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Pancakes And A Thousand Followers !

Pancakes

This story was triggered by a visit to Liz‘s cooking blog. Boy ! Can she cook !

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(Click this picture of Liz’s to take you to her pancake post.)

In the ’80’s I stayed with Jim & Doris Nelson in Julian CA  (it’s a shame that I have lost touch with them). Jim asked me to take his truck down to Ramona for servicing.

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(Found on Google Search)

I popped into a nearby cafe for a cooked breakfast while waiting for the truck to be finished. I ordered the usual inc. pancakes. I asked for three. The waitress looked shocked and went away shaking her head. “Mad English !” I suppose she was thinking. She returned with two plates. One with the breakfast. The other was piled with three 1″ thick pancakes the size of “manhole covers”. I was surprised they didn’t have printed on them “San Diego Highways Dept.”

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(Found on Google Search)

She stood over me and smiled. The cook peeped over the bar and smiled. All the customers smiled. And I thought “Oh boy !” as I asked for the 6th bottle of maple syrup. I got through one pancake !!

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1000 WP followers ! Wow !

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It’s now 1009 followers. 1003 of you are with WP dot com.  Six more are emails. How fantastic is that ! Thank you so much !

On the 2nd of October 2012, when I had 184 followers, I wrote a fun post about following. I am copying it here as I have so many new followers to upset. Here goes ! Have fun !

I am following you Ralph because:

1) I like your hat

2) I like where you live because it is nowhere near where I live

3)I like your blog but I don’t like you

4) I like you and I want to marry you

5) I am married but I still want to marry you

6)I am single and with you around I am staying single

7)I get bored easily so I come over to your blog and get more bored

8) My psychiatrist recommends this blog as shock treatment

9) I have had a bad hair day and I want to take it out on you

10) I want to know if my boobs are too big for this sweater

11) Other

12) A bit of the other

Thank heavens  you are blog followers, NOT real life followers ! I could  cope with washing the clothes of 1000, even feeding 1000, but 1000 followers snoring ! No way !

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Thank you for following this blog my friends !

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Ralph xox <3

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Happy 2nd Anniversary !!

Wow ! This popped up in my Notifier today ! Two years with WordPress dot Com and what a ride we had !

Happy Anniversary!

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The Last Supper. How I Sat On A Nun And My Trousers Fell Down Twice !!

Additions to my previous posts

Sorry I haven’t visited your blogs yet. Although I am back in Spain I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog and in real life.

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One bus tour which I forgot to post was to Nazareth, Galilee and the river Jordan. We had lunch at St Peter’s restaurant on the shore of Galilee where Jesus, Peter and other disciples used to have Sunday lunch with a Coke to drink. It’s true !!

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Peter caught this fish this morning

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Among our group was a young student who was the only one who didn’t eat the US$22 meal. I knew she was broke, so I offered to pay, but she refused. I didn’t push it.

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The tour guide told us that once we had eaten to go straight back to the bus and not to go to the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Being me, I went and put my hands in the water. In the water in front of me rolled a carved, copper “wand”.  Wow !!

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I had a think about that young girl on the bus going to the river Jordan and when we reached the baptism “theme park” I got her to one side. Gave her €50 and asked her to pay it forward to a young student like herself when she becomes rich and famous. I then went to have my feet cleaned by fish in the river Jordan.

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See the fish. They nibble and it tickled !

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My last supper in the hotel

The last evening meal in the hotel was so unusual. As all the tour groups had left and all the tour groups had cancelled because of the trouble with Gaza I was alone in the 200 seater dining room. As there was no normal buffet the chef cooked me a special meal, enough to feed the 40,000. Did I eat it all ? No way !!

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The first time my trousers fell down !

I left the hotel in Jerusalem at midnight for Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv. My taxi driver, Michael Schumacher’s Palestinian cousin Abdul, drove the 1 hour 20 minute route in 25 minutes. Oh boy !!

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Security was very tight. The taxi was pulled to one side at the Israeli airport checkpoint and I was quizzed by a soldier who also took my passport into an office. 20 minutes later I was allowed into the airport. Twice more I was interrogated about where I had been and had to explain my middle names on my passport as I went through check in, passport control procedures.

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I needed both hands to remove my laptop for security Xray. I already had my belt off and my trouser waist was extremely loose. So it made the night of the Israeli girl helping me to remove all metal objects as my trousers descended to the floor.

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After 3 hours I managed to get to the Gate and we took off for Rome.

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How I sat on a Nun !

