Bitch on the Blog

July 6, 2018

Trapped

Filed under: Children,Errors — bitchontheblog @ 05:17
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As no one else appears to have asked the question I might as well get my head chopped off:

Why were those boys (teenagers) trapped in a Thai cave not taught how to swim? Surely being able to swim (from the earliest age) is a life skill? Indeed, arguably, diving, knowing how to hold your breath, a survival skill too.

U

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June 13, 2018

Imprint

Filed under: Adults,Amusement,Children,Family,Fun — bitchontheblog @ 12:09
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Just came across an article (not in the English press) about that sweet pain you feel when, as an adult, you tread, barefoot and in the dark, on a piece of Lego – or some such. A pain that I have never encountered despite being a devoted mother.

The article then goes on about how to make a child’s room tidy. Tidy? What is it with adults and TIDY? Strange when you think about it: An artist is excused for paint and canvas flying all over the place, professors are expected to be scatter brained putting the goose into the fridge instead of the oven, writers if pressed won’t know what time of the day it is never mind the day, yet children have to be tidy. I will expand on the outrageous demands being made on children another time.

In the meantime I remember my father once walking into the room my sister and I deemed our empire (in today’s prat lingo – private space). If my sister were five then I was eleven. So he came into our room. Nothing untoward till he opened our cupboard. I remember the moment. The cupboard was painted baby blue and was about the height of a man slightly taller than my father.

Yes. Dreamy … Sunday afternoons are designed for fathers to find something to do.

It was one of the more astonishing moments of my childhood when he turned over the cupboard, decanting all our precious belongings into the middle of the room, amounting to a heap of epic height, putting the (now empty) cupboard back upright and told us to TIDY up (in the motherland’s lingo it sounds more frightening).

I don’t think either of us cried. More like, we thought “What a ….” Not of course that either of us spoke English at the time or had the vocabulary to put what seemed a little OUT of ORDER into words.

Inspection two hours later most satisfactory.  For him.

U

 

March 18, 2018

Writing on the Wall

I have just eaten an apple. It’s what I do in my spare time.

The apple was fairy tale red, crunchy to the point of hard. I am inconsolable to report that unlike Snow White no piece of apple lodged in my throat. I am alive and typing. I do appreciate the grief this will cause some inhabitants of blogland. Imagine I’d fallen asleep for one hundred years.  The good news that no prince is required to kiss me back into full bloom.

I eat my apples, always have, core and all, right down to the woody bit which even I find unappealing. In pensive moments one of my mother’s more dire warnings – about how best to avoid misfortune – pops into my mind. Namely, that if you eat and swallow an apple’s pips they either (depending on her mindset on the day) log into one of your organs and you’ll have to have your appendix out (don’t say my dear sweet mother didn’t approach her teachings in a scientific way) or, and this was and still is, more disconcerting, those pips will take root and you have apple tree shoots coming out of all your face’s orifices; your mouth and ears, she never mentioned my nose (she did have limits; I do need to breathe), for all the world to see that you have eaten, despite stern advice against the practice, apple pips. Who needs a vengeful all seeing god when all you need are pips?

Do my readers have their own little attempts at pulling the wool over our big eyes to share, not least those which left you feeling exposed to forces of nature you weren’t able to fight when a child – other than, obviously, NOT swallowing apple pips.

Sunday greetings,

U

 

December 17, 2017

Dashed hope

The notion doesn’t just belong to Christmas. Though I did come across the subject in the context of it. Presents. Or should that read “expectations”?

What would you have liked to be given at any time, at any occasion, at any stage of your life – but didn’t? Worse, what were you given though you didn’t want it? Whilst you mull over both those questions so will I.

U

November 7, 2017

To cast the die

Since we were talking games, and one in particular,  here is a general question: Do you play games, board, card, any other? If yes, which? If no, why not? Do they bore you? And even if they do, do you like the company they afford? Do you prefer those games which depend on luck or those which depend on skill? Though before your virtuous selves answer in the affirmative as to the latter, please do remember that even the seasoned chess player will still be in the clutches of Lady Luck. Trust me.

There are people born lucky. Within reason. The Angel is one such.  Doesn’t come up much these days, but there were occasions – when they were all younger – when his cousins resigned themselves, from the outset, to lose. The consensus, and expectation, being that the Angel would win “regardless”. Even my mother (who loves playing games) once lost the plot so much so I had to take her aside and ask her to get a grip. Reason? The Angel had won for the umpteenth time. You can’t hold winning against the winner, can you?

U

 

 

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

 

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