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Sunday, March 17, 2019
Atrocity in our wonderful country
There is something beautiful about girls in headscarves.
This picture was taken by me in Sulawesi, an island visited by one of "my" whaling wives, Eliza Underwood, a very long time ago. One day, I will tell you what she had to say about what was called 'Celebes", but this is not the time.
The young woman in the forefront of the picture (without a headscarf) is a teacher of English at the local high school in Manado. The girl with her (in a headscarf) is one of her pupils. I was asked to talk to them so that they could practise their English.
It's a lovely memory. Did it affect my reaction when the news of the massacre of two Moslem congregations at Christchurch mosques stormed into my consciousness? Perhaps. All I remember is total shock -- that an obscenity on that scale was not possible in my quiet little country at the bottom of the world.
I watched the news. Compulsively.
Next morning, Saturday, I walked very early through Parliament grounds. I had wondered if a police presence would prevent me. But instead it was as serene as ever . . . except that the flags were at halfmast.
For the rest of my way my eyes were blinded with tears.