Gene Kelly's best work?

Sabah el kheir! An Arabic greeting, actually "Morning of goodness", I think. A common reply being Sabah el fol or "Morning of flowers". (Strange folk these Arabs.)

How about this:

I can almost sense you saying to yourself, "What's this old fool showing us now, there's nothing there of the remotest interest!"

Well, Dear Reader you'd be wrong! Again! What's there (apart from the smudge marks on the camera lens, is the absence of the West Bank! I said to Freda, "What happens to the West bank people when it disappears like this? People like West Bank Anne?" Of course I wasn't being entirely serious! We both, in tandem, blurted out "Brigadoon!"

Just imagine it..........the West Bank, and all its antiquities, only appearing for one day every hundred years? There'd be queues miles long, and they could charge a fortune, especially for "Queue-Jumper" tickets!!!!!

I thought I'd just mention in passing, we bought this brass-topped little table at a charity shop.

As you can see, it was in a rather dilapidated and filthy state. A few days ago, my semi-professional cleaning technique (*) soon made it a lot more pleasant to look at, what do you think?

(*) My semi-professional technique involved attacking it with some fine wet-n-dry! I think that might be frowned upon by the antique dealing fraternity!!!!! Never mind, though, it turned out OK.

See you later.

Oh the shame..........the bitter shame!

I don't know if any of my esteemed Readers are poor enough to ever have had threadbare carpets? I have, and although it wasn't at all unusual or particularly indicative of anything at the time, nowadays it would be a source of general shame and embarrassment.  Anyway, I would think that it's reasonably fair to say that this horror would creep up on you, relatively unnoticed, until, quite suddenly, there it was; a patch of threadbaredness! (Is that really a new word?)

Well...........Dear Reader, as I'm sure you're aware, we have a total of 83 steps from the street to our little roof-top hovel, and we're responsible for the top 36 or so, I forget exactly how many are inside our stairway door. The rest are the responsibility of the other occupants of the building; the dentist and the surgeon. So, I either clean them myself or get someone else to do them for me. (A blog in itself!!!)

For the past year or so, we've had Joseph as a replacement for the hapless Rachad, who was as much use as man off! Joseph is employed, full-time, as a street cleaner, otherwise known as an "Amoun Man" after the name of the company which used to have the street-cleaning contract. He comes every Sunday (without fail, so far) and brushes and washes the stairs from top to the street at the bottom. He also, occasionally, runs one of the filthy floorcloths over the painted walls on the way back up the stairs, when he returns the bucket etc, leaving lovely dirty marks which NEVER come off! Bless him.

Well.........(again?).......... I have to say that I've noticed that the white mosaico (Colloquiallism, mosaico = the white cement with flecks of stone in, which is used all over Luxor on stairs and footpaths and some floors, as well. Pronounced "moz-eyeco") wasn't as white as it used to be. In fact, after inspecting it, as we had guests arriving, it was scruffy! Joseph was managing to mop it dirty instead of clean! I have showed him (time and time again!) how to do it effectively. Sweep first, then mop (hard) with the prepared solution in scalding water, of Gen-er-Al cleaner and either bleach or vinegar, and then dry immediately with the bundle of floorcloths provided. It's not rocket science!

Anyway, I knew I wouldn't be able to see to our stairs in time for the guests coming, so I was just a bit ashamed, but didn't say anything to them about it. They didn't mention it either, so it was a case of "Least said soonest mended!".

Obviously, the situation couldn't just be left as it was, and I would have to tackle the stairs sooner or later; it ended up being sooner! The trick is, when they are really stained with ingrained dust etc, is to clean them as if they were concrete, with an acid based cleaner. In other, here in Luxor words, neat vinegar, especially as it's only 1.5LE per bottle!

Here's the first flight of our stairs as you come up them:

Not all that bad, would you say?

But take a better look at that top one, and there's worse to come! Here's the next landing:

So........I started from the top; working down is easier than working upwards, or so I think. 

Marigolds on, to save my lovely soft hands, you know, along with my trusty work apron, all the floorcloths (newly washed, of course), a new litre bottle of vinegar, a one and a half litre bottle of water with a pierced top, a suitably sized scrubbing brush and a bucket of clean water. Armed for the battle, wouldn't you agree? Except for one thing.....the round tag on the vinegar bottle seal, inside the screw-on cap, snapped off, and I had to go back into the flat to find a knife to pierce the seal. Believe it or not, this happened every time, with 6 vinegar bottles, and every time, I was unprepared. I could have spit!

Never mind. I'm almost done now, I've been averaging a flight, or a landing, per day, my knees won't take any more than that, and I run out of clean cloths as well. 

Here is the bit where I almost die of shame for letting it get sooooo bad, the difference is astonishing:

Do you think that that's a good reason for never doing today what you can put off till tomorrow, Dear Reader? Oops, perhaps I've got that wrong?
Yes, tomorrow is another day, and I hope to get it finished before dinner time (that's lunchtime if you're POSH) as I'm back in demand as an actor in an Egyptian film production tomorrow afternoon. No idea of what I'm supposed to be, yet, but "a foreigner" will certainly be part of the job description. I hope I'm not playing a cleaner, eh?

I'll tell you more about it next time, Insh'Allah!