An hour more flying to Rome. The flight was okay but the seats on the A320 were so uncomfortable. Then a commotion from the back of the plane. Someone had a severe medical problem. So the  Captain gunned it and we landed 20 minutes early and parked miles from nowhere in the middle of the airport. “Ladies and Gentlemen. Please stay seated until the medical personnel have boarded the aircraft !“. Oh boy ! I have an hour and a half to walk the miles of corridors from T3 to T1 ! Eventually we were allowed to board a bus for the terminal.

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There are few seats, so I stood holding a pole next to a seated Nun. Then, Michael Schumacher’s Italian cousin, Mario, shot off towards the terminal. He cornered on two wheels, the inertia of my heavy laptop bag swung me around. I moved my feet to balance myself, but the Nun had put her cabin bag up against the back of my feet. This is when I began my pole dance…….

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……swinging lower and lower until I ended up sitting on the lap of the Nun. I think she enjoyed the experience !  A miracle for her perhaps !

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The second time my trousers fell down !

Fantastic ! I entered Terminal 3 with an hour to go before my next flight from Rome to Malaga. Easy ! I can do …….. I turned a corner and, for heaven’s sake, ANOTHER security check of person and hand luggage AND there were dozens of people queuing in front of me !

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One woman in front of me had enough jewelry on to fill Fort Knox with gold and every time she went through the detector it beeped. Time after time off came more jewelry. My turn ! My trousers descended to the floor as I removed my laptop from its bag. Oh boy !!

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Half an hour to go before my flight to Malaga leaves !! Got to hurry !!

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Rome Airport.

Do not, I repeat, do not use Rome airport. It’s BIG !! It’s FULL of people rushing here and there !! So I walked……

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…….and walked……

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……did I pass this ? ……

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……. and walked……

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……checked the signs……

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…..and walked…..

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……and walked……

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Yay !! I got to my Gate C09 on time !

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“Ladies and Gentlemen. There will be a half an hour delay because the aircraft is not in it’s correct position !” Oh boy ! I hope it’s the right way up !! After all that rushing and walking fast I needed a pee !

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Great ! One nearby ! Oh no ! The “men’s” was closed and there was a long queue of men for the disabled toilet. The women had NO queue ! (Yay ! Say you women !). 20 minutes later a happy Ralph emerged from the Relieving Station.

3/4 hour late, Michael Schumacher’s Italian cousin’s brother screeched his way out to the ancient A319 aircraft bound for Malaga …… or not !!

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The Italian Conference. Do we take off or not ! Mama mia !

All 135 of us passengers were seated in the usual uncomfortable seats ready to go to Malaga, but the Captain was unhappy. A passenger had a medical condition document attached to her boarding card which gave her permission to fly. The Captain objected. Medics and a doctor were called aboard. Others joined in. I assume the Lottery ticket salesman, the runway line painter and half of Rome came aboard as well and so started an hour of ” Mama mias” and “Did you have pizza last night ?” on the flight deck.

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The documents photographed by the Captain and the doctor’s signature on it, we took off for Malaga.

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Baggage bloomer

Over an hour late we landed in Malaga.

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Miles of walking again to the baggage hall, carousal 37. The suitcases went round……

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……nope ! No bag ! …….

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………Still no suitcase ! …….

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……suddenly everyone went and I had no suitcase ! An airport wheelchair pusher told me that as I came from outside Europe that my suitcase would be in a separate Custom’s Hall. And there it was. We gave each other a hug and left together for the arrivals hall…….

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……where I met Max who was there to drive me to my home in the mountains of southern Spain……

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…….Or not !!

We chatted over a drink in a bar outside Malaga Arrivals and went to Jenny’s sports car which she had borrowed to pick me up.  She put her ticket in the pay machine…..

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……and it was rejected. How were we going to get through the barrier ? Driving round and round the car park we eventually found the office 2 floors down.

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The girl there swiped the parking ticket and told Max to go and pay at the machine the other side of the car park. 5 minutes later Max came back saying it doesn’t work. The girl swiped, typed, muttered and sent Max back to the machine. It worked !! The barrier raised and we were homeward bound. After a major food and drink shop in Ronda I arrived home in the evening. Was greeted by my cats who had not seen me for two weeks. They talked and followed me everywhere. Had my evening meal and promptly fell asleep on my swivel chair !!

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(Most of these pictures were found on Google Search. Thank you to the contributors)

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Did you enjoy my trip home ?

