Saturday, May 03, 2008

Birds without Wings


Birds without wings, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

After a long day, getting up at 4 in the morning, we finally arrived home at about 7.30 in the evening, having spent the whole of an afternoon getting frustrated at Heathrow, having flown first from Damascus to a grey and wet Ankara and then onto a sunny and warm London. Our fellow traveller in the seat next to me was an old crone, dressed in widow's rags, short and plump, with her eyes almost closed. She never said a word and seemed to understand little of what was going on around her, refusing to eat any of the food or drink any of the drinks. She was on her way to San Francisco, amazingly enough.

Between sleeping and changing flights, we ahd a good opportunity to relax and read and I am now reading Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres, an excellent book set in south-western Anatolia around the time of the birth of the Turkish Republic. Fred is reading 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom by Alexander McCall.

Fortunately, the planes did have wings and we were able to fly back to a warm and very green Amsterdam, all the leaves on the trees seemingly having come out in the ten days we have been away. Fred found some food in the fridge and we ate out on the balcony. Let's hope this sets us up for a lovely summer. At last we can look back on a really excellent week in Syria, a country we'd love to return to sooner rather than later, inshallah.

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