Bitch on the Blog

July 30, 2016

Lights off

“Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”.

I am not paranoid – and whoever recently tried to razor me down can go and stuff themselves in their chamber of horrors. However, and remember, both Orwell and Huxley are my shining lights in the way older brothers are, I can’t help feeling uneasy at times. It’s one of the reasons I prefer paying by cash. That way no one can trace the purchase of a sachet of cinnamon back to ME. Though, naturally, the person, any person, buying anything, will have been caught on CCTV. Yes, CCTV … What actual purpose does CCTV serve other than making you feel watched, uneasily, in the most innocent of pursuits?

In the line of duty I recently had the pleasure of talking to many a security guy working in retail. Being the affable me that I am I have been told things no one should know. And few will.

Upshot being – these days there is little hiding; not even under cover of the night. Think about that next time you do something you wouldn’t do in public. It really is the pits. Cat burglars take note. You will set off the alarm. As indeed I did last Sunday morning. All I wanted was some fresh air – walking round our nearby park at eight in the morning. Then – in misguided notion of doing my civic duty – I got caught up in a bit of a nightmare. Deafening alarm relentlessly doing what alarms do. Not that anyone showed up. Not at all. I could have cleared out the place and made a profit. Instead of which … Let’s hope that those of you who believe in Karma (as does the Angel) are right.

Those of you who are astute enough to point out some of the contradictions in what I wrote: I am well aware of them. Which makes the whole thing even more ironic. And not in a good way.

U

July 22, 2016

Future

Being wedged between two of my desks (yes, I do have several, don’t ask) on this fine summer’s day I take a break. For light relief looking at one of my bookshelves without so much as getting up from my chair. That’s the trouble with high temperatures. First you crave them, then they render you inert.

One of the first outcomes of years creeping up on me, and – for reasons unknown – my ever growing fear of a blood clot forming somewhere in my body resulting in a much anticipated aneurysm, I will dwell on how to make my eventual demise easier on the Angel. So I let my gaze (see above bookshelves) fall upon a no doubt worthy book called “Now that we are Sixty”. I bought this about ten years ago. What possessed me I can only speculate on: The vintage dust cover?

So, having flicked through it once more, it has been binned. Yes, I know it’s sacrilege to bin books. At least I don’t burn them. Though the latter might be kinder than imagining landfill. And before any of you tell me about “recycling”, don’t. I am the queen of recycling. However, sometimes you don’t want to inflict your rubbish on anyone else.

Hugs and hisses,

U

 

 

July 19, 2016

Mystery

Filed under: Communication,Friends,Human condition,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 00:57
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How do they say : I have hit a wall.

I didn’t think it possible. I am fond of someone I do not like at all.

How does that work, you may ask. It doesn’t, I will answer truthfully. And no, it’s not romance, it’s a recent acquaintance with a woman quite a bit older than myself.

U

July 18, 2016

Comments

Filed under: Communication,Formalities,Pretentious Shit — bitchontheblog @ 16:30
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Brief interlude before I answer comments on my last post.

Some of you use blogspot as their blog host. And some of you, though not all, have drawbridges in place.

Do you really think it necessary to infantalize your readership, or rather those inclined to comment, by asking them to “verify” that they are not a “robot”? Tick box. No, I am not a robot. But I may well employ one soon to tick the box verifying that I am not a robot. It gets worse.

“Please tick all pictures showing a shopfront/trees/mountains”.  Come again?

What’s all the paranoia? Do you really think you are so precious that someone will take the time (after having penned a more or less considered reply to your musings) to then jump through the hoops like a dog with a biscuit waiting the other side?

U

Snapshot in time, Take Two

I love photographs, those of my life, the Angel’s and those of others’ lives. To me a photo is pure magic – a snapshot in time.

I pour over them, and each tells a story. I believe the oldest I have is of my maternal great grandparents, taken in 1895. My beloved grandmother was born a year later. Judging by his moustache my great grandfather could have been Nietzsche’s  younger brother. To look at the image of two people you have never met, long dead, yet without whom I wouldn’t be here. They had five children – four daughters, one son. Though why they bothered to have a boy is anyone’s guess. In the end he was just young fresh meat cannon fodder. As indeed was my grandparents’ eldest son, Karlheinz, AFTER the end of the second world war. Prisoner of war. Russia. Couldn’t stand it any longer. Tried to flee the camp to go home. Shot in the back. He was younger than the Angel is now. The Angel being 24.

Mustn’t get carried away with nostalgia – though I do. If I were allowed to save one thing after all living beings were removed from the house on fire I’d take my treasure trove of photos.

I have done it again. Long intro. What I meant to convey, and please do let me know your own examples: A snapshot in time without holding your camera to it. Yet engraved in your memory forever.

Last time it happened to me was about a week or so ago. Caught up in my usual far away dreamy world, crossing the road on foot and on autopilot, a car passing stopped. The sun was shining. The driver leaned out of his open side window – a young man in his mid twenties, long blond hair, and his trademark big smile: Mama, he beamed.

And that, having been taken by surprise, frame was a snapshot in time. A perfect moment in time. That moment’s “frame” has etched itself onto my visual memory in an almost shocking clarity. It’s there. Like a photograph (not taken).

