20 March 2011

Dear Sophisticated Ladies

 Well unusually this week’s missive has, at least in part, got a theme. That theme is men: their habits and unwanted attachments. Perhaps this is a good way to think of the other half of the human race, as attachments as per an email. The advantage, of course, that one has the option of detachment! Forgive the spinster a little joke at the expense of those of you who are happily attached for it is an enviable status n’est pas?

 My train of thought along this theme starts on the platform of Cardiff Central Station on Thursday morning. I am on my way to be interviewed for an associate position with a Bristol based consultancy.  It is St Patrick’s Day not that this has any bearing on what I observed; I merely mention it as I had thought it significant when writing the aide memoire in my special musings notebook.

 A station platform is always host to a cross-section of society; each person seeking to both maintain and avoid eye contact; and walking eyes forward nonchalantly to nowhere in particular. Striding purposefully towards the railway line ultimately! On my drive to the station I found myself in traffic; behind me I observed, through my rear view mirror, a man (in a van) picking his nose. He does not stop at one discrete poke; oh no this is a cleaning ritual it seems. In between slipping his finger into his nostril he looks at his treasure; turning his digit from side to side before it disappears below the dashboard. Pausing only for a second or two, during which time his hands are not visible, he looks forward presumably to see if the traffic has moved.  And then the same exploratory appendage is inserted again. This process is repeated several time before the traffic lights, thankfully, have changed!

At what point is it acceptable, socially I mean, to clean ones nose in public? Question is a car a public or a private space? Of course a taxi cab is obviously a public space as a financial transaction takes place between customer and driver. But in one’s own car this is questionable especially when there is a passenger on board.

 When I find myself on the platform, the wrong one as it turns out later, the next noteworthy incident is observed. The man standing next to me picks his ears ~ is no orifice sacrosanct? On exiting, or should I say completing the process, he wipes his fingers somewhere. A younger man, he is plugged into his i-pod, as he reads the Times! Is this expected behaviour from a reader of this pillar of our society?

But the piece de résistance is the man further up the platform who leans over the edge to spit! Is it OK because he had the courtesy to expectorate on the railway lines? How many of you, dear sophisticated readers, are old enough to remember the sign on buses No expectoration?

 I have no further behavioural observation to report; this bevy is frankly more than enough for one morning; certainly this is more than one sophisticat can reasonably expected to bear!

Would we expect our friends, children, partners or significant others to conduct themselves thus? Godson is three tomorrow and I have yet to scribe a beautiful message in the card. Perhaps I should take the opportunity to pop in a note of caution? He has yet to learn how to use a tissue preferring to catch nasal drips with his tongue. Auntie Fran was quick to intervene with a hanky last weekend! Yucky yucky yucky and not on my watch will this be tolerated!

 I did swiftly whip out a tissue with humour so Godson did not protest (too much). I told him what my father used to do with my brother and I. Pretending to peck off his nose placing my thumb between my index and second finger as if it were his nose. Had you been beside me now you would have laughed as I tried to remember what I did with my fingers!

I went this week to see a show, the Welsh translation of Spring Awakening, by Theatr Gen. It was a great show on every level but I do wish someone had told me what it was about before I started reading the VERY LITERAL English subtitles. It may have been less stark if translated from the original German (I think) but there was certainly no nuance here!

 Spring Awakening is about the sexual awakening amongst a population of young people. So yes the descriptions do require a little poetry to soften the questions. The simulated fumblings added to the filthy that the translated words gave the scenes as they unfolded or should I say disrobed except that wouldn’t be accurate as they didn’t take their togs off!

 It’s a musical and the actors could sing as well as act. The Eisteddfodic tradition really does prepare young people for performance. The show was well designed, cast, directed, produced and performed. I can’t compliment Elen Bowman (the Director) enough. At the interval I saw Elen with her mother and we discussed the subtitles in the lift. I was rather relieved that a woman of such advantaged years, as a native Welsh speaker, was spared the dirty fingered clunky language!

As I write this it is 1700 hours and I have managed so far to stick to my fast (aside from coffee and Werther’s Original (Sugar Free)) on account of having had an annoyed (rather than fully blown upset) tummy. The question is whether I can hang in there until bed time as am now a little hungry. I could of course go to bed at 2000 now there’s an idea!

On the other side of my theme for the week I have, hopefully, managed to avert an international crisis. I can’t abide unwanted attention of a potentially sexual nature ~ I have a range of jewellery that smacks of marriage that I wear at the drop of the proverbial hat!

I have agreed to work on a project with someone who I barely know. It’s interesting and short-lived so should be able to limit any further engagement should I choose to. The problem is the person concerned seems to be interpreting my interest in the project as interest in him; not on my radar or indeed agenda AT ALL. I am planning to get another feline companion in the near future so that side of my emotional needs will be more than adequately catered for!

Whilst leaning down to pick up and cuddle a furry bundle is a pleasure, the same cannot be guaranteed from a short man who seems to believe in destiny. We talked about gardening, an area I am very enthusiastic about as you know and he said he was planning to move to get a garden in the summer. One is a polite person so one enquiries where he is looking. The response received basically says he’s leaving it in the lap of the Gods.

So if you have property with a garden needing a tenant sometime over the summer do let me know and I will happily play God. By that I mean I’ll pass on his details; as long as it’s an awkward distance from where I reside of course!

I wonder how many of you too have an odd relationship with eating; food as fuel rather than as a pleasure, at least some of the time. I am trying to ‘listen’ to my body more instead of bingeing or scoffing at will. I am most intrigued by my friend who has been avoiding sugar for weeks now. How does one deal with the natural sugar in fruit? If fruit is to be avoided then I’m buggered!

So with this little question I will sign off as I have a few more preparatory details to see to for the Salon tomorrow. As my dear ladies appreciate the personal touches it gives me more pleasure when I’m doing them on a Sunday evening. Ooh the ice cream van is playing ‘Whistle Whilst You Work’ which means if I’m quick I could bag a 99! Fortunately my mobility today isn’t good enough to ruin my fast thus ~ see how weak-minded one can be!

In sophistication and with the resolve to fast until the morning (my swim tomorrow will of course be a weak floppy effort, so if you want a laugh pop down to the Barry Leisure Centre at 7 am tomorrow!)

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