Bitch on the Blog

April 8, 2018


Sometimes, when lost in the sea of many possible perspectives, I seek advice. Seek advice with hope in my heart that if I don’t follow it [the advice] the advice giver is wise and kind enough to not take it personally, as a rebuff. That’s why there are some people in my life whose advice I do NOT seek. It’s enough to grapple with the problem that makes you seek advice in the first place, without then having to play nurse maid to someone’s hurt feelings. People like that don’t seem to understand that they should be glad to be asked in the first place as it implies trust, and that the purpose of advice givers is that of a midwife: Helping with the delivery, not claiming the end result.

Before I pursue the above line of thought, a subject dear to my heart, I’ll stick with the original purpose of this post.

Sleep has always been important to my mother. As she got older she started sleeping rather a lot. Now she sleeps, more or less, round the clock. Every time I phone her I can bet my bottom currency that I have either woken her or that she was just about to go BACK to sleep. This is during the day – not at midnight. So enter increasing irritation and exasperation (neither of which I ever voice to her) on my part. Who wants to see their once active mother wilting? I take it almost as an affront – of nature/biology. Once resentment starts creeping into any relationship you need to regroup, and/or seek ADVICE in order to restore perspective and balance. So, this morning, I took to the experts. Yes, really. Google.

Peace has once more returned to the part of my heart that is troubled by my mother’s (as perceived by me, excessive) need for sleep. A few clicks and links later it’s so simple I wonder why it hadn’t occurred to me in the first place:

“There is no law, indeed no need, why someone (particularly in their old age) should conform to our idea of being active. If it makes someone happy to sleep let them sleep.”  That insight, so obvious yet obscure in its simplicity, was all I need, in future, to not be endlessly frustrated by my mother’s sleepiness AND her blatant, if gentle, refusal to engage any longer with anything that clouds her days, and I quote the same source:

“Discussing a point is no longer important for her. It’s like all she wants is hearing our voices, smiling back, hugs.” Peace, I suppose. Peace at the end of a long life. A peace I will contribute to as best I can. Doesn’t come easy to me to put myself onto the back burner – yet, since when haven’t I been able to will myself to do almost anything for the greater good.

The hard part (for my mother), wait for it, that she is fully aware of her increasing frailty and laments vehemently the physical restrictions in its wake(!). Hardly the time I can make one of those, meant to be assuring, throw away remarks: “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” Though, most likely, in the end, emphasis on END, everything will be fine.



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.




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.


December 5, 2016


Filed under: Family — bitchontheblog @ 12:11
Tags: , , , , ,

Just because November has gone and I am still alive doesn’t mean the worst is over. It isn’t.

To take my mind off things I phoned my youngest sister yesterday. As I do every Sunday. You may remember that my youngest sister, think Mona Lisa, is the militant in the family. She digs in her heels at the slightest provocation. So, for years, she has broken off all contact to my father. My mother appears to be a write off too. All in the name of my youngest sister being indignant. I try and steer the boat but do not flatter myself that I can avoid her Titanic sinking before my mother snuffs it. It’s awful. Awful, awful, awful. Yes, so it’s awful, and Dog Almighty, me, the older sister, can do shit all to make it better. Rarely have I felt less helpless.

On a lighter note (please do note pun: “Lighter” as in match) my sister reported that three of her four children do smoke. And she found them out. The last bit the bad bit. If you are being found out by my sister your marching orders will be given before you know where your feet, never mind your boots, are.

I tried to convey that whilst good mothers make sure that their children’s grazed knees, bruised egos and whatever, you can make better”,bla bla bla bla, as long as they are little and run to you, there comes a time in life when you have to abdicate (with a heavy heart) and leave those well honed bodies, souls and health to be wrecked at your kids’ leisure – or not. Oddly, my/our mother knew this – instinctively. I moved out from home – one minute to the next, literally – and my mother gave me her blessing. My father went ballistic. He always does. Sometimes I think, don’t tell her, that my youngest sister and my father are so alike they should be locked in a padded room and sort it out between the two of them.

I am sure it’s marvellous to have siblings. Only surpassed by being an only.


August 15, 2016

The land of shadows

Filed under: Atmosphere,Communication,death,Future,Human condition,Psychology,The Reaper — bitchontheblog @ 03:53
Tags: , ,

On the whole I do find my dreams entertaining. My dreams are stories, often riddles, mostly pointers as to where I need to find my feet in waking life.

