Bitch on the Blog

August 2, 2015

In shock, and Dorian Gray in the attic

Filed under: Beauty,Photography — bitchontheblog @ 14:26
Tags: , , ,

Right Sweethearts, this is not so much my Swan song as waling at what I never thought possible.

Yes. I am getting older. OUTSIDE. Once called beautiful. Now? I cannot believe it.

Obviously I do look in the mirror every day but mirrors deceive. However, do have your passport photo taken – as I did about an hour ago – and your world falls apart. I look like shit. How I am going to sell this to my parents who I haven’t seen for years I do not know. They are (always have been) easily disappointed. Dear dog in heaven. HELP. I can hear my mother now: “Ja, wie siehst Du denn aus?” (Loosely translated, not that she ever uses swearwords, but does convey disapproval in subtle and far more hurtful ways: “What the fuck do you look like?”). Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Lets’ go back to the beginning of my five year old cute self.

Don’t get me wrong. My face is (relatively) remarkably unlined. My neck so smooth is the envy of many a twenty five year old. But, by golly, there is something in that photo – well, I don’t know. Old. I suppose. Shit. Shit. And Shit. Not exactly helped by passport requirement of “neutral expression”, “no smile”. My smile is my USP (unique selling point). Whatever. Doesn’t matter. As long as it gets me in and out of the country (my passport expired two years ago, making me – effectively – a person non grata, in no man’s land, a prisoner on these isles) vanity is not important.

And don’t all of you rally around telling me that all of our passport photos look as if we were on death row, just about to be shipped out to Alcatraz. Though that is true too.

Once the Angel materializes back from his travels I will ask him to shoot me. With his camera. To give me perspective. Oh my god. Dear dog in heaven. Who’d have thunk it?




  1. A mixed reaction here….. soooo good to hear from you again but sorry that you feel so negative about yourself…..
    So you are taking a trip to the land of your birth (assuing that I have read that all correctly)… god for you. Hurry back to us please. Who knows we might just get to meet someday.

    Comment by magpie11 — August 2, 2015 @ 15:25 | Reply

    • My dear Magpie, no I am not, as yet, taking a trip to the motherland. What I am taking is my life in my own hands, tomorrow morning, Belgrave Square, London, Embassy, ten o’clock sharp, in hope they might accept my application for a new passport. Emergence of which will take weeks. Meantime, naturally, my mother claims she may die any minute. Which, considering Cilla Black snuffed it at age 72, is a reasonable assumption. So I have to hurry. Anyway, I tell you: Life has me in a headlock.

      And we will meet. Once I have rejuvenated myself. Like tomorrow.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 2, 2015 @ 16:06 | Reply

      • Darn …it’s tomorrw already otherwise I’d have come into town and bought you lunch..a nd maybe have asked the embassy how to go about findin out about my daughter in law’s grand father…

        Comment by magpie11 — August 3, 2015 @ 13:59 | Reply

        • David, tomorrow is almost yesterday. There I was, in my finest, 0520 hrs, with dark foreboding. I hate my forebodings because they generally come true. And they did.That coach never materialized. Or rather – two drove straight passed me. The Angel will be livid – before taking off on his travails he booked my passage on line and paid for it. So I’ll have to re-book my Embassy appointment. They give you a fifteen minute slot and are totally unmoved by any mishap which may befall you. Next available early September. Let’s hope my mother won’t die in the interim. It’s her explicit wish to see me one more time. Well, I keep telling her, you’ll better hang on then.

          As an aside, it is actually a rather strange feeling to be sans valid passport.

          Your daughter-in-law? Do not expect the Embassy to help you unless you are taken hostage in some god forsaken country. Their way of communicating is Kafkaesque. A parallel universe.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 15:49 | Reply

  2. Like all the other things in your life, you will grow accustomed to this also.

    Comment by rummuser — August 2, 2015 @ 15:56 | Reply

    • Oh, Ramana, no I won’t [grow accustomed to this latest disaster]. Like the devil possessed I keep staring at those passport photos in total awe of how this could have happened to me of all people. All I can hope is that as the Angel said a couple of weeks ago, looking at my passport photo taken twelve years ago (and it’s awful too though does bear some resemblance to me – not least because in those days one was allowed to smile); “That looks nothing like you, Mama.” Know what he meant. I looked like my Eastern European self five times removed.

      On a French note (they can’t pronounce the letter ‘h’): “I ate it, I ate it, I ate it.”

      Stuffed yours,

      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 2, 2015 @ 16:14 | Reply

  3. Oh why do I never feel your pain? I’m only delighted & laugh at your funny post. We females feel like you do, because we’re CONDITIONED to make ourselves beautiful & sexy to be accepted by males. I ate it, I ate it, I ate it –on a French note. How about shitty fuck?

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — August 2, 2015 @ 17:37 | Reply

    • Dear Cynthia, so good to hear from you. I feared you had hung up your commenting apron – in disgust and for good.

      Talking of beauty: I love your white hair. Will I ever make it that far? I don’t know. There are, apparently, some (natural) shades which don’t whiten easily.The other day I ripped a hair out and held it against a white piece of paper (that’s the litmus test whether it’s just white blond or white white). Well … Susan Sontag I ain’t. Yet.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 15:56 | Reply

  4. Glad to hear that you think you belong in my neighborhood, since Alcatraz is just a few blocks and a swim away. The good news is that you don’t need a passport to come here anymore.

    Comment by Looney — August 2, 2015 @ 20:34 | Reply

    • Hey Looney, my son Paul swims to Alcatraz (& back) regularly with others. The current tries to take you elsewhere.

      Comment by bikehikebabe66 — August 2, 2015 @ 21:42 | Reply

      • BHB, I will have to look for Paul next time. Unlike U, I have been aging for more than half a century, but need to keep doing swim events to conceal this fact from myself.

        Comment by Looney — August 3, 2015 @ 04:00 | Reply

        • Looney, Paul’s last name is Springer as is his father, my husband & my last name.

          Comment by bikehikebabe66 — August 5, 2015 @ 20:00 | Reply

    • Looney, maybe no passport required to visit Alcatraz (I hear it’s become a tourist attraction) but do ask the Angel about America’s welcome you get when you fly into LA from Europe. Mind you, in all fairness, it appears that border control all over the world does not excel at common courtesy.

      Yes, Alcatraz. In a moment of absentmindedness I watched that old Clint Eastwood movie the other night. If only to prove, once more, my theory that humans are such sociable beings that if no one else is around you will befriend a rat. A RAT, Looney! I ask you. Or, when the worst comes to the even worser, a spider.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 16:18 | Reply

  5. I’m dismayed every time I see a photo of myself. The only solution is to develop peace with the process 😦

    Comment by kylie — August 2, 2015 @ 21:56 | Reply

    • It is odd, Kylie. And I don’t say this by way of comforting either you or me, but some people photograph better than others.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 15:58 | Reply

  6. Ha, ha, ha!! The same thing happened to me. It was an awful shock. I’m sure photo booths are now HD…. and I am not HD ready.

    Comment by Scarlet — August 2, 2015 @ 22:21 | Reply

    • Yes, Scarlet. My shame being that I don’t even have the excuse of a sub standard photo booth result. European passport requirements are so picky you have to have your photograph taken professionally.

      What’s HD? High definition?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 16:01 | Reply

  7. All I’m hoping for you is that on the inside your spirit is smiling and 5 years old. I honestly don’t give a tosser about my external self and what it appears to others. Lose your sense of adventure and delight and you’ve lost everything. Pedantic? Don’t care.

    Comment by wisewebwoman — August 3, 2015 @ 00:19 | Reply

    • Dear WWW, yes my spirit is most certainly that of my truly happy five year old self. I am so damn lucky that way – even in the face of disaster I don’t lose what some kind fairy bestowed me at my cradle. Though sometimes I think I should [lose my spirit] to propel myself into action.

      Having said that I will try and scan my very first passport photo – taken in Berlin. it’s a hoot. I was six. And my face – to this day a give away as to my feelings in any given situation – shows a certain displeasure. And that’s an understatement.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 3, 2015 @ 16:07 | Reply

  8. Where have you been, U? Anyway, good to “see” you again! Don’t disparage too much about the government-issued photo. I think they have special lenses in those camera that make everyone look horrid. They use the same cameras to take “mug” shots for criminals, I’m sure of it. The government is on a tight budget and different departments must share equipment, right? Makes sense to me. And they don’t want the criminals to look good, do they? 😉

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 3, 2015 @ 18:40 | Reply

    • You are right, Lorna. That’s why a truly successful criminal, not in character acting mode of Pacino and de Niro, makes sure he looks like Miss Marple. As camouflage goes you cannot better knitting.

      Since it’s not my fault I shall not apologize but truth be told that when I was still five baddies (say in comics) were either Tartars, of other and similar Asian extraction or, worse, Russian. OH MY GOD, yes the Russian bear. I have since calmed down a bit. I am in love with Putin.

      Anyway, thanks for not having given up on me, Lorna. In my book loyalty is one the greatest virtues – not least in times of adversity and intermittent silence. So – with compliments of this house on fire –

      I am, as ever, yours,


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 5, 2015 @ 19:21 | Reply

      • I’m nothing if not loyal, U! 🙂

        Comment by Lorna's Voice — August 6, 2015 @ 19:52 | Reply

      • That is a strange thing…. your love of Putin…. you have mentioned it before.

        Comment by magpie11 — August 7, 2015 @ 11:31 | Reply

  9. Well, it’s true that passport photos usually conjure up death row and bear little relation to our actual appearance. My photo (with all those rules about not smiling etc) makes me look like a vicious serial killer or a hatchet-faced mafioso. But like wise web woman, I don’t care a hoot what others make of my physical appearance. I don’t look like a 20 something but why on earth should I?

    Comment by nick — August 9, 2015 @ 12:55 | Reply

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