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All posts for the month July, 2010

I HAD A DREAM TOO

Published July 26, 2010 by jean cohen

I’m definitely back in my Weybridge groove now that Scary’s gone back to the States; I’m busy with stuff.  I’ve got engagements/commitments in my diary already well into 2011.  But I’m hoping to fit in a short trip to Italia (Amalfi to be specific) at the end of August, and another visit to Philly in September if I can make the time. 

 

In a conversation with Princie the other night he tried to con me into flying home now, promising “If you come home for your birthday, I’ll make it worth your while.”  I can’t; I have too many commitments.  And my diary is nicely filled with upcoming Birthday Do’s, thank you very much.

 

What have I been up to?  Let me think…  I went to hear a pub band, Normal, with JDavid at the Ashtree.  I had dinner with Brenda, lunch with Hazel, and coffee with various folks.  I went to Book Club. I hated the book: ‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis’ by Giorgio Bassani. I just didn’t get it.  That never happens to me.   At least with books.  Lots of other people in Book Group didn’t like it either, so I didn’t feel so clueless.  I hear the film was much better.

 

I represented NWSS at a seminar on Volunteerism at Nightingale House in London with Jenny and Gay.  In a new variation of ‘Weybridge is a small town’, ‘Jewish England is an even smaller community’.  I actually met three people I knew from other functions or programs I’d attended.  Strangely, the woman who sat next to me at the luncheon was from Sunderland.  I recognized her accent right away.  She works for Chai Care, the Jewish Cancer Program.  She’s Orthodox, and as I suspected, she didn’t know BooBoo from the good old days up North.

 

There was an Annual Meeting at the Senior Centre and a special luncheon.  And an election.  Lucky us on the Committee; we all got re-elected.  This week I’m escorting another coach trip; this one’s to the Seaside- Eastbourne. 

 

And then more coffee dates, more meals with friends, and, of course, Syn.  I was pleased to note that our rabbi had taken my suggestion to heart and changed her hairstyle.  She said I was the first person who ever commented about her hair.  “Oh” I said, flustered, “I just figured you were a girl before you became a rabbi, so…  Um… I really like your sermons.  You should wear black less often.  I don’t think it’s your color.  Want to go shopping together?  Maybe in King of Prussia?”

 

I went out to lunch after Syn with a friend, Estelle.  She’d been a guest on a radio program on BBC2, and told me all about it.  The topic was Martin Luther King, Jr.  Really.

 

The background is that Estelle’s husband, Michael, who sadly passed away last year, became a part of American history by pure chance.  He was the attorney on call for the weekend Immigration detained a man traveling into England on a Canadian passport.  (What is it about those folks at Immigration?  Seriously.) That man turned out to actually be James Earl Ray, who assassinated MLK.

 

Needless to say, it was a pretty tense situation and after legal maneuvering on all sides, Ray was eventually extradited back to the United States to stand trial.  Estelle’s husband had become so intrigued by the case that he went to the US for the trial, in  an unofficial  capacity.

 

I was so fascinated that Estelle invited me back to hers for coffee to look at Michael’s files on the case.  I actually held in my hands the official autopsy report from the State of Tennessee (with an appostile, red ribbons and everything) on King.  At the time of death, King’s blood alcohol level was .01.  You read that here first. 

 

There was even a letter to Michael from James Earl Ray, using the alias of Ramon George Sneyd, the name on the Canadian passport, from Wandsworth Prison in his own handwriting discussing legal strategies to block the extradition.  There were several letters from Klu Klux Klan leaders applauding King’s death, with liberal use of ‘the N word’.

 

In another twist of fate, Zachary, Princie’s gorgeous son, has been on an Etgar Tour this summer.  Etgar is a Jewish organization with a political voice that takes Jewish teens on a national tour focusing on social action.  Zach’s tour included both Memphis, where King was assassinated, and Atlanta, where the MLK Library is located.

 

The participants’ blogs from their various sites, which Princie faithfully posted to Facebook, have been astute, funny, interesting, thought-provoking and, occasionally, made me cry.

 

Zach learned a lot during Etgar; I learned a lot sitting in a garden in Weybridge.  

 

 

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A NEW WITCH OF MEADWAY

Published July 18, 2010 by jean cohen

Golly!  Do I have some dirt to dish.

 

It’s old business… the Turd of Camberley.  And here I thought I destroyed his pathetic little life ages ago.  The power of the written word!

 

I expect the Turd is just fine, continuing to suck scum on the bottom of whatever ponds he’s hanging out in these days and telling lies.  I certainly wouldn’t know.  Or care.

 

But out of the blue, I got an email from a woman who’d somehow come across my blog on one of the sites that features it.

 

“hello – by pure chance I saw your windows live blog which referred to Mike Meadway – ref scum sucking bagpipe guy. Would that happen to be the mike meadway – taxi driver of Carriageways?? If so – I hope you dont mind… I have reason to agree with the scum sucking assessment and would like to think he has had his come-uppance… would you know if that is so?
Sorry if I have the wrong person. Please forgive the intrusion.
thanks for your time and patience

 

 

Well, honestly.  ‘Gobsmacked’ doesn’t begin to convey my reaction.

 

I dashed off a quick ( and proud) reply.  Oh yeah! I imploded Mr. Mike’s world. Call me if you want.   Jeano”

 

I also quickly dashed off a text to EtcK, telling her the news.

 

EtcK called first.  She was upset.  She’d actually met  #4.  I promised to dish every molecule of dirt after I talked to Diane.

 

It was a jaw-dropping conversation, even considering that whole scum sucking etc, etc Turd thingy that we’ve already established.  Turd surely belongs in the Guiness Book of World Records.  No, not for the excellent nooky.  For his world class lying skills.  As Diane put it: ‘He must have been lying; his lips were moving.”

 

She’s got scads of sexy late night texts, emails, and, not surprisingly, 8” X 10” full color autographed photos of his bits.  (Slight exaggeration there.)  How utterly banal.

 

We agreed that we absolutely must all meet up and compare stories.  I told her that I’m friends with EtcK and Smack now, and invited her to friend me on Facebook, which she immediately did.

 

Note to Self:  Remember to ask Diane if Turd made a booty call at hers on a certain Boxing Day…

 

I recommended that #4 add a tag to her Facebook page proclaiming ‘One happy lady!’ and explained the story.  The Turd had ‘One happy man!’ on his page, and after the shit hit the fan, we three Witches of Meadway all put ‘one happy lady!’ on our pages.  He took his off.  Maybe he’s not so happy anymore?

 

I knew Smack was away for a romantic weekend with a new guy, so I resisted the overwhelming urge to text her.  I was going to see her anyway at my Festa di Independenza barbecue.  I started babbling the minute she walked in the door.  She was double gobsmacked.

 

Smack is still in touch with the Turd.  So she got to tell him the news that #4 found the blog and reached out and touched.  She said his expression was priceless.  And his explanation/version of history was hysterically funny.  Apparently Turd has two new victims on his scummy hook right now, Spanish Lady and Filthy Rich Lady.  I wonder if they surf blogs for entertainment?  Feel free to share if any of you readers know either of them.

 

Anyway, Smack and #4 became friends on Facebook too.

 

Obviously, the Turd had, and still has, a specific agenda in play involving well-to-do widows or divorcees with their own house.  Discussing casual convos we’d each had with him we came up with a possible ‘Margaret’, ‘Sue’ and ‘Pat’.  EtcK remembers one called ‘Ann Hutchins’ or ‘Hutchinson’ from Hampshire, who worked in the Crown in Camberley.  EtcK is in contact with ‘Jenny’, who was, sadly, actually married to him at one point.

 

After all, there really should be 13 witches in a coven to make the best Black Magic.

 

I had lunch with EtcK this week; I picked up a bracelet she was lusting after in the States.  Although she’s met a lovely guy, she is still crushed by all this.  And it’s so not fair.  She absolutely deserved better.

