Bitch on the Blog

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

Advertisements

June 3, 2018

Good

Filed under: Amusement,Beauty,Earth,Nature — bitchontheblog @ 12:11
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Once a month we have a Farmer’s Market here, right at my doorstep. Prices are eye watering if you don’t have money. If you do [have money] it seems perfectly priced considering the amount of love, time and effort that goes into a jar of honey, the making of a loaf of bread, catching fish, growing a big fat pot of basil, making a hand raised pie.

Yesterday, there was a new addition among the stalls. Meadow flowers. I took one look, fled back upstairs and cried. Just a little. Meadow flowers. Some of you may have noticed that occasionally I refer back to my being four/five years old. That’s how it was yesterday morning. The memory of the meadows of my happy earliest childhood.

Once I’d composed myself I went back to the stall and picked a few stems, as one does in a meadow.

Happiness lies in the tiniest, most modest of small things. And sometimes happiness brings many a tear in its wake. The window sill along my desk now being my meadow. Little heads nodding in the slight summer breeze coming from the sea.

Sea: When I phoned my mother yesterday afternoon she indulged in her love of water, oceans in particular. She does paint such a picture of water, swimming in it, the smell of water. That we didn’t drown in the process only due to fact that she now lives close to a river. Then, in return, I painted her a picture of my beloved meadows.  It was only afterwards, and it made me laugh, that I realized that she was born under a water sign, and my feet are firmly rooted on earth. Indulge me.

U

 

May 17, 2018

Coincidence?

This post is dedicated to Ramana who is a great fan of synchronicity, mentioning it often. Call it synchronicity, call it coincidence, call it what you like … but here, dearest Ramana, is one to trump them all. Spooky …

A few weeks ago we had a spot of flash flooding at midnight coming through the ceiling.  I don’t want to relive the experience. Let’s just say there was a lot of water – not least in my study. A frog and a goldfish would have been very happy.

Water and paper only mix in as far as they bond like glue. My idea of a marriage made in hell. I did what I do best: Limit the damage. I even managed (don’t be sad) to avoid electrocuting myself as water trickling into extensions leads and their sockets sizzled, giving off ominous smoke signals. If there is one thing I am proud of  in myself it’s how I manage a crisis, any crisis. Methodically. Stay calm now, go into (after) shock, if necessary, later. So, yes, switched off the electrics at the mains, did my salvage work in the romantic glow of an industrial strength torch.

So where does synchronicity come into it? Simple. In the aftermaths of Noah’s Ark I have been reorganizing my study, boxes of photos, all my papers, not least letters. Letters which I have kept from the day dot. All sorted by sender/addressee. Yesterday afternoon I re-read those written by my father. I nearly didn’t because they were strong tobacco at the time (twenty/thirty years ago), nothing to revisit in a hurry unless you want to upset yourself. I don’t know what came over me. I steeled myself and read. Holy shit.

And here it is: My father and I haven’t had any contact for about nine months. None. And I wasn’t going to ever instigate any again till he bloody well himself picks up the phone or writes or something. Which,  my mother once said to me, “he won’t”. Well, fine. So be it. Why is it always me doing the running? Enough.

Remember, I re-read his correspondence yesterday afternoon. Four hours later, as if by magic, my father sends me a tentative email asking for renewed contact. If that isn’t synchronicity then I don’t know what is. And the only reason I didn’t fall off my chair in wonderment is because a) my sense of balance is superb and b) I was standing.

Awaiting a round of awe and applause,

U

March 1, 2018

The Alternative Comment Box – Interval 2

On good news, this afternoon I was briefly reminded of the joys of my childhood’s snow: We haven’t had this much in one day, here at the South Coast of England, in years. It’s lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely. What is, obviously, not so lovely that the English tend to go into siege mentality, a type of hysteria. Cubic meters of the white stuff other countries conquer easily make some English go into melt(!)down.

Anyway, minimalists and all those of you lumbered with people difficult to give presents to because they have everything money can buy and afflicted by that certain ennui that comes with saturation, here is your perfect dinner party gift for the host with most except nothing:

Just before arrival at and on said host’s doorstep, you gather as much snow as possible, preferably the kind that sticks together to allow you to sculpt it into, say, a snowball. Make it round. Perfectly round. Hand it to your host/ess who, naturally, will shrink away from it but reconsider in a second since it’s impolite to refuse a gift. Fast forward to dessert, nay, after dinner coffee: Your present will have melted. Gently. Leaving little trace other than a tiny puddle of water. Genius or what?

