November 2012


As I really don’t want this blog to become political or controversial, I think I’m better off not posting anything for now. Back soon, I hope!

This morning, I kept the Internet off so that it wouldn’t disturb me as I wrote. Then I turned it on despite knowing what I’d find. The usual tweets about writing, books, plumbing, birthdays, etc. are interspersed with serious and worrying tweets about things that are going on not a million miles from here. Facebook is just the same.

I can never get my head round this. I can’t concentrate on the usual everyday discussions when I know what else is happening. I’ll probably turn the Internet off again soon. When the background music gets too loud, it’s better to work without it.

Before I turn it off, I want to say something about NaNoWriMo write-ins, of which there have been two so far in Jerusalem.

The first was held in a central café. About eleven people attended, although three of those sat in a different part of the café  and didn’t find the others until they left! It wasn’t particularly comfortable balancing our laptops on the little tables, there were not enough electric sockets and we were bothered by cigarette smoke that wafted in from outside. But it was great to meet other writers, discuss our novel-writing progress and write together.

For the second write-in, I invited participants to my house. Only three others came, but again we had a very rewarding time, writing much more than we would have done alone.

I would definitely recommend this activity to anyone who is wondering about joining a write-in. Writing is often a lonely activity. Sometimes that’s good, other times it’s good to get together.

Do you know what our news sounds like? Some of it is like yours. There’s a lot about politics. Elections have just taken place in the US and will shortly take place here. Politicians argue. Crimes are committed. Accidents happen. Sometimes there are even good things on the news, although such reports seem few and far between.

And often, much too often, the newscaster mentions that our neighbours sent over a few rockets. The last statistic I heard was that 50 rockets had fallen since last night. Most of them do not cause injuries, but people have been badly injured by rockets. A million Israelis live under threat of rocket fire from Gaza. When they hear a siren, they have less than a minute to get to the shelter. If they have children, they have to listen to the news to hear whether schools will be open that day. What a way to live!

Those of us who don’t live in those areas are also affected by the news, because we care about our fellow countrypeople. Don’t you? News like that affects what we do and what we say. And so it should.

This post isn’t about taking sides. All I want to say is that people make judgements without knowing the facts. And they shouldn’t.

And the weather news is that winter has finally come to Jerusalem.

On Friday, I took a break from NaNoWriMo to join the second Scavenger Hunt for bloggers, run by Tali Tarlow of Jerusalem Scavenger Hunts.

At the first one, last February, I didn’t really know what to expect and found  it hard to join in, so I’m happy to be able to announce that I think I did better this time.

This hunt took place in the area of Nachlaot. I’ve been there many times. I even wrote about it as part of my A-Z blogs about Jerusalem. And yet I hadn’t noticed any of the sites we discovered on Friday.

Tali is excellent at explaining.

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We listened, enthralled.

We formed five groups, and poor Lisa and Robin had to suffer having me in their group for the second time. We were joined by Laura, who was experiencing scavenger hunting for the first time.

Laura and Lisa completing one of the tasks

We got lost and had to ask several people until we found one who could point us in the right direction.

We saw some interesting places.

And to round off the whole event, we were provided with delicious bread and soup, courtesy of Village Green, 5 Rachel Imeinu Steet.

We didn’t win, but we did better than last time!

Other blogs posts about this event:

Many thanks to Tali and her team for such an interesting and enjoyable morning.