Thursday, May 26, 2011

On grumpiness

1) Had a birthday a week or two back. I am completely the wrong age to welcome birthdays.

2) Since I neither am nor have a mother, Mother's Day is never much of an occasion for sweetness and light either. As my birthday, my late mother's birthday and Mother's Day always fall within a fortnight, it tends to be a slightly churned-up time of year.

3) It's nearly winter. Sooner or later the time will come when those of us fortunate enough to own a house will have to mortgage same to pay the power bills. Thank Goddess that at least I live in Adelaide, and even here I spent half of yesterday wearing my Port Power beanie. Inside.

4) I am seriously over watching other people pirouetting in public over their own cleverness in re-inventing wheels that I was re-inventing 20 years ago, and watching other people get praised and rewarded for things that, 20 years ago, were frowned upon in my workplace as not suitable pursuits for an academic but that these days are, in the same workplace, encouraged and rewarded in various ways. Also, you kids get off my lawn.

5) I cannot believe that the world is still full of people who do. not. get. the fact that gender-wise the world is not a level playing field. See re-invention, wheel, 20 years ago, etc. If you are one of these people, allow me to recommend the excellent Finally a Feminism 101 Blog.

6) An intermittently alarming health problem has arisen that, though not serious, means life-arrangements uncertainty in the short term (when will this surgery take place, and what sort of shape will I be in after it? What about the deadlines? What about the cats?) and mild but permanent diet-carefulness and deprivation in the long.

All of which is how come long time no blog. I expect to snap out of it shortly. I expect to drop a few dress sizes, too. Watch this space.


elsewhere said...


I actually think grumpiness is a good thing, and shows a degree of spirit that niceness does not.

The Elephant's Child said...

Give us this day our daily whinge. An essential.

The Medusa vs. The Odalisque said...

You have been missed, Kerryn

Regarding your six points of grumpiness, let me say (selectively) that:

1) Happy birthday

3) There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a beanie indoors (though a Port Power beanie is another matter). I'm wearing a beanie right now, and not only does it keep my head warm, it makes me look less bald.

4) Though I don't know exactly what you are referring to, I would suggest that there are many things that occur in the literary world that are less than entirely fair, but must nevertheless be accepted with good grace for the sake of one's own mental health. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to offer you a reward, but I can offer you praise: you are very, very good at what you do.


6) I wish you a speedy, complication-free and complete recovery.

Mindy said...

All very good reasons to be feeling grumpy. Hope the health thingy is worse in thought than in deed.

tc said...

If you needed any help with cats in late July, August, early September, I would be in a position to help. Would be an honour. Also, would make my life a bit easier as I am currently having to ward off constant please, 'Can't we have a pet now, please?'

Take care xx

Fyodor said...

Happy birthday, onward and upward, und so weiter.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks all v much for your good wishes. Grumpiness now easing slightly. M v. O, thank you for those very kind words. (4) is a matter of assorted mild irritations, though one of them certainly made me think of you. I am not now in any need of rewards or praise but I would have appreciated a bit of both 20 years ago, I can tell you. TC, thanks for cat offer, will definitely bear it in mind. I assume this means you will be in Adders, in which case we will definitely go for several G&Ts at some point.

Deborah said...

One of my daughters aspires to a writing career of some sort. "Can I earn a living from writing?" she asks from time to time. And I say, "Yes. Do you remember Kerryn Goldsworthy? She is a writing person." "Oh good," my daughter says. "She's fantastic."

Which is only vaguely apropos of anything you have in your post today (possibly point 4?), but it speaks to the general admiration of you in this house.

Cats can go to a cattery. Surgery is worrying, but far more so in advance than when it actually happens. Blow the deadlines. Pending dress size decrease.... what an excellent reason to re-imagine your wardrobe.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh, what a lovely story! Bless that child. I exaggerate about the pussens -- my still-spry 84 year old dad and my sisters will take care of them (and I may only be away from home for a night or two, depending on, you know, stuff). And yes, the re-imagining of the wardrobe would be nice. One never really realises how many of the available foods contain quite a lot of fat of some kind or other until one starts looking at labels. Muesli, I ask you.

Anonymous said...

My partner is currently sitting at his desk in a down jacket and woolly beanie. There are also gloves, ugg boots and thermals involved. Working from home in Kyneton is a bit rugged.

