Monday, March 29, 2021

It Never Rains but Pours


It happens at all levels: individual,  family,  group,  country - one bad thing after another.  Now it's ,unfortunately, Egypt's turn. The Suez Canal has been blocked by a cargo ship. If this is not enough,  two trains have collided;  collision resulting in many casualties.

(It seems rather strange that all this occurs during the time of the Jewish Passover , the feast of the unleavened bread . 'Pesach' celebrates the freedom of the israelites from slavery, and their exodus from ancient Egypt).

I've never been to the Suez CanaI, which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. I have, however, a vague idea of such a canal, since  my visit in the past to a more modest and ancient  one - the  Corinth  Canal (Greece) connecting the Mediterranean with the Aegean Sea.

I remember being totally amazed at the narrow passage through which big ships are supposed to  make their way. Nowadays, modern ships cannot pass through this canal.  I suppose most of the ships using the Corinth Canal are of the touristic kind.


                  me,, on the bridge at the Corinth Canal
           see the narrow blue strip of water under the bridge

I've never really been to Egypt, our big neighboring country, except for one or two trips to the peninsula Sinai's desert, once under israeli occupation as a result of wars in the region.


                   me,  and the camel in Dahab, Sinai desert
         at Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Red Sea,vis-a-vis the Straits of Tiran

Egypt, by the way, is among the countries with an alarming birthrate. Demographics and Pollution are issues which can be successfully solved by those who care for the planet's future, but, except talking, the politicians of the world do nothing pragmatic about that.

All's well that ends well" -  according to the latest news, the Suez Canal crisis is almost solved.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Black and White


on the rock, above the abyss

I like the above picture, taken during a trip in my last year of high-school.  Me, sitting on a rock and looking down at the abyss below.  No fear!

These days Fear seems to have gotten to me.  'Stay Home,  Stay Alive'  is not just a slogan; there is  truth in it, especially now, in the atmosphere of  euphoria caused by the appearance of vaccines, and the cancelling of most restrictions.

So, until fear subsides, and I go to places not only for the essentials, but also for fun and pleasure,  I find refuge in old pictures and memories. 
Here are some music and fashion memories in black and white:

playing the violin

 in a duo at a Purim party 
The violin in the picture  belonged to my brother. The talent too.  I took lessons but nothing good came out of it. At a later stage I fancied learning guitar playing. I had a good voice so I thought accompanying myself with a guitar might be a beginning of something...a musical career perhaps.  I  got convinced, however, for my own sake, to give it up .

dress decoration

In those days, it was fashionable to add white decorations to a garment , for a nice final touch - either around the neck or at the bottom (as seen in these two photos - near the book shelf, and with the violin).

I also had a few dresses made by my Mom of cotton fabric with dots. Oh, how I liked that kind of cotton  and that kind of dress!! The background was usually vivid red or blue, the dots - white.


dotted dress

The top with the squares pattern in the picture below was crocheted by my Mom; she was good with the crochet. Besides the top, which was very beloved by me and it serviced me for many years,  she left me some crocheted scarves and shawls.

               crocheted  top - squares pattern

During most of my younger years I wished my straight hair were curly / wavy. This made my life quite a misery; I needed  hair rollers, special perm lotions, and often a professional hairdresser. 

Time, money and chemicals are not a good combination.  Looking back at those times I ask myself what was all that about. The curly / wavy style was hardly flattering; it even made me look more mature.

curly hair top

 curly hair top2

(Speaking of chemicals,  I've never colored my hair, though. 

I 'm used to apply from time to time, a paste made of the popular Henna plant powder , intended mainly for strength and volume). 

Wearing a hat is a Must in our summers, especially if you intend to go to the beach.  Well, I hated hats mainly because I believed they made me look shorter than I was already. Hats  were ok for me to wear at Purim fun parties, or , by contrast , a black hat at funerals/cemetery visits.

at the beach

The elections and Passover are knocking at the door.  Hopefully, things go smoothly with no political violence and no violation of the remaining pandemic restriction regarding crowds and social distancing.

See you soon!




Saturday, March 13, 2021

Urban Renewal And Facebook


I'm active on Blogger only, no Facebook or other such platforms.

However, several years ago, I opened a Facebook account  for the sole purpose of following online city council debates on various topics. At that time what was especially of interest to me was the 'hot'  topic of 'urban renewal',  as my building was part of an area designated by the municipality for  a big project of demolition and rebuilding. I soon became tired  with these debate meetings. 

Urban Renewal is a long, complex journey involving a lot of factors: apartment owners, entrepreneurs, contractors, neighbors, various local authorities, lawyers. Funding and Bureaucracy dominate the entire process.

The renewal plan for my neighborhood area didn't work out, but I kept the Facebook account as it enabled me to locate people in my past with whom I lost  contact over the years.

I had no intention of reconnecting with those people, just  curious to know about their whereabouts, and whether they were alive and well. Sometimes, my search didn't get any results. If I happened to know the name of  their son / daughter, I would enter their public page trying to find out something about the parent/s. 

Well,  I was surprised to note that in most cases the off-springs did not mention their parents at all , at least not on the  page to which I had access.They did refer ,though, to ... critters.

A few months ago, an 87 year old relative of mine , died in Bucharest (RIP). During her last years she was very ill, with Alzheimer and other health problems. Sadly, her  only son (a fairly intelligent person, an engineer by profession), didn't even bother  to mention  her death on his FB  page - no mention, no obituary, no tribute, no memories, no photos.  Nothing. (I was informed of her passing by her sister -in-law).
I don't know much about Facebook and how it works, but I do know , that this kind of attitude is not acceptable to me.



Saturday, March 6, 2021


Every once in a while, I enter You tube  looking for tutorials that would help me learn how to fix things in the house, on the computer, or expand my knowledge on a specific topic. It's not easy to find a good tutorial; it demands time and patience. Patience -  because the tutor's language is sometimes unclear, the speech rhythm inadequate, the accent strange, he/she doesn't always speak to the point, the tutorial is too long, etc...

However, when you find a good tutorial and 'mission gets accomplished', then you realize that it's worth every effort. Not only do you save money, but you also become less dependent on others. (Some see dependence of any kind - on people or on meds - as no less than  'slow death'). This dependence is especially risky  now, during the pandemic. It's not the right time to bring in people for repairs or any other tasks.


lucky bamboo

I once had trouble with my lucky bamboo plants (yellowing of stalks and leaves). After browsing through tutorials I found the solution - use of distilled water (instead of tap water); sealing the top of the plant with candle dipping wax will prevent it from getting rotten.   You can obtain distilled  water at home with a proper device, but so far  I buy the stuff, as it's cheap both,  at the pharmacy and at the supermarket.   I\ve got some 30 individual plants and I don't wish to lose any of them.

                      propagation from a 'dead'  plant

One of the more popular subjects  on You tube tutorials is painting of walls. People like from time to time, to refresh the paint on their flat's walls (in my neck of the woods, before Passover holiday, which coincides with Spring  cleaning).  

I've done this several times and enjoyed it. However, it's not that simple. It requires preparation, a variety of brushes and tools, a good ladder, theoretical knowledge. Tutorials on You tube are very helpful with all this, and more.