My busy-ness seems to be filling every day now, instead of just most days.
I went to a seminar on addictive behavior sponsored by Jewish Care, the Jewish agency, at the Kingston Liberal Synagogue, as a representative (or warm body) of NWSS. Rabbi Mikhail, Kingston’s rabbi, is really neat. He’s from Missouri and we had the nicest chat about real, proper bagels and how it would be nice to have one once in a Purim.
On the ride to Kingston, Jenny instructed “Don’t shake hands with the Rabbi; he’s Orthodox.”
“I am so up on that” I assured her quite seriously, then entertained the whole car with the infamous story about DeadJerry’s Shiva and how I kissed not only Dori’s ultra Orthodox rabbi but the religious director of Solomon Schecter School as well. Well, everybody kisses a lot during shivas; I didn’t hear who Dori said they were. The rabbi sure looked shocked when I got him in a lip-lock.
“You just kissed my rabbi” Dori hissed dragging me away.
“Oh shit! Really?” I mumbled. “Which one is the rabbi?”
“The one with the beard and yarmulke” she told me. She never let me forget that teensy gaffe.
Anyway, the seminar was great, very informative and thought-provoking, but fun, too. We did some role playing exercises- I was the alcoholic’s boyfriend, The Enabler. Afterwards, the Kingston people laid on a fabulous tea.
Monday I covered a shift at Sam, and did the banking! I guess it went okay; Jeremy didn’t ring to fire me.
Monday night was Israeli Dancing. I am very bad at it, but it’s fun and a good workout.
Tuesday was Senior Centre in the morning, then a meeting with all the Elmbridge Centre committees in the afternoon. Vicks was in Scotland on business, so I represented the Friends of the Weybridge Centre Committee. The meetings alternate at the various centres, and this one was at the brand new facility that just opened in Thames Ditton. There are seven centres in Elmbridge. It was a good meeting, and gave me some new ideas for activities and programs that I’d like to try at Weybridge Centre.
I got home just in time to grab some dinner and dash out again to Film Club in the evening. The film was ‘The Wave’.
I was familiar with the events the movie was based on- it happened in PaloAlto, California. But the location was changed to Germany in the movie, with subtitles, making it even more chilling and scary.
When I got to shul, only Paul was there. We chattered away as I helped him fix loads of dishes of noshes (he brings the best noshes to Film Club). Various other guys turned up, grabbed a coke or a coffee and headed up to the lounge where we watch the films.
“Yo, Paul” I said, “Did ya notice that not a single other woman has turned up? What’s that about?”
He’s so quick.
“Didn’t you get the email?” he deadpanned. “We changed the film. To ‘Debbie Does Dallas.”
As I said, the dialogue was in German, but the subtitles were, for some reason, in American, not British. Not too far into the action, one of the characters commented on another character being ‘one of my homeys’.
The guys all looked perplexed and Antony actually asked, out loud, “What’s a ‘homey’?”
Paul paused the movie, and grinned. “Jean, would you like to field that question?”
So I provided the definition for a homey. Michael, who is also pretty funny said “It’s lucky we have somebody who speaks American here to translate.”
Wednesday was our first outing for the Senior Centre. The previous two coach tours had been cancelled due to lack of numbers. We went to Winchester.
The day didn’t start off real well. I fired the Coach Company for any future outings.
The coach arrived and my charges did their usual mini-riot of pushing and shoving to get on the bus first. When I got on, I was appalled. The bus was filthy, empty soda cans and chip bags and candy wrappers everywhere.
“This bus is disgusting” I told Jamal or Mustapha or Tariq, or whatever the driver’s name was. “I want another bus and I want it now.”
“It’s not my fault” he whinged,. “I’m coming from a school run.” Oh well, gee, that explained it. English children are savages. However, I have standards and more than a few relate to ‘service’.
I got back off the bus, went into the office and rang the bus company. The manager’s excuse: “We sent the bus right to you from a school run.”
I was more than a little pissed off. I couldn’t seem to get the point across that all Tonto had to do was keep the bloody doors shut for five minutes and walk through the bus with a trash bag, put said debris into said trash bag, and voila, then open said doors. Apparently Tonto doesn’t do trash; there’s a department at the Depot called ‘Soda Can and Candy Wrapper Removal Engineers’ who are specially trained by Health & Safety for such dangerous tasks.
I sent one of the Centre aides on the bus with a bin bag; and I fired Repton Coaches.
Winchester is exactly like every other single little town in England, with the addition of a huge mother cathedral in the middle. I’d been there before; I can’t remember when or why particularly. Hester, Brenda, the other ladies and I did visit the cathedral. Briefly. And in my case, chiefly in case anybody asked afterwards “Did you go to the cathedral?” (But of course! It was ever so fascinating. I didn’t realize Jane Austen built it.”)
So it was 7 minutes in the cathedral, a long Ladies Who Lunch lunch, and 4 hours in Beales’, which was having a 25% off sale. The ladies all came back to mine for a late tea and to compare our purchases.
But then I had to change clothes and dash to meet JDavid. It’s his birthday this weekend, but I’m going to miss the festivities.
And his aliyah at Syn. I’m off for the weekend with the Witches of Meadway.
BooBoo came through like aces, sending Daniel to mine on Thursday evening with a ‘weekender’ suitcase so I could eschew the Tesco’s carrier bag. Gosh I need a lot of stuff for two days away. Although, as Smack pointed out, very logically, I could go empty-handed and just buy everything new. I like the way she thinks.
I got offers to loan suitcases for the trip across the pond from lots of friends, so I’m glad I didn’t expend any energy worrying about that topic.
Our social engagements in Philly are falling into place, plus I’ve got Tombstones, Israeli Guy, DooWop Guy, and the luverly Henry Levenstein of the Marlboro Levensteins to fit in somewhere in my schedule.
Tombstones, who obviously is the bloke who did my tombstone (and was one of my travel clients long before I needed a tombstone) emailed that I should contact a mate of his from auto-racing who lives near me. In a ‘Surrey is a Small County’ or maybe just ‘Life is Strange’, Gary lives in Shepperton, just up the road. We exchanged emails on Facebook and are going to meet up this week, if I can fit it in. Gary works at Brooklands, the classic car museum; and he does the videos of their classic car races.
I’ve got two Sam Beare Dos coming up, more quickly than I’d like, two articles due for Haderech, an American Embassy Do with JDavid, and so on and so on.
It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here, which actually means nothing, just that Monday is a holiday for no reason. I’m looking forward to relaxing. In my pajamas.