U

 

March 31, 2017

Whimsy

One of the less palatable facts of life (apart from death, obviously) how, at times, to cope with the whole caboodle. I have found myself at points which didn’t bring me so much to breaking as having to take some deep breaths, thank my lucky stars that it’s too far and damp to walk to the next cliff, and then regroup. It pays to have shoulders. And brings to mind camels and backs, and straws that break the camel’s back, and taking water from the well till the vessel cracks, you name it there will be an image for it.

Which reminds me, apropos of nothing, and one Looney may have the patience to answer: What’s it with camels, wells and donkeys? And going through the eye of a needle? That camels feature large is, geographically speaking, not a surprise. Still. Wait till a Llama spits at you, not out of spite – just because that is what Llamas do, and you look at life, as only a five year old can, through a heightened lens.

That’s how animosity starts. One moment you are meandering through your own overgrown backyard, the next someone offers you to borrow their lawn mower. Obviously the latter never happens but as an idea it works.

So, what do you do? Accept that your neighbour lends you their lawn mower not because you don’t have one but because they don’t want to be seen living to someone who is perfectly happy to walk among daisies? Or do you mow that meadow of yours to keep the peace?

Let me know. Not that I do have any land, overgrown or mowed, at the moment.

U

April 3, 2014

Time out

Filed under: Atmosphere — bitchontheblog @ 14:02
Tags: , , ,

Hello Sweethearts, I am so overcome with the necessities of life I need to take a breather and throw myself, not for the first time, at your collective, gender dependent, bosoms and chests. Shoulders will do.

To paraphrase an old chestnut: I am looking for a tree whilst standing in the woods. At least I am not Gretel.

Goethe said something along the lines of “Der Anfang ist die heitere Schwelle der Erwartung”. Roughly translated as “The beginning is expectation’s gay doorstep”. Why does a quote always sound better in its original language? Particularly when the language is German. Let’s leave that consideration for another time. Some questions are worth asking. Not all can be answered.

There are no two ways about it, and I don’t want sympathy just a kick up the ass: I have misplaced part of myself. The efficient part.

Some people are given to analyzing everything about their lives to the hilt. I am not one of them. I know crap when I see it without having to route out the reasons. I am a ‘doer’ not a ‘dweller’. Actually no, the second part of the last sentiment is mostly though not strictly true.

Where were we: Goethe. He had it nailed. It’s also well known that nothing is more difficult than to begin something. Other than finishing it. It’s when you swelter somewhere in the nowhere discomfort of the middle your souffle is in danger of sinking.

Which reminds me of swimming in a lake, a cold lake at that. Are you the type of person, dipping in a toe, retreating, making up an idiotic excuse? Dipping in a toe, shrieking (quietly) whilst slowly wading into the inevitable, your heart full of wonder why on earth you ever agreed to go swimming here in the first place? Or do you just want to get the shock over with and throw yourself full length in, gasping for air, frozen for a ghastly second, warmth enveloping you in not too long an instant?

Wet hug,

U

 

November 16, 2013

What did you say?

Filed under: Amusement,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 00:40
Tags: ,

Sweethearts, please do save me from myself. Like a Victorian times damsel in distress I am in need of loosening my corset lest I faint, recline on a sofa, reaching for my smelling salts. Yes, a certain fatigue has come over me: I have lost the will to comment. How tragic is that? And, no, it is no reflection on anyone other than my faculties telling me to consider how best to employ the last remnants of my diminishing returns. GG used to called it ‘ennui’. An infliction most becoming if you are French and male. I myself, of uncertain origin and female, call it boredom.

Don’t dismiss this tragic state of affairs. I don’t do boredom. Just as I never ever have headaches I am never ever bored. At least not with myself. And – worse – being human I need social discourse if not disagreement. LSF (longest standing friend) and I have just established that we aren’t any longer what we once were. And that was before we managed to calculate how much skin we have shed over our combined life time. However, what I was able to impart  – and it is very difficult to impart anything new to him – and I myself only learnt this a few days ago, bit late in the day if you ask me, that our brains partly shrink because all other organs take any water FIRST before passing the left overs to the place which is, essentially, the coordinator. Selfish, I know. There you are, or I am, drinking cold water whilst not trying to deplete my sodium levels (I am only obsessing about this since my mother was hospitalized on account of them – never had given it a thought before) and what do you know: Your poor poor poor brain rolling around your skull like a shrunken walnut kernel just because your kidneys, liver and heart get there first. It’s awful. No wonder I sometimes stare a hole into air trying to remember what brilliant thought I had a minute ago.

U

June 14, 2013

Open or shut

Filed under: Food — bitchontheblog @ 02:19
Tags: , ,

I won’t go all Swedish on you so will spare you description of the open sandwich. OH MY GOD. The open sandwich. Fond memories.

