What a "Carry-On"! (In praise of the humble Barbour Jacket.)

What a Carry-On indeed! We've been travelling back and forward to Luxor for quite some time now, and really thought we had it sorted.

We've brought allsorts of things over from England, and never had to pay excess baggage. The Kirby vacuum cleaner, for instance, and the electric oven for the guest apartment, even the three metre parasol for the roof terrace! They all came as straightforward ordinary baggage!

We found that our 'carry-on' bag just had to fit in the cage for it to be OK, it didn't matter what weight it was, as long as it fit into that measuring device. I've seen the the time I could hardly lift the blessed thing into the overhead locker! Never mind, Flybe have put a slight fly in the ointment!

I need to digress here, just a bit though, it won't take long. Our last travelling cases gave up the ghost on our journey back to England in November, so we needed to replace them with something. Trouble is, that the smaller of the 'sets' of suitcases seem to outlast the larger ones by a fairly big margin, and never mind what we pay or what supposed quality the new set is, they still get ripped, busted or bent beyond recognition by the considerate baggage handlers. We've found that there's no economic sense in buying posh and expensive luggage, so we now usually buy the cheapest available! Which, logically, leads on to the realisation that 'free' must the cheapest of the lot.

Freda found a very useful website a while ago, called 'Freecycle'. It's great, people advertise on it, to let others know what they have which they no longer want, and wish to give away, while other people advertise for things which they would like, but would rather not pay for. I think it was probably helped in its formation by the astronomical charges which local government bodies now extract, from those who finance them in the first place, to take rubbish away from private homes, and can actually save you quite a few quid as well as helping someone else out. Winners all round! Lo and behold, someone in Chopwell (which used to be known as Little Moscow, because of the high concentration of communists who lived there) had two large suitcases to give away. Cutting a long story (of missed appointments and many miles travelled) short, we got the two cases. They're HUGE!

Back to the story, eh? We had quite a bit of extra stuff to bring over with us this time, as several people had hoped that we could help them out with shoes and football boots and trainers and Bisto (An ex-pat Sand Dancer, would you believe?) and a hoody and a Christmas pudding and......the list is endless! But, of course, the weight thingy is the problem isn't it?

We have our luggage scales, and I've got tennis elbow with lifting the blooming cases up and down on the scales so many times! Finally, we got the big case down to 21.8 kilos, and the next one to 18.5, so were reasonably happy that we'd get by with those. The carry-on case was pretty heavy, but that didn't matter. Number One Son gave us a lift to the airport in his lovely estate car, bags of room! After not quite kicking the self-service-check-in-machine to bits, we queued to hand over our baggage.

To cut yet another long story short; our luggage scales may as well go in the bin, for what blinkin' use they are, and we spent about 15 minutes with all the cases open on the airport floor. Yes, Flybe's policy is that, in addition to fitting in the cage, carry-on bags must not weigh more than 10kgs! Plus, both of our bags to go in the hold were also overweight!

Now then, we've all heard about these fancy waistcoat jobbies, which have poachers pockets here there and everywhere, in order to carry a further 10 kilos on board? Well, if you have a trusty old Barbour jacket, you needn't go out and buy one of those. My Barbour weighed 9.5 kgs (I asked the lady to check it on her scales) by the time we left her counter. In my standard Barbour, I managed to get: 8 'Oldie' magazines, 9 Private Eye magazines,
 1 Dell Laptop, 1 (Christmas present) Android Tablet, 2 Jamaica Ginger Cakes,

1 kilo Asda Pastry Mix, 1 kilo Asda Crumble Mix, the camera, half a packet of Haggis and Cracked Black Pepper crisps (from M&S, you've just got to try them!!!!) and a half packet of Aldi Ginger Biscuits! Well done that Barbour jacket, it certainly saved our day, if we'd had bacon I could have said that it had saved our bacon, couldn't I?

At the Gatwick Travelodge, we had another sort through the cases as we tried to save the cakes from being entirely squashed and things like that. I'd bought three steak pies from John the Butcher, one plain steak, one steak and onion and a third with steak and mushroom. I was sure that Freda would like at least one! These were still in good condition, being packed in the giant case, and went down very well with the extra tea and extra little cartons of milk which I blagged from the Travelodge receptionist.

When we finally got to the easyJet check-in, after standing in an 800 foot queue (roughly calculated from the size and number of floor tiles between the posts holding the seatbelt type straps which fashioned the queue into a snake, winding across the floor in front of the check-in desks 10 times ) for an hour, the two big cases weighed in at one tenth of a kilogramme under the overall limit. AlHamdulillah!

The flight was greatly eased by the munching of a ham and something quiche, which Freda purchased in the airport, along with a tuna and mayo sandwich and a bottle of very expensive water. I have to say, though, that my new toy (the Tablet) was fab! I had downloaded the Arabian Nights (Edward Lanes translation) from Kindle for £1.29 and read from it while listening to a folk trio, from Kettering, known as Hex, whose CD I also got for Christmas. (Entitled "Sleep when you're dead") I've got to say that I'm enjoying the CD immensely, they're like a cross between the Watersons and Swan Arcade. (Not the most popular or well known artistes, but right at the top of their genre, believe me!)

 It turned out to be one of our most pleasant flights of late!

We were pleased to get back home to Luxor, nevertheless, and the CLEANING!!!!

Obviously, we've had to be out and about a bit, and in doing so we came across a couple of shops we'd never seen before:

I've been forced to watch this drivel on the telly for the sake of my beautiful granddaughter Kezia, but I really think that she was above it anyway!

The last one isn't quite the right shade of blue to be a Cadbury's Caramel, but that's certainly part of the Cadbury logo! Only in Egypt, eh?

When we called at the Nile Palace for tea and Nescafe, we realised that we were really 'home', when we were welcomed by our old saxophone playing friend:

Yes indeed, only in Egypt! See you soon.


  1. WOW you took half of uk home lol pleased you had a good journey home to luxor; We wish roll on summer.sandra mick.

  2. So enjoyed reading that story. With taking things over to Luxor for ACE we are always weighing our cases, taking things out, moving things about, so we can take as much as we can. Plus with Easyjets hand baggage, putting in as much as we can, but also making sure it fits. Flew with Thomsons last time, lady at check in very suspicious, asked to weigh the hand luggage, it was way over! Obviously food items are very important to you, love the idea that meat pies and Ginger cake are your loves! Back in Luxor Caramel and Spongebob shops look very bright and expensive. Can the locals afford to shop there in current climate? What other food items out of interest do you miss out in Egypt? Keep up the blogging.