Saturday, 11 July 2020


Many thanks JB, you may not know this, but the initials JB mean a lot to me. Whoever you are, many thanks for giving me permission (encouragement) to write freely.  To be fair, the only blocks I had were my own, that fear all writers have, am I giving away too much?  I am worried that some bored student in the future will read my scribblings and wonder wtf was she on?  Today, what I am actually on is a large slice of the Victoria sponge I made at midnight.  And no, whipping cream doesn't whip any faster than double cream.  

Perhaps I am getting bored with this lockdown or, dare I say it, braver.  Braver, because I am becoming more and more aware of my own mortality.  My age, my lifestyle, my misspent youth, my pre-conditions and my sorrow, make me a 'stat' waiting to happen in this pandemic.  How quickly can you go from watching the 'stats' to becoming one of them.  I have resigned myself to being chucked in a mass grave and forgotten forever, which is OK, my last thoughts on leaving this life will be re-uniting with those I love who have gone before and who I know I will meet again. I'm going to ask to be buried, burned, dumped whatever with a bottle opener in my pocket and a tray of vol-au-vents (my fav party food) for the big bash.  I will also ensure I am word perfect on 'Flower of Scotland' and 'Oh Danny Boy'.  

Now, what does it matter if my present day readers think I'm nuts, in fact it is more crazy for me to think any of them consider me sane. My multiple personalities are all over this blog which is irksome because I consider the multiple personality diagnosis nonsense. I think we all have multiple personalities we call on to cope with different situations.  Mine are perhaps more pronounced, and some are completely spooked by them. I remember meeting the first love of my life in the early 70's whilst wearing a very feminine,vintage 'Biba' dress with a sweetheart neckline and puffy sleeves. As I walked into a pub to meet him on our first date, he almost fell off his barstool.  I had opted to go full 'punk rocker' and looked nothing like the sweet, girly girl in a flowery frock he had met two nights before! Happily, once he got over the shock, he took it all in good humour, or more accurately, he spent the entire evening taking the pee. He was still talking about it when I bumped into him again 20+ years later!

I remember receiving my diagnosis of disassociation, via two independent top psychologists.  They also agreed I was brutally honest (it's beyond my control) and overall a good egg.  It was something I, friends and family had joked about for years and even with a clinical diagnosis, I could not take it seriously.  I have always had an interest in psychology myself, my dad was a psychiatric nurse and we had a lot of text books in the home that I read with great interest from an early age and my dad was a fountain of knowledge.

True when I left the convent, I had an almighty chip on my shoulder, not in any antisocial sense, but a desire, or more accurately an unquenchable need to know and understand what had happened to me.  What drove those nuns and uncles to become the monsters they were?  How did it all affect me?  The latter part I should have discarded entirely, I wasted way too many years navel gazing and tormenting myself. I wasn't weak, I was strong, my spirit wasn't broken, my head was bloody but unbowed.  The answer to the former, I found in the Stamford University (Zimbardo) experiment.  Give one group of people absolute power over another group of people and abuse is inevitable.  The 'guards' were normal, stable students but they became monsters.  In the convent, and I am sure in a lot of religious institutions, the 'guards', the nuns and uncles (the aunties not so much) were religious zealots and fanatics, so the turning into a monster rate was significantly higher.

To be fair I have never, ever, thought of myself as a victim, more a spokesperson, I always feel obliged to stand up for those without a voice, I like to use my gift of the gab for the underdog which, incidentally, is not good strategy in a work situation.  And which reminds me, I must write a blog or chapter about all the times I got sacked or escorted from the building.  All these years later, I can see the funny side.    

Which brings me nicely back to multiple personalities (did you see how I done that? ha ha), getting the sack situations, are in their own way highly comedic.  Not at the time obviously, unless you are as drunk as a skunk as I was on one occasion (I was expecting the call), good for you that is, but not so good if you were a bald headed gropey old bastard with an overhanging beer gut, and a ridiculously inflated sense of self worth etc.  Especially if you take a bow in front of your giggling work mates (ex :( ).  There is something about getting to that 'fuck you' stage, it brings a sense of freedom, a letting go of bonds.  That rush of power the hero gets when he walks away from the building he has just blown up, with flames and fireworks behind him.  'Never seen a sight that didn't look better than looking back', as Lee Marvin scratchingly sang in 'Wandering Star'.  Sadly I have taken those sentiments too literally, and probably too often.  My problem, and yes it is singular, is fear of commitment, and everything considered, even if I had lived in a functional as opposed to a dysfunctional home as a child, my problem (fear of commitment) would still exist, along with all the barmy characters.  I live with it, I feel in recent years I have brought back to life that 'bold little bitch' who wasn't afraid of anything (apart from the virus).  

