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?
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.
Having been brought up on folklore and fairy tales to bursting point and lasting as fodder for my nightmares (and dreams) a life time I sometimes wonder about “sayings”.
Today’s is “walking in some else’s shoes”. Having a lot of imagination and empathy by the bucket load, I flatter myself that I do not need to walk in someone else’s shoes to understand. Ha. Never overestimate your abilities. You may have a clue, a bit like finding your way through fog. You will get lost in the woods.
In absence of any other diversion I have just tried to imagine what a rat, indeed any animal (or human), feels when forced into a corner. Main thing, I suppose, is to have your back against the wall. That way you face the horrors in pursuit of you full on; better than being stabbed in the back. Similar, I imagine, to drowning. You know it’s happening and, in absence of a lifeline, for a few minutes in your life, you’ll have certainty.
Ray of sunshine greetings,
Napoleon remarked (why did he make that common mistake of trying to invade Russia – in winter) that a general is NOTHING without “fortune” (French pronunciation) on his side. True. And Lady Luck is fickle. In fact if Lady Luck were so unlucky as to be my daughter I’d tell her a few home truths. The way she grants favours, or not, isn’t the way to go about it.
First of all: She has no sense of justice. None. In fact, if she was that child faced with a marshmallow she’d be out of the door before she could chew it.
I dislike many sayings. Not least the one and only: “Du bist der Schmied Deines eigenen Gluecks”. Loosely translated: Everone is master of their own luck. Bah to that. I do take responsibility for myself (and others) but don’t give me a horse’s hoof. That way you’ll limp on the home stretch.
Anyway, IT’S ALL RELATIVE. “It’s all relative” is my mantra. You can apply it to anything in life. That way (relative) happiness lies. Naturally the likes of Looney and his mind will point out to me that in order for something to be relative you need something to measure it against. True.
I measure ‘it’ against, say, fairy tales. Particularly on a Sunday afternoon. Or a particular Maupassant novella, the title I won’t name lest it’ll break your heart on reading. Yes, fairy tales, as opposed to Maupassant: You briefly, emphasis briefly, spend many an hour cleaning the castle’s hearths under the malevolent eye of your step mother. One hundred years later you either go to a ball and leave your dainty shoe behind and/or are being kissed by a prince. No wonder I only eat apples vetted by me and in the privacy of my own company. And go barefoot.
I won’t tell you which one is my favourite fairy tale. It’ll give too much away about me – even to the obtuse among you. Instead let’s settle on another one. A grim one as the Grimm Brothers go: “Von einem der auszog das Fuerchten zu lernen.” One who went out to learn fear. Not a difficult task you might say. Take it from me. It is [difficult]. Particularly if you are not afraid of the dark. Anyway he did find something he was afraid of. Lucky him. And no, it wasn’t that which we all fear, it was – nemesis of my own life: A COLD FISH.
There was a time when I knew how to bone a raw chicken. Yes. Really. Without so much as ripping the chicken’s skin. It’s an art. Which I mastered in an instant. I am still in awe of myself.
Now? I don’t know. Give me a chicken. Will I have the patience to bone it? I’ll probably just roast it whole. Help yourselves. Knives and forks optional. Kitchen tissue (in lieu of linen napkins – don’t tell my mother) in plenty supply. As an aside: For some reason, other than a dearth of washing up liquid, washing powder and toilet paper, absence of kitchen tissue does make me nervous.
And then there is Chicken Kiev. A couple of days ago the Angel and I had dinner together. Not that I mentioned Chicken Kiev. Instead he mentioned Putin. And then smiled. When he heard me expound that sometimes politics or absence of hair does NOT matter. It’s where men have one over women. Not that my politics have ever mattered to anyone. but dare say if I lost my hair no amount of power would make up for my loss. Oh to be a man. Yes. Power. Such an aphrodisiac. Who’d have thought it.
Where were we: Chickens. Yes, John is getting married. To my arch rival Chris.
