Bitch on the Blog

April 5, 2018

Primal

My trusted lot, I need your help.

I have just come across a blog post that is so wrong about gender on so many levels if I don’t watch it I’ll turn into one known Canadian who has most forceful, convincing and obvious views on that subject (and many others) – and let rip.

So what do I do? Do I use my full arsenal (Alternative Comment Box) on my own turf and put my argument, or do I just slink away in the firm knowledge that whatever I’ll say, no matter how well reasoned,  will make no difference on the blogger’s-in-question outlook on life?

Question Number Two: Do you think there is a cut-off-point in terms of age when you leave the older generation and their blogs/opinions just to it? Is it kind or is it cruel to keep shtum, not challenge them and bite on a piece of well seasoned driftwood in order to stifle your screams instead?

U

 

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March 12, 2018

Martyr to the Cause

Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Sounds grand, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t grand. There is nothing remotely difficult about it just because a philosopher put words to a concept.

In fact one may accuse Kant (his name is pronounced – English readers – Cunt not Can’t) of plagiarism. The Bible said as much as his Categorical Imperative spelling it out in so many words: Don’t do onto others as you don’t want to be done by.

My inkling that Kant was inspired by the Bible’s scriptures an idea that I’d love to run past my father. Alas, him, the great advocate of the Categorical Imperative, hasn’t spoken to me since 1 August last year (his birthday). It’s not that he doesn’t want to speak to me. It’s just that unless I call him he can’t (Kant) be arsed to pick up the phone himself. A virgin on her wedding night has nothing on my father. Anyway, as I have no interest in playing his game I am now in the unenviable position of not benefiting from his various morsels of insights into an original mind. What use is his original mind if it closes down lines of communication?

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

September 4, 2016

All agony aunts and uncles to the rescue

Oh Wise Ones (that’s you, Sweethearts, in case you don’t recognize yourselves),

I need advice. Conundrum is as follows. For reasons not important this minute, though urgent as they are, I need to make contact with someone. A friend. Her husband has made it clear years ago that such contact is not to take place under any circumstances.

Naturally, initially I didn’t take his dictum seriously. After all, in my opinion, couples don’t come as parcels. Free will and all that. So I suggested to her a “clandestine” meeting (coffee). She replied she couldn’t. Because they have “no secrets” from each other. Well, all I can say her husband sure has done a good job at brainwashing. Brilliant, don’t you think, spouses being appendages to each other? What next? Mind police in the marital drawing room?

Anyway, that’s some time ago. Yet, god damn it, I need to make contact with her. However, and this is where Catch 22 chases its own tail, if I do [make contact with her], indeed my subterfuge in my professional capacity catching her out as a business contact, a potential client, will she still “report” me back to sa(i)d husband and all hell will break loose? Again?

What is it with some people that they can’t stand their ground? And before you ask, she herself has pleaded with him many times. No doing.

So, now what? And trust me. This is not airy fairy funny. It’s serious, it’s complicated and it needs to be resolved.

U

August 27, 2015

Make or break time

Filed under: Amusement,Intermittent despair — bitchontheblog @ 22:40
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You know what this whole mouse saga has confirmed to me once more?

I have the patience of a fucking saint. The extent of my patience is so extraordinary I am in awe of myself. If I were someone else I wouldn’t stand for some of the shit coming my way. But there you go. By way of example, and I had only asked a stranger a perfectly innocent question, I was told this morning “You ARE taking the piss.” This was not improved on by him repeating it. I wasn’t taking anything, most certainly not piss. I remained that what I so admire in the heroines of Jane Austen novels: Calm DESPITE of it. Even charming. Even smiling. I came away from that encounter distinctly feeling that he wasn’t mothered properly.

Yes, so the mouse in the house. My nights are those of intermittent sleep  – what with all the scratching. No, not scratching – mice need, emphasis on need, to chew hard stuff to keep their teeth growing too long. Yes, live and let live. I just wish it would die without my intervention.

If it were more than one mouse I’d call pest control (my landlord) but it’s only one. A lost soul. If this is going to go on much longer we’ll be friends. However, how can you be friends with the elusive? And elusive a mouse is. You never see it, you only hear it. At night. And yes, it’s still in the lounge. Where? I don’t know. I have turned the place over. Hoovered in unlikely places and generally gone ship shape. Tonight, I am sorry to say, is that little creature’s last chance. If that bloody – intermittent – scratching starts again, tomorrow I shall fork out real money for the dreaded trap (Rentokil – their website leaving you perplexed and grateful how many pests I have escaped in my life, also giving you a bewildering choice as to methods to kill).

Yes, so greetings from the soft touch,

U

October 14, 2013

Rose tinted

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 21:59
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I don’t like reflecting on ‘lying’.  Not least because I have an uncanny knack of knowing when someone does lie. An instinct not enviable. In fact, it’s downright inconvenient.

I am not about to mount a high horse. Lie if you must. And sometimes we must lie.

On the whole, I don’t lie. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t. Also, on a practical note: Lie now, repent later is not my idea of meandering through life.

