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All posts for the month April, 2010

LADY IN WHITE

Published April 25, 2010 by jean cohen

Boo keeps asking “Did you ring So and So to tell them we’re coming home for a visit?”  (I guess it is our home now; Boo’s an honorary JAP American by association.)

 

“No, Boo” I keep apologizing.  “I haven’t been home for ten minutes except to change outfits for days.”  At least when the people I need to ring are awake.

 

This leads to a new confession.  I got confused again.  But it’s entirely Computer Guy’s fault.

 

The last time he was here fiddling with Mario he changed the time zone on the clock.  To Pacific Standard Time.  Which would have been perfectly fine if I needed to call Leo Verrechio in California.  Which I don’t.

 

I didn’t notice.  When I check the laptop to see what time it is in the States, I, like, believe it. I don’t ask for a second opinion. 

 

I was on line and I got a message from Divine, who’s still stranded in America.  I sent her a quick reply, commenting ‘What are you doing up?  It’s 4:00 in the morning there.”

 

“Well… no, Jeano” she wrote back.  “It’s 7:00.”

 

“Are you sure” I inquired.  It never hurts to check these little details.

 

“Of course I’m sure” she told me.  “I’m stuck here and you’re there so I know what f*cking time it is.”  

 

I just recommended that she cut out the grits and hushpuppies, and chill.  And that maybe some coffee and fags would help.

What I finally did is just send an email blast to everybody who rates some of my Jeano-ness while I’m there.  So I think we’ll be crisscrossing the tri-State area like lunatics.

 

Boo was over and we were sitting in the garden.  We’d been shopping- for plants.  I bought two purple-y ones, two yellow-y ones and some red ones and she had to stick them in pots or whatever you do with them when you get them home.  I graciously offered to make the coffee.

 

All of a sudden, she said “Your cases!”

 

I pondered this.

 

“Is that what the purple thingys are called” I asked. “You know.  Like “Wow your ‘cases’ are as high as an elephant’s eye!  And purple.”

 

“No, Jeano… your suitcases!  They’re in Australia!”

 

Oh shit.  So they are.  Good thing Boo remembered before I had to start packing.  Trust my goddamned luggage to go off on holiday in the Outback just when I need them.  I guess PPeter wouldn’t send them home so I could borrow my own luggage.

 

“Oh shit” I said, rather redundantly. “What am I supposed to do next weekend when I go on my Girls’ Going Extremely Wild weekend with the Witches of Meadway?  Schlepp my stuff in a Tesco’s carrier bag?” 

 

This is certainly a problem.  But I’m not too worried; I’m sure BooBoo will figure something out.

 

I am making careful lists of what I need to take with me in said carrier bags when I cross the pond.  Boo was outlandishly excited to learn that I’d be home for Memorial Day.  She’ll already be back here.

 

“Put ‘white clothes’ on your list” she instructed.  “Because you’ll be allowed to wear them.”

 

“Absotutely” I agreed, adding ‘white trousers, white skirt, white jacket, white purse’ to the sixth page.  “How exciting is that going to be?  Maybe I should pop back for Labor Day too, just so I can’t, by law, wear them any more.”

 

I told Boo “Don’t forget a suit”, which earned me a funny look.

 

“Why?” she asked.  “Are we doing something fancy?”

 

“No, silly, a bathing suit.  Unless you plan on sunbathing in your underwear.”

 

It seems not only is ‘luggage’ called ‘cases’ here, ‘bathing suits’ are called ‘swimming costumes’. 

 

I added pressies for everybody we’re visiting, important stuff like my meds, and, obviously crucial reminders like ‘Don’t foolishly forget to pack all three chargers’.  It’s so rude not to stay in touch with positively everyone whilst on holiday. 

 

And the growing list of ‘must haves’ that friends are asking for; Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding and Duncan Heinz Classic Yellow Cake mix top the list at the moment.

 

Otherwise, I’ve just been doing … stuff.  The usual kind, coffees, lunches, dinners with friends.  Although I did go canvassing with Vickums  in Oatlands Park to disseminate the LibDem message (whatever it is) and urge people to vote.  That was actually sorta fun and involved a great deal of wine at the end of the evening.

