Talking about you; Where English words come from; An open window

The number of visitors I get for the ‘new’ (well, it’s not so new, really) blog is higher than the old one (a little). But it’s not that that is the surprise. It’s where the people come from.

Continue reading

Death by a thousand cuts

So, there you are. Someone does something that, in itself, is not so bad or so terrible or so hurtful. You have been relied upon for so many years to do something and then, because things are a little strained and they won’t ask for help, they go and do it themselves or, find someone else to do it.

And you don’t know until it has been done.

And it’s a shock because you didn’t realise that they were going to do that. And, maybe, a little angry. And, probably, somewhat hurt that they had done it and you would have been quite happy to do it.

Or maybe you wanted to be asked, even if you would have said ‘no’ or made it for some time that was going to be impossible for the other person. But you wanted that chance to say ‘no’ or make it difficult. And they have taken that away from you.

And you look at the result and you’re not impressed. You know that you would have done a far better job as you know the person and you know what they like.

The trouble is that, for whatever of the reasons that you wanted to be asked – to say ‘no’ or because you would have done it willingly and wanted to – it’s difficult to keep your voice and face from expressing some emotion and, thereby, letting the person know that they have ‘got one over on you’.

It’s another little cut. Each one is nothing. Even a hundred is nothing. But a thousand? With each you bleed a little more. After a thousand you are dead and, in the meantime, the death is agonisingly slow and painful.

Of course, it may be that they weren’t trying to do anything. Maybe they were just trying to make it easier. Maybe they had to do it as you had gone out and they didn’t know when they would see you again for this to be done?

Have you counted the cuts yet? Is it near a thousand? Wouldn’t it be better if they just made one fatal slash? Then it would be over and the pain would go away and you would be free of this life.

Oh, yes, and this is both of you in both situations. It’s not just the one side, of course. Intentional or not intentional – the result is the same.

And, if you’re on the receiving end, it hardens the heart a little more. It makes you more stubborn and I’m already as stubborn as they come.

Whilst, if you’re giving the small cut, it has two feelings. There is a feeling of giving back what you get. A small victory in this war of small attacks. In a war that, surely, is far too important to be taken so lightly. In a war that, in the end, gives no winner.

he other feeling is one of sorrow. That something was taken to be something it was not; that you couldn’t see that the thing would have been seen as such a bad thing. But, then, you knew really; it was pride that meant you could not ask; pride and stubbornness; pride, stubbornness and the desire to have at least one thing that you could “show” you didn’t need the other person for.

So, locked in your silences this is all you have to show – this demonstration of independence and strength.

Meanwhile, the bleeding continues……….

BBC Advertisements.

As you may know, I use the BBC website to check the news. One of the things that I believe you don’t get in the UK is the adverts.

They don’t really bother me. Some sit on the side advertising computers or cars or whatever. Some, however, are like an advert on TV in that they show just before the video clip you want to watch. It’s not really a problem. Most are for hotel groups or airlines and, to be honest, I take little notice.

Except for the latest one which I find really annoying.

It’s for the film “Revolutionary Road”. This in itself is not annoying. What IS bloody annoying is that, because I am in Italy, it’s in Italian and dubbed movies are never usually so good. So, instead of hearing Leonardo’s or Kate’s voice, I hear some Italian person and the voice is all wrong. Made worse by the fact that I don’t understand it all.

I mean, if I’m looking at the BBC site in English, don’t play adverts in Italian!

It may not be weird to you but it is for me.

So, today, another first. Well, that’s not strictly true but it has been so long since the last time that it felt like a first. I think that last time was about 18 or 19 years ago.

And it was quite stressful. I never really liked doing it all those years ago. There was a short time when it was good but, overall, it seems invasive (even though it isn’t) and too personal. Strange, isn’t it? After all that’s only in my head and not reality.

Well, today I had to bite the bullet, which I did. I should have gone last night, really, but, as my regular readers will know, given the weather and because I was cold, I chose to leave it until this morning.

First I went to a place to check the Italian word I needed as I had seen their window display and knew the word was there. Then I went to one place but it was shut for a 3 hour lunch. So I went to the place at the back of our house. I had to wait as his wife told me he had gone to get something to eat but would be back in 5 to 10 minutes. So I waited.

He was good. And quick. And, I have to say, I am pleased with the result. He certainly seemed to take a pride in what he did.

But it was like stepping back in time. A real old-fashioned place like I remember from when I was a kid. The colours were from the 50s. Red and cream. The “instruments” were a mix of old-fashioned and modern. The mirrors were huge (although, when I took my glasses off the mirrors were a bit pointless). It took less than half an hour and left my pocket lighter by €15. Still, it means I am OK for next week now.

And, in the end, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Mind you, it never is. I must admit that the haircut seems a little shorter than usual but at least I won’t have to go back for another 6 weeks or so.


There are points in your life when you should fight. There are points when you should accept. It can be difficult to accept certain things. No one likes change, especially when change will mean stepping off the cliff, blindfolded – and you don’t even know if the wings will work or the parachute will open.

Continue reading

Thoughts of Porridge; Polenta – why?; Fairy Cakes

For some strange reason, this morning, I had this desire to have porridge. To be more precise, ReadyBrek which, I know, is not porridge.

Maybe it’s because it is cold.

I don’t even remember if it was a thought this morning or part of a dream during the night.

Funnily enough, we had polenta for lunch today. This has the consistency of porridge with none of the taste. More exactly – no taste. As I said to one of my colleagues, after they had asked me if I had ever cooked polenta at home and I had replied ‘no’ – it has no taste at all so why? It’s one of those foods that is there to fill you up, I guess. Anyway, she could not answer.

On the plus side, Gina (the cook) had make some small fairy cakes (plain and chocolate sponge) and she slipped on of those onto my tray. It’s always the right thing to do to get on with the people who provide food!!!

A moment of clarity – dissolves into nothing

I have been assuming that nothing could be done to get us out of this mess. And then, driving to work, I had one of those important ‘moment of clarity’ times, where, although not as perfect and as I would prefer, I could see how we would get out or, at least, survive.

Of course, I should know better. Whenever these things occur, they are followed, inevitably, by the moment when my heart sinks and the feeling in the pit of my stomach returns with a vengeance and my head spins out of control. I have never been very good at crises although, once I have a plan that is workable and achievable I am fine. It’s just the getting to that stage that I find so difficult.

And so it is. And so it will be. And so, following on from my post below, I see no hope. And yet, certain things will be better; more settled; more predictable; more stable. And there is a hope but a different one than before – different end results but, in some ways, better. And by my fingertips I hold on to that however cold the climate is right now. Well, at least it has stopped raining.

I was looking for a quotation on hope and trust

Barack Obama. I have noticed that the recurring word used for him is ‘hope’. The other one should be ‘trust’. And he must prove himself to be trustworthy. I just hope that those people who have this hope in him do not find their hope misplaced but I have a feeling that their expectations of him and from him are far greater than can be achieved – by him or anyone else. I hope that I am wrong.

Continue reading