Bitch on the Blog

May 21, 2017

Aunts and Uncles

Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Friends,Observations,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 02:00
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Having recently been given the accolade that I “cut through crap” by a higher authority than the crappers I am dealing with on and off,  I have now adopted this as my motto. Which is no doubt why I am terribly popular with, among others, certain bloggers (none of whom comment here – they cry into their own snot stained hankies).

Let’s leave the lame to swinging their walking sticks wildly. And turn to matters that actually make a difference rather than dealing with the somewhat limited. If the boot fits let’s hope their narrow mindedness and blinkered views will give them blisters.

Where was I?

Sweethearts, if I were an agony aunt there would most certainly be agony. I don’t know why I do it but do it I do. Which is reading other people’s woes in  most worthy publications. These “problems” leave me – by and large – speechless. Obviously some do merit thought and consideration. Others? Others just leave me gasping with incredulity. Yes, so if I were an agony aunt heads would be bashed together to knock sense into which clearly has left the common, and a fist or two banging on the table. Remember – I won first prize for cutting through the crap.

Whilst the above is true – if you believe that you believe anything.

Interval. Several hours later…

Leaving what I wrote earlier to prove like dough I have been reflecting on who we, or rather I, ask for advice. And why. If I feel in need of a mega bollocking no barrels held I can rely on LSF (longest standing friend). If there is one person in my life who doesn’t mince his words it’s him. Come to think of it most people in my life don’t mince their words but he is extra strength.

I sometimes ask the Angel for advice. Unfortunately, like his mother, he too is a cutter-through-crap. Coupled with a trait I peculiarly associate with the male of the species – namely, a certain amount of impatience and irritation at my follies. It doesn’t always make for pleasant hearing but at least I can rely on him telling me how he sees it. An often different and enlightening perspective. Yes, I like seeing things with fresh eyes.

What of the people you wouldn’t dream of going for advice to? In my experience they are the ones who tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. Useless. Then there are those who haven’t got a clue about anything. They flounder and you don’t want to add to their feeling incompetent.

What I have realized, and it’s rather interesting, that virtually all people I turn to for advice are men. I am now in danger of treading on very hot coals. Yet fact is – or at least my life’s fact is – that men seem to have a way of getting to the nub of a problem where women tend to meander. Which, and to conclude this post’s original argument, is why men would make efficient agony aunts.

U

May 15, 2017

Reflection

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 05:26
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With her last reply Rachel has put forward an interesting observation. Namely, that she sees blogging, sometimes, as being in a “lonely” place.

Though I hope I know what she means I see blogging mainly as putting myself in an open and not at all safe place. Not easy for a person as private as I am.  To understand: None of my posts are plotted. They are, being self employed and working in the unadulterated company of my amusing self, what I call my “water cooler” moments. I take a break, throw something on the page and press “publish”. Brill. I feel fantastic. Till later. When I re-read what I wrote. If it was highly personal  I console myself that people’s attention span is barely greater than a goldfish’s and anyway, to use my father’s voice, him the investigative journalist: “No one is interested in yesterday’s news”. Or “old snow”. As consolations go it’s good. And not so good.

We put ourselves on the page. To do so means that we put a lot of trust and have faith in our readers. I won’t mention that marvellous British “benefit of the doubt” as I usually do. Nevertheless, I think we should employ that maxim more often than not. In my experience few people are after each others’ hide.

However, if there is one thing I have learned in blogland, and is what I believe Rachel touches on, that good will is hard to come by. Some say that it is the lack of, say, body language, facial expression, inflection in written conversation. Maybe. I’d say it’s lack of good will. I’d also say, and it’s a fact, that a lot of people are sensitive to anything perceived as the slightest hint of criticism. I use the word “perceived” advisedly. It’s a bit like family dynamics. Mainly mysterious. Though if you are the outsider looking in – oh my gosh, if only they’d let you, you could join all the dots and pinpoint everyone’s individual Achilles heel.

Before you tell me that the above is conceited – as is my wont – I too do have Achilles heels. Admittedly not many as my upbringing (and possibly my innate character) mean that a lot directed at me is water off a duck’s back. Which is not saying that I am impervious to slights. I am not. If I were I wouldn’t be human.

As an aside, and little to do with the above: I can’t remember the context this minute but some time ago Rachel mentioned being tearful. Despite my sunny disposition I am, potentially, on the verge of tears all the time. It takes nothing to make me well up. There you go. The human condition. Happy and sorrowful. Two sides of one coin. But then the world is full of both: Sunshine and Shit.

U

May 13, 2017

Cards being dealt

Filed under: Communication,Kitchen,Friends,Amusement,Observations,forward — bitchontheblog @ 10:18
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Housekeeping is good. I like it. A bit like stock taking.

So, on a point of housekeeping: Those of you I haven’t replied to recently my apologies. Please do not think that your comments go unnoticed. They don’t. I think them over and pen many a considered reply in my head whilst getting on with other things. Yes, if only I could decant my thoughts whilst leading the rest of my life it would not only be efficient it would bury you under an avalanche. Which would be a pity. Because it’s difficult to find that special tree in a forest, or a swine among my many pearls.

