So glad to be of service, your Royal Highness!

According to Dear Brother Richard's research, our family used to own the King's Meadows Island in the River Tyne. (Here he is, just so that you can judge who is the most handsome!)

The island lay about the Dunston area, but in the river of course, and is commemorated with the name of the secondary school (Kingsmeadow School) which has been built adjacent to where it used to lie. (The island being dredged away years ago.) Apparently, it was thus named because the King would pasture his horses there overnight whenever he travelled North, and up into Scotland. We Jennings's are obviously no strangers to accommodating royalty!

And so it proved when our illustrious King Tut came a'visiting at "Our Luxor"! He was on his way to Berlin (that place in Germany) to attend the travel trade fair there next week. Of course, he needed a suitable conveyance, and that's where your's truly came into the equation. Not that I'm particularly skilled in any way, I think that it was just one responsibility that his escort-cum-bodyguard wanted to shunt off onto someone else!
Ingenuity led me to start with a 2 square metre sheet of 40mm 'foam' (actually expanded polystyrene) from the 'downstairs' shop, which I now know is really called "Naseem Salama", and a tube of silicone to stick it together with. It cuts easily with any sort of saw, I used my tenon saw for the straight bits and a hacksaw blade for the curves. It is VERY messy though. Here we are:

Not only was he in the box, I also shaped the inside of the box walls so that he couldn't rattle about. (I think that I treated him with greater care and respect than Howard Carter showed to his actual mortal remains!!!) Here he is ready for the final panel to go on, after sandwiching the bottom panel between two pieces of plywood, for strength, and affixing some feet to assist in initial lifting:

If you're wondering what is missing from his forehead (next to the Uraeus) it had nothing to do with me! His minder has it in his pocket, and will Super-glue it on before he meets his German public!

This was all completed on Tuesday, before I was due to have my pancakes (Implied colloquialism: Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a day for eating these tasty treats (or another meal which would also be classed as an indulgence) as the following day marks the beginning of a time of fasting for many Christian communities). The only problem was that the packet of batter mix (of which pancakes are made) ran out of date last March, I did try to eat one, but it really wasn't very good! Al Hamdulillah! Anyway, I've had a text message from his principal minder to tell me that he reached Cairo unscathed! So I'm relatively pleased with that. Roll on Berlin!

It's perhaps as well that he's no longer with us; you might have noticed from the pictures of the King in this Blog, and the last, that he was outside of the 'shady roof' area of our roof terrace, and tonight it bucketed down with rain, and then with very large hailstones!!!! Yes, you read that correctly Dear Reader; very large hailstones! The thunder and lightning were quite dramatic too. What do you think of these:

After years of trying, I've finally figured out how to capture lightning bolts! These weren't the most impressive of them tonight, but they're certainly the best shots that I managed. How about these hailstones, too, when the temperature today was 38 degrees on our roof terrace?

And they are only the ones which have bounced underneath the shady roof, I wasn't going to venture out into the storm (in just my boxers!) even for you, Dear Reader! Actually, the first few drops made a sound like someone had thrown a couple of house bricks onto our wriggly tin roof, but then came the sound of the teeming rain. When the hailstones started in earnest, it was deafening! I've been hoping for rain for a week or two, just so that I could hear it bouncing off the sheets, but I hadn't envisaged this lot, I can tell you!

Ah well, it's all calm now and we've had the A/C on for the first time this year, so it must be getting hot, eh? Time for some tea, as my hot chocolate maker has gone to sleep! Goodnight all.

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