Thursday, March 30, 2006


Insanity (of the fun wacky kind) has never exactly been a stranger to me, but, now it seems to have taken over over completely. Things are happening at breakneck speed and I'm having trouble keeping up with myself! And poor Orna is on the verge of collapse just trying to get through a day with me. The Disco is almost sorted. The GPS is in it and working just fine, as is the new radio CD and it even has a DVD player that is going to have a camera attached to it so I can stop smashing Asian cars that have the misfortune to park in the vicinity of me. First day out, I backed up with my foot on the brake and barely touched a Honda. Rami sent us to his body work guy, who promptly decided that I would be paying for lots of new fenders and said he'd fix it for free! The same thing happened the very next day at the cell phone 'hands free' installation place, except the ditz I hit just got into her crumpled car and drove off without a glance while I was yelling and waving trying to get her attention in order to tell her that *I* was the culprit and offer to fix it. That was when I decided that a camera is essential and decided to get the fancy radio disk/DVD set up. The expert who does the camera part is off work trying to pass a kidney stone, so the tin can cars are still in danger.
Now for the biggest news of all. There's a business in town that sells bicycles and security doors. It's the number 1 place for those things and the owner was our very first neighbor in town. We also worked together back in 96 during Grapes of Wrath when we were being shelled daily and I found myself in charge of approving security door replacements. He was also a large dealer for cell phones and I bought my first one ever from him. Long story short. He got well and truly done be the cell phone folk and ended up in financial difficulty and almost lost his home. He had a few 'partners' who had absolutely no understanding of how a business should be run and made things even worse. When I went to buy Danny's new bike from him, there were only 4 in the whole place. I mentioned that I want to change my door and after he delivered the bike, he came down to Uzi's where I was having the radio etc installed and sort of off hand asked if I'd be interested in buying out his present partner. I told him I'd think about it, and he went to ask the PP if he'd be willing to be bought out. He agreed and I decided to do it! I had been thinking about doing something like that and as I do not believe in coincidence and DO believe in Divine Intervention, realized that it was meant to be and have already closed the deal. There are a few amazingly incredible aspects to it that will make by baby brother's kids very wealthy one day, and my share in it will eventually go to them. Shmarya says that from the minute I agreed business suddenly picked up, and I am now holding several thousand shekels until all the paperwork is done and we can deposit it properly. We are going on the rounds of bike importers on Monday to get some to sell, as this is the big season. When you do something right, you feel it, and this is RIGHT. It's funny how the wheel turns around. With the garage, I was the partner that pushed sales and knew we needed inventory, with a partner who held back. Now it's the right combination. We both know. Shmarya has the golden hands and the reputation here, I have the ability to sell and run the in-store side. He also has a computer and I'll be able to post here more often. I'll also be able to run the books on computer and plan to computerize the inventory. He has a bazillion bike parts that should be kept track of. He is also the #1 key copier and has computerized machines that can copy just about any key. I rather doubt I'll be doing much of that as I have visions of copying my finger and of the poor customer trying to open his house with me. I don't think so. It's not like it's hard to do, but with my crap left hand, I rather doubt it's a good idea!
My short list of things to do today: exchange the digi cam I bought. It's just too much camera and I don't want to spend a year learning all the bells and whistles-buy a bra (still only have one) talk to my account from the garage days-buy purple supplies for my desk-get the fridge techie to reverse the door opening direction-call Gerald about my computer-fill the Disco's wee 95 liter tank, check in with Shmarya and a few other minor things already on my list. Must get started.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


These are the last two pictures of the Disco, and I think I'm settled enough now to put together a semi coherent post. Maybe. After all the hysteria on Monday about the wire transfer, the bank called on Tuesday and said that it had arrived. But I repeat myself. First thing Wednesday morning I hauled ass into the bank and transferred enough $s into shekels to pay for the car and took enough cash to cover all my debts and to sort Orna. I was so out of it that I handed everything over to her and went to the Post Ofice to Western Union Leia's money to her. I had already told her to expect it and that I would text her the details, but as the forms have teeny tiny printing and I only had my outside glasses and not my proper reading glasses, I had to wait until I got home to send the details.Note to self: Put spare pair of reading glasses in car. After sending the W.U. Orna and I raced out to Rami to buy the Disco. He was waiting and told us that he'd tried to find me all evening because some poor jerk from Haifa was busting his chops wanting to buy *my* Disco and he just wanted to make sure I was really and truly buying it. I very patiently explained that, yes, I am buying it and that having told him so the previous evening, it was a done deal. We did the deal and his wife and office