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Oh no stamps, no apples, no translations, no… November 20, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

…to be sung, hummed or straightforwardly said to the tune of Oh no John.

It’s more crises of confidence at the BiB hovel. Needless, probably, yet frantic worry about everything. About blogging, about socialising, about work, about money, about my hair, about… everything.

Darlings, can everyone who is obeying the laws of mathematics and time – all people getting younger, switch off now – tell me if worry and ageing go hand in hand? I’m sure they do, of course, though I can’t see the logic. Yet having sneered at every female relative of mine every day for the last 36 years – they are ALL scared of EVERYTHING – I have now turned into a gay composite, worrying about everything from missing a flight I might potentially take next year to me getting my signature wrong when I get to the till at the supermarket. And I don’t mean because I’ve stolen the card.

The Russian and I did our best at appearing normal on Saturday and accepted a dinner invite. This, naturally, led to many days of worry beforehand. Would I be the pinkest person there? (Certainly the oldest, but that was OK, as I feel sorry for young people having to be so young.) Would I be dressed like a cunt? (Yes, it turned out.) Would I have to sit in silence in a corner having given up on trying to speak German after three minutes when I was once again frying-panned over the head with the realisation that I just can’t converse in non-English? (Yes, but I hope it made me look wise and aloof to the youngsters, when really my head was as empty as a teenager’s on messenger (or whatever it’s called. Has myspace taken over?).) Would I drink myself bloated? (Yes.)  Would I annoy everyone by smoking? (Yes.) Would I politely desist? (No.) 

In any case, to give me something extra to worry about, we set off ludicrously late. And, darling, no, if we’re due at the other end of town at 6 – yes, 6! – we cannot leave home at twenty past and make a detour to the post-office to buy one stamp to send some pus to Reader’s Digest by frustratingly fingering 55 one-cent coins into the machine only for it to spit them all out again just as you’ve fumbled the 53rd one in. No, darling, no. And then more frantic worry at going to a flat I have never been to and being completely in the Russian’s hands, and him saying reassuring things, as I looked hesitantly at my watch about eight times a second, like, “I must look at map. Can never remember if we must get off at Westend or Westkreuz”. And then we had to go shopping. And then we arrived obscenely late, me preparing my excuses in a selection of languages as we trudged up the stairs, only to be met by a host who clearly hadn’t given his watch a second glance all evening. 

Apples are a poor choice of snack if you have a worry-induced hunger pang.

But, darlings, the work! Hacking blithely away at this blog and the old one over the last week and ignoring translations as best I could – I can be very good at that – now means I will have to work like a demon for, ooh, DAYS, so I’ll have to do a bit of worrying about that. Believing, I think rightly, that a trouble shared is a trouble doubled, I thought I’d let the Russian in on my woes. “Darling, am I the worst person on earth? Can’t you get a nice job so I can be a kept queen and never have to do another translation again? Should I just nicely throw myself off the balcony this sec?” “No, you just need haircut.”

Better go and worry about something.



1. Mangonel - November 20, 2006

Poor BiB – I think you are quite right to worry. The world is going to hell in a handcart. On the other hand, while an apple may not still any but the mildest pang of hunger, it will do your bowels a power of good. Happy Haircut.

2. BiB - November 20, 2006

Mango, thank you for being so loyally and reliably nocturnal. Apples are a bit of a concern at the mo as we’ve overshopped them and could probably provide all Cornwall – or is it some other county? – with cider for ever, but what if they go off sitting here, in this very flat? Waste! That’ll make me worry about poor folk in far-off parts and closer to home and then I’ll think I doubly need to throw myself off the balcony for being so wickedly wasteful. I really think I need a drug habit.

3. MountPenguin - November 20, 2006

I think I have a solution: why not throw the apples off the balcony? Maybe as some sort of symbolic act to cast off all those feelings of guilt, angst etc. I am sure it will do you good, and (providing there’s some sort of garden below your balcony) it will improve the soil.

4. bowleserised - November 20, 2006

Or, make apple chutney. I can recommend any form of cooking which involves (1) produdcing a vast amount of food, (2) lots of chopping to keep one’s worries away. I need to do something like that now so that I stop wondering whether RFM’s plane/car will crash/be hijacked.

5. Mangonel - November 20, 2006

Or Apfelmus, which freezes very well. And it’s Somerset. You have been away a long time.

