Bitch on the Blog

July 22, 2016

Future

Being wedged between two of my desks (yes, I do have several, don’t ask) on this fine summer’s day I take a break. For light relief looking at one of my bookshelves without so much as getting up from my chair. That’s the trouble with high temperatures. First you crave them, then they render you inert.

One of the first outcomes of years creeping up on me, and – for reasons unknown – my ever growing fear of a blood clot forming somewhere in my body resulting in a much anticipated aneurysm, I will dwell on how to make my eventual demise easier on the Angel. So I let my gaze (see above bookshelves) fall upon a no doubt worthy book called “Now that we are Sixty”. I bought this about ten years ago. What possessed me I can only speculate on: The vintage dust cover?

So, having flicked through it once more, it has been binned. Yes, I know it’s sacrilege to bin books. At least I don’t burn them. Though the latter might be kinder than imagining landfill. And before any of you tell me about “recycling”, don’t. I am the queen of recycling. However, sometimes you don’t want to inflict your rubbish on anyone else.

Hugs and hisses,

U

 

 

July 19, 2016

Mystery

Filed under: Communication,Friends,Human condition,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 00:57
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How do they say : I have hit a wall.

I didn’t think it possible. I am fond of someone I do not like at all.

How does that work, you may ask. It doesn’t, I will answer truthfully. And no, it’s not romance, it’s a recent acquaintance with a woman quite a bit older than myself.

U

July 18, 2016

Comments

Filed under: Communication,Formalities,Pretentious Shit — bitchontheblog @ 16:30
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Brief interlude before I answer comments on my last post.

Some of you use blogspot as their blog host. And some of you, though not all, have drawbridges in place.

Do you really think it necessary to infantalize your readership, or rather those inclined to comment, by asking them to “verify” that they are not a “robot”? Tick box. No, I am not a robot. But I may well employ one soon to tick the box verifying that I am not a robot. It gets worse.

“Please tick all pictures showing a shopfront/trees/mountains”.  Come again?

What’s all the paranoia? Do you really think you are so precious that someone will take the time (after having penned a more or less considered reply to your musings) to then jump through the hoops like a dog with a biscuit waiting the other side?

U

Snapshot in time, Take Two

I love photographs, those of my life, the Angel’s and those of others’ lives. To me a photo is pure magic – a snapshot in time.

I pour over them, and each tells a story. I believe the oldest I have is of my maternal great grandparents, taken in 1895. My beloved grandmother was born a year later. Judging by his moustache my great grandfather could have been Nietzsche’s  younger brother. To look at the image of two people you have never met, long dead, yet without whom I wouldn’t be here. They had five children – four daughters, one son. Though why they bothered to have a boy is anyone’s guess. In the end he was just young fresh meat cannon fodder. As indeed was my grandparents’ eldest son, Karlheinz, AFTER the end of the second world war. Prisoner of war. Russia. Couldn’t stand it any longer. Tried to flee the camp to go home. Shot in the back. He was younger than the Angel is now. The Angel being 24.

Mustn’t get carried away with nostalgia – though I do. If I were allowed to save one thing after all living beings were removed from the house on fire I’d take my treasure trove of photos.

I have done it again. Long intro. What I meant to convey, and please do let me know your own examples: A snapshot in time without holding your camera to it. Yet engraved in your memory forever.

Last time it happened to me was about a week or so ago. Caught up in my usual far away dreamy world, crossing the road on foot and on autopilot, a car passing stopped. The sun was shining. The driver leaned out of his open side window – a young man in his mid twenties, long blond hair, and his trademark big smile: Mama, he beamed.

And that, having been taken by surprise, frame was a snapshot in time. A perfect moment in time. That moment’s “frame” has etched itself onto my visual memory in an almost shocking clarity. It’s there. Like a photograph (not taken).

U

July 17, 2016

A snapshot in time

Let me tell you now, and I won’t hold it against if you never talk to me again: I am not possessed by a cell phone.

Of course, I do admire those who have one and know what to do with it without being enslaved by it. Indeed I am so happy that the Angel bucked the trend and got a Samsung instead of you know what. He won’t let me touch it but will show me the magic.

The world is shrinking – size wise. I remember the first word processor (IBM) the law firm I worked for employed. Being the youngest in der Anwaltskanzlei  I was the chosen one to attend the course and subsequently instruct my co workers how to operate what, in terms of size, can only be described as a MONSTER. Yes, those were the heady days when my beloved IBM golf ball typewriter lay on its death bed. Mind you, with teaching comes responsibility. Thus I was swiftly reprimanded for making my coworkers feel stupid and slow. I did apologize since that was never my intention. It also taught me that “intention” has little to do with human interaction. A bit like standing on someone’s toe without realizing you are doing so.

