Saturday, 23 November 2013

On the trail of the Crusaders and down steps to the manger

The door into the Church of the Nativity is low, built so deliberately by the Crusaders.

Our guide asks the guard to let us to the front of the queue - from the other direction - down steps into heat and a marble slab where Jesus was born and opposite the manger. A confusing bustle: emotion and swinging lights.
Lunch on Nativity Square - a walk through the town.

Then down the road to another Banksy mural on the side of a garage on the outskirts of Bethlehem, right by a car wash. Serious art.All interventions seem to touch something visceral: attachment to place and religious passion.

We stop at a crossroads for coffee. The Bedouin coffee seller is dressed pretty sharply and has a belt with a mother of pearl studded buckle, which I fail to capture.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy