State of the Street - October

It's Hallowe'en and it's the end of the month. That means it's time again to chat about some of the storylines that we saw on Corrie this month.

Lloyd's got a new love and family and that's wonderful for this fan! I'm happy to see the return of Wendy Crozier.  I've loved the cafe international theme nights, much to my surprise and I'm interested to see how the Marcus and Maria romance will play out. Kirsty and Tyrone keep me glued to the screen, too.

Lewis? meh. Pub of the year? A bit flat aside from Dennis' shenanigans.  Tracy and Ryan? Bleurgh! 

It's been a mixed bag of stories this month. Read more about it here.

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31. Whatever I please

Excitement building
Clock ticking, children laughing --
Time to Trick-or-Treat!

Read about my October challenge here.

30. Clothes

Socks in the corner.
One, two, three shirts on the chair,
Laundry in a pile.

Closet door ajar,
Sweater drawer sticking open --
My room, not the boys'!

Open Letter to NSW Health Minister, the Hon. Jillian Skinner

Dear Minister Skinner,

Instead of being compulsorily required to wear a bicycle helmet, I do believe that my informed consent ought to be sought for the wearing of one which in and of itself fits the parameters of a medical device set out in Section 41BD(1)(a)(iii) in that a bicycle helmet contributes to modification of the anatomy.

However somewhat expediently, subsection 3 and section 7 mentioned within section 41BD grant special powers to the relevant minister who need not have any medical and/or biomechanical expertise but may declare in a specially devised political publication that certain medical devices are not medical devices.

I have included the relevant sections of the Thereapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) notwithstanding that they are easily available to you.


Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth)

41BD What is a medical device

(1) A medical device is:

(a) any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article (whether used alone or in combination, and including the software necessary for its proper application) intended, by the person under whose name it is or is to be supplied, to be used for human beings for the purpose of one or more of the following:

(i) diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease;

(ii) diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of or compensation for an injury or disability;

(iii) investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process;

(iv) control of conception;

and that does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but that may be assisted in its function by such means; or

(aa) any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article specified under subsection (2A); or

(ab) any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article that is included in a class of instruments, apparatus, appliances, materials or other articles specified under subsection (2B); or

(b) an accessory to an instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article covered by paragraph (a), (aa) or (ab).

Note: Declarations under subsection (3) exclude articles from the scope of this definition. Declarations under section 7 can also have this effect: see subsection 7(4).


see below for subsection (3) and section (7)

subsection(3) The Secretary may, by order published in the Gazette, declare that a particular instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, or that a particular class of instruments, apparatus, appliances, materials or other articles, are not, for the purposes of this Act, medical devices.

Note: A declaration under this section does not stop articles from being therapeutic goods.

section (7) Declaration that goods are/are not therapeutic goods

(1) Where the Secretary is satisfied that particular goods or classes of goods:

(a) are or are not therapeutic goods; or

(b) when used, advertised, or presented for supply in a particular way, are or are not therapeutic goods;

the Secretary may, by order published in the Gazette, declare that the goods, or the goods when used, advertised, or presented for supply in that way, are or are not, for the purposes of this Act, therapeutic goods.

(1A) In deciding whether particular goods or classes of goods:

(a) are therapeutic goods; or

(b) when used, advertised, or presented for supply in a particular way, are therapeutic goods;

the Secretary must disregard paragraphs (e) and (f) of the definition of therapeutic goods in subsection 3(1).

(2) The Secretary may exercise his or her powers under this section of his or her own motion or following an application made in writing to the Secretary.

(3) A declaration under this section takes effect on the day on which the declaration is published in the Gazette or on such later day as is specified in the order.

(4) If a declaration under this section:

(a) is a declaration that particular goods or classes of goods are not therapeutic goods; and

(b) applies wholly or partly to goods that, apart from this section, would be medical devices;

the goods are not medical devices, or are not medical devices when used, advertised, or presented for supply in the way specified in the declaration.


How can an ordinary individual, albeit an elected politician, have powers bestowed upon him or her to declare that a medical device is not a medical device without the necessary knowledge to be considered an expert in this field?

