Tuesday, 21 April 2015

These I Have Loathed

If any of you kind keepers up is as old as I am you may well remember a radio programme called "These I Have Loved". It was a programme of recordings chosen by well-known people who also gave the background to their choices. There are several programmes like it now, with selectors being interviewd.  Then, the subject just got on with listing and playing all by him/her self. Re-creating such a programme would be relatively easy and, indeed, I have known it as a sort of parlour game among friends dining together. However. the other side of that particular coin has to be "These I have loathed".

This category has been triggered by work going on in the adjoining house. The new owner, having told the neighbours on either side that he was just going to alter the patio doors at the back of the house is actually gutting the entire interior of his Grade11 listed dwelling with a drilling and a banging such as you have never heard even in the dentist's chair during root-canal work. This morning I went to see the foreman because a friend had come, in some distress, wanting  conversation and support and I couldn't hear my thoughts never mind her words. I was told, in a bland and indifferent voice, that certain work had to be done in a certain time framework and basically, by inference, to take my unreasonable self off and never darken their  door again. So, drilling on the wall common to both of us is definitely loathable. Mind you, I should confess that when I moved in a builder friend arrived to find me drilling a hole to place a picture hook. "Making a coat hook for next door, are you" he said. The next current loath is a cleaning product advertised by a loathsome man who promises "Bang and the dirt is gone." I would rather live in the dirt than use the product. I loath my aged lapses of memory and the slowness  of the man in my archives  finding the answers and even dropping some before he can deliver them.  I am not too fond of the Wizard of Cyberspace but  would be afraid of loathing him for fear of repercussions. I don't like sniffing unrelated to a cold, jars I can't open, waiting in out-patients, the condition of many public toilet facilities, intractability and people who find my external more- than-three- score- and- ten appearance an excuse for lumpen rudeness and a total disregard of  my presence in their space.  Desist: as it happens, aside from the drillers, I confess I have had rather a hard time finding things I loath. Honestly, if  it were not for the perceived need to follow a theme, I could have stopped long ago. So much for the calm tolerance of now as against the angst of yesteryear. Oh, and by the way, the man in the archive has just produced the name of the "These You Have Loved" producer: Doris Arnold. Don't you just love when a jigsaw is complete? Bore da  PS., Milk bottles on the table

Friday, 10 April 2015

If Only

My name is Elizabeth: I'm a recovering chocaholic.  I know, I know: it is only two minutes since I confessed to being an accuracholic. Well, to be quite accurate, it was about a month or five weeks ago. Sadly, the two conditions are not mutually exclusive.  Last January 20th I took the decision to climb on the 'no chocolate, no sweets' wagon; this being a more acceptable alternative to drastic medication measures that were being proposed for reasons of health. (Just how drastic can be surmised from the concommittant nature of the sacrificial alternative ). This decision had a totally unlooked for add-on bonus. One morning, taking both sides of the waistband of  my trousers in both hands and yanking them to meet in the middle, I found I had over-shot. The hook on my right side by-passed the loop on my left by about three quarters of an inch. (You work out the centimeters, or ask the Guru). I clambered on to the scales to find I weighed, fully dressed, that which I had weighed with no clothes on a day or so before. Indeed, next morning, once again in the alltogether, I found that I had lost nine pounds or roughly 3 kilos. How an eight-ounce bar of choclate can produce at least two pounds in weight is beyond my understanding. But there you are, the proof of the pudding is in the non-eating.

This brings me to another bit of green ink. "Things" as the saying goes, "are not what they used to be". Last week, I was introduced to a young person where I work. We chatted for a bit, while she observed what it was I did and how it was I was doing it. She was awsomely qualified with several first degress and further degrees and very impressive CsV. As it happened, I had occasion - or it seemed to me I had - to use a proverb, or, even, so as not to give it airs above its station, a saying. I am not prepared to take an oath but I do believe it was "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush":utter blankness, not to say incomprehension.  I had a stab at explaining: I got politeness,. I tried "A stitch in time saves nine". A what-have-I -let-myself-in-for look ensued. I couldn't say how I looked but I couldn't get my head round the fact that this delightful, intelligent, educated young person had never walked passed a proverb in her life before. I am aware that life was always " better" when we were all forty, but I am still going to stick my neck out and aver that, currently, current education is  proof of that. I have the feeling that those of  my young who have already put in  half a century were the last to be taught grammar in any formal sense. The accuracolic chocaholic in me still feels faint in the presense of "I" when it should have been "me". Indeed, there is an advertisement - for solicitors, no less -  on television at the moment where the speaker uses "I" glaringly discordantly. It may not surprise you that I rang the number referred to and asked to speak to someone responsible for advertising. Dear Reader, I got nowhere. It must have been "People in glass houses should not throw stones". Prynhawn da

Friday, 3 April 2015


Have you noticed how school labels the days and the times for us? Attending school, one knew which day it  was because, for instance, the weekend was over so it must be Monday. Mother has reminded one to take one's gym kit so it must be Wedesnday - at least, in my school. The weekend is coming so it must be Friday and home smells of baking on that day. It was Tuesday when I went in to the town and had tea with my Mother and her friends in a place which doesn't exist anymore. (For Heaven's sake, when Hitler had finished reshaping out familiar landscape, why did we have to start pulling things down ourselves?). Later, the days are identified by other peoples' school routine; the inner notepad nagging to get the gym kit dried in time.  Machinations were required to be in two places at the same time on football/cricket days. Leave the sportsman, muddy and worn out, to wait until the littlest one has been picked up, or leave the little one to wait in the rain while the muddy one is picked up? Ironically, at one level, although I could name games' days, on another, looking after a number of other very busy people, the days all ran in to one another and I had to stop and give them their names in an attempt to hold on to the pattern required to save everyone, not just me,  from spinning in to chaos in the tumble dryer of every day..

This split turns up as we speak, the knowing and not knowing what day it is.You have Sunday every day of the ten days of Christmas. There is also Good Friday Sunday and Easter Saturday Sunday and Sunday Sunday. That  is your one true Sunday: on Easter day. I work on Mondays and Thursdays so Tuesday after Monday, could easily be Friday and it is hard to grasp that Friday actually is Friday after Thursday has passed. Ever since I  was a little girl, the names of the days have turned up to my inner eye in colour. There  is a name for this phenomenon which I can't remember. Can you help? I know it attaches to every word for some who are afflicted. However, as I was saying, the days have colours and part of the dayname muddle is the way the colours run in to one another when I am struggling to identify on which day of the week I have  made the current mess-up. Are you sure you want to know? Very well: Monday white, Tuesday dark brown, Wednesday green, Thursday light brown, Friday grey,Saturday yellow and Sunday blue and, no, since you ask, I don't have the faintest idea why. On the radio programme to which I habitually listen Sunday afternoons, are taken up by boring, talky magazine programmes. I have been typing away thinking how much more musical it is this afternoon. Good for them, bowing to popular demand. Well, actually, not so. No doubt it will bore for England when it will be Sunday: today is Friday. Prynhawn da.