Bitch on the Blog

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

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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

August 24, 2016

Food heaven

Despite what most bloggers wish to believe – none of you are saints, and even saints may have a mean streak.

My mean streak? It is a shocker if ever there was one. And I am not proud of it.

Before you hyperventilate in anticipation of my confession – do sit down at my table and enjoy (food cooked by me). And you will [enjoy]. What you don’t do, because thus disappointment lies, ask me for THE RECIPE. I know people think it’s the ultimate compliment. It isn’t. Trust me. It’s a gross intrusion into, nay violation of, my treasure trove. I will NOT give you the recipe. Come back again for more of the same – but don’t ask me for the recipe.

The above notion problematic in reverse – as I learnt as a young bride having landed on these culinary shores ca. mid 1980s. You enthuse over someone’s food; the host(ess), oh so polite and sweet mannered, will beam at you: “Would you like the recipe?” No, actually, I don’t. Naturally, I didn’t, and still don’t, say that. It’d be plain rude if I did. Instead of which you (that’s me) walk away feeling ashamed knowing full well that I myself would never offer full disclosure of my biggest successes. Though – mitigating circumstances – will give veiled hints how NOT to do it.

If none of you ever speak to me again – that’s my loss.

Hugs and hisses,

U

July 18, 2016

Comments

Filed under: Communication,Formalities,Pretentious Shit — bitchontheblog @ 16:30
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Brief interlude before I answer comments on my last post.

Some of you use blogspot as their blog host. And some of you, though not all, have drawbridges in place.

Do you really think it necessary to infantalize your readership, or rather those inclined to comment, by asking them to “verify” that they are not a “robot”? Tick box. No, I am not a robot. But I may well employ one soon to tick the box verifying that I am not a robot. It gets worse.

“Please tick all pictures showing a shopfront/trees/mountains”.  Come again?

What’s all the paranoia? Do you really think you are so precious that someone will take the time (after having penned a more or less considered reply to your musings) to then jump through the hoops like a dog with a biscuit waiting the other side?

U

September 4, 2013

Renee

Filed under: Books,Errors,Literature — bitchontheblog @ 11:58
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I cherish all of my readers. Each in their own way. Not least the gentle Renee of reneejohnsonwrites.com  fame who drew my attention to an entry of her gripe with literary agents. It’s a worthy subject. So worthy that I will replicate my answer to her here. Can’t believe I am doing this since I hate repeating myself. However, word needs to be spread.

Here goes:

“Renee, if there is one thing I don’t like it’s when I can’t contribute anything meaningful; throw in my penny’s worth of nothing.

I am not a writer. I just sprinkle a few words here and there. For which I do not need an agent. Being published most certainly not on my mind. However, working in the world you are referring to, it’s no mean feat to be an agent. Their inbox full to bursting point. Which is no excuse to behave as if the devil wore Prada. To answer all those (often unsolicited manuscripts) you need staff. For light relief and comfort, Renee, you may like to log on to any ordinary English employment agency’s website and what do you find? That most cheerful line of “Due to the amount of applications we will not be able to respond unless you are one of the chosen” or some such. Fuck you too. Still, at least they give you advance warning.

That’s why those who spout words for a living need to keep perspective.

Don’t know about the American market. Here we have a yearly handbook (published by McMillan) which details – at great pain – anything an agent is looking for. Who they MIGHT handle, who they might drop like a hot potato because they don’t do starch. “The Writer’s Handbook”.

I think writers are too precious. Sure, all of you think your prodigious output worthy of note. But it isn’t. There is supply and demand. And, please all of you forgive me for this: There is too much supply. I come across people who THINK they can write where I’d just like to put my editor’s pen to their prose, thin it like I’d weed my garden, and then maybe, just maybe, it might catch a reader’s interest.

Writing (for profit) is a luxury. Enjoy if you can afford it.

U”

U

March 5, 2011

Prison

BHB drew mildly irritating pink hanky to my castrated bull’s attention.

Which reminds me: Any of you aspiring writers out there, in need to improve your prose, please read Hemingway, particularly “Death in the afternoon” (yes, on bullfighting). Forget the gore, imbibe the prose.

The curse of the cell phone: Called a mobile in the UK, and a handy in German speaking countries. Which tells you all there is to know about the United Nations. What the French call it I only hazard to guess but I dare say they have enough sense to keep them turned off most the time – by necessity if they want to salvage any of their own and their country’s reputation.

I rarely get steamed up involuntarily but the handy cell phone of the averagely mobile has an edge.

For a while I wondered why people were talking to themselves walking down the road.

What can be so urgent, important as to stem the flow of a conversation with the person sitting next, opposite to you, just because the phone rings? Why does a cell phone take precedence over your self being physically present? Why do we always have to be available (even, see Ramana’s recent contribution, on the loo)? How did we survive in pre cell times? How did we make it to the year 2011 when all we started off with were smoke signals in some Teutonian woodland? Not expecting an answer till the next boomerang hit us between the brows – like months later?  Has self importance, a poor bedfellow to urgency,  become our master? Are we incapable of making a decision down aisle 23 whether to buy fusilli or penne (pasta shapes) without confering with whoever has sent us shopping/does the cooking? Keep the noise down, will you? I have my own decisions to make – without participating in your domestics.

Then there is the vacant look. The vacant look is when – right in the middle of some face to face communication – the other will get a call and lose track of what we were talking about. Sure, no probs. Let’s start again wasting my time (and yours, as it happens). Talk about manners. Atrocious comes to mind. I sometimes wonder what they would have made of it in your average 19th/early twentieth setting of a novel: Can you imagine Mr Darcy emerging from the pond, brooding stare, dark locks dripping, damp shirt clinging to his broad chest and then the tune of I don’t know, say, Adam Ant giving him the jingles: “Sorry, Jane. Just need to take this.” Yes, fuck you too. Doesn’t work.

There is only one person (apart from his friends in need to contact me should the shit ever hit the fan when they are out and about) who has my mobile number, and that is my son. For him I will always be contactable (what a word). Everyone else can wait till I am home in the sweet vicinity of my landline.

I won’t go into texting. I don’t text. Texting is a poor excuse for spelling shite. Apple of my eye texts me – spelling immaculate; but that’s only to humour me.  And because he knows that otherwise I will not know what he is talking about; which in turn will yield zero result. Which is why he prefers to call me rather than waste thumb power.

So yes, as you might have gathered, I am not of this handy cell world, particularly when mobile.

U

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