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Tuesday, May 22

Twisting By The Pool

Up for breakfast and then I took a walk into Jerusalem with my father. Those are words which look weird written down, especially by a self-confessed lapsed Jew with a number of big issues on what to do with the conflict between the religion practiced by his family and his own ambivalence about that same religion. Still, a walk, via some shops into an ancient city is just that. Something to do that's a bit more of a way of burning off breakfast than sitting getting hot under an umbrella by the pool.

We even went to the western wall. That probably needs capital letters. It wasn't a non-event, it wasn't an event. It was a wall.

We returned to the hotel and then did our stint by the pool. I managed to graduate into the actual scripts of "Porridge".

My sister, her husband and my niece were all back from their trip to his parents' place. So, my vision of being at a poolside with an 18 month old child was pretty much a reality. I was on full "Uncle Ashley" duty. It was fun. Between us, we managed to keep an eye on the child and have someone to follow her if she decided to go off for a wander - the sort of wander that might end up in her absconding with someone else's shoes, or falling in a pool. I'm not sure which is the greatest faux pas, but neither happened.

For dinner, we were back at my brother's place. This time there were loads of us. His catering is very accomplished and we had about 900 courses, all of which were very nicely presented and good tasting. I managed to get the end of the table with his friends on it, so I had people to talk with over dinner, which is nice. I'm not suggesting that nobody else present was capable of conversation, but there's a time and place for each sort of conversation that one might have with each sort of person present. I preferred the dinner conversation in my part of the table for the occasion I was enjoying.

So good.

We walked back to the hotel. It's about 40 minutes or so to do this. This is because the whole of Jerusalem is now celebrating the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which is the festival that has something to do with something or other. Apparently, I could get up at 4am and go back to the wall to see a lot of people seriously celebrating some important aspect of the event that they're commemorating. Apparently, that would be a big deal - 9000 Jews in one place thinking something or other simultaneously.

It might not mean much to me, but it's fair enough that someone gets it.

The walk was probably a good contribution towards the burning off of the 9000 calories that I consumed today. Good cooking requires good eating.

Tomorrow there'll be relaxing to be done. I think I'm up to the job.

Note: today's entry was written today, the last few days' entries (19th-22nd) were also written today. Apologies for the changes in tense. It's easier for me to write it as it occurs to me to write it. If this ever gets published as a book, maybe I'll edit it more carefully than both the books I've read so far on this holiday.

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