September 2014


Some of the things we think of as bad can also be good.

Cholesterol isn’t all bad. There’s bad cholesterol and good cholesterol.

And traffic isn’t all bad. There’s bad traffic.

Bad TrafficAnd there’s good traffic.

Blog StatsAccording to Totsy, traffic comes to your blog if you write about politics and sex. Hmm. How many times have I written about politics on this blog? Well, I did mention voting once. You can see me posting my ballot. And I wrote an ode to the PM’s wife. As far as I remember, that’s as far as it went.

And sex? Nothing. Zilch. But I can put that right, right now. Are you ready? Don’t you dare scroll down if you’re under eighteen or feeling squirmish….

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Yes, I know squirmish isn’t a word. That’s why you’re still here, isn’t it? So, about sex…. I’ve never written a sex scene. But in the novel I’m reading, The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine, the sex scenes are written beautifully. Just the right amount of detail, shown with passion and sensitivity. I will write more about this novel when I’ve finished it.

Sending good traffic your way….

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I was wondering what to write about the New Year that is almost upon us, but I decided others have written enough, and all I have to do is to point you to their posts.

  • Lisa explained what Rosh Hashana is about and even threw in examples of her art and a new recipe. And if you scroll down on her blog, you can read about her wonderful summer in Scotland.
  • Real Jerusalem Streets showed 20 signs of Rosh Hashana in Jerusalem.
  • Jacob Richman posted 42 videos, of which I chose 2:

Apple and Honey

Happy New Year!

Choice. Do we have it? Do we want it?

This morning, D had to leave home early and I chose not to get up early, too, and join him for breakfast. For my lone breakfast, I chose not to have my usual toast and coffee, and just to have muesli. Later, feeling cold as I sat at my computer, I chose to go outside and sit in the warm sun. I could have chosen to put on more clothes to get warm, but I didn’t. Even when the sun hid behind a cloud and I felt cold again, I chose to wait for it to come out again and warm me up.

Confused

Life is a series of choices, some harder to make than others. I often find it harder to make choices than I ought to because, subconsciously, I start to wonder what’s expected of me, or what a normal choice might be, or what someone else would like me to choose, rather than simply what I want. I couldn’t have said at the time, for instance, why I hesitated so much when someone said, “Breakfast will be later; do you want a cup of coffee now?” Later, I worked out why. It was because I was thinking: No, I don’t want coffee but am I expected to want coffee? Would it be the normal thing to want coffee before breakfast?

I was just pondering this thing called choice today when I read David Rory O’Neill’s current blog post, in which he asks, “Why do people choose to live here?” He’s talking about New York, a place that’s fascinating to visit but wouldn’t be my first choice of a home town either. In fact, I remember wondering the same thing decades ago when I visited New York in the middle of winter at -19°C. Fortunately, we’re not all the same and a lot of people choose to live in New York – otherwise it wouldn’t be there to visit.

Choosing where to live is usually a big decision. I made that choice long ago and am very pleased with what I decided. I also chose whom to marry and, as we’ve been together for donkey’s years and still get on well, that was definitely a good choice.

I’ve made bad choices, too, including one that I believe led to me getting social anxiety. But I want to stress that I didn’t know one would lead to the other. In fact, as I’ve said before and will say again:

No one chooses to have social anxiety.

Today I also discovered the lyrics of a song I’ve probably never heard: Freedom Of Choice by Devo. The song ends:

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want

Do you want freedom from choice? Do I? Do we? I wonder.

I’m going to have to give up counting at this rate!

My friend, fellow author and fellow Jerusalemite, Melina Kantor, interviewed me for the Contemporary Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA).

You can read the interview here.

We’ve been to Switzerland many times, with and without children. This time we did what we we always do. We rented an “apartment” – in this case one room the size of a small hotel room but with cooking facilities – and we went hiking, using our Swiss Pass to the full to get around the country on trains, buses and boats.

We had a lovely time. As we walked, we greeted the people we passed, and this is one of the fun things about Switzerland. Most of the time, we were in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, although German here is very different from the German I learned at school. The usual greeting is “Grussech” which apparently stands for “greetings to you”, but sometimes they say “greetings to everyone” or several other combinations. Some days we travelled to the French-speaking area and switched to “Bonjour.” In the Italian area, we said “Bonjourno.” The strangest walk was from the German-speaking to the French-speaking area, when we switched mid-walk.

But I want to tell you about three special encounters this time. The first was with one of the natives, and while I didn’t venture too close to her…

Me and Cow…the holiday wouldn’t have been the same without this one and all the others, crossing our paths, their bells dingling.

The second encounter was with someone you all know.

Me and Sherlock

We had a most interesting conversation together, but I couldn’t interest him in my bookmarks. I had to admit that there’s no crime to investigate in my book.

The third encounter was with this couple:

Cable car from Grindelwald to MannlichenWe got into a cable car for four and they followed us. The man said, “My country is Kuwait.” We smiled and D said, “We’re from Israel.” A few eyebrows were raised. They smiled when D spoke a few words in Arabic. We took photos of each other. That’s all.

Yes, I have returned from my holiday, during which I had some interesting encounters, which I will relate in a different post.

But first, my second ever author interview. This one is by Fiona Mcvie and it’s here.

The sun is shining, birds are twittering and peace has returned to my home country. Long may it last.