I would like your thoughts on this question please because it is an area I intend to explore.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Abbott
Freedom Cyclist

Seeing Hashem: To Die For The Shechinah

 אָכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ, כָּל-דִּשְׁנֵי-אֶרֶץ לְפָנָיו יִכְרְעוּ, כָּל-יוֹרְדֵי עָפָר וְנַפְשׁוֹ, לֹא חִיָּה.

To see The Face of God - Is it to Die For?

Rashi on Tehillim 22:30 states: When people die, at the time of the taking of their Neshama, they merit to see the Face of the Shechina, as this verse relates to the moment of death. [Nidda 30b]

With this said, who was perhaps the Greatest Man to ever die?
 [as opposed to not die; as people of Torah are often judged by the degree of which that they did not die, sin, etc.]

Moshe Rabbeinu

Moshe was quite possibly the greatest Man who ever died, as he tragically did not earn the right of existing eternally as an angelic man [Arizal].

Now think to Moses' life as we know it in Torah: Hashem wished to "show Moses His face" - and Moses emotionally turns aside so as to not see God. Later in the Chumash, Moses practically begs God for Moses to be able to perceive God, as Hashem responds: no man shall see me and Live.

As no Man shall and Live, this equates to our Tehillim verse that on one hand suggests seeing the Shechina; yet the pshat of the verse says: Hashem shall not liven the Nefesh. Thus this verse seems as if it could explain Moses' quest to perceive God - to see while "not live."

Moses thus is quite peculiar: he does not want to see, he does want to see, etc...

Was Moses however destined for God? 

Everyone asks of Moses: why did he hit the rock, causing denial of The Land, and thus ultimately death. Perhaps Moses was on a collision course with death, even against his cognitive will. As Rashi says: we see the Face of the Shechina at the time of the taking of our Neshama.

One could say, it was the Nefesh [as opposed to Neshama] of Moses that wished at all cost to see the Shechinah!

Who knows what the reality would have been had |Moses lived, entered the Land etc. What we do see is that he died, and thus he saw the Face of the Shechinah. Moses may have been one step away of being as perfect as Man can be; but maybe what drove the Man even more, was an insatiable desire to behold the Almighty in the highest revelation possible. Moses was given practically every key to every door.  

In Devarim, the Shechinah spoke through Moses, and as we all know, Moses had the face that shined as the sun. Had he entered the Land, would the Shechinah radiate of off Moses? Would this be a dangerous level to be on, if not for Moses, but the Jewish People and the Noahides who would behold him? The Land would have been an aliyah of the highest order, especially with the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. 

Perhaps this madreiga would have been too uneasy for Moses, and thus even on a subconscious level: death would be the answer! It would guarantee victory [as Moses himself would not be an impediment], satisfaction, completion, and allow Moses the Man [of Moses] to truly express himself.

Moses was the Man of God; maybe Moses wanted to go out as the man of Moses, with a kiss of death, and the ability to see the Face of the Shechinah - from his point of view.

Moses was exceedingly humble, and in the future Moses- Moshiach will be the absolute vessel in the Hand of God. Moses' death was the last hurrah for Moses to be Moses.

As Rashi explains, it is Moses who will get Techias Hametim, and lead the Geulah. Through Moses, the Jewish People and Torah have survived, and Moses has remained the faithful Man. Angelic Moses never came, and perhaps this was not only for Moses' benefit, but for Mankind.

Moses did not enter the Land, but maybe this was between him and God - and maybe this fight Moses did win! - he was able to do what avoided him his whole life. Moses may have been selfless, yet there would always remain some sense of identity. Death would be his; once delivered, Moses the Man of God would never again need to die, thus ushering in the messianic age, of which it is said:

Death shall be swallowed up forever. 

Until then most will or have died; Moses was the exception. He always was. He always will be.
Moses is a Man also, one who was after God; and unlike most Men - He got there.

Sometimes matters of the heart run on a different track, and don't always equate through our decisions as some would think. 

The point taken: when there is Love of God - Nothing will stand between you and God.


