Cyrus left yesterday on an impressive-looking camel, not that my head is turned by such displays of wealth. He has been so good to me, resolving the dispute with Matthias, buying my grape crop, organising the entire harvest and treading process, and completely transforming the squalid disorganised huddle of hundreds of tents at the edge of my farm into an orderly, almost military, campsite.
I hate to say it, but at times he’s been the voice of sanity in recent weeks. Even if Peter and Jesus are right about the current world order coming to a violent end (and why not?), some of the preparation has seemed a bit harsh and arbitrary.
Today we had New Year prayers followed by the ceremony in which we symbolically cast off our sins by throwing breadcrumbs into flowing water. Peter was very careful only to use stale bread, to break it into crumbs first and only to hand out individual pinches as people reached the stream, just in case anyone was tempted to supplement their daily ration with a crafty mouthful.