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Archive for May, 2012

The Homeland series came to an end on Channel 4 last night. Having watched the entire gripping series in one sitting a few months back, I can imagine that some Homeland fans are feeling a little sad it’s over.

Well, fear not. Firstly, Channel 4 has announced it will be showing series two. But, more immediately, the Israeli series Hatufim , which Homeland was based on, will start showing on Sky Arts this Thursday. If anyone who has seen Hatufim can tell us what to expect from it – without plot spoilers please! – that would be lovely.

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First, a confession: I have bought Tom Watson and Martin Hickman’s book Dial M For Murdoch. This constitutes a confession on my part because, while recognising he has faults, I admire Rupert Murdoch. Still, plenty of people who say they hate Murdoch and his newspapers secretly rejoice when they find an abandoned copy of The Sun on the train. So let’s call my purchase of Watson’s anti-Murdoch book my inversion of that.

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I thought I would start an occasional series of posts in which I write about memories of various places in Israel. It will be lovely if you want to some of your own experiences of each place in the comments.

I’ll start with Masada, partly because it was the first landmark of significance I visited in Israel. It was the beginning of September 2006, the Hezbollah war had just ended and I was in Israel for the first time.

The itinerary for our tour had, strangely, scheduled a crack-of-dawn visit to Masada the morning after a late-night, open-air party that included a free bar and a dance-floor. It’s fair to say that I took enthusiastic, thirsty advantage of the free drinks. How lashed did I get? Put it this way, I attempted to dance at one point – always a bad sign.

I was already well lubricated at this point:

When we staggered back to the hotel just after midnight, a tour guide reminded me that she would be knocking on my door around 4am so we could get to Masada before sun-rise. Brimful of drunken optimism, I told her this would not be a problem. I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

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© Copyright Chas Newkey-Burden. All Rights Reserved. Thanks to Chris Morris.