Moses sealed the Torah with Ashrei / אשרי
King David explained Moses' message with utter clarity, as he began where Moses left off: אשרי
Moses was אשרי unlike any other - and his message to David was simple: 
Be a Man who goes after the Heart of God. 
Was there ever a Chasid greater than David?
...and in the end, the two come together, in the great secret of: משיח בן דוד וגואל אחרון


Yay or Nay - should Kevin Webster have a shave?

To beard or not to beard? That is the question.

Should Kevin Webster shave his Coronation Street beard off - or is there anyone out there who likes it and thinks it should stay?

If you remember, Kevin had his moustache shaved off once at a party on the Street. Two brownie points to anyone who can remember who did it?

Have a look at more hirstute Corrie men here.

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Toyah Battersby to return to Coronation Street?

Woohoo! There's a Coronation Street spoiler in today's Mirror that says Toyah Battersby could be returning to Corrie.

Toyah, played by Georgia Taylor, has been asked to return to Corrie by the "soap's new boss" says the Mirror.

However, the story then goes on to report lots of "could" and "would" so it doesn't seem like it's done deal after all that she is returning.

It also repeats quotes from Georgia Taylor from the past saying she'd like to return, and quotes from Jane Danson as Toyah's on-screen sister Leanne Battersby who has also said in the past she'd like Toyah to return.

So, there you have it. A non-story  but wouldn't it be great if it came true?  I'd love Toyah back. What do you think?

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Hallowe'en! Sneak preview of tonight's Coronation Street

Coronation Street, Wednesday 31st October at 7.30pm

WILL TINA GO BACK ON HER WORD? Tommy’s pleased the surrogacy is in the past and assures Tina they’ll sort out a way to pay Owen his money back. But unbeknown to Tommy, Tina heads to No6 and announces that the deal’s back on. Izzy’s wary but eventually convinced that Tina’s being sincere she reveals they have to act fast as today is their last chance to implant the eggs. Meanwhile Tommy has gone to Rita to ask for a loan to pay off Owen and she’s agreed. But when he arrives at No 6 with a cheque he’s surprised to find Tina there. Is Tommy too late, has Tina gone through with the embryo transfer?
AUDREY HAS A CONFRONTATION WITH GLORIA. When Audrey discovers a dog track programme in Lewis’ jacket, Emily admits she saw Lewis and Gloria heading off together on Friday. Audrey tackles Gloria who claims she was doing her a favour. Audrey’s bemused, what does she mean?
THE WEBSTERS PRAY FOR SOPHIE’S RECOVERY. The Websters wait anxiously to hear the prognosis for Sophie. Will she regain movement in her legs?
Elsewhere Ken’s horrified to discover he’s spent the night at Wendy’s. She’s amused but how will Deirdre react, will Ken come clean about whereabouts?

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Coronation Street fan of the week - Sinéad in America

It's Wednesday and time to meet another Corrie fan of the week.
Would you like to be our Corrie fan of the week?
Click here to find out more.

Who are you and where are you from?  
Sinéad from Delaware, United States - Originally from Dublin, Ireland

How long have you been watching Corrie?
Since 1980 

Who are your favourite female and male characters - and the reasons why?  
Favorite female is Eileen, I like her sense of humor, her "get back up after being knocked down" attitude and she would be the character I would most like to hang out with.  
Male character would be Graham.  I still miss him a lot.  He was so funny, caring, freakily intelligent at times, and to be shallow - very cute.

What's been some of your favourite Corrie storylines over the years? 
Wendy Crozier (take one), Raquel and Curly, Tommy Duckworth as a baby stories.

And what would your fantasy Corrie storyline be? 
For a month or so, everything going well for everybody and just have some pleasant humour filled stories.

Have you any snippets or news about meeting any of the Corrie cast, or trips to the set, etc., that you'd like to share? 
I visited the set in 1992 - I was amazed by how real it was

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Corrie Alzheimer's Disease storyline featured in 2013 calendar

Paul "the fireman" Kershaw features in this wonderful picture from the Alzheimer's Society 2013 Calendar.

Paul, played by actor Tony Hirst, turns up outside of the Rovers Return for the month of December 2013.

And actress Judy Holt who played his on-screen wife Lesley Kershaw, who had early onset Alzheimer's Disease, features for the month of August.

