The Searchers.

No, not the sixties pop group! I'm talking about people like me, who are always on the lookout for something different or CHEAP.
I've always loved junk shops, I'm not talking genteel antique places or even "House Clearance Specialists", no I'm talkimg real JUNK! Like the stuff our old house was filled with, the stuff which relations and friends of our parents had given us when we first started out together nearly 40 years ago, all the things which they wanted rid of.
I also love digging around in scrapyards and on rubbish tips, it's absolutely amazing what some people throw away. (This won't mean much to the uninitiated, but I once found a brand new, shrink wrapped, Ford 360 Turbo short motor in a scrapyard. Obviously I bought it and we all made some good money out of it. Those were the days!)
Anyway, we were shown this place by a lady friend of ours, it's up, just off, New TV Street in Luxor. It's like a modern-day Aladdin's Cave, honestly. No roof, apart from a few rags fastened here and there, no lights, so it's no good going in the dark, and rickety steps leading up to the entrance.........lovely jubbly, I knew I would like it as soon as I saw it.
Blow the pictures up, by clicking on them, and just see how many different sorts of things he has there. You'll be astonished.

There are bits of computers, hotel towels and staff uniforms, a camshaft from a big engine, telephones, cane sunloungers, a large almost new fridge-freezer. The list is almost endless.

Second Chance.

Well, well, well.
I was visiting a frend in his office on the Corniche when a rough looking face presented itself at the door. Galabeya wearing, head encased in a rolled up scarf, this face was somehow familiar!
Some Arabic argy bargy ensued and my friend (Mr Bahaa) was taken by the wrist and led outside. Of course me and most of his staff followed on, them laughing and shouting, as the Egyptians are wont to do. The stranger was leading Mr Bahaa towards his donkey, with bulging bags hanging over its back. Just as the light of rememberance was coming on in my mind, Mr Bahaa realised it too, this was the Snake Catcher, whom I had seen on the West bank the other week!!!!! I've never seen anybody move so fast as my little mate just then, like a bullet from a gun!
The Snake Catcher stuck his hand into the bag and fished out a Cobra. My camera was in my pocket, as he lightly shoved it a couple of times with his foot and in anger its head started to widen (like the one in Peter Ustinov's bathroom in Death on the Nile). By the time I managed to get around in front of the daft thing it looked like a ordinary snake again. But I did manage to get a couple of pics this time. They don't look as good on the tiled pavement as they would have done on the rocks and sand of the West Bank, but 'Beggars can't be Choosers'.

Click on either picture to make it bigger.

Knowing the score (a bit, anyway) I gave the man 5LE backsheesh. A crowd soon gathered, including a couple of English tourist ladies, one with camera. "Don't forget to give the man some backsheesh." said I. But she wouldn't, how hungry are some people?
Shortly after that, the policeman from the bank next door made the Snake Catcher move his donkey away and the excitement was over.
I had been most surprised to see him on the Corniche, he was about 18 kilometres away from where I saw him previously.

Another video.

The start of this one is taken from the back end of the re-development site. from near the Green Door tourist shop just along Mohamed Farid Street from the Arabesque Hotel.
The new buildings in the foreground are already built and being fitted out with lovely glass fronts etc. As we pan along the street the new road turns off to the right, about opposite the Student Card place and through whereabouts the No-Name Bakery now stands. It follows on around the back, between the Hotel School and the back end of the OWP swimming pool, coming out right next to the back entrance to the Winter Palace gardens on the traffic island at the bottom of TV Street.
As you look over the new pool and through the new covered part of the Winter Palace, you can see the Temple and the West Bank actually from the pool.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what is going to happen, don't know how long it will take though, lol.

New Developments at Winter Palace Luxor

Went to the Winter Palace today, to have a better look at the model of the proposed re-development. It is pretty swankey, I've got to say. We used it as an excuse to have a "High Tea"! As well as pulling down the old and tatty Mubarak Tourist Bazaar, the Pavilion Wing is to go too. The hotel will then extend all the way around the corner opposite the Temple, and up to about where the entrance to the Egotel/Mercure Inn/Swiss Inn used to be. According to the model; Sindbad's, Hammee's and the Ali Baba are all for the chop as well! The area from Ali Baba's right around to the Gaddis shop in front of thr OWP will be pedestrianised. I managed a few photo's.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

I also took a short walk round wideo. The commentry is very poor, as I was too far wawy from the camera (I think). Also, towards the end, we are not looking at Ahmed Orabi Street, but Mohamed Farid Street. It was probably "stage fright", sorry.

