At Her Majesty's Pleasure?

Hello again!

I haven’t written anything over the past few days because there’s really been nothing to report on. It’s just like I imagine it would be if we lived on the “peaceful” West Bank, or, as the Boss calls it “The Side Of The Dead”, only without the mosquitoes, haha.

“She Who Must Be Obeyed” was out of bed early the other morning, and saw the balloons. They came across the river (naughty, naughty) and past our house, so she took some pics of them as they sailed on by. (They’re probably better than mine, so I’d better say nowt!)

The first one shows just how low they sometimes go, almost skimming the rooftops, I would say!

The next one is one of the bigger balloons currently flying.

Today though, we had an appointment with Her Majesty's Representative! The Vice Consul was visiting Luxor to follow up on his visit the other month. He’s a brave man, coming back into the “lion’s den”!

There were quite a few turned up, but I suspect that some were there chiefly for Mr Gaddis’s (he’s the Honorary British Consul in Luxor) now famous, ham sandwiches. Mr Gaddis has the Gaddis Hotel, in the south end of town. Being a Christian, he doesn’t have the restrictions which an hotel with Muslim staff would have, so his restaurant has a “Pork Menu”, very novel in these parts, I can tell you!

Anyway, the poor Honorary bloke got a fair beating up over Luxor remaining on the “Places to Avoid” list of Her Majesty's Government for so long. That part of the proceedings went on for a bit too long, with various people going off topic altogether, and others; talking among themselves, which I thought the height of bad manners! There was one bloke, sitting behind me, with a laptop on his knee, and listening to music on it! When I finally could stand it no more, I asked him to turn it down as I was struggling to hear the conversation. He did, but then someone else complained to him as well, so he eventually put on his headphones. Why was he there, I wonder?

The discussion was fairly wide-ranging and non-committal, including ways in which consular staff could get in touch with the ex-pats, the fact that they didn’t answer emails efficiently, what criteria they used to determine the “safety” of tourists, what they could do about exorbitant charges from private landlords (???), and several other silly points.

After the main show was over, and people split into their little cliques, I collared Shareen (the felucca owning lady, who also does the disgusting “ear candle” thing!) and asked her who several people were. To my utter astonishment, she didn’t know who some of them were! I thought that she knew, and was known by, everyone in Luxor! There were one or two other tourist property owners there, so we kept a bit of a low profile.

I thanked the Vice Consul for his efforts and had a chat with Mr Gaddis, before we made our way out, and into the warmth of a lovely March afternoon in Luxor. Aren’t you jealous, Dear Reader?

Arriving at Tutti Frutti, we ordered our usual teas, with the tea-bag on the outside, and proceeded to give Christine the “low-down” from the meeting. We were soon joined by another two renegades from the Gaddis, and the chatter went on for a while, as you might imagine. As the other two were preparing to leave; two tourist customers arrived. It being a small world, they hailed from Marsden, now part of South Shields where Christine comes from and a twenty minute drive from Windy Nook, where, of course we belong! Strange?

The Boss and I have just demolished a lovely cottage pie which she slaved over, and I think we may be going to watch another episode of “Jeeves and Wooster”, starring the incomparable Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie!

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