However, there is one type of what I call a “half” dream which I find disconcerting. This usually involves other people (mainly the Angel) and their wellbeing. And – please don’t laugh – the phone will ring (in my dream). The phone will ring so convincingly in my dream that I wake and reach for it. During that moment of reaching for it I wake and realize it was “just” a dream.

Bear with me. It’s not remotely amusing. It’s frightening. And I am not easily frightened, if at all.

Tonight, and I write this with my heart as heavy as only a heart can be heavy in the middle of the night, my father “phoned”. It is the call I dread. The call I will not know what to say to my father. He said my name, and then he fell silent. So we stayed silent – it’s not easy to say nothing when on the phone.

And then I woke, the phone wasn’t ringing – and I trust my mother is still alive.


March 30, 2014


Filed under: Atmosphere — bitchontheblog @ 12:41

Fear rarely strikes me. Not because I am reckless.  I am not. But because there is little to fear.

However. It has been brought to my attention that I tend to repeat myself, and anecdotes. That’s why my mother and I click so well. We can tell each other the same anecdotes over and over and never tire of them.

Yes, it’s Mother’s Day. In England. I don’t like the artificial. For me Mother’s Day is every day the Angel is still in one piece, preferably happy. 364 days round the year.

One Mother’s Day GG (gay guy) sent me a card. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In the end I laughed. It’s safer.

My own mother’s first mother’s day (in the motherland it’s the second Sunday of May) was when I was three. Possibly the first poem I ever learnt, taught to me by Grandmother. So, on my dear sweet mother’s arrival back home there I was, petticoat – hair tamed, a bunch of flowers in little hands, loosely translated :

“Two hands full of flowers,  two eyes full of light, a heart full of love, that’s all I can give.”


March 8, 2014

Open Letter

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 13:14
Tags: , ,

I have little opinion on anything. Give me a cause and I’ll play devil’s advocate if in the mood. Otherwise I’ll just knock you out by conventional means.

Yes, boxing. ‘Schuesseleffekt’. It’s when your brain wooshes around its bowl, a bit like jelly warming up. How anyone can encourage their son to take up boxing is beyond me. No offence to you, Chuck, should you read this. Your brain seems to have survived remarkably well.

My father who was always good at being blunt about how the real world works explained “Schuesseleffekt” to me. Can’t remember why. I wasn’t in the market for boxing.

Yes, boxing. Insert pregnant pause. Of course, at times we all pummel a cushion. Better than kicking the cat. Or shouting at the dog you don’t have. But boxing? At age five? Yes, Sweetheart, you know who I am addressing. Guns? Driving? Under age? Sexist remarks you make all the the time. Disparaging. Taking suggestive photos of your teenage nieces. Publishing them on the internet? Mother of your son going ballistic when your joint five year old drops his trousers? Only re-enacting what he does experience?  Give me a break. Go back to the drawing board.

You can’t have it both ways: Either you enhance testosterone at – possibly too early an age – or you let it rest.

One piece of advice: I know you and your mother don’t see eye to eye. No doubt, in MY eye, HER fault. But do not, and I mean it – and obviously can only go by your blog’s narrative – make both your sons’ mothers into the bogey women. Your sons won’t thank you for it. As good a father as you may be: Little gets between a son and his mother.


December 23, 2013


Filed under: Atmosphere — bitchontheblog @ 12:33
Tags: , , , ,

When we received the telegram that my grandmother was on her deathbead, her daughter, my mother, consequently threw stuff into suitcases. I asked her [my mother] what to give to my grandmother. My mother (a no nonsense person) told me that the only gift worth giving that which we ourselves do not wish to part from. My mother’s word being my gospel I parted with that which was most dear to me. Not that it saved my grandmother.

I was very lucky. Am very lucky. I had two mothers. My grandmother and my mother. Spoilt? Sure. Depends how you define “spoilt”. It’s been decades – yet still cry over a woman who was everything to me.

There is that Carol I only listen to judiciously, loosely translated as “Christmas, Christmas, I am at home, under my (grand)mother’s tree…” And, as the song goes, I am indeed home on Christmas Eve. Candles.


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