Friday, 19 December 2008

jerusalem (14) - back home

Last lunch with some of my fellow pilgrims at the Austrian Hospice.

Friday 19th December. Well I survived the 12 hours at Ben Gurion Airport, the security checks were nowhere near as daunting as I had been led to believe and I was pleasantly surprised to discover the plane home was a 747. I had an aisle seat and no one sitting next to me so plenty of room even though the flight was fairly full. The other passenger in my row was a young Jewish Israeli called Omri (aged 15) who was born in London but now lives in Israel; he was travelling to stay with friends in London to celebrate Christmas. Omri told me that one of the things he misses most in Israel is bacon rolls.

You have a large choice of films to select from on a jumbo and I decided to avoid those I am likely to watch with Kate. I ended up with Wanted and then Tropic Thunder; my recommendation is to avoid them as neither were any good but it meant I could relax and switch off. A two hour tube and train ride across London and then Kate and the kids came to pick me up from the station. Slight problem, they weren't expecting me for another 24hrs! My fault as I had told them I would be home Thursday not Wednesday. It was fantastic to see them and I began to realise just how much I had been missing them while away. The kids had just finished their last day of term so we have plenty of time to catch up over the next few days. Went to bed early to catch up on some sleep and when I woke up began to wonder whether the last three weeks had really happened. I missed hearing the call to prayer and the weather at home is obviously cooler, though not as cold as I was expecting.

One of the things I am aware of is a heightened sensitivity to the situation in the Middle East and I find myself picking out news stories about the area almost subconsciously. This morning I came across an interesting article in The Guardian about an exhibition of cartoons on the Israel - Palestinian conflict at London's Political Cartoon Gallery and I think I will try to get to see it. The cartoon printed in The Guardian was particularly disturbing.

I've got about 1,000 pictures to edit and may put them up on a website in case anyone wants to have a look. In the meantime I'm ploughing through the Christmas cards and accompanying letters that have arrived while I've been away and I am frantically trying to remember who I haven't sent a card to.


1 comment:

paul said...

Looks like you have had a fabulous and inspirational time!

Welcome home for Christmas!