Forgotten History


Like a lot of people, French journalist Jean-Marie Borzeix is interested in local history. Especially the history of his small Correzian village during the second world war.

He knew about the village tragedy when on April 6, 1944, the German Wehrmacht, helped by a hanfdul of SS, arrested four local peasants and shot them because their sons were in the French Resistance.

While investagating about this event, Borzeix discovered that there was a darker side to it that everybody had preferred to put out of their minds. That day, as well as the following, the German army also rounded up a number of Jews who were either hiding in the area or had been forced to move there by the French administration who was making the French Southern coast Judenfrei (free of Jews).

The women, old people and children were deported to Auschwitz while the men were shot on the spot. That’s how, Borzeix found the tomb of Chaim Rozent in a nearby village. Haim was an Antwerpen Jew, whose family had come from Poland, had had fled Belgium with his wife and children to hide in Southern France. He was a performer in Yiddish theater as well as a keen violonist.

On his gravestone someone had recently engraved two telephone numbers. Borzeix called these numbers, only to find that he was talking to Chaim’s children – who now live in Haifa. They were so eager to piece together what had happened when their father was shot – they had remained hidden with their mother and had survived – that the French journalist felt he owed them the truth.

Jean-Marie Borzeix undertook to talk to elderly villagers, search the local archives and documents and read press articles so as to reconstruct those fatal days. He felt he had succeeded when, last week, he got a phone call from Israel. One of Chaim’s offsprings told him that the night before, the only member of the family who could still speak French had read and translated his book to the other family members. In addition, thanks to this book, the Jews who were hiding in Bugeat are no longer anonymous.



Creative workshops are extremely trendy here. People from all ages and all walks of life take up scrapbooking, painting, engraving, etc.

A young woman just a few yards from my house made advantage of this trend and set up an art workshop with a difference: she teaches art and English. Apparently her workshop is popular with young children as well as teenagers and adults.

She holds different courses: in some you learn art only, in others you learn English only but the most popular are those where you learn both art and English – or should I say art in English.

As there is a huge Japanese-owned factory in the area, a number of Japanese senior executives live in my hometown with their wives and children. I assume they don’t want to make France their permanent home so they welcome the oportunity for their kids to learn another foreign language they will be able to use in the future. These classes are also popular with teenagers preparing for an exam and adults who want to brush up their English in an unconventional environment.


Chicken Teriyaki


4 single boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman Lite)
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-inch piece ginger root, peeled, minced
Chives, parsely or cilantro for garnish

Place chicken in a glass, plastic or ceramic
Combine the marinade ingredients
in a bowl. Pour marinade over
chicken to coat well. Cover with cling
wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir fry a few minutes before eating and garnish with chives, parsley or cilantro just before serving.

Adapted from the Jewish Action.

Mediterranean version: forget about the soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger. Instead combine the olive oil with lemon juice, honey and oregano. Add a dash of pepper.

Blogger’s Musings


A few things I dislike about blogging and bloggers – or how to make countless ennemies in two seconds:
– People you visit regularly and never visit back. At least those won’t resent this post since they never read this blog anyway.
– Bloggers who never leave a comment eventhough you comment on their posts regularly. I am well aware that they may belong to the first category which would explain why they never leave as much as a short comment.
– Extremely careful bloggers on Blogger. You read what they have written and you like it. This was the short part of your visit – however long the pos – now comes the commenting bit. You type your comment, you identify between five and seven letters and have to replicate them, then you need to select your identity, then type your url and finally agree to trust WordPress – or whatever blog publishing system you use – with your identity. Hopefully you have not made any mistake in the process. Now I can sense that some of you are glaring since so many people use Blogger.

A few things I love about blogging and bloggers – or how I hope to redeem mysef after being a bit caustic:
– Getting to know so many people around the globe.
– Sharing what I enjoy and learning about new things.
– The regular photo projects such as Ruby Tuesday, Skywatch Friday and Sunday Critter.
– Regular bloggers who always try to say something nice even if my post has nothing to rave about.
– Sharing my doubts as well as my joys and seeing that some people care.

What do you enjoy about blogging?

aNobii: Online Booklist


About twenty-five years ago I got a notebook to keep track of the books I had read. As soon as I had finished a book, I would write down its title and author in chronological order. Once it was full, I bought another one, copied the previous one and added new titles.

Until I discovered aNobii through my sister-in-law. This site is an online book community created by some people from Hong Kong. Its name comes from the first few syllables of Anobium Punctatum, which is the proper name for bookworms. It serves the same purpose as my former notebook, except it is online and one can add more details for each book:
– how you got the book – loan, gift, purchase.
– when you started it and finished it.
– how you rate it.
– space for additional notes.

There are other features which concern one’s virtual shelf:
– a wish list.
– similar shelves – ANobii will automatically select similar “shelves” for users. When a user finds a person with books s/he likes, s/he can keep track of their shelf onsite, via RSS or even by an email.
– shelf stats.
– friends’ pages.

I find the layout is clear and user-friendly. There is even a widget for WordPress users. For those interested in exploring booklists, I am Ilana-Davita.

Lemon-Glazed Carrot Cake


Lemon-Glazed Carrot Cake
Dairy (serves 6-8 people)

2 eggs
150gr/3/4 cup sugar
125 ml/ 1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
3-4 grated carrots
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup/4 oz (light) cream cheese
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick butter
2 cups icing sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix eggs and sugar until the mixture is frosty. Add the oil and mix again. Add all other ingredients. Mix. Pour batter into greased baking pan. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. leave to cool.

Melt butter and add all other ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Spread over the cake.