Some of us are born to it!

Hello again. As you know, we're back in Blighty just now, escaping from the 50 degrees (and +) which those poor beggars in Luxor are currently experiencing.

That fact means that I'm being, once again, employed as my wife's Handy Man. What she doesn't realise is that the title really refers to the fact that I'm here and available, and not that I am multi-skilled! Although she should be well aware of this, after all these years of botched repairs and sheer foolishness.

Not many men would admit to such failings where their very masculinity might be brought into question, but, I cannot tell a lie!

Yes, Dear Reader, it's our washing machine! I noticed, whilst washing the dishes in the sink next to it, that when it was emptying (into the same waste pipe below the sink) a rather unpleasant smell emitted from the sink overflow.

After putting my mind to it, I deduced that the smell must be coming from a build-up of something in the drain tube which comes from the washer, as if it was actually coming from inside the machine, then the clean clothes would also have some sort of odour, which they haven't. I'm no fool, you know! All I needed to do was to take the pipe off and give it a good cleaning out! "Voila!" said Zebedee, in French. (That's a bit of a colloquialism, in that it's occasionally repeated in such circumstances, and is taken from a children's TV programme of years ago called "The Magic Roundabout")

Now, I know that as I get older, I'm losing my strength. It's a natural be happens to us all. But, I would have expected to be able to drag the washing machine out from under the bench, surely? The beggar wouldn't budge!!! It was as if it had been screwed to the floor; solid!

Time went on, and the smell got worse, to the point where Freda said that I should get Number-One-Son to give me a hand to shift it. Eventually, we were both in the house together, and he seemed to be in a good mood, so I asked him to help. No problem, great!

Now then, my son and heir isn't built like Arnie, or Tarzan, but I was confident that we'd master this lump of tinplate between us. I was wrong! It still wouldn't come. But it had budged, it was as if the front left-hand foot was fixed to the floor, and it turned a little from side to side, very strange.

Last year, I extended the bench next to the sink and washing machine to facilitate moving the microwave from where Freda wanted more working surface, nearer the cooker. Apart from not being able to get the right edging trim for the semi-circular cut of the new piece of bench, it worked out quite well, I was pleased.

I realise that it's not all that pretty, but the bin, a bag for recyclable stuff and a hook for the brush and pan fit in there quite nicely, thank you.

Number-One-Son cheekily suggested that I might have screwed the brass hook through the bench end panel and into the side of the washer. "Don't be ridiculous! The wood screws wouldn't have gone through the metal side of the machine. Anyway, they're not long enough." Hmph, that boy!!!!!!!

He took out the two screws anyway, in defiance of his elders and betters (me) only to see that they were too short after all, and that they didn't even protrude through the MDF end panel! (The cheek of it!) Not being satisfied, he went on to unscrew the bigger screw on which the dust-pan hung. After one and a half turns, the washer moved! I couldn't believe it; the screw had gone through the MDF and into the soft plastic washing machine top cover. I didn't know whether to punch him or kiss him!

You'll be pleased to know that, although we got quite a bit of muck out of the pipe, it wasn't that which was causing the whiff! We went on to strip and clean the whole of the kitchen waste pipe system, some nasty stuff in there, believe me!
So there you are, some of us are, indeed, born to it! Born to incompetence, that is!

More Camels?

I've always (well, for as long as I can remember) had a fascination for all things "desert", camels especially! You'll recall, Dear Reader, the saga of poor Alice the Camel? Just in case your memory is going like mine, here she is (OK, was)

She was just lovely! And I was ever so upset and annoyed when she arrived in pieces:

We looked high and low on ebay for weeks afterwards, but to no avail, we even checked garden centres etc, but without success. 

Nevertheless, Freda (of the Eagle Eyes) came across a pair of camel twins (in Barnsley) on ebay last week. Of course she won the auction, as normal, and Number-One-Son and I trundled down to Barnsley last night to safely collect the new additions to our family.
I was a bit sad when looking at the advert pictures, the poor darlings were obviously kept outside, in the cold and wet:

Never mind, their carer had been kind enough to wrap them in bubble-wrap for protection, and we put their seatbelts on in the back of the car for the journey to God's own country, The North East, and good old Windy Nook!

On arrival, we removed their protective coats only to find that they both needed a good bath! One in particular, had a good bit of soil in his/her lower orifices and was also infested with small ants! (Shudder!!!) Here they are luxuriating in the warm soapy water:

Although they're definitely twins, they aren't identical, and seem to be opposite sexes, too. I haven't actually measured them exactly, as yet, but I hope that they don't exceed British Airway's maximum hand luggage sizes, or we'll be well snookered! Only one can come to Egypt with us on our next journey. I know it's sad to split them up, but I can only imagine a place for one of them as yet, and I couldn't manage to take two at once anyway. (It's like children; one's enough to cope with at our time of life!)

They're having a trial separation at the moment, with one on the landing, and the other in our bedroom. We'll see how they get on, and I'll keep you informed, OK?

They're going to have to have names, any ideas, Dear Reader?

A Second bite at the Moulid.

Well, as I told you, I missed the most important "official" part of the Moulid parade. But, as I promised here are some views of the noisiest and most prolific members of the largest grouping to be represented among the chaos of the "cara-nav-Al" (does that ease the actual pronunciation), they are the unemployed and football-crazy young men of Luxor!

I really wouldn't have believed that you could have so many "armed" youths in one place without experiencing at least some serious trouble. Have a look, and see what you think:

There were several groups like this, certainly hundreds in each?

I didn't film them all, mainly because one bunch looked much the same as the next, apart from the different flags.

Of course, even in these straitened times, festivals demand new clothes, aren't these twins just adorable?

And, attending without being scared out of your wits would be no fun at all! This little lad had second thoughts, methinks, mind you, those beasts are very high!

There's always someone dressed up as a gorilla, but I cannot fathom what this animal has to do with either Luxor or the sainted Abu El Haggag!

No doubt, Dear Reader, you noticed the carnival hats on may heads, well. here's one of the many wheeled stalls from where they could be purchased:

I think that's probably enough of the Moulid for this year, but definitely not enough of camels!

As a bit of a "spoiler" regarding my next posting; bearing in mind the previous paragraph, who might you find wandering in Wonderland, and from another source, which girl had "Smokie" lived next door to for 24 years?

Come on now, get your thinking caps on!

P.S. I cannot get the 3rd last video to play properly! The sound is OK but the picture is static, is anyone else having his problem?