# Monday, 09 November 2009

Happy birthday blog

I just noticed that my blog is four years, seven weeks and one day old :)

My very first blog post was entitled Brand new blog - will anyone read it?, and I think the answer was “No.”

Thank you for reading, if indeed you are. I may be typing to empty space for all I know.

Whilst I was perusing, I discovered that Geocities has finally given up and closed down, taking the original version of the PSG web site with it. last updated in about 1998, this was my first foray into the world of Internet self-publication (which is all that personal web sites and blogs are really). If you’re really bored, you can see an archive of the PSG web site circa 8th Oct 1999 on the Way Back When Machine, which is a great place to waste an hour or two, as it stores archives of web sites from years gone by.

I also discovered that the “contact us” page on the main PSG web site doesn’t work any more! Oh well, I guess those that know us know our e-mail address, and those that don’t are mostly trying to spam us anyway :)

See you in another four years, seven weeks and one day :-)

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If it says so in the paper, it must be true!

I have no idea if these are genuine, or done by someone with too much time and an image editing program on his hands, but they look fairly convincing, and are stupid enough to be true!

We present what might be some genuine classified adverts and “they didn’t mean that did they?” articles...

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# Monday, 26 October 2009

Chaya Devoira in a box of balls

On Chol Hamoed, we went to Gulliver’s World (family fun park) for a day out. Chaya Devoira went into a ball pool for the first time, and thoroughly enjoyed herself, bashing the balls and chuckling merrily. We realised that this was a very good developmental experience for her (good excuse eh?), and decided to buy some balls and a pool when we came home.

Having been amazed at the price of proper ball pools, we eventually found someone selling inflatable paddling pools for a few quid on eBay. We settled on one of these, and a separate purchase of balls. Having perused the offerings from both Tesco and the Early Learning Centre, who seemed to be about the only reputable people selling them, we went for the ELC balls, mainly due to the fact that the reviews there were good, whereas the reviews of the Tesco ones were largely negative, due to the soft and flimsy plastic used.

The balls arrived this morning. Not knowing quite how many we would need, we bought two hundred, which arrived in a large box. Much to the excitement of the other three little girls (and the complete indifference of Chaya Devoira, who was more interested in her breakfast), we opened them up. Not having the paddling pool yet, I emptied the balls into the box in which they had been delivered, and put Chaya Devoira inside.

The result? Total bliss for one little girl...

Chaya Devoira in a box of balls

For a girl who is supposed to have learning difficulties, she learned pretty quickly how to throw the balls out of the pool and across the kitchen floor! She then spent a very happy half hour bashing away at the balls, until the Boss removed her to get her dressed and off to school.

During the morning, the paddling pool turned up, and is now inflated in the kitchen, full of balls. Chaya Devoira is currently out at an appointment, but will presumably end up in the pool when she gets home. I reckon she will have until about 4:15pm, when the other little girls get home. At that point, she will either be removed to make way for someone else, or she will have company!

P.S. Just as an aside for those contemplating buying these balls, we weren’t hugely impressed with the strength of the ELC ones either. As you can see from the blue ball at the bottom right of the picture, they squash quite easily. I don’t know how well they will last when they get properly bounced upon. It may be that the squashiness allows them to pop back out again without splitting, or it may be that they’ll just split. We’ll see. If you are thinking of buying any, let us know and we’ll tell how these fared!

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# Thursday, 22 October 2009

Latest Chaya Devoira news

The exciting news is that Chaya Devoira has a tooth coming! You can’t see it yet, but you can feel it if you’re daft enough to put your finger in her mouth!

The other exciting news is that she sat herself up for the first time yesterday. She was lying on her tummy on the floor, and Aryeh Yehuda was making her giggle. She swung her legs out to the side (quite an amazing sight, I wish I was that flexible), round to the front and underneath her tummy. From there, she pushed herself up to a sitting position.

More news as events warrant. Watch this blog :-)

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# Thursday, 15 October 2009

Chaya Devoira on a swing

Had to share this picture. We went to Clifton Country Park the other day, and Chaya Devoira had a go on a swing. Apparently this was the funniest thing since Auntie Mabel got her string bag caught in the revolving doors, and spent the day doing the waltz!

Chaya Devoira on a swing

As she swung backwards and forwards, she kept laughing heartily. The above picture shows her mid-laugh.

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# Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My boys the builders

Well, to be honest I had higher aspirations for them, but I suppose it could have been worse!

Smile Gemach world headquarters is currently undergoing some expansion, which involves lots of chaps with names like Mike and Steve carrying bricks and wood around the remnants of our once-proud garden (currently a very impressive mud patch). As the walls have risen from the mud, our boys (and in truth, all the boys in the courtyard) have watched with great interest, analysing every new development.