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Shobna Gulati to leave Corrie (again)

News just in from the official Coronation Street website at has a Farewell Sunita page as actress Shobna Gulati announces she is leaving the soap - again.  She left once before and then returned, if you recall.

The official Corrie site says Shobna has decided it is time to explore other acting opportunities and focus more time on her comedy writing. She will leave the soap next year - the Coronation Street writing team are currently working on an explosive exit for the character.

Shobna said: "I have loved playing Sunita but, having played the role originally from 2001 to 2005 and then returning to Corrie four years ago, I really feel the time has come for me to focus on other aspects of my career. I had always told myself I would see my son through school and I have done that. Comedy writing has long been a passion of mine and the commitment to a show like Corrie is huge and doesn’t really leave enough time to concentrate on other projects.  I’d love to be able to combine my writing and acting career in the future.

"Playing Sunita has been a fabulous opportunity. I've thoroughly enjoyed her journey and am looking forward with excitement to her dramatic departure. I shall miss her. That said, I have made a host of friends cast and crew - friendships that will stay with me."

Will anyone miss Sunita?  And how would you like character to be written out of Corrie - and should she take Dev with her?

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Manchester's School of Theatre is proud of their Krissi

Corrie actress Krissi Bohn graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan University's School of Theatre in 2004 but it's been an uphill battle trying to get work. Krissi had pretty much given up and was training to be a health care provider when her former agent called with news that Coronation Street was looking for someone and she just might fit the part. Coincidentally, the part of Jenna is a physical therapist as well as the newly discovered daughter of Lloyd Mullaney.

Krissi is having the time of her life and has recently tweeted "I love being Lloyd’s daughter". This job has changed her life, she says, and her former tutors and fellow students couldn't be happier for her.

I think Jenna is a great character and I think Krissi is doing a wonderful job! I look forward to her upcoming storyline as Jenna helps Sophie recover from her accident.

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Memo to Bazza: cars are for fossils

Zanzibar arguably has the best rooftop garden in Sydney...

...and when I'm up there

...feeling all Mary Poppinsie & chim-chimeney-cheree-y

...I can't help feeling all gooey over Newtown

...and the Zanzibar lion

...hiccup...& the margueritas

...and that I never have to drive a car again!!!

Who knew I could be such a hipster at my tender age?!!

More pics: Alison King and Chris Gascoyne back filming at Corrie

For fans of Alison King and Chris Gascoyne, as Carla Connor and Peter Barlow on Coronation Street, there are mor pictures of them back on the cobbles filming. 

Have a look here.

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Anne Kirkbride reveals all in new documentary: Deirdre and Me

There's going to be a special documentary all about Anne Kirkbride, who plays Coronation Street's Deirdre Barlow, airing on ITV1 next month.  
The documentary is called Deirdre And Me and will celebrate Anne's 40 years on Coronation Street. According to The Sun today, Anne will talk about her battles with cancer and clinical depression.  
It will also cover the “Free Deirdre” campaign and the “Weatherfield One” story and Anne also tells of her grief when actress and close friend Maggie Jones, who played on-screen Corrie mum Blanche Hunt, died. 

Anne says she has no plans to leave the Street: “I certainly have no intention of going – I’m very happy to stay.”   That's good to hear.

The one-hour documentary Deirdre and Me will air on November 13 on ITV1.  

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Marcus and Maria in bed together

There's a good interview in The Radio Times about why Marcus and Maria end up in bed together. In Bed! Together!  Marcus and Maria!

Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus on Coronation Street says this about the public reaction to Marcus' relationship with Maria: “The response I’ve had on Twitter has been great. It seems that the public has been willing Marcus and Maria to get together. A lot of people seem to prefer Marcus and Maria together rather than Marcus and Sean, which is interesting and very unexpected. There is a lot of interest from the viewers about where this going.”

Well, there's no interest from this fan. I'd much rather have Marcus back with Sean but what do I know?

Charlie says: “The whole situation is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better. There is a long way to go with this story.”  

Oh no.

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29. Moon

There's no moon tonight:
Sandy's raging roaring winds
scared Luna away.