manager called my bank to be sure the check wouldn't bounce. Of course she got a great big ok, and we moved on to deal with the insurance. I owed the insurance company the third party insurance premium from the Cit'ruin' because Mordy messed it up. I'd told the agent I'd cover it by Sunday, but, as I had to insure the Disco, and we could just add the difference to the old policy, sent Rami with the cash for both, and I had compulsory and third party insurance within half an hour, and the old one paid off. The only snag was that the local DMV office is closed on account of the gal who runs it is on strike because the idiot who pays her salary just happens to be our mayor and he hasn't paid her for 3 or 4 months, so no transfer of ownership or new gimp parking card on the new plate number, but I can drive the car, as I have the bill of sale, and can use the old parking card as it has my ID number on it and I don't intend to let the car far enough out of my sight for that to be an issue. With paperwork, and insurance firmly in hand, I sent Orna off grocery shopping and followed Rami to the local (20 minutes away) LR garage for a step to be installed to help me get in if for some idiot reason I don't park next to a kerb. It took what seemed like forever, but, at last, I drove away ginning madly and in possession of a Land Rover thermal coffee cup. Not wanting to go straight home, I went to Safad to give Striar the rest of what I owed him from the trip he made to Petach Tikvah and to show off a bit. When I got home I still didn't want to get out of the Disco, so Orna, Danny and Taliah, their oldest, piled in a we went off for a celebratory supper at a restaurant about 3 kliks out of town. Of course I insisted on placing my chair so I could admire the car. We had a nice meal (my first of the day. Forgot to take my meds in the morning too!) and after a bit of insanity with the alarm code, went home. I was still hyper enough to stay awake until the end of the World Figure Skating Championships, then fell into a coma until morning. MORNING! Time to go to the bank and organize my credit limits and get a bit back on Mordy. He actually had the nerve to imply that I was delusional about that much money coming in, in spite of having seen the documents. Ooops. After deducting the check for the car I had 73,000 left in the account. Before leaving the bank, I drove up to Mordy's office and asked him very sweetly to please check my balance. There are no words to describe the look on his face when he saw it. It's too bad there's no picture of it, except for the one indelibly branded in my memory! I paid the ambulance and fire/rescue bills and went to the insurance guy whose attitude underwent such a change. It's one thing to insure a 1988 Cit'ruin' and another entirely to insure a 2000 Land Rover Discovery that was paid for with a check/cash. Sending Rami to pay him the day before was a stroke of accidental genius. He was perfectly happy to take a check for the comprehensive insurance. Now all I have to do is get one more level of protection added and all will be well. I'll do that on Sunday morning. I went to my cell phone place and bought their GPS kit and a hands free phone thing that will be installed on Monday. Then, I took the Disco for a drive. It's not a usual car that you just get in and drive. It has all kinds of stuff that should be learned. And the power steering is a bit twitchy. I really don't like power steering, but just the thought of driving that without it is not pleasant. I'll get the steering soon. I got home from my drive just in time to collapse in bed and catch World's, then go out to take pictures of the Disco from all sides, then to Orna and Danny's for Shabbat dinner, then home for more skating. I woke up this morning at 0530 convinced that it was Sunday, only to realize that it was Shabbat, tried to write a post with no success, calmed down, and am trying again. I'll probably go for a ride tonight, depending on the skating schedule, then tomorrow, lots of stuff to do. That pretty much covers things up to now. I think it's time to take a shower, go relax in bed with the local papers. I've been thinking a lot about how odd it was that I bought a pile of stickers for the Cit'ruin' in Swansea but didn't put them on it. They are now proudly on the Disco. This is THE CAR. It would have driven away from that accident with no more than a dent or two.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


After all the hysteria and nonsense that went on here at Gimp House on Tuesday, I got a phone call from Sasson at the bank to tell me the wire is here. It's a damn good thing I was sitting in bed when the call came because if I hadn't been, I would have fallen down. I made a quick trip into town yesterday morning to take the police report on the accident to the insurance guy and my clinic. I went straight home because I had an odd pain in my chest. It didn't take long to figure out that the pain was a direct result of stress and it went away pretty quickly. I was just sitting in bed figuring out what time to call Florida to find out if the wire had been sent when Sasson called!
After I got my brain back in gear, I called Orna and said "You here. Now. Just to do it" She staggered in still half asleep from her afternoon siesta nap and I let out a yell that would have done any southern rebel proud. Even though I never go out twice in one day, I got dressed again and went charging out Rami to tell him to get the Disco ready. I decided to get the newer, more expensive one, and he's going to add a step to my side so I'll be able to get in and out more easily. Then I went to get a GPS cell phone like the one I got for Bat Chen, then we had a Parliament meeting about what to do this morning, then, I called Striar, Yogi, and a few other friends.
