31 December 2006

A year ago - Il y a un an

It is amazing how times flies. A year ago at this time of the year we were in French Guiana/Surinam. We were living in French Guiana but were in Surinam for new year's eve. It was the second time we had the opportunity to go to Surinam together and we had a great time.

There was one thing that I wanted John to experience in Surinam (apart from the amazing food!) and that was the New Year’s eve, which is a very big thing over there.

On the day of the 31st, everybody gathers downtown to look and listen (and enjoy?!) the traditional firecrackers. It definitely comes from the Chinese culture that is part of Surinam.

C’est incroyable comment le temps passe vite. Il y a un an, à cette période de l’année nous étions en Guyane française/Surinam. Nous habitions en Guyane mais nous avons passé le nouvel an au Surinam. C’était notre seconde visite ensemble au Surinam et c’était vraiment cool !

S’il y avait bien une chose que je voulais que John vive comme expérience au Surinam (en plus de la nourriture) c’était la veille du nouvel an qui est vraiment un grand évènement là-bas.

Le 31 décembre après-midi, tout le monde se retrouve en ville pour regarder et écouter les pétards traditionnels. Y’a pas de doute que ça, ça vient de la culture chinoise qui fait partie du Surinam.

Roll it out! and let the party begin! Que la fête commence!

Follow the leader!

Bing bang bong

Pirates of the Caribbean with orange ear plugs -

Les pirates des Caraibes avec des bouches oreilles

Why would you want to leave your car on the street on that day?

Pourquoi est ce que quelqu'un laisserait sa voiture dans la rue ce jour-là?

After the big celebration downtown, people go home and have their own celebration (in a much smaller scale!) in the evening.

Après la grande célébration en ville, tout le monde rentre chez-soi et attend le soir pour célébrer le nouvel an

Fireworks before -Feux d'artifice

And After - et après

PS: The Bahá’ì new year is on March 21st - Le nouvel an Bahá’ì c'est le 21 mars :-)...to be continued - à suivre.

25 December 2006

Festival of all Festivals

There is a good article in the Jpost about the festival that is happening at the moment in Haifa. In the Wadi Nismas actually, one of the areas of Haifa. This event which is basically to celebrate Christmas, the end of Ramadan and Hanukkah, (read the JPost artcile to find out why) is VERY popular and is on until the end of December.

Vendeur d'olives (en t-shirt au mois de decembre!)

Tea, Coffee, anyone?

The crowd

The crowd 2

Sticky peanuts?

Some malabi

Fresh pomegranate juice

It's citrus time

The crowd again :-)

Follow me!

I hear it is Christmas...

29 November 2006

Okay, go!

Another YouTube post so soon? Yes, but it's really worth it!

It's been a while since I first saw this, but that time has only served to lead me to the conclusion that this is pretty much the Best Thing Out There. It hits the right spot.

They are called OK Go. Yes, they are real (in case you don't know that yet or you're not quite convinced). And here they go: And there's more of their stuff on YouTube...

« Encore un clip de YouTube ? Déjà ! vous entends-je crier ?
--Effectivement, mais je vous jure que ça vaut la peine ! »

Ça fait quelques mois déjà depuis que j'ai vu ce clip pour la première fois, mais ce temps n'a fait que le confirmer pour moi : c'est carrément la meilleure chose qui se trouve sur Internet ! Ça marrant, tout simplement.

Ce groupe s'appelle « OK Go » (« Ça y est, vas-y ! »), et c'est du vrai ! (au cas où vous le sauriez pas déjà et même si cela semble peu probable à première vue). Ils ont d'autres clips sur YouTube, et leur site Web est ici.

28 November 2006

Does nobody really do it better?

It's been a long time since I wrote anything, and I had promised more from YouTube imminently, without ever actually following up on that promise. And yet, I have something I wish to share.

I recently watched the latest James Bond film, which I enjoyed very much, especially as it reflects the atmosphere and the Bond of the novels--books which I came to appreciate many years ago--much better than any of the recent (post 1960s) films... After all, very early on the films took a quite different course, and it seems Bond has finally come home to roost, so to speak.

But whatever you think of the films, or the books, even if it is in fact, Not Much At All, this post is really about the music. And, more specifically the theme tune of The Spy Who Loved Me, Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better". A song I've enojoyed listening to ever since buying the James Bond 30th anniversary cassette (yes, *cassette*: I didn't yet have a CD player back then). And then I found this little number on YouTube:

Now, what do you think to that, our kid?


18 November 2006


My mum is visiting us at the moment. It is great having her here! I love it that she can be part of the everyday live here for a few weeks. She is volunteering in different ways at the Baha'i World Centre during the day.