Read about my October challenge here.

28. Looking back

I recognize her,
but memory's colors fade.
She touches my heart --
whispers in my ear --
and makes me notice the years
with tender sadness.

Spoilers for next week's Coronation Street, Nov 5 - 9

Without any piffle, here's the storyline for the week ahead on Coronation Street, all wrapped up nicely in 50 words or less.

Monday 5 November to Friday 9 November 2012

Rovers wins pub of the year competition until Lewis ruins it for Gloria, Deirdre confronts Wendy flamin’ Crozier, Marcus dumps Aiden, Mandy becomes Rovers new barmaid, and a new Rovers footy team starts.

The full weekly preview, with loads of pictures is right here on

Missed last week's Corrie?
Catch up with the Coronation Street Weekly Updates

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Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 29 October 2012

Deceptions, threats, forgiveness, betrayal, redemption - all packed into the double episode tonight.

What a star Sophie is! She can't  feel her legs, yet is keen to forgive Ryan and also to use the situation to extract from him a promise that he will never take drugs again. Having had it in the neck, more than understandably from Kevin and Sally, Sally telling him tonight that he deserves Sophie's pain and agony, Sophie is a lesson to them and us as she embodies real forgiveness. If we were to be really down on Tracy, we could put Sophie's accident down to her. Then again, as the Weatherfield witch says herself, 'I didn't tell him to go and play in the road with Sophie Webster.'

Poor Deidre though -. we must spare a thought for her. With a daughter like Tracy and  the temptress Wendy luring her ex, Ken (not that he needed much luring) back to her place. But maybe there is not that much life left in the old boy as Wendy wraps a gently snoring Ken in a blanket on the settee. Deirdre will find out where he was though and any denial fro Ken will not be believed..

In a higher deception league than Ken is of course Lewis. The writers have done well here keeping us guessing as to his true nature. Gloria makes a convincing winner of £12,500 and of course Lewis is keen to accompany her on a dinner date, but then he does believe that she is dying and it would be lacking in gallantry to turn her down or would it? Deception layers on deception! Audrey is on to him too, quizzing him about his night in Knutsford with his heartbroken friend. Further deception from Gloria as she confirms that the programme from the dogs was found in The Rovers and Lewis just popped it in his pocket. O what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.' Except that this is not the first time for Gloria or for Lewis. Intriguing though,

Perhaps the only person genuinely happy this double episode is Mary. Nick states, ' I want you to do for us what you did for Roy.' So she has secured a job at The Bistro, which will please some viewers but dismay others. No more pop-up nights but a regular slot for her not inconsiderable skills. Kylie and Mary? Definitely from different planets.

The big story of course tonight is the surrogacy saga. So Tommy put his foot down and Tina's womb is no longer available to house the embryo of Gary and Izzy. Owen then decides that his flat is therefore no longer available to house Tina and Tommy and wants them out by the end of the week and the 5 grand returned by then too. 

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Will Lewis get revenge on Gail?

The official Coronation Street website at has a good interview with Helen Worth about Gail's latest scheme to put a con on the Lewis the con man.  Gail decides to partner with Gloria to set up Lewis. We've seen the start of this already and Gloria will try to lure Lewis into agreeing to flee to Spain with her. Lewis declines and then finds out that Gail was behind the plot and Audrey knew!

Gail sees it as a win-win situation. If Lewis agrees to run off with Gloria then they know he was a rotter and they're well rid. If he doesn't, it proves he has indeed reformed. Gail "sees it as giving him a taste of his own medicine".

Even when it blows up and Lewis leaves Audrey, Gail still thinks "good riddance" at first. She does feel badly that Audrey has been hurt and does try to apologize but Lewis won't have it. Lewis  pawns a valuable heirloom watch to pay Audrey back and Gail feels so bad she buys it back for him. When Helen is asked if there could be revenge on Lewis' part towards Gail she replies "Gail thinks that this gesture as well her apology should even the stakes between the pair but has she grossly underestimated Lewis?"

