Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm so 3008, you're so 2000 and late

A little something which brought some energy into my lethargic Sunday.

Go on...I know you wanna go and play this again and again while dancing in front of the mirror....go ahead....see if you chickens can jack my style....copy my swagger..... (and hey, Eurolush, mwah!!).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cheesecake Festival

Guess what? It's the cheesecake festival - Shavuot. (Also known as cheese blintz festival, ice-cream festival and whipped cream my family anyway).

This is what I was listening to 35 years ago as I celebrated Shavuot:

The 1st song's chorus is "Only this, and no more, I can do without all of the rest," and each stanza describes a wish, e.g. "That this festival will be happy," "That everything will be the same as last time, the tree green, the sea blue," "That my rose will bloom so I can give it to Orit as a present, and that she'll be the prettiest in the class, and that's it...for now."

The 2nd song (around minute 4) describes the giving of the Torah (Old Testament) on Mt. Sinai. I'm not sure that the hats and canes are of any relevance, but this song is part of my childhood psyche! "That's probably how it happened, when they received the Torah...smoke, silence, no birdsong, even angels didn't say a word..." The dance moves, the dance moves, what.can.I.say???!!!

The 3rd song (at round minute 6) was and is my total favourite, and I still know most of the words by heart. On Shavuot in Israel (and in most Jewish schools around the world) the children bring baskets filled with fruits and line up in procession, singing about the "bikkurim" - the farmers' ripening fruits. "What do I have in my basket? You ask, one plum, two onions, a radish with two leaves, a bright red strawberry, two potatoes, light from the sun, a tune from a song, and also a red rose..."

Chag sameach (happy festival) everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


From my little study at the front of the house I can often hear the conversations of people walking by. A few minutes ago a power-walker just raced past, singing to himself "When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek...."

I bet my grandpa sent him to me this morning, with that message.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009


So what did you want
When you started the trip?
When the buds were still tight
And the leaves wouldn’t rip.

Did you want to be soil
With a planting sun’s shine?
Or the fruited red smoothness
Of a fertile time?

All your plans which you made
On those dark, moonlit nights,
Did they have in them teardrops
And loud angry fights?

I’m sure that they didn’t
And I’m sure you’ll agree
That your garden today
Has not one single tree
Which you planted yourself
Many many years back.

Only when will you notice?
You can follow a track.

When will you notice
That the track which is there
Can be followed with footsteps
And tender soft care?

And the ferns and the raindrops
Which grow in dark mists
Can be as loving and sweet
As the years that you missed.

So continue the trip
And don’t ever turn back,
For the past is a fool’s path
When you’re on the right track.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stand up

Yesterday morning Mr. Commentbox and I decided to go to the Sydney Writers' Festival.

You may remember last year's post about the Festival, and I must say that my experience this year was quite different. Last year everyone seemed so fascinating, while this year everyone seemed somewhat pretentious. Perhaps my view of writing has changed since last year, perhaps it's changed because I've been blogging for a whole year. Blogging has stopped me from thinking of writing as something mysterious that's done only by a few precious artists who have a godlike gift. I now think of writing as something that has the power to make me and other people happy. Yes! Happy! Why spend time reading and writing if it isn't fun??!! Something is well written if it has the power to make the reader forget his/her reality and experience something different and enjoyable. Nothing annoys me more than being told that a book is a great read...but badly written. Impossible.

So the one session which Mr C and I attended was perfectly chosen for my new frame of mind - "Will the Real Writer Please Stand Up?" It was medicine for my soul.

Imagine these four characters sitting in front of a packed room of people of all backgrounds and ages: Sarah Blasko, Miles Merrill, Emmanuel Jal and Chris Bray.

Are they all writers? You betcha!!

I wished that all of you, my fellow bloggers, could have attended this session. I thought of you as I sat and listened to these young writers take words and twist them into unique shapes...... because it's what you and I do each and every day. Yes, it is!

