Bitch on the Blog

June 30, 2010

For whom the bell tolls

Filed under: Despair,Happiness,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 04:49

gaelikaa has dubbed me “The Queen of Suicide Blues”. Quite poetic.

Let’s, for sake of argument, assume that someone is on the brink: I’d have thought the best course of action would be NOT to draw the possibility of suicide to their attention. As to methods of killing yourself, gaelikaa, look no further. Do not google, just ask me. I believe Sylvia Plath put her head into a gas oven. For reasons I haven’t contemplated yet it was the preferred method for women back in the Sixties. Better than a handful of rubbish drugs and a bottle of high percentage.

Men, on the whole, are good at committing suicide successfully. They use sure-fire methods, such as guns, to blow their brains out.

However, if you want to spare your loved ones’ feelings you will have to kill yourself surreptiously. It’s like the perfect crime: No one will know. Putting your head into a gas oven is obvious, crashing your car into a tree less so (incidentally we have a most magnificent tree lined road on the way to Blandford Forum) .  Drinking yourself to death is a rather slow method since it’s amazing how much abuse the human body can take (think George Best and, my dead hot favourite, Keith Richards. That Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath fame is still standing and reasonably coherent when talking is testimony that if you want to succeed in killing yourself you need to try harder).

Some people disillusion your view of them by the way they go. Some people confirm your view of them by the way they go. As to the latter Hemingway springs to mind. I admire Virginia Woolf. She had style: Fill the pockets of your jacket with stones and wade into water.

I myself draw the line at imbibing antifreeze or weedkiller. Only those who lack imagination will resort to them. And whilst my night job is that of a spy I had it written into my contract that I am NOT prepared to carry a capsule that comes with the job description. I might bite on it accidentally and then gaelikaa will think I did away with myself deliberately.


PS Footnote to Sylvia Plath: One does not kill oneself when one has children. It’s bloody selfish.


June 29, 2010


Filed under: Despair,Happiness,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 10:40

Just received “failure notice” from email Postmaster. Great news. Reminds me of bringing home A-grades and my father would still take all my work apart  and declare my teachers imbeciles. Was a bit tough at the time, I have to say; decades later I still cry, occasionally, at memory of it. On the positive he taught me a lot and how to up the stakes. And upped the stakes I have. Not that it amounts to much more than being far too demanding of myself.

I know gaelikaa won’t like it, but here it is: Whilst still laughing I am down in the dumps – not deeply, just enough to be annoying.  And I reserve the right to be down in the mouth this very minute. Funnily enough the  first photograph taken of me on my mother’s arm you can tell by my lips that I knew what was to come.  My grandmother called me Sunshine (on account of my big smile and temperament), shortened to Sonny,  so much so that only after she had died (eight years later) I remembered my real name. Some members of my family still call me Sonny. As usual I have  now completely forgotten how I got here. Some discussion over at Jean’s. Yes, global warming, emissions.

It annoys me almost as much as adverts for Detol and whiter than white washing powders. Get a grip people. How did we survive, evolve, for thousands of years before? If we are such a danger to this particular planet why don’t we all just lie down and die? Imagine the compost we’d generate. And not a scientist – or journalist – in sight to tell us what a menace we are. Instead worms will take over the world. Who will plant the roses?


June 28, 2010


Filed under: Sailing — bitchontheblog @ 07:04

Unlike Americans, or the country where I originate from, I do NOT succumb to hypochondria. Which means that whenever I do see my doctor (maybe once every four years) he takes my concerns very seriously indeed. Whilst I am grateful for Dr Jenner having eradicated chicken pox I am of the old school where,instead of throwing pills at them,  fevers are sweated out and if they approach 41 degree Centigrade (ie death)  you apply “Wadenwickel” – that’s cloths dipped in ice cold water, wrung out, then wrapped around your lower leg. It’s awful. Yet effective. It does draw out the fever.

The one feat in your life is when you have to apply a “Wadenwickel” TO yourself  BY yourself. Take it from me. It’s not easy.

Anyway, talking about the body taking you to task: I know they say that there is little symmetry to the two halves of the body but this minute I am flummoxed: My right foot has swollen twice the size of my left, and to an extent I can only take as the onset of gangrene. And yes, I know I shouldn’t have read so many seafaring novels in my formative years – on board ship they’d just chop off your limb. 

None of this would matter except my right foot now does not fit into any shoe – other than my son’s trainers. Which he thinks are rather stylish on me. I don’t. I am a (British) size 6/7; he is an 11 and no heels.

You, and particularly gaelikaa, might ask: “What’s your point?” There is no point. Facts are facts.

