Historic Jewish Burial Ground Neglected and Lost In a Sea of Cars


As people scurry around Ipswich in their cars, many will come very close to a site of huge historic significance. A site that even has a connection to Suffolk's celebrated, world-renowned artist, Sir John Constable.

However, many will be unaware of the sacred, historic burial ground where the remains of the town's once thriving Jewish community were laid to rest.

Why? Because despite the deep and interesting history attached to the site, it appears to be neglected and largely ignored as part of the town's rich and diverse heritage.

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Junk Jewellery

Junk Jewellery is an obsession with me.

Why? Because making junk jewellery is fun, inexpensive and helps recycle waste.

When people give me presents, I am just as grateful for whatever wrappings, boxes or tissue that come with them.

Only last month my lovely friends in Brighton sent me flowers that came with gorgeous red tissue.

After I had arranged the flowers, I set about turning the 'junk' they were wrapped in (the stuff people often screw up and throw away), into jewellery.

One of my favourite things to do is make something from the detritus of people's kindness and… Click To Tweet

My theory is, it will always remind them of their own kindness and let them know how much it meant.

So that is why I turned the tissue in the pic below into the junk jewellery you see bedside it.


 

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paper pendants

Paper Pendants made from food packaging are easy and fun to make.

You can also use your own abstract artwork to create the pendant front. The paper pendants you see above were made from card cut out of a cereal box.

They were shaped and moulded by a sophisticated technique which requires the most inexpensive tool in my craft room - an empty toilet roll tube.

And I created the channel through the back of the pendant, where the stringing material goes through, by using another amazing technique involving a skinny, flexible birthday cake candle.

Oh yes - I have all the latest crafting gadgets in my craft room!

Paper pendants made from junk are fun and easy to make. Click To Tweet

If you want to find out how I created these paper pendants, visit www.funcraftstodoathome.com where you will find a step-by-step video tutorial explaining how I use my very unsophisticated tools to create these bright, chunky and durable pieces of jewellery.

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metadata

It is good practice to remove metadata hidden in photos before you post any pictures on the internet.

This is especially true if you use smart phones or other devices that embed GPS information into the images. It may be necessary to remove metadata that reveals information about you, hidden in the pictures you post online. 

There are several different ways to remove metadata but I have found one very simple way that ensures all the recorded metadata has gone.

There are several different ways you can remove hidden metadata from photos but I have found one… Click To Tweet

In the above video, I show the method I use to get rid of unwanted metadata in my pictures before I post them anywhere online. This kind of data can be anything from what camera or device you used, to the exact location where you took it.

If the security of anyone in the pictures is an issue, for example, you may not want to publicise where your children live, then it would be important to remove metadata hidden in the image file.

You can also check to see if you can change the settings on your camera or device so that GPS data is not recorded. That way, the location will not be available in the first place.

However, if you are posting pictures you took while the settings were allowing GPS metadata to be recorded, you may want to get rid of it before you send your pictures out into the world.

remove metadata

How much easily readable private information is embedded in your pretty pictures online?

For more information about metadata myths v facts, click here.

For more insights into reasons why you might want to think twice before posting pictures online, click to read this disturbing New York Times article -  Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live.

After reading that, you may decide you want to remove metadata and the private information it contains from all your images before posting.

The way I remove metadata is just one method.

There are many others.  I find my way quick, easy and very effective. I am not relying on an app to do it, I am removing the metadata myself  by creating a whole new document that has never been in my camera.

What are your thoughts on metadata? Do you take care to remove it before posting family pics? Click To Tweet

What are your thoughts on metadata? Do you take care to remove metadata before posting personal  photos online?

 

e mail scams

E Mail scams - have you ever been a victim of one?

I have had quite a few hilarious E Mail scams  come my way over the years. They have kept me entertained as I marvel at how such wealthy people (who can't wait to share it with li'l old me!) cannot get to grips with English grammar and the spelling of such simple words.

E Mail scams - have you ever been a victim of one? Click To Tweet

For example 'may I please to have mother her maiden name and you bank accunt information thank yo'

'may I please to have mother her maiden name and you bank accunt information thank yo' Click To Tweet

Er...let me think about that for a minute...NO! Oh ok then, my mother her maiden name be Rothschild and my bank 'accunt' information is 1234 GO FCUK YOURSELF!!!!!

Who are these people trawling the internet and sending out this crap to people? E Mail scams probably do catch out some people but I really have no idea how. Here is one I received just this week.

scam emails

I was a little offended that he addressed me as 'sir'. It made me suspect that despite wanting to give me lots and lots of his money, he had not spent time getting to know me well enough to realise I am a madam and not a sir. It also upset me a little that he thinks I did a 'kind respond' to him at some point. Could he be getting me mixed up with someone else?

Surely not because it sounds as if I am the only one he has sent this letter to. After all, I am the chosen one who obviously has enough financial expertise to successfully invest $10,600,00 USD on his behalf.

It was a little worrying that he felt the need to spell out $10,600,000 USD in words. It was almost as if he thought I may not be able to comprehend big numbers with lots of zeros.

It was a little worrying that he felt the need to spell out $10,600,000 USD in words. Click To Tweet

Well of course, I am in the habit of mistaking ten million dollars for ten thousand. I do it all the time when I am playing around on Wall Street. I have a box full of spare zeros that I removed because they were confusing me at the end of a sum. 

Well of course, I am in the habit of mistaking ten million dollars for ten thousand. I do it all… Click To Tweet

My maths teacher always said, if you have spare zeros at the end of a sum, don't bother asking me what they're for, just chuck 'em in this box and move on. He gave me the cutest little box and I never bothered him again.

My maths teacher always said, if you have spare zeros at the end of a sum, don't bother asking me… Click To Tweet

So, anyways - as the money was legally placed 'in international bank', I decided that this e mail was probably legitimate. I mean, had he put 'I illegally placed this funds in international bank', I would have been suspicious. And also, the poor chap had been ill.

Awww, my heart just melted. It must have been awful for him explaining to Bashar al-Assad that he was leaving his employment because of 'the world in general' and by the way, taking 'war equipment's' money with him (to give to me to invest). 

So, anyways - as the money was legally placed 'in international bank', I decided that this e mail… Click To TweetI expect that Mr. Assad said, 'oh yes, that's fine - I know her, she is eminently suitable to set up an engineering company in Asia because she did metal-work at school in her final year. Oh, and she does loads of different crafts. She is great a not bothering to use a ruler to gauge critical measurements; I am sure she would do very well in engineering.'

She is great a not bothering to use a ruler to gauge critical measurements; I am sure she would… Click To Tweet

 

Ok - so this stuff isn't really funny. These people are scammers who have probably conned lots of people out of money. So digging deeper into the meta-data behind the email, I found the info you see here in the screen-shot. 'James Angelone' - or whatever his real name is, seems to be connected in some way to an entity called connichi.de - with German connections.

scam emails

.de is the country code top level domain for Germany. Connichi, according to Google, is an annual 3-day anime convention in Germany, held by the German Anime Association. Anime is a term used for Japanese Animation. Their website is connichi dot de. (I have written dot instead of using . because I do not want to link to it.) You can see from the document above, that @connichi dot de is all over the meta-data behind the scam e mail I was sent. 

I am not suggesting that this entity is sending out scam emails but I am curious as to why their domain is all over the back end of an e mail I was sent offering me the chance to have $10,600,000 USD to set up an engineering company in Asia. It's just weird.

scam emails

If you look at the contact list from connichi's website, all the contacts have @connichi.de after them. If you look at my image of the backend data that I found when digging deeper into the hidden email meta-data, you will see it says (Authenticated sender: gewinnspiel @ connichi.de) 

I have no idea why that domain is all over the scam e mail but I would love to know. There may be an innocent explanation of course.

Oh yes, and when I Googled the meaning of gewinnspiel - I found it is German for 'competition', 'lottery', 'sweepstakes' etc. You know, the kind of words one could associate with scams if one was in a sensible mood. 

When I Googled the meaning of gewinnspiel - I found it is German for 'competition', 'lottery',… Click To Tweet

e mail scams

My e mail and the associated backend info have now been passed to the UK police department dealing with online fraud.

How about you? Have you been sent any hilarious scam e mails lately? I am just off to the bank to see if my 40% is in there yet. I expect it is because 40% of nothing, give or take a few zeros is...er...NOTHING!

