Bitch on the Blog

November 3, 2011

Unsettled

My readership being English and/or American this little problem of mine will mean nothing to you: After all, the whole world does speak English, doesn’t it?

The English are so polite it’s annoying. No, it’s not annoying. It’s tantamount to an insult. Because my brain fires on more than one language I will (somtimes) jabber away in a lingo not received. It’s all the same to me though English making up 99 point 9 percent of my day. A German or a French, particularly an Italian, will tell you to get your act together. Not the English. Only when their eyes glaze over and their smile stiffens do I realise I am talking NOT the local tongue. Have now decided to be paranoid – and will, from the outset, ask anyone whether I speak that which they can understand. I switch so easily from one language to another it sometimes escapes me which one I am speaking this very minute. Mental – as the Angel would say.

Even worse: My mother most definitely does not speak English. Yet, in my dreams (at night, when asleep) I have perfect English conversations with the woman I am so grateful to that she did not abort me. Not that I would know the difference {if I hadn’t been born).

Strange, don’t you think: Conceived per chance;  from then your life hangs in the balance.

If I come across as more unhinged than normal it’s because I am. They are redoing our street. Fancy paving stones, Pedestrian zone and all that. And, by law of nature, before it gets better it gets worse. Which in my case amounts to the earth moving or rather the floor under my chair being decidedly shakey. It’s been days now them taking up existing tarmac. Can’t imagine what it’s like to be one of those “drill up the tarmac” guys. Mind numbing. Am considering to tell my landlord that I will deduct at least one pound Sterling from the rent for inconvenience.  Still, he is Italian. And contrary to perceived prejudice Italians will love their Mamas but don’t mess with them. When it comes to money think The Godfather and that cut off head of a horse underneath your duvet.

Yes, so brilliant combo. The floor underneath my feet is shaking, the noise is deafening. I don’t like noise. If I want noise I play Beethoven or Motorhead. Top volume. Still, it is rather interesting to be at the mercy of outside influences you can do nothing about. Fab (that’s short for my landlord’s first name) has no sympathy: He thinks I should be out at work between 9 and five instead of letting my world be rocked by the council’s improvements. I can’t tell him that I mostly work from the privacy of my home. He won’t like it. Meanwhile I keep looking at her Majesty’s poster (in red) KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

Apropos of nothing or how did one of you say so classically the other day: Non Sequitur (is there a sweeter sound?). The Queen and her son. I have to say if I were Charles I’d be heartbroken and if I were his mother, the Queen, I’d be ashamed of myself. Why oh why oh why can she not let go of the crown and hand it to her son? The guy is over sixty and still hasn’t fulfilled his destiny – the one he was born to. It’s shameful.

And if that floor of mine rumbles one more time I shall take myself off to the next bench in the park.

U

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32 Comments »

  1. I think you’re an infuriating, insulting, hateful BITCH but God (I mean Dog) I do love you.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — November 3, 2011 @ 15:06 | Reply

    • I’m not saying you shouldn’t be an infuriating, insulting, hateful BITCH. After all this is Bitch on the Blog. That’s the beauty of this blog. We don’t have to be proper & polite. We can say anything we want. Get it off our chest.

      I get my feelings hurt. That’s a flaw. I want to toughen up so Bring It On. Good Gestalt therapy. Jean, the Cheerful Monk, never gets hurt. She started working on that in childhood.

      Comment by bikehikebabe — November 3, 2011 @ 20:16 | Reply

      • Do not delude yourself, my dear BHB: Of course, Jean gets hurt. As we all do. She does protest too much – a dead give away. We all can put up a facade. The art (of communication) lies to look BEHIND the curtain. Let others in.

        And please do not toughen up, BHB. There is no need to be something we are not. Your “feelings hurt” is not “a flaw”. It’s human. To be respected.

        Let me be brutal as befits my image: If Jean could only snap out of that mode she is in and show her vulnerable side she’d be so much less boring.

        Bear hug,
        U

        Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 20:38 | Reply

        • If it makes you happy to think that, go for it. 🙂

          On the other hand there is such a thing as Emotional Intelligence– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence –and think it’s a quality worth developing. Read Jean’s Traits of Stress-Hardy, Resilient People: http://stresstopower.com/blog/traits-of-stress-hardy-resilient-people/

          It’s not a facade, it’s something she’s been working on for years. It works for her. If it doesn’t work for you that’s fine too.

