For Your Eyes Only.

Hello there, long time no see!

You're going to be the first to see the latest improvement to the "Our Luxor" Holiday Apartment. We started out with this:

That's right, it's the kitchen! It was always functional, without being flash or showy, with enough equipment and utensils to make a wide variety of meals. But it was never what Freda had actually wanted.

When we were having the apartment re-built and finished (seven years ago) she told the contractor, "No wall tiles in the kitchen. No door furniture. White paint everywhere. The man thought she was as mad as a hatter! But she wanted time to think, and time to see what was available from which to make her choices of decorative finishes and style touches.

Of course, back then we didn't know that wall tiles in Egypt were pressed into the wet plaster (which is actually a rendering of sand and cement, and not plaster as we know it, at all) and that using a tile adhesive was the equivalent of expecting Freda's famous relative, George Stephenson, to fire his first Stockton to Darlington steam train with a few crystals of Scottie's 'trilithium'!

So, while we were in England, our contractor put some lovely big, oblong, white, monstrosities on the wall. "But Madame Fareda, the water from the sink!" I'm surprised she didn't actually eat the poor b****r! Seeing as the tiles were all a part and parcel with the stainless steel sink and drainer (which was sitting on a frame of one inch water pipe cemented into the wall and had been stained with cement or something being mixed in it) and the wooden under-sink unit, we didn't have the heart to make him pull it all out and start again. (We would have done if it had happened now, mind you. You have to learn by your mistakes!)

So there we were, 7 years down the line, still with a kitchen sink which was annoying Freda every time she saw it, no guests for a while, and nothing to keep yours truly out of mischief. You just know what's coming next, don't you?

You won't remember my bungled hari-kari attempt while I was knocking the said tiles off the wall?

That's Nu-Skin holding my foot on there! It took 4 hours to stop the stupid thing bleeding, here's some blood in my Croc, and some more in the bottom of the shower! I felt a bit like Tony Hancock in the 'Blood Donor', my lifeblood, ebbing away!


My word, they're sharp! The blood was everywhere. Never mind, onward and upward, as they say. I eventually got to the bottom of it all, and as I described in a former posting eventually got the plasterers in and the first coat of paint on. Here's how far I had to take the wall to bits:

Freda would have a more modern 'inset' sink! Which meant a new stone workbench. That was a saga in itself, over three months of sending out samples of what I wanted and stone men from all over Luxor coming with entirely different colours. Again, they thought I was mad, just because I wanted it to match the two other pieces in the same room, actually within a few inches of each other! At last, Mohamed Marble (strange name, even stranger bloke!) came and told me that the quarry where my Aswan granite had come from had been closed for a few years, but he had the nearest match that there was.

Frightening blokes these! Can you imagine a man cutting a 32 mm round hole in 2 cm thick piece of granite with only an angle grinder with a 7 inch diameter diamond blade and a small hammer??? No, neither could I! I shouted "Stop him, what's he doing?" Mr Mohamed smiled (that mad, knowing smile of the 'initiated') and assured me that it would be OK. (I thought to myself, "It'll be OK if he messes up the whole sheet of granite, 'cos I haven't paid for it yet, and I won't be if he does! Haha!") 

Of course he didn't, he's been doing this job all his working life. Necessity is a great teacher, and if you don't have the right tools, then you have to 'make do'. I should have had more faith, as I spent a great deal of my youth repairing old wagons and cars with all the wrong tools!

Anyway, Freda and I finally got it finished this evening, so here it is; the new kitchen:

We brought quite a few trinkets from Marrakech, especially with the new style in mind. I'm sure that you'll be able to pick some of them out.

Well, that's it for just now, hope you like the new kitchen. More to the point, I hope that our future guests will like it.


  1. Have been enjoying the refurbishment of the kitchen, and have to say 'it looks a cracker now!' How you keep your nerve with those Luxor workmen, heaven only knows. My hearts in my mouth just reading about them, watching it all happen before my eyes would definately raise the blood pressure.

    You must let us know when the guest situation starts to improve. In my local town there was a large poster in one of the travel agents advertising Nile cruises, and assuring prospective customers that it was NOW SAFE TO TRAVEL. Of course it has always been safe in Luxor. Hope you have some clients soon.
    Re your Crocs - not sure if this is a first, but saw a pair of Crocs being worn at a wedding recently. I thought this was dressing down somewhat for such an occasion. Do you agree?

  2. With my size and shape, I've never been up to much in the sartorial stakes. However, even I wouldn't stoop so low!
    Thanks for your continuing encouragement.

  3. Wow, the kitchen is beautiful! Great job.


  4. Thanks James, we like to try to keep on top of our game!