Grow a beard.
If you are a woman – tough luck.
To continue where I left off: Sometimes I wish I were a character in a cartoon. My tastes being simple Tom, Jerry and Roadrunner come to mind. There is a lot of subterfuge, traps and running around. Whilst no good at subterfuge or wishing to set traps I am fast on my feet. Not to keep fit (this is addressed to Jane Fonda and my American readers) or because I am in a hurry. Not at all. But because I CAN. Ha. Enjoy it whilst it lasts.
No bull. The sensation of a confident and fast stride is heaven. There is freedom in stride. My heart – being so soft it doesn’t have a shell – goes out to many people and their plight. Yet there is something particularly unnerving about the ‘elderly’. Reduced to a walking stick, inching their way forward, maybe round shouldered, bent forward. Breaks my heart to think of them not that long ago (if decades) skipping, tearing around.
Where was I? Cartoons and ghosts of the past and a future to come. My mine gripe, and as punctual as the yearly advent of Christmas, the days are getting SHORTER. I don’t like it. Not because I don’t like the dark. I do. I am not afraid of it and dark gives you an excuse to light candles. Nevertheless, as I am looking out of my window now, it’ll be another two hours or so till dawn dawns (as dawn does). Yes, dawn and dusk. If ever there was a melancholic alliteration.
Take it from me, Sweethearts, and I am the expert in falling into holes: Some projects are best never started.
Why? Because to finish them is the devil’s own job. One moment you amble along happily, the next I get a bee in my bonnet. When I, full of the zealot’s zeal, tell the Angel that I am on a “roll” he is happy. Two weeks later he asks me why I appear to be stuck in the jungle. I don’t know. Let’s leave aside that my eyesight is now so shit it’s like wading through fog. Let’s leave aside that I inherited (from my father) that most unfortunate trait of things having to be just so. Ever since part of my life and believes collapsed a few years ago I tell the Angel (correction, I tell myself by way of mantra and to soothe shattered nerves) that before order there is chaos. And it’s true. I have proven it so many times I’d qualify as something … a chaos expert. God. The Universe. Before it all went pear shape in paradise.
Back to “best never start anything”, particularly if you intend to bring it to a satisfactory end. I remember my great grandmother (paternal side). She was tiny even before she shrunk in her old age. To the last she was independent (she lived well into her nineties). She was the wife of a painter (my great grand father). He died early, and her daughter (a portrait paint) lived with her. My great aunt a person full of mystique. When I was young they lived in a mansion, rambling. An Aladin’s Cave for the very young me. Circumstances reduced them to move to a much smaller house. Yes, how to cram a quart into a pint pot. Have been there, done that. So, to my then, say, ten year old self, their abode right on the shore of the sea became even more of an Aladin’s Cave. Treasure (and cobwebs) wherever I nosed about. It was brilliant. It was phantastic. Then my aunt died, some years later my great grandmother. Enter my own father. Oh, my god. I still haven’t forgiven him – and we are talking decades. He ordered a skip. And made order out of chaos as only he can. Unfortunately, at that time I was freshly married and marooned in England, under my husband’s watchful thumb. So I couldn’t intervene. A shocker if ever there was one. Never mind. I am having the same conversation with my father now that, sooner or later, he’ll be on his way out. I besiege him not to throw away all his files and folders of “intellectual property”. Forget it. I know exactly what I’ll find: Zilch. He’ll probably scrub and desinfect the place before he takes his last breath.
Where was I: My own shambles. I need people, say, a secretary, an IT wizzard, my sister-in-law (if ever there was Ms Efficiency no barrels held it’s her), a cold compress, and most of all, and dearest sweetest hearts, count your blessings if you have it: SPACE. Apart from time, SPACE is the ultimate luxury. The less space the more organized you need to be, the less forgiving daily life is.
To be continued … If you can find me that is.
No hugs today, only a hiss from underneath the mountain,
Health Alert: Lecture on the horizon.
Just told guy outside cornershop, (sweet, young, of uncertain nationality – I don’t ask that most awful question “Where do you come from?”): “Never ever ask anyone if they have change.” As begging goes it’s so brainless and, for the one with or without change in her pocket, a complete turnoff. Ask me for fifty pence, one Pound Sterling, a fiver. Tell me what you need. But please don’t just sit there and ask me for “change”. He took it well, though I dare say he wasn’t sure what I was trying to convey.
Most of you who communicate with me on this blog are both of strong opinion and live in cultures different to mine. Actually let’s forget the ‘culture’ bit since people within the same culture can be, and are, so very different from each other. Please do let me know how you ‘give’ when directly approached, how you give via, say a charity, how you give to a friend. Or, why you do NOT give.
The young man above remained courteous when I told him how not to go about it. And no, I did NOT leave him shortchanged. For that I know too well what it feels like having to ask in the first place.
Phoned my father this afternoon. As one does. Unless you are one of my sisters in which case you won’t. In-joke. Snarky. Forget it.