          Comment by bikehikebabe — November 3, 2011 @ 21:06 | Reply

          • Confession:
            I asked Jean how to answer your comment about getting hurt. That is what she suggested. (It didn’t sound like me, did it?)
            I can see now that Emotional Intelligence is something that I could have worked on but I didn’t take the time.

            I made a copy of her Traits of Stress-Hardy, Resilient People & put it on the wall. I knew I couldn’t do all that so I dismissed it.

            Comment by bikehikebabe — November 3, 2011 @ 21:58 | Reply

            • I have laboured the point many a time: You and my mother were born the same year, with you three weeks the younger. And I am sure the two of you would make good friends. Because friends need to bring to the table that which is different to us.

              Cynthia, the first thing, and my own mother takes my advice too, as I do hers, is: Don’t be so American. I know that sounds like an insult. It isn’t. It’s just that Americans, sometimes, seem so unsure of their shore and horizon that they cling onto that which can be nailed onto your wall (like Jean’s manifesto). To remind you of that perfect specimen we should be. No one is perfect. Just be, BHB. Seriously. If you were my mother I’d give you a mega talking to. And yes, there would be tears. And then there would be calm. Emotional Intelligence. Indeed.Trust me: It’s not something you can learn. Either you are born with it or you are not. It is that simple. Neither are we ourselves ever the best judges of whether we are or not [emotionally intelligent]. Neither does it matter. I think people fret too much over their personality, their character, instead of just living whoever you are. It goes right to the center of what annoys me so very much about “self help” books. You know what they do? They make you feel inadequate. No one is inadequate. We are all adequate in our own ways. The dumb and the numb. And everyone else. A whole industry was born out of not being quite “good enough”. Says who? Don’t buy into it, Cynthia. It is such a shame, such a waste of time, and makes me quite furious, that the very ones who pretend to want us to feel good about ourselves are the very ones who make us feel shit.

              More on the subject, no doubt, another time.

              In the meantime, please do enjoy life. I cannot begin to tell you how much joy it gives me to speak to my mother. Only today I made her promise me to keep going. Warts and all. Not that she has any [warts] but – despite being extraordinarily fit both mentally and physically – she does get tired occasionally. That is not an option. She laughed.

              U

              Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 22:25 | Reply

              • 🙂 OPPS Does this mean I’m banned?

                Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 00:33 | Reply

                • You may live in hope, BHB. If it adds excitement to your life I am perfectly willing to ban you – briefly.

                  One should [live in hope]. But then, as you said, I brought it onto myself: Anything goes on my blog. Even smileys. We all need that thorn in our flesh to keep endorphine levels in our brain topped up (you know, the feel good factor). I am not into self harm. I don’t even have a tattoo or pierced ears. However, in the wake of a rather peculiar experience, it recently dawned on me why people will keep themselves alive by inflicting pain on themselves. It’s why I step on other people’s toes. To keep them even keel and happy.

                  Other than that I am awestruck at what marvels we, and our universe, are. I shall so miss the world once I’m binned.

                  U

                  Comment by Ursula — November 4, 2011 @ 04:56 | Reply

                • What I mean is thanks for the insight. I feel better for it.
                  However I’ll say I could have used emotional intelligence with a house full of kids. No fun having your emotions jerk you around so much.

                  Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 17:15 | Reply

            • Jean’s post just popped in. http://stresstopower.com/blog/2011/11/04/grumpiness/

              Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 04:43 | Reply

  2. Sorry to annoy you. Blame my parents and my Grannie for that. All those pleases and thank-yous, raising my cap to ladies( they were all ladies in those days), standing aside to allow ladies to go through doors first (except when entering a restaurant as host), going up steps behind a lady and coming down steps first( so that she would fall on something soft according to Grannie), walking on the outside of the pavement, handing her down from the bus or train, letting others of the train, bus underground before entering)…. it was always considered rude to stare at those who were different or to comment on same….”Good manners is the oil that lubricates the machinery of life.” According to Grannie. My father helped to ingrain all this in my being and I never heard him use factory language in front of a woman or we children and I see no reason to use it myself. His manners did not prevent him from hitting us frequently, that includes my mother.

