Like our neighbour Mr Gamal, the other day; when the water people had left some water bills, for me, with another neighbour, Mr Abdu. There were two bills, one for November and December 2014, and another for March and April 2015, but added onto each bill was another amount(?). Of course the bills are written in Arabic, as you would expect, and dummy Edward cannot make head nor tail of the "squiggles"! On further investigation, i.e. getting Mr Gamal to translate, it transpires that the secondary amounts are for April 2012 and October 2012. When I quizzed Mr Gamal why these should be included, his reply was "Egypt!"
So there you have it, Dear Reader, Freda (as ever) is right again! The answer to every question does seem to be "It's Egypt!" But not quite, eh?
A few days ago, I posted the following picture, as a bit of a teaser. Then, our special friends Sandra and Mick suggested that it might signify I might be contemplating painting the stairs, even though I hadn't actually asked the question of what the picture was about.
I'm sure that you're all (well, the English speakers, anyway) familiar with the old saying "Slowly slowly, catchy monkey." Well; we are believers, especially since we moved here to Luxor! The above photo' was taken in October 2013, when my "cunning plan" was first forming in my nut (or, if I was pretentious, I'd say in my "design engineering brain").
When we first had the conversion work done on our Egyptian property, way back in the mists of time, I wasn't "into" taking pictures. If I had been, I would certainly have taken one of what our Egyptian project manager had judged to be an acceptable partition on the stairs. It consisted of the wrought-iron gate in the above picture, but with the section where the triangular ironwork is in the picture being two odd shaped bits of raggy-edged thin steel plate welded together with what resembled pigeon droppings. (They also had an uneven, thin and thick, coating of rust.) I wasn't best pleased, I can tell you!
He was most apologetic, and had two (supposed) welders there the following morning to create the triangular wrought iron panel which is in the picture, and which has sufficed until very recently. I've never been particularly fond of it, but it did the job of closing off the gap in the mis-aligned flights of stairs.
No, I've never liked it, nor imagined it to be worthy of what I had envisioned for our Egyptian home!!!!
My hand was eventually "forced" by circumstance. Not wanting to spend our meagre reserves of cash unnecessarily, we had become used to the poor quality of our boundary marking partition, putting any annoyance at it to the back of our consciousness. However, the inadequacy of the situation again reared its ugly head when we started to get regular power cuts between Revolutions 1 and 2! Our dentist, on the floor below, got himself a generator! And what do petrol generators produce, apart from electricity? That's correct, Dear Reader, noise and smoke!!!!!! Noise and smoke which took the natural way out of the confined space in which the generator was placed; straight up to the stair landing of our Guest Apartment, and then farther on up, to our bedroom window. Luckily, we didn't actually have guests and power cuts and generator operation all at the same time, but it was always an unacceptable possibility.
I determined to seal off this small part of the outside world from out future guests!
After a good deal of thought and consultation with carpenters and bricklayers, who both wanted more than I was willing to pay for work which I wasn't really sure that I'd be happy with; I decided to undertake the work myself. (Fool that I am!)
I remembered the problems I had had when making the cupboard on the stairs, the fact that nothing was straight, level or plumb created problems at every stage. Here we were again, with the self-same problems but with variations. It meant that for all I had designed what I wanted, it had to be actually made "on-the-job". (Difficult when you're by yourself trying to hold quite heavy wooden structures whilst measuring gaps etc which were required to be properly vertical.)
Never mind! For a start, I knocked off part of the protruding wall, and plastered it up (after a fashion):