Busy Bees!

Hi, we've had a busy time today. We breakfasted about 10 o'clock and then did our usual morning chores and seeing to Rashad the cleaner and getting ready to trot up to good old Tutti Frutti. We went there particularly to see a long time English resident (and Muslim convert) Ahmed. He used to be called John, and he speaks good Arabic, so is indispensable in finding out about everyday things like wriggely tin sheets and expanded polystyrene panels. You know what I mean! He's been here for about sixteen years, has friends in the local police, and knows many very useful people.

We waited and waited, had tea, had chicken pie (absolutely lovely, cannot recommend it enough) and waited a bit longer while talking to the lovely Christine and two new people we'd never met before. He didn't show! Mind, we hadn't arranged to meet him there, it's just that he uaually calls in.

Never mind, we got some bread and chocolate etc. at Arkwright's and hopped on the bus down to the Etap. It is Wednesday, and (as you surely know) Wednesday is English flight day! Sadly, the Etap didn't get many new guests, I think we only saw about six or so. Although there were a few coaches came along from the airport, very few were more than half full. A dismal afternoon all round, in fact!

After hurrying home and having another shower, we headed down to the Language School on Youseff Hassan Street to meet up with other foreign residents for a meeting with someone from the Luxor Supreme Council. We thought it may have been the Governor himself, but it turned out to be his deputy. About 50 people turned up, most of whom I didn't know and quite a few that I hadn't even seen before! We eventually gathered in what seemed to be the actual Council Chamber, with a typically Egyptian non-working microphone, lol. Here's a quick pic of the gathering, spot anyone you recognise?

Of course, the meeting was a bit chaotic, not having a set agenda, or even a fixed idea of topics. But, nevertheless, it went off reasonably well and ended up with the Governor telephoning and promising to meet with us on Friday at 1.30pm, for more discussions etc. I've been told this evening, though, that he has to attend the solemn carrying out of the sheiks tent from the Abu Al Haggag Mosque, see it fitted to the camel, and inaugurate the 'Carnaval', (the Moulid procession) at 12.30! So that might not run exactly to plan, methinks. We'll see.

Another subject which came up as a point of information, really, was the 'Luxor Clean City' initiative. This is something that has been dreamed up as an attempt to help in the drive to restart tourism. On this coming Sunday, the world's press (?) are supposed to be coming here to see and record the Governor and others (along with some of the 'ex-pats') start on a clean-up campaign. They want to show the world that Luxor is a safe city, cleaned of dirt and litter as well as the dreaded hassle etc. I've no idea if it will have any effect, but at least they are trying to do 'something'. Participants will get gloves, a mask and a free T shirt, as well as cleaning equipment. (I might go along for a free brush! They cost about 10le, you know.) Here's the logo:

We got back home about a quarter past nine, and were surprised to find that the stick fighting had already begun! But we were in desperate need of TEA. So we headed upstairs to slake our thirst before I ventured back out alone to see what sort of pics I could get this year.

Here they are, with a couple of short videos to whet your appetite!

The first one is of the band. This is the first year that I've been able to get a good shot of them, so this one is BIG!

The other stills which I took have come out blurred due to my shaking grip on the camera, but here's a couple of short videos. (I hope!)

The first one is obviously of two men acting out their 'fight'. But in the next one, I managed to catch one of the incense men, going around making everywhere smell nice and chasing away the flies. Only problem was that the band had to have a rest for about fifteen minutes afterwards, while they got the heavy smoke out of their lungs!

That's about all for tonight Dear Reader, another quick shower and bed, I think.

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