Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Beginning

It seems the hard disk obviously was not quite as full as I thought...

Also thanks for the supportive comments from Armenian Christian, Hilton Truffle Cake, Ofer K, Yodeller, Freedmansmum and Freedmansister, to name but a few who demanded a resumption of service. I feel I must oblige!

So a bit more news from Freedmanslife then. I had a great trip to Israel, where I spent a delightful Pesach with friends and family.

Much of the time was spent with the wonderful Westonians, who still hold the title of coolest aunt and uncle in our family, which may say more about the competition than about them... Highlights included a hilarious game of Articulate, especially the Armenian Christian trivia and Freedmansdad's desire to win ("come on Roooth, get ON with it"), and a night at Badolina which was immortalised by Freedmansdad's response to the awfully slow service:

"No, no, nah-no no, it's not funny... no, it's not funny - it isn't funny... yes, no no really, it is NOT funny. I don't think it's very funny - it just is not funny. No no ne no no. It isn't funny! Can I have the kheshbon* please, we're leaving."

Just as soon as he finished his speech, the waiter disappeared with a big smile on his face, and came back with all our main courses. Best of all, he turned to dad and said "Eeeeh, no no, it eesn't fanny! No, rilly issnot fanny!"

At which point we all cracked up - even Freedmansdad.

* Whenever in Israel, Freedmansdad has developed a habit of littering his English with the handful of Hebrew words he has picked up. This leads to such classics as "actually we were in Yerushalayim today" and most famously "shtayim of those please" - matched only by Freedmansmum's peerless pronunciation of Ben Yehooooda and the Sephardi post-Pesach party now named after a Moroccan Hotel as mamounia rather than mimouna.

But then she is the daughter of Freedmansgran, whose classics include fat Geordie footbalista "Gaza" and underachieving British tennis flop Tim Denman, as well as Greek deli classic tarasalamata...

Also I enjoyed the usual excellent hospitality at Whiskey A-Go-Go, though there was no sign of Sideshow Bob this year, and we all reconnected with our new spiritual home in Tel Aviv, the glorious Buchovsky bar on the corner of Dizengoff (or if you're John Simpson in the BA in-flight mag, Ditzengoff) and Frishman.

There was come exciting beach drinkery, including an excellent banana and mint smoothie with the National Express himself, a late-night mint tea on the sofa with Peanut Marble, most of a bottle of excellent merlot with My Little Pony (and boyf), Fondue (and girlf), Simone de Beauvoir, Lobester, Armenian Christian, Perpetual Student, National Express (and Manc mate) and Freedmansister, and perhaps the most exciting of all, a limonana with a (the only) real-life Freedmanslife fan who isn't obliged to be, known to you as Ofer K, and his buddy Samson.

Among the home-made culinary highlights were the young beef with figs and tarragon prepared by a very special young chef (he's also quite a dab hand at kedgeree brunches), Naomi the Caterer's honey and thyme ice cream, which nearly made up for her making us wait 90 minutes in the car park at Arlozoroff, Freedmansdad's matza brie (our unique recipe calls for a savoury version with a stack of fried onions), and of course anything made by Freedmansmum or Freedmansister, but especially the wonderful home-made lemonade.

I should also mention the other moments of top-notch scoffery: the chocolate truffle cake at the Hilton with one of's biggest fans; the shoulder of veal and medallions of chicken with date and apricot at David's Citadel (thanks to my new friend Mahathir), the lovely post-Pesach fress at the dinky Pasta Penne Bar on Bograshov, and the amazing choc brownies, cake and jammy strawbs at the ashkenazi mimouna party on the rooftop at Hovevei Tzion.

There were some more sombre moments of course, for example the compulsory visit to the Family Battleaxe, and a trip to the Palmach Museum to learn how we fought tooth and nail for the right to give it all away whenever the pussies of the BBC, UN or EU tell us to.

Other than that, an exciting calendar of travels has unfolded for the coming months... from 22nd-29th April, I'll be in New York for Yom Haatzmaut, then Oklahoma City with my new friends Sean the Sheep, Dan the, er, Man, and Iggy Groovy (Freedmansmum inadvertently helped with that one), then back to NYC for some morey Doree glory.

Then I'll be back in the Holy Land from mid-June to early July for back-to-back weddings (Velvet Katyusha and Peanut Marble - not to each other, that would be weird) . In between, some festivities and familiarisation with the John Lewis wedding list, courtesy of the nuptials of Peripatetic and The Only Jew In Wickes (again, not to each other, though that might have worked out ok).

After this extravaganza, it's off to Toronto in late August for Vietnamese Tea Diver's shebang with Dr Green (big hi to Doc Giant Squid who was here in London for about 5 minutes just before yom tov, I enjoyed our stroll and seaweed crisps). Then Freedmansister and I are taking in Niagara and Montreal before coming back home.

Not content with these Airmiles boosters, we are popping over to Zurich for Rosh Hash with the Yodellers, and then Bison and I get straight on the plane to Israel again for 10 days of fun with our friends Elvis and Lemar, who are also getting married (to each other) - and I will get to dance with Lemar's gran at the party, she's so cool!

Are you keeping up?!

Well, that's it for the moment... I feel rejuvenated... at least until the next huff.

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