As posts go my last was a flop.
Before I threw myself on the line yesterday evening I had sliced an onion, nay two, very finely AND I did NOT cry. My tear ducts were as unmoved as Salome’s when John’s head was presented to her on a silver platter.
Which made me take note.
The absence of eye water throwing up my existential question, namely, how many years and onions it takes before you stop crying. I did a quick calculation, more of which in a moment.
Magpie proceeds to tell me – at length – how to cut an onion. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. I slept it over. In the morning Ramana – as only assorted Asians can – advised me to pay someone to do my dirty work for me. Leaving aside that I enjoy cutting onions and making my own bed, it shows you a cultural difference. On a finer note he adds that – having cut many an onion – I should be able to AFFORD someone to do it for me. My dear Ramana, I can barely afford myself. Never mind anyone else.
So, working on a rough average per day and taking the years into account, my mental arithmetic serving me well, I’d say so far over my lifetime I have diced, cubed, sliced, grated, quartered and generally battled and enjoyed doing so somewhere between 14,600 and 19,900 onions.
How many years and onions does it take of cutting them (sliced, cubed) before you stop crying in the process?
This post is going to HURT. Me. Not you.
Do you actually know what it means to go out there, face your fellow men – and BEG? Don’t answer.
Yes, the season of good will. One week to go and I still haven’t procured the goose that – once upon a time – flew effortlessly, caressed by me, onto the laden table.
If anyone, ever and so smug, tells me that money doesn’t buy you happiness I’ll tell them to …
Such a happy life I believe to have led between the age of 19 and …
Now? For the last six/seven years? I don’t know. Sometimes I wish I were Virginia Woolf. I don’t mean the author. I am not given to being a writer. I love the word. I don’t need publicity. Yes, stones in your coat’s pockets and water. But, as a doctor recorded many years ago: “Won’t act on impulse on account of her son”.
Indeed. I believe all of us to be selfish to the core, yet there are limits as to what we do to others.
A fool I ain’t. The moment I committed to motherhood was the moment I realized that life wasn’t my own any more. Happy I had the guts to take the plunge.
Everything went swimmingly. Twenty four years down the line I fail. Put that into your assorted handkerchieves.
Sweethearts, yesterday I left an innocent remark on fresh basil. Yes, basil. The herb. Erb for Americans.
Remark on basil, the (h)erb, and you will be called “a British middle class male dickhead”. I am not easily stunned but slightly perplexed at this summoning up of me. Particularly the ‘male’ since in my experience, not that I’d ever call anyone one, dickheads are male. By definition. Mind you, and in all fairness, about a year or two ago I asked the Angel why men call each other …. never mind. Starts with c ends with t. As mysteries go it’s dense undergrowth.
A kind fellow commentator queried that maybe “assumptions” were made about me. Do you think that original fucker/fuckeress had the grace to apologize? Not on your nellie.
Let not any of you be put off your basil. As the Greeks say it’s the king of herbs. With a smell to die for. I don’t even have it in my heart, though wish I did, to will infestation of black fly on his basil.
Blisters on my feet,
I like descriptive language. Language that conjures up an image in your mind.
Thus I have just been reminded of “Kummerspeck” which the author of the article correctly translates as “grief bacon”. For those of you either dim or preoccupied with other things: Grief bacon is when you eat BEYOND HUNGER because something is eating away at you, like grief.
So you are unhappy, you eat. Which means that an awful lot of people in this world (no, not the starving – they don’t have the means to drown their grief in a bacon sandwich) must be unhappy. Forget the BM index. Measure your unhappiness in wobble. Don’t you dare: I have already patented this amazing piece of intellectual property in copyright. All I now need to do is write it all down and get it on the market.
