"Yes, God is good!"

Hi, I’m sorry to have been silent for so long, but I’ve been busy. (busy busy bee, in fact!) And now, I’m all alone as Freda has run off to Windy Nook to tend to our distressed children, or was it to tend to cause distress to our children? I’m never quite sure, but as you all know I’m good at keeping schtum!

The title of the post is taken from an old favourite hymn of mine, probably no longer sung in Methodism as I don’t think it’s in the “new” hymnbook. Grrrrrrrrr! You’ll see the relevance later on.

We’ve been spending money that we haven’t got, “Is that new?” I hear you ask. Well not really, we’ve become experts at it over the years. But we did need to have our own little kitchen, I’m sure none of you would begrudge us that? We started off with a wardrobe in our bedroom which was “built in” to a substantial alcove.

Our washing machine was in the bathroom,
like many Egyptian households, and our
cooking apparatus; on the sideboard, next
to the fridge, in the living room.

The idea has been fermenting for quite some time to “do something” about it. Well we’ve done it now! Out came the wardrobe,

I’ve never seen so many panel pins in my life, or so many masonry nails, each one either snapping and leaving a half inch sticking out, or coming out with a big chunk of cement still fastened to it! Absolutely crackers! I’ll kill that Hamada the carpenter if I get my hands on him. Never mind, it’s all lying around on the roof terrace at the moment, along with various tools and bits of old pipework it’s a good job we haven’t got any guests just now.

The new plumber (another Girges, who is also known to Igor, Girges the doctor’s assistant) was brought to me by our old friend Al Fatah, from Qus. (Isn’t this nice and confusing, Dear Reader?) Al Fatah, more commonly known as Abdul, oversaw the original work to make our building habitable, and he had been a good friend for many years before. Mr Girges the plumber would price the job of making a new drainage system for the air-conditioners, changing the pipework to accommodate the new kitchen sink and the new position of the washing machine, etc. It’s taken him since last Thursday till today to finish it, mind you, he had three days off during that time! Of course, you cannot leave a workman in the house alone with the woman of the house, so I had to be there all the time he was, which made things a bit awkward for me going to the West Bank each day.

Anyway it’s about finished now, well, usable at least. I’ll get around to making a bench type thingy to go under the sink in the near future. I’ve reused the top cupboard doors to make two shallower cupboards above the sink, with a concealed light below so that I can see the dishes when I’m washing them. While I was on making Mr Ramadan redundant, I also put two separate sockets in! I wouldn’t dare try that at home, as I’m badly colour blind, but here it doesn’t matter ‘cause there are only two wires, so you really cannot go wrong.

Freda kindly gave me instructions on how to use the washing machine before she abandoned me; they are Sellotaped onto the wall above the sink!

I’ve spent a good few hours taking nails of one sort or another out of all the plywood and spars which combined to make the wardrobe. I don’t want to waste all the lovely timber, but I’m not sure where I can keep it all. I think the roof might collapse if I put any more up there!

I’m not good at being by myself! In fact, this is the first time in my entire 59 years that I’ve actually been by myself. I’m constantly checking things when I go out, keys (I have a deadly fear of losing keys), wallet, phone, stair lights on, two hankies. It’s like being an obsessive compulsive (is that the right term?). I HATE it!!!!!!
Yesterday, I went to visit the boys at the Sunrise Tours office. Got the ‘bus at the bottom of the street on Sharia Karnak. After being there for an hour or so, I decided to ring our lawyer to try (again) to get some sense out of him. When I went for my phone: it wasn’t there. Horror of horrors! I was certain I’d picked it up! Got Mohamed (don’t even go there, as the Americans say) to dial my number, and it was switched off. This confirmed to me that someone else had it, I never switch it off. Anyway, I dejectedly trudged home, in the vain hope that I had left it there, switched off. No! It was nowhere to be seen.
Spent the next hour or so emailing away, as I knew Freda would be worried that she was getting no reply on the phone, and eventually went to my lonely bed!
The doorbell rang at shortly after 9 o’clock this morning, I thought it was rather early for Rashad the cleaner, who usually calls at around lunchtime. When I peered over the railing there was Adam (coffee shop) looking back at me, holding something black in his hand. “That’s my phone!” I shouted down. And sure enough, it was. His second son, (Yousef, about 12) had found it on Sharia Karnak. When he brought it home, Adam had looked in the contacts list, and seen his own name there along with that of Al Fatah and one or two others we both knew, and eventually deduced that it must be mine. I was flabbergasted! It must have been a million to one chance of my neighbour finding it so far from home. I gave Adam 10le for the boy. (I hope he got it.)

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