    Politeness has its disadvantages in this day and age of equality of course. In staff meetings waiting one’s turn to speak was always a mistake because as soon as one started some woman who assumed that aggressiveness was equal to assertiveness would butt in and hold forth. Socially, waiting one’s turn is a hard habit to overcome and so leads to exclusion from groups.

    On the whole being English and polite has been a very annoying thing for me as an Englishman. The only more annoying thing might just be being criticised for being polite.

    As for the whole world speaking English…. or Spanish or some form of Chinese…. well it’s only to be expected really. There are billions of Chinese in their own land. That deals with them. The English and Spanish were, in the past very competitive around the world. he basic difference is that the English did not have God (or at least the Pope) on their side. The French of course have always envied we English our wonderfully adaptive and expressive language (stupid though it is in ways)… now the Americans have managed to con themsleves and large parts of the world that their version of English is the correct one and so they can sit in places like Egypt and sneer.
    Beware, because the rising version of English is based in the Far East and that will change the face of the language beyond recognition.

    As for other European Languages? Well my inability to speak them (I did learn French) has kept me away from their countries of origin. By the way, when I did visit France with a school trip try as I did I could hardly persuade the French to speak French with me. They wanted to show off their English!

    Comment by magpie11 — November 3, 2011 @ 15:06 | Reply

    • Why do ypu say “sorry”, Magpie? There is nothing to be sorry about. And never apologize for either your existence or your views.

      Neither do the English have patented being polite. Manners matter in every single culture. Minding the English’s peas and queues doesn’t mean that there isn’t more than one way to behead a boiled egg.

      Having lived in this country almost all my adult life, fact is: There is little sincerity. Won’t be long before we join American tiller girls cheerfully telling us “Have a good day”. Yes, you too.

      Kiss, kiss.

      As to the French. Maybe your French was so awful even they, and the French are cruel, just wanted to put themselves out of the misery to see their language violated. Neither do the French envy the English, or indeed any other nation, anything (other than the dosh Germany is able to put up to bail out our reckless brothers in Euro). If ever there was a master race in their own eyes it’s the French. Mwah. You know what’s so funny about it? They will be the first to agree with my sentiment (and please do pronounce “sentiment” as they would. So much more evocative.)

      Americans: We need to tread carefully and not fall into that dreadful trap of sheering them like sheep with one pair of scissors only. Yes, Americans. Many a pearl among swines.

      U

      Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 20:59 | Reply

      • Americans now say “How are you?” You’re suppose to say “Wonderful” or at least “Fine”.

        I was talking to a friend in the waiting room at the Eye doctor’s. She said she was having a quadruple bi-pass the next day. When the tech came to get her she said “Fine” to that question. A downright lie, just to be polite.

        French was my minor in college. Whenever I tried to say something in French in France, they were usually rude. They didn’t want to talk in French or English.

        Comment by bikehikebabe — November 3, 2011 @ 21:22 | Reply

        • So true, BHB. Ask an English person – on their last puff, and by way of conversation: How are you? you will get “Fine”. even if they are dying. It’s their default mode.

          Ask a German how they are and you will get their full medical history. Not so fine… thirty minutes later.

          Took me ages to understand that no one was truly interested that I had sneezed earlier.

          Just ignore the French. Go to Italy instead. Or Spain. Or visit me.

          U

          Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 21:34 | Reply

      • Actually at the time my French was very good…including the accent: We used to have native French teachers come and teach us ….always young women I recall…… probably girlfriends of M. Williams our teacher of French …. I haven’t used French in anger since I was about seventeen…..never been a traveller. (Oh boy there’s a lovely line of “humour” there!

        As for sorry! It was the way I was brought up…always apologise, even when you are not in the wrong!

        The limitations of print… sarcasm is essentially an aural medium….

        Referring to your comment below…. This Englishman makes a point of not saying “Fine” , “OKay”, “Well, thank you” Unless he is…… Nor does he go into a long description of his ailments unless asked directly. Standard reply to, “How are you?” is “Surviving.” I have a neighbour who complained that I never said I was well or similar “acceptable” replies to an essentially banal question…… One notably sunny day when I had been informed of the size of a small inheritance I greeted her with a bounce, open arms and a hug! “What’s the matter with you?”…..Priceless response ….. I asked for it I suppose.

