יום ראשון, מרץ 28, 2004

The morning after, the Passion of the Christ the night before

In the end three of us went to see The Passion.

Myself, Miss K and Miss H.

Rather than going to a cinema in north west London, we decided to travel incognito to a cinema which is not within the vicinity of anything too Jewish - so we ended up in Kensington and the Odeon.

After all mum thought we should avoid making it known we are Jewish, or seeing it somewhere where we could be identified as being Jews. What exactly did she think might happen. Some sort of lynch mob would be looking to round-up Jews saying "You folks killed our Lord".

So what was the verdict?

Myself: "Brutal to the extreme, but what do you expect from a film that reflects that period of the time. Mel Gibson has made a film that takes religion on the big screen to a new level. Slow in parts, captivating in others, it confuses your senses and you end up being taken on a two hour journey that could have been done in 90 minutes. With the amount of flogging they gave Jesus in the movie, he surely would have been dead before even going to the cross. The music and soundtrack was well put together. The actually filming was also amazing and of course, great to hear Aramaic spoken on the big screen."

Miss K: "It was an experience, similar to how you go to Alton Towers and go on one of the rides, you don't know why you are doing it but everyone else is. That is how I felt. Also it was odd when they tried to put some humour into the film with a couple of laughs between Jesus and Mary discussing dining tables and chairs."

Miss H: "I couldn't wait until the ending. It was slow, it was boring, it was totally over the top and was more about The Passion of Mel Gibson than anything else. Factually wrong but there again, this is Hollywood we are talking about."

So there you have it, three 20-something Jewish girls about town checking out the most talked about Aramaic film of all time.

I looked at the faces of some of the other people in the cinema and the only reaction I could see was yawning.

I read about a Rabbi from Manchester who said he was traumatised for three days after seeing the film. Talk about jumping on the publicity bandwagon. I think the only thing most people will get trauma over is how long the film is and why they couldn't cut some bits out.

I wait with baited breath to see the DVD. Will Mel Gibson put in some of the bloopers?

I told my mum she has nothing to worry about. The Passion is not anti-semitic. It will not set back Jewish Christian relations. Remember, if it wasn't for all the Jews who claimed it was anti-semitic, the film would never have gotten the amount of publicity it has received.

So best to see these films for what they are, pieces of art that are made by Hollywood stars, directors and studios in order to make money.

יום שבת, מרץ 27, 2004

I am not Toby Young, but I once shared a room with him

Newly launched London weekly The London News Review writes:

"On Monday, LNR received an email from one ‘Belle De Jew’, promoting her brand new blog – the style of which bears more than a passing resemblance to the original. Sadly, unlike the original, the pretender has no links with the sex trade, choosing instead to prostitute herself in the world of business consultancy. More FTSE than foot jobs if you will. It’s also unoriginal, clunky and written by someone clearly trying so hard to get a book deal of their own they’re prepared to use spam to get their message across. All eyes on Toby Young."

While I have on occasion been graced in the same room as Mr Young (I should point out not in a one on one environment, but rather with others, his good wife included), I am not Mr Young.

Also there are some key differences between Toby and myself:

1. My first name is not Toby
2. My surname is not Young (though I do have a relative with Young as their surname)
3. I am somewhat younger than Mr Young
4. I have somewhat more hair than Mr Young
5. I have never worked with Julie Burchill
6. I am not looking for a book deal for this blog. Of course, being Jewish, if someone was to offer a book deal I would not turn it down. All money is welcome.
7. Toby writes about food that I wouldn't/coudn't never eat in a million years - I keep kosher.
8. I am Jewish.
9. There is no number 9.

The Passion of the Belle

Off tonight to see "that" film - The Passion of the Christ.

When I told my mum that I am going to see it with a few friends, her response:

"Don't wear anything that could identify you as being Jewish. So take off your star of david."

Mum is to put it bluntly, a bit paranoid. She has been reading about reaction to the film in the States and also how the Board of Deputies and people like Greville Janner in the UK have said it is anti-semitic and could cause problems.

Of course, it is statements like these from our Jewish "leaders" that actually cause more problems.

But I am going with an open mind, I will wear my star of david and given that I look Jewish, short of having some quick plastic surgery and being made to look like Vicky Pollard from Little Britain, I don't know how I can "undo" my Jewish looks?

Of course, if we can't get into The Passion, there's always Blockbuster and we can rent Life of Brian.

Shabbat rules

Yes, today is shabbat. It is the sabbath, it is shabbos (as one would say in Yiddish). It is the Jewish day of rest, but of course, being Jewish, one can never really rest.

And yes, I am writing (albeit on my computer).

And yes, I have taken home some work that needs to be finished by Monday.

And yes, I am not frum, but traditional and keep kosher and keep as much as I can.

