Author Topic: My life and times

My life and times
« on: April 29, 2005 »
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My name is Gertrude Blovius. This is my 'blog'.

My full Christian name is Gertrude Hermoine Blovius, née Blovius, which was convenient yet a source of bemusement to my former husband Theodore, who preferred a blank canvas on which to paint. You’ll be hearing more about Theodore in the entries to follow, though we no longer live together as man and wife and have completely separated ourselves legally, morally and sexually except for the Friday night phone calls in which he breathes heavily and asks me "to just listen for once in your life." I’ve been footloose and fancy free (as he uncharitably calls it) for years now, though it seems like months.

It's so wonderful to have found a "room of my own." Theodore would have never have countenanced it. Ever the obediant wife, I didn't complain when he commandeered the parlour for his scale model trains complete with suggestively shaped tunnels, nor when neon tetras displaced me after he rebuilt the bathtub as an aquarium, or the spare bedroom was remodelled to display his collection of rare personal hygiene paraphernalia to best advantage. But try as I might to make a nest in what was, purportedly, our marital home, according to my one-time soul mate it was "just not feasible." I always felt like a refugee and a pond skimmer, in turn. Now I live in a modern semi-detached bungalow in a presentable suburb and no longer have to bathe out of the sink. I do so anyway to save on the water bill, but that’s not the point.

I work for the Samaritans. The advice I give is drawn from my own life, which has been packed with experiences which would make your hair stand on end one minute and have you crying in your biscuits the next. This is not to say that there haven’t been good times. 1972 to 1979 were conjugally blissful, because those were the years when Theodore and I were exploring each other’s minds and bodies to the fullest extent allowable by the law as it was then codified. He was not just my husband. He was my friend, mentor, accredited badminton instructor and character witness when I accidentally assaulted a Justice of the Peace during a bridge tournament. After that it all went pear-shaped, as did Theodore. I, however, have kept my figure from day one, due to my avocation of bicycling.

Theodore bicycles too, but pedals at a miserly cadence as he holds the perplexing conviction that one only has so many revolutions of the crank on one's physiological odometer and no more; as a result he measures them out carefully and is often to be found standing stubbornly by the side of the road until he feels that it is prudent to continue. I know this because he lives nearby, though in the trendy and harlot-strewn downtown district in a bachelor pad in which I note there are no fish in the bathtub but occasionally fishnets. We cross bicycle paths often, me on my way to the Samaritans, him pointed in the direction of his next scholarly conquest. He sees himself as an underutilized resource, ignored by much of academia due to his unorthodox methodology and abhorrence of peer review. In truth I believe he has never achieved the stature he feels due him because he persists in submitting his manuscripts in crayon, which he insists is just as legible as moveable type and far less pretentious.

I was introduced to the wonders of the World Wide Web some years ago by the neighbour’s boy, who asked if I could pose for his 'web cam' for a school project. Impressed by the urgency with which he desired his education to be expanded, I agreed. It later transpired that he required me to disrobe for his website design class. Suffice it to say his parents were swiftly informed and the project never achieved fruition, at least not with my assistance. He’s now an estate agent in Epping.

Nevertheless I was intrigued by the internet; especially with reference to its amazing potential to "get the word out", as I have often felt that my life and times could be a source of inspiration to others, particularly young women just mounting up for the long twisting road of matrimony. After several fitful years spent searching for a suitable venue, I discovered this website and its happy facility for blogging. As a dedicated bicyclist, the rest of the forum is of keen interest as well, but here I reign as Queen of my own castle - or Moderator, in the parlance. How empowering!

I am now at pains to conclude this entry, as I must prepare for a package holiday won in a raffle. It is a cruise on a barge to Leicester (water transport not included), which I understand is lovely this time of year.

Gertrude Blovius

PS. You may correspond with me in other threads I may start, or initiate your own dialogue if you are in search of advice. I am sure we will be mutually enlightened. Please have patience with the length of time it takes me to respond, as my barge, The Yodelling Boudicca, does not have a reliable internet connection.

Theodore Blovius

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Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2005 »
The internet is a wonderful tool for research but alas a natural refuge for cranks, malcontents and thieves eager to fence their stolen wares; I stumbled upon Gertrude’s pied-a-terre whilst Googling my very own name as I frequently do to ensure that my efforts are not plagiarised.

