Thursday, April 30, 2020

Israel Indepencence Day - R2BC

Here are my Reasons 2B Cheerful for this week. I missed last week as I had so many students' papers to grade. So even though very little has changed since two weeks ago, I don't want to miss another week. The Linky is with Becky on Lakes Single Mum (and I promise to go back and read all the posts from last week too.)

Independence Day
We're 72 years old! We celebrated on our balconies instead of in the national parks and on the beaches. The road outside my building has become the local synagogue as it was our neighbours who started the regular prayers.

On the eve of Independence Day a couple of guys came out with a harmonica, a guitar, and a microphone. We sang all the prayers together, then we sang some Israeli favourites, and we finished with Hatikva, the national anthem. It was much nicer than when we all troop up to the promenade for a rock concert and outrageously priced food and souvenirs.

We did miss the fireworks though.

Distance Learning
DD is really into her distance learning from school now that her friend's mum is there to help her. She's much more relaxed and she doesn't worry if she misses an assignment or two because she's getting most of it done. It's actually fantastic because she's occupied for the whole morning.

There's a lot of Zoom and video calling going on. Every so often she calls out from her bedroom: "Mummy! Don't come in, I'm in a meeting!"

The Wonders of Boredom
It took a whole month of nothing to do and nowhere to go but slowly slowly, DD has been tidying out her bedroom. Drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf. Every few days a couple of bags of clutter appear by the front door ready to be taken down to the bins.

And she's developed a love of the Windolene squirty bottle. So far the balcony doors, the kitchen window, her bedroom window and the mirrors in the bathroom have been cleaned.

I'm being as encouraging as I can whilst trying not to seem too happy about it or I know it will stop as suddenly as it started.

Have a good week y'all. Take care, stay safe and keep well.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Back On Distance Learning And Summer School,

Sunset over Jerusalem
Yesterday, after a major meltdown, I'd had it with distance learning. But DD is far more conscientious than I am about her school work and she wasn't happy about giving up. Thankfully another mother from our class came to our rescue. Her child, also an English speaker, wasn't into reading the long texts in Hebrew, so she has been reading them with him and she invited DD to join them via video call.

This morning they had sport, maths, Hebrew (in which she learned to work the system and managed to do the activity without reading the lesson), and History. So she joined her friend for History and it was fantastic. She finished it and I've not seen her that relaxed and happy since before the Pesach holidays. Even during the holiday she was anxious about going back to distance learning. I won't mention names but Friend's Mother, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You'll notice that I'm using the phrase distance learning today, instead of home schooling. It was rightly pointed out to me that Home Schooling is a thing and this isn't it. I knew that but I used the phrase carelessly yesterday because it described our situation. However, we are not Home Schooling, we are School Schooling without the teachers present.

Which brings me to the enormous facebook fracas that erupted yesterday after a disastrous TV interview with Yaffa Ben-David, the head of one of the Teacher's Unions in Israel. She is probably the most hated woman in Israel atm and all because she didn't handle the interview well.

The problem is twofold:

1. Distance learning, 
We're trying to do distance learning so that the children keep up with some education and not feel so isolated. Also it's a good idea to have an outside adult in contact with every child under these lockdown conditions. Unfortunately, the teachers are learning to do this on the fly. Whilst there are a lot of instructional meetings via zoom and sharing of information and resources, it's all a bit hit and miss. It's being refined day by day and the teachers are putting in hours and hours of work to make it all happen, plan lessons, give individual feedback, be available and to trouble shoot.

It's a herculean task and they are doing it while trying to supervise their own children at home with different school schedules and often limited screen and internet access. Despite all this, there is a lot of frustration among parents who also need to work on the family computer and have a number of children who cannot work alone, and all need the computer or phone for a zoom lesson at the same time, etc...

For all these reasons the directive is that these online lessons are not compulsory and everyone should do as much as they can.

2. Summer School
In order to recover some of the economy, if we are out of isolation by the summer, we need the children to be in school so that parents can work. Some people are saying that the teachers are off school now so they should make up the hours in the summer. Excuse me? You may not like the distance learning but  the teachers are working very hard to make it happen and it is a lifeline for some families and children.