And yes, I sort of always feel a bit guilty of doing any sort of work on shabbat.

And yes, up until a few years ago I would never write on shabbat.

And yes, I get this weird guilt complex doing any sort of work on shabbat, and then I quickly lose that guilt by realising that I have bills that need to be paid and unless I do it, no one else is going to give me the money. So I work as I need to in this modern world.

So yes, I will work on shabbat and get paid on shabbat and not feel bad about it.

And if I go to synagogue, I will drive my car, park a few minutes away and walk in and if the rabbi doesn't like it, then so be it. I don't tell the rabbi things I don't like about what he does and how he gets backhanders that he doesn't declare.

Today, I had a few giggles. Ideal World and its shopping service always makes me laugh.

All that glitters is not gold

Just been watching Ideal World on Sky channel 635.

Does anyone buy any of this stuff. They are selling 9ct gold (excuse me, but 9ct is about as cheap as you can get), but why do they sell this as something amazing.

Read my lips - 9ct gold is crap. It says one thing, you are cheap. It was created by the jewellery business as a way to sell crap. Gerald Ratner could write a whole book on the subject.

If you want to buy schlock stuff (and I don't really recommend it), then you are far better going into Argos. Atleast you can take it back within 16 days for a refund without too many hassles.

In fact, don't bother with 9ct, just buy some silver instead. Atleast it is cheaper but doesn't look cheap and people won't say you are only wearing 9ct because you can't afford something better.

And if you do want cheap imitation jewellery, then my cousin knows a man in Golders Green who can do you a good deal.

He'll do you something cheap, trade price plus a small mark-up. Now that is a deal.

The sheer chutzpah of a site that wants you to link to them, but refuses to link to you

It's not often one gets an email asking for you to link to a site and then when you ask about them linking back to you the site owner says no. So I thought I would share this as it really is taking the piss.

The blog community and for that matter, the web community is made up of people sharing links and linking to each other whenever there is something of interest. That is what the foundations of the web are built on and is we stop doing that, then it doesn't benefit anyone.

But when someone wants to take from you and give nothing back, it really is beyond belief.

So I thought I would share this email correspondence I have had with an Israeli site owner. Of course, I am not going to detail their link, except leave in some basic details.

Daniel Katz you wanted a link back, here is it and at the end of your email you said:
>>Your comments or suggestions to improve (My site) are welcome.<< Well, you could start by linking back to the sites that you ask to link to you.

Please note, everything in the email from me is in bold and everything written by Daniel Katz is in italic


If you ask for sites to link to you (no doubt which will also improve your page ranking), but you are not willing to link back to them, then sorry, why should we be linking to you.

You are willing to take, but not give back. Shame on you and shame on you for asking.

Responsible sites, political or not always put a link back when they request a link from someone and indeed this is what makes the blog community very supportive to each other.

Actually on your site, you have links to other sites including newspapers, but you are not willing to link to blogs but ask them to link to you? You really have some chutzpah.

Maybe I should make others in the blog community aware of you and advise them to avoid linking to you as you seem to offer nothing back in return to them.

Yes, I support Middle East peace and there are better ways to support it then link to your site, increase your page ranking and get nothing.

best wishes


Belle De Jew is now in English and German

For English visit: http://belledejew.blogspot.com

For German visit: http://belledejude.blogspot.com

>From: ""
>To: "'belle dejew'"
>Subject: RE: Link (My site) to your website --- Arab and Iranian dictators oppress their 360 million fellow subjects, sponsor half of the world's major terror groups and imperil Israel
>Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 11:43:55 +0200
>Shalom Belle,
>Do not remember where I found your link. But I am now certain it was not on the link list of the Vatican.
>Being a political site, unfortunately we can not trade links with you. If you identify with our cause please place a link on your sites and support freedom (including freedom of profession) over tyranny.
>Regards from Jerusalem und Gruess Gott,

>-----Original Message-----
>From: belle dejew [mailto:belledejew@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 1:13 PM
>Subject: RE: Link to your website --- Arab and
>Iranian dictators oppress their 360 million fellow subjects, sponsor
>half of the world's major terror groups and imperil Israel
>how did you know about me?
>If we add a link to you, what do you do for me?
>Can you show me on your site where you add your links
>My links are Belle De Jew - http://belledejew.blogspot.com
>Belle De Jude (in German) http://belledejude.blogspot.com

> >From:
> >To:
> >Subject: Link my site to your website --- Arab and Iranian
> >dictators oppress their 360 million fellow subjects, sponsor half of the world's major terror groups and imperil Israel

> >Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 18:43:59 +0200
> >
> > (Links were here) Advancing democracy, pluralism and mutual respect in the Middle East The Middle-East = 10% of world land area = 22 Arab regimes, Iran and Israel

