Category Archives: Siblings

Wedding Advice

As LSG followers will know, I recently attended a pre-wedding party. I had also been asked to contribute something to a video offering marriage guidance (no comments, please!) to be shown at the hen weekend. That weekend has now passed and I have been given ‘official’ permission to publish the advice. Please feel free to follow this advice or to pass it on to anyone you know who may be contemplating marriage at some point in the future:

Hi Lizzi,
By now you will know that your sibling has asked people to contribute a video on WhatsApp imparting advice on success in the marriage stakes. There were a few problems for me with this: 1) I’m not great with technology; 2) I hate videos of myself and 3) I’ve never been married! I am therefore sending you a picture of me as a little girl in full Welsh costume instead of a video – much more attractive! – and some advice in my role as the Lifestyle Support Guru, someone of whom I’m sure your mother has spoken – and if she hasn’t, she has been sadly remiss in her duties as a proper mother!

The Lifestyle Support Guru (LSG for the sake of brevity) exists only to offer advice and support to everyone as they travel through life, trying to make sense of difficulties such as how to make bread-and-butter pudding (and, more pertinently, why?) or the role of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage in ensuring that we can all sleep safely in our beds at night (the answer eludes me at the moment).

I shall keep this brief, since you will want to move on to the ‘proper’ videos of real people singing, dancing and generally enjoying themselves in anticipation of your forthcoming nuptials. I may well wear a Welsh hat and dance around the house on your wedding day, but I promise not to video it!
So, what marital advice can the LSG offer? Firstly, Jane Austen is always a good source of information on the subject of marriage (and, since she never married either, I feel I am in good company): “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Therefore, I hope you have found a single man in possession of a good fortune but, more importantly, that he is willing to spend that fortune on you! That’s the first point covered.

Secondly, look at your parents’ marriage and, in your case, use it as a blueprint. A joint liking for wine is a good start, but you must also have different interests, such as one of you enjoying obscure, incomprehensible foreign films and the other showing a preference for playing the saxophone (if Andrew doesn’t play the sax, may I suggest a course of lessons as your wedding present to him?). This will help keep your marriage fresh because you will always have something to talk about.

And, finally, remember to respect each other – if Andrew respects your opinion on all things and you respect his willingness to defer to you, you won’t go far wrong.

It only remains for me to wish both of you a long and happy marriage and a bright future.

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.

The Lost Weekend

An Old Classic

For those of you old enough to remember, this post’s title refers to a film starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman about a man who goes on a bender and I immediately spotted the similarity between it and a rugby weekend in Llandudno. ‘Why Llandudno?’ I hear you ask, as you cut to the heart of the matter. A simple answer suffices – one member of the group had been conceived in Llandudno. No further details are necessary.

The LSG’s almost limitless patience was severely tested right at the start, I can tell you, when one of the Midlands contingent thought it would be good fun to get the meeting time wrong, arriving almost 45 minutes late. I shall refer to this sorry individual as TP (or TeePee), which stands for Tall Paul because a) he’s tall and b) his name is Paul. The other Midlands passenger was TT (the Tiny Tyke), who has been mentioned in previous posts.

Four hours later, instead of the 2½ promised by Google Maps, we arrived at our destination – this lengthy journey was partly due to the three satnavs in the car being unable to agree on the route to our hotel. The three satnavs were Google maps, TT and TeePee. I had printed out the directions to the hotel and asked TT to read these out to me because Google maps had gone into a sulk as we passed Rhyl and had stopped speaking to me (having been to Rhyl once, I can understand this). TWENTY MILES from Llandudno, TT started reading out the directions – EVERY SINGLE ONE, including street names, exits on roundabouts, left and right turns… Now, the LSG may have a superior brain and memory, but even she was going to have difficulty remembering all these instructions, so she politely asked TT to read them out once we got closer (I think the exact words may have been: ‘Shut up and don’t be silly. I’m not going to remember all those. Be like the satnav and read them one at a time when we’re actually in Llandudno.’ It had been a long day, Faithful Followers…).

We met up with the rest of the merry band, who had travelled from all corners of the globe – well, London and Hull, to be precise – and, after a reviving drink or two, we decided to go for a meal. The meal was pleasant enough and the bill was acceptable, but TT showed his Yorkshire colours when he rounded the bill up so that it would divide easily between six of us as well as allow for a tip … of £1.27.

The following day was taken up with watching the rugby in a pub chosen by the member of the group who had also chosen Llandudno as our destination for this year’s rugby trip. The pub was rather lacking in atmosphere – and rugby fans. In fact, it seemed to be lacking in Welsh people as well. (One of TT’s comments on the weekend overall was that he had been disappointed because Llandudno ‘isn’t very Welsh’. I think he may have been expecting to see hordes of women dressed in traditional Welsh costume, complete with tall black hats.) The nearest we came to another fan was someone standing behind our seats shouting that well known rugby chant: ‘Meat pie, sausage roll; come on, England, give us a goal… or a try.’ Youngest sibling even managed a few moments of shuteye in between games, but this is not unusual, since he falls asleep at the drop of a hat (Welsh or otherwise).

That evening’s meal was Indian… it was supposed to have been Chinese, according to TripAdvisor.

The journey home on Sunday was uneventful, mainly because the LSG knew where she was going and didn’t need to rely on TT, TeePee or sulky Google. The weekend was completed by an evening meal out with TT, TeePee and his new girlfriend (who hadn’t come to non-Welsh Llandudno). The LSG had opted for a casual look for the evening – i.e. jeans and trainers – because thinking of anything else to wear seemed too tiring after two days in Llandudno. Meanwhile, ‘new girlfriend’ had obviously had time to think about what to wear – a whole weekend, in fact! – and was dressed in a rather glamorous fitted red lace number and heels. Of course, as the LSG, I managed to rise above lowly feelings such as jealousy, thinking only that I would have somewhat resembled an overblown rose with a bad attack of ‘downy mildew’ should I have attempted to wear anything similar, whereas ‘new girlfriend’ looked like a willowy tulip. Shan’t be making her my new best friend.

And there you have it, Beloved Believers – a lost weekend in Llandudno. Highly recommended, but only once…