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

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

April 30, 2017

Breaking news

Ha, all is becoming clear.

In my last post’s reply to Ramana’s comment I say that I actually don’t mind people displaying a healthy dose of arrogance. According to an article I just read we like those who resemble us. Which, oh my poor dear Sweethearts and regular commentators, on the assumption that you give me the time of day because you quite like me and it’s worth your effort, makes all of you arrogant and antagonistic swines. And those who shall remain unnamed – the ones who in their quest to divest themselves of me – are little Bluebells swinging in the wind waiting to be picked. Cute.

Well, if that isn’t a damning indictment (fn the Bluebells) I don’t know what is. Don’t cry. Here is my handkerchief. Keep it.

U

 

March 31, 2017

Whimsy

One of the less palatable facts of life (apart from death, obviously) how, at times, to cope with the whole caboodle. I have found myself at points which didn’t bring me so much to breaking as having to take some deep breaths, thank my lucky stars that it’s too far and damp to walk to the next cliff, and then regroup. It pays to have shoulders. And brings to mind camels and backs, and straws that break the camel’s back, and taking water from the well till the vessel cracks, you name it there will be an image for it.

Which reminds me, apropos of nothing, and one Looney may have the patience to answer: What’s it with camels, wells and donkeys? And going through the eye of a needle? That camels feature large is, geographically speaking, not a surprise. Still. Wait till a Llama spits at you, not out of spite – just because that is what Llamas do, and you look at life, as only a five year old can, through a heightened lens.

That’s how animosity starts. One moment you are meandering through your own overgrown backyard, the next someone offers you to borrow their lawn mower. Obviously the latter never happens but as an idea it works.

So, what do you do? Accept that your neighbour lends you their lawn mower not because you don’t have one but because they don’t want to be seen living to someone who is perfectly happy to walk among daisies? Or do you mow that meadow of yours to keep the peace?

Let me know. Not that I do have any land, overgrown or mowed, at the moment.

U

March 21, 2017

Why, oh why, oh why

As I currently appear to be in questioning (if not questionable) mode here is another one to make you, my dear Readers, blush:

What do you remember as one of the more embarrassing moments of your life? Obviously, all of us are spoiled for choice, and some episodes best taken to the grave, never to see the light of day. Others? Other embarrassments may make (some time in a far away future) a passable anecdote.

And yes, before you scroll back, I DID say that ALL of us (no use denying it) are spoiled for choice – and I say this as someone who is NOT easily embarrassed. As they say “Shit happens”, so, and being conceited as I am, I am reconciled to the human condition. However, when I do embarrass myself, boy oh boy, no half measures taken, no hole to swallow me in the near vicinity, I do wonder why this mortal coil of a life is peppered with snares to get trapped in.

It also makes for a rather interesting exercise in time travel, not least when you learn that some people were elephants in a previous life; they never forget, and have amazing ability to cut you down shorter than to size by casually mentioning something that happened ages ago.

In the short space it took me to type the above, my life of embarrassing episodes has flashed past me and I feel a little hot under the collar. It’s why the prospect of someone writing your biography once you are dead and therefore unable to put the record straight is pretty daunting. OH MY GOD. Actually tempts me, rarely – but it does, to put it all down on paper myself. Except, of course, who wants to relive that which is best forgotten?

Please don’t be shy. As so often, I will reveal myself in reply to you. If that sounds like a trade off – it isn’t. It’s my ingenious way of hiding my tree among bushes, in the hope no one notices.

U

March 16, 2017

Appearances

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?

U

 

 

February 27, 2017

Tabula rasa

To blow the lid off yesterday’s vessel I will give you something to think about, to reflect on. A laughing matter it ain’t. In fact, I am in shock. Not that I should be since I have experienced same in a different guise before.

There I was, reading a comment. Unfortunately – and please do follow the story line – I didn’t take in the name of the commentator. By the tone of the voice, its sheer being obtuse, I “knew” who it was. Cue hackles rising. I worded my answer accordingly, erring on the acerbic side. Being my lucky day, before I pressed “publish” my gaze happened upon the name of the actual sender.

And what do you know? And this is the punchline and the whole point of this post – and it is shameful. Once I realized who it really was from my whole mindset changed. Suddenly, the very same text took on a completely different nuance. Seen though a filter of benevolence and affection I do have towards this particular commentator. How mad (subjective) is that? Needless to say that I deleted and re-wrote my answer.

If that doesn’t wake you to the vagaries  of human exchanges nothing will. I literally cannot believe it. When I say “it” I mean, I can’t believe that I fell into the very trap I so despair of with others.

U

January 15, 2017

Repetition

Filed under: Errors,Fairy Tales,Folklore,Future,language — bitchontheblog @ 13:53
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Never being backward at being forward I have identified at least three phrases I have started overusing in my blog posts. If I were my own editor I’d have word with me.

In no particular order:

“in the olden times”

“once upon a time”

“apropos of nothing”

creep up with increasing frequency.

Mitigating circumstances are, say, age. Obviously now there are more “olden times” than any time ahead of me. “Once upon a time” is solely to be put at the doorstep of being brought up on a heavy diet of fairy tales and folklore, a habit I have kept up to this day. “Apropos of nothing”? Well, it is usually apropos of nothing. Just something that pops into my  mind, apropos of nothing.

So, not so much apropos of nothing, what do you find when digging in your memory box of once upon a time in the olden days?

U

January 5, 2017

Cold turkey

Some people do seek, or are advised to do so, aversion therapy. I don’t.

Why? Because, other than the usual candidates, I am averse to little. Particularly not people. I never tire of them. Not even bloggers (with potential) whose blogs I comment on who can’t be arsed to enter a civilized discussion (two at the current count). I take their idiocies in my patient stride. They may “block” me and my comments as often as they like (showing themselves up as the wastes-of-time I keep telling myself they are). And yet. What do I do? Keep going. Which is why I need aversion therapy in reverse.

Any suggestions, words of wisdom?

U

November 18, 2016

Tripped up

Filed under: Errors,Ethics,Exasperation — bitchontheblog @ 18:22
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Looney, his sceptiscm and the law of probability notwithstanding – November is unfolding as I hoped it wouldn’t. Normally I rate reliability highly. Not when it comes to November. I had such high hopes for a nice surprise. November being out of character – just for once.

Yes, so lost my grip. Not metaphorically – though it can only be a matter of time before even I hang up my coat of tattered nerves; but literally. I literally lost my grip.

At times like this one wishes one lived in the “United” States of America and their sue you for damages culture.

It’s ok. I am sure I’ll mend. What I find distasteful, and always will, how people so easily go on the DEFENSIVE. Where my fall occurred it was the premises’ owner’s utter negligence. When I first reported this to his shop it was mainly to prevent the same occurring to someone else. I don’t chime in with my father’s take on humankind, namely that x % are pretty stupid. However, I will concede that some people’s reasoning will leave a lot to be desired.

Never mind. Upshot being that, in my estimate, the hassle of getting recompense for pain and loss of earnings isn’t worth the battle. Rarely do I carry utter disdain in my heart – I offered the guy a jokey and amicable “settlement”. No doing. How very short sighted of him. And I am not the vengeful kind.

U

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