After the Goldrush?

I'm sure that many of my loyal readers (probably all 7 of you!) can remember the iconic song from the pen of Neil Young, and if you're British you'll possibly remember the version by the NE group "Prelude" even better. (The attractive female lead lived just a few doors away from our friends the Dixons, at Low Fell!)

Well, we aren't actually having a "Goldrush" here in Luxor, but tourism in general has certainly picked up, at last! It's great to see the long, long Pasha Runs of calleches winding their traffic-stalling way through the town again. Even if some of the drivers are only about 8 years old and hardly any carriages display licence plates, it's an indication of something good happening.

We have had the best month (as far as letting out the apartment goes) that we've had for ages; four lots of guests in five weeks! Mind you, it hasn't come without associated extra expense. We've had to replace both of our 50 litre water heaters, a thermostatic shower valve and now a hand basin and mixer tap are due to arrive in the next few days as well. And that's without the new decorative additions! (You can see them on the "personally guided tour" section of the Blog, by clicking on it in the column to the right on this page.) We'll obviously never get rich while my beloved keeps spending every penny we get! (Mind, she would just point to my small collection of melodeons, and I'd be forced to shut up!)  (Editor Freda's comment:- IT IS NOT SMALL!)

Meanwhile, we met up with a friend from before the revolution yesterday. We haven't seen, or heard from, her for absolutely ages, so it was a real pleasure to see her again. Funnily enough, I was trawling through the Blog's ancillary pages yesterday morning, and found that she had sent a Blog comment last summer, which I hadn't even seen. I posted it, anyway, and thought to myself, "The poor girl will have thought that I'd fallen out with her or something, for not publishing her comment." Thankfully she hadn't, and we had a wonderful couple of hours, just catching up and drinking tea at the Winter Palace.

I don't think that I told you about last week's mirage, did I? Well, it was exclusive to Our Luxor, not the sort of thing that ordinary tourists see much of!


Had the table been too close to the fountain (at the extreme right of the picture)? No, it was actually bone dry! It was the type of mirage that we expect the poor, parched and half starved explorer, or soldier to see when lost in the desert! "Water, please, give me water!!!"

Another image from our roof terrace:

I'd just vacuumed the mats and hung them over the parapet, in order to vacuum and wash the floor tiles, when I saw this cheeky little monkey gathering soft furnishing for his/her nest. "Only the best camel hair!" I can just hear the conversation between him/her and their neighbour!!
Not on my watch, matey! Shoo!

If you're really unfortunate, Dear Reader, I might post another short Blog in the near future! But for the moment, au revoir.


Clearing up the collapsed building.

Well, in the tragedy of the four storey building collapse, over the road to us, it seems that a very unlucky German tourist was killed, and two little Egyptian girls from the same family also lost their lives. I haven't been able to ascertain the progress, or otherwise, of the other 13 casualties. Let's all hope and pray for their eventual full recovery.

The clearing up operations have been fascinating to watch, especially the skill of the plant operator who was driving the 360 degree machine with the big toothed shovel on the end of its extending arm. He was magic! I took a load of videos of his work, but I'll just show you a few short clips, to try to impress upon you his ingenuity and skill.


To increase the reach of his machine, he built up an operating platform from the rubble, and then either drove the wheeled machine onto it, or dug the bucket into the rubble and used it to pull the machine up to the higher level. It was great to watch.


Please forgive me for the chuckling on this next one, but I was astonished that the people were still in the houses next door, seeing as the machine was knocking stuff down within an inch of their single-leaf mud-brick walls. It struck me as resembling a Harold Lloyd or Oliver and Hardy movie; if only the little fellah in my video had scratched his head, it would have finished the scene off perfectly!


It has almost all gone now, so much so that it has become a carpark and a new place to dump rubbish, what a surprise!

But, as we all know by now, every cloud has a silver lining! The other day, I noticed four men (well dressed!) nosing about in the main street, and then they came into our little cul-de-sac, they had folders in their hands, the equivalent of clip-boards at home!!! Within a minute or so, they were accosted by our neighbours, of course. It transpires that they were "on the hunt" for mud-brick buildings in poor condition. Old Mr (Uncle Bagheeri) Mohamed's building, next door to ours, is such a building. They told Adam (coffee-shop Adam) that it will be knocked down after 10 days! I'm so pleased that old Bagheeri is no longer alive to see it, it would have broken his heart. Perhaps this new initiative will save some lives in the long run, but where are the displaced residents going to go in the meantime? That's the burning question of the day here in La La Luxor Land!