> >Dear Sir/Madam,
> >This is to request that you place a link to (My site), a leading site concerned with regimes in the Middle East. The Middle East includes 7 out 19 of the most repressive regimes in the world and their weapons of mass destruction. It is also the hotbed of Jihad (Holy War) , an ideology of world domination. The scourge of international terrorism now reaches far beyond the United States and Israel. Nearly half of the world's major terror groups are Arab and Iranian. 5 out of the world's 7 state-sponsors of terrorism are Arab and Iranian. The combination of these factors makes it more important than ever to be acquainted with the reality of the Middle East:
> >
> >URL: (the URL was here)
> Name: (the name was here)
> >Description: Concise information about all regimes in the Middle East 10% of world land area = 22 Arab countries, Iran and Israel. The site aims to advance democracy, pluralism and mutual respect in the Middle East. Arab and Iranian dictators oppress their fellow subjects, sponsor about half of the world's major terror groups and imperil Israel, > the Middle East's sole democracy. 360 million people in Arab states and Iran are entitled to the same freedom and prosperity enjoyed by Europeans, Americans and Israelis.
> >Please let us know if you plan to place a link to (My site) on your website and send us the URL of that page. Your comments or suggestions to improve (My site) are welcome.
> >
> >Yours sincerely,
> >
> >Daniel Katz, Editor

יום חמישי, מרץ 25, 2004

Jew on TV shock, and it's not the chief rabbi but another bloke with a beard

Saw hirsute Ned Temko make an appearance on tonight's Question Time. The bearded editor of the Jewish Chronicle did a grand job in getting across Jewish viewpoints and gave leftie Tony Benn a run for his money when Tony gave his usual anti-Israel comments.

But the important question not asked was:

Why is it that the only time you see a Jew on TV is after 11pm and why are only Jews with beards allowed to be seen on TV?

So with that in mind, I now present a question time answer from three people, a left winger, a right winger and a Jew.

Left wing politician said: We have certain stereotypes of Jews that we wish to keep on portraying. A Jew should be seen and only heard after 11pm. A Jew should only be seen on TV if they have a beard. Having a beard means they will look just like The Chief Rabbi as we have this mistaken belief that the Chief Rabbi actually represents every single Jew in the UK.

Right wing politician says: We have certain stereotypes of Jews that we wish to keep on portraying. A Jew should be seen and only heard after 11pm. A Jew should only be seen on TV if they have a beard. Having a beard means they will look just like The Chief Rabbi as we have this mistaken belief that the Chief Rabbi actually represents every single Jew in the UK.

Jewish guest on show says: We have certain stereotypes of Jews that we wish to keep on portraying. A Jew should be seen and only heard after 11pm. A Jew should only be seen on TV if they have a beard. Having a beard means they will look just like The Chief Rabbi as we have this mistaken belief that the Chief Rabbi actually represents every single Jew in the UK.

Of course, for us gals it is deeply disturbing that when the media want a Jew to appear, they always choose a bloke with a beard, or failing that, Vanessa Feltz. It's about time, they realise that not all Jews are male with beards, and not all female Jews are Vanessa Feltz.

No more humping in Barnet

It's official. Barnet doesn't like humping in its streets. The good folks of my council have decided to stick two fingers up at the Mayor of London and say, humps are no good for roads.

So the local council are starting to remove humps in the road and like most people, I think this is a good move.

Of course, Mayor Ken Livingstone reckons it is a bad idea. There again, having Ken as a mayor was a bad idea and like the humps, he should be removed at the next election.

If it comes to vote winner, then Barnet has picked an excellent one. All they need to do now is remove some of the neo-nazi scum who walk our streets - the traffic wardens.

About a month ago in Golders Green Road where Solly's the Israel eaterie is, out of 4 parking ticket machines near that area, only one was working and I saw some traffic warden filth issuing tickets to what looked like some poor folks who were trying to find a working meter. I just hope they complain against the ticket.

If Barnet Council can't get parking ticket machines working and if somone then parks in an area where one isn't working, why should they be allowed to issue parking fines?

Why can't London be more like Berlin?

First thing you notice when you come back to London after being in Berlin is the following:

1. Berlin has a public transportation that actually works
2. There is much more of a "buzz" surrounding Berlin, plenty of happening things and places and people are generally much friendlier.
3. It's cheaper.
4. You want to go back to Berlin.

When I told my bubbe I was going to Berlin, she said "why give the Germans any of your time or money?"

I replied: "Well actually, my firm is being paid by a client, so they are paying us."

But I understand her position. It used to be that Jews would never drive a Volkswagen car or a BMW and then someone realised... you can't move on if you don't talk with people or do business with them.

Sure, there was the terrible events of World War II and the Jews suffered as a result, but by not buying German or doing business with Germany it is not going to improve matters.

