Americans, please do look away NOW. Columbus has not yet “discovered” your continent, the Mayflower not left harboUr, the cucumber sandwiches for the Boston Tea Party not even conceived; neither has the potato been exported to become one of Europe’s much beloved staple foods.
I wished someone a happy 1213 (in words: Twelve thirteen).
There are thoughts I cannot commit to paper. How quaint, don’t you think that I still think of the written word, including a blog and comments, as “paper”.
That is the beauty of a phone call or a conversation over dinner: Gone with the wind.
Mind you, before you get carried away with the beauty of the last sentence, please do remember: The spoken word will give plenty of scope to later argue who said what.
I have been brainwashed that way. FOS (father of son) who is very particular will not only remember what we had for dinner in some dungeon last century he also used to say that he wished he’d recorded some of our conversations. So do I. So do I. If only to ignite a new and vigorous exchange of views.
The older I get the more it irritates me how people do rewrite history. I know what I know. And even if my memory does not serve me right at all times the very fact that you, I and others have our own versions of events should be respected. It’ll open a whole new so refreshing window on our souls. And what we do with them [souls, not windows].
I do not wish to shame the person whose utter rot has just come to my attention in some comment box. So I will not name him though at least one of you who will recognize who I am talking about. And no, this is not my being cryptic once more, this is a totally selfish exercise in letting off steam without harming an innocent. Anyway, he is a lot older than me and whilst I do not automatically give Carte Blanche to people on grounds of their age (other than when they are under 20 in which case I’ll excuse anything) I do try and show respect for my “elders”. Pull the other one. Respect? What respect? Earn it. I will help you across the road or shake up your pillow but if you still engage in intellectual debate I am afraid you will have to live with the consequences.
Yes, so here goes, the context almost doesn’t matter: ”…the world of tomorrow needs all women and men to be reasonably educated and well informed…they will then be able to influence the masses…” Savour this. Read it again.
I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry: “...ALL women and men to be … educated” …” They will then be able to influence the MASSES“ ?????????????????????????????? Come again?
On the whole I try to avoid discussions on politics and religion. Firstly I don’t know enough about either; and both tend to take up an awful lot of time with little return considering my life expectancy. Neither do I want to have my head bashed in, my family shot, in case my neighbour takes offence should I not see eye to eye with him.
However, I will make an exception here. It is outrageous.Think about it: ”ALL men and women educated” which presumably includes the writer and one or two of his audience, ”to influence the masses”. The masses: What, the great unwashed? “Influence” them: Influence “them” to what purpose exactly, may I ask. Yours? That of ALL the “educated”? Whose purpose is WHAT? Exactly? Why not EDUCATE the MASSES? HUH?
I am incandescent.
Only got a minute. Brief thought for the next 90 seconds:
If you want to go into something akin to hypnotic and zen like (minus the buzzer in your paradise) DO SHARPEN PENCILS. I can’t recommend it enough; particularly as a displacement activity on a Monday morning.
Tranquility will descend on you. If you only have ONE or two pencils in the house forget it. You need at least 20 – 30 (call me obsessive) found all round the house, lovingly gathered. Then you’ll lose yourself by working that little stainless steel wonder called a pencil sharpener.
Make mine – and all several dozens of them are: STAEDTLER Noris HB 2, Made in Germany – hence unbreakable and come to think of it, bloody hell, never noticed this in many decades until just – as I write – glancing at one of my beloved specimens: Rot Schwarz Gold (red, black, golden). Those into colours of flags, stars and stripes and all that, will know what I am referring to. I personally prefer the rubber tip version (top end) which then replaces the red and lets you RUB OUT that which should never have been committed – to paper.
U, with plenty of shavings in my bin liner, England
Despite your assurances and my total and utter character defect of not knowing when to give up I can now confirm that red Bambi has gone to the big wide heaven where all staplers meet their forestaplers. On the upside I have found pages 489 to 490 of my Paperback Oxford English which will now allow me to look up and use words like monocolyledon, mop, mood and mother country. Mountain ash being a rowan tree.
Magpie being a continuing source of disappointment to me denies all promises he made to translate wisdom of Graf Herr von und zu Klutter, Monsigneur de Clutteur – the most noble of many a ghost in the loft. As I neither have a loft nor a cellar (not even a broom cupboard) I have now turned into my father’s daughter and am so organised, sorted and recylced I have just started tackling the last bastion of anyone staring their last will and testament in the face: Old letters and photographs. Oh dear. Phoned my mother this afternoon, inquiring whether it really was necessary to send THREE congratulatory cards on occasion of arrival of her grandson no. 3 (Apple of my Eye). Her being in grip of acute tooth ache I was not able to extract coherent answer. Did you know (how would you) that my maternal grandmother was one of the first female dentists in this country? Oddly, and my four year old self was baffled by this, when that ghastly drill went the way of her own mouth she immediately needed to go to the loo. It was my first introduction into the – to me – fascinating subject of how soma (body) and psyche connect and use each other to express mal content.
It’s all the way downhill from here till I have to climb the next mountain.
Have just found an answer of mine to Magpie concerning plants which I wrote when I was temporarily forced off line - have now no idea where it fits. Then having used the term ‘Arian’ several times – with a somewhat nagging feeling at the back of my mind and nothing to do with the guilt of my forefathers – once more do I find that English spelling is a joke. Unless you know (in eight cases out of ten) how to spell a word you will be hard pressed to find it in your dictionary. English is fascinating that way. People say German is difficult. It’s complete nonsense: Everything is spelt/spelled how it’s PRONOUNCED, everything is pronounced as it’s spelled. And as long as you remember that the verb that keeps the listener’s attention is, on the whole, put right at the end of a German sentence you should be able to order a beer: “Bitte ein Bier”.
Some languages employ gender which the English conveniently dispensed with right from the start; and the French naturally confuse the rest of Europe: A German moon is masculine yet when it shines on France it’s female. The sun however is mellow, yellow and feminine up North, but male south of the Swiss border. No wonder Sarkozy and Merckel can’t see eye to eye at the moment (reference Greece – and why are the Germans always expected to spend their hard earned Euros to bail out the rest of Europe?). I can’t even get a measly loan from my bank manager and we are talking pound Sterling not Euros or Deutschmarks or billions. Yes, Deutschmarks – those were the times. Earned an absolute fortune when I still lived in Duesseldorf. I am not nationalistic but I did wipe a tear when the hardest currency of all was replaced by the Euro. I mainly wiped it because it took my German contingent forever to get used to it: I visit the mother/fatherland and years later everyone still translates currency into that which is history – and not only on the stock market. And then they wonder why I am not tempted back.
Where was I? Spelling. May Hitler forgive me: I have just realised that in a couple of recent posts I misspelt “Arian”. They are still blond and blue eyed (I myself sport dark brown eyes) but a ‘Y’ is rightfully theirs. Thus Aryans. As Magpie said: Soon the blonds will all be dyed anyway.
CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL
Tell me about yours and I’ll tell you about mine:
Things you got rid off and wish you hadn’t.
Things you wish you had got rid off but didn’t.
The above is plastered - in a prominent place – on a wall in my study. It was designed to keep up British morale on the eve of the second world war; and has the royal sign of approval – a crown – courtesy of King George VI. Apparently the well intentioned poster didn’t make much of a public appearance at the time; the original rediscovered about ten years ago. And not a minute too soon – for my purposes.
Though, as the TV advert says: “Lose control and flap about” . That’s why I adore a real crisis. I keep calm and carry on. Give me an average day and I lose control and flop about. Those are the days I make lists. I love lists. They satisfy my hankering after that most futile order, my dormant penchant for perfectionism; they nurture my hope that I’ll still be around tomorrow. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave behind a list as yet to be ticked off, would you?
Considering my backlog I shall have to live till I am overripe. Like one of those apples you find on the ground in autumn, having fallen off the tree some time ago, pecked by birds and in advance state of fermentation making bees bumble about in drunken stupor.
“You reap what you sow”.
Don’t believe it. Complete nonsense – why do you think gardeners and farmers are usually down in the mouth?
Go to Ireland and you will learn more about potato blight than you ever wished to know. Ask me about snails and I show you a mass murderer. In fact I have got it down to a fine art, and don’t say I am not kind: Beer traps work wonders - slugs and snails being attracted to yeast, then drowning themselves and MY sorrows. I console myself that they will have died a happy death.
Since research is in my blood (undiluted) I just looked up snails in Larousse Gastronomique which is a doorstopper of a heavyweight of a book: The amount of preparation that needs to go into preparing a snail for human consumption makes you not so much wonder whether it’s worth it: It kills your appetite. It’s mainly to do with cleaning out their digestive tract by putting them on a ten day detox (also known as fasting/starvation diet). However “do not remove the liver and other inner organs which amount to a quarter of the weight of a snail and are the most delicious and nutritious part”.
Apart from setting beer traps the only other way to stay on top of the snail problem in your garden is to get up early (say 5 in the morning; dress code morning gown) when it’s still all damp and they are out there by their dozens. You pick them live and then hope that one of your visitors that day will take a bag off you. No joke.
Spring appears to be on its way considering that my thoughts are turning to terrestial gastropod molluscs.
PS For the historians amongst us: There was a bit of a loss of culinary interest in snails in the 17th century; revived by Talleyrand (!) who had them prepared, by Careme, for a dinner he gave for the Tsar of Russia.
I have to keep up an image. So I shall now bitch a bit (despite knowing that Jean does not approve though she does have unexpected potential to do so herself.)
Have just visited Ramana’s blog to read all the replies to headline referring to my wanting self. Poor old Grannymar seems to have had a humoUr bypass in her response to gaelikaa (which, gaelikaa, does not reflect on her relationship with you; only on how much she dislikes me).
Despite your protestations to the contrary I had you down as sour before, Grannymar; now you’ve confirmed my notion: Like all sayings “can you lend me a fiver” evolved over time, got shortened to how we know it now. What’s it got to do with the Euro having been around “for a while” as you say, Grannymar? Following your logic, should we abolish nursery rhymes because Humpty Dumpties don’t fall off walls any longer (health and safety measures in place at all times); the last sighting of a dish running away with a spoon being circa 1901? And obviously John and Jill who went up the hill will be six foot under by now.
And, Grannymar, cows do jump over the moon – if only you’d look up into the sky.