I am still having a hard time grasping the fact that it came in so fast, and I can not find the words to describe the feeling and emotions I went through. Now I will be able to pay off every single debt I have. Not that there are many, but, after today, there will be none. And I'll have a Disco. I think I figured out why I want the Disco so much. Many long years ago Dad wanted to buy me a jeep. He ran into some Israeli guy in Florida who had a red Willys chained to a tree and he wanted to buy it for me. Dad wanted to buy me a jeep? I checked it out and found out that it was crap. Somehow, I feel like buying this Disco is doing something he wanted me to do. A Disco is a sort of Super Jeep, after all. I had a bit of a cry, and wailed that I want to tell Mum, but she knows. Laugh all you want, but I KNOW she's been with me the whole time, and helping me. Dad has too. She must have read him the riot act when he got there (where ever *there* is) and he fell in line, helping her help me. I felt so stupid, when, a year or so after she died, I realized that she was the brains in that marriage. She was so smart that she let him and everything else think it was him. Now I know it was her all the time. I miss her so much it hurts, even after 27 years. There never were, and never will be many people as wonderful as she was. Marcelle, watch your step. Your days are numbered and it will not be pretty. What you did to Jeff was unforgivable and will not go unpunished in the end.
I find it a bit amusing that the only person in the family still talking to her is Irit. The Jeffy doesn't want to hear her name and Aron has no more use for her than I do, but Irit is just fine with her, or so Aron says. That's her problem. Silly girl, going and alienating her whole family. Oh well, what goes around comes around and her lesson will come and she'll either learn or not! Ok, time to get dressed and go to the bank, send Leia a Western Union, and buy a Disco!! I'll post a picture of it later today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Plan *A* while brilliant, didn't work mainly because it was too complicated, but there's a good chance that plan *B* will. Plan *B* is so simple but is contingent on The Wicked One complying. I'll know later today if she did. I found out, after about a bazillion phone calls to the States I had all the information needed for her to a wire transfer without talking to *her* then, when I tried to find out if the wire went out as promised, the bank was already closed and the lawyer had gone off to some seminar, so I'll only be able to find out today if it went out or not. I don't even want to think about it not having gone out. The lawyer said she'd *make* her do it, but I don't really trust either of them, so I'm a bit stressed out by the whole thing. Doesn't she understand that while BBC is cheap to run, hills are a bitch! If the Land Rover I want is gone I don't even want to think about it, and I for sure don't want to even about choosing something else now that I've seen the Disco.
The Worlds Figure Skating Championships are on now and that makes for later nights. It sure didn't take the judges long to figure out how to mess things up. They've already found a way to give points to skaters who don't really deserve them and mark down skaters who do. Shades of Europeans and the Olympics. Not that the old system was better, it wasn't, but this one can be fiddled too. So many of the skaters seem to have already had their placing decided and that's just not fair. Not that it will stop me from watching every single event. It won't, I *have* to watch because my body can still feel every movement on the ice. And, yes, it does feel good, even I can't even walk any more. As long as I can still feel it, it's ok.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


That miserable, lying, scheming, *itch of evility had the nerve to tell a lie to her lawyer. She was even stupid enough to tell a lie that was easily checked, as in with one phone call. It could even have been checked in 3 minutes on the Interweb! Oops. I've got her now, in two provable lies that, with any luck, and at the least can earn her a contempt of court decision and get her removed as(executioner) executor of Dad's estate.
Before I start patting myself on the back for my brilliant plan to foil her attempt at delaying the transfer of the money, I'm going to be smart and wait to see if it worked. I'll know late tomorrow. And won't I just shout it from the roof tops if it works!
The other day I suddenly remembered that it was time to renew my Interweb service and got an even cheaper package and a ridiculous overseas rate deal. I now pay 0.13 shekels for the first 13 minutes every month and 0.25 for every minute after the first 13. That's less than $.01 per minute. Ok, so there's a monthly charge of 4.95 shekels (just over ¢1) for those rates- Brits, divide by 8.1 for a rough idea of how cheap it is. The way rates are going, they'll be paying us to call overseas next year. Those rates make it a joke to call the lawyers in Florida, and my brother in Maine. At those rates I can call him every day if I want.
Next update after I find out if The Plan worked!

Friday, March 17, 2006


There's really no excuse for not posting here other than plain old laziness and the fact that I am in a black mood. There are two reasons for the black mood. The first is that the Wicked One seems to be futzing around with the wire transfer. I really need that money to get here fast because I have found my next car, a Land Rover Discovery at a really good price and I need a car. The other reason is that one of the super expensive phones I bought in Petach Tikva just doesn't work right. I got that particular phone because it has an ear piece thingy that lets it function as a cordless phone that doesn't have to be held, and I can't get the ear piece to communicate with the base unit and there's no way to talk with the tech support. Simply can not get a person to answer any calls at all. All the possible places have to have a message left and they promise to call back within 24 hours. Yeah, right. So, if I had the car, I could take the phone to the company and have a fine yell up. Get a move on, will ya, Wicked One? The gimp needs a Disco.
