Saturday, January 31, 2004

Lost in translation

Saw Lost in Translation last night. What can I say, a great movie, Bill Murray is great, Japan looks great, the music is great (with an inspirational Jesus and Mary Chain finish) and Scarlett Johansson is mighty cute...though any ambitions I had of moving to Japan for a year with mrs. anglosaxy were dealt a serious blow by the character portrayed by Scarlett - never let your wife tag along with you if she doesn't have anything to keep her occupied...oh well...

Off to a tribal gathering with the in-laws, should be good for a beer or three...

Friday, January 30, 2004

Bon voyage!

Bon voyage to Lily, who flew off last night to Thailand for a month of fun and sun...not jealous at all...

That reminds me, I'm currently working on a travelogue of the 3-month trip myself and the good woman took, now over a year ago - shit, time flies! It'll take a bit of time, there are loads of pics and tales to tell, but in the meantime here's a bit of a taster...

Thursday, January 29, 2004

My map

My map looks like this, though I'm hoping that Italy and Japan will be joining the list this year:

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Mr C expands operations into Europe

[I'm not sure if all of you believe my tales regarding young Mr C, but I can assure you, they are completely kosher, honest guv...I may add a wee touch of my own to raise a smile but the events do actually occur, including this one from Tuesday night...]

"Mr C! Long time no see [no rhyme intended...]!"

"Yeh, sorry Ashley about cancelling the last lesson, I had some aggro with a new guy who has turned up on my turf. He's decided to charge all my clients half price, so I had to 'sort him out'..." He then whipped out a flick-knife and slammed it down on the table. 'Sorting someone out' suddenly sounded a little more sinister, though I had to hand it to him, he knows how to grab my attention..."And Ashley, I'm flying to England next week for some 'business', so can we learn some relevant English so I can go shopping and meet some ladies..." He then expanded into details of his 'business plan', most of which was a load of bacon and eggs (ie., very unkosher).

"Er, OK, no problem. You know what, let's start with the immigration desk when you arrive at the airport [they always seem to ask mrs. anglosaxy a barrage of questions]." I then proceeded to write as many relevant questions on the board, so Mr C could work on his answers.

The first couple of questions Mr C dealt with very well - it was his response to the question 'Why have you come to England?' that caught me trying to stiffle an outburst of laughter: "Ah, yes, I love you Amsterdam! Very bootiful!". As I wiped a tear away, he tried to correct himself, bless him..."Ireland, yes! I love you!"... [Mr C is slowly convincing me that London is NOT in England].

In an effort to bring some sense of normality, I called mrs. anglosaxy to ask her if she could remember the questions they regularly ask her. After jotting them down, Mr C suddenly took an interest in my mobile phone (my phone was brought over from England and is not available here, so everybody thinks it's flash - it's not).

"Is it new?"

"Nope, it doesn't even have any real games on it."

"Ah, and it's all in English."

I couldn't resist - "Yes, it even rings in English!"

"Wow, how does it do that?"

The next thing I knew, I was being splashed with water (might have been beer...) as I lay sprawled on the floor...


Bastards...Jerusalem again. Sometimes get the feeling that these bastards have the power to strike at will. Apparently the authorities didn't expect a bombing because of the impending prisoner exchange...yeh right, they trust Hamas, Hizbullah et al now then?

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A little disturbing

< worried citizen mode >
This is, perhaps, a wake up call...
< /worried citizen mode >

More tales of Mr C to come...last night's lesson was a classic!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Things that just don't translate...

As a supposed expert in the English language (I speak the lingo, therefore I must surely be able to handle the posts of Technical/Marketing Writer, GUI Designer, Teacher or Translator - and don't forget my abilities as a walking Thesaurus...ahem...), there is many a time when I come across words/expressions in Hebrew that just DO NOT WORK in English. I'm sure they exist in every language (I'm not even going to start thinking about the complexities of English, though I know I'm going to suffer a slow and painful death in trying to explain idioms like 'get a kick out of something' to Mr C...), but here are my own personal favourites that I regularly come across:

1. Mashu, mashu = something, something
2. Sof ha derekh = the end of the way
3. Haval al ha zman = shame about the time
4. Ata 10! = you're 10!
5. Sim ayin = put an eye
6. Ma nishma? = what is heard?
7. Ma pitom! = what suddenly!
8. Kfotz li = jump to me
9. Nafal ha-asimon = the phone token fell *
10. Yoffi toffi = beautiful toffee

*When was the last time you actually saw an 'asimon'? Could you imagine a self-respecting Israeli teenager actually carrying one of these in their pockets today?! How would you repackage them in today's telephony market when competing with SMS, a variety of ringtones and games? Buy one, get 50 free?...