Ben-David argued that the teachers will not be working an extra 6 weeks with no pay. This created an uproar mainly with the response that the teachers are paid for 12 months a year but only work 10 months, so they need to forgo their ridiculous amount of holiday and do their bit to help to help the nation.

There are three points to make here.
A, the teachers are not paid for 12 months of the year. Many years ago their 10 months of salary was spread over 12 payments to help them budget better. Pay in July and August is for work done from September till June.

B, I don't think Ben-David could have argued anything else, she was just doing her job which is to protect the teachers.

C, No one has asked the teachers. Most of the jobs that teachers pick up over the summer break to make up the shortfall in their salaries, will not be available this year. If you asked the teachers to volunteer over the summer I suspect that most of them would say yes. What they object to is the assumption that they must pay back for the years of shirking over July and August. That they are paid anyway so they owe the country to work.

Teachers are willing to do their bit, as they have been doing and will continue to do through the many hours it takes to organize and execute distance learning. All they ask is some respect and acknowledgment. If you want them to volunteer over the summer to help the nation get back on its feet, call a spade a spade and ask them to volunteer. And don't forget to thank them afterwards.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

I'm Done With Home-Schooling

This teacher is rubbish if you have a problem. 
Today, after the Pesach holiday, was the day I had to get back to my work, catch up with planning online lessons and grading incoming work. I have so much to do.

Home-schooling started up again today after the Pesach holidays. DD had to sign in at 09.00. The first two lessons were English and Maths. No problems there. Then came science.

It was a read, learn, quiz programme online. She figured out how to translate some to the information into English so we understood that the topic was mirrors, reflection, angles of reflection, etc... It's not rocket science, it's just 6th grade science and I understand all of it - in English.

The multiple choice questions were fine. If you get it wrong you just choose something else until the bell rings for a correct answer.

The questions that require a written answer were harder. First you have to understand the question. It all fell apart when I didn't understand one of the questions and DD couldn't explain it to me. The diagram looked fine to me but apparently there was something wrong with it and we had to correct it somehow, or choose another diagram - I couldn't see any other diagrams, or say what was wrong.

DD lost her temper with me and screamed at me that she's explaining but I'm not listening. I'm screaming back that I'm listening but not understanding. And shouting the same thing louder while waving her arms about at the computer isn't going to help me understand it any better. Eventually she clicked on enough points in the diagram to be rewarded with the bell.

I told her just to do what she can and don't worry about the rest. But she does worry because they have to send it in to be checked. I told her I couldn't help because she always ends up screaming at me. But then what am I going to do when she asks, "Mummy can you help me?" Of course I try to help and I end up being screamed at again.

There's approximately two minutes between the end of being screamed at and the next request for help. I cannot begin to concentrate on doing any of my own work. I feel a headache coming on and am close to tears. I feel emotionally battered.

Next question. It was a story about a village in Switzerland overshadowed by a mountain. We put the story through google translate and we had to write the solution. I told DD the solution in English. "OK, how do I write that in Hebrew?"
"I don't know, you can speak Hebrew."
I won't  repeat the whole exchange of words. I can't even call it a conversation as it quickly descended into me being screamed at - again.

I told her, again, that the only solution for us is to move to England for a few years so that I can help her with her school work. More screaming followed and now she's in her bedroom crying. I'm at the computer crying. And apparently there's History yet to do today.

DD asked me if she could not do sports. They are supposed to make a video of them doing some sort of exercise. At this moment I don't care. I'm going to watch some tv and eat, and eat some more probably.

I don't want to hear any more about home-schooling. I'm done with it.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

I Can See The End - R2BC

Chocolate chip blondies from Esther next door. Thank you!
This week's Reasons 2B Cheerful comes to you from just over the peak. This is my own analysis from seeing the numbers, of which I had a morbid and slightly distasteful fascination, falling. Well not the totals obviously, but the daily casualties. There's talk on the news of easing restrictions around the world. (Except not the UK yet - sorry. You have another 3 weeks of lockdown apparently.) Instead of doom and gloom it's all about exit strategies. 

