Sunday, June 15, 2014


One of the major jobs on my  'to do' list will be to check my digital stuff, mostly photographs and family group stuff with photos.  I have absolutely no doubt it will be one of those jobs that will roll over every month, maybe, every year.  Perish the thought! But, if I don't get onto it, there will be lots of stuff  that's been important in my life that could be in a 'guddle' - a nice onomatopoeic Scottish word - at worst, lost for future generations; that's assuming they want it.  As I have been interested to know something of my heritage, I believe it is a valid assumption that they will do, and I am therefore, making the assumption.

Storage media that we have used for over a decade, like CD's and DVD's do have a limited shelf life; about a decade. External hard drives live a bit longer. VHS cassette tapes weaken in use. I was therefore, interested when I heard there was a new Disc available; (note spelling, not with a 'K'). It has a thousand year life, a whole millennium!  That would certainly do for me. I would have to buy a DVD writer that works with the technology.  There are a few around.  In every other respect, it seems, the Discs can be used for reading in the drives I already have. Obviously, we know that the length of life of anything can be limited by new developments.  I reckon, so long as there's a reader drive, somehow or another, in a thousand years, if the world still exists, (the other big, big unknown) the media can still be accessed.

I looked at photo CD's that are officially past their perishable date.  So far they seem okay. The pictures stored on one were of  Israel. These pictures show the Roman Aqueduct, it runs along  the fine sandy Beach at Caesaria (named after Caesar Augustus) further than my eyes could see.  Like all places in this ancient land, it has an illustrious history.
If all the disks awake my memories and give me pleasure like this one, the task will not be that bad, probably, just lengthy.
Next, at a market in Jerusalem, not the ancient Shouk/Souk, it's a market that the people who live in the city use for their everyday purchases.  This visit was pre-tram times.  These days trams stop nearby.

Round the corner from a small popular restaurant in the market, called Azur, I saw a group of men outside a cafe playing Backgammon, a game that is popular in The Middle East. Last time I visited, the Azur restaurant had changed location and if I am not mistaken, I believe it had moved here, to the more spacious cafe premises.

This is the ancient Shouk/Souk in Jerusalem, where you walk on cobbled streets interspersed
with stone steps worn by the feet that have climbed them through millennia. Either side of the steps  are narrow ramps for carts to negotiate the steps up or down, just as they always have done here.

You smell this before you see it. Such a mix of wonderful aromas, and all the spices are so artistically displayed.  I have seen similar displays in other markets.  I thought this one was quite special.

 A visit to The Holy Sepulchre. It felt and looked like pure theatre. People were not going to be given access  to this shrine, while it was being commandeered by the Eastern Orthodox Priests and friends, doing their photo shoot.  About 30 minutes later,  when the 'models' had retired to the side aisle, waiting people were ushered in four at a time.  I would not have stayed in the queue, bar encouragement from a friend.

Inside the shrine was a tiny light ante room with an artifact displayed in it. Did a person the proportions of the priest in the picture, really get in there? The little one in black would have had no problem. Eventually it was my turn. I was unable to decipher the lettering relating to the artifact, so, had no idea what it was.

A woman in front of me moved into another small room with a marble tomb structure. you couldn't see the ends.  She dropped to her knees, and using her rosary prayed. I waited  respectfully in the doorway. Someone else had just been allowed into the ante- room. Prayers finished, the woman jumped up, got out a camera and took a lot of flash pictures. 

The tomb room was gilded with everything and anything in Eastern Orthodox church style. You get a sense of it with the decoration you see around the Sepulchre door. Simplicity, it was not.

There are three major Christian sects, at least, represented here, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox. The latter appear to have the guardianship of the place, whether by default or agreement I do not know.  Each Christian representative has their own areas of the Sepulchre. It is worth taking a guided tour as there is much to be explained. It was interesting to see that the Roman Catholic Chapel was relatively very small.  Not all is harmonious  here, you do hear of physical discord in the religious camps. 

Excavations in The Shouk  have revealed ancient fortifications.  On the way through the market, this ancient  museum of life, was the Golden Menorah. It is The First Golden Temple Menorah Constructed since the destruction of the Holy Temple. It is undoubtedly a cultural and religious standard bearer as well as a fascinating and beautifully crafted object.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.


Anonymous said...

Fascinating history, highlighted by your photos. That's the trouble with going through them - they evoke so many memories! It will be a job selecting and recording for posterity, but as there is no need to rush, you may as well enjoy the journey.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather thankful that I don't have to worry about preserving for the big unknown!
I enjoyed the post and pictures about Israel. Flighty xx

Snowbird said...

Wow, what an extraordinary place! How I would love to visit. I loved pic four and five. As Gilly says, enjoy browsing as you record all these wonderful

ZACL said...

Hi Gilly,

Yes, I am going to not just treasure the memories, but, have some fun remembering them.

ZACL said...

Ah Mr F, It is not a worry to leave a footprint, it could be a delight. The trick will be in the filtering, just how much....

ZACL said...

You gave me the another chance to re-visit places Snowbird, when you mentioned pix 4 and 5. I had to check what they were!

xxx :)

Anonymous said...

Tried to comment on your mention of discs, but my words disappeared down the rabbit hole. Thinking about discs that last a thousand years, and comments that don't last two minutes...

ZACL said...

Shimon, apart from making me giggle, your succinct comment is so true, absolutely spot on!