Each of these word-artists performed a little bit for us, and then they talked very casually (not one smidgen of pretentious arty-fart to be heard). At the end of the hour Sarah Blasko and Emmanuel Jal recited/sang a poem/song together, and you would have love it.

Even though you couldn't be with me yesterday I shall show you a bit of what it was like. Firstly, here is Ms Blasko with her latest poem/song:

And here is Mr Jal with his song "Emma" (Emma was the British aid worker who rescued him from Sudan) which he sang for us yesterday - we all stood up and danced along with the words and music.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wild weather

It's very hard to believe that this is the same beach I photographed before, isn't it?

To say that it was an extremely windy morning would be an understatement. It was actually hard to walk in a straight line, and wind whipped up the sand and flung it into my face as the rain bucketed down. But this did not stop me from taking photographs, because I simply had to show all of you how my beach looks on such a blustery day.

To my surprise, there was one other person at the beach this morning:

She was obviously training for the Berlin Marathon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photo time

I took a few photos last Sunday but never managed to post them...better late than never.

Mr. Commentbox, Blue (our Disreputable Dog) and I went for a walk along the cliffs, heading south:

We came across a group of elderly gentlemen preparing to dive in and race:

Blue had a refreshing swim. I prefer not to go into too much detail about the mad, joyful running which he did following the swim, followed by his fall into a deep crack in the rocks, his miraculous landing on an incoming wave, his being dragged out towards the open sea, and Mr. Commentbox's quick dash into the water to save his life.


Oh look...and here's moi posing with Valerie, who is best friends with Bernice, who just moved to Sweden.
Good night all......

Monday, May 18, 2009

And now, a different topic

Tonight I want to talk about jeans, because I think I have finally decided not to wear jeans any more. Ever.

I have always owned 2 or 3 pairs of jeans, and I have always treated them as a regular feature of my casual wardrobe. I don't think jeans suit me, and I find them to be very uncomfortable, yet still, day in, day out, I wear them. Why? WHY?

It seems that I have been lulled into believing that jeans are really the only option for a casual look, despite the fact that they always hang too low (I hate that person, whoever he/she is who first came up with the brilliant "low-rise" concept. HATE) or ride up too high. I hate the way the always hug my thighs tight, and I especially hate the way they make my bottom look like it's permanently "on show." But most of all I hate what they do to my stomach.

I have always had a rounded stomach, and I hate the way jeans make me feel about that. High-rise jeans squash my stomach so flat that I might as well be wearing a corset, low-rise jeans cut my stomach off halfway so that I have to strategically wear a long shirt which will never, ever, cling and thus show everybody my muffin-top. Jeans are hot in summer and provide little warmth in winter. All of the jeans I have ever worn also always shrink a bit after each wash so that they have to go through a "wearing-in" stage each time, until they stretch back to less uncomfortable, but still VERY uncomfortable wearability.

So why do I wear them?

Sheer habit.

And don't your DARE start writing comments about "that perfect brand of jeans which you discovered which would answer all of my prayers." I have tried everything, EVERYTHING, and it's all of absolutely no consequence IF, and I stress IF, you are a woman with a ROUNDED STOMACH.

I have also started looking more closely at the people around me who wear jeans, and I have to admit that most of them look BAD. Those few who look good in jeans all have FLAT STOMACHS. And by "flat stomach" I do not mean "skinny" as compared to "fat"....I mean that some women have ROUNDED STOMACHS. Like me. And some do not.


So. I have now decided to sport a skirt with leggings look, and I simply cannot believe how much better I feel. I can sit down without having my circulation cut off, and I've stopped constantly being aware of my stomach.

I just don't understand why it's taken me this long to realise that jeans are not my style?

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Sunday night sketching, before I iron the school uniforms and throw out the mouldy leftovers from the fridge.

Birdy searched for her queen.
Where might she be?
Sipping hot tea in London?
Cafe au lait in Paris?

