Summer is a'comin' in an' winter's gone away, oh!

Yes folks, we "welcomed in the May" at the Sheherazade Hotel on the West Bank, in some style, and in good company too I've got to say.

Tutankaren (AKA Lotusflower) from Welsh Wales had intended to join us and Mr and Mrs suzychuck of Trip Advisor fame to see what it was all about. Sadly, when the time came, Karen was indisposed and had to cry off, what a pity.

Never mind, we met the suzychucks at the Etap at the appointed time, actually REFUSED A POT OF TEA, and made our way along to the ferry. Freda had wanted to go over on the public ferry (I think she wanted to show some solidarity with the proletariat, or something like that) but we were approached by a nice motorboat (Mama Africa) captain, whom I know a bit (he went to college with another Egyptian friend) and we went with him. It's a lot easier and quicker than waiting for the ferry to fill up with the aforementioned proletariat before it sets off.

When we reached the "Side of the Dead" we boldly refused taxis and massages etc. and struck off towards our destination, it's only ten minutes or so, after all! As we arrived at the hotel, we saw two of Luxor's more famous West Bank ex-pats leaving! I did check my watch, and we were in plenty of time. Actually, we were twenty minutes early; call it "Reverse Egyptian Time", if you like!

A few of the local peasantry were gathered in a rustic bandstand type of place, with a roof of rushes (or some sort of organic stuff, at any rate) and seating around the edge, facing inwards. It was charming, to say the least. We were welcomed by the lovely Christine (Soloman, that is, manageress of the hotel, and not the lovely "Christine the Sand Dancer" of Tutti Frutti fame) with tea and English cake. Isn't it queer; that's exactly what we had refused at the Etap. Here's the lovely Christine, reading a Mayday poem, with the May Queen seated on her left.

We only knew one or two of the people there. Christine, of course, Stan, whose Luxor4U screen name, and website, is "Living in Luxor", and that's it, actually! Here's a picture, of my usual quality, of Stan the DJ talking to a young woman who is unknown to us (we being East Bankers).

One woman arrived sometime later, whom I think we've met before, but I cannot remember her name. During the proceedings, a man arrived and went around introducing himself. He was one Justen Karlsen of TA and L4U fame. I knew who he was the instant I saw him, but I couldn't tell you how. He was very charming and polite, and lo and behold; he was from the same part of Lincoln as Mr and Mrs suzychuck, what a small world. When he got home, he posted on L4U about meeting suzy and her beau. Fame at last, eh suzy? And here they are, Mr and Mrs suzychuck, he's the one in the middle, with the foliage coming out of his head. (Something was said about being green AND cabbage-looking)

Here's a candid one of Mr suzychuck, without his disguise. Not too sure about the two dodgey looking people (obviously still wearing their disguises) on the right though!

Got one of suzychuck herself, but that couple were still determined to be in the shot!

Several more people arrived as Stan the Man played suitable music for the occasion. (Started off with some Donovan, but mainly Steeleye Span, and Maddy Prior in other guises, and with several other worthwhile pieces as well.) I thoroughly enjoyed the music. In fact, at one point I telephoned Dear Sister in Windy Nook, and let her hear some of "Alison Gross" over the phone!

Most of the other revellers were ladies who seemed to be still in their hippie mode of the sixties. I was rather taken by one lady who walked as if she was trying to emulate the daft models on the catwalk, but on second thoughts; maybe she just needed a touch of hip replacement surgery, it was difficult for a mere layman to tell.

There were a few children around, all Egyptian as I would imagine that all the English and other foreign ladies present were possibly past the age of childbearing (although a few younger ones did turn up a bit later).

After the adult ladies had managed to not quite strangle each other with the Maypole ribbons; it was time for some of the little ones to join in and have a few goes. The younger ones were supervised by their equally hopeless elders, much to the mirth of us innocent bystanders.

Eventually, there was quite a bunch of local kids doing their level best in trying to strangle the beautiful little May Queen, they almost did, as well! This pic of the May Queen was taken before the strangling attempt, it just goes to show that no-one is safe here in Egypt, lol.

The children were obviously having a whale of a time, I don't suppose that they had ever seen anything remotely like this before.

Mr and Mrs suzychuck were very good company, they even paid the bill! I'm going to have to watch myself here; if this matter of TA people paying my way on nights out carries on, I'll be vying for the number one spot on KV Explorer's "Luxor Cadgers List". The current holder of that accolade is supposed to have a nifty habit of disappearing to the loo, just before the bill arrives, then returning after their guests have settled it. (And that's before their commission!) Nevertheless, one day, insh'Allah, we'll be in a position to repay their many kindnesses. As my old Dad used to say, "When the ship comes up Bottle Bank!" (FYI Bottle Bank is a short, steep street which runs by the Gateshead side of the Tyne Bridge and down to the small "Swing Bridge" crossing the river. The major problem with a ship coming up it, however, is that it has now been officially designated as one-way, and that way is downover!)

Anyway, after all that, I think we can say that the May is definitely IN !

Enjoy your summer, wherever you are.

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