I don’t trust chickens. I was once attacked by one. To be fair to the chicken – a veritable Chickorous Rex to my three year old self – it was nothing personal. Just took a shine to the apple I was munching. Still. It was the first time my trust in the good in the world was shattered. Closely followed by one of the neighbours skinning a rabbit – in my line of vision. Leaving aside the beauty of the white Mink coat I recently mentioned I can’t stand fur. Obviously it does have allure. Particularly if you wear little or nothing underneath. I do remember one of my mother’s jackets. Hated it. Not that I told her. Yes, fox collar. And then there was my first teddy. I was very fond of him. But couldn’t bear the feel of his fur. So I’d grip him by one ear and drag him with me through the mud. It’s tough to be loved by the wrong person.
If I keep going it’ll be only a short matter of time till I mention tar and feathers. Yes, to be tarred and feathered. One of these days I shall extol to you the benefit and virtue (make that delight) of history, folklore and fairy tales.
Hugs and hisses,
Want to hide a needle in a haystack? Don’t bother. You’ll never find it again.
I don’t really believe it, but in the face of evidence I need to: Sometimes it’s better to lock up and throw away the key.
Throw away the key? You’ve got to be joking. Whatever happened to memory? Yes. Bluebeard comes to mind. A man I reserve no feelings for other than wondering what his mother was like. Best case scenario his wiring went wrong. Please, the romantically inclined among you, don’t jump to wrong conclusion: There never has been a Bluebeard in my life. If I want to jam a door I am perfectly able to do so all by myself. My saving grace being that I am not given to snooping so no Bluebeard and his key could tempt me. Which, most likely, annoying to him. Anyway, there are many ways to employ a key. Hot tip of the day: The door, probably, open anyway.
I have a little display case hung on the kitchen wall (hung being the key word here) with a beautiful old key. I have no idea what it might unlock. Probably an opening long decayed. As symbols in my world go it’s good: Sometimes I find an opening – and don’t have a key (bashing your shoulder is not the answer); sometimes I have a key and no opening.
Will now go and buy some Borax, Baking Soda, white distilled white vinegar, a scrubbing brush, two spray bottles and a tub of ASTONISH. And brunch for the boys. Any of you having my phone number please call me later this afternoon to distract me from job in hand. The rest of you may write. Aren’t I gracious.
U – 1205 hrs GMT
Have decided to change career. I currently do not have a garden which will not stop me from becoming a witch. At age twelve I had romantic notion of becoming a nun. Now I have found my true vocation: Fling a frog or two into the cauldron. Stand by. Wait for explosion. Keep stirring. Don’t get distracted. Think Risotto. Risotto needs close attention. Which is why I prefer anything with a lid on, that can be shoved into the oven without consequence. Slowly falling off the bone.
All I need now is a broom and some flying lessons. And a new wardrobe. I shall be the Vivienne Westwood of witches, sprinkled with a little Zandra Rhodes: No black for me. Orange will be fine. If any of you have kittens you consider drowning please do let me know. One will do. Colour immaterial as long as it’s not white.
What else to put on my wish list? Apart from the elusive? An eye patch. Be careful what you wish for.
You’ll find me where it says: “Zee trespassing of wizards and fellow witches always welcome. Hansel and Gretel keep out!”
I stop short at ‘reinventing’ myself. Don’t even know what that expression means. But I do need to do something. Urgently.
Much to my hilarity my prose being rather opaque has been likened to James Joyce. Leaving aside my own feelings on James Joyce (I don’t have any) I take this as a compliment of the highest order. Should you never hear from me again look no further than my wake or maybe the sirens will have got me in a case of mistaken identity.
Since all of you will have been buried by an avalanche of good wishes for the barely out of its shell 2012 I shall not add further to your burden. May we all have the same conversations in about 50 weeks’ time again.
This minute I need input: “Shoestring Murder”. Anything come to mind?
Don’t give me Velcro.