Perhaps she is visiting
Rome’s famous fountain,
Or meeting a prince
On an Indian mountain.

Birdy flew fast and strong,
Her wings made up of letters
Which wrote magical words,
And behaved just like feathers.

Her words flapped
“Desperate to find her,”
And “Destination unknown,”
Then spread out “Must stay focused,”
And “On the map it’s not shown.”

While all this time Queen was using
Different wings of her own,
They were the wings of a stage
Far away from her throne.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eurovision time!!!

Hi everyone!

I'm writing this quickly from my parents' home, following our traditional Friday night dinner. I simply couldn't wait one second to let you all know that the Eurovision is on Aussie television RIGHT NOW. I think they have changed the format a bit and it might be broadcast over several nights instead of one.

I have just had the pleasure of watching the Czech Republic entry and I am so excited to bring it to you, with love to Julia:

Yom assal, yom bassal

That phrase means (in Arabic) "One day honey, one day onion." As my parents and I drove to our next destination on Tuesday, I mentioned to them that I had been in a foul mood on Monday, and my dad immediately sighed and said "Yom assal, yom bassal." So Monday was my onion day and Tuesday was my honey day....sums it up perfectly.

Oh...I need to apologise for the delay in the publishing of this instalment of my day with my parents. Mr. Commentbox arrived home this afternoon from a week-long business trip to New Zealand, and one of his first remarks was "I can't believe you kept us all hanging....I kept checking and checking your blog....and nothing!" Now, of course, you will all be hugely disappointed because my parents did not buy me a new car, or have me drive to the airport and get on a flight to Europe, or.........It was just a simple day really....really!

So, from the breakfast cafe we drove here - an auction centre which my mom had read about. We were not planning to buy anything, we were there to simply take in the atmosphere and people watch. At first, as we walked into the huge warehouse I had my doubts about the entertaining nature of the venue. But soon I found myself surrounded by tables, chairs, cupboards, rugs, spa baths, bird cages, very old children's toys, tacky paintings etc etc. Naturally, I had not brought my camera....sorry guys.

Believe me when I tell you that it was absolutely fascinating to see what people were willing to pay money for, and it was equally fascinating to see how much of the furniture was actually very good. The auctioneer (a tiny woman) was standing on a podium which was wheeled around by two men, and she was selling every single item in that entire warehouse. There was very heavy bidding on a rusted orange squeezer, a box filled with broken chandelier crystals, a VCR circa 1980, I kid you not!

As all of this was going on, trucks kept arriving at the other end of the building with more stuff. There were many men in saggy tracksuits buying old electrical appliances, several young couples probably looking to furnish their first apartment, a woman dressed in a funky skirt & leggings, holding an adorable baby and eyeing an armchair on which an elderly woman (dressed in her Sunday best) was sitting and nibbling on a tiny sandwich.

Even my dad had to admit that this made for excellent entertainment, GO MOM!!!! But people-watching is hungry we had to leave for our next adventure....stay tuned.......

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spoilt rotten

I hereby admit it, before any of you pass judgement on parents always have (and still do) spoil me. I have a childhood friend in Israel who still calls me "The Spoilt One," but it sounds better in Hebrew because it's all one word. - "Hamefooneket" Well, now that I got that out of the way let me tell you what I did on Tuesday.

As you may remember, my Monday was somewhat sad, for no apparent reason really. I was feeling so tired and apathetic that I almost called my parents to cancel the plans we had made for Tuesday.

Actually, I mother had made plans and then asked my father and me to keep Tuesday free for "some fun". We hadn't spent a day together, just the three of us, in a long time. It's always the six of us, or the four of us, but never the three of us. As usual, my mother instinctively knew that this day would be just what we needed.

I should add here that my mother is spooky that way. When she lived in another country from me, she used to send me parcels which would arrive on the exact day and time when they would make a difference to my mood. I'd receive a parcel with a colourful umbrella just as I was contemplating leaving the house on a rainy day with my broken one. Or I'd receive a book in the mail on the very day that I had read a review of the book and had planned to go buy it. Really.