I *have* been taking things easy and I should be able to wear proper clothes in a day or two as the spectacular bruise from the seat belt from the crash is almost gone and the ribs hurt a lot less.
One great thing did happen this week. The guy who has to make the plans for enlarging my kitchen so the wheely will fit in was here this week and said he'll move on it as fast as he can. Never mind that I'll soon be able to afford to do it myself, let them break down the walls and sort the electrics and plumbing. I'll take care of the counters and cabinets. I'll be getting a proper upside down fridge and built in hob and oven anyway! I've also pretty much decided to buy Gimp House and leave it to Orna and Danny's son. Not that I'm planning on checking out any time soon, but you never know.
There are so many other things I want to do with that money as well. Among them is to clear the books for Orna and Danny, and two other friends who are struggling with old debts. I have it all planned, and want to get started. Get a move on, oh, Wicked One.
I found a fantasic site on the history of Portland Maine Jewery and updated information they had on my family there. It's a fascinating site and made me all nostalgic and teary when I saw the grandmother I was named afters name there. I sent an update on both sides of the family to the guy who runs the site and gleefully left out the Wicked One. I think I'll go check the mail, then get back to planning and plotting.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Here it is! Proof positive that we made it down that cliff face of a driveway in the wilds of Wales. The picture is a bit fuzzy on account of it was taken with my smart ass cell phone and I am still crap with my photo editor. Kim's youngest kind of hid herself between her mom and older sister, but, you get the general idea. I now realize that it was a big mistake not to take a picture of that cliff face we drove down. Oh, well, next time. I think I'll add the picture that was taken as we were getting out of the plane I flew. The expression on Wilco, the instructor's face makes me wonder if he might be thinking of giving up on teaching. Why does it not surprise me that the pictures got added oddly? I guess it really doesn't matter. I'm sure you get the general idea. In the flying picture Leia looks quite pleased, and even though you can't really see my face, I have the widest happiest grin imaginable. There are a few more 'flying pictures' and I'll post them separately later. I'm quite proud of having flown that plane, I am, I am.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


After four trips to Bat Chen's, I finally learned the way to her house, so you'd think I'd know how the way to leave it, wouldn't you? Well, you'd be wrong! If I don't mess up and take a wrong turn ending up on the wrong road and looking for signs pointed north, it just isn't going to happen. As usual, I took a wrong turn and found myself looking for signs pointing north, and that's just about the last thing I remember until that white car slammed into me and my car crash landed on a dividing island, half in the opposite lane behind a traffic signal. I have absolutely no recollection of the traffic light-if it was red or green or changing. None at all and that's the scary part. I sat there shaking for a few seconds while people ran up to see if I was ok. One nice man gave me a sip of water and said that he'd called the cops and an ambulance. I called Bat Chen and said "I crashed the car and myself too." She asked "Where?" and the nice man told me, and I told her. The place name meant absolutely nothing to me at the time. The ambulance came and the paramedics pried me out of the car and carted me and the lady from other car to a hospital in Petach Tikva. On the way Bat Chen called back and I told her which hospital. She arrived a few minutes after I did. She has a good friend in the town where the accident was and she'd called him and told him to leave everything and go to the place where the accident was and see what had happened. He called back and reported that my car looked really bad and they were towing it away along with a white one. Can you imagine that? He left his hair salon with a bunch of people in various stages of haircuts, color, and what not, to go see what happened? It took forever to get checked and I had to threaten to get up and leave if they didn't take the freaking back board away. That hurt more than anything except the neck brace which soon followed the back board. A quack finally came along and asked what hurt, then sent me off to X-ray, where the idiot techie broke a fingernail and I threatened to sue. At least she didn't throw me off the table like the one in Safad did back in '98! I was then parked in the hallway to wait for a bed driver to take me back to the ER. The fool asked me where he had to take me and I lost it. How the hell am I supposed to know? Bat Chen saved his life by telling him, and back we went to waiting. It took forever for a sawbones to look at the pretty pictures of my bones and he missed the cracked ribs. Yeah, well, I've had so many cracked ribs that I didn't need him for that. At least two, and my left (useless) leg is one huge bruise and sprained pretty much from top to bottom. Except for a scratch cut on my right foot, that's about it. And a huge hematoma where the seat belt was. Just as I was about to check out AMA yet again, the idiot quack came and released me. The other lady was released minutes before so she was ok too, tank G-d. The ambulance driver had shoved all my stuff into the bag, but said there was no room for BBC so Bat Chen comandeered a wheely and took me out to her van, then, back to her house. The bad pain hadn't quite set in yet and I got in her house using and old walker she brought out to me, and collapsed on the bed in the spare room and took some of my pain pills. Breathing was a nightmare for the next two hours, but I eventually fell asleep.