I'll keep you in the picture, Dear Reader, you know you can always rely on your roving Luxor reporter for the truth!

TTFN.

Shocking Catastrophe in Luxor Last Night!

Hello, this is your (mostly absent) roving reporter from Luxor here. I just thought that you may be interested to hear about last night's main news item here in Luxor.

I don't know just how many of you took any notice of the building opposite our's, over the school yard. It was a very old, mudbrick, building of 4 storeys, with a tilted summer house type of structure on the roof and a fancy design to the front-facing wall top, which all looked quite quaint. Well, it's not there any more, none of it!

I used to have some good pictures of it, as I found it a very interesting doorway into the past history of our area. But I fear they may be lost forever, as they're stuck in a laptop which I cannot get to turn on any more! I found only one photo' with it in, which was taken from on top of our roof when it was being altered, and it's not very good, but will have to do.


At about 6 o'clock, we hadn't been very long back from meeting with two very good friends at the Nile Palace for tea and chat, followed by a bout of shopping, when I heard a roar like thunder, lasting about 4 seconds, very loud! Almost instinctively, I ran outside to be met with a towering wall of choking, impenetrable dust. It was obvious what had happened, but all was lost in the acrid cloud. As it slowly started to clear, we could see people out on the balconies opposite, the building adjoining the old collapsed one. They were screaming with shock and fear for their own building collapsing with them in it. It was truly awful! Of course, their building, although joined to the old one, was made of the more modern type of construction, with a reinforced concrete frame and they were actually safe, thank heaven.

At first (as I was sure that the building was more or less abandoned apart from the ground floor which contained an engineers workshop, with lathes and other machines) I was not overly afraid of a massive loss of life, but then I realised that in the narrow streets around it , there could have been (and probably were) pedestrians etc who would have been crushed by the brickwork filling the street adjacent to the, now disappeared, old building.

As the thick wall of dust became able to be seen through, the scale of the devastation was apparent. Men were clambering over the rubble, picking up anything they could shift in an attempt to reach anyone who could possibly be trapped beneath the debris. Panic and confusion reigned!

Nothing changed in this scene of horror for quite a while, even when the police and fire brigade arrived it looked as if no-one could gain any sort of control over what was happening. I eventually ventured out, to get some bread and a length of curtain pole, and passed at least 25 ambulances waiting on Yuseff Hassan Street; all was still in a state of confusion, with the added complication of half of Luxor's population crammed into the small area to see the disaster unfolding.

I spoke to many of our neighbours and acquaintances as I picked my way through the crowd. One, made the point that the hated former Governor of  Luxor, Samir Farag, had been right after all, when he commanded that so many of the old mud-brick houses should all be pulled down!

I had the camera out on our roof terrace, but it was black dark, and none of the video or pictures were worth looking at. However, I took these two this morning, just to give you an idea of what occurred. The emergency services were there until maybe 3am with heavy machines, clearing the streets.



Four storeys collapsed into a pile of mud-brick and old timber in a matter of seconds, and with apparent loss of life and serious injury. What a sad return to Luxor for us, and an extremely sad beginning of 2019 for many Luxor natives!

I'll see you again, goodbye.




Just a little catch-up and a few new pics.

If I was your father, Dear Reader, I'd be getting locked up for neglect, and I know I've been very remiss in my lack of communication. I'm sorry!

But here we are, still struggling on in this abandoned African/Middle Eastern backwater. Still enjoying the strangeness of it all, even after more than 20 years! I'm amazed that we're still coming across new things.

We've have had a few guests staying, and I think they've all had a good time. But we had one quite unwelcome guest, he was under one of the roof terrace carpets when I took it up. I've never seen anything like it! Hands like Edward Scissor-Hands, just look..........

He was dead, of course!
Do we have an entomologist reader, perhaps, who can tell us what the little beastie was? He was about 2 inches (5 centimetres) long.

Since the last Blog, we've had a weekend at the Old Cataract in Aswan, this has to be one of my favourite hotels. In fact, it probably is my favourite. We had a suite in the old building, again. It was beautiful, as usual. It was so relaxing and welcoming that we never left the premises in the four days we were there! Idle, or what? I took a few more pics, as if you haven't seen enough in other posts, hehe! This was our room, this time, on the 2nd floor;



It's a joy to have breakfast on the famous Victorian Terrace each morning, with plenty of choice but no bacon, of course, this being Egypt and the hotel run by Muslims. We spent an inordinate amount of time just people watching, as is our wont. Our favourite seats are just to the left of the central pillar in this next pic;


The two doors on the left lead on to the Terrace, and are opposite the main hallway leading to the main entrance. Beyond our seats is the bar and exits onto the other terraces, where residents can enjoy snacks and drinks from the bar. It's all soooo civilised!