Anyway, I am proud to say I like Berlin. Jews have lived (and sadly been killed) in Berlin for a very long time and it is place that is steeped in Jewish history. We need to remember that as well. We need to remember the positive contribution Jews play in German business and culture.

>>>Pro German rant now over<<<

Anyway... now that I'm back in London, work is fine. Our German client is ready to make a bid for the British business he is interested in. It wil be an all-cash deal which should appeal to the directors of the company he is looking to buy. So going to be busy with sorting that out and making sure that the client doesn't need to pay a penny more than he has to.

I like working for clients that are respectful. He is certainly that and by being respectful he gets our firm really motivated. And of course, he pays us very well too.

Life is back on as a series of giggles and yes they are funny giggles too.

יום שלישי, מרץ 23, 2004

Now back in the UK

Well, flew back to the UK earlier today. It was a busy time in Berlin. As well as work, caugfht up with some old friends. Drank some nice cocktails as I always do whenever I go to Billy Wilder's.

Then of course, there was work to do out there.

We have a client who is looking to buy out a business in London. So went out to see him to work out some of the logistics of the deal.

Nice guy. Comes from a Jewish family who went back to Berlin after the war. Over the last 40 years, they have built up a number of successful businesses and are now looking to expand outside the country.

Also, playing the old Jewish game of who do you know. Seems that an ex of mine is a cousin of his!

Small world.

יום ראשון, מרץ 21, 2004

Now in German and also in Germany

Two main things to write about.

1. I am now in Germany. In Berlin. Fairly average flight yesterday on Ryan Air. Cost a grand total of £48 for the return flight to get here. But it really is time Ryan Air improves its inflight catering. The tea is rubbish. Yes, I know I was flying on Shabbat. But did I ever say I was very religious?

Yes, I keep all the major festivals, keep kosher at home, but in this day and age, I am comfortable with doing that as well as working on Saturday. Does this make me a bad person? Or indeed does that make other people who do this bad people? The answer of course, is no. Being Jewish is important to me, but certain rules are not really appropiate and if you don't modernise certain rules, then how do you expect people to keep to them anyway. I'm not saying you need to change all the rules, but some of them. Like, rabbis should not be afraid to shake the hand of a female and men and women should site together in synagogue.

2. This blog is now translated into German. If you want to check it out in German, then click here and let me know how good the tranlation is. I have been using Free Translation to do the translating.

יום שישי, מרץ 19, 2004

Walk first before you run

Sometimes you shouldn't jump into things, especially when those things don't jump at you. Here's why...

OK, so there we were at dinner in Temple Fortune. Me, the cute Rabbi, his aunt, his uncle, some other family members and then... his partner.

Shock of all shocks, I never expected him to have a partner. There again, I never expected his partner to be male either.

He's cute too.

I'm totally speechless, for about 5 minutes.

"I didn't know you had a partner," I said in a very discreet manner which in my case everyone in the dining room could hear.

"Oh, I came out about 5 years ago," the other cute one said.

"Oh, I came out about 3 years ago," the cute rabbi said in unison with his partner. "I thought you knew."

"Oh," was about all I could say and in the process going slightly red.

And then I just carried on and chatted away as if I didn't really fancy the cute Rabbi.

So my dreams and hopes of leaving Finchley and moving to Texas are now officially on hold.

Still, it was a nice evening, we had some great giggles. We talked about Trembling Before G-d, a documentary about orthodox gay people, when he was going back to Texas, why London rains and also what ever happened to the great London fog that Americans still think London has.

Oh, and the rabbi's aunt is a laugh and so is his partner who happens to be from Maida Vale.

So I haven't exactly gained a boyfriend/husband/rabbi, but instead gained two great new friends.

But there are of course some issues for me now.

1. I won't be moving to Texas as there's no hope for me being a Rabbi's wife there.

2. What is it about me and men who are really cute. Do they always have to be gay?

3. Am I the ultimate Jewish fag hag? I don't want to end up like some sort of Jewish version of Liz Taylor or Liza Minnelli.

Life is still full of giggles, you just got to make sure there are giggles every day and if you miss a day of giggles, then make up for it doubly the next day. I've got to make up for it today.

Anyway, Berlin beckons on Saturday.

That Friday feeling

Well, Friday has finally arrived. But why does my Friday have to start all miserable. The weather is really bad. London is once again raining. I don't like the rain.

Tonight is big date night. I have been invited to shabbat dinner by Rabbi X from Texas who I discovered was single and made my interests known that I thought he was cute and really interesting and not like other rabbis with beards (well, he doesn't have a beard which is something I look for in a rabbi - I mean, it is something I look for in a man...). I also get the chance to meet various assorted members of his family as well.

I drank some more sleeping milk last night and woke up really groggy. Let's face it, it's rubbish really.

