Bitch on the Blog

January 28, 2010

Not finished yet

Filed under: Uncategorized — bitchontheblog @ 19:06

I realise with crystal clear clarity that blogging is the equivalent of a chat at the water cooler. A pleasant diversion. A cup of tea. A coffee and slice of Sacher Torte. An espresso. Cucumber sandwiches at the Ritz. Nativity play at your child’s school. A magnum of champagne on some arbitrary excuse of an occasion. Anything which might one get away from business in hand.

This minute I am in despair. I have so much to do, so little time to do it in, my head is spinning, I feel sorry for myself, I don’t know where to start, I wish I were Mary Poppins, Doris Day and my brother’s wife rolled into one. Luckily neither of my sisters lives round the corner otherwise I’d really be in the dog house. One of you, I think it was gaelikaa, said the other day something about paralysis. Make that brain dead in my case. I fear for myself. Sanity comes at a price. Also, piece of advice: When you nurse some virus do not, whilst lounging semi-comatose on the sofa, succumb to the lure of daytime television: I hate TV adverts. Always have. They feed paranoia, say, “washing whiter than white” (and if any of their lab technicians can explain that one to me I shall forthwith purchase the product till my dying day, despite white not featuring heavily in this household); also I learn that discovering the lowest quote for home insurance is where the way to happiness lies. Then, to top it all, up pops what’s her name proclaiming:  “…because you are worth it”. Hein?

Anyway, watercooler. Jean, the cheerful Monk in my life, asked me what took me to the life and soul of the party: The consortium (LBC). It’s a rather dull story actually. I wish I could spice it up a little but I can’t. Once upon a time, say 12/18 months ago, a friend of mine knowing how very fond I am of the Irish (and anyone else for that matter) gave me a link. Via this link and the comment box I happened onto a fellow commentator,  good old Grannymar herself, who left me a few favourable remarks. So I checked out HER blog, clicked – as one does – on her links and hey presto my life is in turmoil and has taken me to India and parts of the States I didn’t know existed. Don’t say I don’t lead an exciting life.

Thus friendships are formed. It all went swimmingly until GM ran out of puff. I am still trying to make amends but maybe humoUr is currently in short supply at GM’s premises. She might thaw out once snowdrops emerge; usually February down here at the south coast, maybe March her area in time for her birthday. Ever the optimist, I hope she’ll come round to see the funny side of it all, not least because I need her advice on certain skills. I am hovering on the brink of taking up needlework again. If only to regain a measure of equilibrium and patience currently lacking.

Though, on reflection, I prefer to take up fencing once more. If ever there was a good sparring partner it’s me.

So, Jean, you wanted a boring story. Now you’ve got it.




  1. Thank you for the story!

    I disagree that “blogging is the equivalent of a chat at the water cooler.” It means a lot more than that to me. The blogs I like best are the ones like gaelikaa’s diary and Expat Mom, ones where the writers share some of the details of their everyday lives. They’re not diversions. They enhance my life.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 28, 2010 @ 19:14 | Reply

    • Jean, I didn’t mean to be dismissive. Quite the opposite.

      However, there is no doubt that blogs are a diversion – welcome to me, absolutely. Just as when a gaggle of geese descends on me in the middle of the day (I work from home) or, like yesterday, the (Irish) husband of one of them appears unannounced. Two hours later his wife calls asking him whether he’d remembered to pick up the two pigs lungs and a brain from the butcher (she teaches biology at a girls’ grammar school). Naturally he hadn’t and instead launched into another story about when he’d put some pigs or cows eyes into their fridge only for their three young daughters to be freaked out later in the day.

      Yes, watercooler. That’s the trouble, Jean. It is so terribly easy to slip into flippancy.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 28, 2010 @ 19:43 | Reply

      • It’s not too hard to be a cheerful monk when one is retired. I love it! Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

        Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 29, 2010 @ 01:04 | Reply

  2. Jean does love gaelikaa’s diary. I love everyday life stories too. But I couldn’t get sad about her husband’s depression over his father’s death. Everybody’s father dies & I’ve never had to deal with anyone being depressed. So that didn’t resonate (Jean’s word) with me. Sorry gaelikaa.

