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!
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:
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!