Sunday, 14 June 2009

At last .......

..... we get to the Israel bit. I bet you were wondering if I'd ever make it! This is not going to be a great long memoir thingy, just a few standout memories and some apposite pics.

Well, I gathered myself and my stuff together and boarded a plane for Tel Aviv in August 1990. Now for
any one who is au fait with recent history, you'll know immediately that that was the exact same time Iraq invaded Kuwait and the first Gulf War started. It has been suggested, by some who are in the know, that these two events were not entirely unrelated. I can't see this myself, I've always protested my innocence in the absence of any real evidence.
Ok so I did arrive in Jerusalem on the back of one of these, but when they said you need to get a taxi from the airport, this was what was parked out front. I eventually fetched up at the Institute for Holy Land Studies (now called Jerusalem University College) and boy was it hot! No I mean it was hot ... sweltering. Bit of a climatical shock. The cultural one was to come later! The place was very old, parts of it go back to the first century. It reeked in history. I was bug-eyed with excitement. Can't remember much about signing in, but I do remember tripping over a few bodies that had already succumbed to the heat and dehydration. And, of course, when you need a drink, you drink water .... errr from the tap, don't you? More about that later!

When it came to accommodation, I was living on campus. Way, way back when I was first accepted
onto the program (I've put program rather than programme as this is an American run graduate school and they are sometimes a bit shy about using all the letters!), I had to fill in loads of forms and one of the questions asked was "what is the main quality you look for in a room-mate?" Horrified at the very idea of having to share any part of my dishabille with a stranger, I put "absent" and thought no more of it. Apparently this caused a great deal of merriment and general falling about amongst the staff (no idea why?) and they managed to find me a little cave/cell of my very own - although I didn't remain alone for very long!

The above photo is of the courtyard outside my room and the one above that is the room with the absent (at least to start with) room-mate.

NB Have just read that blog posts aren't supposed to be too long. Oooops!


  1. Your photos are awesome!

    I'm a children's author. My writing blog can be found at:

    and my blog for animal lovers at:

    Would love to have you come visit either or both!

  2. "NB Have just read that blog posts aren't supposed to be too long. Oooops!"
    In that case I should maybe trim mine down by about 5000 words!

    I can imagine the excitement of it all, although I guess I myself have only ever visited places for a week. So the idea of living and studying in a place like Jerusalem...oh my goodness!

    I rather like your little cave...


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