Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Sometimes we learn from the media about the death of a person; no cause of death mentioned (usually at the request of the family). Even if we're curious about cause and circumstances, we accept the lack of information.

It is somehow different when the deceased is someone we've known personally or through online activity such as blogging; it seems then, that curiosity is stronger than us. We even feel 'entitled' to know about the cause of death.

A 69 year old blogger died suddenly at home about 3 months ago.  It was quite a shock! The blogger was a very active person, and l was under the impression that he  was not having any (major) health problems. He felt unwell during the last few days of his life, and passed away  (rip).

I was hoping his wife might perhaps reveal in her blog the cause of his sudden death.  Well, she mentioned him a lot, described the sadness of the days without him, her crying and grieving, but nothing on the cause of death. 


Until a few years ago, I was having correspondence with a cousin in the USA - a cousin discovered through the internet, while doing a genealogical research. She was of great help to me with this research, and I felt  grateful to her.

At a certain stage, the said cousin (a divorced, registered nurse in her fifties) wrote to me that her younger, single sister  was hospitalized. After a few weeks she informed me of the sister's death.(The two lived in the same big, town).

I was in shock twice: first by the tragic event, and second  by my inability to get any info on what had led to hospitalization and death. I tried both approaches - direct and indirect, to make my cousin tell me what had happened. In vain.

I had my guesses, but why guess, I said to myself, "we're cousins, and we've been in touch for at least three years . Moreover, I've told her in detail about my own tragedy - the sudden , untimely loss of my brother. So why couldn't she tell me what happened to her sister"?

I felt hurt, but , went on with the e-mails, albeit less frequently. I tried to convince myself that her behavior had probably something to do with  specific american mentality with which I was not  familiar, and for the time being, I'd better ignore the whole painful thing.

After a while, she brought up the subject of inheritance (procedures to be dealt with, a town house and a car to be put on sale, etc..) - without even mentioning the name of the sister. It was at that point that I sadly decided to stop the correspondence. Certain things are unacceptable to me, mentality or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Analog Pictures - part 2


Update on covid-19: easing of lockdown restrictions starting with this week , encouraging news on vaccines. However, the overall atmosphere is one of great anxiety caused by reopening of schools, economic collapses, and the fact that though doctors know much more now about the virus, they're still in the dark about some main issues.

And now to the topic of this post.

I like to re-read my posts on favorite places I've been to in my younger days; it uplifts my mood.

During the current lockdown, though, my target was to try and improve/restore  pre-digital photos in my possession. Thanks to the right tip from Jeanie (the Marmelade Gypsy blog) on my first part , I've managed to do some of that.


To this day, one of my favorite places I've been to, is the Vesuvium volcano in Italy. What an excitement  to be on the edge of the crater of an active volcano! It could erupt any day. The smoke coming out of the crater is a fascinating sight! 


on the edge of the Vesuvio crater

Speaking of volcanoes, Edinburgh castle in Scotland was formed as a result of a volcano erupting several hundred million years previously. The castle (over 900 years old) had been both a royal residence and a military base.


                           At Edinburgh Castle, Scotland


Greece has many 'dramatic' places such as Delphi (town and archeological site - house of the famous Oracle), and the amphitheater at Epidaurus.

The theater at Epidaurus is still in use today

amphitheater at Epidaurus


                                     Mt. Parnassus domineering the area of Delphi 


Jerusalem is known for its two outstanding religious sites: The Wailing Wall and the Al Aqsa Mosque (with the golden dome).

In those days, I didn't have a prayer book with me, but I did place a  note  in the cracks of the wall.

                               At the Wailing Wall; left a note in  cracks of the wall


On the top of snowy Yungfrau mountain (Swiss Alps) which is considered the highest peak in Europe, one feels on the top of the entire world, not only the top of Europe.

on Yungfrau ('virgin' in german) viewing the snow

Well, that's it for now. Hoping there won't be a  third lockdown.

Sunday, October 11, 2020



Still on Lockdown. I don't know how long covid-19 will be with us. (A climate activist claims - for as long as Climate Change crisis will last).

However, I do know that a country needs the right strategy to handle it.  I'm not referring to a country  that belongs to the club of the big and rich  (USA, Germany, UK..) but to a country  of small to modest size and resources, like Israel where I live.

By 'right strategy' I mean one that would not be based on waiting for a vaccine (which may or may not be available ,  may or may not be effective), and, would not be based on borrowing heavy money to give its people the (false) feeling that life goes on as usual, and covid-19 is just a temporary inconvenience.

Perhaps, new drugs development (antivirals, steroids) will move faster than vaccine development, and help make real progress in the fight against the virus.

Perhaps, before  borrowing money to release 'loan programs' and 'rescue funds', the government could advise people to return to basics;  the decadent world of the pre-covid era,  might never come back.

The new world might be one of isolation, including touristic isolation. North Korea, a small, isolated country, has just made it known to the world that there has  been not even one single case of coronavirus infection there.

We don't know things for sure yet, but we have to be mentally prepared for the possible reality of no physical schools, restaurants, culture halls etc.. and reorganize our life the best  we can under the circumstances.

Sadly, it seems that politicians and vaccine developers will nevertheless be dragging us into the abyss, creating chaos on the way.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Analog Pictures

The other day, I was browsing through my old, analog (non- digital) pictures, focusing on the bad ones (blurred, failed contrast - too dark, too bright etc..).  I wanted to try and improve quality, if possible, by using the editing software on my rather old,  computer.

Most of these pictures  are dear to me, mementos of my visit to some famous landmarks, such as that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In order to successfully capture both the landmark and myself in the same picture, I needed a much better camera than the one I had, and certainly better photographic skills, but I had neither (sigh).

Eiffel  Tower

It was getting dark outside, I was sitting on the stairs, feeling tired. In the above Eiffel Tower picture I looked almost  deleted, so I tried hard to recover some of my body shape.


                                                      At The Colloseum in Rome

The ancient structure of the Colloseum looks o.k. ;  my face, on the other hand, looks blurred. One can improve things, but touching face could turn disastrous; not recommended.


                                           Mozart's monument & birth place in Salzburg

 I felt music in the air, Mozart's music. It was a lovely, sunny day, perfectly appropriate for a visit to the great composer's birthplace.

                                                        Fontana di Trevi - Rome

This stunning , famous fountain, where people throw coins in its water, makes you forget everything. I just stood there overwhelmed by the sight of it.


I've got quite a few pictures with Me sitting on stairs , on rocks, on a bench , on a fountain edge or on the grass  by some famous attraction .  Not surprising, though.  I was a tourist, and as such, often  tired from much walking and exploring. I needed to rest, and that was also a good opportunity for a picture.

                                                Urquat Castle at Lockness  lake, Scotland
 I like the greyish color tone in this picture; it somehow matches the atmosphere created by an old castle and a lake where a monster is believed to live.
on the edge of the fountain at Buckingam palace
It was raining on the day of my visit; a light rain, still, not a very suitable day for taking outdoor pictures

                                               sitting  on a bench in the center of Frankfurt
The red, cotton cardigan was bought in the city on that very day, and it was my first 'inauguration' of it, on that bench, watching the passers by.

                                         on the grass, by a monument in Sterling, England
The 'on the grass' picture reminds me of my big issue with photography. I've convinced myself that I 'm not photogenic, so I keep it distant, until it's... too distant.
Apollo Temple  in Ancient Corinth, Greece

This is a rather rare picture of me,  as my head is seen here from profile, from the side.


While browsing (apparently, not a bad lock down occupation), I came upon two pictures relevant to our times: social distancing in one, crowding in the other. Both were taken in Athens, Greece.

distancing on Likavitos Hill (made me smile)

                                                     crowds  on the Acropolis , Athens

 I also came upon a picture I was glad to forget about .

On the route Dover-Calais , I felt like I was going to die of sea sickness. Very traumatic experience!  (Several days earlier, wearing the same outfit , I had my photo taken close to a wax figure at the Wax Museum in London, and visited Buckingam palace too.).

                                                            seasick in the boat cabin 

                                                                  at the Wax Museum

The weather at the time of the sailing from Dover to Calais was very rough. In calm weather I usually don't get sea sick.  Here's a photo of me on the deck of the greek Saronic Star vessel. I was full of energy and glad to be on that cruise.


on the Saronic Star deck  


This kind of browsing brings back to me nice memories,  so I'll go on with it till the end of the lock down.


Jeanie from the Marmelade Gypsy blog - has kindly offered to restore most of the above pictures. The result is incredible!

Amazing! Thanks Jeanie.