In the morning, the first thing we had to do was track down BBC as I really couldn't walk even with the walker. We found the yard they'd towed the car to and went there. The lady in the office was very nice and got BBC for us, and we went to the local branch of my clinic to top up my meds supply, then, I filled her van with solar(diesel) and we did a few more things(among them buy yet another charger for my cell phone) and took my aching body home to figure out what to do next. It was obvious that I wasn't going anywhere any time soon, and as there were still a few lose ends to tie up with her/my bank account, we decided that I'd just stay there until after the 28th, when her/my new bank account would be sorted permanently. As the hospital had given me 3 days of bed rest I didn't(couldn't) report the accident to the cops until the 4th day. In the meantime the other lady's insurance agent tracked me down and tried to get me to say the accident was my fault but all I could tell him was that I didn't remember a thing.
The accident was on Sunday the 19th, so, on Thursday we went to the cop shop in the town where the accident was and reported it properly. The cop who took the report was a dear and called the accident investigator who wanted to know the answers to a mile long list of questions. It was decided that we'd go back there and meet with the investigator on Friday, which we did. Now, these investigators are good at what they do, and know who is telling the truth and who is not. As I didn't remember the accident all, and was obviously confused by it all, there was no problem with him. I did tell him that I've been driving since 1968 and never had an accident except for the run in with that katyusha in '92 which really doesn't count, and that I have no, 0, not a one, traffic convictions, and that I am compulsive about traffic signals. Leia might remember the green light I sat through for 3 changes in Swansea. I didn't mention that, but, I did say, that it makes absolutely no sense to me that I might have run a red light. He was most sympathetic and lead me to believe that it would be ok and gave me back my license which he had the authority to suspend on the spot if he thought I was at fault. In fact he was obliged to suspend if he thought it was my fault. At then end he gave me a form to take to the place where the car was to release it. The nice lady there got the remaining things out and I paid for them to send my beloved car to the crusher as it was never going to be able to go back on the road. Damn right I cried. That car saved my life. Bat Chen and I went to get her son from kindergarten and went home where we rested over Saturday, and on Sunday ran a bunch of errands including taking her van to the shop to get the lift fixed yet again. Monday was even more running around, then came Tuesday, payday! I won't list what we did because just reading the list will exhaust you. At some point I asked Orna to get my mail, and tell me if anything had come from the States. There were two letters from Florida and I had her open them. One of them had a photocopy of a check for $150,000, but she couldn't read the letters to me, so I had Yossi go down and read them to me. YES! The wicked step saw the light and decided to pay out the proper, correct amount. Yossi was then sent to my bank to show Mordy the check and tell him to behave, then he hopped a bus to bring me my mail. Mordy was in shock and called to ask if me if it was really true and I made him approve a 500 shekel withdrawal from a branch down there. He, of course was all ballistic about when the money would arrive and I explained that first I had to get home and send the papers back by Fed Ex and that I couldn't go home for a few days yet, but that I'd come into the bank on the following Wednesday. He just had to make do with that. In the meantime, we got the swift routing from Bat Chen's new bank where the account is in my name to use as leverage with Mordy. On the Friday we got her/my new credit card and arranged for her to pick up the secret code number. Zahava kindly agreed to take me home on the Sunday, so after a quiet weekend, we shoved all my stuff back in the bag and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for a picnic on the way home. Zahava arrived at Bat Chen's more or less on time and I loaded all my stuff on BBC and used it as a walker to get to Zahava's van. Bat Chen's Great Dane decided that she wanted some attention and knocked me over. Luckily I was close to the lawn and fell on the grass and not the paved walkway! I'm not quite sure how I got up again, but Bat Chen's power chair was involved. At last I was in Zahava's van and we headed North, homeward, two weeks later than originally planned. I filled *her* van with diesel and she stayed over that night. It really is a long drive from there to here. In the morning I took her to my hair cutter because my new hair cut, done by the guy Bat Chen sent to the junction to check the accident, made her want one too. She got a great cut, then, agreed to wait while Orna and I went shopping to bring the groceries back to Gimp House because I was skint and couldn't even pay a taxi to do it. After that, I crawled into bed and stayed there until morning. I didn't even turn the computer on because by then my butt was sore from the fall on the lawn! That's about it. Home never looked or felt better. The rest of the week might take almost as long to tell, but it will have to wait until later today, or maybe even tomorrow. My butt still hurts a bit.

Friday, March 10, 2006


There she is boys and girls. Franne the intrepid pilot of small aeroplanes.
Now, onward with the saga of a Colonial Gimp driving in Great Britain.
