Bitch on the Blog

May 25, 2017

Spoilt for choice

There is a regular program on Radio Four (BBC, Sunday morning) called Desert Island Disks. Someone of relative public interest is invited to talk about their life and, intermittently, ten pieces of music of their choice are played.  They’ll then be asked to choose one of them to take with them – don’t say the BBC isn’t generous – before being shipped away and with little hope to return. You are given the Bible. You may choose one other book and one (in numbers 1) luxury item. No, not me. I am not a luxury item. I am cheap.

It’s amazing what people will choose as their luxury item. For heaven’s sake – who needs silk sheets in the middle of nowhere? Take a Swiss Army Pen Knife instead. What would I take? I don’t know. It’s not likely to be allowed within in the parameters of the programme but most likely a never ending supply of my favourite fruit/vegetable. Which is … What? Trying to come to a decision will take some time – a most welcome interval to delay the evil departure.

So, what about you? What’s your luxury item, food or otherwise, to take to the desert island? Please don’t say a harpoon. Life doesn’t work like that.

Tom Hanks greetings, and don’t forget to squirrel away some matches and don’t let them get wet during your voyage,

U

April 24, 2017

And then some

To keep you from your more urgent tasks in hand here is another one of those questions on ethics which plague me. And if I have mentioned this before (not that you’ll remember)  please put it down to my willingness to repeat myself.

So there you are. At the fresh fish counter. It’s all glistening, enticing, a cook’s dream. However, enter the unfortunate shopper (that’s me) who is also well informed about decimating stocks of various species in the oceans. Great. Now what?

I am not proud of myself which is, most likely, why I seek your thoughts yet fact is, I think to myself: “That particular fish is already DEAD. Why should I let it go to waste?” Yes, I say to the fish monger, pointing to my bounty, that’ll be lovely. Thank you. Have I just proven the law of supply and demand? Sugar. Nevertheless, the fish was ALREADY dead. Someone has to eat it.

Of course, one could spin this idea to the less savoury. Think Moby Dick, indeed any prolonged adventure at sea when the Vasco da Gamas and Columbuses of this world set sail to discover new lands and spices. There you are at sea. Since you are all already on the brink of death why prolong the agony by not eating your past-his-live-by mate? And what if you were vegetarian or vegan at sea? Yet hungry? Would you toss your principles overboard to stay alive? Actually, come to think of it – and I am a connoisseur of seafaring factual and fictional accounts – why do those who do resort to eat their own always go for the weedy first instead of the meatiest? Such a waste.

U

PS Please do note that I posed TWO questions/dilemmas (for the price of one post). No need to keep it short. Just pour yourself on this page. I will gnaw on any bone you throw me.

December 19, 2016

Keeping a foothold

If I had to define one aspect of (my) life I’d say: Happy go lucky.

Happy GO lucky? Literally? Come again.

In all our lives there are “themes”. Bits that repeat themselves. One of mine is stumbling, falling over. I’d like to say: “No shit”, but that’s not the sort of language I employ outside my own hearing.

My headmistress and my English and German teacher told me that I was the only pupil they’d ever known to fly UP the stairs and do herself an injury. And thus my feet slowed me down – not often, but at measurable intervals.

I won’t bore you with an episode, in my late twenties, when one of my legs gave way often enough for me to even more lose my footing. Never has anyone curtsied as graciously and as often as I did – even in an ice cream parlour. People fell in love with me thinking I was Cinderella. To the rescue here they came. Which was sweet. One can only love so many (romantically that is, otherwise the heart is wide). And I was already in love with the future father of my future son. Unfortunately FOS had, and probably still does, tendency to see multiple sclerosis and other dreads where there are none. Anyway, so that went away on its own account. And, years later, when runner’s shin was not a diagnosis, acupuncture miraculously cured a pain never to return.

Remember we are talking walking. And losing your footing. For years everything was fine. I’d carry the Angel, even at age four and of corresponding weight, running down a hill in pouring rain without so much as one ankle giving way. Now?

Now? Don’t ask. One time I faltered – right at the doorstep of our front door – the Angel said, and never shall words ring more in my ears: “MAMA, you ARE a liability”.

That’s nothing. I could be dead or demented. Then I’d really be a liability.

Since, and in the last few months, I keep falling. Nothing broken. So that’s good. What is not so good – and the point of this post – that I have recognized the law of being conditioned. Yes, conditioned. Not flummoxed. Not fixated. Conditioned. Thus, or so my theory goes, phobias develop. Where, once upon a time, my nose was up in the air admiring the clouds, now my eyes are fixed on the ground. Trying to locate pot holes in the pavement before they trip me up. Negotiating decaying damp leaves before I can slip on them as if they were a discarded banana skin.

I wouldn’t say it’s depressing since it gives you a different perspective, one you didn’t have before. Nevertheless, I now find it daunting to set a foot outside. And, remember “conditioning”, I can barely bear dare to do so after darkness falls. Because then, guess what, I can’t see where I am going.

I am sure there is a life lesson in there somewhere, one of my beloved metaphors. But what is it?

U

 

November 10, 2016

Don’t fence me in

Once upon a time I was a homeowner with all the responsibility that entails. Not least, in Britain, to respect the boundaries your neighbours will impose. Though not British, when in Britain, I will do (within reason) as the British do – or, at least, try not to ridicule what’s bred in their bone. And as much as the Brits’ homes are their castles (complete with a mortgage that even a drawbridge groans under) as much they do like borders.

Yes, borders. As in walls, fences. One of my more far fetched theories that the reason the British prefer dogs to cats that cats do not respect fences. If they want to climb up and jump over one they jolly well will.

So back to Trump and neighbourly etiquette. If my neighbour wants to put a fence or a hedge or whatever else round his patch of immaculate lawn thus blocking his view that’s fine. What’s not fine, indeed unacceptable, is to ask me to pay for it. That’s Trump’s plan on Mexico. The guy has no manners.

Before I take this post into a direction even I find beyond satire I’ll leave you to do your own fencing.

U

September 14, 2016

Summer

A swallow just caught my attention.

Once upon a time we lived in the middle of nowhere. Even our immediate neighbours, one either side (we were in the middle) were a good walking distance away. Let’s say, not in earshot.

Yes, surrounded by fields, meadows, a little stream, dried out ponds (spare a thought for the frogs), and generally all that I was accustomed to from my earliest childhood I’d spent with my grandparents. And, the FREEDOM. I was allowed to just wander anywhere. Then I met a bull. But that’s another story. I am a fast runner.

So, on the outhouse right next to our patio/terrace there was the swallows’ nest. You think bricks and mortar, the pyramids, the London Eye, a miracle? Look at a nest. That’s a miracle. An act of perseverance, ingenuity, hard relentless work and focus. Not to mention purpose.

Enter the farmer’s (on the left depending which direction you were looking from) cat. When I say cat I mean panther. Nowadays probably classified as feral. I dare say there was no “cat food”. Cats fed themselves doing it by means cats do best: Hunt.

Great. So far so good. Here is the recipe: Enter the swallows, their freshly hatched brood, my father AND the CAT into the mix. Watch this for a while as the baby swallows are being decimated. Swallows getting agitated, cat getting bold, my father getting ANGRY.

So, one morning I wake up and there is a big black panther lying under the outhouse roof. Shot. There was no blood. But that big black Tom of a cat was dead.

Not so. Apparently it was all in my imagination. I was never to breeze so much as a word to said farmer neighbour and generally condemned to silence. That’s when I decided to become a spy.

I don’t know why, twelve years old, a long time ago, I do remember the cat’s body.

The swallows? Did they come back the next year? I don’t know. By then we had moved.

U

July 22, 2016

Future

Being wedged between two of my desks (yes, I do have several, don’t ask) on this fine summer’s day I take a break. For light relief looking at one of my bookshelves without so much as getting up from my chair. That’s the trouble with high temperatures. First you crave them, then they render you inert.

One of the first outcomes of years creeping up on me, and – for reasons unknown – my ever growing fear of a blood clot forming somewhere in my body resulting in a much anticipated aneurysm, I will dwell on how to make my eventual demise easier on the Angel. So I let my gaze (see above bookshelves) fall upon a no doubt worthy book called “Now that we are Sixty”. I bought this about ten years ago. What possessed me I can only speculate on: The vintage dust cover?

So, having flicked through it once more, it has been binned. Yes, I know it’s sacrilege to bin books. At least I don’t burn them. Though the latter might be kinder than imagining landfill. And before any of you tell me about “recycling”, don’t. I am the queen of recycling. However, sometimes you don’t want to inflict your rubbish on anyone else.

Hugs and hisses,

U

 

 

February 13, 2016

Riding the wave

Filed under: Amusement,Communication,Environment,Formalities,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 23:42
Tags: ,

Among one of the worst bunches of my traits: There are people (make that men, women don’t care as long as I admire them) who think I think them stupid.

I don’t.

I take people as they come. What’s it to me that my landlord doesn’t understand the mechanics of damp? Nothing. That’s what. Shorten my life by a few years. As long as I don’t think you stupid the world is my sneeze.

My landlord told me I think him stupid. I don’t. I had never considered the matter of his intelligence. Nevertheless, he is miffed. Him being Italian complicating matters because, on one hand, Italians revere women – particularly if you are their mother. On the other? Well, on the other they are short tempered even when they are shorter (in length) than you. Never mind.

If you want affirmation as to your intelligence speak to my father. I don’t say this lightly because I despise name dropping as some people do to make themselves grander, BUT. But my father’s IQ is of the jaw dropping, hit the ceiling variety. Incidentally so is that of LSF (longest standing friend). And yours [that’s my readers’] possibly too. After all, why would I talk to people who don’t show me the errors of my ways?

Yes, so my father – and it was one of the more shocking, leaving a long lasting impression on me, moments of my youth: He pronounced (don’t ask) % of people “stupid”. Since I myself am not THAT stupid the first question popping into my mind: What constitutes “stupid”? It’s a big question, not easily answered. Not that it matters.

Before I rest my case: One of my favourite books features, and is told through the eyes of, the proverbial “village idiot”. He may be simple. Yet, stupid he ain’t.

Hugs, kisses, dashes, yours,

U

 

February 13, 2014

Room with a view

Filed under: Atmosphere,Environment — bitchontheblog @ 03:51
Tags: ,

Had another thought. Not all thoughts are viable. They are more like rabbits. Hatching at the rate of knots. With wind in the sails.

I live in what I call Restaurant Street. Adjoining. I don’t give them business. For reasons unimportant in context. My computer screen is on my right. At an angle. Yes, I know it’s ergonomically not so good. But I like it. Not least because, every time I look away, I have that view – what with my desk running the whole length of the window.

You can’t buy taste. About twelve months ago a unit and its window was snatched by an estate agent (not a restaurant). What I find fascinating, and one of these days. when I have nothing better to do, I will take it up with them (not just because they annoy by being in my line of vision every night) their lights are going full blast. Neon. In your face. I am pretty green (as in ‘save the planet’, ‘recycling’, ‘waste not want not’). One wonders, I do, who they think will look into their shop window at three in the morning to find a new flat/house.

I dislike the unnecessary. Disenchants me when business disregards the basics that a private householder is supposed to observe. I do observe. And am pissed off. To the hilt.

U

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