We know that Nigel Havers is taking some time off to do Christmas Panto and is probably going to return. It could very well be that Lewis is plotting revenge on Gail. It's a tough one to call. Do you think Lewis had this coming? Given his past and how much he's hurt Audrey before, was Gail justified in trying to expose him? You can see where she was coming from, after all even if she took the wrong route to do it. Do you think Lewis will get his own back on Gail? How do you think he would do it?

You know what I enjoy? When Lewis has been dropped in it, there is often a camera angle in Audrey's house that shows our lovely Alf looking over cad Lewis' shoulder, most definitely throwing up a comparison to the steady, honest and reliable Alf Roberts. Lewis represents the excitement Audrey always wanted but at what cost? She grew to love Alf dearly but his stodginess often exasperated her. Audrey may just have learned a valuable lesson...

Be careful what you wish for.

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He had it coming!

(Images: Alan Moir, SMH 29/10/2012)

Well! Well! Well! - the best laid plans of mice and men, hey Bazza!

...& doesn't old Johnnie Donne spring to mind:

"No man is an island, entire of itself...each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Clover rocks and so does Alex

Dessert island

Only four people went on yesterday's tramp in the rain - the sensible ones (Danielle included) stayed away. We didn't get too wet and it was surprisingly warm as we walked from Willis St up to the Brooklyn wind turbine. There were lots of facts of figures on a board near the turbine which I found interesting. Coming down was quick. After three hours it was nice to get home and dry off having benefited from the exercise.

Tonight I attended the autism group with sixteen others. It was good to see Tracy who has recovered from her latest bout of illness. In an email prior to the meeting we were given two topics for discussion. The first of those asked which three items we would take if we were stranded on a "dessert island". Cream, a spoon and some scales? A dessert island sounds like a lot of fun, but with my dairy ban I'd find it quite challenging at the moment. The other topic was our most memorable travelling experience. We split up into two groups and spent half the time on each subject. We struggled a bit with the desert island topic but were more at ease when talking about our travels. I could have talked for hours on that subject, having been lucky enough to have had many memorable trips as a kid, but only had time to talk about my trip to and from New Zealand with my family in 1986-87. Things got rather tense on a couple of occasions at the group. One trait of autism is a lack of empathy and there was a distinct lack of it on show tonight.

One of the two TV monitors we have at work (the one that I can actually see from my desk) was unusually tuned to Sky Sport today. This morning they showed extended highlights of Chelsea's match with Manchester United (Man U won 3-2 as it happened). I was thinking how the Premier League is really just a series of exhibition matches. You see some incredibly skilful football played by some of the best players in the world, but the games are meaningless as the teams may as well be hand-picked. In the afternoon they showed live coverage of what turned out to be the deciding game of the hilariously-named World Series. Is American baseball just like professional football, in that the clubs (or franchises) with the most money can afford the best players and therefore win? Is the physical location of these teams as meaningless as in Premier League football? I'm guessing so but I really have no idea.

PartyLineTime: Tit-For-Tat Retribution

Party-Line Time: Sandy Strikes.

Since no one has chimed in, I'll go ahead and say it; For every Israel oppression from America, there seems to be this tit for tat party line that goes around. Remember what was being said with Katrina?

I don't totally endorse it, and I daven for the people on that side of the country - but Obama has really pushed his envelope, no?

America is totally being held hostage by Bazza, and I think he is doing what any good Amalekite would do: attempt to bring the whole ship [of innocents] down with him and and his shoddy regime.

America may not be perfectly innocent, but Bazza is highly guilty of destroying America and attempting to be a bad guy for Israel. Bibi is clearly showing the hands being held here.

So is it tit for tat? Maybe. I hope the storm goes out with a whimper, but Bazza may be leaving his legacy more than we know - and it may be Federal Expressed by The Lord Himself.


Is this the beginning of the Mayan calendar season?

I'm guessing no for all of the above; but what if - what if Hashem IS deciding to show his Hand?

It shouldn't come at others' expense, yet the Naviim speak of chaos.

May the Geulah come with a small still voice and a World full of people to see it, minus the Amalekites.

A superstorm that threatened 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation started turning Monday, forecasters said.

Hurricane Sandy was expected to hook inland during the day, colliding with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic.

