Monday, 29 January 2007

Irregular Blogging - Hospital Stays & School Holidays

Since there are a few things going on at home at the moment, I may not have the time to update my blog everyday. Hopefully things will be back to normal in the next few days.

My husband had to go to hospital last night in the middle of the night. I won't go into details just yet about what is wrong as he will be there for the next few days having some tests. Hopefully it is nothing serious and he will be back on his feet very soon.

Meanwhile, I am at home with the girls who are keeping me very busy. Jade goes back to school tommorrow as the school holidays are now over, and Amber starts her first day at Kindergarten (same school as Jade) on Wednesday. That will be a big day for her considering what she has been through over the past few weeks.

So with Dad in hospital and Jade and Amber at school, that will leave just Mum and Ruby at home. Wow, things will be quite, although I will need to go and see Mr Bagel in hospital over the next few days - our closest hospital is almost an hours drive away.

Anyway, that's it from me for now :D

.... Just another day ....

Friday, 26 January 2007

Evidence Casts Doubt Over Yeshiva Student's Reported Drunken Accident

I can't believe this... I have just read the article below from the Australian jewish News. I feel that it leaves a lot of unanswered questions and I can't help but think there is something strange going on here...

New evidence has cast serious doubt over police allegations that an Israeli yeshiva student's brain haemorrhage was due to a "drunken accident".

Nitzan Zerach, a student at Sydney's Yeshiva Centre, was hospitalised last Thursday with a brain haemorrhage and facial injuries.

A police spokesperson told the AJN late on Monday: "New facts have come to light and we are keeping an open mind."

Police had twice previously confirmed to the AJN they had no evidence to suggest Zerach was assaulted, despite claims to that effect by his friends and colleagues at the Yeshiva Centre, who said he did not drink alcohol and that his facial injuries were a result of an assault.

Police viewed video footage on Monday at the Yeshiva Centre - also sighted by the AJN - which shows Zerach returning to the Flood Street campus just before 2am last Thursday morning.

He is clearly struggling with his footing and stops to vomit on entry to the building. As he makes his way down the stairs, it is possible to see the scarring around Zerach's eye - apparent proof that he was in fact assaulted before he returned home.

This is part of the new evidence that has led police to cast doubt on their initial belief that Zerach was involved in a "drunken accident" inside the building.

"The alcohol question is in fact in question," a police spokesman told the AJN, adding that the case was still under investigation.

"It is an open question and reports that he was drunk may or may not be true. We're keeping an open mind."

Zerach's bag was also found near the Anzac Bridge, further suggesting that he was both assaulted and robbed.

Zerach closed the Chabad house for Israelis, where he volunteered for Rabbi Alon Hazi, late last Wednesday night in Hall Street, Bondi Beach, about a 20-minute walk from Flood Street.

It now appears that he was assaulted on his way home and could have been left lying in the street for almost an hour and a half before a passerby who saw him called police around 1.30am.

An ambulance arrived at around 1.50am and escorted Zerach into the building. However, paramedics did not detect any serious injuries at the time and did not hand Zerach over to any Yeshiva staff.

He made it to his dorm, passed out and woke up around 11am, when he was found by a fellow Yeshiva student staggering around the building with massive wounds to his head.

It was then that Hatzolah and an ambulance was called, and he was taken into intensive care at St Vincent's Hospital.

A hospital blood test reportedly showed that he had no alcohol in his system, further dispelling allegations he was involved in a "drunken accident".

Police are urging the passerby who found Zerach to contact them on (02) 9365 9649.

His friends have said he does not drink alcohol - the blood test has proven he had no alcohol in his system, so I guess that pretty much rules out the first claim by police that he was ' ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

.... Just another day ....

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Is This The Right Thing To Do?

Since we are renting the house we live in and have lived in for the past four years we have had to put up with four monthly inspections carried out by the real estate agent. Every four months over the past 4 years we have had our privacy invaded by these inspections in which the first one (which was done 6 weeks after we moved in) they pointed out a couple of small cobwebs that needed to be removed. I think it is quite obvious now that we are not the 'punch holes in the walls' kind of people and we respect and care for the property.

