Saturday, 17 September 2011

Bad Blogger & Barcelona Bear

I can't believe it was February when I last wrote something on this here blog. I should get 3 points on my blogging licence and a £60 fine.

During the five years previous to the last blog I was working in a school kitchen as assistant chef, I still don't know to this day who I was assistant to because as far as I could tell I was doing ALL the work, but to be fair the 'Head Chef' did take ALL the credit, so I suppose the job was split evenly!!

Being in that kitchen (nervous shudder) reminded me off 'Barcelona Bear" - when I was about 27 I took my daughter to Barcelona to stay with a friend, one of our days out took us to Barcelona zoo, not a lush green expanse of man made savanna with herds of happy, well behaved wild animals doing wild animal stuff. No. Barcelona zoo was a more a vast concreted landscape that, if photographed from space, would look like the surface of the moon and confuse astrologers - it was cratered with lots of small pits into which was dropped and chained a single animal, mainly bears, monkeys and wolves. The pit, the worst place on earth any creature should be kept in, had driven each creature mad and had thus become the safest place on earth to house them. I remember the bear.

Poor old brown bear, chained deep in his concrete pit. We looked down on him and watched as he rocked back and forth, driven mad by by the same view of grey concrete which surrounded him, driven mad by the same routine of nothingness, no other bear friends to talk to, not even a bare branch to look at. His chains limited his movement so in the end he just stayed in the same spot. He was tatty and thin. He just rocked back and forth, back and forth.

Well that was me, Barcelona Dinner Lady, driven mad by the same stainless steel surroundings, my limited movement confined to the perimeters of the kitchen, the same daily routine and listening to the constant, incessant moaning and whingeing of the 'Head Chef'. All HC did was repeatedly moan "I'm so thirsty" "ooh, I've got a really dry mouth" "I'm sooooo thirsty" " I need a drink" etc etc....these procrastinations would continue for a couple of hours until someone finally made a drink,  HC would forget to drink and spend the following two hours whingeing about how HC had forgotten to drink the tea and how thirsty HC still was. HC would also moan daily and weekly abut toothache or hip ache but never make a point of visiting a doctor or dentist. HC would moan about being too hot, too hungry, too busy (?? too busy doing what ??? Moaning?? there was nothing else going on in HC's direction) It slowly drove me mad. In my head I was screaming SHUT UP!!!

In March I escaped and started my new career within a company, a much larger pit to roam around in, lots of interesting things to look at and plenty of other friendly bears to talk to. A much happier concrete crater. I am still scarred though, I haven't been interested in food or cooking since my lucky escape but am sure and hope it will come back....I just need  a break.

Please note the bears in the photo were not harmed. The photo was taken under strict Animal Welfare Guidelines and after the shoot the bears were then given a huge hug, rub down, fed some honey and returned to their safe and lovingly reconstructed natural environment!

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