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Friday 7th March

07/03/2003

I’m back from an epic holiday on the Cape peninsular in South Africa. It was like being in a wonderful rock garden, with icy blue seas and rolling waves, and an abundance of everything…like fresh fish and mangoes. We visited Robben island where a former political prisoner showed us round Mandela’s cell. the prison is more or less as it was, a harsh, uninviting place with a cruel history. We heard about how Mandela and others were treated and how they managed to get through the years. We visited a township too and were shown lots of projects that were helping people deal with AIDS and such. It was really inspiring how positive people were, but also shocking to see a country with such riches and so much poverty. From the top of Table Mountain the landscape is like a John Martin painting..you can see for miles in every direction….all blue and rocky and misty. It was an incredible holiday. I read about snakes and went to a snake farm. Also read The Horned Man by James Lasden…a wonderful and gripping novel which is full of delightful ideas, and Daughters of Jerusalem by Charlotte Mendleson…enjoyed that loads too…and Fortunes Rocks by Anita Shreve which was romantically gripping in a way that I might not have stayed with had I not been on holiday. Now I’m reading Mandela’s autobiography.

Back at work again in my room…it’s kind of nice to be back in cool England. My eyes ached with that bright South African light. I got my first migraine! Amazingly my body is doing very well though, and hasn’t made much fuss at all about having to travel thousands of miles.

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