Where were we? Housekeeping. My  recent and truly enchanting post on “arrogance” has gone awol (absent without leave). Which reminds me – I think it the height of, no, not arrogance but thoughtlessness how acronyms are used. A few days ago I read an article so memorable I have now forgotten what it was about. But it was interesting. Not least because the author kept going on and on and then some more with three capital letters which meant nothing to me. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Still, it made good reading which is quite an achievement when the reader has no idea what the writer is on about. Considering his – frankly shocking – last post Nick may like to pick up the baton and hasten the end.

Over at John’s a handbag dog with a bone not able to get her teeth into but (for reasons no longer unknown to me) an axe to grind tried to “savage” me. That was so cute – if incoherent. Should you, Sonata, read this, let me remind you of John quoting his mother: “Choose your battles wisely”. Unless, of course, you are dead set on losing not only the war but the battle too.

However,  the most unlikely person has not so much come to my defense (Rachel positively doesn’t like me – though I think we could be good friends if only she’d let me) but has a sense of playing fair. Her jumping into the breach was refreshing. I smiled, and your delivery, Rachel, was a subtle backhander for me.

Other than that, and remember we are talking housekeeping and ship shape, it’s all a bit rough round my edges here at the moment. I need to get to grips with a storm I had hoped to ride out. It’s humbling (and educational) when you realize that will (oh do I adore will) and wishful thinking do not always have the power to overturn realities. So, as Jean, the mother I adopted in blogland, will point out: The only way forward is to adapt. Which is true. Still, I am not a chameleon.

Off to do some housekeeping,

U

May 6, 2017

Sea Change

Have you ever got lost? I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense but its literal meaning.

Were you frightened when you did? How old were you?

I got lost twice in my life. Once age six or so. In Berlin which we had just moved to. My mother asked me to go to the bakers to get some fresh rolls. Not only was I honoured to be trusted with such a task I found a bakery. Bought the rolls. A bag full to bursting point. With a smell to match. Came out of the shop and stood in wonderment. There were all these high rise buildings caving in on me. Which sort of gave me something to look up to whilst trying to work out whether to turn right, left or walk straight ahead. After the first minute of confusion had worn off I was perfectly happy. I had visions of never finding my family again, being adopted by a kind fairy and living a life of bliss. Alas, it was not to be. Once I had realized I couldn’t ask anyone to give me directions since I didn’t even know the name of the street we lived on I just relied on my innate sense of direction. High rise or not. Never told my mother. “What took you so long?”, she said. Some things best kept to oneself.

The second was not that long after, and yes, we had moved again, when we visited the sea side. There we were, complete with beach hut and I went for a swim with one of those pesky blow up rings round my body. Don’t trust salt water. And don’t lose yourself in reverie. By the time I got back to the shore my parents, their friends and one sibling (tiny) had gone. I took it in my stride. Fairy tales are full of children, abandoned. Main thing in life is to keep your nerve. And let little surprise you. As I was trying to work out where to go from where I was my poor mother and one of our friends were running down the promenade shouting my name. “Sonny, Sonny”.

Apparently the current had taken me further and further and further sideways.

So? Did/do you ever get lost?

U

May 4, 2017

All is well

This morning I woke with a sense of foreboREdom. Don’t believe a word of it.

Package it as you like. I woke with a sense of doom. I didn’t so much have a head rush (when you get up from your seat too quickly), I was positively faint with my heart racing me to death’s door. Nothing unusual in that: Healthy specimen that I am, my body has always played out my psyche to its soma. I am sure there is a reason we have a solar plexus. If only to keep us nauseous.

Anyway, as usual, my optimism was surpassed by reality three hours later. And to think I nearly cancelled the appointment because I didn’t trust my balance to make it.

Never mind. It’s not the end of the world. And I’ll live – just in case you were hoping I’d leave you alone any time soon. I won’t. I won’t see you for dust. Or, maybe, I’ll see you, myself and the rest of the world more clearly. Which would be good, a great relief and a great saver of wasted energy.

Made me think, on my way back, how hope makes you postpone the evil moment. Because, as long as you don’t hold eye contact with reality, there is always that chimera “Hope”. I know people who have wasted their whole lives waiting in hope which, essentially – and please do contradict me if you think otherwise – constitutes the con of all cons.

Onwards and upwards,

U

April 30, 2017

Breaking news

Ha, all is becoming clear.

In my last post’s reply to Ramana’s comment I say that I actually don’t mind people displaying a healthy dose of arrogance. According to an article I just read we like those who resemble us. Which, oh my poor dear Sweethearts and regular commentators, on the assumption that you give me the time of day because you quite like me and it’s worth your effort, makes all of you arrogant and antagonistic swines. And those who shall remain unnamed – the ones who in their quest to divest themselves of me – are little Bluebells swinging in the wind waiting to be picked. Cute.

Well, if that isn’t a damning indictment (fn the Bluebells) I don’t know what is. Don’t cry. Here is my handkerchief. Keep it.

U

 

April 24, 2017

And then some

To keep you from your more urgent tasks in hand here is another one of those questions on ethics which plague me. And if I have mentioned this before (not that you’ll remember)  please put it down to my willingness to repeat myself.