So...Tuesday arrives and I drive to pick my parents up from the garage where they are giving their car in for service. My mother is also very practical, they wouldn't have the car for the day and so I could pick them up and drive according to her instructions. Mom (my mother is American and hates the word "mum" hence I use the American "mom") and Dad get into my little red hatchback, and Mom's giggling. Already. My mother IS Pollyanna, my father and I are not, she is always annoying us with her over-the-top exuberance. She then digs through her handbag and brings out a tiny soft toy - it's Noddy!!! I like to call my car "The Noddy Car," and she bought me a car mascot, the cutest little Noddy you ever saw in your whole life (I shall try to take a photo at some point). I immediately start cooing and clapping my hands and singing "Oh, look at you, cute little Noddy, you sit right here near the parking brake and keep me company in my Noddy Car. Beep, beep." I could see my dad in the rear view mirror rolling his eyes, but he loved it.

Destination number one - breakfast at Pain Quotidien, a cafe I had never been to before, why, why, how can it be? I KNOW, I thought I already knew all the best Sydney cafes. Turns out it's actually a global chain (but in a good way, really) and I found a great picture of the three spreads they give you with your DIVINE bread right here. Two different jams and one chocolate hazelnut spread TO DIE FOR, but don't's label said it's ORGANIC...and so my father and I kept repeating the phrase like a mantra as we helped ourselves to more, and more..."It's GOOD for you, it's ORGANIC..." We also had coffee in bowls, I love coffee in bowls.

Destination number two - Hmmmmm....I bet you can't guess.

Thing is, it's almost midnight here and I'm I'll have to keep you in suspense until tomorrow.


Night, night....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ellie and her knight

My mother's birthday is coming up and she requested a collection of some of my latest poems as a present. So this morning I was trawling through the mess of my computer documents (I'm a very messy and disorganised person when it comes to my filing systems, both real and virtual). To my great surprise I discovered part three of "Ellie's Poem," which I do dimly remember writing...but which I hadn't particularly liked and didn't want to use.

I read it again and, actually, I really love it now because it made me smile on a day which has been a tad depressing. You know, one of those Mondays when you stumble from one household task to the next, zombie-like, unable to muster even the smallest hint of joy, for no apparent reason, and then you feel guilty because things aren't so bad so what's your problem and why are you complaining?

So I figure that if the poem cheered me up, then it might well cheer some of you up too, if you too are suffering from the Monday blues.

I think this will be part three now. So part one is this one, then part two, and I suppose that Elzebeta Marionetta's letter will now be part four.

ELLIE’S POEM / Part three

The knight then began
To think of an answer,
Drumming his fingers
On Ellie’s soft comforter.

He looked at the ceiling
And then at the floor,
Cleared his throat several times
And counted to four.

With one hand Ellie held him,
Using the other to pat
Octavia Myrtle
Her tortoiseshell cat.

The knight then stood up
And started to pace
Back and forth on the blanket
And her pink pillow case.

He clasped his two arms
Behind his straight back
And mumbled quite gruffly
And his knuckles went “crack.”

Watching him,
Watching him,
Watching him closely,
Ellie’s brown eyes
Began to close very slowly.
Her upper lids drooped,
Then her eyelashes met,
Their two framing lines
Forming a soft wavy crest.

You know how a wave breaks
At the very beginning?
When it starts to near land,
Water sparkling and spinning?
That’s how her eyelashes
Looked to the knight,
At that darkest hour
Of sleeping delight.

Now Knight paced on her hand,
And it was his perception,
That freckles of sand
Made her glowing complexion.
And the moon at that moment,
As if knowing Knight’s quest,
Arrived at the window
And came there to rest.

