Friday, January 26, 2024

The Unknown

                                                        storm damage

After many  debates on global...warming,  we're ironically facing now  freezing cold weather. 

Personally, I dislike the heat of summer, but I dread the cold of winter as it usually brings with it viruses and health issues. The annual influenza vaccine has not been helpful to me. The little mask is, and I still wear it when outdoors.

Science doesn't seem to have answers for us. Every day of the week we are notified about another natural disaster occurring in some part of the world,  causing loss of lives, misery, and property damage.

We've been told that  the massive glaciers in Antarctica are slowly melting, causing rise of water in the oceans, as a result of which, islands and coastal cities are going to be swalowed and totally disappear.

Earhquakes, tornadoes, volcano  eruptions - are already 'busy' with contributing to the rest of the world's destruction. Climate change brings about escalation; the probability and intensity of disasters' occurrence, being higher than usual.

We are aware  of things, and yet we do not know with exactitude when, where, and how they'll strike. That's why we  seem to ignore obvious dangers, such as  living by the sea, and around volcanoes.

Anyway, the Uknown is the worst of enemies. Knowledge is power that could help us better protect ouselves and our homes by teaching us how to avoid fires, floodings, drought, outages, finding the right shelter etc..

                                                    lava eruptio

Monday, January 22, 2024

Help, I Need Somebody (The Beatles)

 I sometimes go with the trash bag to the collecting waste bin in the evening hours. Beware!  - someone said to me, You might get attacked at this hour ,even though you carry no purse.  I have news for you, was my reply,  I might get attacked during the day hours as well, with nobody coming to my rescue. They are all seatted in front of TV and computer screens. No desperate cry for Help will make them go outside to see what it's  all about.

* picture made with AI  image generator

A few years ago I stumbled and fell on the pavement, hurting my right shoulder.   Unlike shown in the AI  generated image  below,  there was No One around to help me get on my feet. All I wished for was to get quickly home (which was not far away) to start applying ice to reduce pain and prevent surgery . Finally, ignoring the agonizing pain,  I gave a loud, long shout -  and slowly tried to get up.

* picture created by AI  image generator

I had the purse with me during the fall.; it could have easily been stolen, and there was nothing I could do to prevent that. ( By the way, in being attacked for any reason, reaction time is key. If taken by surprise, no time to try and defend yourself, regardless if it's  day hours or evening hours).
Since that traumatic fall,  I'm trying to be careful as to how, where, and when I walk. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Beauty, Drama, and Destruction


 A dormant volcano  near Reykjavik, Iceland, has recently come back to life after nearly 800 years. What happened ? Has Climate Change  awakened it? No casualties so far, but evacuations of people  from the surrounding areas.

(On the web, there are lots of stunning pictures of lava flow  from that volcano  and people gathering to watch it).


In my younger days I visited mount Vesuvius in Italy. Still an active volcano; it could erupt any day. I got to the edge of the crater; smoke was coming out of it. The location is fascinating : overlooking Naples and the ruins of the  destroyed cities Pompeii and Herculanes (which I visited separately).

                                                         on top of the Vesuvius

                                                   Bay of Naples in the background

They say the soil under and around the volcano is very fertile and makes the residents in the densely populated area, rich. That's why they are reluctant to leave despite  the danger of being caught in an eruption of lava. 

The activities of the volcano are closely monitored by the experts at the 'Observatorio Vesuvio', and yet it could suddenly and unexpectedly erupt and cause loss of lives and damage to property.

                                                          red ,volcanic soil

                              the edge of  the crater ; smoke coming out

                                                    me and friend on the edge

                                                        lava flow in Iceland (Youtube)

Yes, as mentioned in the title,  volcano eruptions definitely offer beauty, drama and destruction.

Friday, January 12, 2024


When I retired from work (civil service - government office)  years ago, I wrote a farewell speech which ended with  ' I did it my way' (line taken from Frank Sinatra's famous song).   

Well, I should have written, perhaps: 'Despite the corruption, boss incompetence, women discrimination, bureaucracy ...I did it my way' or,  'managed to do it my way'.  But I lacked the courage:)

I entered civil service after working as a teacher for seven years in a comprehensive school. I've always wished to be a teacher, but  I didn't like what I saw in this type of school, and quit.

On top of it all I got ill. Probably the stress from both places, school and  office, caused it.  Anyway,  that sadly affected my  advance to a better rewarded position within the system. 

Here's the opening part of the speech (translated from Hebrew) which is an attempt to define my general , rather positive feelings on retirement   (in Hebrew it sounds much better).   


'Retirement is a beginning, not beginning of the end

It's an emotional, and significant event

There's expectation for something different and new

Involving social- economic changes too.


Retirement is not  stopping of activity

But rather opportunities  in creativity

Concentration on leisure and balance

Transition to a world  full of challenge


Sometimes, retirement closes one door

Opening another one, to explore

The terms of diligence and action

Enterprise , professional satisfaction

Sunday, January 7, 2024

IMTM (international mediteranean tourism market)

Before Covid-19 hit us, I used to go, more or less, regularly to the International Tourism Fair, held once a year for two days, at the Expo Center  (Rokah Gardens), in Tel-Aviv.     It was  quite the event!

main entrance to the Expo Center

The mornings of the two days were for the tourism professionals from the participating countries to connect, establish contact, do business. The afternoons (after 14 o'clock, methinks) were for us,  the public. No entrance fee, and that attracted hundreds of people to the  pavilions and booths representing the various countries.

One could well spend several hours in an international atmosphere, getting maps and info booklets for free, as well as small souvenirs such as bags, pens, coasters, mini calendars; tasting foods specific to a certain country; watching artistic shows  in various languages and styles etc.. 

                                        by the Serbian booth

I really miss that Fair ,both as entertainment and culture, but since Covid, large crowds still scare me. Besides, this year there's a war going on and who knows what the outcome of it will be. So,  probably, no tourism Fair in the near future.

                                        Odessa  girls in embroidered  costumes

From my visits so far to this Fair (the last one was on February 2019. I wrote a detailed post with pictures on 16/2/2019),  I've accumulated quite a lot of maps. Part of them were of great help to me when I travelled abroad. The remaining part , and especially the booklets and leaflets, are  a declutter project. Decluttering, as you well know, is never easy.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024


There are people who claim they have no regrets whatsoever.  They'll tell you something like  "if I had to live my life again  I'll make the same mistakes,  take the same decisions,  change nothing".   

Well,    I belong to the opposite category.  I do have regrets on things done / said,  or on things not done at all (inaction). I usually blame myself ( ignorance, naivety, trust in the wrong people) for the matters regretted.

There's a famous song , originally performed by the french singer Edith Piaf (rip) ,  named  "Non, Je ne regrette rien" (No, I regret nothing).  According to this song, things that went wrong, make us strong.  Grief doesn't last, it's a matter of the past.  

True. Even if we regret our choice, some good  might come out of it. We can't change the past. We can, however, try to focus on the present and the future. We can learn to apologize. Apologies give us peace of mind and sometimes save relations.

Still, I have regrets  regarding many topics in my life, among them:

Staying in touch with friends from childhood and youth;  Romance  (breaking ups, getting dumped, dumping someone);  Career and Jobs;  Family ties.  The only consolation is the thought that with any choice made there would probaby be positive as well as negative aspects to deal with.

                    here she is, EDITH   PIAF  at the Olympia, Paris, 1960 (Youtube)