This week-end we rented a car... F.R.E.E.D.O.M!!! For the occasion, we went to Netanya to see if the tourist guide and the programme my mum had seen on TV is France were right (Netanya is the French rivieira of Israel). Well, I don't know about the rivieira thing, but it's true that many signs and ads are in French and that you could go by with speaking French to some waiters in some restaurants. We spent some time on the beach, watching the time go by. It was great.

After Netanya we decided to go to Herzliya, because we could(we had a car). We had a delicious hot chocolate at the Chocolate Bar, rested for a while before heading back to Haifa.

The next day, we decided to go to the Sea of Galilee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_of_Galilee)and thus to Tiberias.

08 November 2006

We've moved

...from the pottery workshop back to Rachel's place. The workshop used to be at Rachel's place (the owner of the no-longer-extisting-Castra-mall-pottery-workshop) before they moved to the Castra mall and now we are back to the original place. Last week, we did not have pottery because they were not done with moving all the material but tonight we were able to go again. I think all of us from our group prefer this "new" workshop to the other one as there is more space for everybody. The only down side of this move is that it is a bit further than the Castra mall and also, there is no public transport, but that's alright for now as other potters from our group are kind enough to give us rides.

More space

More clay

The wheels

More space for to wedge the clay

Bright colours, I like that!


Special request - my turn to be in denial

05 November 2006

Storytelling and drums

A few days ago, we had some dear friends here telling us about storytelling. They pointed out the importance of drumming in storytelling in Africa and this is how the evening ended!

29 October 2006

Buckets of rain, thunder and socks

L’automne s’installe petit à petit en Israel. Il fait nettement moins chaud qu’il y a quelques semaines et il pleut (comparé à un été qui a été complément sec, pas une goutte d’eau. Rien du tout). Il ne pleut pas tous les jours (heureusement) et quand il pleut, il pleut bien fort pour quelques minutes et puis un beau soleil chaud apparaît. Nous avons aussi beaucoup de tonnerre. Je crois qu’on n’en a pas entendu des comme ça depuis bien des années et en si grande quantité !

Qui dit automne, dit vêtements plus chauds. Nous avons commencé à sortir les petites vestes par-ci par-là, sans oublier les chaussettes. Je ne vous raconte pas l’état des pieds qui ont été à l’air libre pendant des mois et qui doivent maintenant se réhabituer à des chaussettes et des chaussures fermées…

L’appartement commence aussi à se refroidir, et nous avons maintenant sorti la couette (nouvelle acquisition).
L’avantage avec tout ça (le temps) maintenant c’est que forcement on est moins en sueur lorsqu’on marche dans les rues de Haifa !

Just outside our flat building

On Hatzionut Street

On Hatzionut Street

Feels like we are back in French Guiana

14 October 2006

Haifa fait son cinéma

Durant toute la semaine dernière, Haifa avait son Festival International de Films. C’est un évènement très populaire qui rassemble chaque année plein de monde dans les rues au Merkaz (en haut de la montagne). Il y a des stands dans le petit parc à coté de la cinémathèque, des concerts, des expositions... C’est vraiment une ambiance bon enfant.

Walking around in the park


John being caught eating a crepe

When India comes to Haifa

John being Malkovich

09 October 2006

99 Luftballons (or: How I Came Round to YouTube)

A few weeks back we were in a car with friends one morning with the radio on, and a familiar, comforting sound began to drift out at us...99 Luftballons by 80s German pop group "Nena". It was a nostalgic moment for us all, and for me it was the beginning of something else: a love affair with...YouTube!

I've been sent a number of links to videos on YouTube, most frequently by Leila, but until that moment I had not really appreciated its full significance. Now, however, I have a whole list of treasures waiting to be shared with you - and they'll be appearing here over the coming days and weeks.

For now, though, I'd simply like to offer you the song that turned me on to YouTube:

Although I think the original is better, I thought you might like to hear the English version too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4


25 September 2006

One Raku and a wedding

Over the last 3/4 weeks I went to France for my very good friends' wedding - Imene and Jerome - and John and I went to a Raku firing with some other good friends.

Jerome and Imene coming out of the townhall. They have just said "I do".

Jerome and Imene posing before getting into Jerome's fancy cabriolet :-)

My other very good friend, Audrey, was also at the wedding.

And my other very good friend, Julien, was also there...

And our other friends were there too...

The was my second raku firing. It was again great fun. This time there were many other people - those from the other classes - and we also had some non-potter guests. Raku is something really unique. It takes a fair amount of time, it gets really hot when you deal with the kiln and the pots and also - I discovered it this time - it can be a bit stressful (maybe stressful is not the right word), but what I mean with this is that it is quite a responsability to take other people's pots out of the kiln WHEN you have to do it fast WITHOUT dropping them during the process AND all this while it is terribly HOT!

I look foward to the next raku.

Check out some of these links as well: