Bitch on the Blog

August 24, 2018

May the Best Man not win

Today, Friday 24 Aug 2018, the Angel attends a wedding (the ceremony starting in about fifteen minutes). One of his closest friends getting married. The Angel being one of three best men. Why anyone needs three best men to carry him to the altar I do not know – but maybe the groom was torn between longest standing friend, brother and, well, the Angel. That’s indecision for you.

In the motherland they don’t do “best man”. Bridesmaids, yes, but men? No. Neither does her father walk the bride down the aisle (in the motherland). Ridiculous. My father didn’t own me all my life; so why would he “give me away”?

Anyway, the English do have their ways in any given social setting and are most particular about it. If you’d like me to expand I will. I have more anecdotes (not least on hats) than I care to remember – though all of them, moderately, funny.

Be that as it may, before the Angel set off earlier he related to me what I had not known. Every time someone relates something to me I don’t know I am surprised (the older I get the more surprised I am at all that indeed I have not known, do not know and never will). So, apparently in an age long gone (don’t hold me to detail) the best man’s duty was not to ship the groom to the altar in time. Not at all. It’s so bad it’s worse.

Cast yourself back to a time when you had to negotiate Robin Hood and other daylight robbery in dark forests on the way to your destiny. Say you got slain. It happens. Then, please dear Readers, do sit down and reach for the smelling salts, the best man had to stand in for the groom. Yes, really. When a wedding was called it had to take place. Never mind about love and stuff. An understudy will do.

The Angel, being of an orderly mind, asked today’s groom (last night) why then he had appointed THREE best men. Were they supposed to battle it out between them should shit happen between departure and destination? Let’s just say that, as incentives go, the Angel was determined to get the groom to the altar in one piece. Not because the bride isn’t lovely. She is. But the Angel  knows he’d win the fight and does have other plans.

Yes, in slightly nostalgic mode; last couple of days letting all the weddings I have attended (not least my parents’ when I was four) pass by my inner eye.

Any memories of your own or others’ weddings you’d like to indulge me with?

U

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July 27, 2018

Evocative

My mother and I, over the span of the life she and I have shared, sometimes talk about the “senses”. Which one either of us wouldn’t mind to lose as much an other. Try it. You’ll soon come unstuck.

Today, smell came to mind. Yes, smell. I bought a melon. My intention was a WATER melon since it’s the coolest thing when it’s hot but their weight made me buy a small Galia instead. What distinguishes a watermelon from a Galia?  A whole, as yet not cut open, watermelon smells of nothing. A Galia? Oh my god. Nectar of the gods.

Smell is evocative. Be it a perfume, be it an aftershave, be it a flower, be it musty. One whiff – in passing, on the high street, at a party – and what do you know: Bingo. Transported to another time, another place.

What are your smell(y) memories? Do they make you smile, weepy, long for, or full of disgust?

U

 

June 6, 2018

Sardines

Early this evening I cut off seven heads. I then gutted the bodies. Butterflied them by gently pressing my hand down the back of their spine and removing same, namely their backbone. And, no, I did’t call any of them Nick by the time they were spineless. I doused them with hot smoked pepper and fried them in olive oil. Served with Padron peppers and other full in your face delicacies.

Yes, sometimes you need to bloody your hands before stuffing your face. Admittedly I only do this with fish. Possibly because, when very very very young (between the age of five and later) I went fishing with my grandfather. First we dug dewy earth and caught the early morning’s worm. Then we set out. On a rowing boat.  In the middle of the (small) lake he’d cast the line. And we’d wait. Quietly. Smiling at each other in conspiracy. I think watching my grandfather reeling in fish of some size – giving a little slack, reeling in, giving a little slack, reeling in, slack, patience and calm – is how I learned to conduct my relationships.

Back at the shore, bucket with fish unloaded, poured onto the grass, my grandfather showed me how to kill. Tool being a piece of fairly substantial wood. Essentially, a bit like Agatha Christie and the butler in the library, a wack at a precise spot just below the back of the head the most benign way to be dispatched if you are a fish. After the gutting, it was over to my grandmother to fry them into a feast. Happy memories.

Six of tonight’s fish heads looked resigned to their fate, Zen like. Number seven looked astonished (mouth wide open). Know how he felt. Whilst I tend to keep my mouth shut other than when smiling (default mode) I too am astonished at times what life has in store for you.

U

May 6, 2017

Sea Change

Have you ever got lost? I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense but its literal meaning.

Were you frightened when you did? How old were you?

I got lost twice in my life. Once age six or so. In Berlin which we had just moved to. My mother asked me to go to the bakers to get some fresh rolls. Not only was I honoured to be trusted with such a task I found a bakery. Bought the rolls. A bag full to bursting point. With a smell to match. Came out of the shop and stood in wonderment. There were all these high rise buildings caving in on me. Which sort of gave me something to look up to whilst trying to work out whether to turn right, left or walk straight ahead. After the first minute of confusion had worn off I was perfectly happy. I had visions of never finding my family again, being adopted by a kind fairy and living a life of bliss. Alas, it was not to be. Once I had realized I couldn’t ask anyone to give me directions since I didn’t even know the name of the street we lived on I just relied on my innate sense of direction. High rise or not. Never told my mother. “What took you so long?”, she said. Some things best kept to oneself.

The second was not that long after, and yes, we had moved again, when we visited the sea side. There we were, complete with beach hut and I went for a swim with one of those pesky blow up rings round my body. Don’t trust salt water. And don’t lose yourself in reverie. By the time I got back to the shore my parents, their friends and one sibling (tiny) had gone. I took it in my stride. Fairy tales are full of children, abandoned. Main thing in life is to keep your nerve. And let little surprise you. As I was trying to work out where to go from where I was my poor mother and one of our friends were running down the promenade shouting my name. “Sonny, Sonny”.

