One of the more often remarked upon merits of my blogging posts (and emails) that the recipients have no idea what I am talking about. A bit like shooting in the dark. I am intrigued: I always know what I am talking about (at the moment I am talking about it).
Being in scientific mode I decided to put this to the test. So having written many an email to a friend who appreciates me more than others (hence he is forgiving even if baffled at times) I also wrote blog posts – all in various states of undress. And let all them all sit there. For a day or two. No send, no publish button. Just let them sit. And then I reread them. Guess what: To my utter amusement I too find that winding road of my thought processes not always easy to follow. There is the odd ravine. Try not to miss the bend.
In fact, come to think of it, why do have countries where – to this day – people think nothing of driving slightly impaired under the influence have ravines, bends, curves, cliffs – all designed to keep undertakers in business? And not just Italy. Try Spain. It’s a miracle I am still alive. No, I wasn’t the driver. Actually, the answer is simple: Precisely because they learnt early on that you’ll never know what’s round the corner they know how to negotiate it. Maybe a slightly wonky theory but still: It’s a theory. I love theories. Theories don’t demand anything. And few will wish to be put into practice. Practice is of no interest to theories.
Other than that – in theory – this minute I’d love to dance the Tango. I am terrible at Tango so don’t rush to sweep me off my feet unless you are a good leader.
Never shall you learn more about people than when the shit hits the fan.
How you deal with a crisis is what divides the loin from the snout. Let’s rephrase this for the vegetarians among you, not least Lorna: What divides the potato from the peel. Please do remind me to buy a new peeler. My last one has bitten the dust.
One of the pig tails in my life has proven stupid. Not stupid as in the ‘village idiot’. Village idiots have an innate wisdom if only you take the time to sit next to them. Or walk with them. No, stupid as in ’emotional’ intelligence being at the lower end of the spectrum. Which, to my relief, has helped me to let go of someone. Have come to conclusion that losing respect is the ultimate turn-off in any relationship. Even that with a sister.
Considering how easy my life is, it’s bloody complicated.
Have come to comforting conclusion that I’d make a fine General. By NOT invading Russia in winter (vital for survival) I’d win many a battle and probably be shot before given the chance to win the war.
That’s it. I shall never ever put my trust in the stars again. I shall only look at them from the gutter, as recommended by Oscar Wilde.
What a fine disappointment (apart from Wednesday late evening) this week has been. My horror scope told me last Sunday (remember?) that I should say ‘yes’ to everything coming my way for the next seven days. This minute it’s Saturday morning and time is running out. And nothing has come my way. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Please do not suggest that this might have something to do with my having put myself under house arrest. Human contact thus limited. There are other ways to communicate in the ether. Any moment now I’ll expect ET landing on the window sill. Peering in. Asking me what I am doing at 0355 BST at my desk and could he please have some scrambled eggs. Of course. Yes. Or an omelet.
The hot water situation (in the kitchen) has now reached critical mass. The plumber took the boiler away. When he asked me whether he could come back today (Saturday) to replace it I was so happy to be given one of my last opportunities to say: “Yes”. I even said ‘please’. Plumber promised to add cost of new toilet seat and fixing it to the fab Fabrizio’s (that’s my landlord) bill for having let the boiler slide into disrepair. “Compensation for your inconvenience”, Handy Andy said. You can’t beat it. Can you? Why did Handy Andy not become a lawyer?
What will the next 48 hours bring (other than a new horror scope)?
Hugs and kisses, please do make up for the deficit of questions I might be able to say ‘yes’ to. Or maybe I should take up growing mushrooms in the dark.
I rarely quote people. Other than myself. So much do I love my voice. So highly do I think of myself. Well, someone has to. If you want a job done well do it yourself.
However, and I don’t know who said it so please don’t sue me for copyright, there is, roughly: “We will be introduced in life to what we need at the time”. Indeed.
Which has me reeling as to what I need. Or why, what has been introduced into my life, I need. Yeah, that’s my trouble: Instead of gratefully receiving I question the bearer of gifts. Not that I send anyone out of the door. Make yourself at home. Be my guest. Share my bed if you can’t find a spare mattress.
I stop short at ‘reinventing’ myself. Don’t even know what that expression means. But I do need to do something. Urgently.
Much to my hilarity my prose being rather opaque has been likened to James Joyce. Leaving aside my own feelings on James Joyce (I don’t have any) I take this as a compliment of the highest order. Should you never hear from me again look no further than my wake or maybe the sirens will have got me in a case of mistaken identity.
