October 2011


If you wandered around towns in Israel this past week, you will have seen strange constructions dotted around, fitted into every possible space – on the ground and on balconies. They’re temporary dwellings to remind us of similar dwellings in which the Children of Israel lived during the forty years that they wandered through the desert.

Yes, it was the festival of Succoth, during which Israelis, religious and secular, honour the tradition of building, eating in and sometimes sleeping in booths. I was lucky enough to be invited to eat in the Sukkah of David and Ruth:

In this wonderfully-decorated sukkah, I was treated to a delicious vegetarian meal and delightful company.

***

In other news, the Society of Authors has now made a recording of the Twitter story, for which I contributed the last line – read by a real actor. Here it is:

Yes, I have decided to reveal all. I realise this could have serious consequences for me, notably that they’ll be coming to take me away. I just don’t know who “they” are.

So this is it. I promise I didn’t make this up. No, in fact I borrowed it from mapelba, who wrote it this comment: “I was a first class criminal in high school. I broke the laws of fitting in.”

A great comment. I could have said it myself. If I’d been clever enough.

***

My next post may well highlight the wide diversity in shapes and sizes of boo….

Until next time 🙂

I think this video, which I discovered via the Mind site, describes social anxiety very well. It’s not all that similar to my experience, but it’s typical:

Having met people who claim to have rid themselves of anxiety but don’t appear to have done, I think this sentence makes a lot of sense:

You never get rid of anxiety completely, but you learn to manage it.

Do you want to know what makes a writer tick?

Here are a couple of facts. The first is brilliantly funny. It’s here.

And if you’re still in the mood for something more serious, this is what Amos Oz says in A Tale of Love and Darkness:

… that sour blend of loneliness and lust for recognition, shyness and extravagance, deep insecurity and self-intoxicated egomania, that drives poets and writers out of their rooms to seek each other out, to rub shoulders with one another, bully, joke, condescend, feel each other, lay a hand on a shoulder or an arm round a waist, to chat and argue with little nudges, to spy a little, sniff out what is cooking in other pots, flatter, disagree, collude, be right, take offence, apologise, make amends, avoid each other, and seek each other’s company again.

The period Oz is discussing was a century ago, but what he says is still true today, the difference being that you can now do some of those things without leaving your room.

Happy writing!

If you’re as old as me and grew up in the UK, you’ll probably remember watching two puppets, who used to say things like “Loblob” (for “lovely”) and “Flobberpop” ( for “flowerpot”). If you want, you can see them here:

I suppose that’s where this post’s title comes from, although it’s only vaguely connected to the topic.

Amos Oz’s grandmother used to say:

If you have no more tears left to weep, then don’t weep. Laugh.

I know that because I’m reading his memoir: A Tale of Love and Darkness.

I’ve shed a few virtual tears here about my childhood and what it did to me. Perhaps it’s time to laugh about it. If I can….