        Comment by magpie11 — November 12, 2011 @ 13:17 | Reply

        • Excusez-moi? I never doubted your French – it’s just that the French have little patience with le foreigner. Did you read about how badly they took it when, recently, some Englishman, location a marche en France (Castelnaudre), had the audacity to serve the locals his version of Cassoulet? Quellle horreur. Vive la France. Disgrace. Do we, zee Francais, serve your ros bif et Yorkshire pudding? Exactement. Now get out. Plat du jour indeed. It’s a miracle Europe escaped I don’t know which number world war.

          U

          PS In all fairness: I wouldn’t take coals to Newcastle. I might get stoned.

          Comment by Ursula — November 12, 2011 @ 13:49 | Reply

  3. Beethoven isn’t noise……. unless it’s his opera or some of his songs. I don’t like very much the sound of the trained human voice. Motorhead? Yup! That’s noise!

    The Ubiquitous Keep Calm etc poster stems from previous history and was never used…WWII I think. As for Charles and his woman (no lady her): I have no desire to have him as King of Great Britain or England. I have nothing but loathing for the man even if he does have some good ideas about some things. That’s funny really as I always used to be a Royalist. Supreme ruler of the Church of England? I should cuckoo.

    Comment by magpie11 — November 3, 2011 @ 15:19 | Reply

    • Magpie, noise is in the ear of the listener. What is Wagner to you may be torture to a stoned roller. Why was Beethoven so divine and so angry at the time? The man was deaf – in the end. As indeed anyone who listens to Metal will be before they hit their thirtieth birthday. Which is why the Angel wears ear plugs. Yes, really.

      Let’s not forget one thing – and I had a rather vehement conversation about the subject only yesterday with my father: Few “artistes” are recognized in their lifetime. It’s all very well to now bow in front of the likes of Mozart. Does “pauper’s grave” ring a bell? Yes. Neither does everyone appreciate the torture of Jackson Pollock throwing cans of paint at a canvas. Then he hit a tree. Now he is worth a lot. Going back to Metal and the like. Music – which means little to me, so much to my friends and family, indeed judging by what arrives in my inbox and thanks for the education, I trust any of your judgments and will LISTEN. Where was I? Metal. One doesn’t need to like something. Neither should we dismiss anything out of hand. By way of anecdote and to illustrate what I mean: When the Angel returned yesterday, catching me tuned into some random radio station, he was aghast: “What sort of shit is that you are listening to, Mama?” Well, dear Son, in order to know what you do NOT like you need to hear it first.

      Thank your lucky stars that I have no idea how to insert links otherwise I’d sent you some Abba or some such. Was there ever more torture to my generation? Give the Kings any day.

      What is it about Camilla that brings out the rather nasty in even the kind hearted? She loves a man; she marries a widower.

      As to the sovereign: It’s not a matter whether you loathe Charles. I have no opinion on the man. All I know is that he is the next in the line to the monarchy of this country. And I do not understand, not one iota, why his mother won’t let him get on with the job. Can’t make for comfortable Sunday roasts round the royal table..

      U

      PS I once endured Stockhausen live – ca 1975. Sitting just a couple of meters away from the man orchestrating his own masterpiece did not make it better. Still. You do have to admire people who believe in themselves. Neither did I leave half way though – that’s not the way I was brought up. Sic.

      Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 21:26 | Reply

      • I’m catching up because something seems to be broken……. “The problem with this pop music is that it sound noisy even when they play it quietly.” Tristan, aged 7….. on hearing some sort of heavy metal music or other….Now he is 30 and listens to heaven knows what… at around the same age he heard a remastered LP of Buddy Holly: “Well, at least they would be able to play the same on stage as on the record without having to have backing tracks and things.” Apparently he was experiencing arguments amongst his peers about music and had felt unable to make real contributions due to not being consistently bombarded by pop music all day long.

        As for Abba….I have heard a lot worse….. and it always seemed to be full of joy…. come to think of it, so did Status Quo’s music……

        Charles and Camilla? They should have married before and not carried on whilst he was married…. It’s more about his future position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England ……………. of which I am, for some aberrant reason, a member…. lapsed and very glad of it. …and his behaviour….. I am cynical as to how and why he ended up marrying Diana. Apparently her sister was the original selection but was having none of it…… one might say that Diana was from the same gene pool.

        I suspect that his mother realises that he would try to interfere in the governance of the country……. not a good idea.

        Isn’t Stockhausen something that Sir Thomas Beecham once trod in? …….. I once listened to something to do with several tape-recorders by Stockhausen… perhaps I should listen to more.