Do do white lies. That’s why they are called ‘white’. White lies, like politeness, smooth social intercourse. Just don’t lay it on thickly. Hot tip of the day: If and when need to white-lie arises don’t pile explanations and excuses on top of your pile of guilt. It won’t stick. Simple does it every time.

Blatant lies are to be avoided. And if you do feel you have no choice to save your bacon write down your narrative, learn it by heart, then shred your draft. Whatever you do, don’t try and flush it down the toilet. It won’t sink.

Where liars go wrong is that they will – invariably – waver. They forget their own narrative. Which is why crime does not pay. You may think you’ll hold your nerve. And you will. For a while. Beware the one – that’s me – who will outfox you. I have nailed people more than once in my life. It didn’t hold any pleasure for me to be clever. In fact to be clever at outing a liar is painful. Not so much on your own behalf as that of the liar. Who wants to see someone squirm, grasp at straws, fabricating justifications out of thin air?

Do I ever lie? For the benefit of others – yes. And have no qualms whatsoever about it. For myself? No. The closest I have come, and you decide whether it’s morally questionable, though most certainly defensible: ‘Omitting’ detail. Think about it: Omission. How cute is that?

U

July 24, 2012

Senses

I hate being restricted. Physically. One of the reasons I don’t wear a watch. And when I did – many years ago – it was a lovely Gucci number: A bangle, not a tight wrist band.

If I need the time I either look at the computer or ask a stranger in the street. It’s a conversation opener if nothing else. People are not used any longer to being asked for the time. So you have their attention immediately. If only for the novelty value of them having to take their ear plugs out so they can hear the question. And communicate. And yes, I will try this in New York. To prove that, despite rumours to the contrary, New Yorkers too are open to new experiences (with strangers).

I do have a clock. In the lounge. Freestanding. Stylish. Wooden frame. A cube 12 cm x 12 cm. Simple face.

Before the day fills with noise there is the morning. Mornings are quiet. Other than the seagulls. Seagulls make a most frightful noise – always appearing to be in a state of alarm. Why can’t they sing like ‘normal’ birds or at least be quiet? And before you say anything, David, yes, I do know that penguins too are birds. Neither do they sing.

That clock. In the lounge. It will tick. Audibly. Relentlessly. Frightens the hell out of me – occasionally. Like now. Which is why I fled to my desk. Sometimes I think the reason people write music (particularly Beethoven) is to blend out the sound of a clock ticking. Give me a seagull any time. At least I know what the weather will be like.

U

July 20, 2012

Which way to go

Filed under: Despair — bitchontheblog @ 20:13
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This minute I am faced with a choice. To let rip or to keep schtum. By temperament I prefer to fucking let rip. The voice of reason (that’s the Angel) has told me to not say a word to those words need to be said to. OK. He is probably right. Except that in a situation so bad it couldn’t be made worse I should allow myself to let rip. Am rewriting my will. Not that, this minute – a minute which could change any minute – do I have much to leave. Except a vial of verbal venom.

Let me know what you think. Or don’t bother. I have had it up to a level taller than myself. And I am not short.

If you do come to my funeral and insist on flowers please do make them sun/paeony/gerbera. If you are hard up just pick a dandelion or a daisy down the lane. I’d be deliriously happy with either of the last two.

U

June 25, 2012

Vista

Filed under: Communication — bitchontheblog @ 20:51
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There are immutable facts in our life. One in particular.  I won’t burden you with it. You might not sleep all that well tonight.

Other than that:

My desk (only 64 cm deep, made to measure) runs across a window. My screen on the far right hand. Thus every time I look up and then down – I am two floors high – I observe humankind in the tradition of any good Parisian going to a cafe and penning his next short story. Except I don’t have a writer’s ambition. Want to send me to the land of nausea?  Take me to the next bookshop. Thus all of you aspiring authors out there, optimists you are, do not take any note of me. Have come to conclusion that if I never bought another book in my life what’s already on the shelves will entertain me amply. And no, I will not tell you what does entertain me, because a) it’s private and b) one should rarely reveal one’s sources. Otherwise you’d not make a good spy. Or mistress. Confidante. Friend. Mother. Or anything.

From my vantage point this morning I was able to predict spectre of next divorce. Street cafe, small child, two adults having nothing to say to each other. Nada. Silence. For thirty minutes. If it were a crime I’d reported them. And I don’t normally snitch.

U

April 22, 2012

What’s bred in the bone

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 19:02
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In her comment to my last post Lorna perceptively interprets what I said as:  “If your comment adds nothing to the silence, keep it to yourself.” A Buddhist saying. I think it most poetic.

Unfortunately, whilst I DO know WHEN to shut up I find it virtually impossible to do so. During my recent quest to get rid of stuff now irrelevant to my life I came across some old school reports. Oh did I laugh. It’s uncanny. What’s bred in the bone does not only come out, it’ll stay there for decades. As young as age seven the summoning up: “Ursula has to learn not to talk so much during lesson time.” Another: “Ursula needs to tame her lust for words.” Isn’t that sweet? Few things amuse me more than myself.

What a comfort to learn that a leopard doesn’t change its spots. And some people are chameleons – always blending into their background, no doubt with good reason.

U

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