    Blogging could be a chat at the water cooler. Never having had a job I don’t know what those chats entail. If you know the person well & you are very busy, you might have your meaningful, if done quickly, talks at the water cooler. Not having had experience, you may disregard that last remark.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 28, 2010 @ 20:50 | Reply

    • No, Bike Hike Babe, your notion not to be disregarded at all. Having been freelance most of my life I usually only meet myself, if UNlucky the cat, at the watercooler (other than when I go to meetings and those moments out there being most informative).

      As to gaelikaa: Following her blog I believe her husband having a tendency towards depression which naturally will only be worsened by what psychologists call ‘life changing events’, in this case a father’s death. Depression so most unfortunate a condition for him and anyone (like gaelikaa) emotionally close. An affliction not easy to sympathise with – I am terrible at it. Quite a few people in my life (all male) are prone; doesn’t mean that they are not functioning, holding down careers, keeping families together, but there is an undercurrent which – poetically speaking – keeps pulling them down every so often, usually not enough to drown but often gasping for air.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 29, 2010 @ 02:36 | Reply

      • Thanks girls, for bringing up the subject. Actually, I don’t get depressed myself. My attitude towards his depression was similar to Bikehikebabe’s. Everybody’s father dies. Mine unfortunately passed away when I was in my early teens. However, because the husband has that tendency, the loss of his father, on whom he relied on for support in a lot of areas, is having a bad effect. Of course I’m trying to support him as best I can. And I’ve also grieved, because the old man was very dear to me too. I’ve had to realise, however, that while I can support my husband and understand his grief, I can’t stop his being depressed nor can I help him out of it. And believe me girls, I’ve tried my best to do that. At the end of the day, he’ll have to go through the bereavement stages and cope with them. I can sit beside him, pray for him, hold his hand, even weep along with him, if only for a while – but once I’ve done my best to support him, I’ve got to detach a little and let things take their course. I blogged for a while, but my blog was beginning to feel too dark and gloomy. Today, a new month begins, as I am commenting. I’ll start posting again and focus on happier things. Hopefully, things will start to look better for him. Thanks to all of you for hearing me out on this!

        Comment by gaelikaa — February 1, 2010 @ 04:27 | Reply

        • Coincidences, gaelikaa. How very strange. Just before going back to my lap top to find your message a minute ago I had indulged in a bit of tearful reflection on how much I will miss my mother when there will be no answer any longer when dialling her number. To my surprise, I can’t stand the thought of it.

          Never thought about it much till tonight. In the cold light of day and the darkness of the night I have always accepted that death is part of life. I grew up with it. Verse and chapter.

          It’s not just that I’ll miss her as the extraordinarily resilient person she is but also as my link to the past. All our in-jokes (a type of shorthand in communication): Being her eldest she and I have so many memories to share; including those of whom, to this day, she and I refer to as “the kids” – my siblings.

          Of course, as you and Bike Hike Babe said, parents are expected to die. My god, the woman who brought me up at first, my grandmother died when I was eight. So I thought myself well prepared for anything else life might throw at me. It’s not that simple. We all know about the various stages of going through the grieving process. Sure, some losses in life we can tick off. Others we cannot shake off. Doesn’t mean that we are downcast every minute of every day. Of course not. Neither can we sanitize death and its fallout.

