in the clouds & down to earth
..come find me at boxpark! :~)
"Turning up the Turndown Service!"
I take great pride in the container of my possessions. Known as a handbag, for why, I know not, since it’s place of dwelling is my shoulder.
Nevertheless, I’ve never been one for the sensible backpack; I like to think one day i’ll handbag around the world. Just one slight problem. It is this possession of mine which has left me and my shoulder consoling each other.
Although at times I feel like attacking it back, since its very blade is the deliverer of my pain. I must sac my bag for a while, and try my very hardest not to replace it with a chip on my shoulder, I wouldn’t want to become an old bag. No, i’ve quite enough baggage as it is!
I’ve sacked my bag!
Monocle. Keeping an eye on the world. I just wish, like my mother, I had one at the back of my head. But more on that later..
In search of clues for the opening date of my favourite magazines new cafe, months of wild detours and many pops into the Monocle shop later. The date is April 8th and I’m finally here, in the centre of cool.
Greeted by bearded beauties, not remotely emasculated by their little criss-crossed aprons, merely basking in the glow of the low hanging lights; halos to these hunks, I ordered an espresso.
While they prepared my neat little tray, a square of chocolate included, I explored the downstairs. Well worth the vertically challenging descent. A floor filled with possibilities, inspiration for even the most creatively lacking individual. A nagging ticket to Tokyo.
And the loo, a must skip to! An education in itself; options such as ‘wand cleaner’, ‘seat warmer’, an entire panel of exciting buttons and flashing lights await you. Should your coffee date be rather more bla bla than ha ha, you could lose a good few minutes in the room of rest.
Moving back upstairs, now in absolute empathy with my brother who climbed Kilimanjaro, I set up camp amongst the soft furnishings. Tray table to my right, the wall against my back, I’m wondering if the paint’s still wet. Though that should be the least of my worries! Transported to club cool, a sea of turned up trousers and statement socks, I was awoken with quite an awakening. More effective than my coffee, a large bang on my head followed by a tremendous crash on my tray table, it took me a moment to realise that a weighty canvas had landed and slid down my shiny hair.
Gaining consciousness I regretted my longing for Monocle heaven. For the reality made my heart beat much too much for a Monday morning, and the work I needed to complete for the day required every one of my (now depleted) brain cells.
*Note to Tyler, I was expecting the crème de la crème, Brûlé, to be knocked out by Monocle cafe, just not literally!
Quite a spectacle at Monocle!
"At the height of a mile, I stayed a while."
I took my drink, to sit and think.
On the brink of a thought,
A dream I caught.
Out of body, out of mind,
Up from earth, for the clouds I pined.
Goodbye to ground ~ to sky I’m bound.
Each day something remarkable, unphotographable happens here.
These are the moments; my camera to the side - I - ready to experience something, with my senses alone.
My eyes, the only lens, my nose without obstructions and my ears available for more than just the click of the camera and the sound of “no photo!”
One outstanding moment involves a gentleman named Ilan.
My dear friend Mick and I were making our shopping together in the market, browsing and buying the very freshest produce, each stall more exciting than the last, when I spotted persimmons. Just three, I wanted, that was it. I realised they were belonging to a man I used to buy from two years ago.
With fond memories of his very sincere warmth I told Mick how sweet he’d always been to me, the few times I bought his fruits and always so generously giving me a reduced price. I was sure he wouldn’t remember me, after all it had been two years and it was not so often I went.
Leading the persimmons to the till we greeted Ilan. His face filled with animation, his complexion, affection. For the next few minutes I had to convince him that I remembered him too! I handed him the persimmons and he asked if I recalled how he counted to three. I felt embarrassed I did not, disappointing him, he urged me to remember. I asked him to tell me again.
“I love you” he said. One after the other pointing at the persimmons he said “I-love-you”.
He turned to Mick, challenging, “Are you jealous?!”
“I’m French!” Mick replied!
Ilan then refused to take my money. I tried to insist but did not succeed. I thanked him, he hugged me and I promised to return soon.
It was about a week later when I went with another dear friend, Sharron. Equally happy to see us I planned to buy more than persimmons this time, so that I could at least repay him in a way. He enthusiastically asked me if I like kiwis, apples, oranges, bananas; filling a bag with two, three of each. One, two, three and I love you later, he absolutely refused to take my money again. But this time I was laden with the heaviest bag full of goodies and could not accept them for free. He was adamant I go and enjoy them, repeating “I-love-you” and with an apple in each hand, “one for Kara, one for Sharron”.
I still cannot find a way to justly end this anecdote. I’ve found that something so deeply enchanting has to be lived rather than photographed or written about ~ so I shall conclude by saying, this is what I’d call a super market!
…a thought from day 62, travelling by train, from Tel Aviv to Haifa."
Through orchards we meandered
Between vineyards we cruised,
Fruits of the highest standard
“This is paradise!” I mused.
Today I am walking around with a light bulb in my bag. What kind of a bright idea is that, I hear you wondering. Well, I shall tell you and remarkably the bit about the bulb is not the most exciting part of the story!
Returning home after yet another orgy (oh come on, how can my computer not come up with any synonyms?!) of hummus. I entered my bathroom, true to its name, for really it is just a room with a bath, the loo is separate.