The knight watched amazed
As the moon lit the black
With milk and some cookies
For a true midnight snack.
Knight then sipped warm moon-milk
From a thimble-sized cup,
And he nibbled a cookie crumb,
All the time looking up.

The moon never moved,
It just watched him enjoy,
And said “Chocolate chip’s good,”
And “You’re such a good boy.”

“I know that you worry
About your true quest,
But it’s late and you’re tired
And it’s better to rest.

In the morning you’ll rise
And all will be clearer,
You might even have grown
A whole half millimetre.”

With the hope of this change
The knight lay down his head,
And his small milk moustache
Left a white kiss
On the bed.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother Superhero

Oh, thanks RW...I forgot about "The Chosen"!! And Mary, yep..."Ice Castles" (what a shame we didn't know each other when we were girls) ...sigh...the line about the flowers was because Lexie had an accident and became blind, and Robby helped her learn to skate again, and she performed to a standing ovation while nobody in the audience knew she was blind...but then they threw flowers onto the ice for her....and she tripped over them because she couldn't see them, and so then the audience was completely silent and Robby walked towards her and helped her stand up and said: "I forgot about the flowers."


And now for something a little bit different, because tomorrow is Mother's Day. A song called "Goodnight Moon" which I first heard on the "Kill Bill" soundtrack, a film which I have always adored because it's such an entertaining kickass commentary on the power of a woman's love for her child.

** NB This clip contains a huge spoiler, but I figured that if you haven't seen "Kill Bill" yet then you never will, so it won't really matter.

Movie Trivia

You remember that clip I posted here showing some scenes from the 1973 film "Jeremy" starring Robby Benson?

Did any of you know that Robby Benson played Beast's role in Disney's 1991 "The Beauty & The Beast"?

There was another film in the 70s with Mr. Benson, let's see if anyone here dreamed of becoming an Olympic figure skating champion when they were young....I did. I watched this movie and cried my little heart out, but never could manage to balance on those skates. So come on people....anybody know the movie I'm talking about?

[Hint - "I forgot about the flowers"]

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bad, bad memer

I'm a bad, bad memer...I failed to pass on the meme (from a couple of days ago).

I am feeling inexplicably guilty for this.

So I am now officially apologising and passing the baton to Janet, rw, trashalou, Anna and BabelBabe. Oh, and also Beth - Eurolush's super sister, who could perhaps have another one of her fabulous guest appearances on E's blog?!

I'm looking forward to reading all of your answers, although I already know all about BabelBabe's latest obsession.

Happy weekend one and all.

Thanks BabelBabe

BabelBabe has a point, I didn't pay too much attention to the Twilight soundtrack...but now that I have, I must agree that Bella's Lullaby is divinely romantic. I suppose that's the best type of soundtrack, one which you don't notice when you see the film for the first time, because it simply blends in so perfectly.

So here it is, for your enjoyment:

Hey, BabelBabe...I also had to go look up RPatz, how crazy cool are you?!!

Oh, and Trashalou, I completely agree with you that the romance depends a lot on the fact that they do not touch at the beginning, and on Edward's restraint (ahem...).

By the way, did you know that the target audience for this film really turned out to be teenage girls...and their mothers?!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Why does it seem to me today that romance is GONE from popular culture? Songs and films are all about sex, sex, sex. It's starting to become boring and ugly...yet another song about getting it on, yet another movie with the compulsory sex scene....whatever.

When I was around 8/9 years old I had a teenaged babysitter who would put me to bed and then listen to records in the living room. I would lie with my ear to the wall and listen to the music, and she always played two particular songs, each and every time. I couldn't hear the lyrics, and I hadn't even hit puberty yet, and yet I would lie there in the dark and cry and cry and cry. You know, that really good crying, not because you're sad, but because you're filled with powerful emotion that's connected to something called love.

Now, please don't laugh at least, don't laugh in my commentbox, but I watched "Twilight" last week, and I think there's something about Edward and Bella that almost captures that old-fashioned notion of romance. But they don't have a tear-jerking theme song, and that's just wrong.

