July 2012


Boaz, the friendly dance instructor has taught this dance twice recently, so he won’t be teaching it again. He’s also put up a video of it on YouTube.

But I still don’t get part five. It’s hard. And the next folk dancing session is this evening. Oh well…. I’ll fake it as usual.

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The challenge: to write 104 words including:

…. the line was drawn ….

Julia said this was simple, but I found it hard to decide what to write until I remembered the way we had to write up science experiments at school. And the green squiggly lines that appear whenever I use the passive voice.

The Experiment

Aim: To draw a straight line.

Tools: Pencil, paper, ruler, sharpener.

Method: The pencil was inserted into the sharpener and turned until it was sharpened. The paper was placed on a flat surface, the ruler was placed on the paper and the pencil was placed against the ruler. Keeping the pencil adjacent to the ruler, the line was drawn.

Result: The paper was found to contain a straight line.

Conclusion: It is assumed that a straight line can always be drawn in this way.

Evaluation: Passive voice has been used throughout this write-up. Unhappiness has been felt by a certain word processor.

If you want to have a go, click on the picture.

I hesitate to file this post under Everyday life in Israel. What happened yesterday doesn’t happen every day. Ten years ago, it felt as if it did. Then a fence was built and, without going into a discussion about whether it was good or bad, it cut down on the number of attacks. Considerably.

So now they attack us in other countries.

When these things happen, everyone knows, everyone listens, everyone feels the loss, even if the victims were unknown to them. And everyone continues as usual and pretends everything is normal because there’s no choice. Perhaps, in this country, that is normality.

Oh, and we write about it. We write about trying to be normal, and we write about how a comedian responds. I’m not a comedian and I’ve never made a good job of trying to be normal, but I’m Israeli and I wanted to say something about this attack on this day.

The prompt this week is:

…the rain turned the road into a river…

I think my story has a moral. I haven’t quite worked out exactly what it is!

A Stranger in Floodtown

The rain turned the road into a river. Fortunately the drivers of Floodtown were used to this. As soon as the water level reached their car’s chassis, they pressed the button marked float. The wheels slowly vanished inside the frame and the bottom of the vehicle became more rounded. The drivers waited until the water level was high enough for floating. Then they continued their journey.

Today, Floodtown had a visitor: Darcie from Droughttown. She waited in her car watching all the other cars turning into boats and expecting the same to happen to hers. By the time she realised it wouldn’t, it was too late. Darcie drowned.

Life is strange. So is language. Stroppy Author and Catdownunder both blogged recently about the lack of words in English to describe a situation that we tend to feel is too hard to talk about. I thought of a word that’s missing in Hebrew: assassination. Perhaps it’s right that it’s missing. A leader who is murdered is a human being. All murders are equally bad. Then I thought of another missing word: bullying. That’s an oversight, in my opinion.

When you leave your country of birth to live in a country where a different language is spoken, things happen with your native tongue. Sometimes you forget words, because you’re more used to saying them in the new language. Sometimes new concepts appear and you hear them only in the new language. Sometimes people in the old country find new ways of saying things and you don’t know them.

For example, when I left Britain, “Oh right,” meant, “Do you know I’d forgotten all about that. Thank you for reminding me.” Or something like that. At some stage, on a visit back to my former home country, I realised its meaning had changed. Now it means, “Oh really? I never knew that.”

For years I felt cut off from the changing language. Now that I’m able to listen to BBC Radio 4, I’m more in touch. I know that young interviewees will start most sentences with the word, “So.” And I’ve finally learnt the expression, “to raise awareness,” which is what I want to do to social anxiety.

But when I asked recently how I should say I have social anxiety and people replied, “I live with social anxiety,” I thought that sounded strange. I thought I’d never heard that use before, but I think I had really. I just hadn’t taken much notice of it and certainly hadn’t taken it on board. It was part of my passive vocabulary – the parts I understand but don’t think of using.

And what’s the point of all this rambling? So (yes, I’m pretending to be young) the other day on Woman’s Hour, I heard this: “I don’t live with HIV; HIV lives with me.”

I let that sentence revolve several times in my brain. What did it mean? What does it mean? I wonder if it’s this: she doesn’t let HIV rule her life; HIV happens to be there, but she ignores it as much as possible and gets on with her life.

Taking control of SA

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Can I apply that to social anxiety? I don’t think so. It comes up too often; it’s the cause of too many things that I wish were different. But that’s something I can aim for. It sounds much more possible than aiming to get rid of social anxiety.

Click the image if you want to join in

I didn’t take on last week’s challenge – to include the words: I blamed it on the dog.What do I know about dogs? I thought. Yet this week….

The challenge is to include:

…Murray was just about to serve for the Championship when…

Championship Point

Murray, the Scottish Terrier, and Federer, the Swiss Greyhound, were arguing again.

“I’m small and can retrieve things from small places.” Murray stuck his chin up in the air, although it was still well below Federer’s eye level.

“I can run faster and fetch things more quickly.” Federer smirked at Murray from his great height.

They agreed to hold a contest to determine, once and for all, which of them was better able to serve their master.

At the final test, they were still neck-and-neck. Clutching the slipper between his jaws, Murray was just about to serve for the championship when the heavens opened and rain stopped play.

The world I grew up in was very different to today’s world. I would go to school expecting a day of bullying. But I also knew that it would end – that I would come home and be free of it. Lonely but not tormented.

Nowadays, bullying invades homes. On mobile phones, on social media, the four walls are no longer enough to protect children. What a world!

Fortunately, I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of cyberbullying. Not even second-hand. But someone asked me to share this graphic she helped to create, and she’s keen to receive comments and thoughts. I’m doing it because I can’t imagine how awful it would be to never be able to escape the bullies.

That graphic describes the situation in the US. This site gives advice for those in the UK.

Some of us try to make the world a better place, but new challenges keep appearing.