If I want to wake up groggy and not refreshed, I might as well drown a few glasses of cheap wine from Aldi or Lidl or one of the many other European cheap supermarkets that have sprung up all over the capital offering "great value prices" (aka cheap), but generally poor tasting food, wine included.

You know things are not going to be good when you go into one of these supermarkets when:

1. They don't supply shopping baskets, only trolleys. (yes they think you are going to nick the shopping basket.)

2. They only accept cash or debit card. (yes, they think you are going to do a chargeback if you use a credit card, or you are going to use a stolen credit card)

3. They don't trust you. They think you are either going to steal from them, ask for a refund or are just going there to pick a fight with them. Their idea of customer support is take the money and provide the appropriate change and the motto for these supermarkets: "Keep it cheap to make out that the customer thinks they are getting a bargain as they are too dumb to realise that the reason why it is cheap is because it is made cheap".

4. If you want a carrier bag, that will cost you a penny or two. (yes, they want to keep prices low by getting you to pay for the privilege of having a bag that advertises them and says "I am the schmuck who buys from this supermarket and they make me advertise them for free, infact I actually pay to advertise them.)

5. They don't carry brand names, or atleast any brand names you have grown up with or know about, unless of course you have previously lived in Germany where many of these supermarkets are originally from. (yes, by going down the non-brand approach they don't pay as much as they would have by buying Kellogs Corn Flakes or Heinz Ketchup . But of course, 99% of their own brands don't taste as nice as the original or other leading brands.)

6. There's a queue a mile long at the check out and all you want to do is buy 5 items that just happen to be 5 good items. Infact they seem to be the only 5 items in the store actually worth buying. So for the sake of saving a combined £3.54 when compared to other supermarket emporiums, is it really worth the wait in the queue. Oh, I forget, it's not £3.54 as you will then need to spend 2p on the carrier bag to put them all into, so taking off the 2p, it is a saving of £3.52 with the added factor of waiting 26 minutes to pay for it.

7. They are not exactly spotlessly clean. While the "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" approach can work (and remember who pioneered that concept, a Jewish guy called Mr Cohen - who also happened to be the brains behind Tesco), if you "pile 'em high" remember also to clean up the mess around it when a packet breaks or the sugar leaks. Don't leave it all sitting around in a mess. And if the cleaning up products are so good, then why aren't these supermarkets using their own brands?

8. And of course, they never stock any kosher products.

יום חמישי, מרץ 18, 2004

Melatonin madness

I haven’t been sleeping too well lately. Can’t think why. Perhaps it’s sheer boredom over work, or maybe it’s apprehension over the forthcoming date with Rabbi X.

My neighbour doesn’t help either. He is French, and very nice, but giggles like a schoolgirl whenever he laughs, and I can hear it all the time. Why can’t he be like mime artist Marcel Marceau, a French comic genius who didn’t have to speak at all, never mind giggle?

Sunday nights are the worst. I still get that ‘going back to school on Monday’ feeling on Sunday evenings, even though I left school nearly a decade ago. This is not good.

I’ve discussed this with my Sikh friend Miss M, who suggested I try something called Night Time Milk. Apparently it contains extra melatonin, a substance which is supposed to help you fall asleep. She says this is as a result of the cows being milked at night as they have more melatonin in their milk.

This has left me with a mental image of a herd of cows heading off to work on a night shift, but I decided to try it anyway and picked some up from Sainsbury’s the other night on the way home.

Sure enough, it does work. I drank a glass full and nodded off within minutes of my head hitting the pillow, the Gallic neighbour’s laughter ringing in my ears as I fell asleep.

The only problem is, that with 4g of fat per 100ml of milk, it could get to be a fattening habit. My mother isn’t happy about it either. She has never understood remedies, and thinks melatonin is a new form of E. I had to point out to her it’s legal, sold at the supermarket and is not habit-forming. So I decided to prepare a graph chart for said mother, outlining the pros and cons of each sleep remedy.

1. Valium
Pros: Can work quickly.
Cons: Can become habit-forming quickly and need doctor’s prescription.

2. Sleeping pills
Pros: Also can work quickly.
Cons: See valium. Also: if not supplied enough and becomes habit-forming, you might end up having to buy from dealer.

3. A mixture of valium and sleeping pills
Pros: Definitely would work quickly.
Cons: Could cause early death.

4. Herbal sleeping pills
Pros: Can buy off the shelf, work quickly, not habit-forming.
Cons: Being herbal, there’s no guarantee they will work at all.

5. Night Time Milk
Pros: Can buy in supermarket, and the melatonin works.
Cons: Can leave you groggy, only comes in semi-skimmed variety so more fattening than my usual tipple of skimmed milk.

יום רביעי, מרץ 17, 2004

Something kosher and salty in my mouth

Yes, it is bit of a smutty headline, but does draw some attention. The reason for it, several Belle readers have asked how we got on with Folman's fish and chips last night.