 

I ‘took’ meetings; Gottenu, I ‘take’ a lot of those these days.  With Sanjay, the Caring Committee at shul, the Elmbridge Council, Sam.  And JDavid.

 

The coming week is totally crammed.  Again.  Two shifts at Sam, Israeli Dancing class, another Elmbridge Meeting, Film Club, the Senior’s trip to Winchester, ending with the Witches Gone Wild weekend.  Which I hope I will not be able to blog about ‘cause it was too wild.   

 

I’ll end by saying ‘Welcome Back, Divine’ to my BFF who finally managed to cross the pond the other way, from Boston.  I can’t wait to hear all about her adventures in deepest, darkest North Carolina.

 

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POLITICS AND DEATH

Published April 20, 2010 by jean cohen

It still isn’t real warm, at least for me.  At this LibDem Do on Sunday, Vickums wore a really pretty sundress (she’s a candidate).  I wore a sweater, wool trousers and a jacket.

 

I’d not asked Vicki any details when she’d asked me to come along.  I knew it was a fundraising event for local candidates, a curry luncheon and garden party.  It sounded okay to me.  Sadly, the LibDems don’t have a candidate running in my particular district of Weybridge.

 

We drove to the hosts’ house, and, walking in Vicki said ‘Let me introduce you to … “ 

 

“Not necessary” I interrupted her in another ‘Weybridge is a Very Small Town’ moment.  “I already know Gillian and Louis.  From synagogue.”

 

I met another couple whom I know from NWSS too, although I hadn’t known he was the Senior Statesman for the LibDems and a former mayor of Weybridge.  So was the late cousin Harry Cohen, husband of Myra Cohen Cohen.  A former mayor, that is. 

 

There were about 35 people there, and I knew 8 of them (besides the Jews) from around- mostly my charity stuff, but also the WI.

 

 The Parliamentary Candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge spoke briefly about the upcoming elections.  Yep, the Parliamentary Candidate… it was pretty cool.  I can’t vote for Andrew; I can only vote at the local level.   I confess that I knew absolutely nothing about the LibDem platform; I looked the website up and read up a bit so I wouldn’t seem totally clueless.  They’re very green- as in environmental issues.

 

Apropos of nothing, I thought I’d mention a couple of mitvahs I did.  By coincidence, they both have to do with sitting Shiva.

 

The first was for License to Injure Slightly and Blood Relative.  I got a frantic email that their neighbor had passed away, and they were invited over to pay their respects during Shiva.  What should they do and not do?

 

I quickly wrote a Primer on Making a Shiva Call, and sent it off, starting with ‘Dear UnChosen Ones…”  They did exactly what I suggested and survived the experience without incident or social gaffes. 

 

The synagogue is having a drive to buy new Shiva Prayer Books, so they’re asking that members pay for them and a bookplate will be put in each one with any commemorative notation one wants.  I bought three; one for Jerry, one for Matt and one for Aileen.  I love the thought that years from now someone in Weybridge will open a prayer book and see my loved ones’ names.  It’s like a little piece of me will always be here, even if I’m not.  

 

I’ve got another busy week ahead, as usual, meetings, meetings, meetings, JDavid, a Do at the Senior Centre for St. George’s Day, a seminar at Kingston Synagogue, some Buy Design stuff planned with Carol, another LibDem Do, a Wine Evening, with Vicki, and a biggie, the Shabbat Atma’ut Service and Luncheon in honor of Israel at 63.  All, well at least most of them, should be fun.

 

The big news is that I’m definitely going home for a visit.  It’s all booked now.  BooBoo and I will be crossing the pond in mid-May to Philly for a well-deserved vacation.  Boo’s only staying ten days; I’m going to stay a bit longer to squeeze in all my family and social obligations.

 

Boo and I were talking about the last time she came to the States.  It was back when I was banned in Britain and trying to get my Italian citizenship.  I cried when she left, because I couldn’t go with her.  “You won’t cry this time when I leave” she told me.  “Because you’ll be coming back too, a week or so later.”

 

“Really” I agreed. “I’ll only cry if they find all the fags and Jews I’m gonna stash in your luggage and confiscate them.”

