30 May 2003

Victorious in Bideford

Sue and I finally got to North Devon today to meet Victor Winstone and his wife Joan. Victor has written extensively on the history and personalities of the Middle East - most notably Gertrude Bell. This was the lady who was a central figure in setting up the National Museum of Iraq which was recently sacked along with about 60 other museums we are told. This means that there is a great deal of current interest in Victor's writings. So much so, new editions are in train. We discussed the Dove and the Dolphin over a tasty lunch and he had some important observations to make. For once the overworked 'we will take it on board' will be entirely apt. We also gathered welcome gifts for the container which will leave in about a month for Ashdod and thence to Gaza. These were from Mrs Alibone and her middle son Tom, Len and June Stevens and Mr and Mrs Burley. Thank you all and what a sizzling day.