Thursday, 30 September 2010

Too cheesy for words

This has NOTHING to do with anything else on this blog but I have to share it...

This is why I love my sister. This is her response to her friend Ben's status on Facebook.

Ben's status read "Ben is having some cheese"

Lucy: Yuck

She later went on to add:

"you are both weird. However, although i said yuck before, i can tolerate some cheeses, but mainly cheddar (never melted though) and philadelphia on a got crumpet can be very satisfying. Parmesan, although it smells a bit of vomit can be nice on pasta and a little feta is acceptable. But i draw the line there. Melted, blue, and smelly goat's cheese are not for me! And ben, i don't believe you had cheese with the president of turkey, sorry, i just don't!"

I love the way that starts with the phrase "you are both weird"...

OCD??? Lucy??? Don't even get her started on peas...


Monday, 27 September 2010

ho hum...

So Mark came back from the accountants and it looks like it'll be 2013 before we do the Aliyah thing... and thus continues the story of my life...


Friday, 24 September 2010

You gotta laugh...

Well I've spent most of the evening on the computer as there's NOTHING ON TV!!! and, all in the name of research for this blog, I've been scouring the net for other blogs I can identify with...

I've found a few, which I'll be referring to in future posts, but just before my eyeballs fall out onto the keyboard, I will share this with you, especially any of you who may want a light hearted approach to improving your Hebrew (I know I do! Lucy and Hayden, look at this website, it's a giggle) can go to Hebrew Jokes - thanks to The Big Felafel for bringing this one to my attention.

Wow, two posts in one day, I'll have to go and lie down ....

Lila tov xx

To pee or not to pee?

I'm sure Roni will thank me for this one day (!) and it has little (if anything) to do with making Aliyah, but I just want to say how proud I am of her continuing progress with the potty. So much so that it has even inspired me with my most recent 'Favourite photo' (just to the right there... you can't miss this one...)

Roni is now convinced she is a very 'big girl' and although it's tinged with sadness as she becomes less and less of a dependent baby, there is much happiness as she asserts her independence (and boy does she ever!) and becomes her own person. This independent little, sorry BIG girl doesn't like: open doors (they must all be closed) apart from when she's asleep, when the door must now be open (it always used to be closed), mummy singing, mummy talking to people and not paying enough attention to Roni, eating with cutlery.

So our big girl will be staying up late for Shabbat dinner with Uncle Charlie. She loves to light her own (soft toy) shabbat candles and say bits of the bracha - mainly because she gets lots of hugs and kisses afterwards. So from us all in Brighton, and especially Roni - "Shabbashlom!" to you all xxx

Have a cuddly Shabbat!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Too fast??

Yom Kippur is drawing near. I am trying to work out how I will cook for and feed Roni without going crazy-hungry... and I'm also thinking about why I am planning to fast.

After all, I am planning to fast because... well that's just it, you see... I'm not sure why.

If I am to be honest, I have only truly fasted on a handful of occasions. I have 'nearly fasted' (is that like being 'a bit pregnant'?) on numerous occasions and when I have succumbed to my hunger it has been late in the day and usually only to a cup of tea or slice of toast. Nonetheless on those occasions when I am sipping a cuppa at 3.30pm on Yom Kippur I definitely feel guilty. Similarly I feel like I have really accomplished something when I have successfully fasted.

But neither guilt nor a sense of achievement should be the reason why I fast on Yom Kippur. According to (don't you just love that URL?):
"Yom Kippur is G-d’s designated annual day of total spirituality. On Yom Kippur, we get into things that make us like angels the most, and out of things that make us like animals the most: we spend the whole day in Tefillah, and we put our bodily cravings on the back burner."
So I am supposed to consecrate this day: go to shul, say some prayers and focus on G-d (I will have to post again about why I sometimes put a '-' and sometimes an 'o' in that word...). But I know I'm not going to be doing any of those things this year (and I've not been to shul for, well, quite a few years since I moved away from home). I have an appointment in the morning and my dad's coming down for the weekend and we'll take Roni to the park in the afternoon. So if I'm not going to do any of the other stuff, why fast? Maybe it's because it's something I can do, even if I'm not doing anything else. Maybe, even if I'm in town or in the park, my rumbling tummy will remind me of the meaning of the day and draw my attentions to God. Maybe it'll just make me think about food more than usual... there'll probably be an element of both of these effects, I hope more of the former.

As a secular Jew coming up to Yom Kippur I am surely not alone with this scenario. According to YNet,

"Asked whether they plan to fast on Yom Kippur, 61% of Israelis said yes and 28% said no. Six percent said they would fast only part of the day and 5% had yet to decide. According to a religious segmentation, 100% of haredim, 100% of religious and 85% of traditional Jews will abstain from eating and drinking for an entire day. Among seculars, about half of respondents will fast (most of them all day) and half won't fast at all" 
 So no surprises there really. I suspect that it easier for secular Jews to fast in Israel where all the cafes and shops are closed and the streets are empty. In Brighton, I will be in a little Yom Kippur bubble unless I go to shul (my mother would say, "So go to shul!" at this point). I should take comfort from the fact that Mark will also fast, but as he can do a 10 hour shift at work and come home and say "I forgot to eat all day" (How, I ask you, HOW???!!!) I know who will be finding it harder.

More interestingly, "According to haredim and national religious, riding bicycles is forbidden to the same extent as riding in a car is. Traditionalists are also opposed to riding bicycles on the fast day, but are divided as to the degree of severity they attribute to the phenomenon. The secular public said that it is one of the symbols of the day." (full article)

The Ayalon freeway on Yom Kippur (also known as Yom HaOfnaiim - Day of the Bicyles)

Photos courtesy of the lovely Lucy Inbar

I will be fasting, as much as I can. I have found some helpful hints online (thank God for t'Internet!) that I will endeavour to use when I inevitably find the going getting tough, including eating a high-protein, high-complex carb (but ordinary sized) last meal on Firday night, taking a nap in the afternoon (Roni permitting), drinking lots of water in the days leading up to YK to stave off dehydration (often the reason I succumb, to be honest) and, a new one here, sniffing spices (cinnamon and cloves). I have also seen this little mental trick online:  When the going gets tough think "If I made it this far, I can make it the rest of the way." which I intend to be my mantra/affirmation for the day.

So here goes.

Wishing you all a good fast, hatima tova.


PS Why is it called a fast when it always goes so sloooooooooooow?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Shana Tova!

Well, it's that time of year again - time to think back over the last 12 months and forward to the next 12. Achievements? Regrets? Hopes? Fears? Well I've had 'em all and am sure I'll be having more ...

My best achievement I think has been Roni. She's growing into the most lovely sweet little girl. Gone is the baby of a year ago. She's running around, chatting away and even using the potty! (Go Roni!) Of course, I can only take a small portion of the credit for any of this, but like a million Jewish mothers before me, I WILL take the credit, and live vicariously through my children :)

Viva la scooter!
Mummy and Abba's pride and joy
As far as regrets are concerned, well yes, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention (that's for you Dad, a bit of Frank) ... but as now is the time to be mentioning them (before the Big Guy closes the book and all, forgiveness and all that...) I'd just like to say sorry to Mark for being a stress-bucket (moi?? really?? surely not...) and sorry to Nana (who will have to get this from Ian's phone) for not calling as often as I should. I AM GOING TO TRY REALLY REALLY HARD TO SORT THESE ISSUES OUT THIS YEAR.

So we come to hopes & fears... well I am only human so I have loads of these... in no particular order:
  • for the clinic to do well so we can keep on track with the FYP
  • to grow our family (near and far)
  • the peace process - for some progress to happen
  • to complete a CELTA
  • to keep going to the gym
  • that i'll stop going to the gym
  • for Leeds to get promoted again (OK so that may be pushing it a bit...)
  • that Leeds will go down
Ok ok ok, so I'll stop there cos I'm getting a bit carried away, but I'll let you guess which are hopes and which are fears (answers on a postcard...   no prizes though) 

So may it be a sweet and fruitful one for you all, full of love and laughter, health and happiness, music and mirth, friendship and peace. 

Shalom  xxx

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

You wanna peace of me???

Well, today is the first day of the restarted peace talks between Israel and the PA in Washington. So, in the spirit of peace, what do I see on the headlines at Ha'Aretz and Jerusalem Online? That's right (I paraphrase) "Hamas claims responsibility for the shooting of 4 Israelis in the West Bank". It made me think...

I was transported back to the mid-late 90s when I was studying in Jerusalem and Bibi was PM, having won the previous election on his 'Peace with Security' ticket. I arrived in August 1997 just a few weeks after the double suicide bombing in Mahane Yehuda, and just a few weeks before the triple Ben Yehuda Street bombing. Yes I kow what you're thinking - 'Good peace with security Bibi, thanks'. Well... Bibi is PM again and I know that this attack is not necessarily comparable to the bombings of 1997 in target or scale... but the motivation - to derail the peace process - is doubtlessly the same.

The question is... will Bibi and Israel play into the hands of those who use violence to destroy hopes for peace?

The Guardian Online is running a story today that the setllers will defy the government's freeze on settlement building from 6pm tonight. And so the cycle continues: fanatics on one side provoke a fanatical response from fanatics on the other side...

Will the Israeli government and PA take the necessary steps to control and contain the fanaticism on their own side? Will there be enough (any?) trust between them to allow each to 'look after its own' (fanatics)? Both nations need peace and security - from the fanatics within as much as the fanatics without.

The optimist in me prays that Bibi won't use this as an excuse to fall back on the rhetoric of  'the Palestinians don't want peace' and that any settlers who defy the building freeze will be arrested and dealt with by the judicial process. The realist in me thinks that that's exactly what will happen - or at least that a blind eye will be turned to any breach of the building freeze.

According to Ha'Aretz, the PA has spent a great deal of effort trying to find who perpetrated the attack on Tuesday evening. Of course it is in the best interests of the PA to punish Hamas and keep the latest installment of the peace process going... I just hope that Bibi realises it's in Israel's best interests to stay in the process as well.

Fingers crossed then.

hmmm... who do you think he's imagining in his grasp...?