Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garden Slattern downs tools

 Lawn?  LAWN?  Not really!

Garden sheds are very vulnerable in our neighbourhood, so we keep our gardening stuff in the glory-hole under the stairs.  And our decorating stuff, DIY, car maintenance, and shoe-polishing kit.  It's stuffed full, in short, but we're grateful it's there.

What we NEED at the moment, however, is grass seed, and I wasn't prepared to buy any until I had established that there wasn't any in the glory-hole.

This morning I emptied and tidied the glory-hole, washed the floor and all kitchen surfaces (having raised a fair bit of dust), did three loads of washing and a generous load of ironing.  I should explain that Cello-man came home from Cambridge yesterday evening, with every stitch of clothing requiring washing.

I also made Sunday dinner and set the bread-machine going.

In came SuperSpouse from playing at church, and I proudly told him my achievements.  'Hmm.  Doesn't look any different if you ask me.  And what do you expect, anyway?  The jobs had to be done.'

Which is all very true, of course, and I am smaller, younger and bendier.  But I'd like to have heard something like, 'Hey, you have been busy!'

We don't have any grass seed, either.  I can say that with absolute certainty.  But we won't be needing any for a while, because I'm too knackered to rake the lawn today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To see ourselves as others see us

Friends know me for who I am.  Colleagues know my strengths and weaknesses.  And musicologists can read my scholarly musings and draw their own conclusions.

Others, however, see a short, round, middle-aged, greying nonentity behind a library counter.  Now, the majority of those "others" are nice, decent folk who appreciate that I try to help them as much as I can.  The rest neither know me, nor have any appreciation of the expertise that I bring to my role, but they're polite all the same.

Lastly, there are those who feel so superior that they must stamp on me from a great height, raising their voices as they interrogate me about our working practices, determined that they are Right and we are Wrong.  If someone talks down to me, is rude and does their damnedest to belittle me, then I'm sorry, mate, but you're a bully.  I don't even know who you are, and I've never met you before, but I object to your manner.

Now, having a PhD doesn't make me an efficient librarian. A handful of librarianship qualifications don't prove anything either.  And an old music diploma?  Pshaw!  Irrelevant. Thirty years in the profession?  Put her down, she's past it.  But what would it take to prove to you that I know my job?

I feel mentally battered, but also very angry.  I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, be they senior management or the rawest office junior, so why should I have to be on the receiving end?  I went out and bought smarter, more "efficient, professional" looking shirts today - just in case my plain, beige Traidcraft tee-shirt contributed to my Nonentity Look.  I hate myself for that.  Because actually, I know that nothing would stop a bully being a bully.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not the first Bluestocking Mum

 A Wet Sunday Afternoon in Glasgow (BBC Radio 4)

Earnestly trying to prove that bluestockings* can cook like the best of them, I've spent my afternoon cooking a chilli (hotter than normal - Superspouse is away), treacle tart and jam tarts.  The jam tarts were an afterthought, to be honest.  As they baked, they oozed strawberry jam all over the place, and I'm astounded I managed to resurrect the bun-tray enough to be used again another day!  Meanwhile, the treacle tart was toothsome enough, but a bit hard.  Still, three hungry teens enjoyed it, so who am I to pass judgement?

Oh, and I've done a couple more loads of washing.  Scintillating stuff.  

So, NOW I can revert to reading about Iolo Morganwg.  I simply can't resist reading about the man - such an intriguing bundle of complexity.  Gee, that laudanum had a lot to answer for!  And, it appears, he knew Joseph Ritson.  (As I do, of course.)  It had occurred to me that they were each as crotchety and cantankerous as the other, but Iolo was the most fraudulent of frauds, whereas Ritson seems to have been congenitally honest to a fault. So, if they knew each other, did they like one another?!  Did they ever meet?, living at opposite ends of the country as they did?  Iolo spent time in London.  Ritson was from the North-East, and I can't remember if he went to London or not.  But he did have quite broad horizons and the wherewithal to travel - indeed, he'd done a grand European tour as a young man.  But he possibly came from a different social stratum to Iolo the stonemason.  

The author Jon Mee wrote a paper for the Iolo volume, A Rattleskull Genius.  Three words in his chapter, literally leapt out at me.  "Iolo knew Ritson" (p.177)  - I simply MUST know more.

I realise, a bit late in the day, that I never bought a Sunday paper, and there wasn't time to fit in a swim.  Oh, fie!  Not to worry.  Iolo is worth it.

*  I am far from the first blogging Bluestocking Mum - there are loads of us.  Good thing I called myself PseudoSupermum instead, isn't it?!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Garden Slattern, aka, The Grim Reaper

Superspouse goes out to the garden once or twice a week, to empty the bin or fetch washing.

"Just LOOK AT THIS MOSS!", he pronounced.  It was an offence to his home-owner sensibilities, evidently.   So we got Evergreen Complete 4 in 1, which was supposed to do the trick.  Waited.  And raked.  Well, I did most of the raking, and this morning I spent another couple of hours on it.  (It's actually a very, very tiny lawn.)

The "lawn" is burnt, threadbare and disreputable-looking, which set me pondering, as I raked.

Who said moss was bad?  I used to look out of the window at the "lawn", and it was green.  Did it matter if it was mossy-green as opposed to grassy-green?  To whom did it matter, and why did it matter?  No-one else can see it - it's a walled back garden. No-one else goes in it, apart from Leon - next door's cat.  He never complains about the moss beneath his paws.  Indeed, he prefers our "lawn" to their woodchip.

So we've spent time and money on eliminating something that was doing no harm being there in the first place.  And I suppose I now have to rake it again, mow it, and then sow grass-seed?

Go figure.