Hope the surgery is over and recovered from soon.

Frances said...

As I have both a resentment of power bills and a large supply of old woollen jumpers, I have taken to, and recommend Pyjumpers for bedtime wear.

Helen said...

I'm not sure how "not serious" goes with "drop a few dress sizes", but I take your word for it! Take care, and nice to see you blogging again.

Link said...

Hope all goes well with the surgical 'procedure'. I've missed your postings.

A Feminism 101 Blog sounded promising, but I went and had a quick peruse and found it too dictatorial about how one uses the blog, why one is there etc, etc, for me to be bothered with.

Be glad that your 'aloof' and 'independent' moggies aren't dogs. They will secretly miss you but send you to coventry when you reappear.

firstkitten said...

my birthday and mother's day were two days apart this year. as my mother is dead i found it rather awful so have some idea of how it might have been for you.

good luck, and please keep blogging

Casey said...

Dear Pavlov,

I have read one or two posts on the loss of your mother. I found them poignant, knowing that you predict a moment in the future where I too break down inexplicably in some overseas city. Or come across a fragment of spidery handwriting at Christmas, and having forgotten it for a moment, remember again the ocean of loss. You never get over it. It really hurts ahead of time, each time you mention your mother. Happy birthday. I like to remember that I share my birth experience with only one person. That's something to celebrate, always.

Of course, I am really sorry to hear of the op and dress size thing. I really hope you are okay.

And yes, get the frack off her lawn. It has been my experience that she is back to the future with every seemingly brilliant thought I ever had so, like, don't be ridiculous.

I like your blog too. Very much.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Casey, thank you. The mother thing, it's a double-edged sword.

The Little Op (thank you, Dame Edna) is minor but the associated condition must be managed long-term. Not being coy here, just trying not to squick everybody out. Once the gall bladder is removed it puts more strain on the liver and mine is apparently not in the best shape but I would just like to stress that THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DRINKING. The long-term solution is a low-fat (and, until the surgery, a zero-fat) diet. Hence the shy hopes re dress sizes, which, believe me, could only be a good thing.

Barbara Temperton said...

... echoes all the sentiments expressed above ... Missed your posts, K.

Link said...

If you're experiencing any gall bladder pain or 'wing-tip' pain, do try a desert spoon of cold pressed virgin olive oil with two or three drops of lemon juice. Take orally just before lying down at night and lie on your right side. Works a fucking treat.

tigtog said...

I think a certain degree of tetchiness is warranted regarding various large and small annoyances such as these, PC! In my experience as an onlooking health-worker, gall bladder ops are fracking miraculous, particularly these days with keyhole surgery.

@Link, the Feminism 101 blog is primarily aimed at diverting thread-derailers infesting conversations elsewhere, and thus has a terse tone. For those who just want to look at it as a resource, that tone is not aimed at them.

Emily said...

When my daughter was small, her favourite saying was a small piece of a poem she had heard - "I love porridge, skinny and brown, waiting for breakfast when I come down". I thought of this immediately when I read your "Ode to Grumpiness". So, stock up on porridge and also on rice (for a delicious rice congee). Ditto for semolina (to make Madur Jaffrey's Uppama). Just what you'll need, along with the best wishes of all your readers.

Link said...

I had horrible gall bladder pain for a couple of months. Couldn't get any relief no matter how I squirmed. As it was such an unusual pain, I didn't try the usual allopathics--panadol etc. But I did mention it to a friend who was a naturopath and she suggested the olive oil and lemon juice remedy. After weeks of pain, this simple cure worked overnight. I think I did it for about a week.

Had I gone to see a doctor, I know, the only suggestion other than pain killers she would have been able to make would have been surgery.

Very occasionally if I eat when I am stressed I get the same sort of pain.

If I'd gone along the Western Medical route, I'd have no lymph gland in my right armpit, no gall bladder and no thyroid gland. As it stands, from having a father who was a GP and erred on the side of caution (sometimes) I have no tonsils and no appendix.

I am in fairly rude health--considering. And I am no health or alternative remedy nut.

Anybody who mentions they are suffering with gall bladder problems generally gets my rave.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery when the time comes. And what Tigtog said: nowadays its a far less taxing procedure.

Personally, I don't think I'd be delving into The Inferno for pre- or post-op reading, but you may well be made of sterner stuff.