14 August 2017


This is the reverse side of a British rail ticket.  As you can see there is an advert by the Samaritans which is a registered British charity with the aim of helping people when they are going through a particularly bad time.  These people may be feeling lonely, helpless, worthless and as if no-one cares.  People do care and are willing to listen and try to help you.  All you have to do is to reach out and make a telephone call or speak to a person you trust.  

The Samaritans website says:

We offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way - about whatever's getting to you

We're here round the clock

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life's done to you

We're not a religious organisation

13 August 2017

Street art in Tel Aviv

One could say that the term street art is just a glorified name for graffiti and perhaps that is the case but then again we are all entitled to our own opinions.  I wanted to do a blog post about this subject as there is a lot of street art here in Tel Aviv and some of it is rather good.  A few of the examples of graffiti/street art is of a political nature and I will not include these here.  It may be said that Banksy the anonymous England based graffiti artist, political activist has had a huge impact and elevated this rather dubious art form into dizzying heights.  To this effect, this form of graffiti/street art appears to have become more widely acceptable.

Photograph taken in a street in Neve Tzedek in December 2014.

Photograph taken in Frishman Street in June 2017.

Photograph taken in Ahad Ha'Am Street in June 2017.

Photograph taken at the corner of Sderot Chen and Frishman Street in May 2017.

Photograph taken in Bograshov Street in July 2016.

Photograph taken at the corner of Frishman Street and Malchei  YIsrael Square in August 2017.  This is rather an ambiguous piece of graffiti supposedly extolling the virtues of painting as opposed to smoking.

8 August 2017

Taking time out ...

Following weeks of house move related activity, it was good to take time out today and visit our favourite haunt, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.  I am going to miss this place.  It is an architectural delight and the temporary and permanent exhibitions are of a very high calibre.  It was good to escape the heat, humidity and the crowds and spend several hours in this oasis of calm. We saw photographs by Andy Warhol, a fascinating temporary exhibition by Fatma Shanan focusing on oriental carpets and another temporary exhibition entitled Collective Reflections on the Museum Collections.  There were of course other exhibitions but these ones caught my eye.  Below are a selection of photographs from these exhibitions.

A view from inside the museum looking out on to the sculpture garden with large eucalyptus trees, the blue sky and fluffy white clouds.

Razan 2, 2013 Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Reich family collection, Tel Aviv

Two Carpets in the Yard 2, 2012 Oil on canvas Courtesy of Sarah Liron and Sheldon Kahn, Tel Aviv

House 4, 2016 Oil on canvas Courtesy of the Ann and Dr. Ari Rosenblatt collection, USA

Suzanne Valadon 1865 - 1938. France Still Life, 1928 Oil on canvas

Antonio Canal (aka Canaletto) 1697 - 1768, Venice, and in his studio Capriccio (Venetian Yard) Oil on canvas

Natalia Goncharova 1881, Russia - 1962, France   Bowl of Flowers, 1919 - 1924 Oil on canvas Bequest of the Boris and Alexandra Pregel Collection

29 July 2017

Musical diary

I wanted to use this blog post to make a note of the top 10 songs that I have been listening to during these past two and a half years whilst living in Tel Aviv.  The songs themselves have no association with Tel Aviv except for one song. 

Bach - Cello Suite No.1 in G Major BWV1007 - Mov. 1-3/6

Chordettes - Lollipop
This song reminds me of our estate agent, Orna.  This soundtrack is her mobile phone ring tune and when we were house hunting with Orna in Tel Aviv her phone would ring and so through her I was introduced to the Chordettes.

עוזי חיטמן בארץ הזאתUzi Hitman    

Cold Play - Beautiful World 

 Chopin-Etude no. 3 in E major, Op. 10 no. 3, "Tristesse

Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons

Handel - Largo (from 'Xerxes') Opera

Cezary Skubiszewski - Red Dog The Search

 Emma Kirkby - Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera

Men At Work - Down Under

27 July 2017

Halper's Books

I had already mentioned this noteworthy second-hand bookshop under the heading of useful information however, it is such an outstanding place that I felt it deserved a blog post in its own right. It is simply the best second-hand bookshop that I have ever been to and believe me I have traveled extensively around the world not to mention having lived as an expatriate in six countries.  The owner is an American called Yosef Halper who opened his bookshop in 1991.  His website claims that the bookshop has over 50,000 titles to choose from.  It is a real gem of a place, so neat and tidy and has such an inviting, calm atmosphere.  What astounded me on one of my previous visits was Mr Halper's extensive knowledge of the placement of the books in his shop.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, all you have to do is to ask the owner or one of his helpers where books by a certain author are kept and the person on duty will take you to the precise bookshelf and aisle where you are most likely to be able to find the book you are after that is, if there is a copy of it in the bookshop.  Amazingly, the books are in alphabetical order within each genre which is no mean feat when you consider that the bookshop is covered from floor to ceiling with books.  In the summer the bookshop is air-conditioned and is a fabulous place to seek some respite from the strong Tel Aviv sun and an opportunity to while away a couple of hours perusing the many bookshelves.  Do visit Halper's Books next time you are in Allenby Street, you will not be disappointed. 

Address: 87 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv
Telephone/Fax:   +972 (0)3-629-9710
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 09:00 - 19:30 and on Friday until 16:00 

26 July 2017

Hebrew with pleasure by Edna Kadman

This is an excellent book which will assist the diligent student in their endeavour to try to learn the Hebrew language.  Like the title suggests, it makes learning Hebrew pleasurable and it is possible to work through the book at your own pace "without a teacher's help!".  This is not to undermine the fantastic work that language teacher's do but if for any reason you are unable to attend lessons then I suggest that you purchase a copy of this book.  You won't regret it.

Even though we only have a month left of our posting here in Tel Aviv, I have no intention of giving this book away to Halper's Books my favourite second-hand bookshop which is located in 87 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv.  I am going to keep this book and I intend to continue to work through it even when I am no longer living in Israel.  I have worked so hard to learn how to read Hebrew and it is not a skill which I wish to neglect.  Some people solve puzzles and/or do Sudoku to keep their brain active, I prefer to try and perfect my existing skills in a given language, in this case Hebrew.  Who knows, it may come in handy one day?  Even if it doesn't, working through Edna Kadman's book will certainly help to keep my brain cells active.  Neurologists point out that in order to keep our brains agile we ought to continue to keep learning throughout our life and this will enable us to be equipped with better mental functioning well into old age.

18 July 2017

Would you have the word מצה tattooed on your arm?

We have all seen it, people wandering around the world with tattoos in foreign languages bandied around their body.  In languages such as Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic not to mention English just because the person who is having the tattoo done thinks it looks different and unique.  Well the word emblazoned across your body can certainly be different especially if the tattoo artist doesn't have a clue what they are writing or cannot spell.  I recently came across an article where a man in the US had the word "matza" tattooed on his arm.  Poor man.  As anyone who can read Hebrew knows matza is an unleavened biscuit eaten by Jewish people during Passover (Pesach).  It is usually not the kind of word one would wish to have as a tattoo on their arm.  It turns out that the unsuspecting man thought he was having the Hebrew word for strength permanently tattooed on his arm.  Needless to say, if you are going to have a tattoo done in a foreign language then it is best to do a thorough research beforehand.
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