Yes, well................

Yes, well what? Nothing really, well as far as the bigger picture goes, that is. But when you're living in would think that all our birthdays had come at once!!

It all started about 5 or 6 years ago, when we found a dirty and dishevelled English girl planted on the sofa in our friends travel office on the Corniche. Well, I say 'girl' but she was more of a woman, really. The 'girl' bit was more of a description of how she was acting. She was actually so thrilled by her experience of quad-biking on the West Bank that she couldn't stop raving about it! This was our introduction to the 'Quad-Bike Queen', a girl who would become a dear friend whom we've cherished ever since.

We were so taken by her enthusiastic manner that we invited her to take tea with us at the Nile Palace, and we were so glad that she accepted. We stopped off at the St Joseph's so that she could get cleaned up a bit before heading off to the posher surroundings. She'd actually been coming to Luxor for over 10 years, always staying at St Joe's, and she'd never even had a nosey around the other hotels, preferring to just lounge around the St Joe's; reading, relaxing and dipping in the pool occasionally. We soon changed that by introducing her to all the lovely spots where the 'special offer teas' can regularly be found!

She stayed with us at 'Our Luxor' the next time she came, but was spending nearly all of almost every day with the quad-biking gang over on the West Bank; she just loves bouncing and bumping over the wild desert terrain! Of course, it eventually dawned on us all that it would be more convenient for her to stay over there, on the 'Side of the Dead', than her travelling back and forth on the ferry every day. So she has spent her subsequent twice yearly visits (apart from the odd night or two at our place) staying in a flat arranged by her mates from the quad-biking garage. Mind you, she always visits us and brings us home-made goodies; like her mother's ginger biscuits for yours truly!

Anyway, she arrived in Luxor two days ago, and we arranged to meet her off the ferry today, for a day with us, here on the 'Side of the Living'. It was lovely to see her again. Back at 'Our Luxor', I made the tea while Freda and the Q-B Queen caught up with family news and a little gossip. Shortly before lunch out came her bag of goodies.......home-made biscuits, mmm, Jelly Babies for Freda, a very stodgy ginger cake made by her own fair hand (we'd better hide that, as we have a different friend calling for lunch tomorrow!) a magazine and a Daily Telegraph, champion! But then! But then!

That's correct, Dear Reader, four individual pork and pickle pies!!!!! Branston Pickle, at that! Now, we're not really great big fans of pork, and apart from a few of John the Butcher's pork sausages and some of Tesco's smoked side bacon, we don't have it very often. Freda occasionally buys small pork (and something) pies from Fenwick's of Newcastle, but that's only now and then. Never mind, these had been frozen until today, and seeing as the giver is a veggie, we saved them in our fridge until tonight.

Here we are getting ready to watch another episode of Spooks, and ravenous to get stuck into our Luxor rarity! A little cheddar cheese from the Forty market (nicely creamy) and one or two spiced cheese crisps, just to set the pies off:

Honestly, they went down a treat with a nice cup of tea, the second cup of tea was nicely complimented by a slightly over-large slice of the heavy ginger cake, just to complete the job!

I'm constantly amazed by people's kindnesses. And not only to us, I know of several people who are sending money over to help Egyptians who are in dire straits, and just trusting that it gets to the right people. It warms my heart!


  1. I love these sorts of posts. How little things can mean such alot to people, like jelly babies, and ginger cake and biscuits or even The Daily Telegraph! As they say 'its the thought that counts', and when you know people have taken the trouble to pack a few little delacies, to fly over to sunny Luxor it is heart warming.

    So no lamb for you two then, when there must be quite an abundance at the moment? How much does it cost per kilo? I suppose in these times not many will be splashing out at the butchers for meat this Eid. I mean I really can't think how they manage with no tourists. Not good to hear that Thomsons have decided not to fly until Easter 2014, and of course Easyjet - well we watch and wait to see if they resume at all.

    I often wonder what sort of little treats I could bring out for the people of Luxor. I like to try and treat the women if I can, and once did bring out a pair of what I shall call 'fancy flip flops'. I think they cost me £4 from Tesco, but they did attract admiring glances when I passed them over. The next time I visited a year later I saw them being worn, so I was pleased with that little present.

    Any ideas of other things, that may be appreciated, other than mobiles of course!
    I know Ahmed likes things for his horses, but I wonder what the womenfolk would appreciate?

    I remember visiting at Eid a couple of years ago, and seeing the pile of blood stained sheepskin rugs at the side of the road. Do they wash and treat these, and sell for rugs as in the UK?

    I hope Sandra is progressing well, hopefully one day we might meet up with them again. If you read this Sandra, Get Well Soon. xxx

  2. Hi Ann, and thanks for your comment.

    We didn't get any lamb, but one of our neighbours did get his wife to cook for us; it was buffalo meat, done in two small tagines (actually only little clay pots, really) with potatoes and lightly spiced. They came with some rice and a larger container of the spiced potato and tomato stuff which I love, and the obligatory bread and salad of course. The main course was preceded by her usual lark's tongue soup, which went down very well too. We only managed about a half of what was sent, so put the rest in the fridge for the following night. If anything, I think it was even nicer warmed up!

    We aren't big meat eaters, and what we do buy isn't from the butcher's (yuuuuuk, sorry) we buy frozen minced beef and frozen chicken breasts. Consequently, I've no idea just how much lamb would cost, although I do believe it's quite expensive.

    The sheep skins were piled up all over the place, still covered in blood and gore, but with a couple of blokes sitting cross-legged trying to sell them. They always look a bit scraggy for rugs, but maybe they have other uses for them, who knows?

    There is often a man sitting near the entrance of the Egyptian souk, with a small pile of soaking wet skins of some sort folded in front of him, I suppose the liquid must be some sort of treatment, eh? They don't look or smell very pleasant, and I cannot imagine to what use they could be put in the condition that they are at the time.

    What would the womenfolk appreciate? Perhaps a few considerate men? Sorry, but I've really no idea, things we've given in the past have seemed to have been appreciated, but you can never tell that it's not just praised out of politeness, can you? Nice smelly soaps etc, possibly, one would think, but then many of the class of people whom the likes of us come into contact with don't know what soap is or what it's for!

    We haven't heard any more from Sandra and Mick, so we'll just have to believe that "No news is good news" until we hear differently.

    Keep well, Edward. x