 

Creepily, I discovered another big whopper that he told me.  And it really is gross.  That time he stood me up because his mom had a stroke and he ‘forgot to charge his mobile so he couldn’t ring me’; not even remotely true.  Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a scary, tempting fate sort of lie to tell.  Like the time he swore to EtcK on Adam, his son’s, life that he wasn’t cheating on her.  He was seeing Smack and me at the time.

 

I’d decided not to waste precious blog space on the Turd of Camberley any more a while ago, along with some Trailer Trash and idiots on the dating sites.  But this was too amusing not to share.

 

When the four Witches of Camberley (and growing) meet up, I promise to blog all the details.

 

And any of you lady readers needing transportation from Heathrow… Let’s Be Careful Out There!

 

JULY IN PARIS

Published July 16, 2010 by jean cohen

Thankfully, Scary Fairy didn’t need to visit any castles or cathedrals in England.  Been there, done that; too damned many times.

 

So we decided to go to Paris.

 

Let me start off by saying ‘Don’t go to Paris with a female friend; you’re sort of missing the whole bloody point.’

 

 

We had an excellent time, don’t get me wrong.  But there’s something about being in the most romantic city in the world with a girlfriend that’s just wrong.  Strolling along the Seine… standing under the Eiffel Tower in the moonlight… shopping at Galleries Lafayette…

 

Well that last one was perfectly fine.  Better than fine; Scary didn’t give a rat’s ass how much I spent.

 

I’ve done Paris, too, of course, too many times.  In one of our (unromantic) strolls, I pointed out the American Embassy to Scary and recounted the hilarious adventure of getting a new passport for a client who didn’t follow my advice to leave her passport in the safe and got her purse stolen in Monmartre.  Aah, memories.

 

We took Eurostar over, another first for Scary, but pretty routine for me.  I’d done a few day trips to Paris since I’ve been in England, including a jaunt over with BooBoo to have lunch with Abe and Janet, when they were there for their anniversary.

 

I consulted with a few Rosenbluth chums to make sure the hotel I selected hadn’t come down in the world, but, of course, I had picked a winner: The Hotel Regina, on the Rue de Rivoli across the street from the Louvre.  Very posh.  And air-conditioned.

 

So we saw the sights, and ate some fantastic meals – the best was at an Italian restaurant down the street from the Regina.  French service is, sadly, about as efficient as the English kind.  The Italians get the concept of ‘a customer’.

 

Of course we shopped.  We did hit Galleries Lafayette but I stayed out of the Undies Department.  Really.  I bought some lovely Joseph trousers and a stunning silk blouse to make up for it.  I didn’t even go into the Louis Vuitton boutique.  I’m economizing these days and I’m Italian so I bought a Gucci.  And I hit almost every shop near the Ritz.  They were all having ‘Soldes!’.

 

BooBoo and The Boy actually drove to London- to St. Pancras Station – to pick us up on our return.  That was incredibly kind; we were tired and loaded down with carrier bags (from the best stores).

 

This was a really nice visit with Scary Fairy.  We saw a lot of my friends, we did Paris, and we played plenty of serious Scrabble.  Fortunately, I had checked my Scrabble set before she came.  I’d loaned it to someone’s ignorant child and it got returned minus a tile holder and three letters.  Scary to the rescue again; she brought replacements.

 

We played killer games – both intent on annihilating the opposition.  The outcome: Scary won 7 and I won 6.  I will miss playing with her.

 

Boo and I had arranged to take Scary to T4 for her flight back to Newark, but due to storms in Houston, her flight was late arriving at Heathrow, and, consequently, leaving again.

 

I had an Israeli Group meeting at shul, so had to say my goodbyes at my house and dash.  BooBoo did the honors.

 

Scary will definitely be back (Amsterdam, next visit!).  But Boo and I will be crossing the pond to New Jersey again, very soon.

 

 

RED, WHITE AND BLUE

Published July 14, 2010 by jean cohen

I know it’s been a while since I blogged.  Sorry.  I simply haven’t had the time.  So much has been going on that it will take three or four (condensed) entries to get you up to speed.

