Bitch on the Blog

March 16, 2017


Filed under: Accuracy,Bureaucracy,Errors,Family,Future,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 20:39
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Let me bore you, and ask you as, no doubt, have done so before: What’s in a name?

I don’t mean surnames. From a woman’s point of view and/or if you were born out of wedlock, your father later marrying your mother, you may have had as many surnames as me, namely a few. I will not beat Liz Taylor’s record as I am not the marrying kind.

So, first names. How did you come by your first name? If any of you have already told me, that’s fine. I am more than happy to be told the same story many a time. Repetition is what anchors an anecdote in one’s mind.

Myself? I am rather in love with the story how I became an Ursula. All down to my beloved grandmother who registered my birth. My mother’s preferred choice would have caused me no end of pain. She registered her second daughter under the name she wanted to give me. Which is why I am a little bear and my sister is a rock. Not as in reliable, but as in immovable. Stone. Hard as nails. She was followed by our brother, named after “The Great”, and Cornelia, our youngest, who feels short changed to this day. What Cornelia doesn’t understand that someone does have to be the youngest – even if you were part of quadruplets. Perish the thought.

So, please do indulge me and tell me, if you know or at least have an inkling, how you came by your first name. Why you love it, hate it, are indifferent to it. What you’d name yourself if you could be arsed to apply for a name change. What was your name shortened to if at all? No guess what our very own Nick’s of “here and now” fame complete name is. And, last but, not least: Were you given a nickname? By whom? And why?




October 26, 2016


Filed under: Amusement,Bureaucracy,Errors — bitchontheblog @ 15:22

To add to intermittent gloom of the season (and I love autumn unless I slip on its shed leaves and bang my head) here is the bad news (for me): Soon it’ll be November.

I have reported on this before. But old news, like a good stew, are no worse when warmed up. Yes, November. Of all the months of the year November is my nemesis. Awaited with trepidation.

This year I am resolved to break the spell. How? I don’t know. I still have five days before the first of the month strikes. The build up already promising what I dread.

May I be pleasantly surprised, and surprise myself not so unpleasantly.


August 19, 2015

Running on empty

Filed under: Bureaucracy,Errors,Ethics,Future,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 17:18
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As some of you know, others just guessing and studiously ignoring it, I have been in the shit hole of all shit holes (financially) for some time. It’s the fucking old devil’s job to climb out of that hole you make when you find yourself having fallen from a great height. People who once champagne danced on your floor at your expense will turn their backs. It’s quite fantastic. Has shattered my view of the world. I am not a leper. Not being in the money is not contagious.

Yes, insert sigh, so limping on pennies from day to day is a disgrace. Particularly at my age. That comes from not securing a “bread winner”, instead preferring to struggle on, on my own, in the wake of a divorce twenty years ago. Dear dog in heaven will you pay for relinquishing “rights” in the divorce court. My solicitor told me at the time I was making a big mistake. Never mind. That was my choice. Optimist, those for whom the future will “be fine” (my mantra) pay through their nose. Do you actually know how expensive it is to be poor? You don’t. Don’t try it. It’s an experience. But one of those experiences which (best case scenario) serve to make you more compassionate but can do without.

Long intro.Today’s question is about an aspect of a subject dear to my heart: Ethics/morals.

I need to earn money – big time. Not much but urgently. I have got about ten days before this ship sinks. What do you do – and this is a serious question: Accept a job that you think stinks to high heaven (ethically) or suspend all moral sensibilities and do it regardless?

I can tell you the answer for me now. I CANNOT do it. I rather starve. On the other hand I don’t want my son to witness his mother being made homeless.

Great stuff, ain’t it?


April 13, 2015

Band Aid

Filed under: Bureaucracy,Ethics,Fortune,Friends,Future — bitchontheblog @ 18:36
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“Not every problem does have a simple bookkeeper’s solution based on cost.”

Which is why I sign off my current (official) correspondence with

I remain disgusted yours,

…… ….


April 9, 2015


Filed under: Amusement,Bureaucracy — bitchontheblog @ 18:18

Can’t say I feel passion for the subject. Only mild annoyance.

Every so often the question pops up why men are Mr and a woman is all sorts.

Forget Miss, Mrs, Ms … in that order. What is of far more a nuisance to me is the eternal question on official forms (probably mentioned this before – if so, sorry to repeat myself but I only have one brain): Are you single, married, divorced, widowed?

Single? Married? Divorced? Widowed? It’s inane. Those who are married have it easy. They tick “Married” even if they are Liz Taylor – many times divorced and possibly (have forgotten now) widowed once or twice, currently married.

No doubt this country’s strange laws will conjure up a court order, a flogging and a fine for my ticking that which I am. Which is single. Previously divorced.

