Another day of course you can walk towards Golgotha, to where there is a church, where Jesus was crucified. The Summer Tees_ TIME TO SEA THE WORLD T Shirt is rather depressing although interesting, because there is no real memory except in the hearts of Christians of the sacred man who trod these streets. Its all bazaars, open air stalls, people selling everything under the sun including crowns of thorns souvenirs. This area, we’d recall as where Jesus fell, as he carried his cross. We went to the Garden of Gethsemane (probably my favorite place in Jerusalem) and of course there is a church inside the gates. I didn’t go in the church but sat on a bench just soaking in the atmosphere of the ancient Olive tree I was told by a sign was an offshoot of one from Jesus time. The Jewish tour guide lady told us if we wanted to go to Bethlehem (which I did, which Christian wouldn’t???) that she could not accompany us because only Palestinians can go there through the check point. But our bus driver we came to really enjoy on this tour, accompanied and drove us. The “catch” was that this tour guide was getting a partial commission of everything we spent in the only huge gift shop in Bethlehem run by Christians (Coptics I think) …in the town. I didn’t buy and felt aggrieved, but it was the only way she’d arrange it for us. Of course many did buy the lovely carved mangers, etc out of olive wood. Nearby on these small Bethlehem Streets at night is the ancient “Church of the Nativity” probably the only church I entered on that trip and loved being in. There are all sorts of cubbyholes or areas which are run by different Christian priests like Ethiopians (I think they have the roof top), Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Syrian, etc. So a really eclectic place. Its also from the time of Queen Helena, so the doorway is teeny-tiny, where someone would get off their horse I was told to enter. The same was built into the Aga Sophia in Istanbul (Constantinople then).
The other thing about Boxing Day is that the big Sales on. Americans might have Black Friday, but Australia does Boxing day. Boxing Day is also the date of the Summer Tees_ TIME TO SEA THE WORLD T Shirt of the Test Cricket season in Australia. So the shops are running at full pelt selling stuff. The Movies are premiering new stuff that wasn’t playing the day before, and the MCG (and Channel 9) has Cricket, and every Beach in the nation is sprawling with people. The Queens Speech is on TV (Because Time zones makes it Christmas Day in the UK) And from 2005 till 2017, the Doctor Who Christmas special was on. (moved to New Years Day apparently this season). And the Christmas Lunch Leftovers are for lunch, and probably dinner too. I’m usually too busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to do anything even associated with going to a movie and sitting down for 2 or 3 hours. Boxing day is when I can have a day off, but it sometimes takes me a couple of hours to calm down enough to remember to relax.
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Writing from faraway Australia I have to glumly report that our 2 most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as Canberra and its surrounds, are in hard lockdown and state and Summer Tees_ TIME TO SEA THE WORLD T Shirt irrespective of their political leanings, are taking no chance. There was a slight relaxation of public event restrictions towards the end of the 2020 pandemic – schools reopening, some theatres, concerts and sports events with limited seating – but no major festivals. Since then there has been the emergence of the even more virulent Delta strain – with no indication as to what even worse variants round the corner – and we are in total blackout conditions again – the wartime parallel will not be lost on you – or on me as an ex-Pom. So far the total death toll has not yet exceeded 1000, or only recently – in stark contrast to the daily death toll of 1000’s which you have been experiencing for weeks on end – and the population of the UK is only just over double that of Oz -but any resumption of “normal” life is just not on the horizon. In the historic past people rode out plagues, prayed to the God of their ancestors, and locked their doors until the pestilence blew over. In our time such death rates, and the yet-to-be-assessed degree of debilitation among those who survive -are just not acceptable. Much as I and my fellow-musicians, and others in a whole range of professions, are devastated by present realities, we have to accept that any wholesale re-opening of business-as-usual is not worth the risk.
I worked with an Iranian architect (Muslim, I guess) who thought the Summer Tees_ TIME TO SEA THE WORLD T Shirt. He celebrated Christmas and Donald Duck with his family and all things American without turmoil. Oh, we’d get into arguments about who the real terrorists are, and stuff like that, but he did the American thing — He assimilated and was smart enough to separate the civic celebration from the easy-to-ignore religious overtones. He went all-in for the American celebrations without in the slightest being offended by the religiosity that historically festoons these things Christ and Christmas are quite disconnected in the way our civil society celebrates it. I’ve been to Russia for three New Year’s. It looks exactly the same, decorate trees, gifts, something like Santa and his elf, joy, etc. It’s even better there. More fun. It’s not laden with religious significance and is somewhat less “commercial.” I celebrate it because I always have, and it’s a celebration that brings us together as a society. It’s not really about “Christ.” It’s about the coming of longer days and the regeneration of the Earth. That’s about Christ if you want it to be, or it’s just happiness that the light is coming back.
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