Sunday, 27 September 2015

From Fasting to Feasting

It has been a busy time here. Two weeks ago it was the Jewish New Year and last week it was the Day of Atonement, the most holy day of the year when we have to fast for 25 hours. Not easy!

By way of a contrast, today there was a food festival at Leicester's Belgrave Hall. When I saw a stall from the well-known vegetarian Indian restaurant, Bobby's, I eagerly joined the queue. The girls were serving up a choice of two vegetarian curries. The left-hand tray contained paneer curry, the right-hand noodle curry...

And this was my lunch. Delicious...

Belgrave Hall is an 18th Century house built by a rich hosiery merchant and now used as a museum. It is right in the centre of Leicester City and yet you can walk round its walled gardens and feel as if you're in the countryside. This is where we ate our lunch...

The Most Haunted House in Leicester:

Belgrave Hall has the reputation of being the most haunted house in Leicester. A victorian lady has apparently been seen walking around and apparently the aroma of Victorian-style cooking has been smelt. There is a video that apparently shows a ghostly white lady walking through the upstairs rooms, but today, on this lovely sunny autumn afternoon, there was certainly nothing spooky going on at all. 

Mind you, I wasn't about to hang around and am now home, safe and sound, long before the sun sets when I fear that ghostly apparitions might well walk once more. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign

Pass It On

Yesterday I took part in Rik Basra's dynamic Pass It On Campaign. Before I talk about our excitement at collecting the flag from the Leicester Fire Brigade, I shall explain a bit about the campaign.

Every year, 2000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant to help them to battle against blood cancers but suitable donors are often hard to find. The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign has organised a month-long event to encourage people, especially from minority groups, to sign up to the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Register.

A flag is being ceremonially passed between Leicester groups by members of the Leicester Fire Brigade. It is covered with signatures of all those people who have registered and, when the project is completed, the flag will be displayed at the Leicester Royal Infirmary Cancer Unit. The photographs below show myself and Miriam, Chair of the Leicester Progressive Synagogue, collecting the flag. The firemen made quite a display of passing it on to us with ornamental firehoses playing and a huge crane ladder.

We were on the balcony watching as the flag swung into the air and into our hands. (That's me with the yellow jumper on.) It was all very exciting.

We then took the flag back to the Progressive Synagogue where a small but enthusiastic group of supporters turned up to register and add their signatures to the flag. 

Of course we would all willingly have signed up too but for the age restriction of 16 to 30. As Miriam pointed out, even our children are too old to contribute! That hurt, but at least we were able to do our bit to spread the word.

You can find out more about Rik Basra and his campaign at his webiste, The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Tenby and Happy New Year

We've been in Tenby, Wales, for the week. The weather was glorious and the view from the living room window was amazing.

From that same window we were able to watch the athletes training for today's Ironman Competition. It involves swimming, cycling and running. Not for the faint hearted!

It's a shame we couldn't stay to watch the swimming part of the competition as we would have had a 'front row' view but we needed to get home in time for the Jewish New Year which starts at sunset tonight. So I wish you all shana tova, a happy and healthy new year and share my usual helping of apple and honey with you.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Has Shakespeare seen better days...

...or has he gone full circle?

I love the way that Shakespeare has placed so many well-worded phrases into our language. I suspect that some people will argue that he took many of these phrases from earlier writers, but even if that is true it was Shakespeare who provided us with their legacy. If he had not used these phrases then they would have been lost forever. It was from his plays that they have become part of our everyday speech.

This picture did the rounds a few months ago on Facebook. Apologies to whoever compiled it but 
I couldn't resist using it for this post.

One of my many favourite extracts from Shakespeare is the famous speech given by Jaques in As You Like It:
All the world's a stage.
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.....

This was something that, as a teenager, got me thinking for the first time about the aging process, about the concept of 'seven ages of man'.

What is your favourite Shakespeare extract or phrase?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

August Reflections

August is the only month that I've never known how to spell in French. This is because I was never at school in August. August is a month of disruptions; people on annual leave, meetings cancelled, a month with no routine. How apt, therefore, that my blog took on a different look. I hope you enjoyed meeting some of my writing friends. I told you Leicester was an interesting place to live.

I’ve been keeping busy while I’ve been away from my blog. I drove up to Manchester for a family visit. I’m getting braver at driving… a little braver anyway.  It’s always a fun, action packed time in Manchester. I was proud to see Son practicing for his first ever 5K run to raise money for Junior Diabetes Research, JDRF. As I’ve mentioned before, my five-year-old grandson has Type 1 Diabetes and it’s a 24 hour-a-day/7 day-a-week worry for them all.

The highlight of my month was a trip to London. We went to see Gypsy at The Savoy Theatre. It was a belated birthday present from Daughter; a fabulous day and an impossible-to-beat present.

I love The Savoy Theatre. If you’ve never been then you must visit it next time you’re in London. It is on Savoy Court next to the Savoy Hotel entrance with its top-hatted doormen and strange little street which must be accessed by driving on the right hand side of the road (the only such street in the UK apparently, an anachronism, something to do with carriages and ladies alighting.) When you go into the theatre you have to go down the stairs even if you’re up in the Circle. There are red velvet curtains and triangular art nouveau lighting. It’s small enough for you to never be too far away from the action, and what action it was! Imelda Staunton as Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother! She made the hairs stand up on my neck.

And now it’s September, a month of new beginnings. Of course, I no longer have the trepidation of a new school term but I have enrolled on a new course. It’s a poetry writing course so expect to see lots of poetic blogs over the next year. September is also the month when we welcome in the Jewish new year of 5776 with lots of apple and honey but more of that in another post...

If anyone would like to donate to the Junior Diabetes Charity, JDRF, this is my son's Just Giving Page. He was, until recently, a self-confessed 'couch potato'. With an apology for repeating myself, I'm so proud of how hard he is training for this.