Jumping ship, yours,


June 26, 2010

Do nothing – though don’t forget to walk the dog

Filed under: Despair,Happiness,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 20:21

Am utterly, completely, totally disillusioned with life in general and particularly a lot of people in it. This is evidenced and supported by my use of three unnecessary adverbs in last sentence. If I didn’t like life and sunflowers so much and if son didn’t need me, even if only to get him up on time in the morning, I’d just lie down, howl and move to either London, Devon, Italy, Spain or France. Don’t believe the world is your oyster.  The world is your crab, difficult to crack,  and – going retro for a moment – an outdoor toilet. Or “Plumpsklo” as we used to say. Use your imagination to decipher the foreign lingo and don’t forget to take hard newspaper to wipe your bottom. It’ll set you up for that which will inevitably follow in the shadow of your pathetic existence. And yes, there is NO flush.

As early Saturday evenings go I have done myself proud.


Best laid plans

Filed under: Happiness,Sea — bitchontheblog @ 12:58

Bike Hike Babe, Jean, Looney and the con that Conrad has proven to be, gaelikaa and Ramana, Gail and Maynard (a match made in one of the ante chambers of hell):  You better get your skates on and book a flight before the prices inflate. Magpie and Lady M can always visit my South Coast first and we’ll catch a cheap direct flight to Dublin from my local tiny airport. Nick can make his own way. Deb may tag along if she must. Ashok will have to put in a convincing plea to attend before I fork out for his ticket.

The eve of France’s national holiday is where it’s at this year. In a place in Ireland, disclosed in Grannymar’s Saturday post. She’d make a terrible spy. Can you imagine Mata Hari disclosing her whereabouts to the world on any particular day? No, neither can I.

I shall be the one arriving late, sporting a pair of dark sunglasses and a brooch of tiny knitting needles, Martini (two olives) in hand and generally be noticable by my absence. Further details to be found over at GM’s.

Wish you were all down here at today’s sunny beach, sardines on the skewers, sand in your sandals. Don’t worry if, during all those decades of your existence, you have never noticed the connection between ‘sand’ and ‘sandals’. The gift of being observant is rare.

Sunburnt air kisses, 


PS Don’t forget to bring your kites for pre-Barbecue frolics. Hengistbury Head is famous for its wind. £16,000 will buy you a beach hut to make a cup of tea.

June 22, 2010

The darkness blues

Filed under: Beauty — bitchontheblog @ 04:27

Newsflash from your very own Moaning Minnie:

Dawn has broken on 22 June (or at least for those of us who do NOT limp behind across the wrong side of the Atlantic).

21 June being the longest day of the year we are now marching towards the trenches of December. Yes, I know: I am a bundle of fun, aren’t I? My mother still hasn’t forgiven me for presenting her with a birthday card on occasion of her 40th stating that 50 is on the horizon. It was a perfectly valid observation. However, what the sender says is not always received in the spirit of one’s  own and often misguided humoUr.

Still, gaffes tend to make the best anecdotes some years down the line.

Going to smell the roses and the freshly erupted Jasmine,


June 21, 2010

What’s bred in the bone

Filed under: Despair,Happiness,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 11:11

Two points:

Number one – the bastard who is corrupting one of my comps can retire. I know who you are so stop it, stand in the corner, hold Mapgpie’s hand if you must, write one hundred lines of whatever takes your fancy and behave in a somewhat civilized manner. Otherwise I will return the favoUr. Also, and this is NOT a veiled threat, whilst my son is so laid back as not to get up before midday unless he needs to attend either college, the toilet or is hungry, he takes a dim view of people who upset his mother. Who wants to live with a female in a bad mood? He doesn’t – neither do I.

Number two, and of more interest: Having had more than usual time to reflect on human condition in wake of my not one but two accidents last year – consequently lying on my back more than I expected during my lifetime –  it was brought home to me that  underneath all our flesh there are bones. Yes, really. It’s the scaffolding our muscles and innards are desperately trying to hang on to.

In the medical profession, as a biology teacher or forensic scientist you get used to skeletons hanging around. So this is today’s hot tip of the day: Probe your own bones – unless you are fat, in which case all you will do is make a pathetic dent which will send you straight to the corner shop to buy a mars bar to cheer you up.

Trust me: It’s amazing. Feel yourself, follow the pathways of that which will eventually snap: Fingers, top of your hands; lower arms particularly touchy feely as are feet and front of lower legs. However, bottoms, even if you are on the skinnys side,  are useless: They are too well padded. Ribs are good. Shoulder bones and decolletage are instructive and a bit too close to comfort as easily accessible .

Conclusion: Bones are the very canvas your good self is being painted on.


PS Next time you have a Sunday Chicken Roast don’t forget to snap the lucky bone (and make a wish).

