Bitch on the Blog

August 14, 2017

Not so nice

Filed under: Human condition,Integrity — bitchontheblog @ 19:30
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Holy what’s it. There is a threshold. Some people die before they have barely drawn their first breath, some people die – at, say, fifty.

And some people live. Forever.

My parents a point in case. My mother is eighty four, my father eighty. You’d think they’d have the good grace to abdicate. Well, my mother will, soon. My father? Not so much out of spite as determination he’ll probably live long enough to refuse attending any of his four children’s funerals because it’s just too much hassle.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. All I know is that I have had it with being held to ransom. Most of you, my readers older than me, most of you having buried or are about to bury your parents, please do throw me a morsel of comfort. What? Throw me a morsel of comfort? How selfish. What I meant to say: Please don’t do to your children what I most certainly hope to spare the Angel.

So much for cheer. I’ll crank it up with my next post.

Lost, lost, lost and ashamed,

U

August 10, 2017

Best foot forward

Forget all your joys and all your problems. Imagine you were a centipede, frozen trying to remember which leg to move first.

U

August 2, 2017

More dog

Filed under: Amusement,Animals,Beauty,Cats,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 12:17
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Our perception is shaped by the experiences we have had. It’s why I view the Spitz (the smaller the worse) with deep suspicion. I am convinced Spitz are vicious – by temperament. I wasn’t even jogging. I was riding my bike when this Spitz took a shine to both my left foot and the pedal, yapping away. They certainly expend an awful lot of energy to little effect. A bit like … no, I won’t say it.

The larger the dog the better. Though will draw a line. Anything bigger than a German Shepherd is too big. Mind you, one of the most magnificent dogs (mega) I ever had the privilege to meet was that of LSF’s family. An Hungarian Shepherd (a Kuvasz?). White. Curly fur. The size of a calf. He loved me in a way most unwelcome. What is becoming in a puppy is a bit daunting in an adult. I’d come through the door and – by way of greeting – he (the dog, not my friend) would put his front paws on my shoulders, his head towering over me (at least he didn’t lick my face). Though strong I was only a slip of a girl and, my back being pinned to the back of the door, I’d slowly slide down it under the dog’s weight. Still, sooner or later someone would pass by and save me. Yes, that dog was one hell of a beauty. And a wonderful spirit.

Come to think of it, Spitz aren’t the worst. Collies are. Collies, Lassie not withstanding, are most definitely prone to neurotic behaviour. Mental. Mind you, some say the same of Dobermans. I once read a book written from the point of view of a Doberman. I was about twelve. Heartbreaking. I cried. Let no one say anything about Dobermans. Intelligent dogs. I believe most dogs to be a reflection of their owner and Dobermans appear to be particularly sensitive. So if you come across a disturbed Doberman beware of the owner.

Then there are the aesthetically dubious ones – like naked dogs. Say, those racing dogs – greyhounds. Though, in their long legged way, they are rather elegant – a bit like Coco Chanel in her little black dress, tooth hound black and white box jacket and a string of pearls.

Some dogs I’d rather not comment on. Otherwise I’ll have John and Winnie on my case.

Oh yes, not to forget the Dackel. A small sausage dog. Very sweet. Enormously trusting. Beautiful auburn colour. My youngest sister pestered my father for one till he cracked. Tini (pronounce teenee) was a hoot. One of the most endearing memories I have when my brother (even as a teenager he was man enough not to mind being seen with a very small dog) took Tini for walks. The tall slim young man with sky high legs in skinny jeans with a sausage on the leash. Sweet. It really was. I like it when people are not self conscious.

There was a moment in my life when I came close to becoming a dog owner in my own right. Not that I particularly wanted to be. But I will  take gladly what life throws at me (as long as it’s not shit). Father-of-son and I met up with his parents in some Yorkshire pub. Or maybe it was in the Lake District. Anyway, there they were, in front of a blazing fire – a pile of black long haired toddler stage Labradors tumbling round and over their mother. FOS was the closest I’d ever seen him to yield in the face of such joie de vivre and beauty. Even on the way back down South he talked about them non stop, me fully expecting him to turn the car round any moment now, zoom back and make the breeder an offer. Still, his particular brand of reason prevailed. Pity. A dog would have suited him.

Please do inundate me with your own dog stories. They need to be told.

U

July 31, 2017

Punctured

Who’d have thunk it? My blogging tyre is flat. Not because I can’t think of anything to say. Quite the opposite. I always fire on all cylinders – yet, the desire to press “publish” momentarily eludes me. “Delete” does me fine.

The joy has gone.

Why? Most certainly not on account of bloggers who cheerfully “follow” me even if they don’t comment. Most certainly not on account of those who comment here – with unfailing wit, perception, occasional mockery, always thoughtful.

However, and I don’t like admitting to what I perceive a weakness, there have been forces out in the blogging world which have achieved the unthinkable – namely, my, the unsinkable’s, reluctance to put myself into the public arena any further.

Looking back over my life, I have never been bullied. I am not the type. Yet there is one blogger, ably supported by a weak cast, who has shown me the vile side of life on the playground which constitutes blogging.

