Now in Basel for the weekend, long-arranged as Ross was in the US last week. I thought it would be fun to join him here, as our mountain apartment is being lent out. In fact the weather is lovely and we spend most of Saturday looking at new cars, difficult in German, as understanding the complicated specs of vehicles these days is challenging in any language, let alone a foreign one!
I received a text this morning from a friend enquiring if I was still alive. ‘How are you and where are you? No blogging’. So I realised I had been remiss. I think it must have been dry January rendering me speechless! Thank God that’s over… Continue reading
Reposting this from my Healthy Living with Cancer blog….all part of the journey
This is always a difficult time of year for me. Firstly, 7 December is our daughter Louise’s birthday. She would have been 27 last week, but instead she is forever a glorious 21 – young and beautiful. We celebrated her life with some close friends at the Bench last week and later in the Steele’s where we held her wake.
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My driver G turns up early on my last day, to take me to places that people don’t normally go. He suggests that my itinerary is a bit tame, and says really I should go further afield, to Bethlehem, which lies in the Palestinian Authority, take in some new settlements and see more of the wall. He says it will be more interesting. I say that I defer to his judgment, when I should have said ‘So how much extra with this be?’ After we have agreed on the new itinerary, he says, diffidently, that it will of course cost more. As it turns out, exactly what I have in my wallet. ‘God must have meant for this to happen’ I say to him. He is a Christian Arab as a matter of fact, a Catholic; there are only 10-12,000 in Jerusalem compared to 530,000 Jews and 350,000 Muslims. He says they are having a hard time and are discriminated against by both sides. Continue reading
The three days in Tel Aviv fly and I have to move on to Jerusalem. I choose the train, cheap and scenic. Like all Unwins I am horribly early and mooch around waiting. When it comes to board, I am not surprised that no one lifts a finger to help me, despite my limp and large unwieldy case, stuffed with Christmas cake, shortbread and gifts for cousin Helen. The scenery on the trip is pretty, in an arid sort of way, fertile fields, recently tilled, orange groves and vineyards bordered by magenta bougainvillea, giving way to a steep ascent thorugh rugged hills, larches and conifers before levelling out on the Jerusalem plateau. I have arrived! Continue reading
I feel ambivalent about coming to Israel: I would never had considered coming here had I not learned about my Jewish ancestry. As a girl I was an avid boycotter of Jaffa oranges and supporter of Palestinian rights, and closed my mind to it – no doubt out of ignorance as much as anything else. But the discovery of two elderly cousins living in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem respectively has forced the U-turn in order to research my book, and also to reappraise my opinions with an open mind. I am told Israel is not as one might imagine. So let’s see! Continue reading
I do not feel any sense of smugness (well, a little actually) when I remind you that I forecast both Brexit and Trump victories, way back…. Continue reading