June 20, 2010


Filed under: Communication,Despair,Food,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 22:03

Since, for reasons plausible, I am in a bad mood already I went over to Grannymar’s to reinforce that which is just about to explode. As expected I was not disappointed.

In my defence, and anyone close to me will confirm this: I do warn people, before they speak to me, whenever the chips are down. It’s then their choice whether to retreat or not. You can’t say fairer than that, can you?

Grannymar is punctual. Great. Can’t wait. One of her commentors is early: Not so great (for her host that is). What a sanctimonious self congratulatory lot GM and her commentors are. Has anyone of them ever broken down in the middle of nowhere, forgotten to put the clock forward, been held up in a traffic jam, batteries run down on mobile/cell phone, broken a foot? What is wrong with these people? If someone is late, someone is late. FULL STOP. No need to make a big meal of and then dine out on it.

Or maybe some of GM’s guests are ‘passive aggressive’ and don’t want to attend some boring function in the first place. Yes, I do apologize for this last remark. It’s entirely uncalled for.

Shall now go and put finishing touches on dinner with all my guests already drunk yet patient and waiting for their hostess.



Filed under: Communication,Human condition,language — bitchontheblog @ 02:22

Leaving aside that my memory is phenomenal I called Nick’s partner Jenny.

“Jenny” is a mute point in this household. In the days when I still dropped off and collected Apple of my Eye at the school gate  I’d call all other mothers ‘Jenny’, unless I remembered their real name. Yet, as bets go it was safe. Apple of my Eye, being a natural at maths and statistics,  once remarked that my approach verged on the ridiculous, nay, the downright lazy. Always one to keep up with the latest lingo I replied: “Whatever”. I don’t often employ glee but couldn’t help it when getting my own back  next day when the mother of a new friend of my son  introduced herself to me as – well, you know what. I could have kissed her. I got miles of ammunition out of that one.

One of  my sisters has a different and real problem: Both her mother and her mother-in-law are called Ursula, both her sister (that’s me – in case you can’t follow the family tree) and her sister-in-law are called Ursula. So for her, in moments of absentmindedness and to be on the safe side, she calls everyone ‘Ursula’. (My mother tends to call me Charlotte which is the name of her sister and one of my nieces.) Naturally, given my streak of snobbery and arrogance, I am not best pleased how many people there are in the father/motherland called Ursula: One of the reasons I moved to England – not only do the British pronounce my name so very effectively and  differently (as do the French) but – being rare – it has a certain cachet. The biscuit was taken when one of my short term bosses kept calling me ‘Ingrid’. Which, incidentally, is one of my middle names. If any of you start addressing me as Ingrid I shall ignore you forthwith. Don’t even think about it. 

So glad I am not a Betty. I hate Betty. Which is of course just an abbreviation of a perfectly good name. Why are the British given to shorten even the shortest of names? Parents do not sweat over their darling’s name to find that Michael becomes Mike, David becomes Dave, Robert becomes Bob is your uncle,  and William miraculously turns into Bill. A friend of mine is a Bobby (Robin). That’s my beloved English for you. No wonder it rains when it pours.

Since I have reputation for cloaking myself in mystery I won’t reveal what one of my friends calls me so very affectionately; since no one else has thought of it it’s rather special to me. Father of my son agreed – not that he had a choice – to a name for our offspring with virtually no chance of anyone shortening it. And no, we did not christen him Max. Neither did we give him a middle name. Much to my son’s English grandfather’s grievance. An English officer and the middle classes stand on at least three initials.

How did I get onto this subject in the middle of the night? Jennies have a lot to answer for.


June 19, 2010


Filed under: Communication,Despair,Happiness — bitchontheblog @ 15:24

When you earn your living, as do I, by being a two timing latter day Mata Hari/double agent/Russian spy/James Bond in drag you know that enemies will be made faster than you can say ‘Kaloshnikov”. Which is rather a pity since one should always pull the other one first.

Dear sweet gaelikaa recently suggested to maintain ‘decorum’.  A subject which I will delve into as deep and decoratively as I can – albeit in instalments since I currently shouldn’t be writing, employing invective as safety valve instead.

To keep you in suspense, and source shall not be revealed this minute, how about this I came across in the early hours of a fine Friday in June 2010 (being bold my own fair editing):

Some people, the Irish, for example, and people from Belfast in particular, revel in a sort of mutual banter where the participants sail as close to the wind with their insults as they dare, backing off a little if things go too far, only to resume for another round. Belfast people have a very low threshold for pretentiousness, and anyone putting on airs find themselves unceremoniously stripped bare in the cutting wit of a good ‘slagging’.

I wish I were Irish.



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