The National Hurricane Center said early Monday that the Category 1 hurricane has top sustained winds of 75 mph, with higher gusts. It is moving toward the north at 14 mph after moving northeast Sunday night. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm's center. Gale force winds were reported over coastal North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and coastal New Jersey.

Sandy is about 425 miles southeast of New York City and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night.

From Washington to Boston, big cities and small towns were buttoned up against the onslaught of Sandy, with forecasters warning that the New York area could get the worst of it — an 11-foot wall of water.

"The time for preparing and talking is about over," Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate said Sunday as Hurricane Sandy made its way up the Atlantic on a collision course with two other weather systems that could turn it into one of the most fearsome storms on record in the U.S. "People need to be acting now."

Forecasters said the hurricane could blow ashore Monday night or early Tuesday along the New Jersey coast, then cut across into Pennsylvania and travel up through New York State on Wednesday.

Airlines canceled more than 7,200 flights and Amtrak began suspending train service across the Northeast. New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore moved to shut down their subways, buses and trains and said schools would be closed on Monday. Boston also called off school. And all non-essential government offices closed in the nation's capital.

The New York Stock Exchange said it will be shut down Monday, including electronic trading. Nasdaq is shutting the Nasdaq Stock Market and other U.S. exchanges and markets it owns, although its exchanges outside the U.S. will operate as scheduled.

As rain from the leading edges of the monster hurricane began to fall over the Northeast, hundreds of thousands of people from Maryland to Connecticut were ordered to evacuate low-lying coastal areas, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City, 50,000 in Delaware and 30,000 in Atlantic City, N.J., where the city's 12 casinos were forced to shut down for only the fourth time ever.

"We were told to get the heck out. I was going to stay, but it's better to be safe than sorry," said Hugh Phillips, who was one of the first in line when a Red Cross shelter in Lewes, Del., opened at noon.

"I think this one's going to do us in," said Mark Palazzolo, who boarded up his bait-and-tackle shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., with the same wood he used in past storms, crossing out the names of Hurricanes Isaac and Irene and spray-painting "Sandy" next to them. "I got a call from a friend of mine from Florida last night who said, 'Mark, get out! If it's not the storm, it'll be the aftermath. People are going to be fighting in the streets over gasoline and food.'"

However, CBS News correspondent Chip Reid reports, some, like Ocean City, Md., surfer Brian Dean, said they have decided to stay.

"We've got everything pretty well situated, bunkered down, generators, [we'll] hang out, ride it out. We rode out Irene last year, it wasn't that bad," he said.

Authorities warned that the nation's biggest city could get hit with a surge of seawater that could swamp parts of lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and cripple the network of electrical and communications lines that are vital to the nation's financial center.

Sandy was blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard.

Forecasters said the combination of it with the storm from the west and the cold air from the Arctic could bring close to a foot of rain in places, a potentially lethal storm surge of 4 to 11 feet across much of the region, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days. The storm could also dump up to 2 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press that given Sandy's east-to-west track into New Jersey, the worst of the storm surge could be just to the north, in New York City, on Long Island and in northern New Jersey.

Forecasters said that because of giant waves and high tides made worse by a full moon, the metropolitan area of about 20 million people could get hit with an 11-foot wall of water. Reid reports from Ocean City that sea levels could rise 8 feet above normal - enough to flood much of the city.

"This is the worst-case scenario," Uccellini said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned: "If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you. This is a serious and dangerous storm."

New Jersey's famously blunt Gov. Chris Christie was less polite: "Don't be stupid. Get out."

New York called off school Monday for the city's 1.1 million students and shut down all train, bus and subway service Sunday night. More than 5 million riders a day depend on the transit system.

Officials also postponed Monday's reopening of the Statue of Liberty, which had been closed for a year for $30 million in renovations. The United Nations said it would close Monday and canceled all meetings at its headquarters.

In Washington, President Obama promised the government would "respond big and respond fast" after the storm hits.

"My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape. We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules," he said.

Maybe Stop Annoying Nature? - And God's Affairs For That Matter

Coronation Street cast cast-offs up for sale

Some of the clothing worn on Coronation Street is up for sale on eBay.