My father is a noisy person. I keep the receiver well away from my ear. This afternoon it got so bad my mother intervened to tell him he could be heard half way down the road. He did close the window.
Anyway, him never one to be held on a leash mashing you into a pulp, two more pronouncements were made on me (notwithstanding that – as usual and by his own confession – he enjoyed our conversation): In his opinion I am supremely arrogant, on top of which, apparently, I divert any subject from the theme back to the person.
Yes. So? Whatever.
I am good at letting people run into open doors. So I conceded that I am indeed arrogant. With good reason. Arrogance is the intellectual equivalent of sartorial elegance. Keep it understated.
As to my, apparently, turning the abstract to the more personal: Try it sometime. Makes for so much more intimacy. And friendship.
Sweethearts, I need your help, comfort, words of wisdom. I mean it.
I am five minutes, a stone throw away throwing a blast at someone’s life. I won’t do it. But am sorely tempted as that person destroyed several years of my happiness. Maliciously. Vindictively. With not a shred of regret, an apology. The reason I am not going to repay in kind are twofold. Firstly because once upon a time I loved that person, secondly because I’d never forgive myself if I stooped to her level.
And yet, and yet. If I could wipe that self satisfied smile off her face for five minutes, make her feel – for just five minutes – the utter misery and humiliation she put me through. I won’t. But I wish I would. Still, unfair fight. I suppose. As she has always maintained: She wouldn’t wish to cross swords with me. Which is, no doubt, why she stuck the knife into my back. With repercussions her imagination does not stretch to.
In the aftermath of that disaster I do empathize with those who seek revenge. Yet, what’s the point? What’s the fucking point? What, other than a short lived moment of satisfaction, do you get out of paying back in kind? Nothing. That’s what. Or more despair. I keep reminding myself: The damage is done, there is no rewinding of clocks and revenge will not bring back what once was.
Devastated, and disgusted, yours,
I like descriptive language. Language that conjures up an image in your mind.
Thus I have just been reminded of “Kummerspeck” which the author of the article correctly translates as “grief bacon”. For those of you either dim or preoccupied with other things: Grief bacon is when you eat BEYOND HUNGER because something is eating away at you, like grief.
So you are unhappy, you eat. Which means that an awful lot of people in this world (no, not the starving – they don’t have the means to drown their grief in a bacon sandwich) must be unhappy. Forget the BM index. Measure your unhappiness in wobble. Don’t you dare: I have already patented this amazing piece of intellectual property in copyright. All I now need to do is write it all down and get it on the market.
My father once remarked (and yes, I do know I have mentioned it before) that if I, his daughter, were driving down the motorway and the radio would announce that there is a ghost driver coming their way I’d think to myself: “What do they mean, ONE? Thousands.” I took it (not) hard. Though as character assessments go it was on the harsh side. Still, being my parents’ daughter I am thick skinned. I smiled to myself – and it’s true. Going against the trend.
Going against a trend. Doesn’t make you popular on its own. You have to charm people in other ways rather than just contradicting perceived wisdom.
Yes, so in short, when I have ‘Kummer’ (grief – even lightweight one) I lose all appetite. The last thing I need when gnawing away at a piece of shit fate has buried for lean times is food. Stomach shuts down. Most effectively. I can barely eat one of my beloved apples.
Do you know what a syllogism is? All cows are animals. Not all animals are cows.
So just because I am slender does not mean … Don’t worry, I have lost my own line of reasoning in the course of this meandering … not least slightly distracted by the remnants of Big Bertha having arrived at the South Coast: Hale bashing against the window. Thunder in the middle distance.
As ‘addictions’ go mine is not poisoning my body, only my mind. This is the fourth summer I have gone without a garden. Now I can’t watch a garden programme or read so much as a feature on anything grown outdoors without tears welling up. At least it gives me a pointer of what is missing in my life.
Many many years ago my mother sent me a rather funny article on why gardeners are a miserable lot. And it’s true. We battle. Not least when we grow our own food. Then it becomes serious. Also one does want to see a reward for effort. One radish will do. Two will make your heart sing.
Thinking back my life has been defined by soil and gardening. My first memory being my grandfather putting down some sunflower seeds with me. They grew – a bit like the Angel – so tall they were towering over me. Miracle. And then my father digging over my first own little plot underneath my beloved apple tree. My father is a meticulous man. So all the drills into which I then distributed seed were perfectly parallel. He advised me to have one useful side (vegetables and herbs which I sold to my mother at the kitchen window) and one playful side (flowers) on the other – which I did NOT sell to my mother, just gave them to her. Yes, little paradise.
And paradise continued in many shapes and sizes till a few years ago. Never mind. Better to have had a past paradise than one in an uncertain future.
My brother-in-law once asked me where I’d see myself in advancing years. Guess what: Yes, with garden. The devil is not in the detail as the saying goes. The devil is in implementing that which you desire.
Thank you for being slightly bored with my above self pity. No good to weed where one can plant.