12 July 2009

Plotting a Course, and Coarsely Plotting

My trusty rusty dividers set atop a map of Israel, the Galilee-Golan region specifically in view. Yes, this picture is out of focus. But so is the political situation. Everybody's got their dividers out yet again, and have turned their wits to further carving up the Land of Israel.

Jordan, Trans-Jordanian Palestine, that is, Palestine on the "other" (east) side of the river Jordan, is an independent state which incudes the vast majority of Palestine, and most of who's citizens are what the modern, post-PLO world calls Palestinians. Of course part of Palestine has reverted back to its ancient and proper name of Israel. Historically there is no conflict about the geography intended by the two names: Renaming the Jewish homeland "Palestine" was a mean-spirited act done by the victorious Romans after the last ancient Jewish revolt. (Almost last--but that's another story.)

02 July 2009

Camel Crossing

In truth, I'd worry a lot more about a lot of other things crossing in front of me on the road than camels. I think the roads authority puts these signs up for tourists.

Sure beats:


01 July 2009

Highland Bagpipes

This is a pencil drawing of my old Wm Sinclair & Son Highland bagpipes, done by my wife. The backdrop is Royal Stuart tartan.

I waited four years for this fine, hand-made set after ordering them in person from Mr William Sinclair in his workshop in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr Sinclair is the second generation to make quality Highland pipes, after his father William, who began in the 1930s. His son Alistair, the third generation, is currently carrying on the family business. I am not certain if his son Ewan is in the business. That would make four generations of maintaining quality in what is now quite a competitive market.

You would think that my set would be the only one in Israel. However, there is another set of Sinclair pipes, made by William Sinclair senior back in the 1930s, owned by a very fine sabra piper of my good acquaintance. A top Jewish player who is a friend of ours, and who visits Israel often also plays old Sinclair pipes, which used to belong to a career pipe-major in the Scots Guards Regiment (a Scottish contribution to the British Army). We all three came by our Sinclair pipes quite independently of each other.