Dangling Legs and Hairy Men

I’m absolutely gobsmacked each time I go out because each time, there’s something new I hadn’t seen before.  Maybe that’s because it wasn’t there before or maybe because I’m not particularly sharp-eyed but even when it looks like it’s going to be a rather poor day in terms of pictures, it usually turns out quite differently.  And so it’s been over the past few days — so much so that I’ve had to put topics that I’ve more or less prepared on a back burner.

But before I recount the past three or four days, let me entertain you with something I was reminded about yesterday when we went to visit family north of Tel Aviv.  During the course of conversation, we got around to talking about this blog and some of the pictures that appear in it and the question arose as to whether or not I use Photoshop to alter the images, to which the response was “Hardly ever!” — “though I regularly use Capture One to enhance them”.

Very occasionally I do bring Photoshop into play.  The sign below, announcing a barely credible phenomenon, appeared in the summer of 2009 on the street where we live when we’re in London.  I walked up and down the street searching for this odd creature, but in vain. This was because, I suppose,  I really didn’t know what I was supposed to find.  

However, a few days later,  I was in town.  As I was walking across a bridge with traffic flowing underneath, lo and behold, there it was!  They had simply erected the notice in an inappropriate place!

I never would have guessed that such a beastie actually existed.  And they say a camera never lies!


The incredible announcement


The actual thing


Anyway, back to this week in Tel Aviv.   Just for a change, we went into the park of an evening and I decided that wouldn’t take the camera with me, which proved to be a mistake and distinguishes me from a professional photographer.  )I’d made the same decision three times in the past month and each time, I’ve missed what would have been a prize-winning photograph.)  This isn’t a prizewinning photo nor is it one that I noticed myself as it was pointed it out to me.  I was just about to regret again that I had no camera when I remembered that I had an iPhone — not that I can always remember quickly enough where the camera is on that machine.  However, I captured the two-legged dog.

2-legged dog

The following morning, a couple of benches away from where the dog+ had been the night before, I observed a leg.  From my considerable experience with such things, I knew that it was more than likely that the leg was attached to a body.  However, so isolated did it seem just dangling there, that I actually felt the need to go over and check.  And, yes, there was a body attached.

Leg in repose

Crossing the river and walking westward towards the sea on the north bank of the Yarqon a couple of days ago, I came across four members of the lawn ballet club performing supine pirouettes on the grass.  Well, they might have been pirouettes if they hadn’t been rooted to the ground.  Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you try.

Leg ballet 1

And then, this morning, in more or less the same area, I came across several capsized calisthenicquettes hard at work, too — totally oblivious to a clicker passing by.  Oh for such dedication to a job (them, not me)!

Leg ballet 2

Across the bridge and into the park with the usual complement of joggers and cyclists, pedestrians and pêcheurs sportifs.  Looking for something a little unfamiliar, I found a camera angle that looked sufficiently different for me to think it worthwhile taking the photograph.

Port jogger

A little further along, I also found my daily cellphone user.  I already have perhaps a couple of hundred photos of people with cellphones and it’s amazing how many people you see either playing Quasimodo, hunched up over a tiny instrument or squinting hard in the sunlight to see what’s written on what is probably another inane — or insane — text message.  However, today’s victim (sorry — subject) was interesting because she went through a whole exercise routine without once taking her eyes off the phone’s screen.  Perhaps the exercise routine was playing and she was just following instructions.  Who knows?  And more precisely, who cares?


And, of course, one mustn’t forget the wildlife amongst all this human activity.  The egrets seem to be fewer and further between this year than they have been in previous years.  Or perhaps it’s just my imagination or my ageing process.


I was just about to exit the port at the southern end when my eye fell on something that I think I had photographed before, about two or three years ago.  Trying to make people sufficiently aware so that they might consider kicking the cigarette habit comes in many forms and this display makes the point quite clearly indeed, more clearly than most!

Kicking the habit


Out into the real world again and on to Ibn Gvirol Street where I encountered this little red man.  There are people like this dressed in bright red overalls scattered throughout the city as, I presume, there are in other cities in Israel.  These people are paid, probably peanuts, to give away a freebie newspaper, Yisrael HaYom (Israel Today),  graciously funded by Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate (Forbes ranks him as the 18th richest man in the world with a fortune of $28 billion) who supports our Prime Minister Netanyahu and has poured money into the campaigns of right-wing politicians in the USA such as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney and has endorsed Trump for President, pledging as much as $100 million to support his campaign.  So I don’t read Yisrael HaYom and wouldn’t even if Mr. Adelson were to pay me to improve my increasingly rusty Hebrew!

Israel Today

A couple of days ago on the same street, I spotted this individual.  I waited until he passed me by and then wondered whether or not I should take a photo.  I scurried along past him and tried coming in the opposite direction but although he was “interesting”, I pulled back from pointing the camera directly at him.  Ultimately, I figured out a strategy.  Starting off behind him, I set the camera to take a fast burst of pictures, took five as I passed him at some speed and hoped for the best.  And it turned out quite well.  Hairy and scary.  

(N.B.  Note his outfit.  It was 7.45 a.m. and already 28ºC!)

Beard & nails

Finally, here’s one that needs some explanation for both Hebrew and non-Hebrew literati.  I obviously spend far too much time doing cryptic crosswords.  You know the kind, where the setter gives you a clue or two or three strictly in order to mislead you.  After 50 years or so at this mind-bending pastime, you see words that really have no association with one another at all but nevertheless you make the association.

On the left of the picture below is a small house with a municipal plaque informing you that when he was on the run from the British authorities, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, then commander of the riight-wing Irgun militia hid there.  It’s a bit of a hovel, really, and looks as if it hasn’t been painted since Mr. Begin was a guest there.  

The van in the driveway apprises us of the fact that it’s a haulage van, which translates into Hebrew as הובלות, pronounced hovelot”.  The juxtaposition of the hovel and the hovelot was just too good to miss!



One thought on “Dangling Legs and Hairy Men

  1. ilana zinguer says:

    I like these juxtapositions, “couronnées” surprisingly with “hovel” “hovelot”? How expressive may be the “legs”! Only “your camera” could see that!

Leave a Reply