Sunday 19 December 2010

Concerts and Parties

Attended Ellie's nursery concert.  She's been singing the songs for weeks but on stage, faced with a bank of parents, she didn't utter a word.  However, she did wave and blow a kiss to her grandma.

My faith in human nature has been restored when a bag containing a fair amount of money was left in Tesco by guess who (and it wasn't me) was handed in intact.  Pity we cannot thank this anonymous good Samaritan.

The ice and snow has all but disappeared for now although the weather people warn there is more to come.  I took the opportunity of a walk to the Canal Gardens.  I felt quite sprightly even though my granddaughter observes that I have an old neck.   I noticed that the water was frozen solid but there were signs of growth in the herbaceous border, if you looked closely.  I could even detect the shoots of bulbs emerging in my own garden - not that I'm comparing it to the park.  I read a saying "Live each day as if it were your last and garden as though you will live forever".  I think I will adopt this as my mission statement.

We think it's cold here but it was minus 25 in Sweden and Freya couldn't go out.  The weather didn't stop her grandad who disturbed a hibernating bear and lived to tell the tale.

Sunday was Louis' 5th birthday party, shared with another boy in his year.  Forty young children in an indoor play area plus parents in the cafe area can be really noisy and the party was enjoyed by all and no catering or tidying up afterwards. 

 the cake
Another meeting of the 'bolby' club; how quickly a month goes by.   We exchanged  news and speculations and were treated to a scrumptious chocolate and apple cake which was baked in one of those new silicon cake 'tins'.  I don't understand why they don't melt in the oven.  I have requested the recipe, if anyone is interested.

Have been asked to look after a neighbour's gerbils for a few weeks.  I haven't actually seen them as they are snuggled down in their straw bedding.  They're not stupid, the weather has been freezing.

Bought a squirrel proof bird feeder.  I'll outwit the little fellow yet!

 Yes, just for you - the feeder on the far right

It is a tradition to go to Monika and Dave's on the Sunday before Christmas.  The table was laden with home baked mince pies, stollen and biscuits and of course plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink.  A very friendly crowd of neighbours, colleagues and ex-colleagues (of which I'm one).  I got a lucky bag to take home with one of her famous advocaat cakes.  I am putting on the pounds due to lack of exercise, contentment or greed.

Thursday 9 December 2010

A white chanukah

The snow remains with us as the freezing weather stops it from melting even from the treetops.  Picturesque it may be but, as temperatures plummet in the night,  the ice makes conditions hazardous on the roads.  It is mostly too cold to play out in the snow.

The chanukah candles have brightened up the evenings and Louis and Ellie have lit them with us on most nights.  On the 7th night we went to a chanukah party at shul where we were entertained with magic tricks and a Punch and Judy show (had forgotten how much violence portrayed) and ate latkes, vegie hot dogs and doughnuts - well you can indulge once a year!



 .... at the Goldberg's

 the purple menorah made by Louis at school. 
I have sent an upright hoover and some steel tipped boots to new homes through the local freecycle group. It's great when people can find a use for what is on offer.  I have received such items as kids bikes and travel cots from fellow freecyclers, although some of the items to give away make me laugh - and then someone takes them.

Emma and Freya are off to Sweden for a month; I will ask for photos to be sent.  Freya will have her first birthday there.  Oterlie and family are due to arrive from Mexico on Thursday.  The world seems a much smaller place, yet I can hardly make my way on foot to the local shops it is so icy!

Done a few sessions of work and my CRB check has been approved for there too.

Corrie is exciting yet unbelievable.  I wonder if I can continue to follow it after this week.

I see from my blog dashboard that I have been viewed by Croatia.  They must think that all this fuss about the weather is pathetic!

Wednesday 1 December 2010

snow, snow and more snow

It has been snowing off and on, mainly on, since Friday 26 November with temperatures not exceeding zero. Got a lift there and back from work in the snow on Monday.  The female pupils wore wellies in the examination; some pink, others black or patterned with animal prints, smarties, stripes and zigzags looking incongruous with their school uniforms.

On Tuesday some hardy folk braved the weather and attended an awareness raising evening put on by Jewish Women's Aid to support International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  The two speakers were excellent.  Domestic violence transcends race, religion, culture and social class and the work they do giving advice, running a refuge and counselling is commendable.

And still  it snows and so no work today.   Took the opportunity to speak to Sue, an ex-colleague also  off school, and catch up with her news.  The snow is really thick today as you can see from today's picture of the table on the patio compared to a few days ago.

First night of Chanukah and it looks like we will be lighting the first candle on our own as the roads are too treacherous for visits or visitors.  More latkes for us then!

A celebration of 150 years of jewish life in Leeds 1860 - 2010

Leeds City Museum in Millennium Square hosted this interactive exhibition of all things Jewish including photos, artifacts, Klezmer music, courtesy of the Freylach Spielers and even a mock Jewish wedding under a chuppah where we, the audience, were the guests.   A humourous explanation of the wedding service was given by a narrator and the Rabbi and Chazan were the very same who presided over Rochelle and David's Wedding in October.

 the chuppah

 the mock wedding

It was great fun and aptly timed in Interfaith Week.  My nephew Simon was filming and interviewing with kids from the Zone and my niece Rebecca had compiled a leaflet for the Jewish Genealogy Society's stand on my mother's Bobby (Grandma),Katie Goldberg, and her descendants.  She gave it the title The Goldberg Chronicle and  subtitle 'What Katy Did' and included her three marriages!  I will give a link to the pdf document as soon as I work out how to do so.  Hope this works:

The Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of Leeds attended and spoke about the significant contributions that the community has made to the city; Marks and Spencers, Burtons and Barratt/Stylo just to mention a few.

When we came out it was snowing hard.  We had planned to visit the Christmas Market in the square, but we were anxious for Janet who has to return to Manchester and that must wait for another time.
 The Christmas Market at Millennium Square in the snow

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...