Alas, not too well. Folman's used to be grand. But on this occasion, the chips were nice but the fish's matzo meal coating was rather salty. Don't know why it should be like this, after all, matzo meal shouldn't contain salt.

But of course, there is a solution to this problem, avoid Folman's and choose somewhere else.

While not being kosher supervised, Sam's in Golders Green seems much nicer and I have never had a salty moment with them when buying some fish and chips.

But on a positive note, my £2.99 bottle of Bulgarian Merlot wine from Tesco went down a treat.

Tonight took it easy, watched some telly. Phoned a cousin of mine in New York and had a giggle at the expense of someone else.

Life was fun today, laughter at work made up for the past week's boredom and sombre atmosophere that the other senior partner was creating.

Maybe I'll get that promotion and posting abroad for three months after all. I'll find out next week.

10 things about Belle De Jew

A number of readers have started asking questions, such as where is Finchley?, am I single? how long have I been working in the porn industry? where do I shop? which synagogue can I be found at and what food are you tempted by?

Well, to get things cleared up, here are 10 things you need to know.

1. I am Jewish. For a very useful guide to explain what is a Jew, then check out the meaning of Jew at the Wikipedia.

2. Finchley is located in north London and is home to a number of exciting places. Well, I do say exciting in the loosest possible way. Hence while I may live in Finchley, I am only there to sleep and wake-up.

3. I don't work in the porn industry at the moment. I have been offered a number of opportunities to be a director of finance for adult entertainment providers. At this stage in my career, I am more than happy to work for my firm which does provide advise to such businesses in terms of setting up and managing the finances. Of course, working for the firm means I can divide my time between the more "adult" clients and the regular clients.

4. Like most people, I have a book in my head that is eager to be written. And yes, it is the first Jewish erotic novel.

5. "Who am I?" - that's one of my favourite lines that Ben Stiller uttered in Zoolander. So the question to me is "Who am I?" - well, as previously stated, I am a professional Jewish working girl. I am single. I have hay fever. I like to spray on Cool Water Women by Davidoff and enjoy smelling a man wearing Zara Man.

6. I enjoy spending my ill-gotten gains in Zara in the UK and also when I get the chance to go to Europe. The Zara store in Berlin that used to be a cinema is one of my favourites. In the States, you can't beat Old Navy. I spend far too much money on Benefit cosmetics and even though I have been going to Charles Worthington, I have yet to meet the man himself.

7. I enjoy being a floating shul-goer. That means, I don't have any allegiance to one synagogue. I've been there, done shabbat and wore the t-shirt. I like the Saatchi Shul for its happy-clappy atmosphere and Woodside Park for playing spot the horny single shul-goer. Alas, I have yet to find more than two horny males from Woodside Park, but still live in hope.

8. Work is hectic, hence tend to take either long weekends or mid-week breaks. Once did a long weekend in Dubai with my sister which was fun and also, sadly a good reason why not to have an Israeli stamp in your passport as without it, there were no hassles getting in. Food was great and, if you are into watersports (no, not that type), it has everything you could want and given that one of my clients is a giant in the world of watersports, it was free to me and my sister.

9. I don't do drugs, but enjoy sugar free red bull. All the taurine without putting on weight.

10. When it comes to food, I'm picky. Enjoy italian, mexican, japanese and of course kosher. I can take or leave curry and one day would like to try filipino food. There's a neat looking Filipino cafe in Charlotte Street in the West End, but not too many vege options, as I won't eat non-kosher meat out but will be tempted by vege dishes and of course, kosher fish.

"Porn worker by day, shulgoing demure lass by weekend"

Got a very nice write up in the equally very nice blog belonging to Sarah Weinman.

But had to write to Sarah and point out that this Belle is no "porn worker". I posted onto Sarah's blog mainly to set the record straight for the sake of my 85-year-old bubbe who would probably assume that "porn worker" means, a lady who provides services of a sexually revealing nature. The last thing I want to give Bubbe is her first heart attack by thinking her granddaughter is some sort of Jewish porn princess.

Good thing that Sarah didn't mention that we are also involved in the "watersports" business. (yes, we have a very successful client who arranges watersports in the Red Sea and is the constant butt of innuendo jokes - more on that at a later time).

Of course, while I have done my fair share of advising clients at the firm on their business plans for various porn ventures, providing "porn" services as part of our offering does not come into the project scope. After all, senior partner is no Ron Jeremy.

Darling - thank you for mentioning my blog, but "porn worker by day"?

OK, so I am doing some business advice on a porn project for a client at the moment, but it is only one project my firm and I are doing.

Other projects include advising on the setting up of a chain of bagel stores in the north west of England.

But is it "porn" or "adult entertainment" as the client keeps on referring it to.

As far as I'm concerned and also that of the firm, it is easy money that pays our bills very well.