Here's Rita Tanner's jacket as worn by Barbara Knox.
Here's Audrey Robert's cardigan as worn by Sue Nicholls.

There are also some new, fab shopper bags for sale- with Hilda and Vera on them.

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Sneak preview of tonight's double Coronation Street, Mon 29 Oct

Coronation Street, Monday 29th October 2012 at 7.30pm

TROUBLED TOMMY RESORTS TO DESPERATE MEASURES. As the day of the embryo transfer arrives Tommy’s still beating himself up over what Tina’s about to do. Tina tries to cheer him up by discussing the job interview he’s got later, while Tommy promises he’ll be back in time to take her to the clinic. In turmoil Tommy pours his heart out to Rita, telling her how unhappy he is at the idea of Tina renting out her womb to pay off his debts, certain it makes him like his Dad. Rita advises him to do something about it. As Izzy and Gary wait nervously at the fertility clinic will Tommy be able to do anything to change Tina’s mind?
SOPHIE UNDERGOES SURGERY. Sophie comes round after her operation and is frightened when she can’t feel her legs. Has the op been a success? Devastated to hear what Sophie is going through Ryan calls at the Websters but Sally gives him short shrift, blaming him for Sophie’s accident. But back at the hospital Sally and Kevin are stunned when Sophie tells them she wants to see Ryan. Will they agree? 
NICK FORCES A CONFESSION. Mary’s contrite as she and Roy head to their interview with the Licensing Enforcement Officer. They’re lucky just to receive a warning and when they head back to the street the culprit confesses to reporting them. How will Roy react, will Mary be forgiven?
Elsewhere when Gloria wins big on the horses Lewis is thrilled, telling her she deserves some good luck. Ken and Deirdre are rocked by news of Sophie’s accident. Ken clearly blames Tracy for her part in it but Deirdre defends her daughter. After a row Ken heads to his Governors’ meeting where Wendy offers to lend her ear.

Monday 29th October 2012 at 8.30pm

TINA AND TOMMY FACE A TOUGH DECISION. At the clinic Izzy tries to call a missing Tina but gives up when the doctor announces they’ve missed their slot. The embryos will still be viable for another 24 hours so it’s imperative that their surrogate attends tomorrow. Tommy meanwhile has stopped the car and explains to Tina how he just can’t cope with the idea of the surrogacy and if she goes ahead with it he’ll leave her. As Tina takes this in a devastated Gary and Izzy tell Anna and Owen about Tina’s no show. But when Tina arrives at the house apologizing for letting them down earlier will their spirits be lifted or dashed? Will Tina go through with her surrogacy plans despite Tommy’s ultimatum?
SOPHIE MAKES HER PEACE WITH RYAN. At Sophie’s request Ryan visits her in hospital. Sophie tells him that she’s lied to the police to protect him but makes Ryan swear he’ll give up drugs forever. Struggling with guilt Ryan’s emotional as he explains how desperately sorry he is. But will Sally and Kevin be as forgiving as Sophie?
KEN SEEKS SANCTUARY WITH WENDY. After the governors meeting Wendy suggests they go back to hers for supper. He considers this before making his excuses to Deirdre. Wendy’s keen to prove that she’s a good listener and encourages Ken to off load his woes. But when a tipsy Ken falls asleep in his chair Wendy doesn’t wake him. As she watches him have Wendy’s feelings for Ken been rekindled?
Elsewhere Nick steps in to mend Mary’s friendship with Roy. Gloria insists on taking Lewis out to dinner. Lewis feels obliged but will he lie to Audrey again?

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Fiats e Festas - party time in Norton Street

La più grande festa di strada!!

Tutto brillante - gli gnocchi, la pasta, il caffè...

...ciò che è non amare?

Ok è ufficiale, I ♥ street parties as much as I ♥ festivals

Surry Hills Festival - Sydney

Peeps & sunshine in Prince Alfred Park

Keyim Ba - toe-tappingly fun

Picnic-blanket neighbours

All spruced up - Central Station Clock Tower

Open 'mike'

Open paintbrush

Open wallets

Versatility of bicycle wheels

I ♥ festivals!