 

BooBoo is the bestest, bestest friend anyone could have.  Ever.

 

 

PURPLE RAIN

Published April 18, 2010 by jean cohen

Although everything revolves around me, I guess I should begin with Iceland and their volcano, and the grounded flights everywhere.  Divine is stuck in North Carolina, another friend is in Boston, and a friend from shul’s daughter is grounded in Singapore.

 

Divine has spielkas; well, it’s North Carolina for God’s sake.  Wilmington, North Carolina to be specific.  I’m trying to cheer her up long distance.

 

We had a guest at shul, an Israeli/American lady who got stuck at Heathrow enroute from Tel Aviv to San Diego for the birth of a grandchild.  She called the special 800 number (1-800-I’m-a-Jew-and-I’m-stranded) and got hooked up with Paul and Marilyn.  She stayed at their house on Friday night, and is visiting a few other synagogue members until BA resumes flying.  If it ever happens; the news reports have been rather vague here. 

 

There seem to be interviews on telly with lots of earnest Icelandic scientists with names like Thor Tjillkillsilljfisk who explain “Ya!  She gonna blow again.  Soon!”

 

I covered a shift for LisaB at Sam on Monday and got some dreadful news.  The powers-that-be at headquarters have decreed that one volunteer on each afternoon shift has to learn to do the banking.  I explained earnestly to Mike (the bearer of the bad news) that bank managers in two countries and several cities all have little Jeano dolls that they stick pins in muttering dire imprecations.  No matter; I was the Chosen as Ms. Thursday Afternoon Banker.  This will surely be the genus of many amusing anecdotes in the blog in future.

 

Gee, I miss Tom Tuesdays.  He texts and emails a lot.  He’s having fun in the sun in Florida.  And I suspect he’s hoping this contract runs way overtime and he gets to stay in the States for ages.

 

I’m pretty sure I’m going to pop home for a visit in May.  There really wasn’t a good reason to wait until the Fall when I can enjoy  real summer lounging around Princie’s and maybe Scary Fairy’s pools.  BooBoo is coming with.  I swore she wouldn’t have to drive on the Garden State Parkway this time. 

 

I was busy this week; I just can’t remember with what specifically.  Preparations for the Senior Centre outing to Winchester, an article for Hederach on The Stroke Group at the Centre, the upcoming Sam Beare Quiz Night, and JDavid stuff.  And I squeezed in some socializing, of course.

 

Friday night I was invited to Shabbat dinner at Jenny’s.  She lives in the most incredible farmhouse on the other side of Weybridge.  Parts of it date back to the early 1600s.  The kitchen is definitely the 2000s.  Dinner was very posh, in her gorgeous dining room. 

 

I knew all the guests, of course; they were all members from shul.  ‘Hanging out with friends from synagogue’ is certainly entertaining and enlightening.  And sophisticated.  The conversation sparkled and we didn’t leave until after midnight.

 

An interesting footnote, sort of.  But maybe not for American readers.  Jenny’s dad was Joe Loss.  (That’s what I said: “Who’s Joe Loss?”)  Well, he was a famous… maybe the most famous … orchestra leader in Britain.  Like Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman.  The Joe Loss Orchestra continues to this day, with a new director, of course.

Saturday was shul, and a luncheon afterwards.  I’m on the committee preparing for next Saturday’s Shabbat Atzma’Ut Celebration for Israel’s 63 years of independence.

 

Sunday is another LibDem Do.  I guess they really want me.  Nah.  Vicki is just very persuasive and she browbeat me into agreeing to go.

IT’S RAINING GUYS

Published April 12, 2010 by jean cohen

I’ve had two more visits from Computer Guy, all completely above-board.  I wasn’t even here for one of them.

 

Like all electronic devices, as soon as Mario was totally out of warranty, shit happened.  Most recently, the burner drive died.

 

I had called Dell when the warranty was due to expire, to find out about service contracts.  Having an American computer in Britain, and how international that seemed to be, defeated them.  They couldn’t figure out which service plan I would require, and in which currency it should be charged.  And naturally, which Call Center in India I would call with any problems.  I finally gave up; I figured I’d just ring Computer Guy if anything happened.  So it did.  And I did.

 

He called me from my house to say the disc drive he’d brought was defective, and he had to pick up another one, and that he’d let me know when he was dropping by to install it.

 

I was working with JDavid on Friday afternoon, and while I was out for a coffee with friends in the morning, he rang with a question about whether I’d finished something he wanted to review.

 

“Simon’s coming to yours this afternoon” David informed me.  Simon is Computer Guy’s name. 

 

God, I love small towns.

 

“Really” I said.  “That’s cool.  I desperately need to burn some discs for Sally, the Editor from Hell.”

 

“Yeah, that what Simon said” David agreed. 

 

It was so gorgeous that David and I sort of played hookey and went out to lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. 

 

When we got back to mine to work, sure enough Computer Guy was there doing his thing.  So we took our stuff into the garden to work. 

 

About ten minutes later, Simon came out and announced “A bloke just let himself in.” 

 

“Yo” said I.  “It’s Electrician Guy!  Electrician Guy, this is Computer Guy and Boss Guy.  Guys, this is Electrician Guy.  He’s fixing the under-counter lights in the kitchen that exploded.  Wow!  It’s, like, a Guy Party at Jeano’s today.”

 

I don’t want to even think about what the neighbors are pondering.

 

I was invited to friends’ for dinner on Friday night, and Saturday was, of course, shul in the morning.  There was a Bar Mitzvah, making the service rather long (and a bit tedious).  I had lunch plans at the Oatlands Palace Hotel, followed by some serious Scrabble with Hazel, so we skipped the party after the Oneg.

 

Gosh, it had been ages since I’d played for real.  Now I can’t wait for Scary Fairy to get here. 

 

We played in Hazel’s garden, which is roughly the size of Kew Gardens, and probably nicer.  There’s stuff (the flowery kind) everywhere, and Bernard and Hazel each have their own greenhouse to grow even more. 

 

I got sort of guilty and decided that I would spend Sunday in my garden, clearing at least the back forty.  If it didn’t rain.  Please, Adonai, send a Nor’easter to Surrey.

 

Hazel had dropped me off and she sent me an email Saturday evening.  She’d popped into Waitrose afterwards.  She ran into Peggy and then Fay there (on Shabbat, but I’m not telling) but that’s not the point.  She said Waitrose didn’t have any rye bread.  That’s the point.  They said they thought it was still Passover and “you people aren’t eating any bread, so we didn’t bake any of your bread”.    Really.  I didn’t make that up.

 

Sunday was gorgeous again.  Double damn!  It took me a while to decide what to wear; one gets dirty fooling around in the garden. 

I cleared the rhubarb patch first.  I hope I didn’t destroy any of the rhubarb stuff by mistake.  My rule of black thumb is if it’s green and it’s sticking out of the ground, pull it out and murder it.

 

I trimmed the lavender bushes.  Actually I chopped them down to about 4” high.  They were growing right across the path.  When I weeded by the side fence, I discovered that some plant (I have no idea what it used to be when it was alive) had expired, probably choked to death by the killer weeds.  I neatened the white flowery thingies and the red ones.

 

And I found my Stars and Stripes out there!  I guess we left it up after the Festa di Independenza do last year.  It had gotten sucked under a giant patch of green stuff.  It was a bit worse for wear; I sang the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner in atonement for being a bad American.

 

I was enjoying a well deserved rest when Jenny called.  Could I get to shul a half hour early for a quick meeting about outreach and the Senior Centre before the Yom HaShoah service at 7:00?  Crap.  Is that tonight?  I put it on the calendar for next Sunday.  Double crap.  What am I going to wear?

 

The service was moving and sad, as always.  Yom HaShoah is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The speaker this year had been one of the children relocated to Britain on the Kindertransport.

 

It ran rather long, and then there was coffee and cake afterwards.  BooBoo and Cheese Boy were already at my house, arranged before I remembered I was going to the service.  I tried to slip out, but no luck.  People insisted on chatting about my articles in Hederach.  The Boy was okay; he just turned on telly to watch the Masters.  Boo could have done my ironing while she was waiting.

 

I begged a ride home, mostly to save 15 minutes, and a tiny bit because every muscle in my body was protesting by then from the gardening. 

 

Plus I had a phone date scheduled with Toots.  Some really funky stuff happened recently, and I wanted to run it past her.  She’s very wise when it comes to funky stuff.  Her advice, as always, was …. wise. And succinct.  ‘Screw them; they obviously were never really your friends.”  

 

Another busy week is on tap, and I might, maybe, be making a quick trip to the States.  I’m not sure yet if I can fit it in. 

 

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Published April 8, 2010 by jean cohen

This has been a dreadful week.  Just when everything is going so bloody well, the bottom drops out and crash… disappointment and betrayal by the people you count on.

 

Yep, the Mountaineers and my brackets.  I knew Butler didn’t deserve to go to the Big Dance; I didn’t even slot them.  I pinned my fiscal hopes on WVa.  I got screwed. 

 

Then if that wasn’t bad enough, the Eagles traded McNabb.  To the Redskins.  I guess we’re counting on the Dog Murderer next season.  I’m almost glad I’m 3,562 miles away from the booing that will certainly occur regularly at the Linc.  I predict another l-o-n-g frustrating season.  You read it here first.

 

However, time in Weybridge continues to pass most pleasantly as always.

 

I heard a rumor that Spring was coming, and there have actually been sightings of the sun, or so I’ve heard.  This is crucially important as I’ve started my training for this year’s Midnight Walk.  Practicing walking in the pouring rain sucks. 

 

It’s another three for me; my third consecutive Walk, and especially nice as I’m joining my friends from Sam this year. 

 

We’ve put together a team for a Sam Beare Quiz Night in May, too.  We’re called ‘The Bookshop Babes’.  Although our back-up player (in the bullpen unless needed) is a guy, a Methodist minister (he’s co-worker Carol’s husband). 

 

There are a few storm clouds on my horizon though.  ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.’  Although in my case, it’s a pin that says ’Committee Vice Chair’.  The old committee members don’t play well with new children in the park.  It’s a drag. 

 

The first two coach outings that I’d arranged had to be cancelled due to numbers, and there have been complaints about the prizes for the raffles we’ve arranged.  And other whinging about picayune shit like the night we’re doing our Fish & Chips Bingo Evening. 

 

One of the cancelled trips was an outing to Denbies Winery; I was looking forward to that one.  But in the ‘Getting Rewarded for Good Deeds’ category, I sat next to a guy at the Second Seder called Jerry who owns a limousine company.  He’s arranged a trip to Denbies for me and seven of my bestest friends in a pink stretch limo! I guess I’ll have to call him ‘Limo Jerry’ since ‘Live”, ‘Dead’, and ‘P’ are already taken.

 

I’ve got a Girls’ Being Extremely Bad weekend planned with Smack, my fellow Witch of Meadway in a couple weeks.  We decided we did connect and that it would be fun to be bad together.  We haven’t decided where the badness will happen yet, but I don’t think it will be in Camberley.  Smack shared the distressing news that the Turd said “I’d like to kill that fucking woman!”  I was, like, hurt.  Practically positively everybody says “to know you is to love you, Jeano”.   I wonder what his problem is.

 

I worked my shifts and did my various lunching and coffee dating and shopping as usual.  And JDavid. So it was a normal busy week.

 

Oddly, five people stopped by Sam to see me since everybody knows where to find me on Thursday afternoons; Carol, my partner, popped in, Vicki came in to get a Centre check co-signed, JDavid was passing and poked his head in just to say ‘hi’, a friend from shul came in to browse, and Divine dropped off a ton a books.

 

I can’t fail to mention the four star gourmet Easter dinner at Divine’s.  Mark cooked, and it was, gastronomically brilliantly, American cooking.   He did an amazing rack of lamb, spinach lasagna, and a fantastic salad.  Divine whipped up a lemon torte for dessert. 

 

A friend of Mark’s was there too, and, of course, Harry, who is my favorite young man.  We became friends on Facebook and I’m loving reading Harry’s comments on life, the world, and the RedSox.  He is uber cool without having to work at it.    

 

 

DASHES AND DOTS

Published April 5, 2010 by jean cohen

My third year of Seders amongst the Diaspora Jews has come and gone.   I don’t actually call them that; I just like saying it; it sounds exotic… Diaspora Jew!