Other than the property damaging cobweb(!) there has really been nothing else for them to kvetch about, even today there was no problems. The real estate agent knows that we are good tenants and has even asked the landlord if we could make it 6 monthly inspections, but they said no. Even though the landlord and his wife spend every weekend up here in the small cabin just a few metres from the house and even though they come up here numerous times a week - at any minute they could just arrive out of no-where, they still said no. They made out that they would rarely be here when we first signed the lease and now at times they basically live here, which I really don't like - who wants to live with their landlord? And worse still who wants to live always under the watchful eye of the landlord?

While we were in Sydney for Ambers heart operation for 2.5 weeks the landlord decided to mow the lawn while we weren't here. The lawn was mowed by me the week before we went away and considering the lack of rain, I would imagine that it was not an 'emergency'. When we arrived home to find the lawn had been mowed, we wondered why it had been done. I told my husband that it was probably a good will gesture and that the landlord was just being helpful considering our circumstances at the time. We know that he is a snoop when we are not at home and has no problems wandering around the backyard etc and to think that the lawn was probably 3 inches long, to him would be mind boggling - he probably lost a couple of nights sleep over that!

About 2 days after we came home from Sydney I went to turn the pool filter on so we could use the pool. We had two very long outdoor extension leads joined to reach the outside power point. I plugged them into the filter and nothing happened... so I followed the first lead to the other end where the plug is... and where the second lead is supposed to be... it wasn't there. I looked in our carport to see if it had been wound up while the lawn was mowed and left somewhere, but it wasn't there. I went back to the end of the first lead where the second lead was supposed to be and laying in the garden was a one foot piece of the 'missing' extension lead... badly severed at both ends and obviously run over by the landlord while mowing the grass.

What really annoyed us was that he had not approached us to say what had happened, he had simply removed the extension lead and hoped we wouldn't notice. It was nice of him to mow the lawn for us, but I think it was pretty rude to take away the cord and say nothing. We explained what has happened to the real estate agent today and we made it really really clear we don't want this to turn into a major problem, but it has been annoying us and we felt that it wasn't the right thing to have done. If we took or damaged a $35 extension lead of his there would be a major problem and he would have no trouble bringing the topic up, infact he would come straight over and confront us about it.

I really don't know if we have done the right thing in telling the real estate agent about it or not. I know he has done the wrong thing in not saying something and trying to hide it too, but I just don't want conflict over the next few months we are here either and we know from experience he is quite a moody fellow.

What do you think? Should we have mentioned it or not?

.... Just another day ....

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Murdered Holocaust Survivor Farewelled In Sydney

81 year old Katherine Schweitzer, survivor of the Holocaust who was murdered in her security apartment in Sydney last week was farewelled today. What sort of animal could do this to a harmless elderly lady....What a tragic end to a life that has seen, experienced and given so much.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

The last moments of Katherine Schweitzer's life - strangled then dumped in a wheelie bin last Wednesday - were cruel and abrupt, but a small measure of respect was returned to her today when Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, attended her funeral service.

Speaking in slight rain outside the funeral service, Rabbi Metzger expressed the sorrow of the Jewish community over the 81-year-old Holocaust survivor's death.

"I heard about this tragic case and I changed my plans to come and give her the honour of a survivor of the Holocaust," he said.

Rabbi Metzger, holidaying in Australia, said that, despite not having any living relatives Ms Schweitzer now had an entire family behind her.

"All the Jewish nation are her kids from today," he said.

About 80 people gathered at 10am at the Sydney Chevra Kadisha, in Woollahra, to farewell Mrs Schweitzer.

"We are gathered in solemn assembly to take leave of and say shalom and farewell to a very special and beautiful human being, Katherine Schweitzer," said the officiating rabbi, David Rogut.

"At this moment her book of life has closed; a chapter has ended for our darling Kathy ... this senseless murder of a gentle, saintly and elderly person should never have happened.