Before we go there, just to say that Becky is hosting the linky to other cheerful posts on her blog: Lakes Single Mum. 

We Have A Plan
In Israel the exit strategy, while not finalized or set to start on any given date, is in 4 phases. Back to school is only phase 3 and there will be at least two weeks between each phase. So Yippee! Another month at least at home. I'm loving being at home, personally.

But it's also good to know that we're nearing the end and that the millions of deaths didn't happen as predicted. Though I'm still sad for those who did lose their lives and for their families. And I know it's insensitive to say I'm loving being at home because I'm not a doctor or a nurse, or a carer, or hospital cleaner, working my guts out to help those in need. Sorry.

Passover Passed Over
Oh was there a holiday in all this? I must have missed it. I almost missed it but we did manage a family seder by zoom. Last night it was all over and I'm back to work on the computer. Slightly shocked and dazed by how much work (grading papers and planning online lessons) has accumulated, but bird by bird I'll get it done.

Bird by Bird? A book by Anne Lamott of the same name in which she writes: “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

Gifts From Next Door
One day a couple of weeks ago, just as DD was about to go into a meltdown because we'd run out of snacks and it was Friday afternoon so no shops open until Sunday morning.... we got a shout out from our neighbour Esther to look outside the front door. There we found a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Tasty and timely. Thank  you so much Esther. And for the bar of chocolate a couple of days later. And for the second bag of cookies. And for the Harry Potter Hagaddah (seder service book). We will love you forever.

Now if I could just figure out how to flatten MY curves......

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Prepping My Estate For Doomsday

Garlic and Carrots
This morning I went out onto the estate balcony and did some gardening. I've been obsessed with small balcony vegetable garden videos, how to grow vegetables in pots videos, and vegetables that you need only buy once from the supermarket and then grow your own videos. I think it might have something to do with the world as we know it shutting down. Best to be a bit self-sufficient eh? Unfortunately I've no room for chickens let alone a cow.

I started by making a composter out of an old plastic rubbish bin. It's about 65 cm high and has a lid. I bashed some holes into the bottom for drainage and stood it on an old plastic tray. (Yes even and despite three years of decluttering, I still have some old things for upcycling. Very few though.)

The spring onions are sprouting
along with the garlic and carrots
Did you know that you can compost without worms? This is good because I don't have any worms and I don't like the thought of worms on my balcony. Maybe if my compost heap was way down at the end of a long garden. But it isn't. You do need soil to layer with the fruit and vegetable bits and egg shells. Luckily I have a huge bag of soil left over from the last time I fell in love with gardening. Apparently you also need to add some shredded paper or old egg boxes to provide carbon.

I learned that after sprouting your carrots and garlic in little pots of water, it's good to plant them near each other because the bugs that like carrots hate garlic and vice versa. I also read a blog post about things you can do with garlic scrapes (garlic shoots). So I'll be harvesting my first crop later to add to homemade humus.

Did you see that the spring onions are already sprouting? I intend to plant some more and harvest them as needed.

I also planted slices of tomato in quite a deep pot. The man on You Tube says it works. We'll see. The main thing is to keep everything moist. I think our rains have finished for this year so it'll be up to me. I tend to forget but I'm going to make a special effort not to this time.

Next stop lettuce and radishes and assorted herbs. Watch this space.

Monday, April 13, 2020

It Takes A Month - Tween Theory

Sock Party
It has been a month. The last day of school was Thursday 12th March. During that time I have asked, nagged, shouted at, and begged DD to tidy her bedroom.

Every time I heard, "I'm bored," I suggested she tidy her bedroom. Eventually the complaint evolved into, "I'm bored and I'm not tidying my bedroom (or reading a book)."

I also suggested that she do the washing up, make her own supper, take the rubbish down, and do various other small tasks to contribute to the running of the household. Some of these have been done but rarely without attitude.

It's not that I've created a monster. It's lockdown cabin fever and tween hormones all bubbling away just below the surface.