Imagine my surprise to discover the sacred precinct of my former marital home has been plundered, its contents to be gawped at by shameless passers-by. Perhaps our pond skimming Virginia Woolf will allow me the opportunity to respond to her cruel and baseless accusations? Thank you.

Firstly, Gertrude’s complaint that she felt unwelcome in her own house is at great variance with the facts. In her frenzy of ogre-making she has conveniently ignored her own territorial annexations. The kitchen, for example, was quite off-limits to yours truly unless I went to the trouble of obtaining prior permission in writing with a brief synopsis of my requirements. I was not even permitted to innocently scan the contents of the ice-box without immersing myself in tedious paperwork detailing my “actual and perceived nutritional requirements”. This Draconian policy was ostensibly instituted to limit unnecessary foot traffic as being detrimental to the linoleum, a much cherished family heirloom included in the bridal trousseau.

The entrance hall - glory of many a married woman - was also her exclusive bailiwick, in large measure due to my generosity of spirit. Likewise she was matron of the loft space by default, an enviable opportunity which she never potentialised.

As for bicycling, my views are well supported in the literature. I shall be blissfully awheel well into my nineties because of my foresight in this regard, my contemporaries despairing of foolishly squandered effort. Most sad of all will be those who persist in riding a fixed gear machine. They have been warned.

I do not feel that Gertrude is qualified to critique my academic pursuits or choice of writing implement. Perhaps when she has proved herself capable of serious study I will be more charitable. Suffice it to say I am not concerned about my “stature”, but rather the dissemination of knowledge.

There is more I wish to write to set the record straight, but I have an appointment to have my spokes straightened. My mechanic is very good and fortunately she makes house-calls.

Theodore Blovius, esq.

a smalls excursion
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2005 »
The Yodelling Boudicca is currently enjoying a luxury mooring just outside of Leicester, whose charms remain elusive to this untrained eye. Imagine my lack of surprise to find Theodore in my room. There’s only one reason Theodore has ever visited my room. He wants to lay more track.

“Life is a funeral,” my former husband used to say, usually after his coital exertions, “and eventually we all get to be the center of attention for once in our miserable existence.” I never ascertained exactly what it was about our coupling which prompted such pessimistic meanderings. I can only guess that the fires of ecstasy burned too hot and, like Icarus, he must needs tumble (in)to the ground.

I later discovered a copy of the Kama Sutra in his fishing tackle drawer, extensively annotated in his execrable handwriting (“Didn't work first three attempts. Shan’t try again”; “Avocado dip must be at room temperature”; “G threatened to inform the authorities” - a blatant falsehood, as I was always game if occasionally reduced to helpless tears of laughter). Theodore was never one for tender pillow talk. Flow charts and graphs were more his style.

But I digress.

Yes, it’s true the kitchen was my ‘territory’, as was the front hall and unheated loft space. Given this meagre concession, can anyone here blame me for limiting access? It’s also most unkind for Theodore to disparage the family floor covering, which has been passed down through the generations in the expectation that all Blovii might theoretically walk on it in remembrance of our forebears. It’s now tucked away in the box room under the Scrabble showcase, safe from ridicule and cleated cycling shoes.

Speaking of which, I went on a lovely ride today on a Brompton borrowed from the captain, who has a certain lewd manner in common with all seamen but has demonstrated competence in the canal boat arts. Having never met such a beast before I was most trepidatious, especially as concerned the folding aspect of it. I blush to admit to an illogical fear that it would fold up underneath me at a most inopportune time! Fortunately this never occurred. In fact I was unable to compact it down in the neat way the leering captain had demonstrated, and in need of smalls to replace those which went unaccountably AWOL on the voyage was forced to wheel it into Marks & Spencer in its full glory, prompting the chauvinist manager to expound at length on the subject of incompetent women bicyclists. Suffice it to say a letter is now winging its way to M&S headquarters demanding a full apology and gift certificate by way of atonement.

Gertrude Blovius

PS. It would be very easy for me to delete Theodore's post. I shall not do so. Class teaches by example.