        Comment by magpie11 — November 12, 2011 @ 14:41 | Reply

  4. Politeness has its place – it infuriates the grouchy. What would the world be if you couldn’t piss off people just for fun? So… I’m guessing this would not be a good post to click the like button?

    Comment by Phil — November 3, 2011 @ 16:02 | Reply

    • Politeness does have its place, Phil. A big one. My manners are impeccable. Should you ever need an escort at a corporate event I will not let you down and put everyone else to shame.

      Grouchy and politeness are not mutually exclusive. The Angel thinks I’d make an excellent telesales person. Why? Because I am all breezy, sweetness and light on the phone, assuring the call centers’ unfortunate that it’s not their fault that their company is so shit, put down the phone, gently, and THEN go absolutely ballistic, in the earshot of the cats we no longer have.

      U

      PS Click away. Even I need to be liked.

      Comment by Ursula — November 3, 2011 @ 21:46 | Reply

      • It occurs to me the polite thing for me to do is to pull up a chair, grab a bowl of popcorn, and simply listen to the lively discussion taking place in this comment section, while keeping my mouth shut, save for the occasional popcorn kernel I may throw in. I’ve much catching up to do with regard to background and inside information being tossed about. I’ll try not to make too much noise. Carry on…

        Comment by Phil — November 4, 2011 @ 00:21 | Reply

        • I don’t think men ANALYZE unless it’s job related. It must be simple to be a man.

          Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 00:38 | Reply

          • That’s an awfully broad brush you’re painting with.

            Comment by Phil — November 4, 2011 @ 01:42 | Reply

            • It’s a comment in a blog–short & simple–not an essay. Let’s say most men or I’ll narrow that to most scientists (that’s who I know) don’t analyze feelings.

              Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 04:22 | Reply

              • Thanks for letting me down gently, Phil: It’s popcorn now, is it? Why can’t people sit through a film without munching and slurping? So please be noisy.

                Don’t take BHB’s notion and her broad brush too seriously. She is married to her husband – which clearly has left a mark on her (Cheers, Tom). I made sure I’d never be married to a scientist – and few other people come to think of it.

                I myself do not agree with BHB’s notion that being a man is simple: It isn’t. I know.

                XX
                U

                Comment by Ursula — November 4, 2011 @ 05:07 | Reply

                • Ursula, how would you know if being a man is or isn’t simple? You’re a woman – just like BHB. (where’s the damn smiley with tongue-sticking out when you need one!) No worries about me, I don’t get rattled easily. It’s that simple thing (or is it simpleton thing?)

                  While we are painting with broad brushes about the difference between the sexes, I would observe from my myopic viewpoint of maleness that women seem to me like mighty oceans of currents – those currents being feelings and emotions. Men are more like the ships that navigate and sail through the emotions. The real difficulties come when two opposing currents run into each other, or perhaps the folly of thinking one can actually change the current direction, nature, and flow; be it a man choosing to sail opposite the flow, or a woman thinking her current is far better suited for all waters. Good luck with that!

                  How is that for really awful imagery? Well, I never was a good painter anyway.

                  And now back to our feature presentation. Popcorn anyone? 😉

                  Comment by Phil — November 4, 2011 @ 12:06 | Reply

                • “It must be simple to be a man” was a joke. Men don’t analyze feelings wasn’t.

                  Phil says it well (below). I like his imagery too.

                  Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 14:39 | Reply

                • “It must be simple to be a man” was a joke. Men don’t analyze feelings wasn’t.

                  Phil says it well (below). I like his imagery too.

                  Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 14:40 | Reply

                  • Damn! That was a reply to Ursula’s comment. It didn’t go under her’s where I put it.

                    Comment by bikehikebabe — November 4, 2011 @ 14:43 | Reply

  5. Ah hello.
    That’s why I don’t have a gun. For those moments between night shifts when someone starts unreasonably going about their daily business DURING THE DAY,when I’m TRYING TO SLEEP.

    Comment by blackwatertown — November 4, 2011 @ 22:19 | Reply

  6. I’m imagining that I am reading this with a British accent. It makes even the snarkiest word sound so refined. I’ll be back for another visit. Your perspective in unique and quite interesting.

    Comment by writingfeemail — November 6, 2011 @ 22:28 | Reply


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