“A snapshot in time” will continue in another post with what I meant to relate before getting carried away, as usual, by long intro.

In the meantime, what “oldies” overtaken by technology’s ever faster strides do you hanker after/have fond memories of?

U

July 16, 2016

No goal

Filed under: Children,Future,Health — bitchontheblog @ 17:48
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Sweethearts, if anything in both the blogging world and comment sections on newspapers has taught me: DON’T. Say a word. So I won’t. It’s tough. Good exercise in self restraint.

Which is why I am throwing myself at your shoulders rather than facing prospect of being butchered in the wake of an article on miscarriage. The article itself is self indulgent to the point of nausea. The comments? My god. Pass me a bucket.

Bull. Bull and bull. Kylie, I expect you to weigh in here heavily.

Maybe I was brought up at a time when a bull was a bull and a spade was a spade. Shit happened. It was normal. I watched my mother, aunts, neighbours, you know … females. They miscarried. And then they carried on with life.

U

 

July 5, 2016

Off the well worn path

I do have fond memories of my school days. The time between age seven (in the motherland they don’t shove kids off to school at the unreasonable age of four as they do in the UK) and when I left (age 19). Yes, it was an education. In more ways than one. Which is why I think home schooling should be avoided unless your kid is a Mimosa and allergic to human interaction.

So, among my many other favourites, one challenge I remember with particular enthusiasm was when one of our teachers bounced in and wrote, chalk screeching, onto the blackboard: BEGRIFFSABGRENZUNG.

Don’t panic. It’s just a word. In English you’d write “begriffs abgrenzung”. Two words. Same difference.  (As an aside why is the English language so Capital averse?) “Begriff” meaning term/concept. “Abgrenzung” meaning boundaries/overlap. I’d say “definition”. Let’s say the option we were given was “clever, wise, intelligent, educated”. You then had to define each in relation to the other. Call me anal but that sort of challenge appealed to my sense of order. To my sense of enjoying being a nit picking precision freak. Two hours would fly by.

Long intro – short inspiration. Nick, on his blog the other day, brought up the subject of “shame”. Which set me thinking how closely “shame” is related to “regret”. Indeed how they overlap. Of course one may regret, more often than not, without feeling shame.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have felt shame in my life, acutely. Regret? Yes, and no. Where I think shame to be an all encompassing moral concept, regret is very very personal, and elusive. I may regret something to some extent, and yet, in terms of causality, chain of life events which, some way down the line, may give you cause to regret may also, in a wider context, have been a good thing to happen to you. Naturally, that’s the long view. Short term? Don’t bite your fingernails. It’s not becoming. Slam a door instead. At least it makes a noise.

Chew on that. You’ve got two hours.

U

July 3, 2016

Valour and to debase

Picking a few of a plethora of notable quotes in the British press:

“The leave campaign is a revolution, and like all revolutions, it will eat its own.”

Maybe, though I think evoking the French Revolution’s big players is a little far fetched in the context of British politicians turning into Pinocchios, chameleons, piranhas, Judases, downright chancers and slime.  Leaving Jo Cox (England, shot 16 June 2016) aside, no one has yet been stabbed to death in the bath (reference Marat, Paris, July 1783).

“Democrats have no duty to endorse democracy’s every outcome.”

This one I love.  It’s an epiphany. Whoever wrote it I could kiss. Think about it: “Democrats have no duty to ENDORSE democracy’s EVERY outcome.”  Genius.

And then there is, the relatively harmless:

“People want to be lied to, Johnson. No, not Boris, 2016, who proved the point; the other one, Samuel, ca mid 17 hundreds, who made an observation.

I have a special relationship with lies/lying. I do concede that a white lie, in order to avert unnecessary harm and judiciously applied, does have its place in social relations. The blatant lie, the misleading, the blinding, the up and down the garden paths, the self serving, the coward’s way out? No. Not in my court. Which is not the same as saying that I don’t understand those who are trapped in a corner and make deals with the devil. It happens. And let no one cast the first or any stone.

Premeditated lying? There is no excuse for it. Even the most optimistic, “well meaning” and accomplished liar will have to accept that trust – once broken – is just that: Broken. Or in the words of Bertold Brecht, loosely translated: “The ends of a knot severed can be spliced together again but you won’t find me where you left me”. In other words: Rain doesn’t return whence it came from.

U

June 27, 2016

Follow the leader. What leader?

Filed under: Atmosphere,Culture,Despair,Errors,Future,Integrity,Peace — bitchontheblog @ 10:28
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I came across a rather strange mention of me on someone else’s blog – something along the lines of “poor U(rsula). She seems to think it’s targeted at her”.