DD's bedroom was cleaned for Pesach in that we changed the bed clothes (she helped me do this), dusted, hoovered and mopped the floor. However, all the stuff on the floor was shifted to the desk, the bookcase and the chest of drawers. Two storage baskets on the chest of drawers were piled high with random stuff. The bookcase was a mess. The desk top was hidden under it all. Storage boxes had enjoyed sleepovers with other storage boxes and nothing had returned to its proper home. No amount of nagging would get DD moving on this. She wasn't ready.

Mine, hers, and throw out
Yesterday we had a sock party. As we are the same sock size and have been sharing for some weeks, we collected all the socks and piled them on my bed. Then we sorted them out into mine, hers and throw out. DD was very happy with her organised sock drawer after the cull. Things were beginning to stir.

Later that night she went through her collection of three years worth of shoes and pulled out those that are too small or too scruffy.

This morning she asked me if she could clean the patio doors as they were annoying her. This was one of the cleaning tasks I'd not got to last week. There was a sand storm on the day of the big clean so there was no point. Anyway, DD cleaned the window to the balcony.

Next thing I know she's organizing all her storage boxes and baskets, drawers, bookcase, and wardrobe. There's a pile of paper to go to the paper recycling bin. There's a bag of rubbish to throw out. Various items have been added to the donation cupboard.

So my hypothesis for tweens under lockdown is that it takes month. Anyone care to back me up?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

How Was It For You? - Seder R2BC

We more or less followed the agenda laid out yesterday. I popped out to the synagogue service stretching down the road below me at 5 m intervals, by stepping out onto my balcony.

I finished cooking and laid the table for our seder with the matza and the seder plate full of the symbolic foods needed for the service. I was particularly proud of burning a carrot instead of the usual burnt shank bone of lamb. It symbolizes the pascal lamb and the shape suggests that God brought us out of Egypt with an outstretched arm. The carrot did the job admirably.

At 8.30 we went outside to sing Ma Nishtana (why is this night different from all other nights?). I thought it was a building initiative but turned out to be the whole of Israel! This is my 1st Reason 2B Cheerful. I wrote about it on face book...

I am crying with emotion. The whole of Israel went out onto their balconies at 8.30 and we all sang Ma Nishtana together. You could hear it loudly from all over Jerusalem. The singing echoed through the hills. And then we all shouted Chag Sameah Am Yisrael! (A happy festival to the people of Israel!) It was wonderful and also heartbreaking that we are in this situation. So many people I know have died (friends and relatives of friends in England). And yet tonight the whole country sang together and were uplifted for 10 minutes. Chag Sameah!

DD and I then ate our dinner. Suddenly I heard loud singing from the stairwell. The two apartments on the floor below were holding their seders in their hallways with their front doors open so that they could do it together.

My next-balcony-neighbour, Esther, threw over
The Hogwarts Haggadah (seder service book)
for DD. It's a lot of fun. Full of points of interest
linking Pesach to Harry Potter.
Thank you Esther. We loved it!
Our seder started at 10.30 (8.30 English time). My B-i-l is a doctor and working long shifts atm so an earlier start wasn't possible. And then we zoomed.

It was amazing for two minutes. So this is my 2nd R2BC. The 12 of us who are usually together were in five different homes. And during the seder other family members zoomed in from other seders to say hello. As I said, it was all very exciting for about two minutes and lovely to see everyone, but not the same as being together in the same room.

It all got a bit complicated as I couldn't hear clear instructions. There are three matzas and you use different matzas at different times. Zoom keeps switching to the person speaking the loudest. At one point I was asking, "which matza do we use? Are we eating it with the parsley or with the bitter herb? DD stopped me.
"What difference? Do what you like." She was right. I drank the fifth cup of wine even though we were only officially on the second cup out of four.

My nephew in charge of tech kept muting everyone to try to keep with the programme. In effect this meant that at times we were singing to ourselves. My brother, who works in IT, and S-i-l claimed technical difficulties and took a long furlough. By the time the festive meal (for them, we'd already eaten) came round at 10.30 (12.30 am for us) we'd had enough and we didn't go back for the second half with the songs at 1.15 in the morning. I felt a bit depressed so I ate the potato salad I'd made for today's lunch (DD doesn't like it) and went to bed.

