Monday, June 9, 2014

Highlights of the Days

That was the week that was. The week we had our summer holiday, went to a wedding, and got caught in a Colour Red (Red Alert) with rockets firing in from Gaza (not for the first and second times or the third time I've experienced this). Sorry, I took the camera with but never got round to getting it out.

Tuesday 4th June - we traveled down to Kibbutz Alumim in the south of Israel. My highlight of the day was when my friend (who's daughter was getting married on Thursday)'s mother called to say that my friend was sending a car from the kibbutz to collect them and they had room for me and DD. That saved two hours of bus rides shlepping all our luggage and 3kg of frozen salmon. That night was the beginning of the festival of Shavuot (Weeks or Pentecost) brought in with a festive meal.

Wednesday 5th - The festival day itself which involved more festive meals and my highlight of the day, a whisky tasting session after lunch. Three of the men had just returned from a distillery tour in Scotland so we got the full effect with instructions, history and interesting facts. After lunch DD and I spent an afternoon in the air-conditioned library and games building. It was 38 degrees outside so there was no chance of anything outdoors. DD made a couple of friends and was off with them leaving me to read my book in peace.

Thursday 6th - A day out and about on the kibbutz. We went to the playgrounds, visited the cows and watched the milking, ate lunch in the communal dining room, watched them setting up the chupa (wedding canopy) and arranging the flowers outside for the wedding later, and went to the petting zoo. The weather had broken so it was a mere 32 degrees outside. My highlight of the day was when we returned to our friends' house after being out in the heat all day and smelling of the cowsheds. I put DD in the bath and she stayed there and played for over an hour! Meanwhile I showered in the other bathroom, threw our clothes in the wash and..... wait for this..... read my book uninterrupted for almost two chapters!

Thursday evening - Big wedding on the kibbutz. The daughter of another good friend who lives there (the one who sent the car for her parents in Jerusalem) so many old friends converged for the occasion from all over the country. DD was sat at a different table with some of the children she knows so other than setting her up with food from the buffet, I hardly saw her all evening. The DJ played all our old favourites from the last century and we finally rolled home at half past midnight. A really great wedding.

Friday 7th - We went to the beach in Ashkelon. I nearly didn't go as I hate the beach, I never know what to do there. However, DD loved it and if she's happy I'm happy. The sea was rough and no one was allowed in past their knees but knee height is perfect for 5yos. DD (and all the other children) sat just shy of the water and were catapulted up the beach as the waves came in. A row of lifeguards stood as a buffer in case any little ones got carried too far out (and also to stop the older kids from going in despite the warnings) but actually they were all beached each time and had to come running back to sit on the sand and wait for the next wave. Honestly, it was better than any ride at a theme park. Definitely our highlight of the day. We sealed the perfection with an ice-lolly of course.

Friday night - We brought in Shabbat with yet another festive meal with the friends we were staying with. This is where the highlights idea comes from. This family have six children, a daughter-in-law, couple of daughters' boyfriends, and an adopted kibbutz volunteer. Their table is not unlike The Waltons of Walton's Mountain. On Friday night everyone has to say the highlight of their week. DD wanted to say the wedding and the beach but someone had already said the wedding so she couldn't have that one. Clever girl, she said: "OK, in that case I say everything that's happened since we came here."

Saturday 8th - Shabbat lunch in the communal dining room was suddenly interrupted by "COLOUR RED! COLOUR RED!" loudly announced from the speakers on the wall. Everyone jumped up and proceeded quickly to the inner parts of the building away from the windows. Well not everyone. There are those fatalists who choose to ignore it and stay where they are (not usually those with children). You only get 15 seconds and by the time I'd realised what was going on it was all over. I was about to return to my seat when my friend said, "don't sit down Rach, apparently there're more coming." DD had run to the safer room with the other children so I went and joined them. After the 'all clear' we returned to our seats and got on with our meal. Just another day in the life of Southern Israel. In the afternoon, after more whisky tasting, DD and I went for another session in the games building. They have an adult on duty there every shabbat and festival afternoon so that the parents can rest. Next year I expect (hope) she'll be old enough to go by herself but this year I went along with my book and read while she played with the children.

Saturday Night - We got a lift to Netivot and took the bus back to Jerusalem. It's always easier going home on the bus as you've dumped the gifts and you don't care if your clothes crease in the suitcase. I also left my finished book for them to read. Highlight of the day? Too tired to think about it as we crawled into bed at midnight after a lovely holiday.


  1. I'm betting my brother was one of the fatalistic non movers?

  2. I am guessing my brother was one of the fatalistic non movers?

  3. You became less sure with the second comment Janice. ;) Tbh, I didn't notice.

  4. The beach sounds wonderful, the red alerts do not :(