Friday, July 27

A considered appraisal on 'Why baths are SHIT'

I have, of course, the greatest respect for Sylvia Plath. Anyone obsessed with death, alienation and self-destruction has to earn my vote. BUT I have to say - Sylvia, you got in completely wrong in believing,

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

On the contrary, there are few things in my mind that are not worsened by taking a bath.

It all started when I moved into my current abode.
Until then, like the rest of my kin, I was a confirmed shower girl. For me, the second best part of staying in a hotel is the mammoth jet-stream power showers I get to play in.

It was thus with great remorse that I took my first shower in my first home-owned property to discover I had a system built in the seventies and never subsequently updated. The large showerhead that had caught my eye upon viewing the property belied the meek trickle of water it produced.

As I have already expressed within this blog, mornings are not the best part of my day; I have also expressed the daily trauma of temperature change occurring when decamping from my bed. A trauma for a sleepy, cold, naked body that can only be exacerbated by a urinating showerhead. In the very first day under that shower head, I made my decision.

The shower is out, the bath must come in.

And so it was.... my daily cleansing routine became thus:

Morning wake up call. Stumble out of bed. Put on warm clothing. Stomp to bathroom. Stick head over bath. Wash hair with pissy showerhead.
Finish work. Arrive home. Do random stuff. Get in bath. hate bath. Fume in bath. Get increasingly irate in bath. Get out of bath seething. Stomp downstairs.

So why the anger?

Well, for me a simple bath is simply a half hour of hot boredom. For those who think a bath is meditative, I pose this scenario as the pure, 'asthetic' bath experience:

You sit in it. It's hot. The steam rises. It makes you sweat. You have nothing to do. You look at a wall. You wait. Your skin starts wrinkling. You wait. You stare at the wall. You notice the grouting needs redoing. You wait some more. You stare at another wall. You stare at the ceiling. You sigh. You count to one hundred. You get out.

This is the 'pure' bath experience and I can't stand it. It bores the shit out of me quite frankly.

And so, to alleviate my boredom, I transform the bathroom each night into a ghetto of activity. I spend a full thrity minutes preparing the battleground.

First: Large glass of wine (must be very cold to counteract the heat of the water)
Second: Book. For obvious reasons - diversion.
Third: Thesaurus. Often the thesaurus is the book choice itself, I only ever read a thesaurus in the bath for some reason, but in any event, it is required in case I come across a word in a book I don't know.
Fourth: Candles. These are optional. The option is - do I feel arsed locating and lighting them.
Fifth. Music. Again - a diversion and mood enhancer. Again, the music is optional depending on if I can be arsed setting up the extension lead.
Fifth: Blackberry.Facebook I mostly check this every ten minutes in between pages.
Sixth: Phone.

So, the bath is full, the accoutrements in place. I get in. I jump out immediately and swear.

I've never yet figured out if it's just me or if everyone finds that the part of their anatomy most sensitive to heat is the leg below the knee. This is certainly the case for me for whilst the rest of my body can happily accept a warm bath, whenever I step in it, my legs go bright red and I feel my skin begin to melt away.

It is a problem. I obviously can't dive in. I can't suspend myself from the ceiling so all parts of the body barr the highly-strung lower legs don't get wounded. I have no choice but to grit my teeth and literally SCREAM as my legs enter the water and wait until they calm the hell down and accustom to the temperature. As I say, my back is fine, my arse is fine, my arms, head, stomach and every other part of my body is A-OK with the water. It's just the lowe legs. WHY????? I just DON'T get it.

So. A couple of minutes pass. I realise it's too hot. I'm sweating, I hate sweating, it's unseemly. I empty some of the bath and refill it with cold.
I realise I'm now too cold.
I add hot. The hot creeps from one side of the bath so my bum is cold and my feet are being scorched again.
I add cold. I add hot.

This farce goes on for about a good five minutes until I give up....usually on the side of too cold.

Accepting the temperature will provide me no joy, I turn to my trusty book.But hang on,I have got my hands wet, I need to turn the page. I can't as this will defile a page.

Inevitably, the only prop I do not have is a towel. So now I have to reluctantly get out of the bath, dripping water everywhere as I go in search of a towel.

I find one. I traipse back to the bath. I get back in, dry hands and turn page.

I get ready to relax. Do I relax lying down or relax sat up? I never know whether to sit in sitting position with book in front or lie back with book above face. Latter is more relaxing but wets hair, former keeps hair dry but not relaxing.

I swop between both, uncertain, curtailing my 'relaxation' to five minutes spurts. Somehow my hand gets wet again and I need to turn the page. Bring back the towel.

And so it goes on.

Twenty five minutes later I stand, light-headed from the heat and slop onto the floor. I face a good ten minutes of putting things back in their place and allowing my skin to return to it's happt temperature before seeking the solace of a cool bed to lie on whilst I try to recover my zen.

Friday, July 6

Numbers 3 - 11 of 357 of things that annoy me.

Unlike previously, this collection has no central theme.They are, however, backed by some hardcore opinion-giving so that's OK. As always, please share with me details of what pisses you off and I will adjudicate on the merits or no of your justification.

Even numbers.

Why? Odd isn't it. (Sorry, couln't resist. Cheesy I know.) To me they seem a little too goody goody and a bit smug with it. The number 2 especially gets my goat.

White ford escorts

They're so tacky though aren't they? Snobbish? Most certainly. Am trying unsuccessfully to purge snobbery from my veins at the moment but am finding it trying.

The trees and shubbery planted by the council along motorways and dual carriageways

Sorry, but they are piss poor excuses for arboriage. What kind of environmental heritage are we leaving here. It's the natural equivalent of the 70s architectural legacy to towns and cities. Has the council ever heard of oak? Mountain ash? Sycamore? Christ almighty. I am almost tempted to go chuck some bloody decent seeds around myself.

Big watches

They are simply unecessary and it's presumably meant to be impressive. Especially if you're a bloke. It's a bit predictably phallic in it's intention isn't it? Come on now.....let's have a bit of restrained taste.

People who warble and harmonise when singing along to a song.

This one applies to females only. It makes me cringe with embarrassment and sometimes. If the girl is especially putting in Maria Carey-like warbles, my head
actually spins with embarrassment. Literally, I get head spin. Please stop it. Save my balance. Sing like a normal person for god's sake.

Religious people

It's the self-certainty here that offends.

Pot, kettle, black? Do I give a...? Nothing wrong with a touch of inconsistency every now again....

Ready washed and shredded bags of iceberg lettuce

Especially if it's from Marks and Spencers. You are just compounding utter laziness with complete disregard for monetary value.

People who eat Ryvita and claim they like it

It's just bare-faced lying is all it is. Who are you trying to kidd?

Wednesday, July 4 promised

So….. I said I'd discuss my use of the ellipsis, didn't I?

Hmmm. Hardly a topic that sparks a natural array of issues to consider. I can see I am beginning to regret my rash suggestion already.I did state that awarding unwarranted attention to issues is part of this blog's mandate, didn't I? Shame. Anyway, lets see where it takes us.

Well, I suppose I will start with the obvious… let us settle, firstly, what would be the plural of this quaint little word…. makes sense.

Ellipsises, ellipsi, ellipsum?

If in doubt (which I am) refer to the noble; fantastic web resource which I recommend heartily….a wikipedia for language.

"Ellipses", apparently.

Makes sense. Doesn't accord with basic grammar rules for formation of plurals though, which would dictate the simple addition of an -es to the noun thus creating 'Ellipsises'. Who ever said grammar was meant to be inflexible however?

Secondly… is my use of the ellipsis indeed appropriate?

Consultation with Oracle again.

Usage: Printing marks to indicate an omission or suppression of letters or words.

Christ. believe me, I would much rather be discussing Derren Brown at this point who is currently backgrounding in my living room. However, I committed therefore I must. I'm sure you'd probably be reading about that too though. Let’s take a break…..

Robbie Williams is today's guest appearance. About to be made a pin cushion if the intro man is to be believed.

Now hanging Jesus-like on the top of a scaffold (why here I don't know, dramatic tension?)

Robbie…..have never seen the huge attraction myself. I must be out of sync with his TV-projected pheromones I guess. From what I can gather it's the 'bad boy' element combined with the 'little boy lost' aura he exudes that forms the basis of his attraction. Appeals to the nurturing element in women I suppose… and the secret romantic vanity that women all wish to realise that their affections and love can save a storm-tossed man from drowning. The saviour complex.

Or maybe that's just me?

Damn you Charlotte Bronte. Damn you and your beautifully drawn Jane and Mr Rochester.

Intermission over. Back to the serious consideration of the life and death issue that is the ellipsis.

I suspect my personal usage is more of a dramatic pause interrupting two connected ideas or statements then a suppression of words. I suspect actually that most current usage falls into this category. Evidence? None to hand and I can't be bothered finding it just to convince you I am right but I am right so just accept it and move on.

Lastly, do I overuse it?

You, readers, are the ultimate judge of that question and I invite your opinions on the idea. This in an opinion-sharing forum after all is said and done.Though I get the last word. Remember that. Only I have full administration rights…...and so it should be.

Sunday, July 1

Ignorance and irony

So....... the blog's been off for a while.

An expanse of thoughtless silence for near four full moons.

I'd call it a writer's block were I a writer. As a lay-narrator I have no such grandiose and tortured excuse however. I simply ran out of things to say...... I ran out of anything worth saying.

Yes, I will say that again, you are right to doubt your very ears. Yes, you may never hear its like again.

I, Natalie B******a, RAN OUT OF ANYTHING TO SAY.

It knocked me.

I don't mind admitting it.....

it shook me to my very core. I stood shivering and naked in a confused void and uttered not a sound. Silence challenged me. Nothingness caused self-examination more profoundly than any cram-filled conversation could.

Why the confusion, I hear you ask?

In answer: Fundamental to my self-perception has been the belief that 1. I could fill the blackest hole in space with continuous opine, and 2. I would opine whether necessary, welcome, wanted or not.

What could be the future for natalieuninterrupted if this was not so? A rename? Occasionalnatalie? Nataliepunctuatedbyperiodsofmuteness? Thequiescenceofnatalie? (Actually, that's bloody good, isn't it? Admit it. Mental note for the future, let us all use 'quiescence' more).

This was a blog with communication as its central tenant. Where life's littlest details could, and positively should, be freely and intensely mooted, dissected and bestowed unnecessary, maybe even unwarranted, attention. Where to then if a gamut of minutae and circumstance elicited not even a murmur in response? Where a change in leadership went unchallenged. A new President inaugurated without comment. A teen idol group reunification unexamined. A thousand fags and a hundred bottles of wine inhaled and consumed without a single exhortation. The explosion of bloody Facebook for god's sake????

Truly, people, you can see clearly that this called for some contemplation and conclusion. And there, just as I embarked upon my quest for an answer, there it came.....the nub. There, ladies and gentleman, was the rub.

In my search for an answer had I fallen upon the irony that has so far famously elluded the well-meaning young Alanis?

In looking for an answer I discovered that I cannot answer all questions. Yes, even I. Sometimes, and let us have a preparatory deep intake of breath here..... ignorance is wisest. Inaction the best course to take. Yes. I appreciate this may appear blasphemous to all who know me, and yes, it does sit uncomfortably within my soul. I took many a glass of water to drink down this unpalatable truth. But I am convinced now.... finally and humbly, that sometimes it's OK to have nothing to say. You don't always have to have a solution. Dare it even, an opinion!!!

And so, it is in this new spirit of mis-apprehension that I will recommence my blog.

I will undergo and experience and expect nothing in return. I will proudly and freely announce to be non-committal and ignorant in opinion to all the world. And what I truly hope, is that it is in this new spirit of freedom and ignorance, we will all find the answers we seek.

And that, Miss Morisette, would be just a little bit ironic.

NEXT EXCITING TIME ON NATALIEINTERRUPTED: Is Natalie's use of the ellipsis excessive. Discuss.