"Katherine leaves no immediate family. The truth is she leaves behind an entire city and country mourning for her tragic death and honouring her for her outstanding life," he said.

Mrs Schweitzer's body was found inside a wheelie bin outside her fifth-floor apartment in a unit block on Buller Street, Bellevue Hill.

Police have speculated that her murder might have been a thrill killing, as they have yet to find any other motive.

She was born in 1925 in Budapest, and spent her teen years working in the Hungarian resistance, helping to save Jewish lives from the Nazi concentration camps by forging birth certificates.

Her entire family died during the Nazi regime. Her father and brother were poisoned with arsenic after being dragged from their home by German soldiers.

In 1948 Mrs Schweitzer married Paul Schweitzer and they moved to Australia in 1956, where she worked as an accountant.

After the service her coffin was taken from the building and placed in a waiting car to be taken to Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney's west, where she was interred in front of about 25 people, including former business associate Nick Pappas.

Speaking after the service Anna Carmon, 85, who described herself as Mrs Schweitzer's "best friend", said she had spoken to the victim the day she died.

"I was going to pick her up that day and she didn't feel well," she said.

"She was expecting the doctor to come and he came [and then] everything was over."

Mrs Schweitzer's doctor paid her a house call about 6.45pm and, along with some neighbours, discovered her body in the bin about 7.30pm.

Mrs Carmon said she had done some shopping for Mrs Schweitzer and was planning to take it around to her.

"I was going [over] and I asked her, 'What do you want me to bring you?' She said a pint of milk.

"I've still got the milk at home in my fridge."

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.... Just another day ....

Saturday, 13 January 2007

What Is Wrong With Us?

I just can't understand this. Are our police and government completely clueless?

In the past couple of weeks I have posted about a couple of hideous attacks on Sydney Jews. First it was the horrendous murder of 81 year old Katherine Schweitzer who was a survivor of the Holocaust. She was strangled to death in her own security apartment in Bellevue Hill and dumped in her rubbish bin. Then only 2 weeks later I wrote about what appears to be a brutal bashing of Israeli born Nitzan Zerach a Yeshiva student in Bondi, which police initially reported as a 'drunken accident' before being proven wrong by blood tests that showed no alcohol in Nitzans's system.

It is now being reported that New South Wales police have no idea as to who or why Katherine Schweitzer was so brutally murdered. While friends are left baffled by this crime, Detective Inspector Russell Oxford this week suggested it may have been a revenge crime.

"Someone's disgruntled, and has gone to this length. We're starting to look for someone she knew." He told the Australian Jewish News. He appealed to the Jewish community to help his team of investigators, called Operation Strike Force, piece together as much information as they can. Detectives are still interviewing people who may have had access to the Security block, he said, including carers of many of the elderly residents of the building. They are also checking her financial and business records.

So it sounds like they are no closer to finding the killer.

As for the Nitzan Zerach case, they have no idea what has happened with that either. According to the AJN, Detective Inspector Jason Smith, who is in charge of police investigations in the eastern suburbs, told the AJN on Tuesday: "At this stage we don't have enough information to tell us what actually happened. We really don't have a clear picture."

It was also reported that Zerach, who recalls nothing of the incident, was operated on at St Vincent's Hospital last Thursday afternoon, is now in a stable condition, recovering in a ward.

Zerach's family, colleagues and Yeshiva Centre officials are furious at police for initially suspecting Zerach of drunkenness. They insist he did not drink alcohol and say he declined an invitation that evening to join a farbrengen, a traditional Lubavitch l'chaim.

Police had initially claimed that three "almost empty" bottles of whisky in Zerach's room appeared to support their view that alcohol could have been involved. But Yeshiva officials countered that students collect the bottles from the many farbrengens they attend, including every Shabbat. Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, the head of Sydney's Lubavitch community, told the AJN this appeared to be one of the most violent attacks on any of his students. "It just saddens me that a person in our care has had such an incident. It seems obvious he was bashed. There is no chance at all he was intoxicated."

