Category Archives: People Watching

Possible Career Change

What could I do?

I have been considering a career change.
I have thought about:
1. being an actress. I believe that my forte would be in the adverts you see on afternoon television and so I have been practising getting up out of my armchair and walking across the room with a fixed smile on my face to show how pleased I am with my levitating armchair; however, I worry that the mechanism might go wrong and I would be flung across the room, so I have also been practising my mournful face for those adverts for specialist lawyers – injuries4u, I think, which always sounds vaguely threatening, as if they are going to send ‘the boys’ round to make sure you DO have an injury which will necessitate you employing them.
2. advising on horticulture and conservation. My garden is a haven for wildlife and would shelter anything from a baby elephant downwards. I like to think that I am helping to save bees and butterflies at this time of year, because they love dandelions for their early spring nectar after a long winter. The long grass is also an excellent place for Molly, my lucky black cat, to hone her hunting skills. So far she has caught three dead leaves, a broken peg and several particularly savage pieces of very long grass. She’s coming on a treat.

3. becoming a film critic. I’m sure you’ll have read some of my film reviews in earlier posts – incisive, apt, truthful, all designed to help you decide whether or not you want to see a film. However, I have decided against this job after listening to the BFG (Bazza the Friendly Geordie, mentioned in a previous post) when we had been to see a particularly unpleasant – but fascinating, nevertheless – French film called ‘Elle’. (We needed a reviving bottle of wine after that one, I can tell you!) I couldn’t better this review: ‘The violence was very violent.’ It says it all.
calculator4. becoming a professional fraudster, even though I’m not from Nigeria. This results from a successful impersonation of DOT (Dai of Turkey) when his bank called about some possible fraudulent activity on his debit card. The call was an automated one and required a return call to an anonymous automaton who simply asked me to press certain buttons in answer to a range of questions. After acquiring the necessary details from DOT, I was able to satisfy the automaton that I was my brother and that the transactions were genuine. I now have all the details I need for further activity on DOT’s debit card…
5. becoming a wine critic. This came under consideration for all of a Nano-second, for how could I criticise something so close to my heart… unless it has a two-word name, such as Blossom Leaves or Turning Hill, and is from California (these wines do not exist, to the best of my knowledge, although there may be wines with similar names, but I don’t want to get hit with a libel charge and have to employ some dodgy television lawyers).
6. being employed to shut people up. There is almost nothing more guaranteed to engage someone else’s interest than to sit reading a book in a pub, as I found out earlier (and on many previous occasions). The conversation will go something like this:
Bloke: Good book?
You: Yes, very good.
B: You like reading, then?
Y (vaguely sarcastically): When I can, yes.
B: Lot of pages.
Avoid the temptation at this point to say that that’s the trouble with books – they have lots of pages.
B: What’s it called?
Y: Dictator.
B: What’s it about?
Y: Cicero, the roman philosopher and orator.
Complete and utter silence…

(I’d just like to say that the book really IS fascinating. It’s by Robert Harris and is well worth reading [as are all his novels] – history made into a good story.)

Enjoy the rest of this sunny weekend before we return to arctic conditions next week.