Monday, January 26, 2004

"We used to run the world before you..."

Another classic comedy from the BBC - The Office - scooped a Golden Globe award last night. If any of you out there work in an office environment, you're going to have to catch this...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Polls apart!

Just to check that there is life out there, I've rigged up a weekly poll (on the right of my page, down a bit...). This week you'll have a chance to vote for your favourite food - just what gets you dribbling?


Last night we ended up at the Barby club in Kfar Saba (again?!) to watch Rockfour. I'm not a big fan of Israeli rock/pop and I'm only familiar with a couple of Rockfour's songs but what was most rewarding from the night was the support act, Izabo (in Hebrew only, sorry, their site is still under construction)...they have some very catchy indie-type songs, all sung in English. I'm not sure if an Israeli English-singing band could ever corner the Israeli market, let alone Europe or the US, but they might just surprise some people, they have the songs and the charisma. I had a chat with the keyboard player after their show and embarrassed even myself with the amount of bullsh*t accolades I gave her and her band mates (the green bottles were piled high on our table by this time, that's my excuse...). Seriously though, if you like quirky, pop/indie songs, this band just might be for you...

Saturday, January 24, 2004


[Please apply a liberal sprinkling of your very best Jamie Oliver accent to the following...]

As the wind whistles through the shutters, it's time for your Saturday mornin' 'Yemenite delights with anglosaxy!'. As Tel Aviv was battening down the hatches last night, mrs. anglosaxy was busy making her first ever kubanneh. For those of you new to the game, kubanneh is a greasy kind of bread/cake, similar to that other Yemenite delight, jachnun, but oh so different! And for those of you who are curious, mrs anglosaxy is not of Yemenite extraction, she's more of an Iraqi-Iranian cross-breed...

So, it all started last night, and, as for jachnun, it involved leaving it cooking overnight. After mixing the dough, including yeast of course (as you can see, we swapped our usual Friday night partaking of yeasterly substances packaged in green bottles for yeast of another kind), by hand for that authentic Yemenite, er...or Iraqi-Iranian taste - see picture 1 below, the mixture was left to stand for a couple of hours. Much to our delight (we're new at this kubanneh mularky) the mixture had risen (picture 2). Margarine was then added and then the whole lot was placed in one of those jachnun-like pots and it was stuck in the oven. Only this morning were we able to sample some home-made kubanneh (picture 3)...

TIP: Don't put too much sugar in it, otherwise you have yourselves a cake...

NOTE: Don't worry, later today I'm sure to partake in a few yeasterly mixtures packaged in green bottles - lots of English football on TV...

Friday, January 23, 2004

Trees they are a fallin'

Bit windy round this neck of the woods, not too cold but very blustery. The trees in the garden have taken such a pounding in the last 24 hours, one of the big ones is doing its Leaning Tower of Pisa impression. I managed to harness one of the dog's leads (we're out of string/rope...) around the tree and tied it to the wall, so hopefully it'll hang on until the winds subside...

Mr C didn't turn up for his lesson last night. Maybe he's taken offence to my tales of woe? One of his honchos was looking after the house when I arrived, but after waiting 15 minutes and not getting a reply on the phone, I beat a hasty retreat. It was probably for the best, what with all those powercuts in Ramat Gan...not sure I would have enjoyed sitting in the dark with Mr C and his honcho. I would probably have sat there nervously, wondering what to discuss first - how to overcome the difficulties the US is facing in Iraq now Saddam is in captivity (especially with Mr C's renowned knowledge for all things American), OR the impending bird flu pandemic in Asia? Tough choice...

Thursday, January 22, 2004

How British are you?

So you think you know your fish and chips from your double-deckers?...How British are you?

I passed with flying colors (er, colours)...

Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That'll be ten ponies, guv. You're the epitome of everything that is English. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!