Let’s regroup: I do live in England. And in England sandwiches come enclosed. I have promised myself not to succumb to a very cheap observation, namely, that the longest running piece of theatre in London was not “The Mousetrap” but “No Sex please, we are British”. My then boyfriend – who later became FOS father-of-son and thus defied the latter title despite his parents best efforts to keep us in separate rooms when we were already in our Twenties and engaged – took me to both plays well before he proposed to me. It’s forward thinking. Particularly for an Englishman. If your soon to be and foreign bride does laugh at both those plays there might be a chance that she’ll make great cucumber sandwiches in many years to come.

And I do. Make great cucumber sandwiches. In the privacy of my own company – see above – I will eat them OPEN but when called upon by the likes of Glyndebourne I will close my case and shut it too.

Talking of cucumbers, and it is my one and most disgusting failing as the devoted parent I am: The only time I tried (emphasis on try) to force food on Apple of my Eye was cucumber. I do not know what came over me. Other than that I love cucumber. And since I love my son too the two seemed like a match made in sandwich heaven. Not so. Never ever have I regretted a deed of mine more than trying (emphasis on ‘trying’) to make someone do something they don’t want to do. My son is his mother’s child. So what possessed me I do not know. Anyway. He didn’t eat it. And some 17 years later cucumber still is a no no in this house. I only eat it when he is out and not to be expected back any time soon (he can sniff the whiff of cucumber half an hour later). If I were on crack it couldn’t be worse.

U

April 13, 2012

Pen friends, foes and the rest

Filed under: Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 13:01
Tags: , ,

Like many who enter a marriage of convenience (in this case ‘blogging’) I am disenchanted. Not that I expected much in the first place. The upside being that I have made friends (at least in my own mind) with people who will pass my litmus test, the ultimate. What’s the litmus test? One of you knows the others may sleep well. Don’t worry your pretty little heads.

I read few blogs, I “follow” even fewer. Quality over quantity any time. However: Just like an itch you need to scratch or that scab on your knee, when your ten year old self fell off the bike, wants to be picked to prolongue the healing process, there are bloggers who I visit because they irritate the hell out of me. Say, two or three. They don’t know it. Yes, I know when to keep shtum.

Today I dedicate my thoughts to, and reserve my venom for one who has me not so much in the first antechambre of hell as quietly roasting her on my spit. She is exquisite in her art. And the most foul mouthed woman I have ever come across. It’s as much her trademark as is Lorna’s way to sublimate her life’s experiences into the divine.

So far SO WHAT? So nothing. A friend of mine who is hot on labelling everything and totally uncalled for, will mark her as “passive aggressive”. Since, when necessary, I prefer to be aggressive and not passive I am not quite sure what the term means. I can only guess that it’s attacking others without actually “coming out”. Now I know that I can be pretty vague but when I really have to say something to someone’s face I say it. Not leave my scent mark and then slink off into the night and groom my whiskers.

A long intro to a simple question:

What makes us engage with another person? Intrigues us? Why do we like? Why do we dislike? Don’t ask me. I have few ideas on what is a fascinating subject. Reminds me of chemistry lessons. Try and make water and oil into an emulsion. A lot of oil may just about be able to absorb a drop of water. A lot of water will always show up those little pearls of oil on the top. No, this is not a cookery class. This is wondering how and why people click. Or not.

U

November 19, 2011

Flotsam

Filed under: Despair,Sea — bitchontheblog @ 11:04
Tags: , ,

Have realised that I am my father’s daughter and my son is my son: Our happy go lucky smiley optimistic selves will propel themselves forward till the camel’s back breaks and can go no further through the eye of the needle.

Cue irritation, shortly followed by sense of heightened potential for irritability.

One of the, untimely departed, cats (the one who was a dog in a previous life) was  sensitive to a sudden dip in temperature (my mood). She’d bolt through the cat flap before I’d said a word. This minute I am so annoyed a stampede of wildebeests would look for a different route to bypass me.

I already pity my son, due back any minute, being subjected to my disenchantment with lack of hot water. I am trying to finish the washing up. And yes, I’ve checked the fuse.

Before my American readers, no doubt in full possession of a state of the heart Smeg fridge freezer (metallic finish), will utter so much as the word “dishwasher”: Don’t. My dishwasher (best of German engineering, unrivalled) and I were cruely separated on account of lack of space in new den’s kitchen. I don’t mind returning to the ancient art of washing  dishes by hand. I have got Marigold gloves. Industrial strength. But I need HOT water.

Don’t send bucket. I prefer running.

U

PS Where are rats when your ship is sinking?

PPS Naturally, it’s Saturday. A bit like a toothache.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.