Sometimes, to brighten up some much stressed out bureaucrat’s boredom, I will tick TWO boxes (single and divorced – ain’t that the truth). But you never know. The law moves in mysterious ways and one of these days I’ll be obliged to swear an oath. Probably on the Bible. I respect the Bible but not to the extent of saving my neck. You want truth? Ask me to swear on my son’s life or my grandmother’s grave. Which wouldn’t make any difference to my marital status. Which is …


March 24, 2015

Chickenfeed – on a drip in seven daily instalments

If I had to liken my life to an art form I’d say I am a sculptor. One who once more has managed to slice her thumb open whilst finally being nailed to the cross of her involuntary own making.

I am faced with a stark choice: Begging, bankruptcy, prison (or, naturally, as discussed recently, prostitution). All of them intense in their own ways. Only one an option I can stomach whilst still blushing.

The damage I can’t service this minute in one fell swoop? £1,285.48. Yes, I know. In the scheme of things it’s nothing. Nothing. But then in some countries they chop your hand off for stealing a loaf of bread. The second time round you are left without either of your tools.


July 3, 2013

Safety in numbers

Filed under: Bureaucracy — bitchontheblog @ 17:17

Can I go to the dentist instead? Please. That way my mouth will be wide open and my voice rendered silent.

And remember: Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you don’t have reason to be.

Hugs and silent kisses,


May 13, 2013

Right? Wrong!

Filed under: Bureaucracy — bitchontheblog @ 17:14

I like my father. A lot. Still, he does get on my nerves. About thirty years ago he offered me a bet. On the year Goethe died. He was one year out. I won. As hollow victories go that one was bottomless. To this day.


October 4, 2011

Sweet innocence

Filed under: Bureaucracy,Communication,Despair — bitchontheblog @ 12:58
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What took me so long?

My son thinks that if his mother were an eskimo anyone could sell me ice. Maybe. Who knows.

Unlike most people in the UK I actually answer the phone with my name.

Phone rings. I answer: “Ursula …. speaking.” Answer: ” Can I please speak to Ursula ….?” “Yes, speaking.”

Remember: We have established that the caller is speaking to me.

Enter 1984, Big Brother is watching you, Orwell. I haven’t got the faintest idea who is calling me, only to be inundated with questions like: What’s your address, your maiden name, your mother’s maiden name, your pet’s name, your date of birth,  keep going …

Are these people ticking ok? So I, being friendly and forgiving of those in call centres ask, politely, and before answering their questions, who I am talking to. Here we enter the sublimely ridiculous: I am being told that,  for my security,  they first need to verify my identity in order to tell me why they are calling. Come again?

I put my foot down today, gently, politely. No more of this nonsense.

Whoever called me yesterday and today, twice in a row, trying to elicit rather personal information: I am sorry but please do tell your management that this is not the way forward. From now on I refuse to enter any such exchange unless you tell me your shoe size and why I have to make sense of incomprehensible accents.

Excellent. And it’s only lunchtime.


March 31, 2011


In about ten hours I’ll be on train to Magistrates Court, Poole, Dorset, England, to face the music. Luckily I am tone deaf.

Postponing the inevitable I haven’t YET written a word, neither outlined budget why they can stick their fine where my monies will not stretch to.  That can wait till two hours before legging it down to the train.

However, by way of diverting anxiety as to imminent incarceration, explained earlier today to son how to work washing machine in my absence; not least to not forget to turn OFF the oven. It met with little amusement: Not because he doesn’t want to do his own washing but because he is worried that going to a cell will blow my already stretched mind (think knicker elastic ca. 1955, slightly worn by life’s joys and tribulations).

I packed into today more than most people will into their spring clean spread over weeks: Tottered to doctor, did NOT cry at his shoulder, nevertheless made it clear that after the last three years testing my patience above knicker elastic might need replacing. Him, of a kind disposition, realising that I’d react allergic to anything he might suggest by way of pharmaca handed me a tissue instead and a copious supply of Vitamin D tablets to keep – for my age – apparently borderline thin bones in shape. Brill. Have just blown all my chances with Ramana.

Staggered into town to keep various people in humoUr (depleted), queued quietly at post office; had heartbreaking conversation with son on return, eating muffins which, naturally – in attempt to keep some sort of resemblance to normal life – I had baked ca 0700 instead of writing that blasted court thing. Now, and don’t say it doesn’t pay to speed (unbeknown to me) on 20 August 2008: As displacement therapy goes I have excelled myself: Filed like the devil,  hoovered like Dyson, cleaned like Doris Day and Mr Muscle rolled into one.

With a bit of luck, tomorrow afternoon I shall return to an immaculate flat, alphabetically ordered.

Oh, shit.


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