• Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Wales, wet and windy...

    Bangkok clip here.

    Wales was good. Wet, cloudy and cold but the trip went well. Daughter played with her friends for several hours and a great deal of fun was had.

    Never get any feeling of nostalgia for Wales. Whenever I go back there I just get a feeling of wanting to get away straight away. Something very depressing about North Wales. Except the countryside. Physically it is a beautiful part of the country, despite all the slate and pebble dash. Driving across a narrow mountain road (the friends live literally on the top of a mountain) the sky, as always, was a wonderful sight. You can't beat the top of a Welsh mountain for star gazing.

    Almost managed a full day of work at the computer. There have been interruptions but the addition of the daughter's cousin has meant that she doesn't need to bother me for attention this afternoon. Usually I try to work and she comes and asks me to play, read, go for a walk etc and I want to work. In the end she wins. I feel guilty about ignoring her. I think maybe my insomnia is a sub-conscious way to get some private time. I wake up late evening and then find myself working until 3am. Unfortunately this is not the most productive time for work and concentration is difficult. And the daughter is usually wandering into my room early morning to drag me out of bed.

    Sounds like the trouble in Thailand is continuing. The blame game is being played to the full now with all sides venomously denying any involvement in the recent bombings. The wife tells me that there are security checks at shopping malls. Fast food delivery is the real winner apparently as people are preferring to stay in and order food rather than risk the perceived threat.

    One weather forecast has predicted a "beast of a storm" heading our way. That's nice.

    Wales, wet and windy...

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    Blogger Liza said...

    We drove along the Welsh border once. The scenery was absolutely stunning, and we both wished that we'd had time to explore the area more.

    Security in Thailand is starting to sound like security in Israel. All malls have security guards, as to train stations and many restaurants. Unfortunately, it's just a fact of life here that we've all gotten used to.

    7:55 pm  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    It is some lovely countryside over there. there's a weather problem though and the towns do look a bit dour. Other than that it's nice. We've still got a house up in North Wales so have to go there often.

    Is it really that bad even now in Israel? I really want to visit. When I was here last summer I wanted to go but the trouble with Lebanon started and flights were stopped. Maybe this time.

    8:21 pm  
    Blogger Liza said...

    It's not a matter of being bad, it's just the way things are. Everyone is used to having their bags checked whenever they go anywhere. It doesn't keep people from living life normally. Malls and restaurants/cafes are always packed, and the only times that people get a bit nervous is when a terror attack has occurred. Even then, people don't make such a big fuss about it unless it was a major attack. Years ago, whenever there was a terror attack, the radio stations would switch to quiet songs, the TV stations wouldn't show comedies, people wouldn't really go out, etc. Life just sort of stopped. Now, life just goes on unless something particularly horrific happens. Unfortunately, we've just gotten used to it.

    That being said, Israel is still a great place to visit, and given that there are terror attacks everywhere these days, I'd definitely have to say that it's no less safe than anywhere else. Probably even safer, given how much attention is given to security issues.

    5:27 pm  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    I know what you mean, we had many years of "terror" at the hands of the IRA when I was growing up. It is easy to just absorb what is happening and get on with life. There was always a feeling here that by changing your ways the terrorists would have won.

    Do you see an end to the problems in the near future or not?

    I've got Jewish blood on my mother's side of the family. I have no religion at all but I've always been quite proud of being part Jewish. I've spoken to some Jewish people who say that I'm not Jewish and others that insist that I am. One orthadox Jew from north London banged the table and said: never forget, you're one of the chosen people!
    What's your opinion?

    6:43 pm  
    Blogger Liza said...

    Unfortunately, I don't think there's an end in sight at the moment. Israel's government is a mess, and the Palestinian leadership is no better. Hamas isn't even attempting to enforce the "cease fire", as Kassam rockets continue to fall in Southern Israel, yet if we talk about taking measures against the Kassams, Hamas complains that we will be breaking the cease fire. Most Israelis believe that at present, there is no partner for peace on the other side, and despite my leftist leanings, I'm inclined to agree with that assessment, given that Hamas won't actually acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

    As far as whether or not you'd be considered Jewish, according to Jewish law, it is passed down through the maternal line only. Orthodox Judaism does not accept anything else, though Reform Judaism and some streams of Conservative Judaism will accept if it comes from the father's side. Personally, I've never had a problem with people being "part" Jewish, "half" Jewish, or any other "mutation" of Jewish that anyone wants to be or feels they are. It's far too complicated and complex, and there are often no easy answers.

    So, how was that for an answer? :-)

    5:05 pm  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    Very good answer, thanks. I once saw someone from Hamas interviewed and he made it clear that the only solution he would accept was the "driving of all Jews into the sea." I can't imagine there's a great of room for negotiation when dealing with that attitude.

    Hmm. I know there are some who say that there is no such thing as "half" Jewish, you either are or you're not. I consider myself a Brit with some Jewish ancestry, and proud of being both. I would like to learn more about Judaism and I'm looking into family history at the moment to see where I do come from. Interesting stuff.


    6:20 pm  

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