I want to have a sweet, new year. Who doesn’t? And as I sit a couple of days (okay much less than a couple of days before Rosh Hashana) my deeds are passing before me like neural water in my brain. I can’t stop them. All the friends who were sick and I didn’t visit. All the calls I should have made – like to my overseas family. (I don’t know about you but phones kinda freak me out that I’m here and they’re all the way across the ocean it feels twilightish. It’s 4-year-old thinking I know and I do get over myself and call but not often enough.) All the hospitals in Johannesburg this month that needed volunteers desperately, and I didn’t go. All that going into the world and making it a better place one good deed at a time.

Then I remembered what I did do this year. I worked incredibly hard at bringing up my 3 boys. And not just bringing them up but actually being nice to them. Not nice, nice but lovingly firm. This is the year that I began to see them as real human beings who need to be recognised, with eyes on them as often as possible. I know this sounds a bit obvious, I’ve always known that these are the years the foundation are laid in a child, but I never really understood that beyond the intellectual level. Now I get it in my heart, and that makes a big difference.

Children are more than dressing them in cute jeans and t-shirts (I don’t do that my Princes basically choose their own clothes – I just hope to get them into cute peak hats I bought them for Rosh). It’s about recognising their needs and reality even though it didn’t follow what i wanted or dreamed about – like schlepping to a hundred therapies and engaging in the strange and wonderful world of remedial, and yes kicking a soccer ball and watching more soccer games in one month than I will for the rest of my life (unless the world cup comes back here of course!).

By the end of all the running around I’m pooped from all the giving. When my husband comes home I claw at him and beg, ‘Give me, give me now, it’s my turn!!!’ (Okay not quite like that or in those words first i give supper etc etc etc. But I definitely feel it.)

So the fact is that I’m a Mummy giving machine and don’t have that much energy left for the rest of the world. Not that it’s not important to give to the rest of the world. It is and it’s great if you can and wonderful for your kids to see it as well. But when push comes to shove if I can manage to create a semi – functional home (there’s no such thing as a functional family no matter what anyone says)  full of love, light and joy then I’ve done quite alot. Imagine if we could all come from such homes what kind of world it would be. So that’s my new year’s resolution, prayer and dream to be able to give to my family as they need so that they can go into the world as beings of light and love. And yes I’ve got a long way to go because it all begins with me doesn’t it, and that my friends is a whole nother blog.

So Shana Tova to you all, wishing you fulfillment and blessing in your lives and your nearest and dearest.

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I’m including an Apple Jam recipe that I learnt from my Iraqi Grandmother, Nana Aziza. She was a mother of 8 children and the brightest being of light I’ve ever known.

Iraqi Apple Jam – Used as Apple and Honey in Middle Eastern Jewish Culture

Very easy and quick to make (depending how fast you can peel apples) I’ve posted a picture on facebook. I still need to get it on here will do soon.


One bag of apples (any flavour I think will do, although they say Granny Smith is good for cooking.)

Sugar to cover

Cardamom Pods


  • Peel apples and slice them. Can be as big and small as you wish
  • Cover with sugar (can begin doing it as you put the apple pieces in the pot) and leave over night in covered pot.
  • Boil with seeded cardamom in pot. Watch it don’t let it burn. I’ve done that. (You can leave it out if you want but it does give it a special flavour. You can also add rosewater.)
  • When apples brown and jammy it’s ready.

Note – With my grandmother’s cooking there was no such thing as measurements. If you worried about sugar just add more than less you’ll just have more liquid. Bon Appetite!