As they have another seder night tonight (only for those outside Israel) and unlike yesterday, I've had a restful day, I might join them for the second half tonight. This will be my 3rd R2BC. That I don't have to sit through the whole thing this time and that we can see everyone again.

The R2BC linky is on Becky's Lakes Single Mum. And may I take this opportunity to wish all my Christian friends a very happy and safe Easter. xxx

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Twas The Hour Before Seder

Ready for Seder a deux
Pesach starts in just under one hour. The Seder Night, tonight  in Israel and tonight and tomorrow night outside of Israel, is ironically going to be all topsy turvy for us. Ironic because the word means 'order' alluding to the specific order of doing things. You can read about it here. 

Before I get into tonight's seder, I want to answer my question from yesterday. Is it possible to spring clean my whole home in one day? The answer is no. Two days? Possibly when I was 25 but not now. By half way through the second day (today) Hurricane Pesach Cleaning was degraded to Random Friday in April Cleaning. There are things which didn't get done. Does it bother me? Yes, a bit, but now that I'm almost there I will do those things over the next week. Three days and I would have nailed it. 

Now for this evening's programme. At 18.45 my building is doing the evening service from their balconies. Then everyone will go inside and start their own seder (but not us). At 20.30 all the neighbours are coming out onto the balconies to sing Ma Nishtana together (see below). That concludes the communal part of the seder at this end. 

Ma Nishtana means 'what's different?' Traditionally the youngest present sings the song comprising of four questions about the evening, each starting with the refrain: Why is this night different from all other nights? The next part of the seder is answering the questions. This year everything is so different I think it's fitting for us all to sing it together. 

Our seder is starting very late at 22.30 because we are zooming it with my family in London where it will be only 20.30. My B-i-l, a doctor at Northwick Park Hospital, is working 12 hour shifts and can't guarantee to be ready any earlier. 

The 10 - 12 of us, depending on who's going zooming where, will be in five different homes this year. So DD and I will probably eat our festive meal before it starts instead of in the middle as usual. We'll go and amuse ourselves during the 'intermission' and come back for the songs at the end. 

It's been pointed out that this year is the closest seder to the original seder night in Egypt the night before the exodus. On that night the Israelites were told to stay indoors while the final plague was wrought upon the Egyptians. In fact, the whole of Israel is on real lockdown tonight. From last night we weren't allowed to leave our neighbourhoods and tonight we aren't allowed to leave our homes. It's to stop people visiting each other for the seder. We won't be daubing our doorpost with the blood of a pascal lamb though. 

For those not as lucky as I am to be able to zoom with family tonight, there are full seders on tv and other streaming platforms. 

So that's it. Thoroughly surreal and, in a way, interesting. I wish all those celebrating tonight a happy and safe Pesach. Chag Sameach! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Spring Clean In A Day?

Fresh produce from Kibbutz Alumim
Like Tim Urbans' famous TED Talk about procrastination, I had plans to clean my apartment for Pesach, one room a day, over the course of a week. Similarly my Instant Gratification Monkey took the helm and I was steered away from cleaning and towards other important things like Facebook, WhatsApp, You Tube, Netflix, and Sky News. Until I realized that there was only one full day until Pesach starts on Wednesday evening and the Panic Monster woke up.

This was the plan: Fly Lady Shmylady,  I was going to do the whole thing in a day. Get up early, give each room one hour on a timer, as I've done before, and then go round at the end finishing off.

This is where it started to unravel: My fruit and vegetable order from the kibbutz was supposed to arrive yesterday. (Btw, it wasn't produce for export. Exports went as usual. It was the school lunches contracts that left them with a mountain of spare produce.) They didn't give a time so at 7 pm I texted my friend whose son was organizing the deliveries and asked if I should be worried. The answer came back that it should be soon. Fine with me. At 10.30 I called her. They were running late. Meanwhile I'm also texting with other friends in different neighbourhoods and monitoring who had received and who hadn't. In the end there were only two of us left. At 1.45 am I got a phone number. "Oh we've finished for tonight, it'll be early tomorrow morning."

