Bitch on the Blog

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 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

May 4, 2017

All is well

This morning I woke with a sense of foreboREdom. Don’t believe a word of it.

Package it as you like. I woke with a sense of doom. I didn’t so much have a head rush (when you get up from your seat too quickly), I was positively faint with my heart racing me to death’s door. Nothing unusual in that: Healthy specimen that I am, my body has always played out my psyche to its soma. I am sure there is a reason we have a solar plexus. If only to keep us nauseous.

Anyway, as usual, my optimism was surpassed by reality three hours later. And to think I nearly cancelled the appointment because I didn’t trust my balance to make it.

Never mind. It’s not the end of the world. And I’ll live – just in case you were hoping I’d leave you alone any time soon. I won’t. I won’t see you for dust. Or, maybe, I’ll see you, myself and the rest of the world more clearly. Which would be good, a great relief and a great saver of wasted energy.

Made me think, on my way back, how hope makes you postpone the evil moment. Because, as long as you don’t hold eye contact with reality, there is always that chimera “Hope”. I know people who have wasted their whole lives waiting in hope which, essentially – and please do contradict me if you think otherwise – constitutes the con of all cons.

Onwards and upwards,

U

April 20, 2017

Ship shape

Filed under: Amusement,Dizzy,Happiness,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 15:34
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Don’t ask for my star sign since I do not wish you running to the hills, screaming and abandoning me. There are only twelve months in the year and someone has to occupy one of them. Well. Never mind. On which painful note: Father of son who is a Gemini through no fault of his own would leave the table (forget any guests) as soon as the subject turned to astrology which – invariably – when his sister was present it would. On the whole I had him down as rational with a sense of largely absent humour – but give him astrology, Catholicism and Americans and you have another thing coming. This is not withstanding that for the last twenty odd years he has been married to a Catholic American who is interested in astrology (no not me – my successor who, on succession, became a good friend of mine). She is a miracle worker.

Yes, so this post has nothing whatever to do with astrology (of which please do tell me what you think) but all to do with the fact that I like chaos. Chartered chaos, organized chaos, gentle disorder by another name. Why? Because (being the star sign I am) little gives me more satisfaction than making order out of the aforesaid dire. Both my desk and my study/office in general are witness to this. I let books and papers pile up till they make more waves than me being at sea. Sweethearts, oh the satisfaction, as – just now – when I blitz the place.

i can’t tell you how marvellous it is to suddenly spring into action of the most ruthless kind – my waste paper bin my most loyal friend, books flying back onto their shelves, documents filed. I don’t know if my theory holds water or seeps but there is something deeply zen like about tidying, putting everything where it belongs. However, and this is where a (dis)orderly cat chases its own tail – in order to experience this you first have to let it all go to pot. But then, by way of illustration, never does food taste better than when truly hungry.

U

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

March 16, 2017

Appearances

Filed under: Accuracy,Bureaucracy,Errors,Family,Future,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 20:39
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Let me bore you, and ask you as, no doubt, have done so before: What’s in a name?

I don’t mean surnames. From a woman’s point of view and/or if you were born out of wedlock, your father later marrying your mother, you may have had as many surnames as me, namely a few. I will not beat Liz Taylor’s record as I am not the marrying kind.

So, first names. How did you come by your first name? If any of you have already told me, that’s fine. I am more than happy to be told the same story many a time. Repetition is what anchors an anecdote in one’s mind.

Myself? I am rather in love with the story how I became an Ursula. All down to my beloved grandmother who registered my birth. My mother’s preferred choice would have caused me no end of pain. She registered her second daughter under the name she wanted to give me. Which is why I am a little bear and my sister is a rock. Not as in reliable, but as in immovable. Stone. Hard as nails. She was followed by our brother, named after “The Great”, and Cornelia, our youngest, who feels short changed to this day. What Cornelia doesn’t understand that someone does have to be the youngest – even if you were part of quadruplets. Perish the thought.

So, please do indulge me and tell me, if you know or at least have an inkling, how you came by your first name. Why you love it, hate it, are indifferent to it. What you’d name yourself if you could be arsed to apply for a name change. What was your name shortened to if at all? No guess what our very own Nick’s of “here and now” fame complete name is. And, last but, not least: Were you given a nickname? By whom? And why?

U

 

 

March 8, 2017

Forever

This post is not pleasant. I am going to make an observation and don’t expect any of you to answer, if at all, truthfully.

Do you wish/have you ever wished anyone would just die? Not because you bear them ill will, just because you’d like to tick a box (make that a coffin), breathe a sigh of relief and be done with that person?

Can’t believe I am writing this but there it is.

U

February 27, 2017

Tabula rasa

To blow the lid off yesterday’s vessel I will give you something to think about, to reflect on. A laughing matter it ain’t. In fact, I am in shock. Not that I should be since I have experienced same in a different guise before.

There I was, reading a comment. Unfortunately – and please do follow the story line – I didn’t take in the name of the commentator. By the tone of the voice, its sheer being obtuse, I “knew” who it was. Cue hackles rising. I worded my answer accordingly, erring on the acerbic side. Being my lucky day, before I pressed “publish” my gaze happened upon the name of the actual sender.

And what do you know? And this is the punchline and the whole point of this post – and it is shameful. Once I realized who it really was from my whole mindset changed. Suddenly, the very same text took on a completely different nuance. Seen though a filter of benevolence and affection I do have towards this particular commentator. How mad (subjective) is that? Needless to say that I deleted and re-wrote my answer.

If that doesn’t wake you to the vagaries  of human exchanges nothing will. I literally cannot believe it. When I say “it” I mean, I can’t believe that I fell into the very trap I so despair of with others.

U

February 12, 2017

Hell, water and drowning

Just when you think yourself as snug as a bug in a hug with, more or less, all questions of ethics and their answers under the belt one sneaks up on you.

Holy cannoli – the noose tightens.

This, drawn to my attention a few minutes ago, is so awful I am in knots.

For sake of argument you have to assume you have more than one child. You find yourself at the mercy of the elements and you can only save ONE of your children. Which one would you save? This is so awful I can barely get my head round it. Naturally, as one does, I cast my eye back to my family of origin. Who would either of my parents of four have saved? I dare say, being quite a bit older than my siblings and therefore stronger, both my mother and my father would have left me to fend for myself. But that still leaves them with three to choose from. I’d rather not pursue this line of thought. It’s unsettling beyond belief. At least that’s tonight’s nightmare guaranteed. Not that members of my family normally play much of a role in my dreams.

Any crutches of your own thoughts on this truly horrendous scenario welcome.

U

January 5, 2017

Cold turkey

Some people do seek, or are advised to do so, aversion therapy. I don’t.

Why? Because, other than the usual candidates, I am averse to little. Particularly not people. I never tire of them. Not even bloggers (with potential) whose blogs I comment on who can’t be arsed to enter a civilized discussion (two at the current count). I take their idiocies in my patient stride. They may “block” me and my comments as often as they like (showing themselves up as the wastes-of-time I keep telling myself they are). And yet. What do I do? Keep going. Which is why I need aversion therapy in reverse.

Any suggestions, words of wisdom?

U

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