Lick the bowl

Sis, you would have been proud of me! If you ever open up an Israeli branch of your cake-making business, you know where to it was my turn at work to bring in a home-made cake (our department has a fortnightly meeting, not in my corridor, accompanied with cake...). So, last night, ably assisted by mrs. anglosaxy's father (!), we toiled over this frozen chocolate and cream creation. My fellow corridor inmates have just polished off the last piece, it was damn good, even if I say so myself!

Now, the next few minutes will be interesting...the recipe called for a touch of brandy, so we kind of 'went for it' and added half a bottle (I totally blame mrs. anglosaxy's father...) - you don't need to guess where the other half went, do you? Anyway, things should be pretty chilled out in the office this afternoon, there definitely seems to be a few happier faces around as I type...

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Plenty more work

I had a lesson with a 16 year old schoolgirl today. I wrote the word 'grandfather' on my board - we'd previously been working on a glossary of terms, all connected to 'the family' (and no Mr C in sight...) - and asked her to extract as many words as she could in 5 minutes. Some of the words she came up with: eye, pie, this, and rud. Plenty more work there then...

If I have to give a preference, I would say that I prefer teaching the younger generation. I have a very enthusiastic 11 year old girl who amazes me with her desire to learn, she'll turn out OK. If the kid wants to learn, their enthusiasm is pretty contagious and the whole lesson becomes fun...just seems so much more rewarding than trying to stop my jaw from getting too bruised 3x a week with a certain adult student of mine, you know the geezer...

Chiko=Mr C

I returned from a lesson with Chiko an hour or so ago. Phew...

***[As my blog has started to get a few hits and is 'out there' in the public domain, and as Israel is so f**king small, I've decided to rename Chiko as Mr C, just in case he, or any of his honchos, ever get their hands on this. I'm not too sure they'd appreciate my anecdotes and, heaven forbid, you wouldn't want to see me diving into the Med with a block of concrete wrapped delicately around my feet, would you? In addition, today Mr C decided to up the ante and increase his English sessions to 3 times a week. It might take a light year or two before Mr C might ever be able to understand what's written here but you never know...Running scared? You betcha, especially after his tales of tangles with the underworld and his rumbles in the jungle with owners of those charming 'health parlours' in Ramat Gan...]***

Anyway, back to the lesson with Mr C...I decided to go on a world tour this evening:

"OK, Mr C, let's take a look at a map of the world. Can you point out Israel?"

After a few seconds of furrowed brow and serious mental effort (Scotty was working overtime in the engine room...), Mr C managed to point to Lebanon. As the map was fairly small, I let this one go...

"OK, and what about America?"

Again a few seconds of mental turmoil passed before a stocky finger prodded at Africa. I wasn't sure if he saw it, but he must have heard my jaw slap on the embarrassment, he was eager to make amends:

"I know where Australia is!" he stated proudly. Peeking through my hands that covered my face, I hesitated before daring myself to look at where he was pointing...Russia, bloody Russia!!

Next lesson: a discussion on world poverty...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

You speek Engleesh?

Ahhh, if the joys of being an English speaker in a foreign land mean that I have to go to Molly Blooms on a Monday night, down a few pints (or half-litres) of Kilkenny, eat a few chips (commendably supported by smoked salmon), hear a few bars of 'Whisky in the Jar' - all in return for some translation work (translate = review a small document and just check there are no dodgy bits) on the premises, then I guess I'll just have to force myself to carry on living...

Monday, January 19, 2004

You know you've been in Israel too long...

...when you start blocking junctions during the rush hour (go on, you've still got a spacious 2 cm before you start nudging that car in front!).

...when you start jumping queues (lets face it...did you ever see an organized, civilized queue? Even those cute looking old Yemenite grannies have queue-jumping down to a fine art!).
Nightmare Scenario: Planeload of Israelis and only two check-in desks!!

...when you start trying to barge your way into a lift (or 'elevators' as some of you from 'across the pond' might prefer) while its occupants are still exiting - Let them get OUT before you try and push your way IN!

...when you start shouting on your mobile phone in the middle of the street (with exaggerated arm movements, of course).
Nightmare Scenario: Nice romantic movie at the cinema...accompanied by the joyous chorus of a Nokia and Eriksson doing their renditions of Sarit Hadad's latest (who?...).

...when you start leaning on your horn. (Quick, the traffic light is still on red. See if you can be the first to blow your horn before it changes to amber!)

...when you start using your hands to plough through that chicken - never mind that grease running down your arms, use a pita to mop it up!