 

BooBoo was gobsmacked when I said it was the third year.  Time really has passed so quickly.

 

I went up to Edgeware, which is the farthest tip of London before you fall off and land in Middlesex.  Like Golders Green, it’s Where the Jews Are in London.

 

This fact was made apparent when I got to Waterloo. 

 

I’d pondered for hours..  okay, it was days… on what to wear to the Rabbi’s house for a Seder.  I finally settled on conservative black, not too JAPPY and not too festival-ish. 

 

I had specific directions from Jackie and when I paused at the underground entrance at the train station to re-check them holding up the queue, the guard  said, rather miffed “You want the Northern Line, to your left.”

 

“Wow” I thought, “She’s good.  She can read emails upside down.”  Then I realized she thought I was an Orthodox Jew.  Maybe the long black skirt (it was Laura Ashley), black tights, black boots and black coat were a bit too … observant.  Maybe I should have gone with Biscuit or Beige.  Black’s not even one of my colors, probably especially if somebody made me dead.

 

But nobody blew me up on the underground and I got to Edgeware just fine.  I’d thought I could pop into a store there and pick up something appropriate for a hostess gift, but all the Jewish shops were already closed for Pesach.  I had to settle for an unexciting bouquet of flowers.

 

Jackie was gracious and welcoming when I got to her house; I was a little nervous.  I had met her son and daughter before at shul, but not Larry, her husband, who is also a Rabbi.  He greeted me wearing a tie that had a matzoh motif on it.  It was really cute and I relaxed a bit.  Maybe it wasn’t going to be as heavy an evening as I’d thought.

 

Their other guests were an eclectic mix: another woman from our shul, a young Welshman who is converting to Judaism, an Israeli couple, three other couples, friends of Jackie and Larry, and their accountant, who is Nigerian.  Except for all the praying and the matzoh, it was like being at a very elegant, intellectual dinner party.

 

Larry does an awesome Seder.  He was funny, and relaxed about it, and got the guests involved, raising moral questions for discussion around the table.  And we all had to read a portion from the Hagaddah.  Jeremy, their son, sang the Manishtana, the Four Questions, in Hebrew.  Larry had asked me beforehand if I would say the Fir Kashen, the Four Questions in Yiddish, as my ‘dinner act’.  So I did. (I practiced on the train up, just in case he asked.)

 

We did go through the entire Haggadah, from back to front, and sang every song in the Pesach song book, some of which I’d never heard before.  So it was long.  Of course we sang Chad Gad Yo.

 

Jackie had done all of the cooking herself, including all the flat little cakes and cookies for dessert (they aren’t allowed to rise).  After the local guests left, I helped clear and put away the leftovers.  Amazingly, to me anyway, in order to make sure nobody got confused and used a meat or dairy plate that wasn’t Pessach by mistake, all the cupboards in her kitchen with their ordinary segregated meat and dairy stuff were taped shut.  Even the ones with everyday glasses and mugs.  Wow.

 

I slept in Ronni’s room, Jackie’s eldest son, who is at school in Israel.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but a combination of a full day running around, the trek up, lots of wine (you have to drink lots of wine; it’s in the Haggadah) and the long Seder put me out for the count.  It was also, like, 2:00 in the morning.

 

Jackie had to schlep to Weybridge in the morning to get ready for the NWSS Communal Seder on Tuesday night so I was getting a ride home.  I came downstairs early, accepted a mug of coffee for breakfast (in a special Pessach Homer Simpson mug) and was amused to run into Larry, in a bathrobe and yarmulke, making a cup of tea.

 

The trip from Edgeware to Weybridge is horrendous, about an hour and a half.  I kept saying “I can’t believe you do this commute practically every day!”  And she does, just about every single day.  Besides Shabbat, there are funerals and shivas, classes that she teaches,  meetings on shul and community matters.  Plus she goes to a lot of conferences and does speaking engagements.  I immediately forgave her for turning up at Sam Beare instead of the Senior Center.