Life is full of laughs, maybe today at work there will be a few more giggles.

יום שלישי, מרץ 16, 2004

Kosher fish and chips night

Nothing can be finer than a piece of cod or haddock done in matzo meal. Tonight, I'm having a few girlfriends coming round to Chez Belle.

So went over to Folman's in Hendon for four medium cod and two portions of chips. There's no point getting four portions of chips as you always end up only eating two lots.

One of the girlfriends, Miss M a nice Sikh girl (so if there are any nice Sikh boys, get in touch she's looking for her Sikh version of a mensch) pointed out as the honorary non-Jew that fish and chips only works well with matzo meal.

Self-loathing Jewish girlfriend, Anna F, pointed out that matzo meal is too Jewish and she doesn't need to be reminded of the products one eats during passover.

"It's bad enough having matzo this and matzo that during Pesach, but do I really need it other times of the year? All matzo reminds me of is constipation."

Miss J, sits on the fence. She appreciates both matzo and also battered fish. "Of course, it has to be done in beer batter," J pointed out.

Quite frankly, I don't really care either way, as long as it's served with the Belle favourite tipple, Bulgarian Merlot. Tesco are doing this for a bargain £2.99.

Yes, I know it is a red wine and purists will say "You can't have red wine with fish," But I say, it's my tummy and I'll put whatever I want in it.

We carry on eating and drinking and generally have a giggle about how crap work is and why none of us want to get emotionally attached to our jobs.

Party twice

What is it about parties? You don't get invited to one for ages and then two come along at once, just like the 83 bus in Golders Green that goes to Hendon.

So I mentioned I won't be able to go to one already and here's the other one I won't be able to go to - Lychi launch party.

A kind reader pointed out that the folks who run the Lychi website - www.lychi.com - are having their own unique Jewdo this Saturday.


March 20th 2004 8.30pm

The address is:

Flat 2,
28 Compayne Gardens,
West Hampstead,

Hold on... Compayne Gardens? I remember being part of a drama group there a few years back when Macabbi used to have its centre there before they sold out to some property company to have the location redeveloped into over expensive flats.

Haven't been there for ages? Did the flats ever get built? How much money did Macabbi get for selling out and did they ever invest it back into the community?

Party like it's 2004

Got e-mailed an invitation to a party this Saturday night.

Must be on some mailing list that gets forwarded to loads of people you don't know and they don't know you either. And then it gets forwarded on again. Still, it all adds to the mystery of life and makes it all a bit fun really.

The event is in aid of charetee! Yes, that is charity (if I could remember how to spell it...)
All proceeds are going to Norwood and the Karen Morris Memorial Trust and it will cost you £10 to get in.

Details are:
e-mail: march20@breathe.com
North Road
London N7
Doors 9pm to late (hope late means atleast 2am, unlike many JewDo events where late means a time when your mother or father are still prepared to come out and pick you up, which is usually around 11.30pm).

No details of age group, but looks like a 20-30 something crowd.

Will I be going? Alas not, off to Berlin on Saturday for a couple of days. A bit of business and also a bit of pleasure. Looking forward to seeing the Potsdamer Plaza, great for shopping, eating and catching some films.

Goy meets girl or why a bit of yock is not for me

Well a few of us went out last night to see Suzie Gold.

As Brit/Jewish/Chick flicks go it was good.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and so one can relate to this and some of the characters.

It wouldn't be fair on me to name who in Suzie Gold is exactly like someone I know. But Suzie's sister is exactly like a friend of mine, Jane K.

And of course, Rachel Stevens does a stunning performance of herself.

Its views of Jewish London are also spot on even though quite a bit of the film was made in the Isle of Man.

As for the undertone of the film, Goy meets girl. As a kosher lass, there's plenty of nice Salami in the sea and a bit of yock is not for me :)

You see despite what some people might think, Jewish men are good men, they come in all shapes and sizes and in all sorts of attitudes. Some are bold and strong others are meek and humble, but they are still Jewish and we cannot afford to stereotype for the sake of it.

And hey, if Jewish men are OK for non-Jewish women, then Jewish men are equally OK for Jewish women as well. (I guess there is some sort of logic in this...)

And if we don't date fellow Jews, well, 'er is there a future? (Rant now off...)

Best of all, there's a great Jewish guy I am seeing this Friday. Only a few days to go for our date. Well, I do say date is the loosest sense of the word, it is a Friday night meal with him and assorted members of the family. But he's a Rabbi, cute looking and has a sense of humour (or as being a Texan, sense of humor.)

Back to work today. It still sucks, but the money makes up for it.

יום שני, מרץ 15, 2004

Day over

Thank g-d I am doing this for the money and have the ability to not get emotional during the course of the day. It's business, nothing personal, so goes our daily mantra that the manager installs in us.