So again, it seems they are no closer to finding out who did this either. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-police at all. I think most times the police do a great job, lets face it it would be a hard job. But considering there has been such a rise in anti-Semitic attacks on Australian Jews, something needs to be done. People need to be held accountable. Something needs to be done to try to stop further attacks and when you have two cases in two weeks where you basically don't know what has happened and certainly don't know who has done it, then there will be more attacks because they are getting away with it.

It is also our government....

The Australian Federal Government claims it is powerless to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir a Muslim group calling for Australia to be taken over as part of an Islamic superstate.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said yesterday there was not enough evidence to ban the group despite it's continuing call for Australia to become part of a Caliphate or "Khilafah".
The group, has already been banned in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and several Muslim countries because of its alleged links to terrorist groups, but remains free to operate in Australia. Their spokesperson in Australia has openly been encouraging anti-Jewish violence.
Why is our govenment not doing anything about these terrorists running around our country spewing anti-semetic violence and hatred?? They have been circulated pamphlets calling for Israel's destruction and plan on hosting a Sydney conference on the 27th of this month to promote an Islamic takeover although I believe the venue at Blacktown which they booked under a false name has cancelled their booking...
When we have groups like this operating freely in Australia it is no wonder our Jewish community is being beaten and murdered.

Click picture to enlarge

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.... Just another day ....

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

All Th Current Going On's

I know since we came home from Sydney after Amber's heart surgery my blogging has been a little sporadic. I am really hoping to get into a more regular routine of daily blogging again over the next few days.
Right now it has been quite hard for me to blog regularly - you have got to understand, it is school holidays here right now. I think anyone with children knows how hard it is to get anything done around the house when the kids are on school holidays, let alone sit down and concentrate long enough to string a few sentences together with out being interrupted 100 times.
In about 3 weeks time school holidays end and the kids go back to school. This year I will have 2 out of 3 of my girls going to school, things sure will be quiet with just little Ruby following me around the house and helping me with lots of jobs. Who will she argue with if Jade and Amber are not home during the day??

Since we have been back home I have been backwards and forwards to town taking Amber to our local GP for blood tests to check the levels of her medications (and just trying to keep up with her medication too!). She finds it quite traumatic and even started crying in the doctor's surgery waiting room today because she knows when she goes there, it is now for blood tests - which she hates. The best thing about it is that Mum buys her a surprise afterwards to try to smooth things over - which she loves!

Going into town is a real nightmare at the moment as it is peak tourist season and it is just soooo busy. Funny thing is, I don't know many locals in town, but the tourists stick out like sore thumbs, for a start while grocery shopping they ALWAYS have their bathers, sunglasses and straw hats on - rain, hail or shine and they must have sunburn which closely resembles the colour of lobsters (I know, not kosher - but there is not much about this town that is kosher!).
While they are all busy leaving the city to come and enjoy the beautiful sun and surf here, we are heading back to the city this weekend. Amber has an appointment for a post surgery check up, echo and x-ray with the cardiologist. We are booked in at Ronald McDonald House to stay again. I really don't know what we would have done over the past 5 year without being able to stay there. I will also be getting the photos of Amber in hospital developed shortly, which I will be posting. They show all the different stages of her recovery - from arriving in ICU and hour after surgery to 2 weeks later, having her last stiches out. It has been an amazing journey and we have been truly blessed.

Well, its getting late and I am sure the girls will be up in the morning bright and early and all excited about another brand new day to be had, so Mum better be off to bed!

.... Just another day ....

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Sydney Sky Orchestra

Above: Sydney, Hot-air balloons float above the city as part of the Sky Orchestra. This is an experimental artwork linked to research on the effect of music on people’s dreams. The work is made up of seven hot air balloons, each with speakers attached, which fly low over the city in the early hours of the morning playing music.

Sydney Festival 2007 dawned yesterday with a dreamy symphony in the sky above western Sydney.