I don't blame anyone, because blaming other people is probably about the most self destructive thing you can do.  There is no inner peace to be found there.  I don't live like that anymore, and I'm ashamed for the brief times I did.   For some time now, my philosophy has been to  accept full blame for every predicament I have ever found myself in.  Accepting blame for every dumb decision you have ever made is amazingly freeing, it's like putting all your troubles in a balloon and watching them float away.  It's one of those seminal moments, like when Dorothy clicks her ruby slippers and discovers she had the power to go home all along.  Here I will blame  the Catholic Church, lol, only joking, but their policy is to tell small children they are sinners who must pay for the original sin of Adam who accepted a (wink, wink) bite of that hussy Eve's apple, for, err, the rest of their lives.   Just saying.  Enter the devil, in female, or serpent form, tempting you away from your Godly straight and narrow path.  It wasn't me Gov, it was that rather alluring young lady over there who's divine legs distracted me whilst driving.  She's the one who should be charged.  

Most people blame their parents for a lot longer than they should, for the mistakes that they themselves had made.  Even though there is something a tad ridiculous in blaming your parents (or nuns) for your hangups in your sixties, actually after 40 is pushing it.  Multiple personalities are not a hindrance, they are an advantage.  Don't we all want someone stronger than us to fight our battles?  Are we aware that the hero and heroine have been within us all along?  We see acts of bravery all the time, often from people we least expect it from.  I once went through a phase of reading every story of heroism I could find.  It helped that my dear old dad used to buy me a monthly subscription to Readers Digest.  I hoarded them and read them over and over.

But back to those multiple personalities.  Whilst I mostly poo poo a clinical diagnosis. I have experienced, in times of extreme stress, feelings of transformation.  I can hear my words speaking, but they are detached from myself, it is quite disorientating.  It is the 'coper' within me who steps forward to take charge.  I haven't met her myself, but she is described as 'formidable', which I quite like but also a bit of bitch, which I like not so much.  A Judge, two psychiatrists and a court room full of people actually witnessed a 'transformation', before their eyes.  Not only did my character change, but so too my stance, my attitude and even my skin colour.  The prosecutor had asked 'how someone like me' knew a word like 'malevolent'.  Provocative or what huh?  He may have directly wounded my inner 'Mrs Bucket', but my dignity was in fighting mode.  Again, it was one of those 'wish I had been there' moments, all I could recall was the clear, articulate voice I had practiced over and over aged 13, to do a bible reading in church.  It also won me a 'Speakers Badge' in Guides.

Despite all the above, I would still dispute the evidence and my own experiences.  I think we all have the power to transform in a 'deer in the headlights' moment and we don't know beforehand how we would do it. In addition, if those psychiatrists had taken into account all those psychology books I had read since childhood.  I am not saying I did, but I may have registered the symptoms, subconsciously and adapted them to myself.  I see that is possible. There is also my penchant for taking on the characters of the books I was reading at the time, what impact did that have?.  I was an emotional volcano while reading the Brontes, and an absolute she-wolf when I read Gone with the Wind.  For posterity, I was the downtrodden Jane Eyre alternating with Joan of Arc while in the convent, that could be read as when the disassociating began, but more likely it was because there were very few female role models in those days.  A shame I didn't discover Boadicea and Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn't come along until decades later.  

To be honest I think having multiple personalities is a good thing, I'm looking forward to the day I can waive my 'Nuts' certificate in front of a Judge and claim 'see it wasn't me'.  I jest of course, even the fiery selves aren't lawbreakers.  But if you could change your personality along with your outfit, wouldn't that be a good thing?  And don't we do that anyway?  Is the you, wearing a scruffy old dressing gown, with two days of popcorn and Maltesers caught up in your unbrushed hair a fag hanging out your gob, and odd socks, the same person as when you are wearing a power suit, a well groomed updo and Jimmi Choos?  The two can co-exist within one person.  I laughed my head off when I read of a cyber Court trial recently, in the US, where the Judge ordered Counsel for the Prosecution to get out of bed and dress appropriately for a Court room.  Do we see ourselves in the same way that others see us.  I think the answer is probably no, like when you hear your voice recorded and wonder, do I really sound like that?  I think I am absolutely charming, but even in the real world, there are some who don't see me that way.    

