And the winner is......................

Yes, the first person to contact me with the correct answer was...........
DivaDarling, from Trip Advisor. Being a long-term sufferer from Luxoritis, she must have recognised the antique mirror or the furniture in the pictures. (Might have been the menus, which were a dead give-away on enlargement!) Anyway, it was lovely, and now I have the option of visiting either one of two of my favourite places when I'm up that end of town.
One or two folk have commented that the Oasis might be competition for Tutti Frutti, but I rather think that they will complememt each other, along with the other restaurants on that street.
Starting at the St Joseph end: you have the Tudor Rose, very nice for a more formal/intimate meal, then, past Arkwrights shop, the Oasis is next with a wide menu catering for all sorts of tastes in a very different atmosphere. Next door is the famous Tutti Frutti, where the tea is as lovely as the welcome, and the cakes and scones are to die for. (So is the PIE!!!!) Another few steps and we are outside the "Taste of India", whose wonderful reviews speak for themselves, although I cannot comment as the thought of the smell of curry puts me off from even entering, sorry. Next comes the new "Pizza Roma", again, not my cup of tea, but I've heard some very good reports regarding their food! Another minute or so and around the corner is "Puddleduck", which I am assured merits it's top spot on the Trip Advisor restaurant list, directly opposite are the new ventures of the Taste of India owner, which I expect will soon earn the same high reputation, they are the Fortune Cookie (Chinese, obviously) and upstairs, the Regal Grill.
Unlike any other street in Luxor, all these eateries are entirely different and as visitors pop into their favourite one they cannot but notice some of the others and quite possibly think "Oh, I've heard of that place, let's have a nose in there tomorrow." I'm certain that the diversity and quality of these eating places will ensure regular patronage for them all.
The following picture explains part of the reason why we aren't getting out much during the day.

It was taken after 4 o'clock today.
See ya!

It's nee gud bein' poor and lookin' poor!

That used to be a popular saying where I grew up, as most of the local folk were not what we could call "well off". The point was that even poor folk could get themselves done up when the need arose.
One of the changes which really made me think about the better financial situation of my generation compared with that of my parents was when I started to notice the number of restaurants in the local telephone directory! I cannot recall my parents ever going out "for a meal", let alone taking us brats along with them. Nowadays it's common practice, and no less here in Luxor.
We don't eat out all that often, and when we do it's only in one of a very small number of eating establishments. Tonight, we went to a newly opened restaurant which already has a substantial following, we had the same to eat as we have had there on previous occasions, and it was as delightful as ever. Strange?
I took a few pictures, and here are the best two of them. Any clues, anyone? Actually there are clues aplenty in the pictures

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that it's right next door to another of my all-time favourite fuel stops.
If I get some time tomorrow; I may get around to putting you out of your misery. Meanwhile, you can either send your answers on a post card, or leave a comment on this blog.
Nighty night!

My husband, the carpenter?

Because our two apartments are on the 3rd and 4th floors of our building we need to have a pump to ensure adequate water pressure for the showers etc. The pump switch was located just inside the guest apartment door, in a little alcove so no one could see it. Our problem has been when we have had a water cut and the pump begins to make terrible noises as it has no water to pump, if we have guests staying it is not always convenient to go into the guest apartment to switch the pump off until the water comes back on again.
“Move the switch” we agreed. Eventually we got our local electrician, Mr. Ramadan, to come and move the switch onto the wall outside of the apartment so we could access it at any time. Problem number two occurs when I see the switch, it is at eye height and is an eyesore, every time I come up the stairs it is there looking decidedly ugly.
Edward decides to build a box to hide it. We have plenty pieces of wood stored on top of our roof, saved from various jobs my carpenter husband has done before. Last week out comes pencil and paper, tool box and several bits of wood.
One week later I go downstairs to find a wooden frame around the switch, which is slightly lopsided (“Egyptian, is it?”, I comment). Although Edward has taken several measurements he had not realised that the back plate was not level at the top, hence the lopsided appearance.
Today he has been working away with his tools, pencil, paper and pieces of wood for most of the day. He has been in for lunch, had a break to have a glass of lemon and several forays into our living room to get out of the sun and drink copious amounts of water. Because he has been out in the sun on the roof terrace for the best part of 2 days he is beginning to resemble a beetroot, yesterday he did not wear a shirt and his shoulders are red, today with his shirt on, it is just his face which is getting redder.
At teatime I leave him to it and go out, we meet up later and arrive home about 9.30 I am first up the stairs to see the effort of his many hours of work, is it an improvement, I will leave that for you to decide. Here are the before and after photos

(Editor's note: Watch out for the next instalment "How to mend a broken nose"!!!!!)

Winter Palace: ongoing!

With it being so darned hot, (45ish every day) we're tending to use the buses a lot, instead of walking. That being the case, we haven't been around the Winter Palace area for a little while, so I was a bit surprised to see, when mooching around down there, that they are actually getting on with the job!
Someone, on one of the forums, was saying that the foundations for the new building were going in the other week. I thought at the time that it seemed a touch "previous", but withheld my judgement until I saw it with my own eyes. As it happens, they were preparing the ground for a perimeter fence, which is now up (chain link for Egyptian authenticity, lol) with a lovely row of trees which will mask the fence from view quite soon.

