Bitch on the Blog

November 9, 2017

By Association

Apparently there are many ways of keeping less desirable thoughts and memories at arm’s length. What are they?

Memories triggered by the mention of a date or a place? If you know of how to keep those at bay please do let me know.

Today is the 9th of November 2017. Which, in an earlier missive, I put as 9/11. Nine Eleven. For Europeans, and I don’t know which other countries,  9/11 means 9th November, November being the eleventh month of the year. I am painfully aware that this is not so for Americans. Nine Eleven has taken on such a life of its own that even as a European when I hear Nine Eleven I do NOT think of today’s date. Oh, no. I think of the eleventh of September. The American way.

Places: Dallas, Texas, to me means one thing only (leaving J R Ewing, oil and barons aside). Yes, 22 November 1963. The only time I’d seen adults walking around with grave faces like that, not their usual cheerful selves, was not long before (cue Cuba Crisis). On a personal note, and I have mentioned it before: November, the month, does have a lot to answer for. At least in my life.

How does your brain work?

U

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November 2, 2017

Consistent

Brief annotation to my observations on bloggers.

There is a blogger. He doesn’t read my blog (literally and figuratively so his feelings are being spared, his dignity intact). He is interesting in many ways. Interesting in the way you put something under a microscope and marvel at its intricacies once they are visible through being magnified.

I have “known” and read him long enough to be able to predict which posts of his he will take down. Eventually. Consistently. That he takes them down is understandable. I wouldn’t have published them in the first place. What is less understandable that a man of a certain age and undoubted intelligence shows so little self restraint. Throw yourself on the page, only to retreat? Consistently?

When someone consistently takes themselves back, doesn’t stand by what they said earlier (lacking conviction?), I question their integrity. To put it another way: If that guy were a bridge I wouldn’t set foot on it. Too wobbly.

U

 

October 23, 2017

Not always what it says on the tin

A rarity so rare I feel compelled to record it for posterity: I denied someone commenting on my blog publicity.

No, not for the reasons the easily excitable blogger, the overly sensitive blogger, the ones who get annoyed at anything that doesn’t tally with their opinion, will delete a comment. Not at all. The comment was perfectly ok – if somewhat missing the point and spirit of my original post. Which made it so depressing. So depressing, so dispiriting, I can’t bear it. So I moved it. I haven’t deleted it. Just made it invisible. Invisible. And thus I have learnt, for the umpteenth time in my life, that “out of sight out of mind” doesn’t work for me. No amount of stuffing into cupboards, closing the door and never opening it again will erase the taste of an initial impact – good or bad.  I might as well stick with open shelving.

Do you employ shredders – successfully?

U

October 4, 2017

No sound

Sweethearts, an hour or so ago it was half past four British Summer Time (here in Britain) and I witnessed the most amazing piece of human interaction. By body language only. Think silent movie without subtitles.

As some of you may remember my study (where my desks are) provides a room with a view. A view of a most interesting street (interesting if you are into people watching).

Yes, so three geezers in front of a pub well known (not least to tourists). When I say geezers, I mean three white guys in their, say, late forties, early fifties – pint in hand (which I only mention since four thirty is ok when you are at a wedding or a funeral yet a little early on a Wednesday, unless, of course, you need some Dutch courage). At this point difficult to gauge whether they are just a bit excitable, on edge or twitchy by nature . Down the street comes a young black guy. You know what I like about black people? Even the ones born here, the ones who have never set foot into their country of origin, have that most amazing grace when moving. They don’t even need to dance, walking will suffice to support my view. Even better that this black youngster (say, mid twenties) wore all those colours (not least yellow, red and white) that so offset contrast to their skin. Joyful comes to mind. So, yes, he was extremely well turned out – as opposed to the three white “geezers”. Anyway, all started amicably enough, if a little tense. Enter body language. I have no idea what it was about. After an initial hello it took all but two minutes to go pear shaped. Gestures were made. Fingers were pointed. Arms were folded. Slight leaning forward. The geezers that is. Black and colourful guy unmoved. Whatever ground he needed to stand he stood it. Then he walked off and away. So far so fine. Enter act two. Now the the geezers start at each other. Two clearly telling main geezer that he got it oh so wrong. Main geezer takes refuge inside pub followed by geezer two who appears to be torn as to whose side best to take to cover his own back. Geezer three remaining outside taking drags on his cigarettes as if it were his mother’s last drop of breast milk. The End. Except the sequel won’t be ending well at all.

As an aside, it’s amazing what you can observe, a couple of floors above street level, without any of the players and passers-by knowing they are being observed. No one ever looks up. Which reminds me, the other day three cars parked in front of one of the restaurants. In a no parking zone. Never mind. Rules are there to not be observed by those who can afford a hefty fine on top of their dinner. Reliably informed by the Angel that the three cars were some of the most expensive in this world (make escapes me this minute). One of their number plates read “Loser”. Loser, I ask you. There are two interpretations to this. Though only one holds water. Namely, that that guy (not least when driving down a German Autobahn with no speed restrictions) would come so close to your tail on the overtaking lane you wouldn’t be able to overlook his assessment of you. Never mind. I do not come for nothing from the country where they have means to rattle.

U

August 28, 2017

Nuance

Sweethearts, dearest Sweethearts. I am in danger. Of losing the plot. Let’s rephrase that: I am in danger of writing a plot no one will be able to follow.

Never mind. It’ll keep for another nightmare.

In the meantime I wrote earlier today, in answer to and occasion of an article claiming that queuing (in England) isn’t what it used to be. Thank the Lord.

“I am not British though have lived most my adult life in England.

As a nation, you take queuing too far and thus engender true unpleasantness. One of many occasions sticking out when I wasn’t even sure whether I wanted to buy fish. To be inspired I peered over the shoulders of many a person in the queue at the fish counter only to be met with a sharp, and hostile, pointer towards “the end of the queue”. Come again? What’s with being so anxious to lose “your” place? All I was doing was looking, not endangering your place in the hierarchy. As if one would.

For all their reputation of being relaxed and polite – the English most certainly are not the former, and not always the latter.”

So far none of the other commentators has told me to go home. What Brexiteers miss is that England IS my home. Well, I suppose depends how you define home. Home for me could be a hovel, a castle, the gutter in any old place (Mars, Siberia, Outer Mongolia), any country. Doesn’t matter. Home is where I am. All I need is a roof, a candle and a matchstick. No, not to burn the place down. To see where I am and what I am doing.

Yes, queues, I am all for organized chaos. Take the motherland. Go to the butchers, preferably when everyone else is going (say eleven in the morning, Blutwurst and all), go to the bakers (say between half past seven and eight in the morning when everyone wants fresh rolls). No one “queues”. Everyone knows when it’s their turn. Fine difference, don’t you think?

U

August 1, 2017

Miaou

I have taken to wearing scarves. No, not Grace Kelly style. Isadora Duncan more like it. Long and floating. You’ll never know when next occasion arises you may wish to hang yourself whilst out and about. Better prepared than wanting, I say.

Why do people look in the mirror the moment before they set foot out of the house? I did earlier, and what I saw resembled an Afghan. The dog. My over the shoulder long hair accentuated by a scarf round my neck (similar colour to my hair) made me look not so much hangdog as, well, an Afghan. What dog do you resemble on a bad hair day? Not, of course, that I am not able to answer the question on your behalf. But then people do see themselves differently to how they are perceived by others. Ask Iris.

U

 

July 15, 2017

To one who is unlikely to recognize it’s addressed to him

Filed under: Accuracy,Communication,Formalities,Observations — bitchontheblog @ 21:17
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Some people are lovable piss heads; piss heads one will forgive transgressions. There is veritas in vino – and some who imbibe several too many most charming and insightful with it.

Others? Others, the angry, vindictive, twisted and bitter brigade, amount to little more than the proverbial [pub bore] once their glass is so empty they barely see the bottom of it. Rude, ill mannered, self pitying, grandiose. Well, mate (the one this post is addressed to), I will clear up your sick. Don’t expect me to take you seriously. If you can’t hold your drink stick to candy. Or keep shtum.

U

July 2, 2017

Limitations

Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Exasperation,Future,Observations — bitchontheblog @ 20:06
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I may have mentioned this before. If so please attribute it to occupying my brain in an increasingly unnerving manner.

It’s vexing. Any advice gladly received. What do you do when people get older? Do you actually argue a point, set them straight as to the facts or just leave be? Obviously the latter the easy option. But also … I don’t know … condescending? Yet, what’s the point to put a point when someone (by virtue of age) is more or less on the way out? What purpose does concrete information serve? I think the answer is: None. Yet when does the point in someone’s life come when it appears kinder to just nod?

I don’t like to use Americanisms yet a useful one here: I feel “conflicted”. If ever there was a shorthand for being between a rock and a hard place it’s downright “conflicted”.

To reiterate: Is it worth it to point out errors or, less challenging, just put a different point of view when that person can’t make future use of being informed as their time is almost upon them?

I don’t know. It’s painful.

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 21, 2017

Aunts and Uncles

Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Friends,Observations,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 02:00
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Having recently been given the accolade that I “cut through crap” by a higher authority than the crappers I am dealing with on and off,  I have now adopted this as my motto. Which is no doubt why I am terribly popular with, among others, certain bloggers (none of whom comment here – they cry into their own snot stained hankies).

Let’s leave the lame to swinging their walking sticks wildly. And turn to matters that actually make a difference rather than dealing with the somewhat limited. If the boot fits let’s hope their narrow mindedness and blinkered views will give them blisters.

Where was I?

Sweethearts, if I were an agony aunt there would most certainly be agony. I don’t know why I do it but do it I do. Which is reading other people’s woes in  most worthy publications. These “problems” leave me – by and large – speechless. Obviously some do merit thought and consideration. Others? Others just leave me gasping with incredulity. Yes, so if I were an agony aunt heads would be bashed together to knock sense into which clearly has left the common, and a fist or two banging on the table. Remember – I won first prize for cutting through the crap.

Whilst the above is true – if you believe that you believe anything.

Interval. Several hours later…

Leaving what I wrote earlier to prove like dough I have been reflecting on who we, or rather I, ask for advice. And why. If I feel in need of a mega bollocking no barrels held I can rely on LSF (longest standing friend). If there is one person in my life who doesn’t mince his words it’s him. Come to think of it most people in my life don’t mince their words but he is extra strength.

I sometimes ask the Angel for advice. Unfortunately, like his mother, he too is a cutter-through-crap. Coupled with a trait I peculiarly associate with the male of the species – namely, a certain amount of impatience and irritation at my follies. It doesn’t always make for pleasant hearing but at least I can rely on him telling me how he sees it. An often different and enlightening perspective. Yes, I like seeing things with fresh eyes.

What of the people you wouldn’t dream of going for advice to? In my experience they are the ones who tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. Useless. Then there are those who haven’t got a clue about anything. They flounder and you don’t want to add to their feeling incompetent.

What I have realized, and it’s rather interesting, that virtually all people I turn to for advice are men. I am now in danger of treading on very hot coals. Yet fact is – or at least my life’s fact is – that men seem to have a way of getting to the nub of a problem where women tend to meander. Which, and to conclude this post’s original argument, is why men would make efficient agony aunts.

U

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