We travelled up to Aswan on the VIP train, it was only about an hour late. When we were about an hour from Aswan, I started to get a pain in my side, it got worse and worse. It was so obvious that the concierge at the Cataract wanted to get a doctor for me straight away, but I told him that I'd be fine after a rest, and I was. But not for long, honestly, I didn't know where to put myself, and was yelling at Freda to find a doctor. Dr Phillips arrived and quickly diagnosed a kidney stone, I was shocked. Anyway, an injection and a couple of tablets later, I was fine, except for a large hole in my wallet!

On returning to Luxor, I went to see Dr Al Mallach, the surgeon on the 2nd floor, who just happens to be a urologist too. How handy could you get? After jumping the queue, he gave me the ultrasound thingy and showed me a 10 mm stone in my right side kidney. He reckoned that the train vibrations would have started the pain. Anyway, to cut a long story short, he prescribed some tablets and some fizzy stuff, and it dissolved in about a week.

As a punishment for being ill, I've been given a series of tasks to complete, like finishing off the fountain on our roof terrace, what do you think of it now?


Note the not-so-subtle Christian cross? But notice, too, the shadow of the crescent moon and cross combination from the pinnacle of the roof. (After all, we are in a Muslim country!)

While we were away, our alley has been dug up and resurfaced with concrete blocks. Quite a difference from the dust you can see here in this picture of our good (but now sadly deceased) friend Mr Mohamed;



And then, Dr Ashraf, the dentist on the 2nd floor has moved his sign on the corner of the alley, which meant that the street sign had also to be shifted. Here it is, with the arrow pointing at it and another closer up.





We've also had some workmen in to do the jobs that I'm getting too infirm to do myself, or because they're competent specialists, like the A/C men, Mr Mina and his mate, Mr Mina. They've serviced the two big A/C units downstairs in the guest apartment, and I taped the windows up in the guest bedroom to stop the dust coming in through the gaps while they were blowing it out of the machine;


They are my new lightweight aluminium high steps on the right, I love them after spending years humping the old wooden ones about, such a relief! We also had our two small A/C units serviced upstairs in our little hovel, one had to have a new motor. Horror of horrors, more expense!

We aren't finished there though! We've also had the excellent, but expensive, Mr Muharib the painter back again. This chap was introduced to us by our great friends who have an apartment at the Egyptian (Non) Experience Resort just to the South of Luxor Bridge. He's a great find; tidy, almost punctual and does a good job, (and one which I hate with a venom!). This time, he's been varnishing the Our Luxor front doors and the Arabesque work in the apartment. It looks good, but the stink is truly awful! I hope it's gone before our final guests of the year arrive. (You'd expect 2 weeks to be long enough, eh?)

Well, I think it's probably time for bed now, if I drink any more tea, I'll burst!
Nighty night.

Whitby Folk Week

At last, something that I find interesting enough to share with you, Dear Reader!

Yes chums, we're here in Whitby, at the best looking lodgings we could afford (Bagdale Hall Hotel) and which had room availability. It's really quite nice, although a touch on the warm side in our room.

I wanted to come to this week of folk music, and dance etc., primarily to attend some workshops (a series of learning events) for the  two row D/G melodeon led by the inestimable Mr Steve Dumpleton. He's a great player, if you ever get the opportunity to listen to him. You can catch him here:

https://soundcloud.com/steve_freereeder/pavane-mille-regretz-tielman-susato-1551 )

Anyway, I attended the first of of his three sessions this morning, and really enjoyed it; we'll see what the morrow bringeth. Afterwards, I met with Freda, and we had a bite to eat before I tripped off to my next venue. It was an old (had been) church and was advertised as a "Presentation", by someone I'd never heard of and the Wilsons, a family of singers from Teesside whom I've seen many times at our local folk club; they're marvellous! The place was lovely, with a large gallery (closed) and chairs where the pews used to be. Along the sides, against the walls, were sofas and other comfy seats, obviously I grabbed one! The great pity was that the "Presentation" was this old bloke (Taffy someone or other) rambling on, and interspersed with the Wilson's singing and another chap playing the fiddle. They were very good, but the old chap didn't project his voice at all, and I just couldn't make out what he was on about! (That's the reason I said he was "rambling on"; I'd no idea what he was saying.) I left, and didn't get a refund!