After the final touch and go landing, and a minor adjustment of the ball on the steering wheel by Paul (who had no doubt that it should spin), we were off towards Wales. We got onto the correct "A" road which was little more than a paved path that had houses right in the middle, with brave people living in them. I swear some of them were built in Arthur's time. Not wanting to take any more risks than usual, I plodded along at gimp warp speed, well under the posted limit. Most people just overtook us. Must have been those brave folks who live in the houses that are in the middle of the road. We were plodding steadily along when a huge lorry (truck) appeared suddenly in my rear mirrors, and just stayed stuck to the bumper. My slow but safe speed must have annoyed him because he started blinking his lights and tooting his horn at us in a most unfriendly manner. It was at this point that I decided that we really needed was some kind of wheely sticker to let other drivers know that they were not dealing with a 'normal' driver. All that did was cause me to go even slower in the hope that he would just pass us, which he eventually did, while Leia wrote down his plate number. I was displeased in the extreme to see that he had load of huge logs. How flat would we have been if I'd had to brake suddenly? I was unhappier yet when we went by him parked in a small rest stop and hoped that he was stopped for a nice long rest as I did not want him roaring up behind us again. On and on we went on the narrow paved track until we came to Bath. Somewhere before/in/after/around Bath we found the entrance(yet another roundabout) to the "M" 4 and I could pick up speed. Along we rolled reliving my flight and Leia's imitation of a flappily deranged muppet person at Old Sarum. Eventually we came to a huge bridge where I had to pay a toll to go into Wales. We decided to stop at the first service area in Wales and have a bite to eat. We arrived at the service area after yet another of my creative maneuvers at a roundabout. Lucky me, the cop kept right on going without so much as glance in our direction. After our break we drove straight through to Leia's place, where we parked, got the wheely, my bag, and me out of the car and got me to the loo in the nick of time. It was a long drive and too much trouble to pretzel myself out of the car, so I just let my back teeth float until we got there. That was the evening I met Leia's Born Again housemate and politely listened while he went on for what seemed like hours about his religion. Leia scarpered to her room to look for directions to our next excursion on the Interweb. She graciously let me have her bed from which my pillows kept falling as I am a lot longer than she is and the bed can't be pushed flush to the wall because that's where the gas meter is. That was Monday, and what a great Monday it was.
Tuesday was Swansea Day and after coffee, meds, and another lloonngg talk from what's his name, the Born Again, we drove into town, parked in a parking garage,found the local Shop Mobility branch, where I promptly paid my £ 5 for a 1 year membership and was given a scooter to scoot around Swansea on. The nice man had even been in Haifa once long ago. He filled BBC's tyre too. Our next mission was to find a charger for my phone, which we did in the 5th or 6th shop we tried. Then, on to the £ 1 shop where I bought tons of purple things, some Welsh stuff, including Welsh stickers for my car, and a huge bag of assorted crisps for snacks. We then headed for the waterfront where we had lunch and a pint of Brains at a pub that had a view of a diving boaroppositeit a no swimming sign on the canal. We found a gimp supply shop and stopped in to see if maybe they had purple sticks. They didn't, but they did have some wheely stickers which I promptly bought. We had to get the scooter back by 0630, so we did that and then went by car for some groceries, which we took straight home. Both lads were in and I got to watch Olympic skating after insulting the born again guy while Leia investigated ways to get to the smallest village in Great Britain, where Kiri/Cab's family lives.
Wednesday:As I really wanted to see the rock that Arthur threw and it grew into a boulder, we decided to go by way of the Gower where I caught only a glimpse of the boulder because we were literally on a track with no place to stop and "eyes on the road" seemed a good idea. We came off The Gower and headed for Llanios on even more narrow winding roads. They really are like the ones you see in Brit TV shows, hedgerows and all. We drove and drove, all the while hoping we'd find a pub open for lunch. As we didn't, I thought it might be a good idea to pull into a driveway and have a picnic of crisps and water. The driveway I chose had a gate barring access to the house. I don't why they needed the gate as they had a flock of ferocious guard chickens who put up quite a fuss. We decided it was time to move along when the guardchickens called in reinforcememts in the form of two amstaff dogs. Back on the road, we drove and drove until we came to Llanios. We might have gotten there a bit faster but Kiri/Cab kept texting me to find out if we were there yet so we had to keep stopping to read texts then answer them. Eventually we found the right turn off, but as I'd blasted right past it, had to turn around and yet again when I realized that we were at a very bad angle for going that shear vertical cliff they call a driveway. We went a bit past the house and found Kiri/Cab's dad. I asked him if we'd found the Wood's place and when he said yes, I introduced us. He was right chuffed, he was, and told me to park behind the Range Rover and that Kim would soon return and that we could wait for her inside. We decided to wait in the car and she soon arrived with her two girls. As it was a bit muddy as it had been raining off and all day, she had me pull the car right up to the door and brought me a pair of gimp Wellies(plastic bags) to keep my dogs dry. We had a lovely visit with her and she kept trying to feed us and asked us to stay over. I wish we could have, but, we had to make do with a nice chat about how wonderful Kiri/Cab is and how much we love her. Sadly we took our leave and I got the car to go up that vertical cliff face they call a driveway! We really wanted a meal and eventually found a pub on our side of the road with a parking space just next to the door. It was a proper country pub where mostly only locals go. The food was great, and it was fun watching the locals come in and everyone knew everyone. Back in Swansea, we watched a bit of TV and Leia figured out how far it was to Finger's house. I sadly decided that it was just too much driving and called her so she could come off alert status. Next time, dear, next time.