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged…

It is difficult to concentrate on reading one’s book about unicorns, ogres, wizards and the like when the conversation next to you in the pub is so fascinating.
Picture a group of about ten people – ranging in age from early twenties to mid-fifties – arriving and settling down close by, resembling rejects from EastEnders with Derbyshire accents. The younger ones (all male) are already arguing, which doesn’t bode well, and one of them is clearly VERY annoyed and, in a whiny voice, keeps telling another in the group to stop being so selfish and to leave him alone. His cause is not helped by his having a squint, so you can’t tell who is the recipient of his remarks. It becomes perfectly clear, however, that none of them paid much attention during Literacy Hour because they only seem to know one adjective (it begins with ‘f’), which they share liberally around them. Or maybe their Literacy Hour teacher also had a limited vocabulary?
At first there is only one woman in the group, but another soon comes along and greets one of the younger males with great delight, saying that she hasn’t seen him for ages before asking him how he had got on in prison (which may explain why she hadn’t seen him for ages). He replies that it was OK, but that he got bullied a couple of times. (He also mentioned something else beginning with ‘b’ that happened to him a couple of times, but I don’t think that’s a topic for polite company.) Now, I don’t consider that I was a ‘weak’ teacher in my former life before I took on the mantle of Lifestyle Support Guru, but believe me when I say that even I would have thought long and hard before contemplating taking on this fine young specimen of manhood – at least two upper teeth missing, a tattoo or three, and a vocabulary where the only word of more than one syllable begins with ‘f’ (see above).
A problem for the LSG then arises upon realising that a visit to the Ladies is needed – but what should be done about the mobile devices – tablet, phone, mobile Wi-Fi device and mobile phone charger (I like to cover all eventualities) that are lying on the table? Rather than packing them all away and taking them to the toilets, thus signalling to the group that I don’t trust them not to snaffle them all while I’m out of sight, I take a deep breath and turn to one of the women (she was the closest) and ask, ‘Would you keep an eye on these while I nip to the loo?’ She gives me a big smile and replies, ‘Of course.’ And yes, dear readers, I married that woman! Ha ha! – of course I didn’t, but I have to admit to a tiny sigh of relief that everything was still there when I returned to my seat. (Mind you, I also checked that they all had full pints when I went to the Ladies, which they’d have had to have drunk before bundling up all my technology and legging it!)
And there you have it, Beloved Believers – never assume that people who look like villains really ARE villains. They may just be rejects from EastEnders. Back to the unicorns, ogres and wizards…

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Faithful Followers.
(There’s someone looking over my shoulder as I write this – I wonder what he’s thinking…)

Testing Times

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

As the Lifestyle Support Guru, I feel that I need to test you from time to time. Fear not, though, fair followers, I shall not be giving you grades or putting you into league tables – no, no, no, this is purely to check how well you feel you know the LSG after having followed my musings and teachings for many moons. I shall ask a few questions and you will need to consider what the answer might be from a choice of three. I shall give the correct answers at the end, so no cheating and scrolling to the end before you have attempted the questions – think of this as the 11-plus for entry into the Grammar School of Life (the LSG’s GSL, so to speak).
The test should be completed in silence but you have as much time as you want to answer all the questions and you are permitted to have a glass of your particular choice of refreshment, such as wine, by your side to help you lubricate your brain cells – it is a known fact that dehydration slows down the thinking process; this why I am such a quick thinker because I never let dehydration slow me down.

1. Whenever I am at home, I always know when it is 12.45 p.m. without looking at a clock or my watch or listening to the radio. How do I know this?
a. Watching television
b. Nearby church bell chimes
c. An alarm clock permanently set at 12.45

2. You are in a pub ( use your imagination if you don’t usually go to a pub) and a woman with a



husky (the husky is actually irrelevant), upon finding out you are Welsh (if you’re not, again use your imagination and picture yourself as one of the luckiest people in the world), says that she would love to go to a certain Welsh town to see where The Prisoner was filmed. Where did she say she wanted to go?
a. Portmeirion
b. Port Talbot
c. Porthcawl

3. Another woman (same pub – can you see a pattern emerging here?), who has drunk a little more than is perhaps good for her (or for those in close proximity) asks if you pray. When you say that you don’t, she asks a follow-up question with a growing look of horror on her face: You’re not a/an … are you? What does she think you are:
a. A lycanthrope
b. A Buddhist
c. An atheist

4. Two sensible-looking men are in a pub (different pub from previous questions – just to add variety) and having a profound conversation about a forthcoming meeting. Are they discussing:
a. Deconstructing neoliberalism
b. Masculine fragility
c. Brexit and xenophobia

5. You are in a restaurant (makes a change from a pub) and you see a wedding group come out of the Register Office opposite – you can’t miss the group because the bridesmaids are in bright purple – and congregate in the Market Place for photos. What is the bridegroom holding in his right hand:
a. The bride’s left hand
b. A can of energy drink
c. His willy

The answers are: 1: c (I can’t work out how to turn it off); 2: b; 3: c; 4: all three (god, it was boring!); 5: b (don’t anyone try to tell me romance is dead! But wouldn’t you have loved it to be c or even all three?)

How did you do?
• 4 or 5 out of 5 – you may take my place when I’m on holiday
• 2 or 3 out of 5 – more practice and visits to the pub
• 0 or 1 out of 5 – you haven’t really paid attention to anything I’ve said over the last couple of years, have you?