Thursday, January 28, 2010

Luxor, Egypt dance festival - sept 2010

I have mentioned this one before- but just wanted to bring it to your attention again!!!

especially since the festival now has a facebook page- for those of you who are into that!

The website is

So if you are interested in Learning from 3 of Cairo's top teachers ... Eman Zaki (amazing graceful 'vintage' style), Mohamed Kazafy (Reda technique) and me, Lorna Gow (Modern Cairo) then get your booking in now!

I am really looking forward to spending a week with dancers in a fabulous city... we are going to have a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My new Garden!

I strongly suspect this latest home improvement was powerfully inspired by my recent trip to fayoum.... walking through the fields, surrounded by fabulous greenery! I have always had plants, even as a young child I drove my parents crazy with the 'jungle' that was my bedroom. I just realised that i have lived here in Cairo for nearly 4 years without any plants around me at all!

On Friday i decided i MUST have a garden! (ie buy some plants to put out on my balcony!) so I travelled around in a taxi for about an hour trying to find somewhere to buy them where they wouldn't charge extortionate prices as soon as they saw me... eventually found a place on the corniche just before kit kat mosque, but the guy who takes the money wasn't there- so we had to go back again on Saturday. see- even a simple trip to buy some potted plants in this country isn't as easy as you'd expect!!!!
Saturday I returned with a friend and we selected 15 plants!!!!!! ( ok- 3 of them are tiny- little herbs- mint and basil) but still 15 !!!! This includes a ficus tree, a 'christmas tree', a chamomile and a bourgainvillea among others! All for 290le. (After a lot of bargaining of course!)
so then how to get them home?? It's very strange as well to be buying plants for outside that would normally only ever be indoor plants in UK!

My garden would never squeeze into a taxi- assuming any driver would accept- and for once I had found somewhere in Cairo that didn't deliver!!! so my friend went out into the street and managed to find a microbus that would take us, and the garden, to mohandiseen for only 35le. I was quite happy about that- sitting up front in a microbus full of greenery- what a sight. i think my neighbours think i am slightly mad!

Happy though. And now it takes a lot to get me out- when instead I could be sitting at home in front of my lovely garden!!! Does that make me old? or just content? I certainly feel this is 'home' now!

Next- - what plants to add to it now? all the ones that repel mosquitoes- that’s for sure! Basil I have and I am open to new suggestions..........?

Monday, January 11, 2010


The name of the ancient Egyptian crocodile god, and also the name of the camp in a lovely little village called Tunis in Fayoum where I stayed for the last couple of days…..

Tunis is now famous for its pottery, and the story behind how that came about is a nice one.

A Swiss woman, Evelyn, decided Tunis was the place she wanted to live, and she set up a pottery school to teach locals a useful, creative and marketable skill.

We had a tour round the school… which is small and interesting.. And I learned how the clay has to sit in the sun for months to dry out before it can be used etc.

The village is small and friendly and these kids loved posing for my camera………….

Sobek, the camp, is small, but growing. Currently sleeps up to 10 people and provides tasty meals too….
The atmosphere is relaxed, casual and comfortable.

It’s a short walk down through fields, to the lake and fabulous for chilling around a fire in the evenings. The owner, sherif, is friendly and cares that you enjoy your stay.This is a photo of him posing with his camp's namesake, Sokek, in an ancient temple we went to visit nearby....

Sobek’s link to ‘the Swiss woman’ is that she designed the camp, and her husband built it.I look forward to sometime meeting this phenomenal woman! If she is even half as amazing as her own private garden...........

with swimming pool...........

...which we had the good fortune to be shown around, then she is a remarkable, tasteful and talented woman!

The temple we went to see was a temple to the gods horus and sobek, in the middle of the desert...

a fabulous place for meditation and peace.....

I suspect Fayoum, and even Tunis itself, is a place I’ll be back to, possibly in the near future… Its only a 2 hour (150le) taxi ride there and the air is clean and fresh and you really feel like you are stepping into another Egypt. Wonderful.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Dizzy arts

what a week.............

I feel like I have been floating outside of my life this week...... not sure why. I collapsed onstage on monday night- (thankfully didn't actually end up on the floor but wasn't far off it, and did have to cut my show short). Was pretty scary actually. I had eaten, slept well, felt fine in fact....until that happened, but then have not really felt 100% or even 70% all week. Haven't a clue what happened.

So I have had a very unLorna type week til i felt stronger again. Cancelled all outings, parties, classes etc and just worked, stayed home and slept lots. And I managed to spent over 10 hours yesterday sitting in from of laptop sorting my music in itunes........... still lots more hours needed on that- but at least i have been doing something towards my New Year's resolutions!

I'm off, with a couple of friends, to Fayoum tomorrow for a couple of days, hoping the calm of the desert and the fresh air will help restore me to 100% Lorna !!!

Was looking at photos of all the Snow in UK just now and feeling grateful that i am here in sunshine. 21deg suits me far more than -20deg !!! Thinking of my friends and family back in UK and sending you warmth and love!!!

Oh and something completely different. My lovely friend, and talented Poet, Linda, has started up an Arts Residency Centre in Cairo. It a lovely place, overlooking the Pyramids... and has 5 rooms so accomodates lots of artists (up to 10!) at the same time! So if you are a writer, painter, musician etc etc etc and fancy coming to cairo to work on a project, or get some inspiration... then its a great place to base yourself from and meet other artists!

Check out the blog,

Sunday, January 03, 2010

motto for 2010

A friend sent me a link...which i have tried to include here but it won't let me, I guess you have to subscribe to The New York Times in order to access it... its at slightly the wrong time of the year to be mentioned really- since there has been a few months passed now since ramadan- but makes for good reading all the same! nice pic too......... if you can find it!!! Its callled 'hurry sundown: Ramadan in Cairo' and published 3rd January!

oh and 2010 is still going well. Audiences are still wonderful and life is good. In fact I had to laugh, when I was back in Scotland over Christmas, a comment was made about how I wasn't updating the blog as often... but a fabulous friend jumped in with- yes, but nearly every entry now has in it 'Life is Good'. !!! I guess thats my motto for 2010... may it be good for you too.....!

Friday, January 01, 2010

so far so good!

I am really liking 2010 so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

last night I had 6 shows... and for the 1st time in a Loooong time... all the audiences were in a fabulous mood and really up for a party. A nice mix of foreigners and mainly Egyptians, everyone was clapping and singing along and gave me a very warm welcome. I was not due to be on stage between 11.45 and 12.15... so I quickly got dressed and joined everyone on the dancefloor- and I mean everyone- the guests and staff, even the stuffy managers who wouldn't normally dream of such a thing! there was the count down- and fireworks from all the hotels around the Nile, and the birthday song, and santa claus conga line... great!!

I danced Lissa Fakir... and i felt completely lost in the music and the audience was lost in there with me. One of my all time favourite dance moments so far. powerful and moving. My band excelled themselves and the audience fully appreciated the music and my dance. wonderful.

My night at work finished at 2.30am. I had started my night at 7pm. But it was all so good i felt I could have danced my way through the entire night! (although body feeling it a little this morning!- day one of my new stretch regime me thinks!!!)

Thank you all the people who helped make my hogmanay such a fabulous one. I love working this night of the year! So many positive feelings about the coming year surrounding you and everyone happy and celebrating. Only just realised this second that it didn't even involve a drink! ah well- maybe i'll toast in 2010 tonight after work.............. in belated true Scottish form!

happy 2010 to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go lose yourself in the music!