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Mass-market-fraud/1400010736273/1400010736273

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

Stress busting techniques such as yoga and meditation are used by millions of people around the world to stay calm.

We live in such turbulent times where even turning on the TV can send blood-pressure shooting off the scale and stress busting techniques are badly needed.

We are constantly bombarded with words and images that instil fear and terror into our hearts. My way of dealing with it is to avoid watching real-time TV and reading newspapers. 

I only watch light-hearted programmes that I have recorded so I can skip mind-numbing ads and the intrusion of very bad news at regular intervals.

We are constantly bombarded with words and images that instil fear and terror into our hearts. Click To Tweet

Stress busting techniques have now become an almost essential part of everyday life.

For me, stress busting means a short drive to the beach, where I sit very close to the sea, with nothing in my field of vision except the sea.

Nothing else reaches my ears except the roar and crash of the waves. Giving my eyes and ears a rest from the images and noise of 'civilised' life in an increasingly crazy world seems to give my mind a rest too.

Sometimes, when I sit watching the undulating and endless body of water surging backwards and forwards at the command of a moon more than 250,000 miles away, I fantasize about slowing it down and it helps me relax. It helps me slow down my own thoughts and heart rate.

stress busting

The sea - a calming influence

One day, when I was sitting cross-legged on the shore, right in front of the endless (and free!) stress busting sea, it crossed my mind that I am extremely lucky to live so close to it. Then I started thinking about people who live further inland and how far they would need to drive to use the stress busting technique I take for granted.

So I made a film of the sea that I like to lose myself in. Well, not literally! Oh, and I slowed it down too. I even use this film myself if I can't get out.

If you need to find a stress busting technique that is as simple as sitting back and getting lost in the sight and sound of the sea - try watching this short film. It may not be for everyone, especially if you live near a much warmer, bluer sea!

If you need to find a stress busting technique that is as simple as sitting back and getting lost… Click To Tweet

However, for people who are stuck in a big city most of the time, this film may have some stress busting benefit. For anyone who watches the film through to the end, do let me know how it made you feel. Did it make you feel relaxed?

 

Elderly parents
Purple Loosestrife in my parents' garden - which is maintained beautifully by my green-fingered sister. I took this picture while the walls were being plastered inside the house this week. As I took pictures of this and other fading leaves, I had a strong sense of the renewal happening inside the house while the garden falls asleep to rest, ready for it's own renewal next spring.

 Elderly parents can take up a huge amount of time. This is not meant in a negative way, it is simply a fact that needs to be faced if you are someone who cares about people.

Having elderly parents myself means I need to devote time to their sense of well-being. Old age can sometimes bring frustrating disabilities that restrict activities once taken for granted.

Old age can sometimes bring frustrating disabilities that restrict activities once taken for… Click To Tweet

That bedroom needing a makeover can seem like an impossible dream when tired arms can no longer hold a paintbrush. Legs that once carried a busy, capable man are now so weak he struggles to get out of his chair. The bottom step of a step-ladder would be like climbing Everest to him.

There is an emotional price to be paid for the privilege of still having both parents in your own later years. Watching two young spirits struggle with the decline of their earthly bodies is painful at times. So I need to be philosophical and accept the circle of life for what it is. Now is not a time for worry, regret, anxiety or fear - for them or for us.  

There is an emotional price to be paid for the privilege of still having both parents in your own… Click To Tweet

Now is the time to celebrate the sun setting on the young couple who brought my sister and me into this world. We need to make their last years as golden as possible. Every day they have is a gift. They have both survived serious illnesses over the last 20 years and I am sure it was because they were strong for each other.

They still hold hands as they approach their 90s with shaky legs and strong spirits. Only 10 years ago, my father took my mother back to the wooden seat up on the hill where he proposed to her and gave her a ring. They still celebrate their engagement date even now.

Ageing people only look old on the outside. Inside, they are still young. There is no good reason why my parents' house should age with them and be a fading backdrop for the feelings of sadness, or maybe even resignation they sometimes seem to have. The cracked wall in the bedroom that worried my mother so much needed to be made new and smooth again. That old wallpaper needed ripping off so new life could be breathed into the room. I knew it would make them happy and give them hope for all the many days still to come

Life should be celebrated with brightness, colour, warmth and comfort at any age - yes even 87 and 89. Elderly parents need to be viewed as if they were 24 and just married. Am I really too busy to make things happen for them? The things they can no longer do for themselves and therefore seem impossible.