Apparently the current had taken me further and further and further sideways.

So? Did/do you ever get lost?

U

January 15, 2017

Repetition

Filed under: Errors,Fairy Tales,Folklore,Future,language — bitchontheblog @ 13:53
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Never being backward at being forward I have identified at least three phrases I have started overusing in my blog posts. If I were my own editor I’d have word with me.

In no particular order:

“in the olden times”

“once upon a time”

“apropos of nothing”

creep up with increasing frequency.

Mitigating circumstances are, say, age. Obviously now there are more “olden times” than any time ahead of me. “Once upon a time” is solely to be put at the doorstep of being brought up on a heavy diet of fairy tales and folklore, a habit I have kept up to this day. “Apropos of nothing”? Well, it is usually apropos of nothing. Just something that pops into my  mind, apropos of nothing.

So, not so much apropos of nothing, what do you find when digging in your memory box of once upon a time in the olden days?

U

August 9, 2012

Deja Vue

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 16:02
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Have reached critical mass. Can’t remember what I have already said, on this blog and in my and other comment boxes. All I can rely on now is that my readers’ memory is even worse than mine. Not that I bore easily. Myself, that is.

Minds work differently. My mother and I will go over family history and anecdotes ad nauseam. We enjoy it. My father – whose mind is legendary – has to refer to his wife (that’s my mother) for any dates. As do I. Once she is gone both my father and I will be stuffed. We will not know who married whom when why and when was the last time I saw Uncle Whoever and at what occasion. It fills me with dread. What she knows I cannot google.

Would be good if we could preserve people’s brains. Or rather their content. Mind you: The world would be a bit like that pot of semolina in the fairy tale. Overspill. Slowly covering the village in white sticky goo.

U

May 16, 2012

Come again?

Filed under: Communication — bitchontheblog @ 16:31
Tags: , ,

There comes a time in life when you start repeating yourself. A little like the pub bore. This was brought, most cruelly, to my attention when the Angel told me he had heard one particular story of mine so many times he knows it by heart. Naturally, such is my temperament, I am pleased that, so far, I’ve only dined out on one (make that two) stories.

Enter my mother. My mother is my mother. She will rewrite family folklore at will. Drives me nuts. I know what I know and there is no way she can tell me otherwise. Particularly when I was there and she wasn’t. This is of no interest to her. Things are how she perceives them and that’s the end of it. She doesn’t know how much pain she has caused me by plainly denying what I remember. Memories need to be endorsed. Otherwise what’s the use? Yes, so I don’t contest anything any longer. It’s not worth it. That’s where the phone comes in handy. Body language will not give you away.

One day I will miss her and her funny missives (handwritten, snail post – yellow envelopes). She and I go back a long way so even if we don’t see eye to eye on every single Easter egg I did or didn’t find we do share so many memories. Strange world we live in. Whilst I, of all her children, am (geographically) furthest away, according to her she and I speak – and laugh – more than any of the others do.

U

February 20, 2011

Vanitas vanitatum (Futility)

One of these days I will declare war on the ADVERB. Just came across “rather pleased”. Forget rather: Either you are pleased or you are not.

I am NOT pleased. Deep down I knew that I am not of this internet world. I just went onto my ‘dashboard’, courtesy of wordpress. Rarely do I go there. Who needs dashboards and their graphs?

However I am gutted, like one of my sardines, to find lots of comments I need to “approve” before published. Why? People can say what they like on my blog. So am lumbered with a graveyard of favourable comments of many months. Which is a pity. How to revive the dead?

Magpie, no, make that Daphne, drew my attention to “vanity”  (not mine, just generally). Naturally, all the most stylish of my loyal readership will claim that NONE of you are “vain” – vain NOT being nice. Don’t believe yourselves. Of course you are vain. How many mirrors do you have in your home? How many times do you glance sideways at yourself when passing a gleaming shop window? How many times (please do not count) do you preen yourself when in company? And no, I am not addressing my own gender: I am addressing both of you. And remember nasal hair.

Vanity only evaporates when you are in grip of poverty, depression or both and can’t be bothered to wash your hair;  or you are Miss Haversham straight out of Dickens with lots of spider webs to keep you and your miserable memories company; or you neglected to pay your electricity bill. Don’t be hasty: I am NOT depressed, I do wash my hair, neither does my den feature spider webs (mainly because there aren’t any spiders) and I have paid my electricity bill. Claim on electricity bill  having made my nose grow by 0.000001 mm.

Dashboard: According to one of those long ignored I am “good value”. Good value: I’d rather be a banker. And if I had a twin you’d get two for thrice the price.

I am on a mission now: Dashboards. Best ignored.  How do you think I get speeding tickets? Some bloggers appear obsessive: You will find people recording on the side columns of their blog (in public) the time their visitors have made their entrance: Southampton, United Kingdom 1 minute ago.  Port-of-Spain 5 minutes ago. Yes………….? Come again. So what?

Being of a generous dispostion, I take my hat off to bloggers freely admitting to obsessively checking their statistics every few minutes. Are they ok? How do they do it? I keep being told that we live in ‘stressed-out’ and ‘time-poor’ times.  I don’t. Neither do I keep an eye on the inconsequential.

Maybe those people who qualify on the Richter Scale of their blogs statistics need to be constantly reaffirmed that they exist. I know I exist: I only need to look at my kitchen this minute, my to-do list, the mirror, comments I leave. And generally kick myself.

Keeping it brief as not to stretch attention span of your average blog dung beetle. Word count 529.. You can tell I am in  a good mood, can’t you?

Happy Sunday.

U

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