The last few days I have come to conclusions, hard and fast. I don’t like coming to conclusions. It’s so dead end.
Am in state of panic. Well, as much as I ever panic, which is not a lot. In fact, come to think of it: I never panic. Which, sometimes, is part of the problem – not the solution.
Yes, so my horror scope has just informed me that (contrary to my innate character) I should say “yes” to everything that comes my way this week. Even if I can’t see the point. Doors will open. Yeah, well, we all know what happened when Bluebeard went out and forbade one of his many brides to open one particular door. To test her (and maybe her intelligence) he made the challenge so much harder by leaving the key with her. Would she, wouldn’t she? Well, curiosity got many of those little kittens. I am not risk averse but I weigh risk carefully. And mostly I do engage brain.
Anyway the upshot being that I hope during this coming week no one will suggest anything to me. Or, if you do, please do make sure it’s something that I would have said ‘yes’ to anyway. Regardless of the stars.
Members of a blogging consortium (they write on the same subject every Friday) have been expounding on the subject of “Pain” today. The funniest that of Paul, yes, of Blackwatertown fame, who took his ‘pain’ to Paris. And devoured it.
I don’t do pain. I never ever even have so much as a headache. Though had three mind crushing migraines (apparently of the male varierty – cluster front brain) when in my twenties. Obviously there is toothache. Yes, toothache. Toothache is amazing. I remember the first time: I must have been about 11. Naturally, it was Saturday morning when it flared up. Never was I more grateful to my father than when he found me a dentist two hours later who relieved me of my first molar. Even him pulling it, hearing the crunch of the roots reluctant to let go was utter bliss. Then I bled. But all was good again. I adore dentists.
Another useless pain when, a couple of years ago, they tried to reset my broken arm manually. Dear dog in heaven. I fucking hit the roof. It was something else. Then they decided it wasn’t going to work. And they needed to operate next morning. So they put me to bed and gave me morphine. Oh the bliss, Sweethearts. If ever I am going to be given a choice of drug addiction – morphine it will be. The Angel phoned the ward every so often throughout the night to see how I was and one of his observations, in wonderment: “The sister kept saying: Your mother is very content. Content?? How can you have been content?” I was. Content. Very. Blissed out. Even more if they hadn’t come round every half hour to take my blood pressure. I am in love with morphine. And that’s that. Anyone and anything I am in love with: Please do stay away from me. I don’t want to know. It’s all too complicated.
However, there is one pain which I wouldn’t have wanted to miss for the world. Childbirth. You can’t beat it for entertainment value. The Angel gave me false alarm on a Tuesday. Thursday morning I drove to Heathrow Airport to pick up my sister. No sooner had I set off across the New Forest labour kicked in for real. I timed it. Every five minutes. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Still, remember we are on the subject of ‘pain’, as long as you have a steering wheel to cling to every wave of a contraction will be easily managed. And yes, I did make it to the airport and back home. I even cooked my sister an English Breakfast in between doubling up before I took myself off to hospital. Naturally, and who can blame him, the Angel was in no hurry to face his mother so we had a long drawn out night. Till, Friday morning, his father had an argument with the doctor and the midwife told me: “This baby has to come out”. Indeed. State the obvious. Once I was threatened with the prospect of forceful intervention the Angel had the decency to emerge before I was wheeled into theater.
My point? My point is that birthing pain is the one and only pain which is most wonderful. Why? Because at the end of it you do have a result. A true result. A miracle. Worth every pain you never thought possible. Yes, a miracle. And that is is how I look at him. A miracle. Coming up to twenty one years.
God damn it: This post will make me so popular I won’t see you for dust.
Drawn to my attention by the amicable Paul of blackwatertown fame, and he is not the only one: The writer’s lot. For heaven’s sake: What makes a writer? Anyone who can write is a writer. People write. I write. A lot. It’s like saying “I breathe therefore I am a breather”. “I speak therefore I am a speaker”. “I clean the toilet therefore I am a charlady” or “I cook therefore I am Anthony Bourdain”. It’s complete rubbish. Just as sleeping with your husband – when you don’t feel like it – doesn’t make you a prostitute. Or may be it does. There is too much angst among all those aspiring to be published. Anyone can write (rubbish), whereas few will take up a paintbrush or compose a bit of Beethoven and expect it to be seen or heard. Sweethearts, do what you enjoy and don’t paint yourselves into a corner. Did Kafka ever call himself a writer? Don’t think so. He was an insurance clerk who wrote in his spare time.