In any case, here are the two songs my babysitter loved, and which still make me cry.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Thanks for the meme dear Duyvken! It's been a busy week and I just noticed that I haven't posted since Friday...crazy...So I'm jotting this down very quickly as it's way past my bedtime. I should probably put in some links but I'm running out of time and energy. Oh, and tomorrow I'll pass the meme on to some of you...hmmm.....maybe it will by YOU??!!

Good night all xxxx

What are your current obsessions?
Blogging, writing the perfect limerick, sleeping.

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
My new scarf - white with black polka-dots and embroidered purple spirals.

What's for dinner?
Tapas nibblies at opening night of Spanish Film Festival, just a few sips of beer..had to drive home. Gave kids money to get pizza delivered.

What's your greatest fear at the moment?
That the ants currently invading the hallway of my house are, in fact, termites.

What are you listening to?
Prince - "She wore a raspberry beret, the kind you buy in a secondhand store. Raspberry beret, and if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more.....she walked in through the out door, out door, out door..."

If you were a goddess what would you be?
All-powerful and unforgiving.

What are your favourite holiday spots?
Lord Howe Island. Anywhere I don't have to cook, clean or entertain.

What are you reading right now?
"Lirael" by Garth Nix - The story of a girl, her Disreputable Dog, and a magical library shaped like a nautilus shell.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating chocolate late at night while standing at the kitchen counter in front of some crappy infomercial while the rest of the family is fast asleep.

Who or what makes you laugh?
The last time I had a really really good laugh was when I walked into the living room to find a softie my daughter made out of felt while I was sleeping, it was in the shape of a can of tuna with a face and it had a note on it that said “The shmexiest can of tuna you’ll ever see.” I ended up calling the can “Tina” and now she keeps me company as I cook dinner.

What is your favourite spring thing to do?
Wear my black birkenstock sandals.

Where are you planning to travel next?
Dreaming of taking Miss Commentbox overseas after she graduates High School. Possibly to America to visit her Uncle (my brother) and her four adoring cousins.

What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?
My mother’s chicken soup last Friday night.

When was the last time you were tipsy?
Saturday night two weeks ago when we were invited to our neighbours’ house for an Indian dinner. Mr. Commentbox bought them an expensive bottle of wine (so as to impress them) and I ended up drinking far too much of it. We buy ourselves the cheap wine so I hadn’t realised how good a really good red can taste.

What is your favourite ever film?
“International Velvet” for nostalgic reasons, but otherwise “Kill Bill” (1 & 2).

What is the biggest lesson you've learned from your children?
Everything always changes.

What song can't you get out of your head?
The sexed-up version of Jai Ho by the Pussycat Dolls.

What book do you know you should read but refuse to?
Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”....not so much refuse as try often and give up.

What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?
My fingernails look shockingly awful, I’ve been a biter and picker for many years, but I’m working on it, and it’s improving.

What is your favourite colour?
I don’t have one, but I generally don't really like pastels or pink.

Friday, May 1, 2009



Miss Commentbox and I just returned from an evening stroll and thought you should really see a picture of our beach at sunset. This is the southern end of the beach, and the pool is filled and emptied by the changing tide. There was one lone swimmer doing laps, and a very long and beautiful horizon.

Good night everyone.

Between the flags


What a difference a day makes. Bright sunshine, clear sky, still quite chilly but in an invigorating and optimistic way. In answer to Julia's question, yesterday's swell was not really that high at all, and the ocean can get much rougher than that here. I should also point out that this little beach is not visited by many surfers because the surf here is considered to be quite tame. The beaches to the north and south of us are surfing destinations, and I might wander down there next week and take some photos of them as well.

Here is a close-up of the bright blue of the ocean, for Beth, with love.

The water is actually at its warmest now, it felt really good on my feet...but that's as far as I got.