Am I really so busy that they can't ask me for what they need to make their lives feel better? No - my life can wait while I look, listen and act on the needs of two people who deserve my time the most. All it takes is a mind shift to get stuff done.

I can be relieved of my own busy concerns in the blink of an eye because I am in charge of how I prioritise my days. It is that simple. Are Pinterest/facebook/twitter or my work really more important than my elderly parents? Well...uh... no!

I can be relieved of my own busy concerns in the blink of an eye because I am in charge of how I… Click To Tweet

The first steps have been taken - the cracked wall is no more. This week, it was expertly fixed and plastered by a master plasterer and will soon be ready for some beautiful bright silky paint my mother has yet to choose. 

Meanwhile, as we wait for the plaster to dry, I need to brighten up the ceiling with some white silk paint. That will be fun - up a step ladder with no sense of balance. Perhaps a pole and roller will be more sensible.

Then there is carpet to choose before their new comfy king-size bed arrives. My mother is excited about the make-over. My father is too but he doesn't say so - I just know he is.

 We still have lots more to do because my elderly parents do have a future. They are not done with life and life is not done with them. However long or short, it is still a future and they deserve to spend it somewhere that has been made new and pretty.

My father worked hard his whole life long to give us a good home and my mother devoted her life to looking after us in that home. The least I can do is return like for like. If you have elderly parents and are able (physically, emotionally or financially) to drop everything to make them happy - even one day a week - do it. Nothing in the world is more important than life as it is now,  today, because it isn't coming back to give you a second chance.

Recently, I read a brilliant inspirational article that you can find by clicking here. It is called 'Just Do the Next Right Thing' and it is such a simple philosophy. It has certainly helped me to slow down and break everything down into a series of small, manageable steps that I know I can take with ease. 

I didn't think I had time to cope with everything I need to do - but I was wrong. Time is whatever we make it.

Nothing in the world is more important than life as it is now, today, because it isn't coming… Click To Tweet

 

maple leaves
Maple leaves

 

Always something there to remind me.


 

Maple leaves falling in Autumn always bring echoes from another life for me. A life that was cut short with no warning.

But I survived and came home to England with two beautiful little reminders of the life I'd had in their father's country. There have been 31 Autumns since I returned and my sons have grown into fine, strong men with babies of their own. Canada is nothing more than a bitter sweet memory because I never went back.

But there is a third souvenir from my old life. When my parents came to see me in 1978, I lived on the leafy Rusholme Road in Toronto. One day my father picked up a 'helicopter' that had spun down from one of the beautiful Sugar Maples on my street.

He put it in his jacket pocket and forgot about it.

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blog

Five reasons why I read your blog - part five.

5) You write long and interesting

There are many people whose lives are so busy, they do not have the time to actually read anything in depth. It seems we are all constantly advised how we should write for these ‘busy’ people.

Before you take that advice and start writing in the staccato essay style way that is so fashionable now, stop and ask yourself if you really want to write for people who are too busy to read.

It seems we are all constantly advised how we should write for ‘busy’ people. Click To Tweet

Would you talk to someone who is too busy to listen? There are many people out there who love reading long, entertaining and interesting blog posts. I am one of them. Some of us do still have the time and capacity to actually read in depth and enjoy it.

Some of us do still have the time and capacity to actually read in depth. Click To Tweet

Skim reading is the equivalent of telling someone you are too busy to listen to them and will only pick up the odd word here and there. Some people skim the surface of text or the spoken word without ever getting deep into the heart of what others are saying.

why i read your blog

I love a good long read.

The blogging world has its fair share of people who are probably like those we encounter in real life. The ones who are so busy thinking of the next thing they will say, they don’t hear what others are saying.

We live in a world where people are shouting over each other to be heard but no one is really hearing anyone else. The blogging world can be like that too which is why we should always be clear in our own minds what we want out of reading and writing and stick with that no matter what the ‘experts’ advise.

One of the greatest gifts you can give another person is to truly hear what they say. If a blog post is long and interesting, I will read it with the same concentration ability I use to read a book. It’s really not that hard.

