Bitch on the Blog

November 9, 2017

By Association

Apparently there are many ways of keeping less desirable thoughts and memories at arm’s length. What are they?

Memories triggered by the mention of a date or a place? If you know of how to keep those at bay please do let me know.

Today is the 9th of November 2017. Which, in an earlier missive, I put as 9/11. Nine Eleven. For Europeans, and I don’t know which other countries,  9/11 means 9th November, November being the eleventh month of the year. I am painfully aware that this is not so for Americans. Nine Eleven has taken on such a life of its own that even as a European when I hear Nine Eleven I do NOT think of today’s date. Oh, no. I think of the eleventh of September. The American way.

Places: Dallas, Texas, to me means one thing only (leaving J R Ewing, oil and barons aside). Yes, 22 November 1963. The only time I’d seen adults walking around with grave faces like that, not their usual cheerful selves, was not long before (cue Cuba Crisis). On a personal note, and I have mentioned it before: November, the month, does have a lot to answer for. At least in my life.

How does your brain work?

U

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October 10, 2017

Sacrifice

Filed under: Amusement,Culture,Ethics,Integrity,Roadkill — bitchontheblog @ 22:59
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First you wait for a rose to blossom, the next moment three skunks turn up.

Yes, so stink is where it’s at. I’d live another life if mine didn’t throw up a conundrum when I am already working on another. Just now, the most pressing, that “something” (I can’t be more specific) needs to be aired in the public’s interest. Forget interest. … should be brought to wider attention. HA. My intention may be good, even honourable. Enter the dreaded “but”. If I did air it’d hurt many – particularly one. Now one may be a skunk but even skunks have feelings to be considered. So whilst all worthy, even amusing, is it permissible to air how clever you are at the expense of a skunk or three?

Please say no.

U

August 28, 2017

Nuance

Sweethearts, dearest Sweethearts. I am in danger. Of losing the plot. Let’s rephrase that: I am in danger of writing a plot no one will be able to follow.

Never mind. It’ll keep for another nightmare.

In the meantime I wrote earlier today, in answer to and occasion of an article claiming that queuing (in England) isn’t what it used to be. Thank the Lord.

“I am not British though have lived most my adult life in England.

As a nation, you take queuing too far and thus engender true unpleasantness. One of many occasions sticking out when I wasn’t even sure whether I wanted to buy fish. To be inspired I peered over the shoulders of many a person in the queue at the fish counter only to be met with a sharp, and hostile, pointer towards “the end of the queue”. Come again? What’s with being so anxious to lose “your” place? All I was doing was looking, not endangering your place in the hierarchy. As if one would.

For all their reputation of being relaxed and polite – the English most certainly are not the former, and not always the latter.”

So far none of the other commentators has told me to go home. What Brexiteers miss is that England IS my home. Well, I suppose depends how you define home. Home for me could be a hovel, a castle, the gutter in any old place (Mars, Siberia, Outer Mongolia), any country. Doesn’t matter. Home is where I am. All I need is a roof, a candle and a matchstick. No, not to burn the place down. To see where I am and what I am doing.

Yes, queues, I am all for organized chaos. Take the motherland. Go to the butchers, preferably when everyone else is going (say eleven in the morning, Blutwurst and all), go to the bakers (say between half past seven and eight in the morning when everyone wants fresh rolls). No one “queues”. Everyone knows when it’s their turn. Fine difference, don’t you think?

U

June 18, 2017

Shades of white

I am no good at drawing. Which is rather surprising since I come from a long line of people who actually made their living painting.

My father who inherited that most remarkable talent – though never made anything of it because he was more interested in pursuing other interests, once helped me out. I was about twelve. Our art homework was to do a portrait of a pirate (water colours no less – the smudge’s devil of all inventions). We had a few days. The worse and the more dreaded the task the more it’ll spoil not only your life in the interim but you’ll put it off to the last minute (deadline by another name). (Un)fortunately my father passed my desk (Sunday afternoon) as I was putting the finishing touches to a half hearted attempt at conveying both the cliche and the menace of a pirate (Johnny Depp my creation wasn’t – it was before his time). So, in a moment of charitable (or was it) intent, my father chucked my effort into the nearest waste paper basket and conjured up the most magnificent pirate ever. Took him zero time – not that he meant to ram home that I most certainly had betrayed the creative family line (on both sides). Not at all. He was far more interested in taking all my essays and other writings apart – even if they rated A* by assorted teachers. You want to know what my father called my teachers? Don’t. Repeating it would be flying in the face of my genteel upbringing and the manners my mother instilled in me.

So Monday was grand. My art teacher’s face lit up. He studied my father’s effort in detail. He was chuffed. He smiled. At me. After an artfully executed theatrical pause  he said: “Do tell your father that, on account of fraud, I’ll only give him a two” (a one being top mark). After that I can’t remember anything. Other than that I was always tops in the theory of art and art history. Brush to canvas? Forget it. Why would I? Know thy limitations.

Not to sell myself short and as befits my temperament, I did and do passable caricatures (of people). That’s about it.

As Karma has a way of biting you unawares,  most nearest and dearest to me, friends and assorted family, are masters of their chosen art. Occasionally forced to remind them, ever so tactfully, we can’t all be artistes. Some of us have to be the appreciative audience. The ones who do the clapping, the stroking of ego, the catchers of tears, the slayers of tantrums, the ones who write the critiques, facilitate you, marketeer your stuff.  And, BUY IT.

Whatever you do, please do not talk to me about gallerists. It was Basel/Switzerland, ca. 1997, when I fell off my chair on learning that a gallerist (the marketeer and provider of large swathes of wall and the monied) will take a  cool 66 % off your sales for services rendered.

Titanium white greetings,

U

 

January 13, 2017

Please select one of the following options

I need to vent a brief spleen. And who better than my helpless readers to vent it on?

One of the reasons I am considered to be so “good with children” that I have the patience of several saints rolled into one. Keyword “patience”. I myself would say that the reason I am good with children, indeed anyone, is because I am interested in them. But that’s not today’s spleen’s subject.

Patience. Naturally, as one would expect considering the laws of adversity, my personal life is peopled with people on a short fuse. GG (gay guy) had the shortest of them all. He was charming with it and, at a distance, one can live with other people’s short fuses. Though, truth be told, short fuses leave me bewildered. I don’t get it.

Back to where I started. I nearly blew a very long fuse ten minutes ago. Though I didn’t. It’s not that poor girl’s fault (Chinese, stuck in some god forsaken BT call centre, with an almost undecipherable accent to match) that the company she works for is what it is.

What got my goat – and not for the first time – that people just assume (in letters ASSUME) that I have a mobile/cell phone/handy so they can send me a text to confirm whatever there is to confirm. I DO NOT HAVE (see above). On relating this the dense will repeat the question: “What is your mobile number?”. This is the moment when even I (eleven minutes into a tedious call) am ready to burst a blood vessel. I don’t and I didn’t.

My question to you: Are we supposed to sing and dance to the same tune?

U

August 18, 2016

That which binds us together doesn’t divide us

Filed under: Culture,Family,Friends,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 18:01
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One more thought and then I’ll shut up on the subject of religion that’s occupied my thoughts the last few days:

One may ponder – and I have done so – why even those of us who wouldn’t describe themselves as religious do get married in church and, later on, have their children christened. And we, the collective we, do so, merrily, in our droves. Does that make us hypocrites? I don’t know.

Being of a practical bend I see those ceremonies as that what binds a family, a community, together, officially, through celebration. In the case of a christening – the welcoming of a child and introduction into wider family, “god” parents vowing in public to look after a child in parental absentia should the worst come to the worst.

What an exhausting subject religion proves to be – again and again and then some more …

U

June 27, 2016

Follow the leader. What leader?

Filed under: Atmosphere,Culture,Despair,Errors,Future,Integrity,Peace — bitchontheblog @ 10:28
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I came across a rather strange mention of me on someone else’s blog – something along the lines of “poor U(rsula). She seems to think it’s targeted at her”.

If that is what any reader has taken away from my last two posts then I have not only failed to express myself but I must appear more stupid than I flatter myself I am. Of course, brexit is not “targeted” at the likes of me. And, no doubt, the practical fallout for me personally will me minimal.

What I find a little bewildering that even my most consistent commentators didn’t have anything to say. Not one word of comfort, not even a grunt. Though by way of handing me a virtual tissue to wipe my tears both Ramana and Looney ticked the “liked” box. Good old Nick took pity on me and left a few words. So thanks for that. Anyway, has confirmed a long held belief: People don’t take to being flooded by someone else’s emotion. (or reason, come to think of it) . It’s ok. Just a little strange for someone like me who basically lives in the trenches of passion – mine and others.