...when you no longer get fazed as you wait for the shop assistant to finish her 'emergency' phone-call to her sister's friend's cousin's brother's girlfriend.

...when you no longer expect to hear a 'please' or 'thank you' - just give me the bloody change!

...when you no longer flinch at the sight of someone flushing their nasal contents onto the street - with the same hand that you may well soon be shaking!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Sunday, Sunday...

Welcome back O! The girl with the vodka-lined liver is back in the office! Can't say that I ever noticed her nose before but it looks pretty ordinary to me and looks much better for its one-on-one with the concrete stair...

I found this site on French military history. Nice quote at the bottom of the page:
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Destination: Kfar Saba

Kfar Saba was deemed the town of choice for last night's recreation. Our playing partners were again Rino and Shlotim. We originally intended to see a performance by 'Ha Giraffot' (The Giraffes...ahem...), but after it was canceled we sat ourselves in a nearby, hardly-authentic Irish bar called The Foggy Dew. Is it me, or have Irish bars become the new 'frozen yoghurt' (remember a few years back when frozen yoghurt was all the rage?)? They seem to be popping up everywhere. And what's all the fascination with Irish pubs - it's not all leprechauns, frothy pints of Guiness and back-slapping stories about the Emerald Isle, though the Pogues are f**king excellent... Er, English pubs not good enough for Israel?

Anyway, after a miniscule amount of alcohol, we moved on to another bar, called Bruno Pub (yes, another naming/spelling slip by an Israeli bar owner, forgetting that " 's " anglosaxies know where to find 'em!). Quite surprising the number of people about in Kfar Saba on a Friday night, but as mrs. anglosaxy put it, they were all probably desperate to be in Tel Aviv...

Friday, January 16, 2004

Super cool...

*blush* I was 'officially' voted the coolest guy in the office yesterday (by my corridor inmates)...could it all be a play to get me to come up with a 'cool' new feature?...

Linguistic bliss

As my moonlit teaching sessions pick up, I'm starting to discover things about the English language that we all, as mother-tonguers, take for granted - it's when you have an investigative 16-year old who fancies himself as the new David Frost (Ilana Dayan anybody?) that you realise the shortcomings in your own knowledge, as well as the oddities that exist in the language (especially when you can feel that same 16-year old's eyes burning deep into your soul, demanding an immediate and clear answer). As I know some of you out there fancy yourselves as 'writers', you might want to check out this list of the 100 words most commonly misspelled, according to a certain Dr. Language (who the f**k?...), or this chaotic piece of rhyme which perfectly illustrates the hardships us wannabe English teachers face in our frontline battles...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Diversion tactics

My company has decided to ask us drones to give our input for the next 'cool' (in their words) feature. We all received a very happy and joyful email, nicely formatted and decorated with cute smilies, that invites us to send in our 'cool' ideas. The winner will receive a 'cool' prize (their words again...). I saw that 'prize' line and had to smile...perhaps the prizewinner gets to keep their job for the next year?

I'm not one to be suspicious, but the words 'diversion tactics' spring to mind here...whatever happened to that last quarter of 2003 which supposedly hauled in quite a bounty and those subsequent promises of renewing the January pay reviews? (In my 3 years here I have never had the joy to experience one, though legend has it they did actually occur; pay cuts I have had the fortune to experience, twice....) Now, I'm aware that the economy in this country could be better and there are many people who would gladly swap seats with me (even in a windowless corridor), but I believe that it's a two-way street: I'll put the graft in as long as you don't shit on me from a great height. Me, I lose all trust in a company that constantly reneges on its promises...

Anyway, on that 'grumpy bastard' note, I have 3 lessons today, the sun is shining and it's Thursday...roll on the weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

This lot is unheaderable...

A harrowing start to the day (middle of the day for some of you out there, I know), but I'll let others out there in the Israblogosphere do justice to incidents like these...

For those of you interested, not all my students are like Chiko...admittedly, a couple of them wouldn't look out of place in the Godfather trilogy, or even Simon Schama's account of the Stone Age, but most of them are actually schoolkids. I'm sure you'd love to hear tales about them as well, wouldn't you campers? I've got a few lessons with some of them tomorrow, so, if you're good, I'll bend your ear with a tale or two...

