Go on, then. But just a quickie!

Yes, just a quickie today, I'm afraid.

You know how Clarkson and his chums were fired from the BBC, and started work on a rival show for another channel? Well......... the bloke whom the BBC decided to replace him with has now also been given his "marching orders". That's right, Chris Evans has now been dumped as well! But not to worry, he's gained employment elsewhere; in fact, it would seem that he's been inflicted on Luxor:

I'm confident that if this is, indeed, the great man's new enterprise, his "shouty" presence will go down very well with the other road users in Luxor. Don't you agree, Dear Reader?

The shops are struggling to fill their shelves here in Luxor. I'm sick to death of trailing the streets looking for odds and ends which we normally use, and which used to be readily available. Whether it's water filters or skimmed milk, new suppliers are having to be found. Only this morning, I had to fight my way into the "Government" shop on Youseff Hassan Street, in my daily search for that self-same skimmed milk.

On interrogating my "in-shop spy" I found that all the folk blocking the footway, and half of the road, were waiting for a promised delivery of sugar. I found it very strange that there should be a sugar shortage, as it always looks as if more than half of Egypt's agricultural land is given over to sugar cane production!

But, what do I know, Dear Reader, I'm just a long-staying khawadga tourist!

See Ya!

A Quickie add-on?

Did I tell you about Luxor being piped for natural gas? Well, they've left really badly filled-in trenches all over the place. So much so that the caleches are breaking their springs, more expense with even less income!

Well, good news today. Here are the road men, re-surfacing Sharia Karnak behind the Temple. They're also creating havoc and much excitement among the diverted 'bus drivers and the disoriented general public.

We don't need another hero?

Tina Turner wasn't really thinking when she sang those words;

We'll get to the relevance of this song shortly, don't worry. I never leave you in the lurch, do I Dear Reader?

I was nosing around the different selling sites on the laptop last night until quite late on. I rather like to keep abreast of which melodeons and concertinas are for sale and for how much. (But I think you are already aware of that, aren't you?) By the time I went to bed, there was an awful noise coming from somewhere outside, a large machine of some sorts. Being tired, I didn't go to investigate, it wasn't that intrusive. 

However, as the clock ticked away and I didn't go over to sleep, I found that the noise was becoming rather annoying by 03.30!!! It was actually interfering with the grandiose plans which were forming in my mind, and I couldn't have that, could I? I rose, and made myself decent, and went out onto the terrace to see if I could determine just whereabouts the noise was coming from. On listening to it properly, it was obviously a mechanical shovel loading a steel-bodied tipper, and down on Youseff Hassan Street. It would wait till morning for further investigation. Breaking the pattern of thought for my future plans seemed to do the trick as far as sleep went. Even with the ongoing noise outside, I soon slipped away to dreamland.

This morning, the slave-driver (who is more often known as Madame Farida) chased me out to get some aish fino (white bread) to make our luncheon sandwiches, and while I was out I thought that I'd check to see if my earlier suspicions about last nights noise were correct. Sadly, they were!

I say "Sadly", because this used to be the building of the most local carpenter. The father (who used to spend his days sitting outsode the door, drinking tea and chatting to all and sundry) died earlier this year, and I don't think the son had very much "go" in him, at least I hadn't seen much work going on there since the old man "got away".  

Nevertheless, I was sad to see it go. The son had turned out to be a hero of sorts, to me anyway , as can be seen in the following picture and Blog post: 


That's all folks!

In for a penny; in for a pound!

Intrepid? That's us!

Yes Dear Reader, as you know, we recently visited Aswan, staying at the Old Cataract Hotel, and it was wonderful! Nevertheless, we aren't made of money, and couldn't possibly afford such an expense again, so soon. So we had to trim our sails and cut our suit according to our cloth, to mix our metaphors.
Freda booked us into the "Nile Wing", formerly the New Cataract, that awful concrete monstrosity which stood next the glorious Old Cataract. We don't mind slumming it to bring you the low-down!

Actually, it's not three bad! (Colloquialism; not three bad = better than not too bad!) here are some pics of our room, a "Luxury room" of course!

            What do you think so far? Wait till you see the view!

Here's a shot of the actual balcony, taken from the doorway. Isn't it a treat? The sun never gets to shine on it, and there seems to be an almost constant "movement" of the air, not enough to call it a breeze, just enough to keep the heat at bay! And what about these views?

No panoramic shot, just overlapping pictures:

Now you can tell me where a lover of the Nile could find better views? It's just fabulous! Like the hotel.

A few more views in the room?...........

Sorry about the bathroom looking as if it's different colours; it's not in reality! The bath is very deep and wide, ideal for plump blokes like me.

There was the fridge and mini-bar, complete with a mini-kitchen too. Tea (and coffee) on tap, almost. Who could ask for more?

We've been looking at hotels in Europe, to replace the holiday to Andalusia which we missed this year, and the prices are higher, with views of the street!!!! Honestly (and I'm not getting paid for this) you couldn't better this hotel for value anywhere else in the world, and if you want to spend more than we could, there's always the likes of the Winston Churchill Suite at something like £10,000 per night.

