The Latest Project.

While it's universally acknowledged that 'Many hands make light work'; with the diminution of the numbers of folk who actually believe in the Devil (or any force of evil) then fewer would acknowledge that 'The Devil finds work for idle hands'.

I think that is why Freda always has a 'list'! Knowing that I am easily led, and prone to bouts of laziness, I'm sure that she believes that keeping me relatively busy is good for me, physically as well as mentally and spiritually. She's usually right in most things, so I suppose that she's right in this as well. (It is infuriating, yes.)

Just as an aside: It appears that the Devil did indeed find work for 'idle hands' yesterday, here in Luxor! A large meeting in Abu El Haggag Square (which was supposed to be about trying to reinvigorate the tourism market, and held in a party-like atmosphere) was spoilt by what was described to me as, 'rubbish people' who had been paid to disrupt it by some rich locals who still hankered after their positions of financial power, which they enjoyed for so many years as 'friends' of the old regime! Apart from these local stooges; there also appeared a delegation from Cairo. Beards and burkhas were flown in to condemn the tourists as 'sinners'; courtesy of Egypt Air's offer of 150le return flights (so I'm reliably told). So, it seems that the Devil and his cohorts are determined to keep the people of Luxor in their subservient positions of poverty! I don't know, maybe we'll yet see a counter-revolution by the poor, that would put the 'cat among the pigeons', wouldn't it?

Anyway; enough of the outside world! 'Our Luxor', and what goes on here, is much less taxing on the nerves than all of that stressful stuff which the rest of the world has to deal with on a daily basis, thank you very much. Why do you think we stay here, the sun, the antiquities, the culture, the kindness of our neighbours? Yes, all of these, but the peacful life without the urgencies of modernity must also be rated very highly! 

The 'Project'. 
You may, or may not, know that we didn't build in enough storage space, when we designed 'Our Luxor'. It's been a constant problem, ever since we finished the original remodelling work.We've had dikkeh/storage units made for both outside and in, but they really aren't enough.

I've bunged stuff on the roof (like the Egyptians), but you know how unsightly that can be, here's a snap of our neighbour's roof, just in case you don't believe me:

And stuff on the roof is awkward to retrieve when you want it, plus anything that comes down from there is absolutely filthy! Talking about 'unsightly' we had a large recess in the stair wall, which was never finished off properly, some concrete reinforcing steel was poking out here and there, and some of the concrete had just been left rough and not plastered over.

It also catches a lot of dust! I honestly cannot remember whose idea it initially was, but we both thought that such a space was wasted, I mulled over several different ideas as to how to make better use of it, and eventually came up with a PLAN!

I'm sure that I've mentioned my collection of scrap wood; chucked on the roof, lining the bottom of dikkehs, and also hidden behind them? Well, now it was time to call this army of ragged misfits and lame-jointed leftovers into service once more! (If you're sick of reading this rubbish; you can follow the rest of this post just by looking at the pictures, lol.)

The first (of many) problem was that the building was built by Egyptians; modern Egyptians that is, who have lost the artistry of their ancient ancestors! As one of our past guests remarked in astonishment, after strolling around the town: "Nothing's plumb!" He was an architect, and is now in charge of planning at a large county council. Hello Waz, if you're reading this. (The upright in the above picture IS perpendicular, it must be a trick of the lens which makes it look bent.) That try square once belonged to the well loved and world famous coachbuilder, time and motion expert and lover of Blues music; Jim Crow. He died and had his funeral while I was on holiday in Luxor; I still haven't forgiven him for that, even after all these years! But I still miss him.

Ingenuity is the name of the game when you're working with scrap which is NEVER the size that you would really like.

If this cupboard could sing; it could make a cover version of the Dave Clark Five's 60's hit record: 'I'm in pieces, bit and pieces'! See that box of drill bits? No rubbish here; they're 'Bosch'! Actually, I had asked my brother-in-law (Roy) if I could borrow a masonry drill, and he turned up with this, saying, "I've got two of these, so you might as well have one." Now, that's the sort of BIL that everybody wants, yes?
So, there it is, the outside; the bit which everyone sees, anyway. Our Susan, my sister, does patchwork quilts sometimes, so I'm sure that she will appreciate it!

Such a high space wasn't much use by itself, so I had Sir Terence Conran design and custom-build this classic shelving, he'd never had to work with scrap timber and walls that were made of bell metal before, and he told me that it had been quite a challenge. (Not really.)  I'll soon fill up the rest of the space, once my back eases off! 

The finished article! The second picture is to show you that the cupboard is much longer than the opening part; this is to accommodate some of my long pieces of wood from on the roof.

All in all; I've got to say that I'm quite pleased with the result of my labours, and there were no injuries or accidental breakages, for a change!

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