Friday, 10 April 2015

Chiltern Open Air Museum

I took three of my grandchildren to Chiltern Open Air Museum to see reconstructed historical buildings, which include an Iron Age House, Leagrave Cottage, 18th Century, Leagrave Cottage 19th Century and also a working farm, to name only a few.

My small granddaughter was fascinated by the rag dolls on one of the beds and by a patchwork quilt. The boys were interested in machinery, chimney sweeps brushes, bellows and fire irons and much more.

We enjoyed making friends with the shire horses and marvelled at the size of the oxen.

The weather was perfect, neither too hot nor too cold. W e appreciated our picnic, cheese and cucumber sandwiches, crisps, grapes, small squares of millionaires shortbread and apple juice, which we ate in a clearing in the woods to the tune of birdsong and chattering squirrels.

Tired but happy we went home and decided to return to watch jousts later in the year.

Agatha Christie and Syria

I am reading 'Come Tell Me How You Live' by Agatha Christie Mallowan.

In 1930 Agatha Christies married Max Mallowan a young archaeologist. According to the foreword by Jacquetta Hawkes 'Agatha did not see her own renown as any bar to sharing in her husband's work. From the first she took full part in every one of Max's excavations in Syria and Iraq.'

After the 2nd World War Agatha wrote: 'My thoughts turning more and more to those days spent in Syria, and at last I have felt impelled to get out my notes and rough diaries and complete what I had begun....For I love that gentle fertile country (Syria) and its simple people, who know how to laugh and enjoy life; who are idle and gay, and who have dignity, good manners, and a great sense of humour, and to whom death is not terrible.

'Inshallah, I shall go there again, and the things that I love shall not have perished from this earth...

Spring 1944.

Yet, seventy years late, moved to tears by her words in the knowledge of recent events in Syria, I ask myself if anything remains of the Syria she knew and loved.