Monday, July 3, 2017

The Weather, The Wedding, And The Sleepover

Today it was 37 degrees C in Jerusalem. That's 98.6 in old money. The day before it was 36 and tomorrow they are forecasting a blessed relief of only 35 degrees. I hate the heat more than most and we don't have air conditioning in our apartment. So this is how I cope:

I leave home with DD at 8 am. She goes to her Summer School program and I go into my college (both are down the road). I sit in the cool A/Ced teachers' room or in the library, and do my work. Then I collect DD at 1 pm and we come home to basically do nothing until the weather breaks at about 6 pm. That's the thing about Jerusalem, it gets cooler in the evening, unlike in other places in Israel where you can be sweltering in high humidity all night. I guess then you do need to have air conditioning. I'm happy to rest during the day and get up at night.

It's now 11.15 and DD has just gone to sleep as, like me, she's a night owl. We both slept for over an hour in the afternoon so I'm now wide awake. I like this informal chatty style of blogging but I do need to catch up on the events of last week.

The Sunday before last I was invited to a wedding on Kibbutz Shluchot just south of Tiberius and the Sea of Gallilee. To cut a long story short, the groom's little sister had her Bat Mitzva on the Shabbat before the wedding and lots of people joined them for the whole weekend for the double celebration. Most of our mutual friends are close family or close friends with the groom's family so it was going to be hard to find someone driving up to the wedding on the Sunday from Jerusalem. I've also come to the conclusion that sometimes it's easier to just take public transport and be your own boss. I was actually looking forward to travelling on my own without having to entertain DD on the journey.

The bus traveled up the valley road that follows the Jordan River. We left Jerusalem on the east side and drove towards The Dead Sea. Then, with a view of The Dead Sea to our right which I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a photo of, we turned left towards Jericho. Passing the turnoff to the Alemby Bridge Crossing on our right, we continued north towards Bet She'an. The mountains rose out of the dessert landscape and were spectacular in the late afternoon sun. I took photos from the bus like a crazy tourist. I was mesmerized. You know I go for greenery rather than deserts, so I don't quite know what came over me.

Friends (a couple and another friend who also happens to be my brother-in-law who came for the celebrations) had spent the day at a guest house near the kibbutz and they met me from the bus so that I could go back and change at their place. We then went to the wedding together.

There were about a dozen of us who'd been teenage friends back in the UK and had been living in Israel for now 30 years or more. We get all nostalgic and it's as if no time at all has passed. Except that many of them are now passing round photos of their grandchildren on their smartphones. As a young mother myself, I indulge them and they indulge me talking about DD.

After the chupa (literally the wedding canopy) I phoned DD to see how she was getting on at her first sleepover that wasn't at my sister's with her cousins. She gave me a whole speech on the phone about how she doesn't miss me at all and she doesn't know what's happened to her because she's very happy to sleep there.... "and it's not just because I don't have a choice!" Hooray! We have entered a new era. What's more, my friend had her hairwashed and in bed by 9 pm. I must find out how she did that.

I came back south after the wedding in the car with friends and my b-i-l and the two of us stayed overnight with them in their house just outside Jerusalem, coming into Jerusalem for work with them in the morning. Apart from the fact that I had to then spend the day in school teaching, I felt like I'd had a mini holiday. Reconnected and relaxed.

Thanks Sarit for having DD to stay. Thank you Julie and Boaz for taking me and bringing me back and having me to stay overnight. Thanks Jonny and Sari for a wonderful wedding. Mazal Tov to Rebecca on your Bat Mitzva. And Mazal Tov to Ben and Tehilla on your marriage. I hope that in 30 years time you will be celebrating weddings with the same friends you danced with at yours - like we are.


  1. I love hearing about your travels in Israel. I sadly didn't travel as much as I would have liked when I was there in 2008 but did manage to get up to Jerusalem which was something I've wanted to do my entire life. Hopefully, one day, I'll be back to explore some more. Is the heat dry or is it humid? I find the humidity hard work but enjoy the dry heat. I think I'm a hothouse flower, I really don't like the cold.

    1. It's supposed to not so humid in Jerusalem but it often is. Not like along the coast though, where the humidity and hight temps make the weather unbearable. Next time you make it to Jm we'll meet.

  2. So glad to hear that you had such a lovely time at the wedding. It is amazing to me to hear you list all those place names that I first read about in the bible - so wonderful to know so many of those places still exist.
    It was 25C today here in Toronto but no humidity and a lovely breeze so it was a gorgeous day and a friend and I went for a walk along the river that runs near our building. I love a day like this but hate when the humidity hits. I know that everyone thinks that Canada is always cold but it's actually our extremes of temperatures that are often the most difficult to deal with. Temps of over 30C with humidity making it feel like it's in the 40C's isn't unusual for days at a time here in the summer so I'm appreciating the lower temps and the fact that it is going down to around 19C many nights. I have A/C in the bedroom but decided just to go with fans in the living room this year and so far so good.
    Sounds as though DD had a great time with her friends and it must be good to know that perhaps you can have a wee bit more time to yourself now and again without worrying too much about her. She is really growing up.

    1. We also have fans so it's not as bad as I perhaps made out. I think it may have gone down to 25 last night, LOL. Enjoy your perfect weather meanwhile.