This is the first time they've done anything like this. My friend's son is about 25 and his right hand man was another friend's son aged 19. There was a huge learning curve. I went to bed.

Obviously I wasn't up at 5 am to begin cleaning. But after coffee, making DD a plate of fruit so that she'd not bother me for food for a few hours, and checking social media, I was ready to start at 10.30. And I increased the time for each room to 1.5 hours to be realistic. This is Spring/Pesach cleaning after all.

I started in my bedroom. I moved furniture and was confronted with the fact that we've not stayed in Israel for Pesach for years. But I took my laptop with me and put on Neil Diamond. "I am I said, to no one there, and no one even replied, not even the chair." Well that was true at least - I tried it.

At 11.30 the vegetables arrived. Woohoo! So I had to take the time to put them away. It would have been silly to fill the fridge before wiping it down so I half cleaned the fridge as well. And then I had to post all over Facebook and WhatsApp that I'd got my order and thank everyone involved.

Back in the bedroom Neil had left the building and Abba was up next. The timer went off but I was owed time so I nudged it on to 12.30. But at 12.30 I'd not changed the bed clothes. You can't clean a whole room and not change your sheets. So I stripped the bed, put everything straight in to the washing machine (apart from the one pillow case that got left on the bed), and remade the bed. FINISHED!

Except that I had to bring yesterday's three loads of laundry in from the balcony to make room for the sheets. It was still slightly damp in places. I'd have liked to leave it outside for a few more hours but time and Tide wait for no man so in it came. I flung it all over my bed to finish drying.

And then I had to sit down for a bit. Also the battery on my laptop was about to run out. Obviously I have plug points in my bedroom but I took it as a sign. DD asked for some lunch. I told her take a tub of cottage cheese and scoop it up with crisps. "Yes chocolate for dessert is fine."

So now it's almost 2.30 in the afternoon and I've done only one room. But I'm not done yet, or even done in. Onwards and upwards.

Monday, April 6, 2020

10 Things I've Learned

Here is a list of 10 things I've learned while we've been in lockdown. 

1. In an emergency, and using four garden chairs for extra hanging space, I can push my clothes line to hold three loads of wet laundry whereas I always thought I was limited to two. But three is the limit.

2. With no time limits on anything and with all the time in the world, I'm getting much less done than I would in a normal working week. This validates the saying that jobs expand to fit the time available and, to some extent, if you want something done ask a busy person.

3. Countries need to be more self-sufficient in terms of agriculture and manufacturing. Individuals should be willing to buy less but pay more for local purchases, hopefully of better quality than purchases from countries where they exploit cheap labour and produce cheap goods.

4. I find myself wanting to avoid Tnuva products. Tnuva is Israel's biggest dairy conglomerate. In 2014 a controlling stake was bought by a Chinese company. Otoh, they bought it from a London based company. Otoh, we're here on the ground so if we need to take back control in an emergency situation I suppose we could. Otoh, I know nothing about global economics or international law. Meanwhile I find myself avoiding Tnuva where possible.

5. After about three years of serious decluttering and minimalizing possessions, it was very useful to find an old headscarf bandanna thingy (in fact I found two) that DD was given in nursery school for Independence Day about eight years ago. I don't even know why I kept them as they don't fit our heads as headscarves and we'd never want to wear them anyway. However, one of them made a great face mask for when I went to the supermarket yesterday.

6. I'm more scared of our police than I am of the virus. There've been reports of the police being over zealous and handing out 500 shekel fines to people walking to the supermarket or just walking within the permitted 100 m of their home. Yesterday I went to the smaller, less well stocked, and more expensive supermarket nearer my home because I was nervous about meeting the police on the way to the bigger, cheaper supermarket about half a kilometer away. And wearing the mask was also part of this fear even though masks are not yet law.

7. I have very little authority over how my 11 year old daughter spends her time at home.

8. Some of my doctor and nurse friends are seriously scared for their lives.

9. Neighbours who used to argue over the building maintenance and especially about paying for it, are all wonderful, supportive, kind, selfless, and thoroughly nice people. Who knew?

10. I can almost live on half my salary. I found this out after one of my two jobs put me on unpaid leave.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Show Must Go On!