Well, what do you think?

Jack of all trades, and master of none.

Well, I’ve had a right job with my stupid camera! It was working itself something awful, and then I noticed that the battery was getting low. Problem solved! (Or so you would think.)
Being an efficient and reliable wife, the Boss had the spare batteries put away in a safe place, plus she knew where the safe place was, and “Yes” they were there. More to the point, there were 4 of them as Boots had had a special offer of buy 4 and get 2 free. What more could a man want?
Being the man of the house, and a bit of an engineer in my time, I would change the batteries over before we went out to take the pictures I needed. I did, and placed the used ones in the bin bag, which was ready to go downstairs into the skip.
When we arrived at the place, out came the camera. I am a bit like David Bailey on a good day, but today wasn’t going to be that day, the camera was still working itself. I suppose I was lucky that I didn’t have my trusty engineers hammer with me, or I would have been an expensive camera down!
After clarting on with the stupid thing, I realised that the “Low Battery” sign was on again. OK, so you've already guessed what I’d done, Clever Dick! Yes, I’d put the old batteries back in the camera and the new ones in the skip, as Freda said, “They were probably the free ones, anyway, Dear”.
Sanity eventually prevailed and I now have the pictures which I wanted to show you.
You know how I just LOVE a cup of tea, well how about this………..

Click on the picture if you need it bigger.

Actually, it isn't a real teapot, HaHa. It is meant for the English Tearoom near the St Joseph Hotel, as a hanging sign. We are often to be found in there during the early part of the evening. It's a lovely clean place and it's run by a charming Geordie girl from South Shields (so a Sand-dancer, really) who makes her own scones, cheesecakes etc. and they are lovely!

Obviously, I had to don my carpenter's hat for this task. Working away with my tape measure and jig saw, I felt like Bob the Builder. "Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!" I knew that the large stainless tray would come in useful for something other than spilling things from. And so it did, marked around in three positions; it lent itself to become the body of the teapot, with a cereal bowl to outline the knob on the lid and a bit of my famous free-hand artistry for the spout and handle, the job was complete in no time. (Three evenings and a morning actually, but who's counting?)

Christine, the Tearoom owner, did the actual lettering, and we drilled and things (engineers hat again) and finally got it up outside the shop, what do you think?

If you want to view the pictures bigger; just click on them.

That's the Teapot Saga. Next big job is a screen for the roof terrace, so watch this space!!!!!

I took some pics of the inside of Tutti Frutti, just so that you can see what it's like. I like the black and white decor, it reminds me of a lifetime ago, on the terraces at the Leazes End. Yelling for Alan Suddick, or Albert "Arkle" Bennett and no-one getting beaten senseless, unless thay were one of the players, that is! lol.

Click on them to make them bigger.

That must have been 40 years ago, doesn't time fly? About 15 or 20 years ago we got a man out to unblock the drain in our back yard. I thought I recognised him, but couldn't immediately recall from where. Then in clicked ; he was the peanut man from St James' Park. "Peanuts; a tanner a bag". Small world!!!

Practical Chemistry

I hadn't seen anything like this welding set before!

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

Obviously, the big bottle is just like an ordinary, everyday oxi bottle. The type you would see in any UK workshop or scrapyard. But the other contraption? It looks like something that only H.G. Wells (or his mate Heath Robinson) could have dreamed up.

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

These bits of "stone" are placed into a container which goes inside the pressure vessel after having water poured onto them. When the water hits them, they immediately start to give off gas. I foolishly asked what the "stones" were called "Oh, er, 'Boom'". Sometimes I don't know why I bother! Anyway, whatever they are, they produce either acetylene or something very like it, and the chap went on to successfully do quite a few welding repairs to the quad bike frames.

Bottled acetylene is available, apparently, but it's much cheaper this way. Only in Egypt!