David Seaman is no more, the end of a legend... mrs.anglosaxy is probably a lot more upset than me as she loved his 'tache. The only way I'd get her to watch an Arsenal or England game with me was if I could answer in the affirmative to (cue high-pitched girlie voice, with Israeli accent): 'Is Seaman playing?'. I'll have to take her for a day-trip to Gaza, lots of 'taches down there...

I found this site the other day while busy at work (ahem...), your one-stop shop for all things British and comical. Some real classics embedded in here, I dare anybody to watch this or this and not laugh (it might take a few seconds to load properly and probably won't work too well if you don't have a fast connection, sorry...).

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Chiko II

Well, Chiko and his henchmen were there waiting for me, 8:00 on the nose, just as we arranged.

'Zees ees my brudda!', proudly states one of the henchmen, pointing at Chiko.

'Your brother? Really?' - the henchman nods to confirm - 'Very nice to meet you' (in our 'chats' about family- not sure I can describe our communication in English as a chat - I had previously learnt that Chiko did in fact have a brother and four sisters).

'You nice to meeeet!' replies the brother/henchman. He and the second henchman then left to let Chiko concentrate...of course, he wasn't Chiko's real brother, he was 'like a brudda' as Chiko told me afterwards, part of 'da bruddahood' I guess...

Anyway, Chiko didn't last long - I had to cut the 2-hour lesson short when, after half-an-hour, I spotted his chin on his chest and a rasping, snorting sound coming from his drooling mouth...So, with a gentle prod in the ribs, I told him that I think we should stop doing these 2-hour 'marathons' and that maybe we should meet up twice a week, an hour each time. He was a happy camper after that, he even managed another ten minutes of intensive 'introductory' English! However, whenever Chiko manages to kick himself into gear, I can't help myself from thinking that there is a Scotty-like character (Star Trek, people...) in charge of his brain, always just about to scream over the intercom: 'Captain, she cannae take any more! She's gonna blow!!'

Below is a picture taken from Chiko's balcony. Nice view of the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan, always keeps me occupied thinking about where I'll invest all those shekels I make from Chiko while I wait for him to polish off various exercises...

Do you mind if I open the window?

I thought I'd share with you a master-stroke of Israeli engineering, as well as to dispel aspersions as to the authenticity of my corridor residency at work; the picture below will perhaps give some indication of the conditions that are freely exchanged for our blood, sweat and tears. It shows the window in our corridor, and, as you may be able to tell, the only chance of opening this window and, god forbid, allowing fresh, sweet air to infiltrate our lungs, is to smash it open with something resembling a sledgehammer. Israeli engineering at its best; the genius who designed and built this partition obviously didn't give a shit about the future inhabitants of the now legendary corridor...never mind, at least they let me peek through the blinds (as I blink madly like a mole surfacing after a week underground).

Monday, January 12, 2004

When the cat is away...

...the mice will play. A short but inspiring email from my boss this morning: 'I won't be coming in again today [apparently she was sick yesterday], hopefully I'll be in tomorrow.' Cue a collective relaxing of the shoulders...while the rumour-mongerers spread their rumours - is she pregnant? Who gives a f**k? Me, I say make the most of the easy atmosphere and enjoy it while it lasts...As I speak, one of my fellow corridor inmates has launched an online meeting with her husband and brother (she doesn't read this blog and now will have to be barred), while I'm updating my blog and K (not exactly a corridor inmate but the only other member of my team here today) is busy distributing dodgy emails. Life in the hi-tech fast lane, baby!

The much anticipated encounter with Chiko was postponed to this evening. More on that tomorrow, I should think.

Jewish fish and French chips? My belief in all those things that make Britain great has been shaken to the core...

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Hangover city

Yep, sometime late last night I managed to convince myself that last 1/2 litre of Becks was worth it. This morning I was regretting my greed, especially after topping off that last beer with some late-night pizza from Pizza Meter (bloody great pizza though!).

Me and mrs. anglosaxy went out with two friends last night, Rino and Shlotim (their names have been changed to protect their innocence...), to a new bar in Herzliya. The place was called 'Barry': as is often the case with Israeli naming/spelling, the obviously Israeli owners failed to realize that when translated into English, their bar's name would look, well, kinda stoopid. It might have been better to tell that signpainter to go with 'Bar-E'. F**k it, what really matters was the beer was flowing, the music was mostly fairly decent 80's, the waiter was a laugh, and the roast beef sandwich was damned good...we'll be back for more.

Later today I'll be teaching young Chiko more English, so you know what to expect in tomorrow's posting...

Saturday, January 10, 2004


Saw 'KILL BILL' last night, pretty good, love Quentin's movies and the atmosphere he creates within them. Recommended.

Presbyterians is an anagram of Britney Spears. Howz about that then...Or there's TYNE SPARERIBS - the Brits amongst you will appreciate that one more...

Saturday mornings mean 'jachnun', a Yemenite pastry full of vein-clogging butter, tasty...I tried to find a picture on the Net but no joy. It doesn't look that tempting anyway, but those of you who know, know...

Friday, January 09, 2004

Surf's up!

Today was a bit of a washout, one of those days which looks so promising when you get your hands round that first cup of coffee, but ends up looking like, well, the dregs of that same cup of coffee.

We had planned to see a VW Beetle 'get-together', originally planned for the IKEA car park in Netanya with 'tens' of Bugs (I'm a big groupie, even had a cool, little red Bug a few years back). Now, we'd seen the guys on Channel 10 plugging this get-together but they hadn't given a time (I even searched the Net for some info, but not a thing...), so we assumed it would be OK to get there around noon. Yeh, right. Not a trace and nobody knew anything about it. I ain't gonna bitch about this, but if anybody out there knows what happened, PLEASE let me know...

We returned to Tel Aviv, via Herzliya Marina to stare at the boats and dream, and had a coffee at C-Cafe in Ramat HaHayal - okay, I lied, mine was a Tuborg, but you knew that already. I dropped off mrs. anglosaxy at home and then carried on to the beach, just north of Tel Aviv. The sun was setting and a few surfers were braving the cold and wild sea. They had their wetsuits on of course, but it must have been f**king freezing! Me, I'm waiting for the warmer months before I get back on my board...until then, I'll be watching sunsets like the one below, taken about 3 hours ago...

Thursday, January 08, 2004


Chiko was on top form last night. It started with my arrival at 6.30, as we had scheduled the day before. After walking 5 flights of stairs up to his apartment, with whiteboard and bag of books in tow, I was pleasantly surprised to find total darkness (his rooftop apartment has frosted windows which enables you to determine if he's at home or not). I waited in his outdoor balcony for 5 minutes, admiring the great view while gently cursing his punctuality. After using up all the expletives I could think of, I gave him a call.


'Chiko, hi, it's Ashley, are you on your way?'

'Way? No, but I will be at 7.30. That's when the lesson starts, right?'

'No! We scheduled for 6.30, we spoke about this yesterday!'

'Eh? I have 7.30 in my head...are you sure?

'I told you that I have to LEAVE at 7.30!'

Instead of getting pissed, my sympathies were immediately extended to his business partner, another likely contender for a Sopranos audition. Quite how Chiko has a successful business is beyond me...then again, those stories of gun-wielding seemed to make sudden sense...

So, I had to cancel a beer with a friend while waiting for Chiko. He arrived at 7.20. The lesson was its usual self, though that glazed look in his eyes when he struggles to comprehend that D comes after C (you think i'm joking...) came later than usual, so I pat myself heartily on the back...

I'm not intending to run Chiko and his attempts to learn English down but he is my 'main man', a character you'll be seeing more of here at anglosaxy...

Inbox explosion

I don't know about you, but I seem to have found myself attached to a whole number of email groups, resulting in a daily deluge of mails that consumes a large portion of my working hours (sssshh, don't tell the boss - and I don't open every single mail, only those that look interesting...). I happen to think that these mails add a certain extra to the day (my boss probably doesn't), as they definitely raise a smile or two, while the creativity of the people making the various clips/pictures that are sent is simply amazing. An example of 'pure genius' animation dropped in my inbox this morning, take a look.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

National pride

As a Brit plying his trade for some years in the Holy Land, I'm regularly asked what will happen when, for example, England play Israel in an important sporting event - who will I be cheering for when the action starts? I can't think of any major sporting contest in which they have clashed while I've been here, though for all I know there might be an intense, ongoing rivalry in the Monopoly world championships...I have to say there is no real chance of me cheering on Israel in such circumstances, though I'm sure I'd be made to feel as guilty as hell by various parties (er, mrs. anglosaxy, you can put your hand down...), especially if Israel suffered a humiliating defeat. Then again, the chances of England humiliating anybody (except the Germans - ah, 5-1, September 2001 - I've got the socks to prove it!) are extremely rare.