Freda and I met up again and I bemoaned the fact that I hadn't gone to see Jim Mageehan and others singing sea shanties and the like, instead. We live and learn!

We sat around by the Bandstand, right next to the river, until the dancers came on. They were super-duper. I took a few little videos for your delectation:









That part of the town is overrun with eateries. I noticed one that must have been very popular, judging by the queue:


As we wondered back to the hotel, I saw something which tugged at my heart; we're missing Egypt! It's been a long summer. And it also made me think of the wonderful stick dancing which we have in our little square, back in Luxor, during the Moulid. Not really comparable, but equally fascinating to watch!


Talking of Luxor, I've just remember that I've got that video which one of our guests made! It's too long to put on here, but here's a link to it, if you're not video'd out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzULcGa5xJI

Bye for now.

Our Luxor visits Marrakech.........yet again!

Yes, as you'll no doubt recall, we love the Arab style architecture, and it abounds in many of the places we visit and revisit. Marrakech is no exception!
This time, we're staying in a riad owned and managed by an English gentleman called Gary. It's delightful! He and his partner have spent a lot of time (and, I suspect, a considerable fortune) on converting the place from a family home to a guesthouse/B&B establishment.
The style is obviously very traditional whilst everywhere we look we see "newness". New doors, frames and windows, new modern-standards wiring and plumbing, new tadelakt walls and intricately carved plasterwork, along with the fabulous detail in the painted woodwork it all adds up to an exquisite example of just what can be accomplished with a good eye and the wherewithal to find and enthuse enough skilled craftsmen to carry out your dream. It's beautiful!






 

We're only here for 4 nights and our hectic programme includes much strolling about the souks and from the Jemma-El-Fna and the surrounding eateries, as you can imagine!
Of course, it wouldn't be a holiday without shopping! And we like to come across bargains to make use of in our own exquisite holiday apartment; the famed Our Luxor. We've managed a couple of items so far, and have high hopes of making another purchase today before we head off back to Blighty. I couldn't possibly tell you what these are though, loose lips sink ships, you know?

Our eating has been confined to (mainly) the Chez Bahia restaurant, just off the square, where we have thoroughly enjoyed tagines and couscous etc,



and the Seven Saints restaurant, actually on the square, where our main delights have been tea and tartes citron, or hot chocolate and eclairs.




We've used both of these establishments previously, and are remembered and looked after by the staff, which (along with the delicious food) is the main draw. I'm perfectly sure that the many other restaurants scattered around the square are also quite adequate with equally friendly staff, but we've been patrons of these two for 6 years now, and feel very comfortable there watching the world and his wife go by whilst enjoying our grub.

Friends Reunited?

This isn't really a Blog, but it seems to be the only way to reply to the most recent comment on my Blog! Strange, eh? But this is about anyone contacting us through the Blog, as opposed to sending a proper email.
Over the years, we've received messages as comments from ex guests who've become friends, and a few old friends alike, and we've been delighted to get them; make no mistake on that point! However, when the content is of a private nature, it's not right that these should be aired in public, which, of course, the Blog comments are.
At the moment, I've tried to place a comment in reply to one of my longest standing friends, whom I haven't had meaningful contact with for the best part of 15 years, and I'm desperate to re-engage with him, but I don't know his current email address, and he now lives, literally, thousands of miles away! For some unknown reason, I seem to be unable to sign-in to the Blog except for the dashboard, where I'm writing this, so unable to leave a comment; it's bloomin' frustrating, I can tell you!
So, here's a message for my "rolling naked in the snow" friend from too many years ago.............

SEND ME AN EMAIL TO ourluxor@yahoo.co.uk


That's all folks.

Sorry, no pictures!

And I should think not! I would have damaged the camera, I'm sure. ("What, even more?" I hear you ask.)

As I'm sure you're aware Dear Reader, we should have been safely at home in good old Windy Nook by now, but, courtesy of EgyptAir, we're still here in Luxor!

