Thursday, December 07, 2006

Three Things A Day

Today's entry is inspired by Joe Hyam from Now's The Time, which was itself inspired by Clare's blogspot. (Sorry, can't be more specific than that. )
Every day, he describes three things - things that delight or amuse him, things he finds beautiful.
What a wonderful idea, I thought. Maybe something like that would revive my feeble blog, which was never supposed to be just about food anyway. And let's face it, there are more excellent food blogs out there than you could ever read, even if that was your preferred pursuit when trying to escape the call for more important things to do. (Too numerous to mention...)
And all the while I marvel at just how wonderful and inventive other people's food creations are, and despair over just how dull my photographs are in comparison to the absolute masterpieces other people produce, I
don't get round to writing my own entries.
So, a few words on nothing more than three noteworthy things struck a chord with me, especially as no photographs are required. (Having said that: Joe does have some, in fact, check out his marvellous puddle photo.)
Of course, it wouldn't be three things a day, that would be far too frequent. A chore, a straightjacket, far too consistent. (The only thing I'm consistent about is being inconsistent.)
It wouldn't exclusively be about beautiful things either. Life is not just about beauty and wellbeing. There is also a lot of sorrow and a lot of anger. - Ah! Now you can see where this is going, can't you ?
"Disgruntled from A.G." - "Zabeena's Daily Bellyache" - "Three Axes I have to Grind"
Whinge, Whine, and Whimper; ... the Triple Thump: Rile, Rage, Rant; ... the Helly Trinity: the Gripe, the Groan and the Grumble...
Any three things really... it's a magic number (and not only since this was used as a slogan for some programme or other, as one of my students thought... where exactly do they breed these imbeciles??!! ).
So, let's see, what's been bugging me today

... the fact that I have them and that all too often they are not being fulfilled by other people. The question being, am I too demanding or are other people too selfish? Well, clearly, other people are too selfish. Certainly from where I am sitting. Under the coat of self-preservation, the mantle of lame excuses, the cap of indifference, they hurt me, hurt me deeply, hurt me more than I'd ever willingly disclose. And if I told them, if I ever expressed what their lack of love, their literal carelessness, their callousness does to me, they still couldn't bring themselves to say sorry. Because their world is so different from mine that they'd even argue that I ask too much of them, that I'm unreasonable, that I am selfish. Not so. I am not expecting what I wouldn't do, what I'm not willing to give, what I haven't done many times before in the past, what I'd never hesitate to do. That and a lot more. And that's why it hurts. That they are never ever able to put themselves second - let alone last.
But I won't beg, and I won't bid. That's just not me.
But I won't forget and I won't forgive.
I'm afraid, that is me.

... when there were real ones, at least they were an asset, as in: an investment, and therefore looked after, whereas lowly paid staff are dispensable. At my own place of work they wring everything out of me, now even shifting part of their admin, not only in terms of time but also resources, from full-time, properly paid staff with pension schemes and increments, holiday and sickness pay, and opportunities to progress and eligibility for training courses, to part-time, seasonal staff with, well, none of the above. I 'm obviously supposed to print this stuff out at home, i.e. on my printer, my cartridge, my paper, not to mention my internet connection that makes this possible, and then to photocopy it in my own time, which is paid on a pro rata basis. This basis being the actually taught hour. Are you still with me? 'Taught' is the instrumental word here. Just how many hours do you think would be reasonable to expect for a gross (that's before tax, in this particular context) £22-£24? Hang on, don't answer this yet! Consider the following: selling produce at the German Christmas Market, which does not require any qualification - and as I found out the other day, not even the ability to speak either English or German, or even simply to possess a brain capable of any sort of logic - pays £5.50/hour. Being able to supply brute force and some rudimentary knowledge of building work (but again, not necessarily any formal qualifications or basic spelling/grammar) warrants something more in the region of £30/hour. Now let me ask you again - just how many hours should I add to every paid hour of teaching??!!

... or: what comes round goes round.
EH? Well, there's Frank dressing up in everybody else's clothes - mine, J's, my Dad's, his Dad's, J's Dad's, it's all vintage and everything goes.
This house, of course, is quite a treasure trove, as we are hoarders and don't throw things away. Well, yes, unfortunately, sometimes we do. I did throw out a lot of stuff simply on the grounds that I would never ever be this size again (fallacy!); or when I was young, on the grounds that this would never be fashionable again (despite my mother constantly telling me that history would repeat itself); but generally, we still own most things. Except, of course, the very things that would be soooo fashionable now. Those brown suede stretch boots; the red short coat, the bottle green leather jacket... How absolutely great they'd be now.
But other things survived.
Frank has worn my Dad's hat from the 70s, his skiing jacket from the 40s, and his other granddad's scarf from the 30s. Ozzy will one day find my brother's fringed suede coat from the 80s and his Dad's panama hat from the 90s.
And how I wish I'd know where that lilac moiré evening dress ended up! We used it when we were enacting the Robin Hood play (the one with the aggressive Maid Marian - played by me, of course - ) from the "Let's play" drama book. As far as I'm concerned, it was last seen on Renate Schlieper, playing a rich lady about to be robbed by a rather meek R.H. and a rather emancipated MM.