Bitch on the Blog

May 15, 2014


Filed under: Atmosphere — bitchontheblog @ 13:34
Tags: , , ,

I never wish I had tuberculosis. But a stint in a sanatorium in Davos/Switzerland wouldn’t go amiss. No, forget the sanatorium. A hotel will do. Make that a chalet.

Now I know the English think mentioning one’s nerves pretentious. Never mind. I am not English. And my nerves are so frazzled round the edges I don’t need all that bloody sea air around me. I need a mountain. Drawback being that one has to climb a mountain. Which is fine. It’s the coming down at the zenith. Consolation being cheese fondue or Raclette awaiting you back in the valley. And Kirsch.

Which reminds me, apropos nerves: I once smashed a five star bathroom basin in a hotel overlooking Lake Geneva which inspired Deep Purple (I think) to write their “Smoke on water”.  It wasn’t murder, not even manslaughter. It was self defence. My weapon being my amazingly loaded vanity case. I didn’t call it ‘vanity case’ at the time. But it sure was. And thus I learned that a tonne of vanity and anger combined leaves you with a smashed washbasin. No one could have been more surprised than myself.

By the time we came back from dinner on the terrace the hotel had replaced the wash basin. That’s the Swiss for you.

Yes, nerves. Let’s hope I’ll keep mine till the next delivery.




  1. If you read the Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann you will change your mind about the Swiss sanatorium. You will be better off going for a meditation retreat for a few days to get your nerves unfrayed.

    Comment by rummuser — May 15, 2014 @ 13:51 | Reply

    • Yes, I did read the Magic Mountain at an impressionable age. All of it. And Mann’s wonderful short stories occupying a special place on my shelves. One of my fantasies to have met Rainer Maria Rilke (tuberculous, sanatorium, Davos). I am sure he wasn’t the most manly of men but he sure does stir my heart.

      Thank you for your suggestion, my dear Ramana. Unfortunately a ‘meditation retreat’ won’t help me to do what I need to do. Hence the frazzle. Only joking. I have nerves of steel. More is the pity. If they were a little more pliable I might focus instead of scanning the horizon.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 15, 2014 @ 14:06 | Reply

      • Rilke? I spent some time seeking out “Letters to a Young Poet” whenI found out who had written a quotation that my wonderful, beautiful frien Elaine had on her wall and which was read at her funeral…….”For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation…….”

        I am sure that it loses something in the translation….

        I miss Elaine.

        Comment by magpie11 — May 16, 2014 @ 11:32 | Reply

        • Yes, Magpie, though not in your example, a lot is lost in translation. Which is why I am so glad when able to read an original, and even more glad that I think (and write) in more than one language. Fluently, inside out. In my mind I don’t “translate”. I am in one language’s mode, or in the other.

          People sometimes ask me to translate. If it’s factual, technical – fine. When it comes to prose/lyrics – not so fine. It is bloody difficult to chisel the author’s intention into idioms/phrases of another language.

          Still, there is hope. On request of a non English speaker I recently read a book by an American author alongside its translation. The original book intricate, the translation did it fantastic, and I mean fantastic, justice. So it can be done.

          You know, and please do smile – it’s that ridiculous: Many years ago, after having read all the Russians I promised myself that one day I’d learn Russian and read them in the original. Alas, I have since realized that the translations were brilliant and, most importantly, life is too short to fulfill all our ambitions. There comes a time we need to channel our attention. As much as it pains me. And it does pain me. Not because of the “ambition” part but because I am genuinely interested to get to the bottom of things. Which begs question: Why didn’t I become either an archeologist or an archivar?

          Elaine. You have mentioned her before – with all the melancholy that loss leaves behind.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — May 16, 2014 @ 12:44 | Reply

  2. I did have bad nerves. High strung was the diagnoses of several doctors. Even when I was birthing my young’uns. I probably still suffer from them but age has taken the intensity away. I do sympathize.

    Comment by wisewebwoman — May 15, 2014 @ 23:17 | Reply

    • I am not “highly strung” (an expression which always makes me smile – bringing a tree, a rope and Clint Eastwood to mind). If anything I am far too relaxed. Which has helped to create an amazing backlog which needs attending. Add a heavy sprinkling of striving for perfection, outside pressure from other players and I sometimes just look out of the window, watch the world and its dog, and wonder where to start. Meanwhile bad news from the motherland are piling up.

      Give me a crisis and I stay calm. I am not an adrenaline junkie. Yet a deadline is remarkable as to how it focuses my mind (concentration by another name).

      Anyway, in my usual way: First comes THE LIST. The list reassures you, gives you the illusion that you are in charge. On the downside: The longer the list the more your heart starts to sink. Or rather your will to attack it. That’s when the ‘frazzle’ sets in. So, when I have had enough of ‘frazzle’ because it’s paralyzing I go on the attack. In a measured way. One corner of life at a time. Which, yesterday, led to finding a shit load of handwritten notes, years worth of them. They”ll keep. Mustn’t get sidetracked. The mantra of my life: DO NOT GET SIDETRACKED. To illustrate:I can get from A to B. The shortest way. No problem. However, by nature, a little side road in the middle of no or somewhere will pique my interest and what do you know. I am on a detour. Two hours later …It does make for a happy life in as much as I have had so many experiences which, if I had kept my eye on the ball, I’d never come across.

      Interspersed with: Where is my ball? I want my ball back!

      Well, my dear WWW, considering the narrative of your own blog you know better than most that life goes uphill, downhill, ebb and tide. And sometimes there is a lull. I am dead suspicious of lulls. They usually make an appearance just before the storm.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 16, 2014 @ 05:40 | Reply

  3. Isn’t it one of Newton’s laws? Everything that goes up must come down again? Relationships? Mountain climbs? Stock market? Blog fans? No wait…I want all blog followers to remain loyal forever. They must not fall away. We need a new law for that one.

    Comment by reneejohnsonwrites — May 18, 2014 @ 00:10 | Reply

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