Before anything else, I was shocked 😉 to discover that not everyone has seen my video introducing Social Anxiety Revealed. If you’re one of those unfortunate people, here’s the link you need to sort it: [See it, say it, sorted. Don’t mind me; I’m just learning the lingo. See below.]

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“It’s been an awfully long time since you last wrote a blog post,” said everyone.

“I know,” I replied, “and I’m awfully sorry, but life got in the way again.”

“You haven’t been travelling again, have you?” said everyone.

“Actually, I have.” I gave a sheepish grin. “I’ve literally spent like the last six weeks in various like places in the UK.”

“Picked up the lingo, too,” said everyone.

“Just trying to blend in. I didn’t like it when two people I met in Cardiff thought I sounded foreign. I mean… well… if I don’t sound British, then what do I sound?”

Making Welsh Cakes

Making Welsh cakes in Cardiff market

“Weird?” suggested everyone.

“Yeah, but apart from that.”

“What have you been up to?” said everyone, clumsily changing the subject.

“I went geocaching around Wittenham Clump. I did belly dancing and zumba. I walked in Devon, Cambridge, the Lake District, Chess Valley and Richmond. I travelled in cars, buses, trains, planes, a bicycle and a boat.

Cycling in Devon

“I got detrained in Newark. I know I did, because the guard said so, so I don’t care about that red squiggly line that’s appeared below the word. (And no, I don’t want to change it to detained, retained or restrained, but if you annoy me any more, Spelling Checker, you may have to restrain me to prevent me from getting detained.)

“I spent five days at an Arvon retreat and have some great ideas about how to complete one of my works in progress.

Totleigh Barton

“I ate in various restaurants, including Mexican, Italian and Indian. I ate sandwiches a little too often. I ate food on planes that I didn’t particularly like. I enjoyed home cooking that I didn’t have to prepare. The most delicious thing I ate was cheesecake in a Turkish café in Chesham.

“I visited art museums and an old house. I saw a musical, two plays and a film.

“I read books, including one that I loved: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I also read from one out loud, while taking part in a book festival.

Reading

Reading from Neither Here Nor There

“I had two dogs and a cat on my lap… at different times. But most of all, I met and talked to lots of people and had a great time doing it. I hope they enjoyed my company, too.”

Swansea

“Sounds wonderful,” said everyone.

“It was!”

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As launch day for Social Anxiety Revealed draws close, activity surrounding the book is increasing.

My other half and I made this video:

And the blog tour has begun. So far there is only one post, but that is about to change!

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Val Penny

2 August, 2017

Book Review: The Mill River Recluse

 

 

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Released on August 22

The video of a Jew walking the streets of Paris wearing a kippa (yarmulke) and tzitzit (tassels) has received a lot of publicity. Zvika Klein, the journalist who did this, has been interviewed all over the world. Youtube is full of copies of the short video. Here is one of them:

In this interview, both interviewer and interviewee said they were “shocked at their shockedness,” meaning that they were surprised that people around the world were shocked at what happened to him.

I’m not shocked. I’m not even surprised.

Firstly, I’m not surprised it happened. The fact is, I’ve never felt comfortable as a Jew in Europe, and that goes a long way to explaining why I’m here in Israel. It’s not that I ever went around displaying my Jewishness. Just the fact that I was afraid to say I was Jewish, because I couldn’t know what people would think. Ordinary people – not Muslims. I don’t think I ever met any Muslims while living in England. Anti-semitism has become more visible in recent years, but it was always there.

Secondly, I’m not surprised that people are shocked. I think most people don’t understand what it’s like to live as a Jew in the diaspora, and if this video goes a little way towards explaining, then I’m glad.