Bitch on the Blog

June 19, 2017

Mum is the word

The moment someone says “You remind me of my mother” is the moment my heart sinks. It’s one of the few black and white situations in life. Grey doesn’t enter the rainbow.

Rarely will anyone say “You remind me of my mother” and glow with the delight of that memory. Because, if you had a wonderful (grand) mother no one compares. No one. So it’s usually said as the ultimate put down. Because, after all, who in life is more important than your mother? Particularly one that didn’t live up to expectation?

It’s a line used in the negative, as a defense and an attack rolled into one. Why? I don’t know. Don’t ask Freud. He’ll give you shit.

The first time it was said to me I was only nine or so – said to me by a grown up man. Don’t ask. Grown ups are not all they think they crook themselves up to be. Still, and grateful to this day, it was one of those enlightening moments as to what to expect from both life and the future.

Today John told me that I remind him of his mother. The blow “You remind me of my mother. She was critical and self righteous” he softened by adding “And her valid points were often lost in those behaviours”. Let’s leave aside that being critical and self righteous are not “behaviours”, they are attitudes. John paid me a compliment – if in a backhanded, yet subtle, manner. “Mother” clearly being some gold standard by which women are measured.

Please do tell me about your mothers. Adopted or otherwise. Those you had, adored or loathed, those you would have liked to be the one and only in your life and those who were just that – your mother. The one you adored. The one who amused you. The one who exasperated you. Maybe all three for the prize of one. Before anyone tells me how “price” is spelled – I meant to say prize.

U

 

 

May 6, 2017

Sea Change

Have you ever got lost? I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense but its literal meaning.

Were you frightened when you did? How old were you?

I got lost twice in my life. Once age six or so. In Berlin which we had just moved to. My mother asked me to go to the bakers to get some fresh rolls. Not only was I honoured to be trusted with such a task I found a bakery. Bought the rolls. A bag full to bursting point. With a smell to match. Came out of the shop and stood in wonderment. There were all these high rise buildings caving in on me. Which sort of gave me something to look up to whilst trying to work out whether to turn right, left or walk straight ahead. After the first minute of confusion had worn off I was perfectly happy. I had visions of never finding my family again, being adopted by a kind fairy and living a life of bliss. Alas, it was not to be. Once I had realized I couldn’t ask anyone to give me directions since I didn’t even know the name of the street we lived on I just relied on my innate sense of direction. High rise or not. Never told my mother. “What took you so long?”, she said. Some things best kept to oneself.

The second was not that long after, and yes, we had moved again, when we visited the sea side. There we were, complete with beach hut and I went for a swim with one of those pesky blow up rings round my body. Don’t trust salt water. And don’t lose yourself in reverie. By the time I got back to the shore my parents, their friends and one sibling (tiny) had gone. I took it in my stride. Fairy tales are full of children, abandoned. Main thing in life is to keep your nerve. And let little surprise you. As I was trying to work out where to go from where I was my poor mother and one of our friends were running down the promenade shouting my name. “Sonny, Sonny”.

Apparently the current had taken me further and further and further sideways.

So? Did/do you ever get lost?

U

October 31, 2016

Compliments

Filed under: Amusement,Children,Fairy Tales,hope,Style — bitchontheblog @ 16:30
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Sweethearts, the time has come to come clean. I am not who and what you think I am.

What I am is a Witch. Before you mutter to yourself “I knew it” – you are not alone. About two hours ago I passed two little boys (say about four years old), in a nearby park,  when one of them asked me, in that most trusting way only children are capable of: “Are you a witch?” As career options go I might consider it. Mind you. I’ll need to go crowd funding first to source that most indispensible of all accessories. Namely, a broom.

Being caught on the hob – or is it hop, I smiled: “No, I am not”. On a nano second’s reflection, and not being the kind to dash other people’s hope (within reason). “Do I look like one?” Apparently, I do. “Witch, Witch, Witch”, they chanted.

By the time I came back from town, having forgotten all about my elevated status, they caught up with me again. “Look, the witch is back”. It’s nice to be delighted in. Unless you are the devil.

U

August 15, 2016

Divisions

Filed under: Children,Communication,Family — bitchontheblog @ 17:10
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It’s been long in the making. Now it has dawned on me.

Parents of more than one child please do take note: Just because one or two of your children give you grief, demand your constant attention, doesn’t mean that the rest of your brood is immune to life’s vicissitudes.

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

 

June 8, 2016

Limitations

Filed under: Amusement,Children — bitchontheblog @ 15:28
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Last night Hillary Clinton said that Trump is “temperamentally unfit to be president”.

Leaving aside that I agree with her it set me thinking on what any of us are or not temperamentally suited to. My mother maintains to this day that I’d make a marvellous teacher. “You have the patience I don’t”, she used to say when it came to, say, my siblings. It’s true. I have the patience of a saint twinned. Give me a needle and a thread and I will do that camel thing the Bible mentions.

However, there is patience and there is patience. Some years ago, in one of my many madder moments, I thought it might be financially prudent to retrain as a plumber (their hourly charges eyewatering – daylight robbery; supply and demand and all that). So – as one does – I dipped my toe into a test drive. Dear dog in heaven. Patience doesn’t come into those diagrams. Spatial thinking does. And whilst I am a mean parker of cars in unlikely spaces I just couldn’t fathom my future life going round the bend. So that was that. I still come cheap.

Sweethearts, do tell me, what are you “temperamentally unfit” to do?

U

May 11, 2016

Cost benefit analysis

Filed under: Amusement,Children,death,Human condition,The Reaper — bitchontheblog @ 09:04
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In response to the question of someone contemplating motherhood one commentator left the following:

“Don’t bother, it’s a waste of time. All that effort and then one day they will just die anyway. Pointless.”

Seriously, not even Sartre can beat this for a laugh.

Take it from this mother: The joy outweighs the certainty.

U

July 15, 2014

Round and round the garden

Filed under: Amusement,Children — bitchontheblog @ 13:03
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No idea why this just popped into my head:

Playing hide and seek with my siblings. It’s one of the more annoying bits of being older by a long shot. You are clever. You could hide anywhere. No one would find you. Bliss. However, you don’t want to disappoint the little blighters. So you make it easy for them. Not too easy. Give them the joy of the chase. But easy nevertheless.

And then my youngest sister broke my heart. Can’t remember how old she was. Maybe two or three. It was her turn to hide. Don’t ask. To this day I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or both. I was counting, very very very slowly to give her time, down to ten. Then the three of us turned round … She stood in the middle of the lawn in full view, her eyes closed and had put – for good measure – her tiny hands over her eyes.  Invisible to herself. We did a very good job pretending that it was truly hard to find her. Till we “found” her. Before she ran out of patience with us.

I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere. If so I don’t know what it is.

U

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