largest indoor market’ (even though it isn’t and, to my knowledge, never has been) to purchase more undergarments in a more appropriate size. Unfortunately, there is one immediate problem I can foresee – there’s only about one stall left in the market and that sells cheese. I do not recommend purchasing anything from this stall because a) you don’t eat cheese and b) using said cheese as a ‘filler’ for the previously-purchased garments could lead to even stranger looks from people and, probably, unwanted attention from dogs and other creatures with a strong sense of smell.
I can only see one solution and that is to ask a sibling (you have a choice of several) to accompany you next time you sally forth on a shopping trip and get him/her to read the labels on packs of undergarments BEFORE you purchase them. This could serve two purposes – i) hours of entertainment and amusement for passers-by as they watch you peering closely at labels, asking, ‘Does that say Large or Extra Large? I don’t want them round my knees again.’ and ii) a warm glow emanating from the sibling who was chosen because (s)he feels loved and wanted, although that warm glow could, equally, be emanating from sheer embarrassment.
Personally, I would recommend going to a town where you and/or glowing sibling aren’t known. Alfreton (see previous post) has some shops – and very few pubs, so you can wander round purchasing underpants in a variety of sizes without fear of being recognised or of going into a pub, drinking too much and ending up doing a Superman impression as you try on your new pants over your trousers.
I hope this helps. Do keep me informed.

Decisions And Choices

Decision, Choice of route

Which way?

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru. Today, I want to talk to you about making DECISIONS and CHOICES, something that we all have to do at some point in life. DECISIONS can range from the mundane, such as ‘Do I want jam on my toast this morning?’ to the very IMPORTANT such as ‘Do I want this top in a yellow or a green stripe?’ (although I am trying to wean myself off stripes after realising that 6 out of 7 tops on my washing line the other day were striped).
I was recently faced with several (well, two, to be precise) situations which involved making DECISIONS, situations which I thought I would share with you, my dear followers, so that you know what you might encounter should you find yourself in similar positions.
You decide to go into town to purchase some new underwear and you visit a well-known supplier of such items – let’s use the initials M&S, just as an example, although other purveyors of such items are available, but these tend to be more ‘unreliable’ (for want of a better word) or well beyond one’s budget. And this is where the first DECISIONS have to be made. You find yourself presented with a bewildering array of CHOICES: ‘Balcony’, ‘Plunge’, ‘More Cleavage’, ‘Uplift’, ‘Padded’, ‘Wired’, ‘NonWired’, ‘Minimiser’, ‘Sport'(unlikely for the LSG) or a mixture – at this point you feel like shouting ‘I just want a BRA!’ Almost any combination is possible! There was one which was described as an ‘Uplift Runway’, which sounded more like something where you might expect to find a Boeing 747 rather than female appendages. (Boys, don’t think I am

aeroplane Boeing 747

aeroplane Boeing 747

excluding you – as you know, the LSG is fully inclusive, so feel free to learn from this experience, either personally or for a ‘significant other’.) Of course, having found a perfectly acceptable style which is not going to squeeze you into a shape resembling a cross between Katie Price and Kim Kardashian, you are now faced with a CHOICE of colours, but by this time you just want a coffee and you grab the nearest white one (because the flesh-coloured ones are slightly creepy) and pay.
And this is where the next DECISION comes in:
Where to have a coffee? The LSG is fond of independent cafes rather than the chains which don’t pay their taxes and are sometimes too pretentious for their own good, but your need for some refreshment overcomes your principles and you head for a nearby café which shall remain anonymous but whose name begins with C and ends in A. After reading the ‘menu’, you ask if they have ‘an ordinary decaff coffee’, which leads to the first set of raised eyebrows – ‘ORDINARY?’ is almost written in the pained expression on the barista’s face.
‘Medium or large?’
‘Do you do small?’
Again, the raised eyebrows, and the barista (he’s a bloody waiter when all’s said and done) pointedly searches for a small cup.
‘Full or skimmed milk?’

cup of coffee with milk being poured

coffee

Wearily) ‘Do you have semi-skimmed?’
More raised eyebrows, then, seeing the growing frustration on your face: ‘I can do half and half.’
You finally get your coffee – which costs almost as much as your newly-purchased bra – and seat yourself in the furthest reaches of this establishment, well away from the possibility of contact with any other human being. The LSG may wish to help others live a fuller and more enjoyable life, but there are times when even she feels the weight of this responsibility falling heavily on her shoulders and needs to withdraw from the hubbub of daily life. (I would have gone to the pub, but they weren’t open at that hour.)

Enjoy the long Bank Holiday weekend, dear devotees! May the rain fall elsewhere other than on you!