I am torn. I could name him and shame him. But then I’d be playing HIS game. Makes you think, doesn’t it, how someone else’s maliciousness tempts you to repay in kind. It is to my utter, total, most heartfelt regret that I have decided not to fall for that ruse – as much pleasure as it would give me to tear the guy and his accomplices apart. He hasn’t got a leg, or any other appendage, to stand on. Still, I’d rather not be a facilitator.

Yes, so my joy communicating on the page has momentarily been stifled. Please don’t send chocolate or other sweet condolences. A lime will suffice.

U

July 12, 2017

Expansive

One of the fairies at my cradle made sure that I’d never be bored.

Her intention was good. In practice it brings problems. None of which can’t be solved; but problems nevertheless. The main one being that I waste (how does one define “waste”?) on wastes of space. I do I do I do. Because I never give up. And if there is one adage I cling to like a calf following her mother’s udder it’s that only the boring are bored. That way you dig your own bore.

Be still, my beating heart.

In the motherland there is a saying, and I have no idea what it means but it sounds good: Den inneren Schweinehund ueberwinden. Roughly translated: To overcome your inner swine (where the dog comes into it I do not know). It’s taking me forever (the present continuous wisely chosen) to overcome my swine’s dog – but, I am getting there. With regret, I shall concede that some in blogland (no, not ye, my faithfuls) will bore. Even me. Actually, that’s not true at all. The more boring the more amusing and interesting they are. In a sort of forensic research type of way.

Hugs and hisses,

U

July 9, 2017

Widening horizons

Filed under: Friends,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 19:35
Tags: ,

Thank you all for your warm, heartfelt and insightful responses to my last post (“Limitations”). As is my wont (taking life seriously), I did mull over them all; so none of your efforts, various angles you shone on a dispiriting subject, were wasted.

U

June 19, 2017

Mum is the word

The moment someone says “You remind me of my mother” is the moment my heart sinks. It’s one of the few black and white situations in life. Grey doesn’t enter the rainbow.

Rarely will anyone say “You remind me of my mother” and glow with the delight of that memory. Because, if you had a wonderful (grand) mother no one compares. No one. So it’s usually said as the ultimate put down. Because, after all, who in life is more important than your mother? Particularly one that didn’t live up to expectation?

It’s a line used in the negative, as a defense and an attack rolled into one. Why? I don’t know. Don’t ask Freud. He’ll give you shit.

The first time it was said to me I was only nine or so – said to me by a grown up man. Don’t ask. Grown ups are not all they think they crook themselves up to be. Still, and grateful to this day, it was one of those enlightening moments as to what to expect from both life and the future.

Today John told me that I remind him of his mother. The blow “You remind me of my mother. She was critical and self righteous” he softened by adding “And her valid points were often lost in those behaviours”. Let’s leave aside that being critical and self righteous are not “behaviours”, they are attitudes. John paid me a compliment – if in a backhanded, yet subtle, manner. “Mother” clearly being some gold standard by which women are measured.

Please do tell me about your mothers. Adopted or otherwise. Those you had, adored or loathed, those you would have liked to be the one and only in your life and those who were just that – your mother. The one you adored. The one who amused you. The one who exasperated you. Maybe all three for the prize of one. Before anyone tells me how “price” is spelled – I meant to say prize.

U

 

 

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 15, 2017

Reflection

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 05:26
Tags: ,

With her last reply Rachel has put forward an interesting observation. Namely, that she sees blogging, sometimes, as being in a “lonely” place.

Though I hope I know what she means I see blogging mainly as putting myself in an open and not at all safe place. Not easy for a person as private as I am.  To understand: None of my posts are plotted. They are, being self employed and working in the unadulterated company of my amusing self, what I call my “water cooler” moments. I take a break, throw something on the page and press “publish”. Brill. I feel fantastic. Till later. When I re-read what I wrote. If it was highly personal  I console myself that people’s attention span is barely greater than a goldfish’s and anyway, to use my father’s voice, him the investigative journalist: “No one is interested in yesterday’s news”. Or “old snow”. As consolations go it’s good. And not so good.

We put ourselves on the page. To do so means that we put a lot of trust and have faith in our readers. I won’t mention that marvellous British “benefit of the doubt” as I usually do. Nevertheless, I think we should employ that maxim more often than not. In my experience few people are after each others’ hide.

However, if there is one thing I have learned in blogland, and is what I believe Rachel touches on, that good will is hard to come by. Some say that it is the lack of, say, body language, facial expression, inflection in written conversation. Maybe. I’d say it’s lack of good will. I’d also say, and it’s a fact, that a lot of people are sensitive to anything perceived as the slightest hint of criticism. I use the word “perceived” advisedly. It’s a bit like family dynamics. Mainly mysterious. Though if you are the outsider looking in – oh my gosh, if only they’d let you, you could join all the dots and pinpoint everyone’s individual Achilles heel.

Before you tell me that the above is conceited – as is my wont – I too do have Achilles heels. Admittedly not many as my upbringing (and possibly my innate character) mean that a lot directed at me is water off a duck’s back. Which is not saying that I am impervious to slights. I am not. If I were I wouldn’t be human.

As an aside, and little to do with the above: I can’t remember the context this minute but some time ago Rachel mentioned being tearful. Despite my sunny disposition I am, potentially, on the verge of tears all the time. It takes nothing to make me well up. There you go. The human condition. Happy and sorrowful. Two sides of one coin. But then the world is full of both: Sunshine and Shit.

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.

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