Exploding Toothpaste and Other Adventures

Hello – its your missing blogger! I know it has been quite a while. Life has been both curiously busy and rather mundane. The process of getting settled and set up back in Toronto again has been quite consuming but hardly worth commenting on.

However, I’m currently sitting on a small bus hurtling down the highway in Stygian darkness towards Petra, Jordan. So perhaps some commentary is in order.

First off I need to explain the title….I was fortunate to fly business to LHR and wanted to freshen up with the little kit they hand out. Well the moment I tore the foil cover off the toothpaste tube, it exploded all (and I do mean all) over me – its actually amazing how much those tiny things hold! My sweater, the entire right side of my face and most of the top part of my hair were anointed with Colgate Total Care. I did the best I could and walked out to see about getting a cloth from a flight attendant and that’s when hilarity ensued. Two very helpful FA’s immediately came to my aid with sofa water, towels, combs etc. The really fun part had the captain stepping off the flight deck just as one woman had her hand up my sweater (at boob level of course) as she dabbed at the toothpaste with a soda soaked cloth and the other woman was pouring soda onto my head and blotting with another cloth. He stopped, turned an odd shade not usually found in nature, threw up his hands, retreated back onto the deck and slammed the door closed. I should mention that I had my head thrown back and the woman behind me may not have been very visible to the captain – do you get the picture….? Of course the three of us just howled!

I will say that toothpaste makes an effective hairspray (think 60s helmet head) and when you are finally able to run your fingers through your hair it does smell awfully nice and minty clean!

Amman was lovely but I saw very little really other than an impression of clean streets and lots of construction. Felicity and I met the rest of the group – 14 in total all from various parts of the UK and me the lone Canadian. Mostly retired folks, a mother and son, a grocery store “stocking manager”, a NHS bureaucrat (his description not mine), a steam train aficionado and us. My immediate impressions were “bad teeth” and Brexiteers unfortunately. Lets hope I have to eat my words!

Our first day started early and ended late – I was completely knackered (Felicity’s perfect english word) but fabulous. Jerash is I think, one of the best preserved Greco/Roman cities I’ve ever seen. The highlight for me was an amazing mosaic floor in almost perfect condition in what appeared to be an early Christian church. New inspiration for future work!

Oh and by the way I must confess to an incredibly stupid move – I had decided not to bring my “big” cameras and gear. So packed my back-up “point and shoot” BUT I neglected to run a check up on it first. Turns out the damned thing won’t hold a battery charge; no idea why as it has a new battery – SUCH a newbie, amateur mistake! IDIOT! I’m using my iPhone which makes me feel like a complete “selfie tourist” but I have to say that so far the results have been quite satisfactory.

I wish I had some understanding of Ancient Greek or perhaps Latin (?) for this inscription.

Looking towards the South Gate along the main pedestrian avenue.

The heart of the city at the crossroads of the N/S & E/W axis. Note the heavy clouds coming in.

One of two beautiful Amphitheaters

Isn’t this beautiful? Beaten by time but stunning with it’s mossy gilding.