My father once remarked (and yes, I do know I have mentioned it before) that if I, his daughter, were driving down the motorway and the radio would announce that there is a ghost driver coming their way I’d think to myself: “What do they mean, ONE? Thousands.” I took it (not) hard. Though as character assessments go it was on the harsh side. Still, being my parents’ daughter I am thick skinned. I smiled to myself – and it’s true. Going against the trend.
Going against a trend. Doesn’t make you popular on its own. You have to charm people in other ways rather than just contradicting perceived wisdom.
Yes, so in short, when I have ‘Kummer’ (grief – even lightweight one) I lose all appetite. The last thing I need when gnawing away at a piece of shit fate has buried for lean times is food. Stomach shuts down. Most effectively. I can barely eat one of my beloved apples.
Do you know what a syllogism is? All cows are animals. Not all animals are cows.
So just because I am slender does not mean … Don’t worry, I have lost my own line of reasoning in the course of this meandering … not least slightly distracted by the remnants of Big Bertha having arrived at the South Coast: Hale bashing against the window. Thunder in the middle distance.
That’s it, Sweethearts. A career change on the horizon. I have finally found my destination. Or is it destiny?
Yes, I will become a “taster”. For no lesser man than Putin. If he’ll have me. And he will.
For those of you who slept through your history lessons: A ‘taster’ tastes food before – paranoid for good reason – king, queen and other heads of either state or country put morsels into their mouths. Just in case. So if your taster keels over you’ll go hungry. As careers go you can’t beat it. Talk about third party liability insurance. Bumping up the premium.
Naturally, the whole idea is flawed. Even I, and I am not a chemist, could poison someone with several hours’ delay. Only arsenic and a mushroom I shan’t mention will make you die on the spot. My reasoning I hope will remind you, me and Putin that there are no guarantees in life.
Other than that I have gone off chicken.
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,
The only reason one of these days I shan’t combust because I don’t want to deprive my son of his mother.
Yes, reading the papers. Forget anger management. How to wean your child a la French chef Ducasse: You take a bunch of carrots. Fresh. Slice them (finely). Steam them. Puree.
Have I just read that? Is this for real? How have we survived for thousands of years, evolved, without some ‘chef’ telling us how to puree a carrot? Next we’ll learn to use a fork to mash up a banana.
THAT IS IT. I am done. I wish I could stand it all a little longer but I can’t. Soon a recipe how to breathe before we suffocate will be published.
I will eat most things. Though do pass on rabbit because their skinned body reminds me too much of cat. Pigeons floating in broth too did challenge me – some banquet in Hong Kong. I looked at FOS – for help. He quietly hissed at me to just get on with it as not to disappoint the corporate client: Lead by example. Which didn’t stop him to take a call – away from the table – till that bloody soup was replaced by yet another of 22 courses. I did lead by example: No one touched it.
Snails. Back in the late Seventies I liked snails. Mainly for the garlic butter. No more. There comes a time in life you wake up to rubbery texture.
What else? Pearl Barley. I hate Pearl Barley. It’s slime.
Eel is out of the question. On account of their likeness to snakes.
My mother – not easily unsettled by any of her children – warns me off bananas. I like bananas. They are easy. On the way in.
Do have real problem at the moment with food intake. The Angel has not yet threatened to force feed me. But it can only be a matter of time. It’s fascinating. You may be hungry. But you are nothing without appetite.
All the above was brought on by ox tongue. I don’t mind liver. I will eat kidneys just to be polite. But tongue? No. It brings too close to home the one thing I can’t stomach: Slaughter.
Make of me what you will. Let me know what makes you retch. And don’t believe anyone telling you that the Chinese eat dog meat. They may well do. But they’ll have to farm them. Not steal your skinny chihuahua off the street corner. Fascinating the way the Chinese eat with their sticks. I once witnessed this in Red China. Bowl close to their mouths. Shovelling it in at the rate of knots. That’s when I took in the concept of cultural ‘difference’. There is one thing the Chinese have in common with the Dutch: Bicycles. They are everywhere. Not a car (or a dog) in sight.