Summers I do feel the people who are working at home are shouldering much the heaviest part of the business. I would far rather be in the East among surroundings which are a perpetual interest to me, places and people which have no sharp edge of memory. The best one can do is to do what one’s told, for as long as one is told to do it. I think I have got over most of the difficulties and the growing cordiality of my colleagues is a source of unmixed satisfaction. I’m sitting with my hands in front of me, practically, and shall remain in that attitude till I go up to Bagdad. It is the first time I have been idle since the war began.
I went to a Muhammadan Conference to which I had been invited by Mr. Morison, the head of the Aligarh College. I stepped on to the platform as bold as brass (in my best clothes!) and sat down by Morison who is an enchanting person. It is so amusing to have a letter with photographs in it.
Guests now have even more world-class entertainment options than ever before. Live music has always been the heart and soul of evenings aboard Holland America Line, and Eurodam features the full Music Walk experience – with three exciting venues. Lincoln Center Stage, featuring world-class musicians performing chamber music, and Billboard Onboard, rocking the house with 50 years of chart-topping hits, join the already popular B.B.
I sent the slow baggage camels on, and with much labour we softened the skins and contrived to fill them. The sun was now up and a more barren prospect than it revealed you cannot Imagine. The Hamad stretched in front of us, flat and almost absolutely bare; for several hours we rode over a wilderness Of flints on which nothing grew. It was also the coldest day we have had, for the keen frosty wind blew straight into our faces. We stopped once to wait for the baggage camels, and warmed ourselves at a bonfire meanwhile, and again We stopped for half an hour to lunch. We watched our shadow catch us up and march ahead of us as the sun sank westward and at three o’clock we pitched camp in the stony waste.
SELECTED AND EDITED BY LADY BELL, D.B.E.
You can’t think how charming and amusing and agreeable the Russells have been. It’s added a great deal to the pleasure of the voyage having them. Our servant met us at the quay; he seems a most agreeable party and he’s going to teach us Hindustani. I got up feeling extremely brisk, and spent the whole morning exploring Palmyra.
- Yet it is nothing but sand and sandstone, long barren hills and broken sandstone tells.
- There was no sun to-day, but to-night it is fine again and I have a good deal of photography to do to-morrow.
- He got more satisfaction out of my permit from Kerkuk which was the next thing he asked to see.
- I can only say it by holding down my tongue with one finger, but then you Can’t carry on a conversation with your finger down your throat can you?
It was excellent going and we made very good time. A little Past 4 we reached the last village at the N.E. Corner of the Lejah, and here I camped, it being only a seven or eight hours’ ride to Damascus.
Mike’s Crab House
Then Fattuh, Musrud and I went across to the ridge and swept the world with my glasses. At night I announced that I intended to take a rafiq of the Beni Maaz, the Goat Tribe, and this not very brilliant witticism threw the whole company round the coffee fire into convulsions of laughter. We were off at five this morning in bitter frost. Can you picture the singular beauty of these moonlit departures! “Yallah, yallah, oh children!” cries the old sheikh, knocking the ashes out of his Narghileh, “Are we ready?” So we set out across the dim wilderness, Sheikh Muhammad leading on his white dulul.
Now this is the place that I first came to two years ago. It is on a shoulder of the Kara Dagh, 1000 ft. above Maden Sheher and it is entirely composed of churches, chapels and monastic foundations. A few Turkish hovels are’ accommodated in the ruins-in one of them I stayed two years ago. The people are overjoyed at my return and gave me a most cordial welcome. They sent down to me while I was at Maden Sheher to say they hoped I was coming up and I hired from them all the camels for the transport.
Yet I can only tell you that we have spent a very pleasant day. The old sheikh never stops talking, bless him, he orders us all about when we pitch and break up camp, but as Fattuh and I know much more about the pitching of our tents than he does, we pay no attention. The Mother of Camels, that is where we are, in short we have arrived, praise be to God.
- London has become very hot and I am glad to think that I shall leave it next week.
- Also I would immensely like a soft black satin gown which I could Wear either by day or night-crossed over in front, skirt down to the ground.
- The Makad was a good sized room with closely shuttered windows, by reason of there being no glass, felt mats on the floor and a low divan all round on which carpets were spread for me.
- I got into Adana about 10–there is absolutely nothing of any interest in the town.
- Happy to tell you I’m now extremely well, partly the rest, perhaps, and partly the exemplary habit of riding before breakfast.