We can hardly wait to go back! (But we'll have to save very hard.)

Don't forget, click on any picture to see them all, but bigger and better.

Another day, and yet anther dollar.......spent!

OK then, I've been having a sort through some of the photo's I took whilst we were away on our intrepid jaunt. These first few relate to visiting a dear friend who is our sometime neighbour when he is in Luxor. We went to visit him at his mother's house, which lies behind the railway station, very nearby an impressive Fatimid cemetery which I didn't even know existed!

They live on the first floor of a two storey dwelling. His next-door-neighbour is Muslim, but both downstairs neighbours are Christian. Although a devout Muslim, he did make the comment that if he'd been born downstairs, he'd have been a Christian.

Anyway, the Muslim neighbour soon arrived with a queer looking pot:

I cannot deny that I thought it looked rather dubious! "We have this before drinking tea." piped up our host. He went on to explain that, in the olden days, on seeing someone receive guests, it was customary for a neighbour to quickly kill and roast a lamb for them, but that custom had slid by the board. (These are Ababda people, originally from Arabia and reputedly numbering something like 34,000,000 in Egypt.)

So now, we had to suffice with a welcoming, neighbourly, drink of jababnah (pronounced jAbanA). It's made with hand-ground coffee and rather more hand-ground ginger, amongst other bits and bobs. It's heated on charcoal, hence the rag around the red-hot handle, and some wire wool is stuffed into the spout to act as a filter. Speaking as someone who only likes Irish coffee, and that because I cannot taste the coffee for the Irish whisky, I could have sat and drunk this concoction all night. I'm surprised that they get away with serving it in these tiny cups? (Unless it was/is relatively expensive to make?) In short; it was utterly delicious!

After a good old chin-wag covering the various differences in politics, religion, economics and social problems in Egypt and England, we had a stroll past the fascinating Fatimid cemetery, and ended up at a house/factory belonging to an old man who was his life-long friend. The old man, who was asleep while we were there, makes decorative man-hole covers. Like these:


We sat by the roadside for ages, just watching the back-street life of Aswan going about its routine, it was lovely, and peaceful too. 

Our Aswan friend maintains that the British introduced the segregation of rich and poor in Egypt, when they built the railways. He pointed out that the rich live between the railway and the Nile, and the poor are confined to the East of the railway. This had never occurred to me before, but on reflection, and in the main, he's right! But was it a deliberate policy decision? Who knows?

It's about bedtime now, but my mouth is watering thinking about that jabanah! See you later, alligator! 

Intrepid travellers!

Yes, that's us folks. You all know how Freda likes her luxury, don't you Dear Reader? Well, we've just returned from a little jaunt to Aswan, where we had 3 nights of roughing it! You couldn't make it up!

But never mind that for the moment, it's Sunday; supposedly a day of rest, so I'll go through the millions of pictures maybe tomorrow and get back to you. Our hardships might bring you to tears, so you'd better have a box of tissues at the ready.

Today........we woke to the sound of a windy pick (jack hammer to our friends over the water) in our little *local* street below. It's been on-the-cards for a while (Colloquialism; on-the-cards = an inevitability, something being due to occur.) but which we'd put it to the back of our minds, as you do with things which you would rather just go away.

It meant, "The Gas Man Cometh!!! And there he was, drilling away for all he's worth! There was another poor beggar with him, shovelling out the muck into piles on either side of the trench, completely blocking the street to anyone other than experienced mountaineers!

If you don't believe me, just look:

That's Coffeeshop Adam having a look as well. Not too happy!

Never mind, it would appear that President El Sisi wants everyone to have the opportunity to get piped up, and reduce the dangers inherent in bottled gas. 

When I went down to go to the government shop, I became aware of the full effect of their mornings work;

I thought that it was just as well that Dr Al Mallach didn't have any patients booked in for major surgery today, they'd have had a bonny job on, getting them over that lot! 

On my return from the shop (10/15 minutes? At most.) I found the lad back-filling his trenches. "That was quick work", thought I. I couldn't see any pipework in what remained of the trench, and sought out the man with the clip-board, and neighbour (and translator) Mr Radwan, who were over-seeing the work. Apparently, the gas trench had to be 20 cms wide and 20 cms from any other services, e.g. water or electricity. Well, Dear Reader, you've seen how narrow our street is, oh, haven't you?

There it is, it has a water main running the length of it and also two or three waste water pipes too! No gas pipes for you today, Mr Edward! I actually felt heart-sorry for the labourer, it's still quite hot here, certainly too hot for labour-in-vain!

(*local* is an inference which might well be too obscure for even some of our UK friends! You see; our's is a "local street", meant for "local people", as in the strange cultish TV series "The League of Gentlemen".)

Have a look here and you might come to terms with the concept:

For the moment, I'll leave you with the lovely people of Royston Vasey, but "I'll be back!"