Bitch on the Blog

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

December 31, 2016

Caution and the wind

This entry is inspired by Cro Magnon. He is an Englishman. No, not in New York; in France. If you are into growing your own food, dogs and questionable political views please do visit his blog. He is, unlike some, also a gentleman. One may say “refined”, with a, as yet small, dose of “ennui” thrown in.

Yes, so in one of his recent posts he brought to my attention a bit of folklore. Namely that when eating your first mince pie of the season you should  make a wish. This was news to me. But felt immediate relief that I hadn’t yet had THAT mince pie. If I’d had  I’d have wasted a good opportunity. He also, more or less, guarantees that that wish will come true. Marvellous. If I were five years old I couldn’t have been more excited.

Now the crux sets in – and when the Angel took me on a magical walk in the New Forest and to one of his favourite spots, on Boxing Day, I related one of his mother’s shortcomings to him. Remember Boxing Day is on the twenty sixth of December. I still hadn’t had my FIRST mince pie. Why? Sweethearts, it’s simple. There are times in life when I will dither. Whilst once upon a time (BC – Before Cro) I would have eaten mince pies with abandon, his innocent piece of information made me enter dangerous territory. What should I wish for?  I am spoilt for choice. Will I, by accident, wish for something idiotic (think of the fisherman, his wife – and they had THREE wishes – and how that ended up a bit of a disaster and a massive disappointment)?

I wouldn’t call myself indecisive but when it comes to wishes one can’t be too careful. So, naturally, and being risk averse, I keep postponing the moment. As I was relating to him this new found anxiety the Angel smiled. Ok, I said. I’ll take my life into my hands – bury me later -, on our return home we’ll have the first mince pies of the season. In separate rooms if need be.

Imagine my surprise when, back at the ranch, I rifled through the cupboards and couldn’t find any. I “knew” I’d bought them. Not least because they were on my shopping list. Nope. No mince pies. I even checked all my receipts. No mince pies. One wonders how the subconscious plays little practical jokes on us. Don’t quite know what to make of it. Should I be glad that I didn’t tempt fate? Should I curse fate that I missed a chance? Obviously I could just curse myself. In which case I’d need a mince pie to undo my curse. Where to go from here?

31st December greetings,

U

December 22, 2016

Jesus Christ

Filed under: Atmosphere,Exasperation,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 14:59
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Naturally I consider myself the epitome. Don’t ask of what. Or you’ll all hate me. For ever and ever and ever. It would be disingenuous of me to say I don’t care whether I am liked or not. On the whole I don’t but – on account of being human – will make exceptions.

Yes, insert heart felt sigh, earlier today I came across a fine example of stupidity. Not mine. That would be forgivable. Others’ stupidity? Nah. Forget it. Not that I am easily disappointed. But then I am.

When I say “stupid” I don’t mean people like myself who don’t understand theorems, maths and stuff. I mean people who are so stupid they’d light a match to see if there is a fire. Who light a match to see if they have switched off the light. People who look at you blankly. People who are so stupid all you can do is keep your temper in check and remember that it’s not their fault. If ever there was something to test my humanity it’s stupidity. The other being “inconsiderate”. Don’t get me started on the latter. There is not enough foam within me to cover the contempt I do have for the inconsiderate. My only consolation that I try and remember they aren’t inconsiderate DELIBERATELY. Thus saints are made. You forgive everything and everyone.

Yes, so today I was what can only be called “on a wild goose chase”. The goose wasn’t wild. It was dead. And nowhere to be found despite a delivery address.

Still, what would life be like without an injection of drama and associated adrenaline? Peaceful. That’s what. Who wants peace? In the season of peace and good will. Am on vigil of the next instalment.

In the meantime, light a match to light a candle. I love candles. As soon as winter’s daytime darkness sets in (think Finland) candles will be lit in this house. So soothing.

And yes, before your condolences flood in, it took me all but twenty minutes to locate the temporarily missing goose. No thanks to imbeciles involved but my own brilliance of powers of deduction. And what a beauty it [the goose] is.

U

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

 

October 23, 2016

Chat chat chat

“She lets other people babble on, while giving away little about what she thinks.”

No this quote isn’t about me. I rarely let other people babble on, and I do, freely, give away what I think. When I do let someone babble on it’s for tactical purposes. It’s like watching a spider weave its net.

When I say “practical purposes” I don’t mean nefarious. Quite the opposite. Sometimes, particularly on the personal, it’s best to let someone just talk. Not only will you learn an awful lot about them (giving you a better grounding if they wish for your advice) but, most importantly, they will hear themselves speak. I realized this, and it was a revelation, when some years ago my doctor advised and subscribed grief counselling for me. I was in such despair to find a way out of my despair, for once I put all my scepticism to one side and gave it a shot.

To this day I can’t believe what happened during those fifty minutes sessions. Being engaged at all times, interested in everyone and everything, I tried to enter into dialogue with my “counsellour”. No doing. They will not be drawn. Though eventually he did relent and told me a little about his background before he went into counselling (teaching). But, on the whole, I did all the talking, pouring it all out – I HEARD myself aloud. I was, literally, listening to myself. If, in an hour, he interjected with a couple of questions that was a lot. Took two sessions of talking aloud – whilst being listened to – to clear the cobwebs, giving me some footing to handle my sorrow. An extraordinary experience. Also slightly eerie and vaguely unsettling since it was nothing like what normal human exchange is like.

