Wednesday, 25 March 2020
One of the grubby papers was intent the other day to gather information regarding your past holidays. Where did you go? What was the best? Those deeply intellectual questions being asked. It surprised me as I could not think of having had a holiday for years. Last year, while others visited Costa Rica, Portugal, Holland and Spain I had a day out in Great Bardfield churchyard. I am not sure this counts as a holiday.
When did I last go on proper holidays? Rare to have had the cash let alone somewhere worth visiting. As children visits to aunts, as adolescents no money was available and few were rich enough for the early Spanish holidays. A day out to Whitley Bay was forced on me at 15 by my dad. Why there? No idea. I was intrigued I recall by policemen wearing those tall helmets, gone from Scotland in 1956. Then later a trip or two to London with my mates, nothing intellectual occurring on these trips though a few hostelries were found.
Once, only once, living in London, 1976 I reckon, I took a trip to Cardiff for reasons unremembered. An overnight stay, nothing to recall but a friendly B&B in a backwater, and wondering why the rail tunnel was so long before remembering we went under the River!
In November 1990, just before the first Gulf War, I went to Israel. This of course was a great trip, even if the intifada and stupidity stopped me seeing all I wished to see. A trip to Hebron? I enquired, NO! came the response, suicide! Indeed the worst of the two sides abide there and bus trips do not go there these days. I did see Jerusalem, mostly, finding much of what I wished to see, getting into the Holy Sepulchre with no difficulty, the American tourists stayed away from fear of Saddam, and sat in the most Holy place by myself, bar one nun.
This shoddy picture shows Mount Tabor rising in the middle of a historical landscape. I stand in Megiddo, corrupted into 'Armageddon' and before us lie the vast plain in which all the armies of the world will meet on the last days. A huge plain lies before us. To our right out of the picture is Mount Gilboa where Saul and Jonathan died, In the foothills near Tabor Barak defeated Sisera, and many a battle occurred where we stand. In 1918 General Allenby's Cavalry swept across the plain of Megiddo more or less bring the end of the fighting in Palestine during the Great War.
Sadly I saw no battles, though I can understand why people battle Israeli Border Police, they are a tough force. Most Israelis were friendly enough, though many wished to sell something to tourists, and all Arab guides should be locked up!
Not much of a travelogue to be sure, nowadays I wish to see the Battlefields in France and little else. The desire to tramp around in hot sun or freezing cold does not call me out. There again both Brexit and the Virus has killed of foreign and indeed inland trips for us all.
I can see that the use of digital cameras has improved photography greatly. Most Israel pictures are on slides, so hidden away for now, the film ones are all pretty poor. From now on all the pictures will concern Sainsburys and Tesco as far as I can see...