Shall I begin with the humorous then move onto the sxxt – pardon my French – or tell it as it is, from the onset, inevitably inciting anger, aiding and abetting a continuum of depressed resignation and sadness … and perhaps, just sometimes, eliciting gratitude for being that Voice Outwith The Crowd? Keep the comic to the end thus lifting the mood from the depths before signing off? Or, leave one grabbing for the Gin?!
To be honest, there is much humour to be had at my expense, today, but let me begin with a résumé of my readers worldwide. Sadly, Azerbaijan has fallen through the net – or taken offence; my reader in Uganda popped in and popped out but, then, I was joined by Peru and, most recently, Saudi Arabia! I know, unbelievable but exciting! France is still there, hanging on by a thread, but, meanwhile, it seems I can rely on my burgeoning followers in China. Who would have thought? Certainly, I remain aware and it does keep me in check, to a certain extent. Anyway, flattered, wherever they may be … Actually, while on the subject of my readership, though, how about this? My Trish-Trash Facebook page charts the number of people reached as well as the number who have engaged – as seen below the post. So, as of now, that of last Saturday has reached 214 people. Two hundred and fourteen people and only five engaged?! None taken. While, admittedly, the said Eleanor Roosevelt quote was quite punchy, something is afoot. It just doesn’t add up. My Facebook posts never reach anything like that number so … Yes, Manny shared it, as he has done many times before, but that offers no explanation. It reminds me of that day, last summer, when 48 Argentinians read the musings of Trish-Trash, on desktops, between the hours of 3 and 4pm, our time – and, then, never again! (Now, that reminds me of ‘… but he never did!’ The never forgotten last four words of The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr)
Does anybody else question his/her own sanity sometimes? My brain is teeming with so much, fighting for release, and, when I start typing, out it comes, seemingly devoid of order or connection. As I progress in years, I think, verbally, I have the same problem – I just talk! Oh, well, fasten your seatbelts, as Bette would say … Bette Davis, that is, in All About Eve (1950). Bette Davis. It’s sad to think that to so many, now, that name means nothing. Generations have no idea of her stature; her legacy. An amazing actress – of the Golden Era – she was formidable. Her films, black and white, unforgettable. I was lucky in that my mother loved these old films of the fifties, when Hollywood was great; when film stars were just that – stars; enigmas of the big screen, they were glamorous, feted but unapproachable and forever unobtainable; of an era when sex was, merely, alluded to and kisses were little more than suggestions … We watched them all, together. BBC Two, on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Treasured memories and films which must never die.
Of course, I never met Bette Davis but, late 1987, we had travelled down to London to meet my mother-in-law – who just happened to be the spit of the legend that was! Heading to Fortnum’s for afternoon tea, we passed Hatchards – my favourite bookshop, obviously – outside which there was a queue stretching down the pavement for miles! Stopping to enquire, I discovered that Bette Davis was inside signing her latest book – This ‘n That. Well, forget afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, I was staying right there until she came out. Bette Davis! One would never see her like again.
Suffice to say, my mother-in-law/overlooked Bette Davis ‘stand-in’ – and one who revelled in the similarities drawn, I might add – had no interest, whatsoever, in catching a glimpse of her double. Totally focused on her stomach and the prospect of cakes and scones, she made no secret of her impatience. My exasperation – and utter disbelief – lives with me. The lack of interest in a star of such magnitude, of her era growing up, for goodness sake, was unfathomable …
Cakes or no cakes, I stood firm and, suddenly, the crowd surged forward as the door opened and a tiny figure, engulfed, made her way to the waiting car – a Rolls, if I remember. Befitting its passenger. The excitement was tangible but all I saw was a hat; the feathers on a hat, moving through the crowd. The first and last time I have borne witness to the paparazzi in full swing: ruthless, they ploughed through, or over, anyone in their path, running backwards as they snapped the moving car. The intensity. The determination. The greed. One can only imagine the exorbitant figures these photographs were to command. Bette Davis, the icon that she was – and is – never returned to British shores. She died in 1989 – and I wouldn’t have missed that hat for all the tea in Fortnum’s, let alone China!
Bette Davis on Wogan (1987) I remember this as though it were yesterday. Click on it. I guarantee it will make you smile. As individuals go, she was one hell of an individual! Probably the last – and only interviewee to smoke on Wogan, she was Bette Davis. Possessing of an ego matched, only, by her talent, she was truly unique. Take the time to watch her legacy, if you can – her magnificent black & white films. They will stay with you and, hopefully, you can play your part in passing them on to future generations.
Oh, help! Off on a tangent, once more. Apologies. Would a podcast help? Answers on a postage stamp …
What of my phonecall to Bank of Scotland on Saturday? I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t, yet, received a replacement card for one which has an expiry date of the end of March. I, therefore, phoned – at the beginning of the week – to question. Twenty minutes later, my call was answered and I was told that this was perfectly normal but that she would have a new one sent out to me post-haste. Job done. I received said new card soon after – and another, on Saturday! Typical. Which to use, however? I decided to chop up the last but one – I didn’t like the number – and use the latest. Perhaps I would phone to check first, though … Good job I did. Forty minutes later, a voice spoke to me from the other side. Glaswegian, I believed – it turns out he was from Ayrshire – I couldn’t be angry. In fact, we laughed and laughed as he told me that the latest card had been cancelled and, thus, the interim one was it. Good job I hadn’t cut it up! However, I didn’t like the number of the interim one and would prefer the latest one … I could hear myself uttering these unbelievably trivial words and, yet, embarrassingly, part of me meant it! The latest card ended in 3040 and the replacement I must use, in 3057. You see my point? The poor guy, obviously, thought I was some kind of nutcase – enough – and could barely conceal the laughter as he assured me that I would get used to it; the number would grow on me. I continued to protest and then realised that our shared hilarity meant that some other poor soul was hanging on the line, losing the will to live! I told him the same, that there would be skeletons where once there were people waiting to speak to him … As always, humour in the most unexpected places. Please tell me that I am not alone, meanwhile, in placing so much importance on a number? A mobile phone number? Accepted. The long number on a bank card? One step closer?
You Learn by Living. Pride, also, comes before a fall. So it was that, last Friday, I harped on about attention to detail apropos the mistakes in spelling and punctuation I had found in the latest Royal biography I had been reading. Ingrid Seward took the flak as I positively buried myself in embarrassment making a glaring mistake of my own immediately after – graciously pointed out to me by a considerate friend, courtesy of a DM (you see, one does learn something new every day). Oh, the irony! Oh, the humour! Ever grateful for it and the ability to laugh at oneself. At the feet of the master …
So, no time left to discuss the latest on Meghan – desperately seeking publicity – Markle; her part in the appallingly disrespectful statement in retort to that of the Queen; the upcoming interview and ‘best friend’ Oprah’s contribution to global warming courtesy of her mode of transport from her home – one of – in Hawaii to the £11million Sussex estate with 16 bathrooms … her £50million private jet! Oh, Harry! Oh, help!
‘When you can laugh at yourself, no one can ever make a fool of you.’
A lesson for life …
This is Trish, signing off.