One of the greatest gifts you can give another person is to truly hear what they say. Click To Tweet

I would rather read two long blog posts that have depth and character, written by authentic writers, than 10 short, snappy posts with no real substance.

To me, pretty, short blogs with no substance are like gorgeous looking men with no personality. In the case of men (and women too!) like that, I have always turned back to the plainer, rough diamonds who make me shriek with laughter and who know how to hold a proper conversation. There is nothing like finding a really entertaining blog that I can settle down with for a good read.

To me, pretty, short blogs with no substance are like gorgeous looking men with no personality. Click To Tweet

The reason I read your blog is  probably because it was one with longer posts.

All that glitters is not gold.

 

why I read your blog

True self-expression is more important than writing to please the masses. If you happen to do both - you are blessed.

We all write for different reasons. We all read the blogs of others for different reasons. The blogging world is made up of millions of people all with something to say to someone. In my tiny little corner of that world, I am pretty much alone. I don’t run with the crowd there because I never have done in life either. Being that way has got me places where the crowds don’t go and made my life experience unique.

Unless you are blogging to make a fortune (and if you are, good luck with that!) be careful you do not get bogged down in ‘rules’ that have been made up by people who may have different reasons to you for blogging. Maybe they need ‘rules’. Maybe you don’t - so think about it first. It is easy to get totally overwhelmed by all the shouting online with many voices screaming ‘Over here! Over here! Listen to ME! This is what you SHOULD do!’

Unless you are blogging for money - don't get bogged down in 'the rules'. Click To Tweet

There are many other voices who simply want to tell you a story. Those are the voices I love the most.That is why I read your blog.

To read the previous blog posts in this series - click on the links below:-

http://www.anythingexcepthousework.co.uk/5-reasons-why-i-read-your-blog/

http://www.anythingexcepthousework.co.uk/5-reasons-why-i-read-your-blog-no-2/

http://www.anythingexcepthousework.co.uk/your-blog-5-reasons-why-i-read-it-no-3/

http://www.anythingexcepthousework.co.uk/five-reasons-why-i-read-your-blog-no-4/


 

why I read your blog

Five reasons why I read your blog - part four.

4) You are a 'muser' or a 'rambler'.

All the self-styled blogging experts shout ‘you MUST have a niche!” Why? I don’t want one thanks. I also don’t want to read the same kind of stuff trotted out week in week out.

All the self-styled blogging experts shout ‘you MUST have a niche!” Why? Click To Tweet

Mix it up and I will be there to read it. The ‘experts’ seem to assume the entire blogging world wants to make money and must therefore pander to the masses. To make money online, most people need a number of different income streams and they take quite a while to build into profitable niche websites.

The blogs that are clearly driven by the desire to conform and make money really bore me and I rarely return to them. If you are staying true to who you are by rambling or musing on whatever grabs your attention, I will read you.

why I read your blog

Honour your uniqueness - muse and ramble if that is what makes you happy.

I love blogs that swing wildly from one topic to the next because that is how life is - a huge mix of experiences. Authenticity, humility and warmth are completely wonderful to stumble across when reading blogs. I feel the same way when meeting people in everyday life.

I love blogs that swing wildly from one topic to the next because that is how life is. Click To Tweet

So many people who prefer musing or rambling are worried about the constant 'niche' issue that comes up time and again in posts from 'experts'. While it may be sound advice for serious commercially minded bloggers, it is poor advice for someone who simply wants to write with no 'rules' stifling them.If it isn't all about money and numbers for you, relax, don't get caught up in the 'niche' frenzy. Muse, ramble - be yourself. Life is to short to spend it pleasing people who will never read your blog because their focus is vastly different to your own.

 Blogs written by humble people who just love writing are brilliant. When I find myself smiling as I read or laughing out loud, then I know I have found a gem. I have read blogs that have the ability to trigger a wide range of emotions in the space of 2000 words. To me, that is great writing.

When I find myself smiling as I read or laughing out loud, then I know I have found a gem. Click To Tweet

Those are the ones I go back to again and again because they have depth and reality to them.

Do you hear the sound of a different drummer? That's the beat you need to take note of - it speaks to your soul.

Next up - reason No 5 of 5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog.