Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard

Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard was scheduled for publication in 2008.   For a reason that I do not know, the author and publisher were both targets of a campaign of hate and harrassment, to the point where they decided to withdraw the book from publication.  Which is a great pity, because it’s a riveting, albeit harrowing read and the writing is extraordinary.

However, Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard is now available to read on-line. It’s free. I don’t generally read books on-line because I find it  tiring, but having started this book I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s also laid out in a reader-friendly format that isn’t hard on the eyes.

This is part of the synopsis taken from the Amazon website:

“Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard” and “Anne Frank’s Diary” have many things in common: the Netherlands, World War Two, the Nazis, the Holocaust, and the wish to survive. Yet, where Anne was forced to passively hide and depended on righteous people to survive, young Rachel Sarai was actively involved as a ‘baby-courier’ in the work of the Underground Resistance. Equally important, she was responsible for guarding the hiding place in her parents’ house, which sheltered many people in peril during the last years of war. Jewish, but very blond and thus inconspicuous, Rachel Sarai was nearly five when she began to distribute messages, and – during nightly curfew hours – smuggle people across the moors to a safe address. She learned to lie, steal and murder, and face up to the Germans, especially the Gestapo. She was seven when the British and Canadians liberated the country.Besides the WWII, Rachel Sarai survived the murderous hatred and mental and physical abuse of her father’s wife, who maintained to be her mother. A mother, who surprised the child with the spectacle of her father fornicating another woman and, eight weeks later, forced her to watch the knitting needle abortion performed on the same woman. A mother who smiled when she realised Rachel had been raped by a young neighbour.”

Read it here: Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard

Back on track?

It seems that the great F1 drama has been resolved, with Max Mosley agreeing to step down from his pinnacle in October. The top teams have finally succeeded in pulling the rug out from beneath his self-satisfied feet.  (At least, they seem to think so. But knowing Max, don’t write off the possibility that he will go back on his word; he’s done so before.) Pity he didn’t jump with dignity instead of waiting to be pushed.

Still, whatever his failings, you can’t knock his sense of humour. Who but a comedian would wear this hideous jacket? Please don’t say it has matching lederhosen.

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

When (if) he goes, then Formula One should be a better place.

So, farewell, Max, and please take the glove puppet with you.

PS  “Kill Max Mosley” is still regularly turning up in my search engine stats. 😯

My new friend

There was a long queue in the bank and I felt conspicuous, being the only white person amongst them. Every transaction seemed to take half an hour due to language incompatibility between customers and cashiers, so I had time to make friends with the small boy ahead of me.

Marlon was about five years old, with chocolate skin, perfect teeth, and very big eyes whose whites were so white they were blue. An enchanting and hyper-active little boy who couldn’t keep still and clambered on and off the chairs and tables, opened a cupboard where the hot drink refills  were kept and generally kept his mother fully occupied trying to keep him in sight and out of mischief. Every so often he wrapped himself around my leg and gave me a shy smile, but couldn’t be tempted to speak.

Finally his mother was called over to a cashier, and she grabbed his hand and led him away.

“Goodbye, Marlon,” I said.

He looked back over his shoulder, waved a hand and with a huge smile  said: “Fuck you, man.”  🙂