 

I’ve taken on some more community service responsibilities at shul, which simply adds to the number of meetings I’m dashing to, including quite a few in London (after carefully selecting the appropriate outfit, of course).  And we’re coordinating a joint program with shul and the Senior Centre, as well as planning an Israeli Group event for late October.  My page in The Book should be looking pretty good right now.

 

But on to the social side…

 

Scary Fairy crossed the pond safely and despite a slew of commitments I couldn’t get out of, we did a lot of dashing and socializing—coffee dates and meals with my friends here and with BooBoo.  Scary was amazed at how many people pop in to my little pink house, even when I’m not here.  She got to entertain Tony the Electrician Guy as he replaced the under counter lights that had exploded while I worked a shift at Sam.

 

Scary really came through; one suitcase was crammed with stuffing mix, French fried onions and corn bread muffin mix for the Thanksgiving dinner.  And fags.  And lots of lovely Jews for the barbecue.  It was nice to see her, too.

 

Boo and I did take her to the Quiz at the Ash Tree.  She’d read about the quiz in the blog and wanted to experience it for herself.  It was hard, there were lots of dumb World Cup questions (Is that ever going to be over?) which the manly types on our team didn’t know either.  We came in second.

 

We did have a shopping day. 

 

A bit of background.  Last Saturday morning, BooBoo rang me, really early, to inquire “Are you getting dressed for shul?”

 

“Duh” I replied.  “I’m wearing that stunning new blue and white skirt with the drop dead gorgeous blue jacket.. not the ordinary drop dead gorgeous blue jacket with the gold buttons, the other one.  I wore the one with the gold buttons a couple weeks ago with the amazing white Joseph trousers.”

 

BooBoo likes to know these things.  Really.

 

“Uh-huh” she said.  Then, “Do you want to bag synagogue today and go to the outlet mall in Portsmouth?”

 

Hm.  Synagogue.  Or shopping.  Even Yahweh would understand what a dilemma this was.

 

“I’ll change” I said quickly.  “What time will ya be here?”

 

Cheese Boy and Boo turned up (Cheese-o had somehow been coerced into driving) and we tootled off down the A3.  Traffic was horrendous and we were all snippy by the time we actually got to Portsmouth.

 

We headed down to Gun Wharf Quay, only to be stopped by a police roadblock outside.  There’d been a fire, and a power outage and the mall was closed.  I swear I could hear DeadJerry laughing his tush off.

 

We walked through the shopping center anyway, just to, like, look in the windows of all the stores we couldn’t shop at. 

“Look at me, Cheese Boy” I whinged to Lou as we left.  “I am carrying my pocketbook.  Just my pocketbook.  And it’s the same goddamned one I came with!  I have no bags, because I didn’t buy anything.”

 

He didn’t even feel bad.

 

So Boo and I took Scary to Gun Wharf Quay.  It was the least we could do. 

 

The big event was, naturally, the Festa di Independenza barbecue.  The weather, for a change, had been pretty decent and I was feeling in control of things.  Then JDavid rang to tell me the National Guess the Weather Service was predicting frogs, lizards and hurricane force winds with sideways rain for Sunday.  That didn’t sound promising.  Especially with 35 people coming.

Fortunately, I’m connected these days so I arranged to borrow two gazebos.  Too bad if my guests were cold.  I can’t fix everything, can I?

 

I certainly went to shul (with Scary in tow) on Saturday and offered Adonai all sorts of inducements to make it at least not piss down rain all day.  Couldn’t He make it stop by, say, 11:00? There were 4 Bnei Mitzvah; I don’t think Scary was thrilled.  But the Oneg afterwards was amazing.

 

Sunday was gorgeous.  Not hot, but sunny and pleasant.  I’d picked up some really cute decorations when I was in the States and the tables all looked gorgeous, especially with the added touch of red, white and blue flower arrangements.  I will post some pictures.  Eventually.

 

The Pimms flowed, the Jews were snarfed down like hotdogs, and my all-American playlist got a lot of compliments (as well as a lot of piss taking).  It was certainly a much different and classier crowd than past Festas.  I have made some wonderful friends here.