What I meant to express was my dismay at a “mindset“, my huge and heartfelt upset at Britain going retrograde. Throwing it all away based on spurious reasons, and, worse, political intrigue. I didn’t call my last post “Shakespearean” for nothing. What is being played out here, and will be for a long time to come unless someone takes decisive action, is pure Stratford-upon-Avon. Except on that stage the curtain will fall and the audience goes back home, unharmed.

Brexit has the impact of living in a family and suddenly you don’t understand the dynamics of that family any longer. Say, your father bolts, your mother still wipes your nose, your brother takes to solitary fishing, your sister marries the man she least likes, the cat snarls at her best friend the dog, the dog comes to me because it’s also totally bewildered as to what the hell has happened. It’s a mess. Let me take the garbage out.

In the last three days I have read (as did the Angel), and we keep doing so, acres and acres and acres of analysis, opinion, prognosis. I am delighted at the many many eloquent, sometimes bordering on brilliant, writings by some of Britain’s finest brains.

And I am dismayed at some of the arguments of the blinkered total delusional Brexiters awaiting tomorrow’s paradise in Britain. Do wake up. Wishful thinking is one thing. A dream is another.

Some people (feeling a bit sheepish now) ticked ‘out’ for a joke because they believed Remain was a forgone conclusion. They now suffer what is so cutely called “buyer’s regret”. At least when you buy something you aren’t so sure off when you get home you can take it back, get a refund or at least an exchange. HA!

And those who advocate popcorn. Sure. Anyone outside the area (Britain and Europe affected more deeply than your scant glance will indicate), those of you who maybe not culturally well versed, aren’t too familiar with history, who don’t have to worry about their kids’ and future generations’ wellbeing – ENJOY.

Let’s go back to the dark ages. Don’t forget to bring a candle (and at least two matches).

U

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.

U

January 12, 2015

Who are you?

Filed under: Art,Culture,Errors,Human condition,Nature — bitchontheblog @ 17:03
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Sometimes even I find myself caught in the firing line of contradictory advice:

“Keep digging.”

“Stop digging. The hole won’t get any smaller.”

To be on the safe side I do keep digging until my worst fear – the hole getting bigger – is confirmed.

Holes are conundrums. On one hand, by virtue of being a hole, there is nothing. Just a hole. Which is fine as long as you are not in it. If you want to be swallowed go to Dartmoor. Or somewhere where squelching mud will suck you down. And all you did was set a foot wrong. But at least you won’t leave a hole.

I like gardening. You dig a hole – on purpose. You plant a plant. Fill hole around plant with soil till hole is full – et voila. Come spring all you have to fight are squirrels, deer, cute bunnies, your cat, a neighbour’s dog (the swine),  naturally, snails and slugs – and you wonder why you ever thought gardening and its more serious cousin, farming, were a calling rather than a curse.

You know what a vocation is? When you can’t help yourself. Vocation, a calling, is usually associated with those of a true or imagined artistic bend and those who live in a monastery, defuse landmines and or do other foolish things to keep the status quo going. I tell you, and I mean it: Scrub a floor instead. At least you can eat off it and no one – not least yourself – expects you to win a noble prize.

U

October 4, 2014

Five minus four

Filed under: Amusement,Culture,language — bitchontheblog @ 19:46
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Need to wear hats in England notwithstanding, I sometimes wish I were associated with the Queen. Or Charles. Or someone. One could then go round using “one”  without being called pretentious. I like ‘one’. As one does.

Do you remember the film (Dudley Moore) “Ten”? One of those guys who proved that there is more to a man than height. I like men who scramble up hills to get to their woman. Dudley did it so well. I once dissuaded someone to climb a precarious slope to get me some cherries (Switzerland). As alluring as the cherries were ardour needs to be channelled. And sometimes one needs to know how to stem a flow and build a dam (think Holland). One did stay friends. One’s (that’s my) instinct proving right that it pays to not have that marsh mellow.

Marsh mellows – context: Instant Gratification – currently in the news big time.  So the deal being that your four year old self is faced with a choice: You can have ONE marsh mellow now or wait for twenty minutes and have two. It’s awful when you think about it. Particularly, when like me, you don’t even like sweets  So I sit there for twenty minutes hoping someone would take that damn thing out of my sight, only to then be presented with another one. Brilliant, don’t you think? How to get rewarded in life with things ONE does not want.

U

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