'Slicha'! If someone will pass me a paintbrush I'll wash over the few fluffy fingerprints despoiling my otherwise sun-drenched, techelet-blue canvas.
'Slicha'? 'Techelet'? I'll tell you more of these another time. Today I'll try to describe one of the loveliest provincial towns in Israel - maybe the Middle East.
To use cliched superlatives may insult both you and Karmiel; to refer to the English Lakeland poets - who would surely find the terrain familiar - must do them a grave injustice.
Instead I'll write plainly: It is less than a half-century old, nestles near famed biblical spots like Haifa and Tiberias but is far more gracious than either. So I'm writing from the heart - and in the heart of The Galilee - which boasts as many harsh promontories, ardent valleys and shades of green as anywhere in Cumbria, England or Perugia, Northern Italy. And yes, on less friendly days a harsh wind withers the soul of psalmist and secular poet alike.
But Karmiel's founding fathers were witty and wise:
They ordered wide pavements abutting relatively narrow boulevards and festooned them with whimsically-ornamented parks and flower-decked roundabouts. They also designed oolite-clad or colour washed buildings to give all a permanent holiday air. Even civic buildings like the town hall and cultural centre have alluring front gardens filled with palms and flowers.
And while the town is undeniably child-centered, there are coffee shops and bars for trendy adults; restful seating areas for the elderly and infirm and an encouraging semi-mix of Arab and Jewish residents.
But that's all you're getting from me today. I''m going out to enjoy it!