Sunday, 6 June 2010

A photograph of old Turkey

I came across this photograph the other day. I took it myself on a visit I made to the south-east of Turkey many, many, many, many, many years ago. It shows the distinctive beehive-shaped, or bosom-roofed if you will, dwellings in the small, sun-baked town of Harran.

Some of you may recognise the name from the story called Jinn in Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror. It is an extraordinary place in an extraordinary setting. It is truly ancient, mentioned in the Old Testament.

Of course for me - and for you, if you have read the story - it will always now be associated with that ragged girl and young Francis Weybridge. Any fascination with its history will now be laced with dread. Those shadows to the left of the photograph will seem dangerously dark.

Of course I knew Francis' father, the celebrated travel writer and artist, Arthur Weybridge. I own several pieces of his work in fact, including a drawing of Harran itself. I rather think he was happy to be rid of it following the tragedy that occurred there.

But there I go again. Mr Priestley is forever warning me against what he will insist on calling 'spoilers'.

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