 

“Forgive me” I confessed, “But I was sort of picturing your life like a ’Beverly Hills Rabbi’; a housekeeper to keep house, a chauffer to schlep you around in your Mercedes for manicures and massages and to shul.”  (It’s the Jewish American rabbinical dream.)

 

Jackie laughed.  “This is England.  Rabbis don’t get paid anywhere near what they make in the States, even the Chief Rabbi.”

 

It made me think about a trip I’d arranged for a famous rabbi and his wife, who shall remain nameless, from a posh synagogue in Penn Valley, which shall also remain nameless.  Okay, it was Har Zion.  It was a retirement gift from the congregation.  He drove me nuts.  He was rude, demanding, picky, and critical.  And that was on the good days.

 

English Jews, and especially rabbis, are sure different.

 

Jackie dropped me off, and I had to quickly change out of my  ‘Orthodox Maidel’ clothes to something Easter-y for the luncheon at the Senior Centre.  I went with Mauve.

 

The lunch was pork chops; I had a salad.  In a paper plate that I brought from home, with some matzoh that I also brought from home.  I’ve written an article for the Hederach about the Centre, so hopefully we’ll get some new people popping in to check it out.

 

I stayed for the bingo after the luncheon, but then had to dash home again to answer some emails and return some phone calls before I had to start the whole damned process over again- deciding what to wear at the Second Seder, the communal one at shul.

 

Jackie led that one, and it was … long… really long.

 

I had plans for lunch and shopping with a friend on Wednesday, and got back from Guildford with barely enough time to get changed again to go to a Networking Do with JDavid in Vauxhall.  The weather’s been awful, cold and rainy, so that even though I pulled out a bunch of spring clothes, I ended up in winter woolies for every engagement the whole damned week.

 

The Do was fun, even though I couldn’t eat any nibblies.  The miniature pizzas looked so yummy.  (David did indulge, but you didn’t hear it from me.)

 

Thursday morning was a short Friends of Sam Beare meeting at Christ Prince of Peace, followed by a leisurely coffee with Divine at the brand new Café Nero on the High Street.  Then it was time for my shift at Sam.  Carolyn, my usual partner, was away, so I got to work with Mike, which is always a treat.

 

I thought I’d just rest on Friday; I was pretty tired of dashing.  And I had to prepare for the dinner party I was having on Saturday night, just a small one, for some ‘lady’ friends.  We’ve decided to do one a month, taking turns.  So when Brenda rang to ask if I felt like a mooch at Marks & Sparks, could I say ‘no’?  No, of course I said ‘yes’.

 

I really didn’t feel like getting up on Saturday morning for shul.  And having to think about what to wear.  I was having an aliyah – opening the ark doors – so I would be up on ‘stage’ and everybody would be checking out the outfit. 

 

Plus, to be honest, the Hederach came out on Saturday, and I had two articles in it this month: the one on the Senior Centre and the piece about the Israeli Forum.  I anticipated, and got, lots of kudos on both.

 

I was actually having a well-deserved nap on Saturday afternoon when PPeter popped in.  He came to fix the under counter light that exploded.  But he couldn’t fix it; it’s really fried.  So he’s sending Electrician Guy around this week to do it.  I will check that he’s wearing both socks when he leaves this time, you can be sure.

 

PPeter is off to Australia for a month on Thursday, so he went upstairs to the attic to get his suitcase.  I could have told him that wasn’t ever going to happen.  The attic is positively crammed with stuff; a lot of it’s even mine.  He came downstairs with my suitcase, asking “Can I borrow this?  I couldn’t even see mine in there.”

 

I had to take the mickey.  “Peter, you’re an eligible bachelor now.  What if some Oz woman gets her claws in you while you’re on holiday?  Do you promise to ship it back to me if you never come home?”

 

He’s so cute; he blushed.

 

Sunday is Easter Sunday, so England will be closed.  No, I don’t know why actually.  It will be closed Monday, too, as The Day After Easter Sunday.

 

More importantly, because positively everything is about me, it’s my wedding anniversary.  This is always tricky; I’m never sure how I’m going to feel.  Nostalgic and sad, definitely, and a bit angry, but the plan is to be very social and not dwell on it.

 

So I’m off to Divine’s for a gourmet Easter dinner.  I’m not sure what I’m going to wear.