U

 

October 4, 2016

Incredulous

Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 08:46
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Despite the years marching on I have not grown into a cynic. Thank dog for one of his smaller mercies.

Which is why, yesterday morning, I was chilled to the bone. And wished I were five again to run to either my mother or grandmother to make it all better, nay, take it all away.

I quote “Ask me what you want to know, but I won’t tell you the truth, of that you can be sure,” saying she liked the passage [of another author].

“Of that you can be sure” … Breathe in, breathe out.

Let’s leave aside who “she” who “liked the passage” is. Doesn’t matter. What matters is the content of the quote (incidentally by an author I have on my shelf for good reason, namely, Italo Calvino). Who knows in what context Calvino said those words. But HER liking not telling the truth? And this on publishing her AUTObiography?

The pole of my esteem I hold others in I don’t grease that much. One needs to make allowances, and that way most stay up there high. Those hell bent on getting down can always jump or use their own spit. But, by golly, when someone’s spouting chills me (see above) to the bone I am on red alert. Whoever “she” is I’d not trust her with my frying pan.

Which reminds me: Why, when in court, are even atheists, agnostics, expected to swear on the bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? One would hope so. But why on the Bible? Being made to swear on your grandmother’s grave possibly more effective in making you think twice before bending that “truth” to your advantage.

U

 

September 11, 2016

Taking stock

Filed under: Amusement,Errors,Human condition,Observations,Psychology,Vicious — bitchontheblog @ 11:38
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I am not looking for sympathy. If you have any.

I have been accused of so many shortcomings (on line/internet) if I were a lesser person and not as “arrogant” as many a reader deem me to be I’d just lie down and die. Which, obviously, would be bad news for all those I owe money to. So I won’t.

Never mind. I don’t go with my beloved Nietzsche. His “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” is overrated. Just weep. Or, in absence of tears, laugh or shake your head. As I do.

The Angel who has zero interest in any internet altercation has been urging me for ages not to engage. “Why are you doing this to yourself, Mama?” he asks.  I don’t know. Mainly because I like engaging with other people and stand my ground.

Truth is though, I suppose I am … something. Not sure what. I think “arrogant”, often thrown at me in absence of the critic’s more imaginary vocabulary, is not the right word. But I AM sure of myself. That’s for sure. And I like it. Just like I like people who are sure of themselves too.

U

 

September 7, 2016

Count me out

Filed under: Accuracy,Amusement,High Finance,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 22:39
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Some of my reading is frustrating. Why? Because it states the obvious.

So, for instance I learnt, and don’t shoot the messenger because the message is blindingly clear: We have twenty four hours a day. Well, obviously and because I am extra special, I do have twenty FIVE hours –  but that’s delusion for you. For all I know I am dead already and will live till eternity eats itself inside out.

Yes, so twenty four hours a day are the great equalizer. Rich man, poor woman. Squander at your leisure, work yourself into a lather. Doesn’t matter. Twenty four hours every day. Regardless. By way of non sequitur: In the olden days we were told that even Kings and Queens had to go to the toilet.

If twenty four hours a day for everyone is meant to be comforting, it isn’t. As capital goes there is no interest. Which in itself is no problem as long as the capital is not likely to be exhausted. And don’t fool yourselves by punishing your body going for endless runs or whatever is your poison to keep you from falling apart.

Once upon a time I had an egg timer. After some years of vague and irrational irritation every time I used it I got rid of it. Keeping an eye on all that sand (five minutes) running at the rate of knots was unnerving.

Hard boiled yours,

U

September 1, 2016

Auto pilot

Filed under: Human condition,Intermittent despair,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 09:31
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What is the difference between a routine and a habit?

Actually forget ‘habit’. Just looked up its current meaning in the dictionary and there appears to be an unhealthy emphasis on habit as an “addiction”. Which is not what I meant. Though, of course, one might reasonably argue that habit as an addiction doesn’t necessarily need to involve mind and body altering fluids and other substances – it might just be you being addicted (here we go again) to a habit. And why do people think only “bad” habits need to be broken? After all, if a bad habit makes you happy and doesn’t involve cruelty to anything living, then why break it?

Routine has its own problems. Are you even aware of having one? And if you do – does it unsettle you if your routine is upset by unforeseen circumstances?

And how do you change either routine or habit with least discomfort (to yourself)?

Please do let me know what you think before I tie myself into knots.

U

August 27, 2016

Uniform

Leaving France’s fashion and mind police aside for a moment, has any of you ever had dealings with home grown and/or police on foreign ground?

Don’t be shy about it. If you have robbed a bank or dug up your grandmother’s grave to pawn her wedding ring, obviously that’s private. And doesn’t count. Desperate times warrant not so savoury measures.

I mean the common garden gnome variety run in with the law. And are you jumpy as soon as the blue lights flash and the siren howls?

U

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