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Ralph xox <3

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Fun With Israelis By The Dead Sea

Wow ! I returned to my Jerusalem hotel last night after experiencing the most fun packed 24 hour overnight visit to the Dead Sea. My blogging friend  Heila  and her friend Yuval invited me to go with them on this adventure. We stayed the night in a room on a mountain top overlooking the Dead Sea. During the day we visited a nature reserve and a spa, but most of all we had FUN, 24 hours of it ( except for Yuval’s snoring…….I won’t marry him !!). Thank you so much dear friends.

So, please come with us and enjoy this slideshow of 74 photos.

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It is so nice to finish my 2 week holiday in Jerusalem on a high. I am flying back to Spain tomorrow night with an extra “suitcase” full of wonderful memories. Thank you Israel and the West Bank for my trip of a life time.

See you in Spain !

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I hope you enjoyed my holiday in Jerusalem with me. Did you ?

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Ralph xox <3

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A Great Honour To Be Able To Visit The Home Of A Christian Palestinian In The Old City Of Jerusalem

I came on vacation to see Israel and parts of the West Bank, treading the path of hundreds of thousands before me through scenery, history and religious sites, which I did. On the way I made many friends, one of which is the receptionist, Elias, who, out of the blue invited me to his home in the Old City of Jerusalem as he wanted to explain his situation as a Christian Palestinian. It was not only a visit a normal tourist would never do, but an honour for me to be asked by Elias.

Farook and Elias, receptionists at the 7 Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Farook and Elias, receptionists at the 7 Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

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Once Elias’s shift had finished on the day of my previous post, we walked down the Mount of Olives and in through the Old City of Jerusalem to his home.

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He explained that his family of six, mother, father and 4 sons of working age lived in the same small top floor apartment in the Christian Quarter for well over 33 years (the age of Elias). There is basically a tiny bathroom, kitchen and living room where 4 sleep (used to be 6), eat off a coffee table, a TV and internet desk. Although cramped, his mother kept the apartment spotless.

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I was the second visitor outside the family who had visited their home in 3 years. What an honour !

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Only 2 sons were working in hotels, one of which has a physics degree but will never be employed in that field because he is Palestinian.

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A 3rd son was working as a bus driver and lost his job because the working conditions were unsuitable for him.

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The rent is very high, 3/4 of Elias’s salary. The prices of every thing here as shot up. Although things are difficult, their main worry is if one of the 2 brothers can’t work for some reason.

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None of the 4 sons have a wife on the horizon, so they all live at home with mum and dad in really cramped conditions.

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The Israeli government is in total control of their lives, documentation etc. The family is not free to do what most of us westerners can do. They support their brother & sister Palestinians in the prison of Gaza.

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The mother was very generous in feeding me. A coffee went down well. The family is basically surviving on a day to day basis, not knowing what future will be forced upon them. Thank you Elias and family for the memorable visit. I was honoured !

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Ralph xox <3

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Rocket Attack !!

Well it finally happened ! I was in the right place at the right time to see the Israeli defence shield in action !!

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I had just finished visiting Elias’s family this afternoon (full story in my next post) and Elias & I were standing by the taxi rank outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when the sirens howled across the city.

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A few seconds later I saw three streaks of white fly into the late afternoon sky to the south west. Two exploded in white balls and the other a created a massive orange glow which gradually died into two white balls in the sky.

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The sirens died and the hubbub of the city noise returned to normality. Then BOOM ! The noise of one of the defence missiles exploding ripped through the city of Jerusalem and a great cheer rang out from the Palestinians  outside the Damascus Gate. Then another BOOM followed by cheers. Then the final BOOM and cheers. Jerusalem city life returned to normal, traffic moving and people scurrying here, there and everywhere.

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Ralph xox <3

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Blogging Friend In Israel & Others

Heila

 Wow ! A week of my two week holiday in Israel has zipped by ! What fun ! It was time to meet Heila yesterday in Tel Aviv

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Because my hotel, 7 Arches on the Mount of Olives,  is in a Palestinian area of Jerusalem it took a lot of planning to arrange the best method of transport for me to meet Heila in Tel Aviv, Israel. Heila ( a multi-linguist) and Elias, the hotel receptionist, timed our meeting in Tel Aviv to perfection.

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Yay ! It was fantastic to meet a fellow blogger who has been in touch with me for a very long time. A big hug ! A real one ! We had a lovely day together and got on so well.

On crossing a footbridge to the tour bus we came across padlocks on the fence, hundreds of them with names of couples written on the padlocks. Lovers locked together !

Look at the padlocks on the fence Ralph !!!

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Heila and I toured Tel Aviv and Jaffa on a tour bus and I chatted too much during the commentary !!

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And we walked and walked and talked and talked.

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Eventually arriving at a beautiful restaurant. 2 hours sped by as we had a HUGE Italian lunch together under the trees in Tel Aviv.

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Heila had some great news during our meal.

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It’s always sad to say goodbye after a day out as friends. BUT we are going to meet again on Friday ! Yay !

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Friends from South Africa

Many of you know I have problems with my hands. So feeding myself can be difficult when cutting is involved. Amazingly, this group has taken me under their wing, serving my plate, carrying coffee for me etc. Wonderful people !

Back row: Renier, Marina, Marlize, Ria. Front row: Roelien, Fransie, Ralph, Molly

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Molly & Renier

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Marlize & Ria

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Fransie & Ralph

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Roelien & Marina

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Then !! Marlize crowned me with a serviette !!

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A big thank you to my South African friends. May God bless you for helping me !!

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By the way ! If you want to rent a car in Jerusalem….. good luck !!

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Have you met fellow bloggers in strange places ?

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Ralph xox <3

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Spot The Hat In Israel !!

Whew ! I have done so much since leaving my home in Spain, so today I have taken a day off, relaxing in the hotel lobby (with a member of staff vacuuming under my feet. OMG !!!). I slept well last night for a couple of hours between the helicopters, fireworks and gunfire (?) on the only access road to my hotel on the Mount Of Olives, Jerusalem AND I’ve just spilt coffee on my trouser lap. Maybe embarrassing when my 5 South African lady friends ask again if I need help with anything ! But, hey, I’m on holiday and I truly am enjoying it.

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I don’t write a normal post, so my 6am start for Caesarea, Mount Carmel Haifa, Acre (Akko) and Rash Hanikra (Google them) where I took many “selfie” hat photos for the slideshow. Some photos do not have my hat in them. Can you spot which ones  ?

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Sorry I am slow in replying to your comments but I will get around to it and visiting 250 new posts in my Inbox. OMG. I need a holiday !!

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So, what have you been up to while I have been a lazy tourist in Israel ?

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Ralph xox <3

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I AM Hot ! No Feet Left ! I Just Love Jerusalem !

At the end of day 2, Sabron Rabian (that’s me !) has been on a tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem today. It started off well when the Bien Harim tour bus turned up at 8am to collect me. I was driven down the Mount of Olives village where there was a riot the night before.  The bus collected more people from hotels on the way and about six buses met at a meeting point, shuffled the guests and off we went on our own tours. An hour or so after I was picked up, my group started our tour 10 yards from my hotel !! Oh boy ! This is going to be a good day ! Our tour guide Yoav Malachi was brilliant, he remembered our nationalities rather than names. I was Spain and a bit of a problem for him. 

I have to keep this short as I’m hot and sweaty. I have to be awake at 0430am tomorrow as I am off to Haifa and Acre. So a shower and recharge my camera will happen as soon as I set up this slideshow. There are over 30 photos, so you can press Like now you two !!

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The Palestinian guide took us to an olive tree wood carving shop. Palestinians and Christians working together in harmony. I bought nothing, but they gave me a lemon drink and while we were sitting on the kerb in the street waiting for the bus, the tea boy came out and gave me a coffee. How kind !!

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So far I have met many nationalities here and once you get to know them they are great people. As I said, more hugs and kisses are needed here in Israel and Palestine. All it needs is the will !!

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Will someone put me to bed please !!

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Ralph xox <3

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I’m On The Mount Of Olives, Jerusalem. I Made It !!

27 hours without sleep ! A long drive in Spain. 2 flights ! Six hours in Rome Airport where I was swamped by Japanese, then Chinese, then 20  Carabini….. whatever ……Italian police ran me over while dragging some man to an airplane, a breast feeding mum a foot from my nose, a mile plus walk from arrival gate through transit to the departure gate for Tel Aviv. I did wave to you Serach as we landed for my Rome experience.

All the formalities in Tel Aviv were easier than most airports. I had an Orthodox Jew fall asleep on me on the back seat of the shuttle bus to Jerusalem. The bus dumped me by a Palestinian taxi rank whose drivers were all in dawn prayers. A beautiful dawn in the back streets of Jerusalem.  So I’m  here in the hotel resting today. Tomorrow I begin tours, goodness knows where to or what will happen tomorrow.

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Ralph xox <3

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PS I may not be able to answer your lovely comments. Go ahead ! Wipe your feet ! <3

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