Having said all that, there are moments when a certain pride in things Israeli kicks in, such as the Israeli architect who has won the competition to design a suitable memorial for the World Trade Center. Despite the constant barrage of bad news that seems to afflict the nightly TV news reports, there ARE things that this country does well and there ARE reasons to be proud. Even as a non-Jew with very unperfect Hebrew, I can see the potential here for great things...I'm not going to turn this post into a pro-Israeli rant, and I'm sure I can find many more things that piss me off rather than make me smile, but I'm optimistic that, eventually, there will be good times ahead for the Holy Land. *sigh*

Anyway, later today I'm teaching Chiko, the mafia-affiliate who I'm sure has many more tales to tell, though nothing's going to shock me anymore. I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Getting all meteorological

Got an email from my sister yesterday - ''It's been okay here. Quite mild really and it doesn't feel like January!!''...OK Sue, who are you kidding?! I'm not going to depress you and spin off stories about desert heatwaves and the like, but it's been okay HERE, pretty well from the moment we got back up until tonight. As I speak it's chucking it down (mabul!!!), of course...I've added a weatherpixie to the lower right of this page, so you can always catch up with the latest meteorological delights in Israel.

The picture below might bring back a few wintry memories for any ex-Brits out there in sunnier climes, it was taken on our first morning back in England and that grass sure was crunchy and delicious...

Expansion continues

Congratulations to my brother and his girlfriend Lucy on their new addition - Macey Marie! All of the anglosaxy clan's best wishes! Yet more Xmas presents to buy...only kidding!!

That just leaves the Middle Eastern corner of the P dynasty to expand. No pressure...

Monday, January 05, 2004

Better late than never

I promised a personal review of 2003, and here it is, in all its Top 10 glory (cue Europe's 'Final Countdown'). These highlights sum up my year, though will probably mean buggar all to anybody else...

10. Arsenal's FA Cup triumph in May over Southampton (with the accompanying BBQ at the anglosaxy castle). Unfortunately the only trophy of 2003 when it had all looked so promising.

9. Getting to grips with the PlayStation and actually completing 'Lord of the Rings'. Strong emotions felt when playing 'GTA Vice City' and 'Prince of Persia', hard to describe to a non-gamer. Hats off to Kinky for his knowledge and persistence, you know what i'm talking about...

8. October BBQ at our place when I managed to pull off my Naked Chef impression amidst 15 guests and, for after-dinner desert, England managed to go to Turkey and get a draw, which now means mrs. anglosaxy is going to have a depressing 2004 summer when England will entertain us all at the European Championships - 'IN-GER-LAND, IN-GER-LAND, IN-GER-LAND!'...

7. Learning to surf (we're talking fibreglass, sand and sea here, NOT Internet Explorer and weblogs).

6. Deciding to go part-time at work to free up time for both my studying and my subsequently blossoming career as a private English teacher.

5. Getting my first paying English students.

4. Birthday weekend in Moshav Amirim, up North. The icing on the cake was watching Arsenal come back from 1-0 down to beat Spurs while in the jacuzzi.

3. Swapping my heaving, spluttering old junk of a computer for this gleaming black and silver beast. Another world...

2. Charming the socks off the judge in my insurance trial and subsequently learning that those bastards at the insurance company have called it quits and decided to pay all my costs. Long story which has been going on for over 3 years, but it did look at one point like I was up for a bill of 100,000+ shekels.

1. Xmas trip home to sunny England. See my earlier posts for the finer details.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

New anglosaxy logo

OK, what do you think? mrs. anglosaxy has been sweating blood on this one...

Exceedingly bored

Another working week, another boring Sunday morning with me twiddling my thumbs...I'm alone in my corridor (there have been various attempts to con us into believing that we do not sit in a corridor, but pray tell, where lieth the window?) - not sure what happened to Noa, but O, the vodka-swigging Ruskie, had a vodka too many at the weekend (i'm casting stones here...) and broke her nose in a nasty fall. I SMS-ed her, letting her know that she can't use this as an excuse for not seeing me - i've still yet to see her and thank her in person for house-sitting while we were in England for Xmas!

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Xmas trip review

There's nothing like popping home for Xmas, especially when you've not had the chance to really experience it for 5 years. That's the big downer in Israel, Xmas is just not celebrated. Just try and find a decorated Xmas tree, a fairy light or a sprig of holly - hard to believe, eh? From my experience of Jewish holidays, they really can't match the festiveness of Xmas - they know how to celebrate calamitous occasions, such as the destruction of the Third temple, or the remembering of Holocaust victims...absolutely nothing wrong with any of that, but I often end up on a guilt trip for even looking at a beer bottle...

Anyway, it was great to get back to England for Xmas. Even mrs. anglosaxy was impressed - even at this moment she is telling a friend on the phone about how nice Xmas was and how everything revolved around shopping, food and presents. Which pretty much sums up our Xmas trip...

London was its usual self, though Oxford Street is always worth a peek with its Xmas lights. We managed to squeeze in 'We will rock you' a play by Ben Elton with music by Queen. Not bad at all, but we both agreed we'd seen better. We also met up with a friend from Israel, Seffy, who has started working for a company in London, so that was a great excuse for downing a few drinkies. We even managed a moment of culture at the Tate Modern, which was quite impressive, see my pic from yesterday's post.

Apart from that, most of the trip was one big shopping experience as we shopped until we dropped, trying to find the Xmas presents we knew, or at least I knew, would pale into insignificance next to the presents we would receive from my family. And I wasn't far wrong, despite protestations that our presence was the biggest present we could give...ahem...Xmas Day itself was one long present swapping session, with a brief respite at my sisters place for dinner (nice one Sue, you are getting pretty accomplished with that cooking malarky!).

Our main problem, and I think it came to the fore this trip, was that we'd been to and seen everything around where my parents live. How many times can you go to Eastbourne and get excited? Okay Dad, the game with Eastbourne Borough was an experience and something new, along with the Cinderella pantomine, but Eastbourne just doesn't cut the mustard, probably never did. Brighton is okay, but even the Lanes have become a little monotonous. In defence, I have to say that at this time of year, tourist opportunities are fairly limited anyway. I think the next trip will have to include a quick jump to Dublin or Edinburgh, or at least during the summer...

So that was Xmas 2003. Hope yours was as colourful and alcohol-filled. Xmas 2004 - where will you be?

Friday, January 02, 2004

Fighting back

Well, my antibodies have picked up the pace a bit and are slowly but surely reconquering those battle weary parts of my seems these nasty germs are England-based as my parents were also afflicted at the same time, oddly enough, on Monday afternoon, almost 48 hours after we'd parted...

Anyway, I wanted to share with you THE picture of the England Xmas trip. It was taken at the Tate Modern gallery in London, December 2003, and shows mrs. anglosaxy gazing up in awe at the Olafur Eliasson Weather Project:

And yes, there is a whole collection of pictures I need/want to post, though I'm trying to set up a gallery page so that the whole lot can be seen only by those who want to see them - the best of the lot will be posted here on this page, as per the example above...If I have the energy later, I'll post a review of the trip as well as some fave moments of 2003. Can't wait, eh?

Thursday, January 01, 2004

A new beginning, or maybe not...

A new year, a new start - from today I'm depositing all my juicy news on this page. Some of you will be emigrating with me and my scribblings from another site (for reasons I can't delve into, I won't be linking to that site), and rest assured, I will be continuing in the same vein...for those of you joining me here at anglosaxy, I hereby bestow upon yee a hearty WELCOME!

Got back from England on Sunday, back to work on Monday and sick since Monday afternoon (probably a reaction to the back-to-reality vibes)...but I wanted to wish a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers, all 2 of you! And yes, there is a whole virtual pile of Xmas pics waiting to be posted - they will be, just as soon as the vitamins kick in and vanquish the bugs presently infiltrating my body's defence mechanism...

Yesterday I was at work again (twice in a week, unbelievable!), feeling pretty shite and not only because of the flu. I popped home for lunch and on the way back to the office I spotted police cars at all the various highway exits, which, believe it or not, is pretty unusual in Israel. Thinking not too much of it, I parked my car and tried to cross the road to my office, when a sudden wave of siren-blasting police cars came roaring down the road, at least 20 or so. I even had to jump off the pavement as one came speeding down it. The immediate response is to assume that a bomb has gone off somewhere; this time, it seems, Tel Aviv was a little more fortunate, as you can read here...just a timely reminder about the ever-present dangers in the Holy Land...