So there you are. At the fresh fish counter. It’s all glistening, enticing, a cook’s dream. However, enter the unfortunate shopper (that’s me) who is also well informed about decimating stocks of various species in the oceans. Great. Now what?

I am not proud of myself which is, most likely, why I seek your thoughts yet fact is, I think to myself: “That particular fish is already DEAD. Why should I let it go to waste?” Yes, I say to the fish monger, pointing to my bounty, that’ll be lovely. Thank you. Have I just proven the law of supply and demand? Sugar. Nevertheless, the fish was ALREADY dead. Someone has to eat it.

Of course, one could spin this idea to the less savoury. Think Moby Dick, indeed any prolonged adventure at sea when the Vasco da Gamas and Columbuses of this world set sail to discover new lands and spices. There you are at sea. Since you are all already on the brink of death why prolong the agony by not eating your past-his-live-by mate? And what if you were vegetarian or vegan at sea? Yet hungry? Would you toss your principles overboard to stay alive? Actually, come to think of it – and I am a connoisseur of seafaring factual and fictional accounts – why do those who do resort to eat their own always go for the weedy first instead of the meatiest? Such a waste.

U

PS Please do note that I posed TWO questions/dilemmas (for the price of one post). No need to keep it short. Just pour yourself on this page. I will gnaw on any bone you throw me.

April 20, 2017

Ship shape

Filed under: Amusement,Dizzy,Happiness,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 15:34
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Don’t ask for my star sign since I do not wish you running to the hills, screaming and abandoning me. There are only twelve months in the year and someone has to occupy one of them. Well. Never mind. On which painful note: Father of son who is a Gemini through no fault of his own would leave the table (forget any guests) as soon as the subject turned to astrology which – invariably – when his sister was present it would. On the whole I had him down as rational with a sense of largely absent humour – but give him astrology, Catholicism and Americans and you have another thing coming. This is not withstanding that for the last twenty odd years he has been married to a Catholic American who is interested in astrology (no not me – my successor who, on succession, became a good friend of mine). She is a miracle worker.

Yes, so this post has nothing whatever to do with astrology (of which please do tell me what you think) but all to do with the fact that I like chaos. Chartered chaos, organized chaos, gentle disorder by another name. Why? Because (being the star sign I am) little gives me more satisfaction than making order out of the aforesaid dire. Both my desk and my study/office in general are witness to this. I let books and papers pile up till they make more waves than me being at sea. Sweethearts, oh the satisfaction, as – just now – when I blitz the place.

i can’t tell you how marvellous it is to suddenly spring into action of the most ruthless kind – my waste paper bin my most loyal friend, books flying back onto their shelves, documents filed. I don’t know if my theory holds water or seeps but there is something deeply zen like about tidying, putting everything where it belongs. However, and this is where a (dis)orderly cat chases its own tail – in order to experience this you first have to let it all go to pot. But then, by way of illustration, never does food taste better than when truly hungry.

U

April 17, 2017

Trigger happy

Bloody Hell. Never buck a trend.

I commented on some thread (national newspaper). Two sentences on MY personal experience re a woman’s issue. Clearly didn’t chime with other commentators, most clearly didn’t fit in with the paper’s agenda. Bingo. Deleted.

This is crazy making stuff. Two sentences, nothing offensive.

Well, not to put too fine a point on it: I am done.

Is this the world we are coming to? Take an eraser to you just because of … what exactly? Because you put an opposing view on a subject?

Never mind. My username has been taken for that of a man many times. Which (and here is one for Nick, the defender of damsels in distress) means I cause offence to other WOmen. The irony is so delicious as to make me smirk with amusement.

U

April 9, 2017

Not Trump – MY father

Filed under: Family — bitchontheblog @ 16:07
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This is pretty raw stuff since it only happened a few minutes ago.

Most of you, obviously, will have/had parents.  My father drives me to despair. I am trying, hard. The expenditure of energy when talking to him (on the phone) bears no relation to how terrible I feel afterwards. For ages.

The man doesn’t let me finish one thought, not even one sentence. If I make it to a comma I count myself lucky. Talking over me. Shouting down the line. Am I deaf? It’s awful.  

Bloody hell. It’s a Sunday afternoon, the sun is shining, I tried to phone my mother (she was out) served with my father answering the phone. Now I am sitting here, not exactly five years old any longer, crying. And yes, I did put the phone down on him, eventually. There are limits. And mine stretch far,

Leaving aside that he has always been overbearing, are we now entering that land of the lost old? The land where they are so obtuse they don’t know what they are doing? For heavens sake, I am the one of his children who loyally holds out. The one who is always at the end of the telephone line.  I can’t do this any more.

Anyway, any of you, please let me know what you think.

The odd thing is, my mother being four years older than my father (he will be eighty later this year) is who she always was (albeit physically wilting as roses do) – but fully compos mentis. My father? I hate to think of him like that but I think he becoming more of what he always was. And maybe – unlike his wife, my mother – not with it that much any longer. Or maybe, likely, he is just frustrated how his life has panned out.

I don’t know.

Pretty distraught,

U

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