Thursday was a slow day in Swansea. I went back for another scooter and we meandered around. I bought a pile of books, then decided to return them as I really needed that cash for petrol. That hurt, but I did buy the Clarkson book I wanted in a less expensive shop. We had lunch at a baguette place and hit a grocery shop because there were a few things I wanted to bring home. Back at Leia's we sat with the lads for a while and I managed to insult the other house mate by telling him that his explanation of the difference between horsepower and brake horsepower was dead wrong. And he's a mechanic. Could that be the reason he's an unemployed mechanic? Leia looked it up on the Interweb and I was righter than he was.
Come morning we stuffed all my things into the bag and headed for Rosebud's in Greenford. We did just fine with the air chart and Interweb directions until I took a wrong turn and after getting us back on the correct heading promptly found myself on a monster roundabout that we had to go around a few times until we figured where to get off. We arrived at Rosebuds safe and sound, and, then, who should arrive but Jipster? It was so fantastic to see her again. Richard; Mr. Rosebud came home and he and Leia set off on foot to find some fish and chips for our supper. It was a fun evening, and in the morning we heldiscussionsns on what time the rental car had to ghomeme. We decided to go with what was on the contract, which turned out to be nowish. Mr and Mrs. Rosebud and kids piled into their car and we were lead to the car rental place by way of some roundabout shenanigans on the part of Mr. Rosebud, where we found out that the car had to be returned full rather than empty as the first agent told us. So, off we went to find a petrol station. Of course we took a wrong turn and it took a bit longer than planned to fill the car and get it back. Car returned, credit card credited, so, we went to the terminal to try and get the money I owe Leia from an ATM. No luck and I promptly developed sever squits. It did give a few quid so we had lunch, then hung out around the loos which I used frequently until it was time for Leia to catch her bus home. My flight home was uneventful and Zahava picked me up and took me to her place for a nap. After I woke up I went to Bat Chen's which is pretty much on the way home, collected my hat, had coffee, a quick trip the loo and headed for home.
To be continued tomorrow...............


Now, I'm pissed off. I just typed out the whole rest of the trip and blogger lost it. I am not pleased and I haven't taken my meds yet or eaten a thing. I think I'll take a break and do that now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


It's been a whole month and two days since I left home for England, and things went pretty much as planned. Of course that does not mean that everything went as planned! Orna and I got me packed and we thought we had everything covered. So, what got left behind this time? When I got to Zahava's after a day with Bat Chen, I discovered that the charger for my cell phone had gotten left behind, but I decided to just get another one from the company at the airport. The flaw in that plan was that I miss read the ticket and almost missed the flight! That meant no charger and no duty free fags. I did get fags on the plane, but no charger! Leia, bless her, was waiting when the wheely pusher shoved me out of the arrival area, and we went to pick up the rental car. Insanity promptly reared it's head in the form of a naughty credit card that should have worked, but didn't. We retired from the counter to try and sort the issue and come up with a Plan "B". Plan B was to go to the head office and try to figure out a way to do a combo credit card, cash deal, which actually worked. We had wheels! Now, all we had to do was get the ball thingy installed at 4 o'clock on the steering wheel. The bright bulb there thought we meant 1600 and it took a few minutes to explain. Then, we had to explain to the guy whose assignment was to actually put it on, how to do it. He was not having a good day and had to go find the correct tool to tighten the nut. That only took 30 or so minutes, then, he decided that something was wrong and went off to get the head mechanic to help as the more he tightened the nut, the more the ball spun. Well, duhn, it's supposed to spin. That's the whole point! So, we finally got it installed and promptly moved on to the next challenge which was to get me into the driver's seat of that tiny nazimobile! We had a VW Golf, which is small. I am large and my left leg did not want to fit in. I did my pretzel imitation and was in! Leia was well prepared for the drive to Bournemouth with an air chart of the area. We somehow managed to get onto the correct "M" road and I was doing sort of ok on the wrong side of the road. Then we realized that I had no idea how to turn the headlamps on, which seemed like a good idea as it was getting dark. It was decided that we'd get off the "M" at the next rest stop and find someone else with the same car, and eat as long as we were there and there was a KFC. We accosted a very sweet guy with a Golf, who was more than happy to show me where the switch was! He quite enjoyed the fact that he could help an Israeli as he was from Norway and they were not on anyone's top 5 list of likeable countries. So, off we drove, only to have a cop come flying along behind us with lights and siren going full blast. My instinct was to pull over to the right, but as there were streams of cars coming along behind us and thanks to Leia's quick thinking and my lightening quick (pry tongue from cheek) reflexes I got over to the right(Oops, I meant left. You'd think that my age I'd have left and right sorted, but alas, I really haven't yet) and saved us from being 'done' by the copper. There was a bit of concern about finding the hotel as it didn't appear on the air chart, but luck was with us as there were AA signs up to point the way. Parking immediately became an issue as the hotel was full. Leia went in to ask where we could park and we were directed to the staff car park.
