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The End of Winter

Tulips on my balcony Feb 2024
Tulips on my balcony Feb 2024

The day began with a bang. Fear gripped my heart. but soon dissipated, when my senses awoke to the simple reality that it was only the sound of the blind collapsing. 

Nothing to be afraid of; the thing collapsed from the weight of the snow that had fallen all night and was now pressing down on it blotting out the view from my bedroom window. 

From this opening, when I get out of bed and lift the screen, the quiet street, with cars parked on either side will not be seen. They’ll be covered in snow. 

Jerusalem usually has a day or two of the white fluffy stuff every year, before the hot Summer days set in.

I had a feeling that a storm was brewing when the dusty mist hid the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv as we approached. 

Our first stop was at Igal’s, a plot owner in the settlement of Gan Soren, where he sells oranges and other citrus fruit from his trees each Winter.

The season is coming to an end. There may be one more Saturday when he’ll be selling his crop.

I pick up a clementine, peel it, and throw the orange-colored rind into the plastic box under the cash register. The sweet juice trickles refreshingly down my throat. 

I used to eat lots of pomelo and grapefruit but my stomach started reacting badly so I stopped. 

Our next stop was the butcher in Jaffa, for steaks to take with us to Ariel for our usual Sabbath barbecue. 

Alon told me about improvements he was making to his story about the guy who wants to reform all the criminals in the world. This is a laudable idea, which shows that a 14-year-old boy has good ideals for our planet, but they may not be realised. 

I had whiskey and chewed the delicious steak. Ettie said it was time to go before the traffic got too heavy. We had to take into account that a demonstration of the families of the hostages was taking place and some roads might be closed by the police. 

We dropped Irena’s oranges off. I relieved myself in the little garden of bushy hedges under her apartment. The chill made me shiver, I put on my jacket and zipped it up. This is a stylish piece of apparel given to me by my son Avishai. Black leather and I love wearing it. 

Finally, on Friday I picked up the Hush Puppy shoes I’d ordered from Khalifa. Now I have a light brown pair and a black. The tan for blue jeans, the black for any color. 

On Wednesday, the day of the municipal elections, we drove to Tel Aviv. I had persuaded Ettie to travel on the Dankal, the city's new rapid transit system. 

We finally reached Allenby station after squeezing into the jam-packed carriage and walked along Judah Halevy Str to the great Humus place I had discovered a few months ago, before all the trouble started, when I was planning a tour of Israel's swinging center,  for my friends, Shaul, Declan, Robby, and Mike. 

The event didn’t happen, because of the war, and rockets were falling all over. 

After the Humus Ettie wanted ice cream and we considered going to Jaffa where there’s a shop that makes her favorite, but this would mean getting on the Dankal and taking a bus. Etti had enough of public transport, so we looked in Google and found that there was an ice cream parlour called Othello, nearby, all the rage now in Tel Aviv. 

It was decided that the Jaffa Ice cream tasted better.

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Mar 03

The Elections were on Tuesday dear Leon. We are making the same mistakes you and I. Maak seker boetie.

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