I have waffled, but I hope that I have struck a chord with those who suffer from depression, bipolar and disassociative disorder, in fact anything coming under mental health problems.  Sometimes problems are not quite as awful as we think they are.  And labels shouldn't be, because that's all they are.  We are all much too complex to be summed in two word descriptors.  Those of us who's moods go from dancing among the clouds to wanting to tie a noose around our necks in some rain filled gutter know joy and sorrow too acutely. We know a steady stream of calm water, devoid of turbulence and ecstatic highs is more conducive to good mental health, but does it produce the same artistic heights as those of the most tormented writers, painters, musicians, comedians?  Besides, it is beyond our control.  What happened after Kubla Khan built his 'caves of ice', who knows? Mr. S.T. Coleridge conked out on opium.  I actually think I was a stroke of genius, write your own ending.

My kindest wishes to all those who look in, whether you are new to my blog or a regular.  I do appreciate knowing that my voice is being heard somewhere.  My biggest transformation came when I went into higher education as I was pushing 40! That was life changing and a blog for another day.  I would love to say that I am now enlightened, but I am still on the rocky road, albeit today it is lined with a very fluffy sponge cake oozing whipped cream and blackberry jelly (homemade).  I texted my neighbour to see if she wanted a slice and she replied 'do you know what fucking time it is?'.  It was 1.40am, Oops.  Anyway, take care everyone, wear masks and keep your distance.  If you have avoided Covid-19 this far, carry on doing what you are doing.  The survivors at the end of all this, will be the strong, the immune and those who kept the virus at a distance.  It will be that stage of 'Walking Dead' where Rick et al, are still finding survivors in hotels and food warehouses.  I jest, enjoy your weekends :)


  1. Happy Birthday, dear. Drinks on me. Where are your ‘friends’, again?

  2. Well hello and thank you for remembering my birthday. although again, I sense a hurtful dig with 'where are your friends', implying I have no friends.

    Where are my friends? Well, yesterday afternoon I had a small socially distant party in the garden, for which I made Quiches and my own birthday cake. My chocolate cake making has reached the height of perfection, (this is where the OCD comes in handy, I never give up), so insisted on baking my own. I get a huge amount of pleasure cooking for others, and aw shucks, I get a real kick of basking in the praise. A tad shallow, I know, but I love the feel good factor when others enjoy what I have made, but I think they get a bit peed off when I ask for a full 'Paul Hollywood' review and feedback, lol.

    So you see T, I have had a delightful birthday weekend and it is not over yet - more plans for tomorrow. I don't need to validate myself with the opinions of strangers online T for the simple reason that they don't know me. True, I give a lot away in my writing, which has turned all sorts of oddbods into psychological profilers. I've read their works, there have been websites in my name, lol. But it wasn't the psychological profiling that bothered me, as bizarre as it was, it was the absolute tedium of their writing. Here they have a fascinating subject (moi) and they made it dullsville, even I couldn't read their barmy articles and I love reading about myself :)

    If you are referring to friends online T, I think it is a bit of an oxymoron, especially when so many parade themselves with false identities. I don't write my blog to make friends T. I have a very small circle of friends and there are rarely, if ever, any vacancies.

    Having said all that, I do think there are lots of 'friends' out there, people who can empathise with the things I say, and who return again and again. But you see, here's a thing T, it is not a writer's job to interact with his/her audience. We don't feel for example, when we read an article in a newspaper, that we must comment on what that writer said, and expect a personal reply. Mostly, we read an article and move onto the next one. I am happy that hundreds read my blogs, and that is all I ask of them. If they didn't like them, they wouldn't return.

  3. True also that many read my blogs, simply because they disagree with everything I say and like to wind themselves up. From a writer's perspective, that's not a bad thing, hate is a reaction and that's what we all strive for. I discovered in early childhood how much fun it was to shock people, especially when I got a pet mouse for my 5th birthday that I used to keep in pocket.

    Today I attended another 'garden party', albeit a party of just two, my dear niece and myself. She pampered me with all my favourite foods (canapes) and lots of beautiful presents that I am sure I do not deserve. Finally now, I am unwinding and preparing to go off to sleep feeling very blessed with the words of the Wizard (of Oz) to the Tin Man (who wanted a heart), it is not how much you love, it is how much you are loved by others, and this weekend I have felt much loved.

