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An end to Water

When their father died in in 1910 his younger brother Jacob had taken full control of the McKie water business Northumberland Road. 

Both James Junior's sons, my grandfather and his brother, had become Electrical Engineers, abandoning water forever. 

Jacob died in 1922 and the mineral water business disappeared.  I haven't been able to find out when. 

The land alone would have been valuable then and worth a fortune today, it's right in the heart of the commercial district.  Maybe it was sold when Jacob died.  In any case it's not there anymore.  Maybe it didn't survive the Great War or the following depression. 

But I wish I had been handed down a few dozen crates of something, because the bottles are now collector's items.   A bottle recently changed hands in an on-line auction for £280.37 - and it didn't even contain ginger beer.

By the 1911 census my grandfather, James William Lawson McKie, was a 31-year-old electrical engineer living as a boarder with the Hall family, at 30 Albany Gardens, Whitley Bay, Northumberland.  

At number 29 lived a young private school teacher, Margaret (Madge) Domville. 

Margaret Domville-
Margaret Domville

 

Was it love at first sight?  Compared to their parents a generation earlier and their siblings, they were both on the shelf.  He was 34 and she was 28.   

They were married in 1914, at the start of World War I. 

James and Madge had sufficient resources to buy a house at 58 Queens Road, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, also a good address. Their first child, James Domville McKie, was born at the end of 1916. I wonder if an earlier pregnancy failed, as do so many today, with 'older' mothers. According to family lore, neither parent was lacking in libido.

58 Queens Road Monkseaton 2
58 Queens Road, Monkseaton today (Google Street View)

It was the middle Great War.  James was a bit too old to serve.  And in any case he was engaged in fitting out ships, coal mines and factories with electricity - very much a critical reserved occupation.  The business was booming and very soon had around 500 employees.

 

James Lawson McKie and Margaret
James William Lawson McKie and Margaret McKie (Domville)

 

James Domville McKie, my Uncle Jim, was born at home at the end of 1916. He was followed by my father, Stephen Domville McKie, born in December 1917.

Then came Margaret Domville McKie a year later, as the Great War came to an end, followed by Joan Domville McKie in 1920.

 

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Travel

Israel

 

 

 

2023 Addendum

 

It's a decade since this visit to Israel in September 2014.

From July until just a month before we arrived, Israeli troops had been conducting an 'operation' against Hamas in the Gaza strip, in the course of which 469 Israeli soldiers lost their lives.  The country was still reeling. 

17,200 Garzan homes were totally destroyed and three times that number were seriously damaged.  An estimated 2,000 (who keeps count) civilians died in the destruction.  'Bibi' Netanyahu, who had ordered the Operation, declared it a victory.

This time it's on a grander scale: a 'War', and Bibi has vowed to wipe-out Hamas.

Pundits have been moved to speculate on the Hamas strategy, that was obviously premeditated. In addition to taking hostages, it involving sickening brutality against obvious innocents, with many of the worst images made and published by themselves. 

It seemed to be deliberate provocation, with a highly predictable outcome.

Martyrdom?  

Historically, Hamas have done Bibi no harm.  See: 'For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces' in the Israel Times.

Thinking about our visit, I've been moved to wonder how many of today's terrorists were children a decade ago?  How many saw their loved ones: buried alive; blown apart; maimed for life; then dismissed by Bibi as: 'collateral damage'? 

And how many of the children, now stumbling in the rubble, will, in their turn, become terrorists against the hated oppressor across the barrier?

Is Bibi's present purge a good strategy for assuring future harmony?

I commend my decade old analysis to you: A Brief Modern History and Is there a solution?

Comments: 
Since posting the above I've been sent the following article, implicating religious belief, with which I substantially agree, save for its disregarding the Jewish fundamentalists'/extremists' complicity; amplifying the present horrors: The Bright Line Between Good and Evil 

Another reader has provided a link to a perspective similar to my own by Australian 'Elder Statesman' John MenadueHamas, Gaza and the continuing Zionist project.  His Pearls and Irritations site provides a number of articles relating to the current Gaza situation. Worth a read.

The Economist has since reported and unusual spate of short-selling immediately preceding the attacks: Who made millions trading the October 7th attacks?  

Money-making by someone in the know? If so, it's beyond evil.

 

 

A Little Background

The land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea, known as Palestine, is one of the most fought over in human history.  Anthropologists believe that the first humans to leave Africa lived in and around this region and that all non-African humans are related to these common ancestors who lived perhaps 70,000 years ago.  At first glance this interest seems odd, because as bits of territory go it's nothing special.  These days it's mostly desert and semi-desert.  Somewhere back-o-Bourke might look similar, if a bit redder. 

Yet since humans have kept written records, Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Ancient Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, early Muslims, Christian Crusaders, Ottomans (and other later Muslims), British and Zionists, have all fought to control this land.  This has sometimes been for strategic reasons alone but often partly for affairs of the heart, because this land is steeped in history and myth. 

Read more: Israel

Fiction, Recollections & News

Julian Assange’s Endgame

A facebook friend has sent me this link 'Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago' (by Andy Greenberg, that appeared in WIRED in Oct 2016) and I couldn't resist bringing it to your attention.

To read it click on this image from the article:

 
Image (cropped): MARK CHEW/FAIRFAX MEDIA/GETTY IMAGES

 

Assange is an Australian who has already featured in several articles on this website:

Read more: Julian Assange’s Endgame

Opinions and Philosophy

The race for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

 

 

 

 

As we all now know (unless we've been living under a rock) the only way of defeating a pandemic is to achieve 'herd immunity' for the community at large; while strictly quarantining the most vulnerable.

Herd immunity can be achieved by most people in a community catching a virus and suffering the consequences or by vaccination.

It's over two centuries since Edward Jenner used cowpox to 'vaccinate' (from 'vacca' - Latin for cow) against smallpox. Since then medical science has been developing ways to pre-warn our immune systems of potentially harmful viruses using 'vaccines'.

In the last fifty years herd immunity has successfully been achieved against many viruses using vaccination and the race is on to achieve the same against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).

Developing; manufacturing; and distributing a vaccine is at the leading edge of our scientific capabilities and knowledge and is a highly skilled; technologically advanced; and expensive undertaking. Yet the rewards are potentially great, when the economic and societal consequences of the current pandemic are dire and governments around the world are desperate for a solution. 

So elite researchers on every continent have joined the race with 51 vaccines now in clinical trials on humans and at least 75 in preclinical trials on animals.

Read more: The race for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

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