Same again! Same a-bl**dy-gain!!!

As you may have guessed, Dear Reader, I'm a little peeved! But, as you also know, THIS IS EGYPT! (The land of exclamation marks!)

I'm sure that I told you about re-designing the iron gate area on the stairs, didn't I? Well just to refresh our memories: we had decided to do away with the rubbishy wrought ironwork on the stairs. See? That's it, the triangular bit and the narrow piece to the left of the gate, I've never really been happy with it. Even whilst I watched the cowboys put it together on the job; I knew that it would not be a permanent feature.

Freda just wanted it taken out and and bricked up. Haha! After using my wonderful new mini angle grinder to cut the welds, I soon had it removed and had one or two brickie types have a look at it, but they were crazy-men and wanted me to take out a mortgage to pay them. Eventually, I got the blacksmith from around the corner to come and weld the rubbish back in! It would be a case of "another day; another dollar".

In the meantime though, I thought that I'd get on and remove the part of the wall which sticks out just next to the iron gate. It's the dark painted bit at the bottom of the picture above. I definitely Blogged that operation, which finished off with this picture:

I got around to plastering it up, the other day, I'm not very good with a plasterer's trowel, but I'm definitely the best in Haret Osman!

That picture was taken just after I'd finished, it's almost dried out now, but the colour is still patchy.

Never mind, we've got more pressing things on our mind at the moment. We have guests coming!

The reason we wanted to enclose this area on the stairs was because the floor below (which has been unoccupied since we came here) is now the clinic of Dr Ashraf, a dentist. Not that that's a problem in itself, it's just that there are now people coming and going, with a resulting increase in general noise levels. It's not huge, but super-hearing Freda has commented on it, so something must be done!

Well, with the arrival of our next guests only weeks away, I thought that I'd better get my most recent plan (number three) into action. I rang Abdu, the carpenter from Karnak, the other day and arranged for him to come and weigh-up the job today. He duly arrived, and when I explained to him what I wanted; he started to shake his head! "Oh dear!" I thought "What's coming next?" It transpires that he is to be married in a few weeks time, and (like the cobblers children running barefoot) he hasn't even started the woodwork in his marital home!  He made several suggestions as to what could be done quickly and easily to sort of make the best of a bad job, but none of them were to my fancy at all. Plus, it would mean spending money to create what I didn't really want, and would just have to do again properly later.

Egyptian workmen are usually like this, mind. They listen to what you want them to accomplish, and then offer to do something completely different, and much better, of course, because it's more in keeping with their level of skill, or the absolute lack of it! So, with time getting shorter by the minute, I've now got to find a reasonably skilled carpenter who doesn't think that my skin being white means that I'm a millionaire! A difficult task in this day and age, I'm afraid. (Especially when the electric man is chasing me for an extra 10,000 LE! The fool!)

Things at home got a little fraught about things being left until the last minute, again, and being rather depressed by it all, we decided to watch "Cathy Come Home" which Freda had downloaded from somewhere while we were in Windy Nook, just to complete the atmosphere! (At this point, I offered to also play her some of my Leonard Cohen stuff, but she refused.) Cathy Come Home is very difficult to watch, even now, and heartbreaking to realise that this sort of circumstance affected so many people just 50 years ago. When you see again the slums which were commonplace in our young days; it certainly makes you count your blessings. It should be compulsory viewing for today's young'uns. They don't know they're born!


  1. Well that dont look a bad plastering job, I have seen a lot worse, as I am sure you have as well

    As you have a liking for old B&W films, you should have watched Mandy, a really wonderful story (with Mandy Miller, of Nellie the Elephant fame) now that would have bought a tear to the eye, and it still has old London in it

    (I found Cathy come home very depressing)

    What is this carpenter going to do then ?

    Are you going to replace all the wrought Iron with a door ?

    Until next time then :-)

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  3. He's going to do what it would take me too long to do! As to exactly what that will be; all will be revealed in good time, so you'll just have to wait and see.

  4. ooo, sounds exciting, cant wait :-)