Archive for December, 2007

Touch Not the Cat and Ballindalloch Castle

Posted December 30, 2007 By Jandy

“Hello. Can you tell us how the inpiration for this book title was written on the Gatehouse to Ballindalloch Castle in Morayshire, Scotland. We think it was ‘touch not the cat bot aglofe’ We have seen it some years ago. My husband is now writing his memoires and wishes to get those last two words correct. The Gate lodge is very interesting as an edifice on its own account also, being incorporated in a bridge over a sizeable stream. There was a note somewhere in the book about this.Hope you can help
Elizabeth Bates in the Azores..”

This email came today. It’s been too long since I read Mary Stewart’s Touch Not the Cat to remember the reference in the book that Elizabeth wants to remember. Since I borrowed it from the library, I can’t leaf through the book. I suggest that she or her husband contact a librarian. I’m a medical librarian, so I don’t know the good history resources for a question like this. Is there anyone who can?

The above photograph of Ballindalloch Castle came from the Heritage Britain site.

Different Reading – Dead Sea Scrolls

Posted December 1, 2007 By Jandy

Hebrew scrolls are not my normal reading material – I can’t read Hebrew, can’t read right to left, and the samples I saw today are only fragments. But what a wonderful few hours! The Dead Sea Scrolls are on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum until the end of December. My brother and I finally made it to this once-in-a-lifetime chance.

The exhibit is superb. Only 12 scrolls are on display, and then only small portions. But they are only a fraction of the whole exhibit. Fortunately, each display is blown up in a picture hanging above each case as well. A small portion of each scroll on display is translated.

Most of the ones I saw today are on parchment. One was a piece of papyrus (a legal document from early CE or AD, depending on how you mark time) and one was inscribed on copper (I forget the date of that one). There was a section that included the ten commandments and another section that included the Psalms.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a museum display like this. I am quite impressed by the audio guide also available. Each person was given a personal audio player. By pressing the correct matching numbers to a display and “play”, you then put the audio up to your ear to listen to the commentary. Everyone received one at no extra cost. Each person could then listen without disturbing everyone around them and could easily repeat a section. This kept the noise level down in the display rooms and yet everyone received the audio benefit as well as the visual benefit. I haven’t seen this system before. If it isn’t common yet, I hope it becomes so.