Saturday, 5 March 2016


Some paintings from this semester break.. presented in chronological order, which probably means nothing to you but shows a little trial and error from painting to painting. All watercolours.

This cute robin is based on Nicola Munro's prizewinning photograph, "You Lookin' at Me?"

And this friendly owl is based on Brandon Alms' "Great Horned Owl with Angry Expression"

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Gardening today

My hair took down as many branches as the saw

The sprinklers also turned on halfway through

Monday, 16 March 2015


Israel elections coming up tomorrow

some caricatures I made

Friday, 25 July 2014

Do More

If you are impartial to the current situation in Israel and Gaza, you may move along - I have no quarrel with you. I have not cried out for Syria, for Egypt, for Ukraine - I cannot expect you to cry out for us.

But if you care, or are beginning to care, please remember to check all the available information before slamming Israel for not 'doing more' to protect the civilians in Gaza

Please remember that Israel supplies Gaza with water and electricity, despite everything that is going on, and always has.

Please remember that Israel takes injured from Gaza to Israeli hospitals and gives them medical aid.

 Please remember that Israel is dealing with a terrorist organisation (as recognised by the USA, the EU, and many more), whose clearly stated aim is the destruction, not only of Israel, but of all Jews. That the ground operation in Gaza now is to minimise civilian casualties while fighting this same organisation, that deliberately bases itself in heavily populated areas - at heavy costs to our own side, because now our soldiers are in there.

Are you aware of how easily Israel could wipe out the entirety of Gaza from above, with no losses to our side? That it chooses not to, instead sending its own soldiers in to die in order to carry out precise, surgical attacks against terrorists?

Do you realise that the IDF goes above and beyond any other army, in any previous war, in its efforts to prevent civilian casualties? That many air strikes are called off when civilians get in the way? That Hamas, on the other hand, is working its hardest to maximise these same casualties, in their field as well as ours? The fact that the count on Israel's side remains so 'low' is a testament to Iron Dome's success, to the dedication of the IDF soldiers protecting us on the front line, and to the Israeli governments incredible efforts to protect its citizens - as opposed to the twisted methods employed by Hamas. 

 If you want to discuss the casualties in Gaza and compare them to those in Israel, remember to also compare them to the numbers in DR Congo, in Somalia, in Sudan, in Chechnia, and many more, and appreciate just how small the number of casualties in Gaza is in comparison to any other war by any other army. Remember that the IDF has done more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone, than any other army in the history of warfare.

Remember that Hamas is indiscriminately shooting rockets at Israel, know that my family is sleeping in the shelter, know that every few hours Israeli civilians are ordered to hide in their houses because Hamas 'soldiers' have come in through a tunnel with one aim and one aim alone. (Believe me, they don't care if you are a civilian or a soldier.)
Yes, it is terrible that a lot of Gazan civilians are being displaced, or worse, dying. The average Israeli weeps for both sides. But please consider the entire situation before you put your name behind such empty, hypocritical cries as those recently made by Amnesty International, or the UN, which smoothly gloss over the various difficulties Israel has to deal with, and the incredible success with which it does so.

Finally, if you do care, ask yourself why these organisations aren't crying out for Hamas to stop shooting rockets at Israel, or building tunnels into Israeli territory. Ask yourself how a democratic country that warns civilians of impending strikes, that provides water and electricity and medical care, is accused of war crimes while the organisation hell bent on its destruction continues to receive aid.   

Ask yourself how it is possible that an organisation trying to help the people of Gaza continues to find terrorist weapons hidden in its facilities. Ask yourself how it is possible that the huge amounts of building materials and aid sent into Gaza have brought not beautiful buildings, parks, or playgrounds, but instead underground tunnels going straight into Israeli territory, with only one possible use. (It isn't a friendly one.)

Ask yourself all these questions, and tell me, what on earth do you want Israel to do?

If you still think Israel should be doing more, you are welcome to suggest your own ideas - we are already at our wits' end. But, if you find you have none, please refrain from baseless accusations against a country that is doing its absolute best in a truly absurd situation, forced to protect itself from a terrorist organisation while simultaneously looking out and providing for the same people that elected that organisation into power.


Saturday, 12 July 2014


As you may have heard, Israel has been under rocket fire from Hamas this past week (as in, more than usual). Hamas is trying to drag Israel into a ground operation, despite the heavy costs it will bring to both sides.

I am in the northern part of Israel and thus far mostly unaffected - if you don't count the time wasted watching the news.

But worry not - I think I've worked out the source of the problem!

Someone needs get the man a snickers.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Meat Strike

So I think I'm not going to be eating meat for a while.

I didn't plan on this decision - I like meat. I organise barbeques, I take my steaks medium rare, and my shepherd's pies are legendary*.

But the other night (as of this draft, and who knows how many there will be until I publish this), as I was preparing some food, I noticed something.

And I realised that while eating meat is okay, the meat industry itself is a little... off. And that as a consumer, the least I can do is not encourage it any longer.

Now I'm just a drop in the ocean, but I see a lot of vegetarians around me these days, and together they probably have a fair amount of consumer weight to throw around. Maybe with time, as less people buy meat, the industry will revert from 'industry' to 'actual farms with real living happy animals that ultimately die for our benefit but at least live decent lives'. Or, more realistically, maybe some cynics will notice the untapped market of bleeding heart meat lovers like myself, and will open some nice farm selling ethical meat, for which of course they will rob us blind.

If neither of these happen, I will open such a farm myself, for which I promise not to rob anyone blind. My plan is as follows, and it is airtight:

1. Make huge money
2. ???
3. Meat is ethical again. Do not profit, that wasn't the goal.

This is a nice plan to have for when I want to feel good about myself, and the promise of meat is certainly a way to push myself to finish all the steps. In the meantime, however, there is a tiny flaw: it's going to be a while until everything is fixed, and I need to eat. The second and far more important part of this post is about this issue.

I went through my list of recipes to see which I can salvage, cried (inside) over the ones I'd be putting aside for a while, and then noticed that (unsurprisingly) almost all of the remaining ones contain cheese. This is a problem as I am trying to reduce my cheese intake following the catastrophic binge I went on last semester, when my friend introduced me to a shop with a fine selection of same.

(I am allowed to shop like this because I still have money left over from my soul sucking summer internship)

Pressing on: I do know one vegan (!) curry which I have enjoyed even as a meat eater, but I can't eat the same thing for the next decade or so. Luckily, I really am surrounded by vegetarians, and turned to my dormmate for advice: 

Sadly, it seems the vegetarian lifestyle is not quite as exciting as I'd hoped.

So, yeah. This may be difficult. Recipes in the comments plzkthx.

*As found by a completely unbiased survey of people who know what's good for them.