Seven hot-air balloons wired for sound lifted off from Parramatta at sunrise, serenading thousands of sleepy residents.
Bleary-eyed and pyjama-clad they emerged, captivated by the soothing sounds of Sky Orchestra, which launched the festival far from its traditional inner-city heart.
"How do you react artistically to something like the western suburbs, which go on forever and are very dispersed?" festival director Fergus Linehan said. "Sky Orchestra seemed a really interesting way of bringing the mountain to Muhammad."

Jenny Gabrielides, of Merrylands, was still in her dressing-gown when she was drawn into her yard.
"I think it's wonderful," she said, "a lovely surprise."

But Tama Cribb, who was roused from his Parramatta bed, said: "What's going on? What's all this noise about? Am I dreaming?"

Annette Castle and her neighbour, Ann Gray, watched the event together in Guildford.
"It's pretty isn't it, and we're getting something [in western Sydney] - it's not all downtown," Ms Castle said.

Sky Orchestra was the brainchild of British sound artist Luke Jerram, who is conducting university research into how sound affects the REM stage of sleep.
While holidaying in Tunisia, Jerram was awoken by the sounds of singing from a minaret on the edge of town. It was soon joined by another minaret and then another.
"You could almost see the layers of sound building on each other," he said. "It gave me the idea of building sound on the edge of sleep."

Composer Dan Jones created two pieces of music for the performance, including one with excerpts from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream spoken by actors Janet Suzman and Patrick Stewart.

The festival, which runs until January 27, had its official launch last night at the Hyde Park Barracks. Five festival highlights in the coming days are:

- Music great Lou Reed performing his cult album Berlin live - January 18-20, State Theatre.
- May Gibbs's iconic Snugglepot And Cuddlepie brought to the stage - January 9-31, Theatre Royal.
- The sublime jazz of Madeleine Peyroux - January 21-22, State Theatre.
- The sexy circus and cabaret performers of La Clique - January 5-28, The Famous Spiegeltent, Hyde Park North.
- Actor Ralph Fiennes in First Love by Samuel Beckett - January 9-21, Parade Theatres, NIDA.

From the Sydney Morning Herald.

.... Just another day ....

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Mouthwatering Mousse

Here's a little something for all chocolate mousse lovers to make your mouth water.

I have finished my Shabbos cooking ready for tonight and because it is hot here and we are having a dairy based meal tonight, I wanted a dessert that didn't require cooking in the oven (which makes the house even hotter) and was milchig. I came across this Chocolate and Tia Maria Mousse recipe. I have had a tiny little taste of what I made this morning and it is delicious!

Here is the recipe:


- 200g dark chocolate roughly chopped.
- 1/4 cup Tia Maria (check with your local kashrut authority).
- 4 eggs, seperated.
- 300ml thickened cream, whipped.


Berries - raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, extra cream and chocolate flakes to serve.


1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth.
2. Remove from heat. Blend in the Tia Maria. Whisk egg yolks in one at a time. Transfer to a bowl, gradually fold cream through chocolate mixture.
3. In a clean dry bowl, beat egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.
4. Divide mixture evenly among 6-8 serving dishes. Chill, covered for 3 hours or overnight until firm. Serve sprinkled with chocolate, or as I have in the photos with berries, cream and grated chocolate.

Enjoy! Yum, yum!

Have a great weekend everyone and a peaceful Shabbos.

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.... Just another day ....

Monday, 1 January 2007

Eating Spaghetti With A Spoon

Besides young children that cannot yet handle a knife and fork to eat their dinner, does anyone really eat spaghetti with a teaspoon?? Apparently so...

A 26 year old woman from Sydney got more than she bargained for during a dinner conversation when she laughed so hard she accidentally swallowed a spoon.

The woman ingested a teaspoon when she was overcome by the giggles while eating spaghetti, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper said.

The 15-centimetre (six-inch) spoon stuck in her throat at the top of her stomach.
Doctors at Canterbury Hospital sedated the woman and removed it "with great difficulty" during a 90-minute operation.

Thank goodness she wasn't using a fork!!

.... Just another day ....

Happy New Year!

Wishing eveyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

I wonder what the New Year will bring...

.... Just another day ....