Category Archives: Wine

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.

Tips for a Top Christmas

A very merry Christmas to all my Faithful Followers (FFs), Delightful Devotees (DDs) and Beloved Believers (BBs) – this sounds rather like a bra advert! – who, as I write, will be in the middle of preparing for the festive jollities and may well be feeling somewhat stressed. I am here to offer some information on how I am preparing for the days ahead in the hope that you may be able to use some of this information in future years, since I fear that it may be too late for this year.
1. Take the cats to their holiday home and feel a little sad that they seem to settle in very quickly and may have already forgotten you before you have even left the building. However, the plus side is that you can now pack your suitcase without having to check every ten minutes that one of them hasn’t sneaked inside.
2. As you are returning home, you decide to call in at Sainsbury’s for something to eat, since you have very little in the fridge, apart from a couple of old slices of low calorie corned beef (see an earlier post for information on low calorie corned beef), some Brie and a rather smelly Stilton (thinks – ‘but I do have a bottle of port that would go nicely with the Stilton…’) and you are completely out of Pot Noodles. The car park is so busy that they have attendants guiding you to parking spaces and you are pointed towards a tiny space between an estate car and a large Freelander which has, of course, parked over the white line between spaces (this is a privilege reserved for those who own unnecessarily large cars that they can’t park properly). Even with the LSG’s tiny car and superlative parking ability, you realise that this is going to be more than just a tight squeeze and that you will not be able to get out of the car even if you manage to park it, so you drive off and find your own parking space, well away from any spatially-challenged 4×4 owners.
3. Decide that you will have the Sainsbury’s Christmas Lunch Special, since, in your mind, you can still hear your mother saying, ‘You’ve got to have turkey and sprouts at least once at Christmas.’ (inside, you are still a child crying, ‘Why?’, but you do as your mother tells you). Whilst waiting for the festive feast, you peruse a copy of the Daily Mail and realise that you are living in a different world from the Mail’s, where anger, rage and disgust seem to be the default emotions. I always feel as if I have been slapped across the backs of my hands with a wooden ruler after reading this fine example of unbiased, open-minded, British journalism.
Eat three Brussels sprouts (two more than usual) in penance.
4. Get home and realise that you STILL haven’t written many Christmas cards and that any you may write now will not arrive in time for Christmas (especially since you haven’t got any stamps either), so it looks as if you may have to send them late and include one of those dreaded Round Robin letters explaining why your card is so late – would they believe it if you said that you had been helping out at a homeless shelter or delivering food parcels to lonely old people? No, I didn’t think so, either.
5. There is only one thing to do to rescue you from sinking into a deep depression (other than going to the pub, of course – that will come later…) – check in online for your forthcoming holiday to a warm and sunny destination where you can sit and sip a chilled glass of white Rioja as you are soothed by the sound of the sea gently lapping in the background and contemplate everyone else having to listen to ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ for the 100th time (although you know you may tire of ‘Feliz Navidad’ after a little while).
6. Send email to siblings to apologise for not sending Christmas cards, but explain that you have been helping out at a homeless shelter and delivering food parcels to lonely old people.

Have a lovely Christmas, everyone!

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

Wales

Wales

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?