I'm beginning to hate airlines with a vengeance; firstly, BA (our once proud national airline) decided to cancel our September flight from NCL to LHR, about 10 hours after Freda booked it the other week. What excuse did they have for cancelling a flight almost 7 months in advance? It's beyond me, I can assure you. So, now we'll have to leave home at something like 04.00 to catch the EgyptAir flight to Cairo at 15.00 or whatever time it goes. I'm really looking forward to spending the day at Heathrow Airport, as you may well imagine!

Monday was another case of an airline just doing whatever it fancies with its innocent fare-paying passengers. (Will no-one protect the travelling public?) The 06.15 flight from LXR to CAI was to be over three hours late in taking off, yes, three (that's 3) hours late, and that's after our CAI flight to LHR has left anyway! The next flight to LHR wasn't until 17.30, just about when our booked BA flight to NCL was due to go, so some use there, eh?

This would have meant spending a night at Heathrow, and then re-booking a flight to NCL and losing the return portion of our original flight, adding another £600 or so to our trip, plus the hotel, don't forget. In her never failing wisdom, Freda decided to find a more reasonable flight from LHR to NCL, which turned out to be next Monday, but even that put £250 on top of what we'd already paid, does anyone care??????? That question is rhetorical, Dear Reader, because apart from your good self, nobody does! We are like sheep to the slaughter.

But never mind, my beloved dreamt up and idea to somewhat save the day. She booked us into the Winter Palace for the night! This wasn't just her usual extravagance, no; she had sprayed the whole of our two flats with the very pungent anti-ant stuff (we had intended to be away for 6 months, after all) which was still chokingly evident when we eventually got home from the airport. We couldn't possibly have stayed there that night. As it happened, we got a double upgrade at the OWP; from a standard Garden View to a superior Garden View, to a Nile View, which was lovely. (And, we didn't even know the bloke who dealt with us!!)

So here we are, languishing at our Luxor home for another few days. All it will take now to put the icing on the cake, will be for Freda to find me a list of jobs to do! Oooops, spoke too soon!!!!!

Let Joy be Unconfined!

We're getting a new surface to our alley. You weren't expecting that, were you Dear Reader, and neither were we!

We were very embarrassed recently, as we had guests staying and there was (sometimes) a distinct drain smell in the street! Whilst it was distinct, it wasn't too bad, and neither was it there all the time. Have you ever been in the Marrakech Medina? Well, it was like that, here and there, all of a sudden, and it was gone after a few steps, but nowhere near as strong, thank heaven. But it was there which was bad enough! I remonstrated with Coffeeshop Adam, and explained that it was very embarrassing. As usual, he waffled on for a bit and then promised to get someone out to sort it.

Of course, I take everything that Adam says with a pinch of salt, but the following day........
There was knocking and hammering from quite early morning, and when we looked over the roof terrace wall..........there was Adam and another man knocking seven bells out of the old bits of furniture and wood, which he stored in the street. "Eee, he's actually doing something!" I said to Freda. The fact that he broke one of the four drain covers in our street by hammering bits of wood together on it didn't seem to worry him, or cause any further smell, either. Then there was an Amoun man (Council worker) with his drain cleaning rods and right-angled, long handled shovel for cleaning out the traps, yuk! Then.........there were blokes with hammers and pry-bars and heaven knows what else, and the next time I looked over, the street had turned into Syria! It was as if an Exocet had hit it! Adam's step into his coffeeshop was obliterated, the bottom 1 of the 3 steps into our building had just disappeared altogether, and there were small piles of disgusting stuff which the Amoun man had pulled out of the drains. Here's a little taster. (Urgh, maybe the wrong word in these circumstances!)

Under interrogation, Adam intimated that the steps had been done away with to allow access for the machine to fix the street. We had noticed a number of big 4 wheeled wagons standing around loaded with 4 inch thick paving blocks, and wondered where they were bound for. Well, it transpires that Haret Osman is getting some. Of course this might change if the chain-gang get wind of the fact that our alley isn't adopted by the Council. We'll have to wait and see.

They were supposed to be starting today, but there's been no sign. Perhaps tomorrow? Insh'Allah? One thing's for certain, I'm pleased that we don't have guests at the moment!

Any sort of digging gives Adam the excuse (as if he needed one???) to regale me with the tale from his youth of seeing an "effreet" when the foundations for our buildings were being dug out. "It was huge, Mr Edward, like a cat, but the size of a buffalo! I saw it out of the corner of my eye, but when I looked properly; it disappeared into the ground, where there was no hole or anything!" If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times!

