Bitch on the Blog

March 1, 2018

The Alternative Comment Box – Interval 2

On good news, this afternoon I was briefly reminded of the joys of my childhood’s snow: We haven’t had this much in one day, here at the South Coast of England, in years. It’s lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely. What is, obviously, not so lovely that the English tend to go into siege mentality, a type of hysteria. Cubic meters of the white stuff other countries conquer easily make some English go into melt(!)down.

Anyway, minimalists and all those of you lumbered with people difficult to give presents to because they have everything money can buy and afflicted by that certain ennui that comes with saturation, here is your perfect dinner party gift for the host with most except nothing:

Just before arrival at and on said host’s doorstep, you gather as much snow as possible, preferably the kind that sticks together to allow you to sculpt it into, say, a snowball. Make it round. Perfectly round. Hand it to your host/ess who, naturally, will shrink away from it but reconsider in a second since it’s impolite to refuse a gift. Fast forward to dessert, nay, after dinner coffee: Your present will have melted. Gently. Leaving little trace other than a tiny puddle of water. Genius or what?





  1. I am one of those difficult people to buy for. I don’t want or need much and I’m even trying not to eat sugar so my once beloved chocolates are less welcome. I’ll h ave to tell everyone that flowers are still hugely appreciated and in the event of snow, a snowball would be lovely. So long as it’s not yellow

    Comment by kylie — March 1, 2018 @ 21:24 | Reply

    • “As long as it’s not yellow”? For all you know it could be beetroot.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 2, 2018 @ 19:58 | Reply

    • Judging by the article’s title (haven’t read it yet) all those fangled “health and safety” measures of our age are designed to take the fun out of life. There is a reason children weren’t born swaddled in cotton wool. Whilst some things are common sense to keep your kids from harm, others appear to be designed to make kids anxious rather than confident in their dealings with the world around them.

      I remember when the Angel was a young kid suddenly kicking a ball around the playground during break time wasn’t allowed. This wasn’t allowed, that wasn’t allowed. Anything physical. And let’s remember, kids are not only full of energy but, well, physical. That’s how they learn to understand the world. There is a wonderful word in German to describe the concept of learning: Begreifen. A child needs to begreif the world. The closest translation into English is: “to grip, to grasp”. Literally. That’s what children do from the moment they can’t even lift their head yet. They grip their parent’s finger, they put things into their mouths, etc etc etc. If children are anything it’s tactile. Remember “grip/grasp”. Naturally, as you get older as a kid, little more disdain can be heaped upon you than the less literal “Ja, begreifst Du das denn nicht”. Don’t you understand? Interesting word in its various mutations, meanings.

      Anyway, what am I doing? Putting the cart before the horse by replying to before I’ve even read the article? Shame on me.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 2, 2018 @ 19:55 | Reply

  2. Regardless of one’s station in life one can never have too many bottles of good single-malt whiskey

    Comment by Chuck McConvey — March 2, 2018 @ 18:41 | Reply

    • That’s true, Chuck. Particularly if you appreciate good single-malt whiskey. Nevertheless, there are people whose “station in life” is such that unless you come up with something that money can’t buy, they barely take notice what your offerings are. It’s hard to put into words; it’s an attitude.

      Upshot being that should I ever find myself knocking at your door I’ll make it a case. Easy. Still, First I need to find out what constitutes a good single malt and dare say my research won’t take long, short cut being that I could just ask you. Beer is more complicated. Leaving the good old and reliable “Reinheitsgebot” of Germany aside (a rule I believe also applies to our laws on wine) – sorry, small interlude, whilst I try and stop laughing; trust the Germans to be pure(!). Yes, all that purity and cleanliness and order (and knowing how to deal with snow) makes my heart sing, full with affection for the motherland. Shows you the truth of the old adage that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I myself think distance makes you forget the not so good and emphasizes the great.

      Where was I. Beer, and leaving das Reinheitsgebot aside: On these shores, possibly all over Europe, so called craft beer outlets, the size of small bars, are springing up like mushrooms in the Berner Oberland in autumn (Bern is in Switzerland – not that you didn’t know that). The scope and variety of beer is amazing – for me not in the drinking, beer being more of a male thing (call me sexist), but the poetry of their names, their smell, all the different colours are quite astonishing. I know this because the Angel encourages me to take a sip here and there. Oh, yes, and the NAMES.

      Given all the variety the one thing I still find vaguely unnerving when I come across a recipe and it stipulates “beer” as one of the main ingredients. Beer? What do you mean beer? What beer? It’s like saying throw a bottle of red into your Boeuf Bourguignon (though the name of the dish does give a clue) regardless. I once, right in the middle of cooking, realized I had run out of the very wine needed. Enter, and since you, if I remember correctly, do cook too you may recognize the fallacy of “cooking wine”. Only the English! So, I zoomed downstairs (we live above a renowned restaurant) and asked them for wine, urgently needed for a casserole destined to be divine. Oh dear. The maitre, most obligingly, went down to the kitchen when the shelves behind him were stacked with drinking(!) wine to get me, well, some “cooking” wine. Let’s just say the wine wasn’t the only thing going down the drain, my esteem for their outfit too.

      Anyway, mustn’t get carried away in pleasant conversation as I and my reputation cannot allow my attention being diverted from taking the piss of certain, and only the most deserving, bloggers. I don’t really like being on a mission; it’s hard work. No slacking. Remember “Reinheitsgebot”. And the even more labour intensive “I finish what I started.”


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 2, 2018 @ 19:42 | Reply

      • Cooking wine is an oxymoron – only cook with the wine you drink – or so they say. And decent wine is dirt cheap over here so I am surprised any cooking wine ever gets sold. Craft beer is wildly popular over here, as well. Me? I like Yuengling and Coors from the US, most Canadian beers and most lagers in general. A friend owns a craft beer company called Hop Fusion Ale Works in ft. Worth, TX.

        Comment by Chuck McConvey — March 8, 2018 @ 20:34 | Reply

  3. I am Ashutosh. My friends and family are inevitably delighted with my response!

    Comment by rummuser — March 3, 2018 @ 11:02 | Reply

  4. “das Reinheitsgebot”… Bavaria early 16th Century if I remember correctly…water, barley and hops ….. wasn’t there a dispute in recent years (well after “reunification” about some very dark beer that contained sugar?

    As for “cooking wine”… actually, as an Englishman, I only ever heard of “cooking sherry”. I had an aunt who defined “cooking sherry” as the “sherry that she always had a glass or two of whilst cooking”…. she was well known for enjoying the cooking sherry. When using wine as an ingredient in cooking one should always used the best that one can afford, and if one cannot afford a good wine…. cook something else or leave it out.

    As for a good single malt…… that is a can of worms….

    I just thought that I’d drop by and add a pen’orth.

    Comment by magpie11 — March 3, 2018 @ 17:11 | Reply

  5. The rains finally arrived here and the snow level came down to about 500 meters in the mountains nearby. The child in me wants to go spend the days trekking into the rain, snow, fog and mud, but things are too busy at the moment. This kind of weather makes me think retirement might really be worth it. Not sure what kind of gift to bring back when I leave the wilderness. The snowball won’t make it all the way back to the car. Maybe a frog?

    Comment by Looney — March 4, 2018 @ 01:56 | Reply

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