Predictably, they wanted a go at laying bricks. I had a word with the head brickie, who seemed quite happy about the idea. And so, some 20 feet up in the air, we present Mr Aryeh Yehuda Silver, renowned talmid chochum and bricklayer in action...

Aryeh Yehuda lays some bricks

From left to right, you can see him mixing the cement, laying the brick and finally checking to see if it’s straight (aided by one of the Steves). Amazingly enough, he didn’t get his clothes dirty doing this!

Not wanting to be left out, ace apprentice, Mr Eliyohu Silver decided he also wanted to lay a brick, resulting in...

Eliyohu lays some bricks

Again, from left to right, he applied cement to the brick, checked it for being straight, and then whacked it with the trowel to move it into place.

Given that these bricks are part of our extension, I sure hope they did a good job! To my surprise, and their delight, the head brickie asked if they would like to do one of the red bricks. He said they could do one of the last ones. Aryeh Yehuda is already planning an even hapina ceremony :-)

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# Monday, 07 September 2009

Chaya Devoira’s first birthday

Amazingly enough, a year has passed since Chaya Devoira was born. In many respects the time has flown by, and it’s hard to believe she’s one already. Having said that, it’s been a long year!

Before I start waffling (common habit, as the regular reader of this blog will know), here is a picture of Chaya Devoira cutting her birthday cake...

Chaya Devoira cutting her birthday cake

Just before I clicked the button, she was actually looking at the cake, and could even have appeared to be interested in cutting it. Unfortunately, she got distracted by some interesting air molecules to her right, and that was that.

Her interest was soon rekindled when the Boss shoved some cake in her mouth though :)

The crown was made by the people in her school, and she wore it pretty much the whole day. For those curious, she does go to school, although only for two hours, three times a week. The school is for children with special needs, and they do all sorts of interesting and clever things with Chaya Devoira, including the obvious physiotherapy and speech therapy (which at this age is more to do with eating and drinking than speaking, but it all works towards the same goal), to the less obvious hydrotherapy (floating around in a bathtub) and weird massages in a multi-sensory room. This involves rubbing her down with a scouring pad, whilst pretty lights flash on and off!

We interrupt this drivel for a cute birthday picture...

Chaya Devoira cutting her birthday cake

Reflecting on the past year, we have learnt a lot, and grown a lot. Chaya Devoira has brought a lot of Simcha into our lives, as well as helping us get in touch with our own selves a lot more than we did before. We went through some emotional rollercoaster rides with her, but Boruch Hashem, we seem to have come out on top.

Happy birthday Chaya Devoira, we look forward to many more years of your smiles. I could write a lot more, but I think I might get a bit emotional for the generally irreverent tone of this blog!

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# Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Ellul recall notice

Regardless of make or year, all units known as "human beings" are being recalled by the Manufacturer. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named "Adam" and "Eve" resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect is technically termed, "Serious Internal Non-morality," but more commonly known as "SIN."

Some of the symptoms of the SIN defect:
[a] Loss of direction
[b] Lack of peace and joy
[c] Depression
[d] Foul vocal emissions
[e] Selfishness
[f] Ingratitude
[g] Fearfulness
[h] Rebellion
[i] Jealousy

The Manufacturer is providing factory authorized repair service free of charge to correct the SIN defect.

The Repair Technician, Hashem, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. To repeat, there is no fee required.

The number to call in for repair in all areas is: PRAYER.

Once connected, please upload the burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Hashem, into the "heart" component of the human unit. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Hashem will replace it with:

[a] Love
[b] Joy
[c] Peace
[d] Kindness
[e] Goodness
[f] Faithfulness
[g] Gentleness
[h] Patience
[i] Self-control

Please see the operating manual, TORAH, for further details on the use of these fixes. As an added upgrade, the Manufacturer has made available to all repaired units a facility enabling direct monitoring and assistance from the resident Maintenance Technician, Hashem. Repaired units need only make Him welcome and He will take up residence on the premises.

WARNING: Continuing to operate a human being unit without corrections voids the Manufacturer's warranty, exposes the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will ultimately result in the human unit being incinerated.

Thank you for your immediate attention.

Please assist by notifying others of this important recall notice.

Have an uplifting Chodesh Elul!

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# Wednesday, 26 August 2009

One Sunday afternoon on Dartmoor (what REALLY happened!)

For those with loads of free time on their hands, and a high boredom threshold, we present the latest Smile Gemach fab report for the Daily prune...

As usual, please click the small triangle at the bottom left of the video above to play it.

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