U

July 17, 2016

A snapshot in time

Let me tell you now, and I won’t hold it against if you never talk to me again: I am not possessed by a cell phone.

Of course, I do admire those who have one and know what to do with it without being enslaved by it. Indeed I am so happy that the Angel bucked the trend and got a Samsung instead of you know what. He won’t let me touch it but will show me the magic.

The world is shrinking – size wise. I remember the first word processor (IBM) the law firm I worked for employed. Being the youngest in der Anwaltskanzlei  I was the chosen one to attend the course and subsequently instruct my co workers how to operate what, in terms of size, can only be described as a MONSTER. Yes, those were the heady days when my beloved IBM golf ball typewriter lay on its death bed. Mind you, with teaching comes responsibility. Thus I was swiftly reprimanded for making my coworkers feel stupid and slow. I did apologize since that was never my intention. It also taught me that “intention” has little to do with human interaction. A bit like standing on someone’s toe without realizing you are doing so.

“A snapshot in time” will continue in another post with what I meant to relate before getting carried away, as usual, by long intro.

In the meantime, what “oldies” overtaken by technology’s ever faster strides do you hanker after/have fond memories of?

U

July 16, 2016

No goal

Filed under: Children,Future,Health — bitchontheblog @ 17:48
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Sweethearts, if anything in both the blogging world and comment sections on newspapers has taught me: DON’T. Say a word. So I won’t. It’s tough. Good exercise in self restraint.

Which is why I am throwing myself at your shoulders rather than facing prospect of being butchered in the wake of an article on miscarriage. The article itself is self indulgent to the point of nausea. The comments? My god. Pass me a bucket.

Bull. Bull and bull. Kylie, I expect you to weigh in here heavily.

Maybe I was brought up at a time when a bull was a bull and a spade was a spade. Shit happened. It was normal. I watched my mother, aunts, neighbours, you know … females. They miscarried. And then they carried on with life.

U

 

July 5, 2016

Off the well worn path

I do have fond memories of my school days. The time between age seven (in the motherland they don’t shove kids off to school at the unreasonable age of four as they do in the UK) and when I left (age 19). Yes, it was an education. In more ways than one. Which is why I think home schooling should be avoided unless your kid is a Mimosa and allergic to human interaction.

So, among my many other favourites, one challenge I remember with particular enthusiasm was when one of our teachers bounced in and wrote, chalk screeching, onto the blackboard: BEGRIFFSABGRENZUNG.

Don’t panic. It’s just a word. In English you’d write “begriffs abgrenzung”. Two words. Same difference.  (As an aside why is the English language so Capital averse?) “Begriff” meaning term/concept. “Abgrenzung” meaning boundaries/overlap. I’d say “definition”. Let’s say the option we were given was “clever, wise, intelligent, educated”. You then had to define each in relation to the other. Call me anal but that sort of challenge appealed to my sense of order. To my sense of enjoying being a nit picking precision freak. Two hours would fly by.

Long intro – short inspiration. Nick, on his blog the other day, brought up the subject of “shame”. Which set me thinking how closely “shame” is related to “regret”. Indeed how they overlap. Of course one may regret, more often than not, without feeling shame.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have felt shame in my life, acutely. Regret? Yes, and no. Where I think shame to be an all encompassing moral concept, regret is very very personal, and elusive. I may regret something to some extent, and yet, in terms of causality, chain of life events which, some way down the line, may give you cause to regret may also, in a wider context, have been a good thing to happen to you. Naturally, that’s the long view. Short term? Don’t bite your fingernails. It’s not becoming. Slam a door instead. At least it makes a noise.

Chew on that. You’ve got two hours.

U

July 3, 2016

Valour and to debase

Picking a few of a plethora of notable quotes in the British press:

“The leave campaign is a revolution, and like all revolutions, it will eat its own.”

Maybe, though I think evoking the French Revolution’s big players is a little far fetched in the context of British politicians turning into Pinocchios, chameleons, piranhas, Judases, downright chancers and slime.  Leaving Jo Cox (England, shot 16 June 2016) aside, no one has yet been stabbed to death in the bath (reference Marat, Paris, July 1783).

“Democrats have no duty to endorse democracy’s every outcome.”

This one I love.  It’s an epiphany. Whoever wrote it I could kiss. Think about it: “Democrats have no duty to ENDORSE democracy’s EVERY outcome.”  Genius.

And then there is, the relatively harmless:

“People want to be lied to, Johnson. No, not Boris, 2016, who proved the point; the other one, Samuel, ca mid 17 hundreds, who made an observation.

I have a special relationship with lies/lying. I do concede that a white lie, in order to avert unnecessary harm and judiciously applied, does have its place in social relations. The blatant lie, the misleading, the blinding, the up and down the garden paths, the self serving, the coward’s way out? No. Not in my court. Which is not the same as saying that I don’t understand those who are trapped in a corner and make deals with the devil. It happens. And let no one cast the first or any stone.

Premeditated lying? There is no excuse for it. Even the most optimistic, “well meaning” and accomplished liar will have to accept that trust – once broken – is just that: Broken. Or in the words of Bertold Brecht, loosely translated: “The ends of a knot severed can be spliced together again but you won’t find me where you left me”. In other words: Rain doesn’t return whence it came from.

U

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