Tag Archives: Rugby

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…

The Perfect Host

dining table with guest settings

Hosting guests

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru!
Some time ago, I posted some advice on being the PERFECT GUEST. This evening I wish to expand on this, having hosted a weekend of VISITORS

. This time, if you follow this advice, you will ensure that everyone has a WONDERFUL TIME, whether as HOST or GUEST. Although there may seem to be a lot of instructions, they are really quite easy to follow and require little more than a group bus ticket and some stamina.

1. GUESTS should coordinate their arrival perfectly to ensure they all turn up at the same time – this means that the HOST has no time to worry about those last-minute arrangements, such as fresh flowers, which always add that little welcoming touch, I think. That said, I’m not sure that three hulking men away for a weekend of watching rugby and football would necessarily have noticed a lovely flower arrangement so, on second thoughts, don’t bother with the flowers. So there you are: you already have less to worry about!
2. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.

Wine

wine

3. Take your GUESTS and other friends on a tour of the local area to show them the lovely sights of Derbyshire – the Little Chester Ale House, the Black Bull’s Head, the Thorn Tree, the Five Lamps, the Coach and Horses (bar AND lounge).
4. Check how much wine you have in the fridge
5. One GUEST may tell you that he ALWAYS wakes up early, so he’ll go out for a walk in the morning to avoid disturbing everyone else. The HOST will come downstairs at about 9 the next morning to find the insomniac GUEST still

cat laughing

Laughing Cat

fast asleep on the sofa bed. The HOST should clean up the little mess on the carpet at the bottom of the bed which has been kindly left by one of the cats, but which has not woken the GUEST, even though the noise of a cat being sick is usually enough to wake the dead.
6. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.
7. Supply tea, coffee, toast as required, then wonder what the neighbours will think of one GUEST wandering around the garden in a t-shirt and underpants, which he decides will suffice instead of going for an early morning walk.
8. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.
9. The HOST should have a shower and stay upstairs drying hair and trying to repair the ravages of the previous day’s excesses so that GUESTS have time to wash up cups and plates (before the HOST points to the dishwasher).
10. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.
11. The HOST should take the GUESTS to a restaurant to taste the local specialities – a selection of tapas – before the party heads to another local hostelry (the Golden Eagle) for an afternoon’s rugby and more local specialities, this time garlic Scotch eggs. Eventually, at 9 pm, the insomniac GUEST will decide that he’s had enough so will be escorted home by the HOST who should ensure that he makes it safely to bed before returning to meet up again with the other GUESTS. The Ale House and Coach once more benefit from the GUESTS (minus one) and HOST wishing to make sure that they have no money (or brain cells) left at the end of the day.
12. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.

Large glass red wine

Large glass red wine

13. Wave goodbye to GUESTS the following morning (well, two out of three guests – one is having so much fun, he decides to stay another night).
14. Check how much wine you have in the fridge.
15. Monday morning: wave goodbye to the final GUEST after showing him the little dead bird that another of the cats felt would be a spectacular leaving present… and BREATHE!
16. Check how much wine you have in the house.

Satisfaction guaranteed with very little effort.

How to Become Invisible

butterfly camouflaged

Invisible

A very good Sunday evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Having returned from a weekend in Hereford, I can now share with you what I have learned from venturing into the wilds of the Welsh Marches area. You may well ask, ‘Why Hereford?’ And I will answer, ‘Why not?’ There was a reason for choosing Hereford which, simply put, was because the other place my friends and I wanted to go to was full!
So, what have I learned from my sojourn away? Well, I have learned how to BECOME INVISIBLE!!! This can be a very useful trick and one that came about quite accidentally, but it’s an easy one to learn, especially if you are female. Here are the basic rules:
1. Make sure you are the only female in your group.
2. Find a nice little pub in which to settle down to watch a day of rugby (having researched the pub the previous evening on a test run – notice that I didn’t say ‘a DRY run’!).

rugby

rugby

3. Sit down in a cosy corner facing the television. Now, here I need you to picture the scene, if you will… the four male members of the party are all seated on a corner bench seat around a couple of tables, while the female member is on a chair opposite them.
Now, having sorted the basics, this is how you BECOME INVISIBLE – a large group of young women in various forms of Welsh national dress will enter the pub and sit down behind the female member of your group, thus facing the male members of your crowd. From that point on, the female member will find that she has BECOME INVISIBLE and that she could be speaking in Swahili for all the notice that is taken of anything she may have to say, however important it may be (world debt, starving children, the price

garter

garter

of a pint, that sort of thing…). She is not helped by the ‘leader’ (i.e., the bride-to-be in this hen party) occasionally raising her skirt to show off her garter (in the Welsh colours, of course!). A glazed look will have come over the faces of the males sitting opposite you and you could swear that tongues hung out at one point!
So how do you get rid of this INVISIBILITY, you ask? Well, all you need is for a group of Morris dancers to enter the drinking establishment. Yes, Morris dancers, dear followers. You will feel a bout of hysteria coming on as one of the Morris men, in all seriousness, asks one of the hen party, ‘Why are you dressed up like that?’ This comes from a man wearing a white frilly top, trousers tucked into his socks, bells hanging from his knees and his face blacked up!

Morris Dancers

Morris Dancers

The hysteria builds up further when, after you get talking to the girls – a very nice crowd from Cardiff, as it turns out – the bride-to-be tells you that she’s getting married in Marrakech in a couple of weeks and the only married man in your group says, in all seriousness, ‘Oh, we went there last year. It’s really nice.’ Somehow, I don’t think an almost-60-year-old man and his wife and daughter will have quite the same priorities as a twenty-something blonde getting married in Morocco! I shall simply say that his list of things to see and do didn’t really bring a gleam of joy to her eye!

And on that note, I shall say ‘Hakuna Matata’ – which is Swahili!
Sleep well, dear followers.