(whisper) I’m a little perturbed about the lack of a Preview button – is that something you could do something about? if you wanted to of course?(/whisper)

6. wyndham - November 20, 2006

“Would I drink myself bloated? (Yes.) Would I annoy everyone by smoking? (Yes.) Would I politely desist? (No.)”

Sounds like a normal night out for me. However, I totally sympathise with the worrying thing. I’ve always done it and getting older just provides me with more fodder to worry about. If we’re talking fruit, my suggestion is: – satsumas. It will remind you of your childhood when your hair was all in the right place – on your head, not in your eyebrows – you were thin, had only to converse in one language and, presumably, didn’t smoke. Always works for me.

7. Marsha Klein - November 20, 2006

I also sympathise with the worrying thing. I worry about almost everything (including, on rare occasions, the fact that I’ve nothing to worry about). As for the age/worry correlation, mine goes something like this:
Worry number 1: Life is passing me by. I need to enjoy it while I can and stop being so inhibited. Which leads to,
Worry number 2: In my attempt to enjoy life and be less uptight, am I acting in a completely age-inappropriate way? Which leads to a period of restraint which in turn leads to,
Worry number 1…and so on.
Now I’m going to spend some time worrying that my punctuation of the above is ALL WRONG!

8. BiB - November 20, 2006

Got to be quick while the Russian’s in the shower.

Darlings, quick tip. Don’t blog for catharsis or therapeutic value. In fact, I wasn’t really THAT worried but thought worry would be something to blog about and then I couldn’t sleep all night and, when I did occasionally drop off, would wake up with a start, palpitating. A problem shared is a problem doubled indeed.

But you are all too kind, and thank you for your top tips.

Marsha, I am illiterate but I am sure your grammar was tip-top. Worrying about everything, if we want to be positive, keeps one thin, so I am actually not worrying enough.

Wynders, I’ve had a lovely image of you in your childhood, your grandfather rocking away in a nice big cardigan and comfy slippers, rewarding you with satsumas for good behaviour and telling you stories and everything. Satsumas. If I remember rightly, you are a Christmas- and November-lover. You must be inundated with satsuma at the moment. And, yes, a more satisfying gluttony snack than an apple. Apples rarely hit the spot.

…But Mango, B., Penguin, what good ideas.

Penguin, of course I’d worry a bit about waste, just hurling them out the window, but there is a bit of greenery below the balcony and maybe something would nicely grow in it. But imagine the neighbours’ reaction! We have new young neighbours and even they’ve managed to be incredibly boring and scowl at us rather than greet us on the stairs, I think because we talk after 9 (which we don’t even do that often, actually).

B., Mango, I shall pass on your suggestions to the Russian, as I am incapable of any recipe beyond Weetabix. He did have a period of making fish with chunks of apple, but I thought it was one of his less appealing concoctions, like the time coriander started appearing in pasta sauces, and we had French guess at the time. Imagine. Quelle horreur!

(PS. Mango, have scoured the site looking for a profile button. Haven’t found it yet, but it’s bound to exist somewhere. I think one can, at least, edit one’s comments, nicht wahr?)

9. David (TEFL Smiler) - November 20, 2006

Stand on the balcony throwing the apples at the neighbours while they’re in the garden. Seems to cover all bases.

Live, like me, a 30 minute hike from the nearest shop, and you soon learn to worry about one thing only: running out of fags. It’s a terrible feeling, I tell you!

10. pleite - November 21, 2006

David, I haven’t smoked today, which has just been too miserable for words. Luckily, the odd cigarette machine is still to be spotted on the streets here, although our very nearest one has just been removed, and there’s a petrol station within hiking distance in case of real emergency, but today was booze- and tobacco-free. Not really a day at all.

11. Ben - November 21, 2006

Ah, yes, a day without a buzz is a day that never wuz, as someone once said. I’m with you on the worrywort thing. It might be seasonal though, at least Berlin seasaonal. I don’t know about you, but November has always been peak neurosis time for me. Nice blog revamp, btw, fellow wordpresser. ;-)

12. pleite - November 22, 2006

November is a shithole. And I’ve run out of fags again, but daren’t go out on a fags-only shopping trip as that would create the biggest scandal since some very big scandal or other. Anyway, only a month to go and then the days start getting longer again. Hurrah!

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