If that is what any reader has taken away from my last two posts then I have not only failed to express myself but I must appear more stupid than I flatter myself I am. Of course, brexit is not “targeted” at the likes of me. And, no doubt, the practical fallout for me personally will me minimal.

What I find a little bewildering that even my most consistent commentators didn’t have anything to say. Not one word of comfort, not even a grunt. Though by way of handing me a virtual tissue to wipe my tears both Ramana and Looney ticked the “liked” box. Good old Nick took pity on me and left a few words. So thanks for that. Anyway, has confirmed a long held belief: People don’t take to being flooded by someone else’s emotion. (or reason, come to think of it) . It’s ok. Just a little strange for someone like me who basically lives in the trenches of passion – mine and others.

What I meant to express was my dismay at a “mindset“, my huge and heartfelt upset at Britain going retrograde. Throwing it all away based on spurious reasons, and, worse, political intrigue. I didn’t call my last post “Shakespearean” for nothing. What is being played out here, and will be for a long time to come unless someone takes decisive action, is pure Stratford-upon-Avon. Except on that stage the curtain will fall and the audience goes back home, unharmed.

Brexit has the impact of living in a family and suddenly you don’t understand the dynamics of that family any longer. Say, your father bolts, your mother still wipes your nose, your brother takes to solitary fishing, your sister marries the man she least likes, the cat snarls at her best friend the dog, the dog comes to me because it’s also totally bewildered as to what the hell has happened. It’s a mess. Let me take the garbage out.

In the last three days I have read (as did the Angel), and we keep doing so, acres and acres and acres of analysis, opinion, prognosis. I am delighted at the many many eloquent, sometimes bordering on brilliant, writings by some of Britain’s finest brains.

And I am dismayed at some of the arguments of the blinkered total delusional Brexiters awaiting tomorrow’s paradise in Britain. Do wake up. Wishful thinking is one thing. A dream is another.

Some people (feeling a bit sheepish now) ticked ‘out’ for a joke because they believed Remain was a forgone conclusion. They now suffer what is so cutely called “buyer’s regret”. At least when you buy something you aren’t so sure off when you get home you can take it back, get a refund or at least an exchange. HA!

And those who advocate popcorn. Sure. Anyone outside the area (Britain and Europe affected more deeply than your scant glance will indicate), those of you who maybe not culturally well versed, aren’t too familiar with history, who don’t have to worry about their kids’ and future generations’ wellbeing – ENJOY.

Let’s go back to the dark ages. Don’t forget to bring a candle (and at least two matches).

U

June 24, 2016

Shakespearean

You have to hand it to Britain: DIVIDED they stand.

This is personal, I make little claim on rhyme, reason or rationale. For that I am too upset. A snapshot in my time.

Having stocked up on an hour’s sleep before British voting closing at ten o’clock BST I turned on the TV (BBC1) at five minutes to ten.  Big Ben makes me quite emotional at the best of times. So when it chimed as voting booths closed I welled up a bit. Now? Now, my tears are rolling. Involuntarily. They just keep coming. They say there are five stages to grieving. Denial (in this case) was relatively short. Shock features majestically. Acceptance (the last stage)? I guess that will be a long time waiting.

After the future father of son proposed to me 26 March 1982 in Paris, I arrived in England 4 April 1982 for good. I have always been a foreigner – albeit a “well integrated” one. FOS saw to that. I couldn’t so much as open my mouth before he corrected any mistake my early shaky English made. And that includes apostrophes. Might sound harsh to some of you. It wasn’t. I am hugely grateful to him for his relentless pursuit of perfecting my English. Don’t laugh, and as an aside, it’s probably why I miss him most when – to this day – I have a question on where to insert a comma or what the plural of bonus is.

Where was I? Yes, a foreigner. Now? Now I am a true foreigner. An alien. For those of you musically inclined listen to Sting’s “An Englishman in New York”. A legal alien. The melody alone conveys all there is to know. And before any of you point this out to me: Yes, I am perfectly aware that here, in this post and in my heart, there is a soupcon of self pity. Not least because someone recommended to me (in a national newspaper), and as I don’t hold a British passport, to return to “whence you come from”. Sweet. Thirty four yours on.

Never mind. I will regain composure.

The result of this vote has opened a massive a can of worms too cramped to not spill. Whilst – to some extent – I do feel sorry for Cameron having to resign in such an undignified way, what he needs to ask himself why the hell he did authorize this referendum. So terribly terribly shortsighted.

Yes, I promised you a snapshot. And that why I’ll stop now. Otherwise this post will become an oversized oil painting. No, make that a bewildered Jackson Pollock. Not that I deaden any pain with whiskey.

U

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