Then.........."You know, Mr Edward, there are ancient Pharaonic rooms under these buildings; I see them with my own eyes when I was young! There is a man in Moracco, Maknes, I think. He has good magic, and when something is buried 7 metres down; his magic makes it come up to only 1 metre. If you email him and get him to come, he can stay in your flat while he magics the gold and statues up under the houses. We will split the money!"

Of course, he's as daft as two brushes. You can imagine me, can't you? Emailing all the magicians in Meknes and offering them free accommodation whilst they magic Pharaonic treasures out of the ground in Luxor. How would I know if I had the right one?

The Inbetweeners?

I believe that's the title of a popular television programme. Haven't seen it myself, but I should think that many of my (thousands of!) readers will know of it. Well, I'm experiencing quite a bit of being, or at least feeling, sort of "in between" recently!
Like just now........I've had to make myself a cup of tea, and it was 4 o'clock. That's right, right "in between" the 3 pm workers tea break and 5 o'clock tea-time. I first became really aware of this phenomenon this morning, when we just had to have tea at 10.30; "in between" the 10 o'clock factory tea break and the elevenses which those at home would have. I justified it quite easily, of course, as I was working at home!
Has it come to this, I wonder, that I now have to justify to myself and the rest of the world when I want to take tea? Is Orwell's "Big Brother" really watching us through the "Telescreen" after all?
"Errant nonsense!" I hear you say, and quite correctly!
But back to being "In Between". Our last guest was the same age as me (confidential, sorry!) but seemed to be a lot fitter, despite having an electrical gadget sewn into his chest to control his brain function!!!!! What can I do? I'm part of that awkward, "in between" age group; not yet old, but no longer young or even middle aged. It's a b****r, I can tell you. Muscles, which used to hump Bedford 466 cylinder heads about, or a hundredweight of coal up a dozen icey steps, now struggle to carry a 10 litre can of paint from the shop to the waiting caleshe!
I think I'm also turning into Victor Meldrew, though he was 60 when his fictional frustration was unleashed upon his neighbours, and anyone else with whom he came into contact. (See British TV series, "One Foot In The Grave")
Step ladders, or as we know them hereabouts "selem heshups" (or something like that; stairs wooden, I think). My beloved, more generally known as "The ever lovely Freda" (a phrase coined by my old pal and business partner Fatty Johnson, when he first saw her after a gap of 30 or so years) doesn't like me going up them any more, steps that is. I'm not all that keen myself, either, but needs must, as you Dear Reader, know only too well.
The steps we have here are of two different heights and designs. The big ones were made for me by our original carpenter, the chap (from Qus) who did all the woodwork in our two flats here. I've since modified them slightly, so that as well as being step ladders, they now swing out to become an ordinary ladder, too. The wooden rungs are only about 2 inches wide and make my feet ache, Freda won't even contemplate going up them! They're also rather weighty, and I tend to catch the chandeliers when I'm moving them around, plus; they often give me spelks! (Colloquialism, a spelk = a wooden splinter which is stuck in your skin!)
The other set, smaller, were bought from Mr Bahaa Sherif's downstairs shop on TV Street. Again, I modified them so that they too could be used as longer ladders. They've been very useful upstairs, where they're kept under our bed. They were "in between" the biggun's and two step-chairs which also originated from Bahaa Sherif, which were for Freda to reach into cupboards etc. when I wasn't around, but which have both given up the ghost a while ago.
I just happened to be browsing in said "downstairs shop on TV Street", and trying not to bump into the girl who was following me about and watching that I didn't try to steal one of the disgusting elaborately patterned computer desks, or something else equally revolting, when I noticed a two step thing which I recognised from the "Forty" supermarket, where they used it for reaching the stock on the top shelves. "Ooooh!" I thought, "Just the thing for Freda."  On enquiring the price, I was told 350le. But then, was pointed to a slightly larger set at 625le. I was certainly interested, but hadn't been authorised to spend that sort of cash on a whim, plus I didn't know which set she would find more useful.
Well.....today, being a start to clearing up the flats for our imminent departure, we could have used an "in between" sized set of steps, the two-step was deemed to be too small, so I went and bought the two-step with a platform, which was the third step, and a long outer frame which served as a steadying handle. We're both delighted with it, as it has 3 inch treads, for more comfort, and is, quite literally, as light as a feather. (Well.....you know what I mean, no need to be pedantic about bit!)
So, now it's 5.15pm and I'm "in between" being awake and asleep, so ta-ta for now.