I flicked the light switch, at which point the light flickered back, and that was it! Lights out, curtain up. The absurd part is that is I cannot seem to recall the lead up to the next events. Because joking apart, I spent the next seven minutes wrestling with my shower curtain and rod. (For these purposes I shall not call it a poll, I would not want thoughts of me pole dancing in the shower going viral.)
Leaving my four seasons slippers behind (gosh, just to think all they’ve been through since they were smuggled out of Geneva!) and lacking all expertise, I mountaineered my way up to the side of the bath in an attempt to reinstate the curtain, and my modesty. My first experience of tight rope walking, all I can say is, lucky the bath wasn’t running!
"After the announcement of a ceasefire, I did not expect to find myself in a crossfire.
Not the type of shells I was hoping to locate on the beach.
But more fool me, for everyone knows that Matkot is the country’s national sport. Although the bat and ball is not the crossfire I’m referring to, yes it does make rather a racket, but throw a frisbee into the mix and you’ve got quite the battle field.
Equip with my D200 I out armed them all yet I was the one in danger. I only threatened to shoot, yet these scantily clad demon athletes could take out an eye with one swift move of the back hand, worse still take off your head with a flying saucer. As risky as it was I couldn’t tear myself away.
At least fifteen minutes I stood there, frozen, in the heat of the game. Interrupted by the sight of a friend also braving the front lines; we both decided this would be a terribly embarrassing way to go - after all we are survivors of a war!"
- A peace of my mind
"I don’t know what this is!?"
Have you noticed how we’re all waiting for someday and hoping for oneday?
It seems we need a nine-day week. And while we’re at it, why not rename it a ‘strong’?
All competing in the human race, I just wish there was the same emphasis on human kind.
Perhaps tomorrow. Oh, but tomorrow never comes…
Never a dull moment here. Apart from the sudden change in weather, which I would call very dull.
This is the weather for war, not the beautifully balmy days that we’ve not been able to enjoy.
The clouds were indeed something of extraordinary proportions yesterday. Great imposing plumes, plump and powerful, they balanced above our heavy heads. I guess they stimulated the storm that followed.
It kicked off with a bang. Literally. A colossal clap of thunder, more slap, than clap, it took us all by surprise.
I was on the phone when I heard it, “s**t!” I heard myself saying. Even though I’d been monitoring the seemingly distant veins of lightening, nothing could have prepared me for the boom!
There were further bangs, as shutters were thrown open, windows pushed aside; gawping faces took their place. The old woman from across the road who I’d only ever seen as a figure in her bra and briefs, looked to me urgently, for information.
"Thunder" I shouted, pointing at the sky. “MA??”, "THUNDER" I repeated.
With deep relief her face fell into a smile.
I realize now, as frightening as it is to hear the siren, it’s even worse not to.
Over fire, now under thunder!
I’ve always been told never to assume, so I presumed it was finally safe to wash my hair.
No longer a worrier, I stand a warrior. This past week, more vigorous than my entire last year in London, Riots, Jubilee and Olympics included.
Now I can unpack my little overnight bag.
When the very first rocket landed, I was advised to have a bag ready if needed to evacuate to a bomb shelter.
The only thing is, I didn’t know what to put in it. I’d already felt better just looking at it, so I went about the apartment searching for things to fill it with. I must have soon been sidetracked - probably by news reports or worried calls from far away family - since I’ve discovered it now, completely forgotten about, and all that sits inside is Lindt’s 85% chocolate (even before the war, I demonstrated signs of braveness, for it is the 90% I eat, but one simply cannot buy it here!) and a packet of sprouted spelt bread.
Needless to say, my first, and often only thought, is food.
In other news, must dash, it’s two o’clock and I just heard my tummy rumble!
I have always avoided sleepless nights, horror movies and roller coasters.
(The teacups were more my cup of tea - but that’s another kettle of fish!)
So when I found myself thrust into the position of an extra, in Israel’s most talked about feature since 1991 - encompassing all the above, bar the teacups - what else was I to do, then take out my quill, (no, not to write my will!) to describe the everyday, for all we knew was today, the notion of tomorrow seemed almost naïve.
I was here, already forty-nine nights before war was upon us. As soon as it was, pressure from abroad was upon me,
“You’re getting out of there, right?” “COME-HOME!!”
Amazingly these were not words which came from my family - friends in fact.
Of course there were times when a brother, or sister, mother, father, expressed their wish for me to return -articulating their ideal - yet always furthered by their understanding and support in me staying.
So endlessly thankful this was the case. For I felt all along I was here, preferably for good times, but this is and has always been a place of uncertainty and I was adamant not to run away just because things became difficult.
It would not have felt right to have basked in what had been the most blissful time and then pack up and run because I was suddenly abandoned - my comfort zone nowhere to be found.
For the support I received from each and every person here, whether I knew them or not, was abundant, bountiful. It transported me to places I did not know I’d reach.
We were all in this together and we’ve all come out of it together.
And yes, we all know the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, well I’ve come up with one of my own,
“Whoever said ‘sex sells’, had clearly never written about Israel!”