Now time to get home, freshen up and then out tonight.

I'm seeing Rabbi X this Friday night (well, not exactly one2one, more like, me, him, his aunt, uncle and a few other cousins, but I'm seeing him), but can't get him out of my head from Saturday's Kiddush.

I've got his number, shall I call him? (Maybe not)

There's enough going on in my life, like tonight. Finally going to see Suzie Gold. Brit-Jewish chick flick, reviews seem to be mixed and a few of us want to see if the life shown on the big screen is the life we are living.

Talking of living (well actually working), did I mention that on some days, I'm glad I only do it for the money.

You can't get too emotional or too attached to the clients.

The manager has got me working with this piece of scum and helping him develop his business plan. I'm not a prude, but there comes a time, when you have to say enough is enough and even though this guy has got a unique idea for his porno site (yes, mum, I am working with a porn merchant), how many more porn sites are needed?

Sleazy guy. He asked me out tonight for a drink. Yeah right. Told him I'm going out with the boyf (OK, so I don't have a boyf at the mo, but he believed it which was the main thing).

The other reason for not getting too emotional is when you see a client down on their luck. What do you do when you know what you are doing is going to mean someone's life is going to dramatically change for the worse.

The manager, she of the Russian accent and long fingernails has also got me working with one of the partners on sorting out the affairs of this middle aged guy. Of course, we are working in the interests of the bank with whom he owes £1.5m.

His business is on the verge of going belly up, he used to own a small chain of newsagents in Essex and due to the expansion of the supermarkets with their metros this and express that, people who used to come to him for some of those basics are now going to the supermarkets.

The business does not have a future, there is no way to turn it around and the bank wants to make sure they get as much out of him before the Inland Revenue come around.

So we are working on how to organise his business better. Atleast that is what the partner has said to him. I'm sure he knows what we are really trying to do. He's smart, really nice and this is one of those occassions where you feel a bit emotional about what you are doing.

Anyway, there's more to life than this. I certainly hope so.

Finding love at shul?

Spotted rather cute visiting Rabbi on shabbat. A yank of all sorts, kind of like Ben Stiller from Keeping The Faith. But unlike Ben, Rabbi X was totally kosher on both sides would means if lust leads to love and love then leads to marriage we can have a proper wedding.

We spoke briefly after the service during kiddush and both commented on how bad Palwin number 10 is and why do they make up these crazy sounding names for kosher wine. Apart from Palwin number 10 and number 4 and 4a, are there any other types?

Update: Miss J a reader to Belle De Jew kindly says: "Yes, there is another type of Palwin called number 11." - Thank you.

He's from Texas, yes a Texan Jew! About the only famous Texan male Jew is Michael Dell and he's not a patch on Rabbi X.

We clicked. He said he was going back to the States at the end of the month and would I like to go out for a drink with him before then. Of course. Date has been set. Next Friday night at his aunt's house in Temple Fortune.

He is a conservative Jew, not conservative in the sense of supporting Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin, but conservative in the sense of religious upbringing. This suits me fine as a middle of the road, US (that's United Synagogue, not United States) shul goer, there is plenty of religious synergy between us.

My mother were rather taken aback when I mentioned that I thought for a Rabbi he was rather fit and equally great for for some midnight loving.

"What are you saying? You wouldn't mind shagging the Rabbi?" My mum said, in her liberal sounding voice.

"Yes, he is really cute. He doesn't have a girlfriend and from what I could also find out has not got a yenta trying to get him married off either," I replied. "So yes, would love to shag him."

Starting out

There's a first time for everyone and the manager in her most creative way has decided to introduce the new client to me.

"Darling," she says in her dry Russian accent. "We have this new client who is looking for someone like you?"

"Oh," I say. "What exactly do you mean?

"Well, he phoned up explained what he was after and also revealed he never had it done to him before," the manager said.

"And how much is he paying?" I ask.

"He will be on the £200 an hour scale," she said.

Seems the said client has just set up his first business. Armed with a pay-off from his media company which made him redundant just before Xmas, client Y has decided it is time to launch a new website and needs to make sure the business is strutured well financially.

"Well, I got a £100,000 pay off," he told me. "I've put £50,000 into the bank and thought I would use the other £50,000 for setting up the business."

His new website sounds interesting. It's based on a well proven business model and if he can crack it, then it's likely to make money. Ethics aside, it's not illegal to operate websites that display people with their kit off, but I do feel the manager needs to not always get the work for the sake of it. Aren't there other firms who could do this?

"Yes there are, but darling (why does she insist of always calling me darling?) we have worked with a number of adult entertainment businesses in the past and they trust us," she said.

Sometimes when you meet a new client you enjoy their company. Sometimes you don't and you realise you are only in this game for the money.

In the case of client Y, I can honestly say, I am in this just for the money.

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