A quick post for whoever hasn't heard that Andrew Lloyd Weber with Universal is giving us a night of musical theatre every week. On Friday evenings at 7 pm BST (9pm Israel time) a movie of one of his musicals will be available on You Tube. Search: THE SHOW MUST GO ON. This week was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. You can still watch it until Sunday night. (Tomorrow is Sunday for those who've lost all track of time.)

We watched it tonight after Shabbat. It was so clever how they staged it as a school production because, of course that's how we were all introduced to Joseph back in the 1970s.

The cherry on the cake was Donny Osmond playing Joseph. They called it puppy love, but I had a poster of him in my bedroom way back when. Richard Attenborough as Jacob was fun to spot. And when Potiphar's wife appeared I thought, "doesn't she look like Joan Collins?" In fact it was Joan Collins.

DD was surprised by Joseph's character at the beginning: "Wow, he's so arrogant. That's not what they said about him in Bible lessons at school.

She got a kick out of Pharoah: "He sounds like that old rock and roll singer."
Me: "Elvis Presley."
DD; "Yeah him."
Me: "He's supposed to. That's the point."

I did see her giggle when Joseph told Pharoah, "All those things you saw in your pyjamas, Were a long range forecast for your farmers."

But when they sang, Those Canaan Days... DD: "Why do they all sound French?"
Me: *sigh*

Anyway, I loved it. I sang along to the whole show. I remembered every line and every harmony. Every bap shwaddywaddy and every ahh-a-a. Finally it came to an end. I was still singing, "May I return, to the beginning." DD said, "Can I go now?"
Me: *sigh*

Friday, April 3, 2020

A Live Concert - R2BC

In a week of much loss, there are still some Reasons 2B Cheerful. If you want to read more cheerful posts, you can find them on Becky's Lakes Single Mum, the home of the R2BC linky. 

Neighbours That Pray Together
I wrote last week that we prayed from our balconies to allow one neighbour to say the mourners' Kaddish prayer in a minyan (a quorum of 10 men). Then on Shabbat we heard that another neighbour's father had died. Instead of only Shabbat services from our balconies, the neighbours arranged for services three times a day for the shiva period of mourning seven days after the funeral.

A Concert
This morning a lorry with a stage parked itself right opposite our building and a half hour concert was performed. We all stood on our balconies and danced and clapped. Some people from other buildings came and stood in the street and the police patrolled to make sure that family groups kept 2 metres apart. It was half an hour of pure fun. Jumping up and down in the sunshine didn't hurt either.

The lorry moved on to another street corner and two hours later I can still hear the music getting fainter each half hour as they work their way around Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

Vegetables From The Kibbutz
I've ordered a box of fruit and vegetables. My friends' agricultural kibbutz are stuck with a load of fruit and vegetables that they can't export as usual. Thus they've set up a box delivery service to your door. They're delivering fruit and vegetables that you order online, to different parts of the country each day. Jerusalem is on Monday.

There've been loads of jokes and cartoons about how we're all getting fat from being stuck at home all day with nothing to do but eat. It's funny but it's not funny. We were grazing between meals, losing track of how many meals we'd eaten, unsure about what to classify as a snack and what to call a meal, etc... I was putting on weight and I could see that DD was also beginning to.

We had a serious talk about health, food and finances. DD's annoyed that we have no more snacks left but she also understands that we have enough proper food to last us until Tuesday, after the fruit and vegetables arrive on Monday. She is also coming to terms with the fact that I may make dishes that she'd not normally eat (like fried rice with egg and vegetables - I don't mean escargot or eels) and that she has to eat it or go hungry.

My big adjustment was letting go of the things I have in the freezer. Having filled the freezer to help us through this time of limited shopping, I was reluctant to use any of the frozen food. There's a certain reassurance in having a full freezer and it can be alarming to see the stocks run down. However, if you don't eat the food you've only fed the freezer and not yourselves.

My discomfort in eating out of the freezer was more than balanced by my pleasure in spending much less on food this week.

I wish you a safe and healthy week with many Reasons 2B Cheerful.