As always, click once on the picture to make it bigger, and again to magnify it.

The ground on the outside of the fence has been tramped down by running a big machine over it, and is all dust. Obviously I had to walk over this to get to the fence to take some photo's, and I came across this........

It's about 2 inches in diameter, and I've no idea if it's still live or not, I certainly wasn't going to lick my finger and touch it to find out!!!!!

Looking through the fence, it's plain to see where the Aboudi shop was, and the back of the "Winter Pavillon" is in more or less full view.

They're knocking down the old WP garden wall, and digging near to the "New" Winter Palace site, and piling the earth onto the lovely lawn where the tower block used to stand.

It is quite fascinating, trying to imagine the new building (as in the huge poster) actually taking shape as time goes on! I'll keep you posted from time to time.

There but for the Grace of God.

We were watching "The West Wing" on the laptop (the complete "Boxed Set", a gift from our son) when we were aware of a commotion outside somewhere. It sounded a bit like a football crowd, heard from a few streets away. We often get deafening eruptions of yelling, which are repeated all over town, when one of the favourite football teams score a goal. Of course, it seems that all Egyptian men are avid football fans, and even though they don't actually attend at the games, they are all glued to a TV somewhere to watch any match which is televised.
On turning off the sound, we soon realised that it wasn't that at all as they were womens' voices we were hearing, and they weren't yelling.......they were wailing!
It was about 11.15, so we were not dressed for going out, but I wanted to see what had happened. I threw on some clothes and trundled downstairs, stepping over the rubbish which had been strewn about (purposely so, because Freda had reprimanded some doctor's visitors for blocking the newly cleaned stairs and making their usual mess) by the childlike numbskulls which pass for men around here.
When I got to the entrance of our little cul-de-sac, I was surprised to see the traffic backed up, in two lanes, for as far as I could see. The cause was a tumult of men milling around outside the small Mosque on the corner, the wailing was coming from along one of the streets opposite, which looked completely blocked.
I asked Adam if he knew anything. (Of course I knew that he would know ALL, him being the nearest we have to an old gossip.) Apparently a young man of 32 from the same street, had taken ill two days ago, and now he had died.
I had taken the camera down, but, even for you dear reader, I couldn't really be seen to take photos of mourning people, neither would I want to.
If you haven't heard Egyptian women wailing, then you will probably think (as I did) that it is wrong for them not to be allowed to attend funerals, but after experiencing this, I'm not so sure any more. It's now midnight, but I think the noise will keep the whole neighbourhood awake for some hours yet. Al Hamdulillah! (Praise be to God in all circumstances.)

Spook at Carter's House.

We've wanted to go to the new Museum at the house of Howard Carter (discoverer of the fabulous tomb of the "Boy King" Tut Ankh Amun in 1922) since it was opened as such in November last year. However, you know how things just slip by and get put off? We haven't had a real excuse to free up the time until today!
Well, we have a group friends, four sisters from the "Black Country", who come each year to visit the "Black Land" and they landed last Wednesday for a week at the Etap Hotel. They are known collectively as "The Wenches". They don't always come altogether, and this time there are only Glen and Mar, who are the two most interested in Egypt's history etc.
I suggested that we visit this relatively new attraction together, and they both thought it a good idea! We arranged a mini-bus to collect us this morning and whip us away to the "Side of the Dead".
The House is quite interesting, with the various rooms furnished and mocked up something like they would have been during Howard Carter's residence. I took several photo's, but being my usual rubbish self with the camera, they are too embarrassingly bad to put on here!!!! Never mind, though, I got some of the Great Man" himself when he deigned to come and speak to us.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really know what I expected. But this was a seriously clever bit of work! I'm pretty sure that the "powers that be" will soon realise the potential of what they have here, and slap on an entrance fee, but even if they do: it'll still be worth paying to go and see. At one point, he even gives us a slide show from the projector on the table onto the wall at the right, it's truly a "Magic" Lantern Show.
If you get the chance to go, please don't miss it. All you need to do is lose the guardian who follows you around with unwanted directions and comments, otherwise an excellent visit. It will be even better when the promised Tearoom is open!

More Lights.

When I saw the West Bank Lights on again tonight, I hi-tailed it down to the Emilio Hotel, to see if I could take some pictures from their roof. The manager (Mr Showkat) and I are old friends from when we would often stay there while we were tourists.
Of course, it "wouldn't be a show without Punch" would it! I just happened to call whilst they were having some sort of electrical problem, which meant that the lifts weren't working. However, this was not going to stop your intrepid reporter. I don't mind risking a heart attack for my public!!!!! (Just joking, Mam, don't worry)
140 steps later, and I was thinking rather differently, I can tell you. Never mind, the view from the Emilio rooftop acted like a defibrilator, and perked me up no end!
I hope you all like it as much as I.
The first one shows Hatshepsut's Funerary Temple.

This next one is a replacement for the "old" Mountain Lights picture which so many people thanked me for.

This last one is an amalgam of the two.

As usual you can click to enlarge them, and click again to magnify. Have fun.