          It’s early days, gaelikaa. Just be patient, as seems your nature. Some pains we can only carry ourselves. And no matter how much you try and hold your husband’s hand it is his grief which he must be allowed to handle in his own way. As trite as it sounds: There are definitely times when we are alone – I just wish that people would respect that more often than trying to gloss over the human condition.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — February 1, 2010 @ 05:45 | Reply

  3. gaelikaa,
    Good for you! That’s the approach families of alcoholics take…love the person, pray for them, etc., but don’t get dragged down yourself. That’s the best contribution one can make.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — February 1, 2010 @ 05:19 | Reply

  4. Thanks everyone. That was a nice bit of reaffirmation, both Jean and Ursula. And Ursula I’m sorry about your mother. That is a terrible loss and not one to be recovered from easily, as the mother/daughter relationship is so deep and personal. Was it recently, or long back? I hope you don’t mind me asking….

    Comment by gaelikaa — February 1, 2010 @ 14:40 | Reply

    • gaelikaa, no no: In a moment of self indulgence I was just fast forwarding myself into some time in the furture. My mother is very much alive and extraordinarily fit with it. She’ll be 77 this month, blessed not only with good genes, a clear and fighting spirit and (incomprehensible to me) the patience, determination and competitiveness to solve the most ridiculous crosswords and puzzles.

      The only thing she finds hard to bear, like you, is the “cold” (which reminds me, since I click on your blog once a day, I am looking forward to your next entry).

      As to your “hope you don’t mind me asking”. My dear gaelikaa, you can ask me anything. I don’t know how it’s happened but there is a conception, even within close family and friends, that because I am a very private person I am a closed book. I am not. Maybe just one not easy to read. The exception being my son who reads me like an OPEN book and, no doubt, will have the stamina to stay the course. I have now made myself feel like all those hundreds pages of a Tolstoy novel or, maybe, Dostoevsky’s “Idiot”.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — February 1, 2010 @ 17:32 | Reply

  5. Chin up, hang in there, be strong gaelikaa. You’ve got what it takes & that is being a kind, sweet, wonderful person!

    Comment by bikehikebabe — February 1, 2010 @ 16:09 | Reply

  6. I’m too much of an open book. I spill out my heart (guts) in the privacy of my computer room, then send it to my email list. Half of these people I never hear.

    At night when I’m trying to sleep I think, what have I done, why did I send that?
    I hope these people feel closer to me (not farther) at the family reunion this summer.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — February 1, 2010 @ 18:48 | Reply

    • Bike Hike Babe, I too have palpitations at times when I think what I have sent into cyberspace. The only comfort knowing that out there most people’s attention span is only slightly longer than that of a goldfish. Why do you think goldfish go round and round in circles? Whilst colourful a most depressing pet to keep. Particularly when they ail and, as I did, you have to phone the vet to ask how most humanly help it out of its misery, short of flushing it down the loo.

      “Family reunion”: Such a mixed blessing. Anticipation usually so much more enjoyable than the actual event. I had reason to cry at my first wedding. Not helped by my father reassuring me that that is what brides do.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — February 1, 2010 @ 19:05 | Reply

  7. Crying at your wedding reminds me.

    My daughter who now lives in Sweden, married the handsome dude who came from Sweden to visit. They got a man off the street in Santa Fe to be the Witness. She said she laughed during the whole ceremony.

    Also it happened when she was in high school, angry & yelling at me. We were going into the empty town “Lodge” that is used for meetings. So quiet.
    Passing the main room, we saw 30 or so parents, at the Eagle Scout ceremony. I was horrified, but she couldn’t stop laughing.

    She’s a psychologist now (along with 16 horses & a riding school). This is what I’ve worked my whole life to be able to do. Enjoy the moment.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — February 1, 2010 @ 23:50 | Reply

  8. Andy and I both laughed at our wedding, and still laugh when we think about it. We got married by a justice of the peace with only close family present and the gal (clerk?) who typed out the marriage license kept making mistakes and we had to send her out of the room repeatedly before she got it right. At one point she was marrying me to Andy’s father, as I recall. I can’t decide now if that was my favorite wedding or if Kaitlin and Torben’s is now in first place. They were both friendly affairs. Theirs was much more elegant and required a lot more preparation, but I was bowled over by the friendliness of it. We don’t go for performances.

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — February 2, 2010 @ 02:10 | Reply

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