When I went to Israel…

I have been to Israel twice. I have several favourite places. The first is Hamet Gader, some hot springs north of the Kinneret. A skin problem was cured there.

I love a garden we used in Tiberius, which had a gate opening directly onto the Sea of Galilee, or Kinneret. We literally stepped into the sea, and swam. There were fresh apricots to be picked from the trees.

The market streets in Jerusalem were bustling with activity and there were wonderful aromas from food being prepared. I grew to love filafels.

Jerusalem bus station became my favourite place, though it is changed now. Buy a cup of coffee, sit, and you can talk to hundreds of nationalities. The conversations I had there. I learnt so much.

Israeli men fascinated me. They were so diverse, but all loved children. The first time I flew home, I knew I wanted to be with a Jew.

I still do.

Sometime ago…

About three, maybe four years ago, I phoned a friend who has lived in Italy for a long time. He said I don’t laugh as much anymore.

That took me right back to when I was 19, care free, loved and happy. He and I were close friends, we spent almost all our free time together. When he drove, I changed the gears. Sometimes he manipulated me, but I was too easy going to mind. His best friend, Steve was another very close friend. When he was home we were a trio.

That conversation on the phone made me feel the hardship I’ve been through. My marriage went from love and fun to fear, protecting my daughter, realising I kept money after I’d done the shopping until I had almost enough to get me and my daughter away. I asked for a divorce but he would not go. Then I could not bear that he had gone. I know now that I felt guilty, as if I owed him something. I owed him nothing.He was not even legally entitled to see my daughter. This is the first time I’ve said this publicly.

My next relationship was loving, but after time I realised he did not love my daughter. He injured his back badly. Caring for him was snared with guilt trips and his jealousy. He had been possessive from the beginning. I liked it, as I had eyes for no one else. But it became hard work. I asked him to leave.

I spent almosr a decade without a man in my life. I met Geoff fifteen years ago, but we’ve been mainly friends. There have been dates, but primarily I was a mother and worked hours to suit that.

Recently, my ex neighbour made sure I noticed him. I had thought him boring but kind. He certainly isn’t boring. I began to like him. And then in April last year, I fell in love with him.

I won’t tell the rest of that, it does him no favours. I have gone through every emotion since September last year. Today has been miserable because I love him still.

A day of two halves…

This morning I awoke feeling tired and regretting that I canceled my hair appointment on Tuesday. The weather is not much improved, although yesterday evening was beautiful. I now have one on Sunday.

I showered late and dressed, and felt much much better. I made coffee, and opened mail, and answered texts and emails.

For dinner I roasted some sweet potato and then poured over an egg and yogurt mix, with spinach and freshly ground pepper to make an oven omelette. I threw on some roast tomatoes and it was delicious. I had it with some Riesling, one of my favourite wines.

I have some ice cream with real vanilla, which I love. So I ate that, too.

I have a busy week ahead, socially. I need to pace myself. But I am feeling well.

It Has To Stop

The execution of George Floyd started a movement to stop the extrajudicial killing of black men and women in America.

I say started because the feeling sparked by his murder was the culmination of anger about far too many executions of black people just going about their business. The names are far too many. The years, no centuries, are too many.

Three months later a black father is shot repeatedly in front of his children by white cops. Jake Blake is not dead, but the violence against him is unspeakable. The trauma his children suffered is unimaginable.

Why does this keep happening, even while there are still protests about the execution of George Floyd? It seems that more conversation and examination of attitudes, bias, and prejudice has gone on here in the UK than in the States.

The National Guard is sent in. Again. This accomplishes nothing except more division, more prejudice, more injury.

Trump says the law must prevail. That it is illegal to execute black men on the street seems to pass him by. That he has privilege seems not to occur to him. He does not engage in dialogue or express any sorrow that fifty two years after the assassination of D. Martin Luther King Jr., we are still trampling on black people as less than white people.

He is a self -confessed white supremacist. He was galvanized into action because America dared to vote in a black President. The current POTUS has no concern for race relations whatsoever.

In Santa Clarita, CA, black youths have had police guns pointed at them for playing in the street. My friend posted photos to Instagram. Why should young teenagers face guns for simply using skateboards? They are traumatized.

What will it take to stop the violence and executions, the trauma, the fear, the ignorance? Why are white cops so violent that it is so normal?

I am crying. I can’t bear it. My white privilege makes me want to vomit. Change will certainly not come while Trump is around. I so hope that America will oust him in November. All I can do is pray.

What a day!…

Africa was declared polio free today. That is such great news. And Anderson took his 600th wicket in the test against Pakistan. Few have achieved that, so he is quite the hero.

I have written another piece as Jake Reilly has been left paralysed after being shot repeatedly at close quarters in front of his children. Another very painful episode in American history. I despair. I feel so heartbroken about it all.

All of us who write creatively need to repond to this incident. We need to engage in order to change hearts and minds. I cannot express how much I want T++++ out of the Whitehouse.

It is stormy here. We had rain earlier, and now the wind is so strong. There are very dark clouds overhead.

I am well.

Feeling great…

Yesterday evening flew by and so I am writing a post now. I still feel great.

I made coffee and then I went out along the sea but it reminds me too much of my dog, so I went the other way and had a chat with the marine police.

I had maybe my last fig. It was really good. More may ripen. We shall see. The tomatoes continue to be incredibly good. So do the strawberries.

I am so grateful for my garden. And my friends.

I have felt so alive today…

I have felt great today. In every way. This morning I made coffee and sat on my patio regarding my garden. Two branches of my fig tree were looking as though they were weighted down after the heavy rain yesterday.

After I finished my coffee, I cut those two branches off. It’s early to be pruning, but more energy will go into the figs now. I’ve spotted my next one to eat. They look rather like a scrotum.

Then I cut away some low branches on my silver birch tree. I dead headed a couple of roses, helped my rambling rose to grip the trellis, and then picked some tomatoes. They taste so good.

I roast some by cutting them in half and sprinkling with ground pepper. I just put them in the oven for about ten minutes. They are great in a warm salad or cold.

I will save some to add to soups for winter. I find that adding a tomato while sweating onions and other vegetables makes the flavours better. I like to use butternut squash with other vegetables. Leeks, carrots, parsnips, spinach, anything really.

I have written two essays and taken two walks. I have loved this day. No pain to speak of. And now I am sipping some Shiraz.

Medicinal plants…

On Sunday evening, I went to a friend’s place. We tend to be pretty chilled in each other’s company. I like that. We watched Country File, a programme about nature around theBritish Isles. It was a particularly good episode.

I ate a little piece of medicinal plant. I hoped to feel very loose and relaxed. Time went by and I felt nothing. I was really disappointed. I had hoped to find a way of being really relaxed so that sleep comes more easily. I didn’t stay very late, as I had something to sort with a friend in the States.

I fell asleep sometime after midnight. I slept well. I heard the morning radio news and thought I better get up. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t wake up. So I guess I need to eat medicinal plants in the morning.

Yesterday was a good day. The air felt fresh with no humidity. I wrote, made coffee and went shopping. As I was leaving, my neighbour’s removal van had arrived. I’m not sorry to see them go. They could be rude. There is no need for that. Life is too short.

I made pasta and tossed in some spinach and pinenuts with a little butter. It was great. I then ate some donuts which I regretted eating too soon. The taste of the pasta was so good.

I slept well and awoke to torrential rain. My garden needs it. I won’t need to water for a few days.

So far this week is good. I need to pick more tomatoes before they spoil.