Tag: jewish

Lake Pleasant at dawn

I started writing this post on December 8, almost one month ago. I meant to finish it while flying home, but… that didn’t happen. I then meant to finish it after I got home… but that didn’t happen. But now, by Jove, I am finishing it! I’m writing this from the departure lounge of Newark Liberty Airport, but I suspect I won’t finish it until I’m in the air, winging my way towards London, England — my home! I know…

As I write this I’m tired. I’m just back from a family meet-up in London. I didn’t have enough sleep or coffee for the barrage of intimate and deeply-probing questions that septuagenarian Jewish females pitched at me over a four-hour period. Not only is it the number of questions but the ferocity and varied intensity at which they are delivered. Think of them like baseball pitches: high, low; fast, slow; straight and curved — you need to be able to…

‘You know, Sebby, you didn’t include the photos from after the Peter Pan show…’ That was my mother, rudely barging into my room. You know, the parental ‘Can I come in?’ manoeuvre, spoken as she opens the door. Sometimes she takes a while to get to the point, but I already knew where she was going with this one. ‘But mum, I already embarrassed myself enough with the head-in-bowl photo.’ ‘Those girls obviously loved you in that doggy outfit, Seb…

Variety is the spice of life. A phrase used all too often by parents and grandparents, normally when something doesn’t go quite right. ‘Ah well, you didn’t get the girl and you ended up with a bruised knee, eye and chin AND a rash on your ass BUT… you know, variety is the spice of life!!!’ (Old people always talk with multiple exclamations, especially in emails…) What the phrase really means is that doing things differently is the key to…

I took yet another wrong turn and looked around. It was 10am, but down here in the maze-like bowels of Venice it could’ve been 10pm. I’d been up since 4am and the caffeine from the cup of coffee on the plane was wearing thin. Breakfast would’ve been lovely and there was certainly the tantalising smell of food in the air, but following my usually-acute sense of smell had already led me into three dead ends. A couple of geriatric Italians…

In September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland. With thousands of tanks and planes, the invasion was short and victory was absolute. Two days later, Hitler’s steady advancement across European borders was finally curtailed by the Allied declaration of war. It would be the last, world-encompassing dying breath of an empire that once spanned a quarter of the world, an empire that had already sustained massive social and military erosion since the First World War. “I felt as if I were walking…