The Journey!

Well, what can I say?

The trip started off well enough, with Mr Ayman, our regular taxi man, arriving on time with a clean car with room in the boot (trunk, for our American friends) for the baggage and enough "benzine".

As usual, I had my trusty shifter (Colloquialism: shifter = adjustable or adjustable wrench.) from Mr "Snap-On Tools" with me as I took the luggage downstairs.

This is to remove the handles from the mains water taps (faucets) so that no-one can mess with them whilst we're away. I put the handles, fixing nuts and shifter in the little pocket in the top of my "TripAdvisor" haversack, where they stay until we return to Luxor, so that getting the water on is one of the first things I can do when entering the building. (Mind you, this time I forgot to turn the electricity off at the main switch, which is in a pad-locked wooden box, and had to get our friend "Slack Alis" to go and dismantle said box and switch the leccy off for us.) Never  mind!

Service at the airport was fine, although our second case (which was completely empty) did cause a raised eyebrow or two. After getting rid of the large cases, we sat on the sofas opposite the international departures check-in for quite a while filling in the emigration forms, and without having to buy anything to eat or drink, as the snack-bar wasn't yet open. I do like this part of our journey, as it's a great tourist-watching opportunity!

Upstairs at the airport, in the duty-free, we managed to find some menthol fags (Colloquialism: fags = cigarettes, not people of a certain sexual orientation!) for Number-One-Son and Number-One-Son-In-Law, and then joined the shortish queue for the actual departure lounge.

This is when the wheel fell off! (Another colloquialism: "wheel fell off" = a catastrophe occurred.)

Security at Luxor International has been strengthened dramatically! At every transfer from one section of the airport to the next, our paperwork wasn't just checked (as usual) it was "inspected"...........twice! With the current perceived threats (even if they aren't actually real) I wouldn't really complain about additional security measures; like everyone having to remove their shoes before going through the magnetic thingy at the departure lounge entrance. Like a good lad, I'd removed my watch, switched off my 'phone and also placed my keys in Freda's handbag. I was therefore rather surprised when I was asked to open my little haversack!

"You have a 'key' or something in there?" said the officer. Of course, me knowing Arabic English, I realised immediately that he was referring to my shifter. As I retrieved it from the small pocket, I explained to him that I had used it to dismantled the taps at my home, and needed it with me to reassemble them when I returned, quite simple, really. He took it from me and laid it on the desk, while saying that I also had something with a battery in it. Laptop, tablet, phone? No, it was my nose and ear hair trimmer! I remonstrated with him that I wouldn't be able to trim my nose hairs while flying, but he was having none of it; he wanted the battery taken out! I subsequently picked up the shifter as he inspected the Energiser AA battery.

"No, no, that stays here!" "No, no it blooming doesn't!!!! That's a lot of English pounds there Matey." He realised that I meant business, and called for a supervisor. I made it quite plain to him, too, that I was not willing to just lose the tool, and that if it could not accompany me into the cabin of the plane, then it would have to go into my checked baggage. I was duly packed off back to the check-in, where my cases were sent for and eventually arrived. After that, and queuing again for the departure lounge for about 15 minutes, everything else went reasonably smoothly. Of course, they were wary of me being able to dismantle the plane with my shifter. It certainly couldn't have been that they suspected that I might use the tool as a weapon, as they freely passed weapons around to everyone on the plane when the meal was served; proper metal cutlery!!!!!

You see this bloke?............

Yes, that's him; Stratford Johns, aka Chief Inspector Charlie Barlow of "Z Cars" fame. ("Z Cars" was a long-running British TV series about fictional policemen and their trials and tribulations in a Liverpool suburb in the 60's.) You thought that he'd been dead since 2002, didn't you, Dear Reader? Well, you'd just be wrong, again!

He must have been drinking from the fountain of eternal youth, as we came across him stewarding on our EgyptAir flight to London Heathrow! Honestly, it was him, just looking younger and speaking Arabic instead of Scouse! Strange, eh? (It's all the fault of with that modern commercial television channel; "ITV" is it?)

It's bedtime here in WN, so goodnight and God bless.

Another year of life at "Our Luxor" hurtles towards a close!

Yes friends, our last guests of 2014 have now left us and are wending their weary way to Aswan, via the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo, and then on to the magnificent Rameses Temples at Abu Simbel.

Although they were only with us for a day and a half, I think they managed to get a good taste of what Luxor is about. And they were nice people, which makes all of our recent work (in order to accommodate them) all the more worthwhile. Y'all come back now!

So now we've got to pack up the two apartments before we head off back to Windy Nook for our Christmas holidays. But we've still got a little hob-nobbing to do before we go. This afternoon, for instance, we're meeting a regular visitor, and a good friend, at the Winter Palace for tea. We'll have a great time just rabbiting on about Luxor and our different experiences and preferences regarding the place and its people. We're actually meeting Margaret, our friend with the ornithologist husband who keeps us right with our bird sightings, she's great fun to be with. We've also one or two other people to see before we head off, and we're certain to fit them in between stripping beds and taking down curtains etc and continually feeding the washing machine (again!).

We bumped into Margaret at the Winter Palace the other day, just by chance. We'd called in for a cuppa, and there she was, with a pot of (I think) hot chocolate, well it is winter coming on, you know! Before we left, I had occasion to visit the gents, where I had a totally unexpected "assignation"?

There I was, completely minding my own business, when a chap positioned himself at the next urinal and said "Afternoon," "Good afternoon", I replied as politely as usual. "You live here, don't you?" "For my sins", came the involuntary reply. It turned out that he'd actually recognised me as the writer of this Blog! So then, "Hello there, Bob from Derbyshire, I hope you had a safe and pleasant journey home and that you are, even now, planning your next visit to our second home; Luxor. Maybe we will meet again, but hopefully in a slightly more congenial setting, next time?"

I've been putting a few new pictures on our new website. (You can view it and them by clicking HERE ) It's a bit queer that I can get more in to the pictures with this camera than with the last one. I don't pretend to understand it at all, but I hope that you'll enjoy them anyway. I'll be changing some of the pictures on "Welcome to Our Luxor" (top right-hand side of this page) on the Blog as well, soon. So keep an eye out for them, too.

Unless something earth-shattering occurs before Monday; the next entry on here will be from good old Windy Nook. I look forward to you joining me there.

Bye for now.

p.s. How many of you remember old Mr Mohamed, from next door?

Well, he was 85 last week (still is, actually!) and he's now, sadly, suffering from Parkinson's disease. He fell down the other day, but happily without physically damaging himself, so I presented him with a stout walking stick, just to steady himself. He seems to be using it, and I hope that it'll save him  going down again. Keep him in mind now and then, won't you? I hope he's still here when we return after Christmas.