Category Archives: Siblings

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!

Life With An Invalid (Part 2)

Problem Kiddley

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Once again, I wish to show how living with an invalid can offer hours of fun! DODO (Dai Of Derby Only) had to go to hospital today to undergo an operation because of a problem with one of his kidneys, so I took him in for 7 am, as requested (I’d forgotten that such a time existed), and found that we were at the back of a queue of people who’d also been called to attend at such an unearthly hour. A very cheerful nurse (especially for that time of the morning) informed us that we would each be told which room to go to for a consultation with the anaesthetist before going to another waiting room which, she excitedly told us, was much bigger and had…A TELEVISION in it!

Television

There was almost a round of applause at that! Although I had intended going straight home after dropping DODO off, I decided to stay and see what the anaesthetist had to say (I have an enquiring mind – i.e. I’m nosy) and to marvel at a larger waiting room with A TELEVISION in it.
After the anaesthetist (who had a real sinus problem, as he explained to us – I could only hope he would blow his nose before administering the anaesthetic) had seen DODO, we were told to follow a lady with a trolley full of medical records who would lead us all to the room with A TELEVISION in it.

Trolley Sprinter

Well, she set off down a long corridor at the pace of an Olympic sprinter! Imagine it, if you can, dearest devotees – a group of (mainly elderly) patients, carrying overnight bags, trying to keep up with her. She took the trolley into a lift, but indicated the stairs for those who wished to use them – unfortunately, those at the back (the stragglers) didn’t see her get into the lift and when we got to the top of the stairs, which overlooked the corridor, there was one elderly couple wandering off down said corridor, heading straight for the exit! They may still be wandering around this very large hospital looking for the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it, for all I know.
When we arrived at the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it, we all collapsed into chairs. panting because of the speed at which we’d had to keep up with the lady with the trolley – apart from the only young couple, who were panting mainly because they’d been snogging most of the way to the waiting room with A TELEVISION in it. (I have a feeling they may have come to the wrong establishment, believing they were on their way to a room in the Premier Inn opposite…) The TELEVISION was switched on at a very loud volume (to drown the sound of panting, I should imagine) just in time for ‘Homes Under the Hammer’. And I’d got up at 6 am for this!!

I finally surrendered DODO to the tender mercies of the NHS and the snotty anaesthetist and went home to recuperate after all this early morning exertion. It was alright for DODO – he would get a nice sleep under the anaesthetic!

Jelly Babies

I visited this evening after ringing the ward to ask if DODO would be too groggy for visitors. No, they assured me, he was in fine spirits, so off I went, expecting to find a lively DODO, so I was a little taken aback to walk into his room to find him fast asleep rather than bouncing around the room. However, he woke up when I noisily dragged a chair cross the floor – not deliberately noisily, of course; I am much too caring a sibling to do such a thing. We chatted about the operation (not that DODO remembered much of it, of course, so the anaesthetist’s sinuses must have cleared up sufficiently for him to do his job properly) and then… I found out how much more VALUE the NHS offers than I had previously thought. Whilst working on the kidney, the surgeon had decided to remove a lump on DODO’s arm which was scheduled to be done in a couple of weeks. Two For One, BOGOF offers galore! Jeremy Hunt, are you aware of this aspect of the NHS? Think of the money to be saved!
The thing that was worrying DODO most, though, was not his kidney or his arm, but that his overnight bag had still not been delivered from the room with A TELEVISION where he had been told to leave it. Obviously, he wanted his phone and iPad (to which I believe he is surgically attached) as well as his toilet bag, but of greater concern… his jelly babies were also in there.
He was still chuntering about his jelly babies when I left…

Personally, I am still concerned about the whereabouts of the elderly couple last seen heading down the corridor to the exit – unless they were heading for the Premier Inn?