That having been sorted, we ran head long into the next challenge, which was 'how to pay the hotel? with a non functioning credit card' Again, Leia saved the day, or should I say, night? She whipped out her debit card and we had us a room. We went up to our room, parked the left over KFC, then, down to the bar. We left the check in to the con until morning. Being the efficient creatures we are, we checked in to the con, then went for breakfast, only to be told we were late. Leia sweet talked them into letting us have something so I could take my meds properly, we also promised never to be late again! I'm not sure I recall exactly what we did next, but we did go to the dealer room and look things over. We also spent a fair amount of time in the bar, and went to the big hall for a few of the 'star talks'.
The bar became our headquarters and we had a great time people watching, until the rugby match between Wales and England. Us Wales supporters scared the England supporters out of the bar. Wales won of course.
As we went to that con as a kind of restitution for the one in Holland and neither of us really had any idea who the stars were, we spent most of our time in the bar just chilling and enjoying ourselves. On Sunday, I think, we decided to go and look for an ATM and maybe a place to put air in BBC's tyres, and to buy a charger. We found an ATM and it gave me money. When we tried to put air in the tyre, the air in it went out. Back at the hotel, after getting a bit lost in Bournemouth, Leia decided(wisely) to look for a place to buy a bicycle pump, on foot, which she did, and I stayed parked in the bar like a good gimp! The big gala dinner was that night and I asked Leia to check the table listings for my old pal John Cox. Yup, he was listed, but in the other dining hall. We caught up later in the bar for a great reunion. I do adore him. Leia and I ended up wimping out and heading for bed before I could get a picture with John. (sad sigh).
On Monday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed off to the Old Sarum flying field using the trusty air chart! We got there well and truly early and staked out a corner of the coffee shop until Leia's friend Simon took us on a guided tour of the circa WWI buildings, then back to our corners for lunch, where we found ourselves in the middle of a Spitfire club luncheon. Then Paul landed in his one of a kind aeroplane and Leia caused a mild sensation among the Spitfire crowd by jumping up and yelling Paul's here!
We had a lovely visit until it was time for me fly with an instructor named Wilco. What an unbelievably handsome man he is. Oh, right, there's an Israeli guy who works the air control tower there and we had a nice chat in Hebrew.
Next challenge: How to get the gimp in the plane? Easy, she scoots up the wing with someone pushing the left (useless) leg. WOOHOO. I actually flew that plane. Ok, I've ridden in and driven baby carriages, tricycles, bicycles, cars, motorcycles, buses, truck tractors, power boats, sail boats, wheel chairs, electric scooters, roller skates, and now, flown a plane. I have yet to drive a train, or go up in a hot air balloon but that's about it. I'll get to those too. After my flight, we left for Wales and a very unpleasant incident with an insane lorry driver. It was dark and I didn't know the road, but that didn't stop him from flashing his lights and honking at me. All that did was cause me to go even slower. He finally passed us, and we saw him stopped in a roadside rest place a few minutes later. How rude and dangerous! Leia took his plate number to complain. The idiot had a load of huge heavy logs and was tailgating us. It could have been very bad.
We eventually arrived safely in Wales and at Leia's.
I'll pick up the tale from here tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


For a while there I wasn't sure I'd make it home, but, I did! This is going to be the quickest shortest update possible. England/Wales was so great that words fail. My arrival back in Israel was celebrated with a traffic accident that left my beloved Kiri Four Wheels a total loss, and me in a bit of pain and lots and lots of purple that is now fading to a weird colours like yellow and green. I ended up staying in the Tel Aviv area for two weeks to deal with the accident stuff-police reports, investigation, and sending Kiri Four Wheels to Junk Car Heaven. That car deserved better. She saved my life. If that accident had happened in just about any other car I wouldn't be here either. Ok,this is going to have to do for now as I have to get dressed, go to the bank and tell Mordy a few more facts of life, then go look for another car. The Step of Evility is paying out on Dad's estate and not having enough money will no longer be an issue.
Details of the trip and it's aftermath will be forthcoming soonish. It's good to be home!