    When I started my blog I vowed (I have a thing about vows) that I would carry on writing even I had only one reader left. You see it is the writing that matters to me, it is beyond my control, even if I were in a jail cell with nothing but stone walls to scribble on, I would still carry on. It is a fantastic thing to have any readers at all, other writers don't want to read any work other than their own (myself included) and editors you have to pay. Even your friends, you have to beg!

    I am immensely grateful to those who read my blog. I remember my many years of commuting, during which time I did a lot of reading, and having favourite columnists I could never miss. Jeffrey Bernard was my favourite, I never missed him, and err, never wrote to him. I also avidly read the 'bitches of Fleet street', the female columnists for the Daily Mail - I didn't like them, but I liked their writing. Strangely, I have had McCann supporters say the same thing to me, which of course, I take as an enormous compliment.

    But, I have waffled far more than I intended, something my critics will be rushing to point out, but I don't care. Not publishing the hurtful remarks has made me feel so much better, and I wonder at my stupidity in allowing them to go on for so long.

    I have published your post, even though it was intended to hurt (why?) and I have replied pointing out your obvious misconception of my life, something I think you share with several others. And no, this doesn't mean I'm publishing the nasty stuff again, this is a one off.

    But regardless, it's late, I wish you well, take care.

  4. That wasn't me, Rosalinda dear, but I wish you a happy birthday anyway.


    1. Thank you T. Perhaps it was a bit unkind of me to assume you had written the above, it sounded like you but in fairness, you always sign off T, even if you are scolding me.

      I may have misjudged you T, and if I have I apologise. We will have to agree to disagree regarding what I should publish, but I am happy with my decision to stop giving the malevolent trolls a platform for their nastiness. They were making me miserable, why should I allow that?

  5. Happy Birthday, Ros. Even though a day late, Ros, some weeks back I asked for your email address and you kindly left it for me, thank you. I've been out of action for a while and therefore I've been unable to contact you in the way I wished, once I've recovered I'll connect with you and express what needs to be expressed.

    Hope you understand. I am a JB, maybe not the same one, but at some point I would like to reconnect with you in a more specific way than this. Perhaps you won't remember but we did speak by telephone some years ago.

    Anyway, if it's okay with you I'll be in touch once reasonable functionality is more of a possibility. Best wishes once again for your birthday, and don't forget to never stop dreaming and manifesting.

    Everything is possible, EVERYTHING - don't even doubt it for a fleeting moment.


    JB x

    1. Many thanks for your kind wishes Shanti, or is it JB? Regardless, I haven't done too much dreaming of late, so I appreciate a prod in that direction, thank you.

      I look forward to hearing from you, my kindest wishes and stay safe.

  6. Happy Birthday!
    Belatedly; I have only just discovered on here.
    May the canapes continue x

    1. Hi Mike, many thanks! Yes, I do love canapes, (apologies for the lack of accent, have never figured out how to use symbols, doh!). I once worked in a very posh office which had a team of chefs and cocktail parties two or three times a week. The food was divine - the first time I encountered mini hamburgers and mini fish and chips not to mention the caviar and vol-au-vents and copious amounts of wine! Ah, happy days.

      Kindest wishes to you Mike, and I will get back to you soon, the last few days have been unbelievably hectic.

  7. Re; Anon 18 July 2020 at 23:18

    Hello Rosalinda
    “Happy Birthday, dear. Drinks on me. Where are your ‘friends’, again?”

    Yes, this was a good example of a sarcasm you didn’t deserve Rosalinda.

    I’m so pleased that you published it, so that more people can see how pure and simple rudeness looks like. Mr T, however, does not have this nasty approach Rosalinda, but others obviously have.
    Anyway, Rosalinda, you're definitely a friend of many of your followers, of which I'm one, so I can only say congratulations on your birthday, though in retrospect.

    At the moment, I am a little bit busy with repair projects at my summer house here up north, where I keep the distance to others as much as I can, but I’ll keep on reading your blog and I will comment on it later this summer.
    Have a nice day

    1. Thank you very much Bjorn, I had a lovely birthday, I didn't mention it before, because as we see, nastiness would inevitably follow.

      Your escape to your summer house sounds idyllic Bjorn, Very Rousseau, back to nature eh. I am sure your dog is loving it! Enjoy your sojourn Bjorn, my kindest wishes.

  8. Rosalinda, good on you for enjoying your birthday given the current situation. Belated happy birthday wishes to you, accompanied by a dutch treat from me.

    And yes Björn, T is unlike 23:18 (18 July) in every way.

    Anyway, it’s a good time to catch up on reading.