Monday, May 23, 2005

A bed in a field

Was listening to pasty-faced Kiwi crooner Daniel Bedingfield's tear-jerking ballad "If You're Not The One" the other day on Magic FM, polluter of the airwaves with the cream of cheese. Having nothing else to distract me, I actually listened to the lyrics, and thought Mr Bedingfield could do with someone answering his thoughtful questions. This may allow him to pen more "grounded" verse in the future. Oh and I hate the bastard because this song reminds me of an infatuation I once had with a certain girl.

If you're not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?
Probably because you're a simpering, tree-hugging pansy who wants to please everyone, all the time. And because of all the fat royalties from this song playing on the radio years later.

If you're not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?

If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call?
Because she's not going to use the phone to return your call. Money, fame, a nice voice and some talent in the music department have done nothing for your dress sense - I've seen those horrid t-shirt-as-jumper things you wear on T4 Sunday and elsewhere.

If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all?
How touching. Please refer to earlier posting on the dignity of alone.

I never know what the future brings but I know you are here with me now
We'll make it through, and I hope you are the one I share my life with
I don't want to run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?
Probably by assuming the alpha male role instead of emasculating yourself like this. And usually the girl would stay in the guy's arms. Unless... Bitty! Bitty!

If I don't need you then why am I crying on my bed?
Well, if your needs are like those of any other man, you'd be doing something on your bed other than crying. But I suspect you are a eunuch. Because of your cherubic face and angelic voice, of course.

If I don't need you then why does your name resound in my head?
There tends to be an echo in large empty spaces.

If you're not for me then why does this distance maim my life?
Never mind, you can always transmit your feelings through the medium of a song, over the radio. Oh, you did already.

If you're not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?
Because the prospect of divorce has some kind of appeal to you. If she's not for you, don't marry her.





And there concludes my analysis. Serious topics of discussion will be renewed in my next posting. Feel free to respond with your favourite dumb/annoying/nonsensical lyrics ie the analysis of why most of the examples in Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" are in fact not irony.



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Our Israeli family

Hi all

Recently back from our lovely new pad in Tel Aviv, enjoyed immensely despite even closer proximity of parents. Among other things, we entertained many guests and saw lots of family which turned out not to be so painful this time, as we're now old enough to appreciate them a bit more, and recognise that having a place there means we can't use the "we're tourists here on holiday so 5 mins per relative only" excuse. Turns out they're really interesting people with personalities of their own and everything...

Our family our there consists mainly of cousins on mum's side, including grandpa's first cousins Zvi and Meir Rigbi. Both are in their late 80s, but are still very active. Meir is lecturing on biochemistry at Hebrew U (Kobi, do you know him?) and is busy writing up some research he did for his umpteenth PhD, on medicinal use of leeches and how they produce anti-coagulants.

Zvi recently completed a lecture tour on specialised rubber derivatives and does the odd bit of consulting for civil engineering projects in Israel. Both are hilarious and like wordplay in whichever of the 54 languages they speak. For example, I pointed out to Zvi that I had had some gripes since being in Israel. He asked in a Cockney accent whether the gripes here were sweeter than the ones at home - certainly a better effort than dad's best joke of the year so far.

No doubt he is very proficient at Scrabble, as is grandpa's sister Deb. She and I were joined by mum for a game - mum fluked an 8-letter word across a double word score on her second go and the game was over. Then I had 6 vowels to contend with, and traded my letters in - for Q,J,X,Z. Needless to say, I lost. Any suggestions for words incorporating these letters gratefully received.

Now Deb is known in the family for being forthright and rather gruff. Not the world's greatest conversationalist, her greatest work was a letter to Golda Meir in 1965, that despite our best efforts, historians have continued to overlook as the trigger for the 6-Day War 2 years later.

I also think she may have missed out on a career in ladies' golf. Last year we took her to visit grandpa's other sister Shulamit, sadly no longer with us. We were walking them through the grounds of Shulamit's home when I pointed out a dog turd in our path a couple of yards ahead. Deb took one look with her beady eyes and then clubbed the offending faeces with her stick. The poo hurtled through the air like a Tiger Woods tee shot, coming to rest a mere 2ft from the bin, giving her a birdie and a round of 85.

Uncle Zvi's grandchildren Anat, Yuval and Omer are about our age, but until now we've not spent much time with them. They turned out to be really good fun - we hung out at their house with cool aunt and uncle Abi and Noach on Mimouna, the party night at the end of Pesach, and ate loads of meat, mufleta and baklava. Loads and loads. Mmmmm.

We didn't see much of Omer, who was on leave from the army and was understandably prioritising some time with his girlfriend. But Anat and Yuval took me and Helen out for a drink or two at a stylish bar/cafe in Nachalat Binyamin, which turns from trendy art and food market in the day to trendy meat-market by night. Anat is a vet at the animal hospital in Holon, where she specialises in cardiology. She was also able to explain how dogs conceive and then give birth to puppies belonging to different fathers in the same litter. I needed a large cocktail after that.

Think that's enough relativity for the time being, I've booked my next trip for June/July already and will no doubt have more to say then...