Friday, May 29, 2009

Basil Fawlty Moment #1: I Vant to be Alone

I’ve had some visitors over from UK which is why I haven’t been blogging for a few days. They are people I love dearly – and owe money to – so I wanted to put my best foot forward, but the experience has reminded me of two important axioms:

A: There’s almost nothing better than a walk in beautiful scenery

B: There’s almost nothing worse than a walk in beautiful scenery accompanied by a constant running commentary

Sorry, but I simply don’t need my reverie broken every 5 seconds by having a leaf or a twig pointed out to me and someone’s opinion given on it. (When I think about it, the same goes for art galleries and silent films.) Now, I know that any desire to do something on my own makes me A Bad Person, but sometimes desire is simply too strong. What I did in the end was stage a Basil Fawlty Moment...



... Though in my case it ran something like “I said, time after time, that we need to plan a walk that X can do as well as the rest of us; but X can’t do this one and will have to stay in the car! Right. Fine. You lot have whatever walk you want – I’m going off on my own!” Of course I had to make sure my beaming smile was replaced by the scowl when I’d returned from my glorious ramble on a Romanian hillside with nothing but chaffinches and wagtails for company. I’m simply a bad person.

16 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Yes, I'm sure that Grizzly Adams would have been similarly annoyed by such constant wittering. Bears are much more considerate in that respect. Do you have any in Romania?

Lulu LaBonne said...

And I'd got you down as the patient type Gadj. Not sure if locking your friends in a car is the best way to entetain them though.

Walking and holidays - I do them solo, anybody who wants to come along I start to consider it work and they have to pay.

No Good Boyo said...

Same with people who gabble excitedly that you must watch their favourite film, then drown out the dialogue by drawing your attention to how good it is. Result: you hate the film, and them.

All "romantic comedies" have so far fallen into that category for me.

A country walk commentary can usually be curtailed by pointing out "...and that's where I buried her. The first time. She got up and staggered about for a bit, but them I did the job properly. Kendal mint cake?"

Ana said...

I'm sorry, Gadj. I don't think I could walk with you and look at that scenery without commenting on it. Lovely! Maybe I could whisper quietly into a kerchief...

Gaw said...

I think it's called Carpathian Tunnel Syndrome.

M C Ward said...

I agree Gadj - walks are meant to be undertaken in silence, broken only by the whizzing of a gamekeeper's bullet.

Gaw said...

Gadjo, knowing your tastes I thought you might enjoy this from yesterdays Grauniad. As I recall Jimmy ended up a bit of a loner!

Scarlet-Blue said...

Ha ha ha... we are twins!!!
I got wound up by the thought of all the wittering!
Sx

Scarlet-Blue said...

I presume that you're also 'not ginger'?
Sx

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Lucky you. I have relatives who make loud homophobic and xenophobic remarks in public. A bit of gentle wittering would be a joy.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Bananas, we certainly do have bears here. They can be frequently seen overturning rubbish bins and scaring tourists, but whistle the Bear Necessities tune from The Jungle Book and they soon start grinning and dancing around.

Lulu, I usually am a patient type. Far from locking my relatives in the car it was me who tried (at length) to plan walks that suited them all, therefore the Basil Fawlty fit was believable as it was grounded in righteous indignation. Making them pay is a great idea!!

That's it, Boyo. Eating in somebody's favourite restaurant also qualifies: "the chef here and I are on such good terms he'll do anything for me... once I returned a dish of sweetbreads 12 twelve times until I got the size and shape I wanted, and never a grumble, even though for number 7 they had to use the head waiter's, bless him".

Ana, dear Ana. I think you could simply note down all the lovely things you saw and then write them up as a series of Petrarchan sonnets when we got home.

Good 'un, Gaw! Or (for Brecht enthusiasts) Carpathian Talk Circle.

MC, indeed. Preferably whizzing into the cerebral cortex of one's most voluble companion.

Thanks Gaw. Nice. I remember the film Quadrophenia more than the album: what a spunky actor Phil Daniels was, but it also started Sting on his personal path to preening-queen-hood.

Hi Scarley, they were not ginger. Gingerness would have been a welcome variation :-)

Daphne, it's not always gentle wittering. One of them is an ex-nursery school teacher (ha, what do I mean "ex-"... once a nursery school teacher always a nursery school teacher...) and from that one it's always very assertive wittering. Anyway I feel I've said enough and must stop being A Bad Person now.

Kevin Musgrove said...

It's when they join you en masse in a hide "for a bit of birwatching, to have a look at the birds...ooh look at that one, did you see it? it was over there, did you? what was it? was it something rare?" that I feel my worst homicidal tendencies fighting to come out to play.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I am now tittering at the image I now have of all this - a club-footed uncle and a nursery school teacher who is trying to make everyone collect leaves for 'rubbings' when you all get home. I was obviously projecting - I'd have locked them all in the car and run off.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Kevin, I think we have a similar perspective on these things. You may be interested to hear that I saw a Lesser Grey Shrike while my guests were here. Luckily the only person with me at the time was a small boy whose wittering was nothing more disturbing than a melodious (in Romanian) "but we're looking for the magpie"!

Lools, I feel a bit guilty as I've broken my pledge not to air my dirty washing and have slandered the people nearest and dearest to me. Actually locking them in the car would be too cruel as the driver - an orphan lad who's a friend of ours - witters even more, and only about his car.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Sorry Gadj, I know how that feels and I didn't mean to make light of your nearest and dearest.

When I started my blog I thought it would be an outlet to vent my frustration with the stuff/people going on around me (obviously no one else would be reading it) and then I realised that these people were my pains in the neck, and I had to erase a few posts.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Lulu, don't worry, it's very unlikely that they'll read anything I write and I have kind of covered my ass by apologising. Ah, so you have a few posts too vitriolic to be shown in the light of day! You could disguise the characters even further, perhaps even making them non-human like in Animal Farm.