Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...

I Love my new garden!
I went to the 'garden centre' on the bank of the Nile at Kitkat with Ellie on tuesday and we bought lots of plants to celebrate christmas with some green around us! I have tried to chose plants which will be a bit hardier than the last lot which died when they were killed through over fertilising them (it wasnt me!). I was so so sad when all my plants died. Now i am very very happy to have a lovely garden to look out onto!

Second day of my new balcony garden and i have a new flower already! That was a lovely thing to wake up to today!

Nasturtiums! I have been wanting to get these on my blacony ever since my friend Sarannah mentioned growing them in Luxor. They make me think of my mum. She always loved having them in any garden we have ever had.

My first attempt at a cactus garden... they will hopefully survive the temperatures it reaches in sunny mohandiseen. It wasnt cheap to buy though. Thankfully the man at the plant place was so sad that all my previous plants had perished (especially when i explained how it happened so he knew I hadnt killed them myself!) that he gave me really good prices for these ones.

It was lovely chatting with him about the plants and he was asking the names of them in my country and I was asking them in arabic. Ellie was laughing at me 'nerding out' about plants! Not that I remember any of them though, apart from this one, the large cactus on the left is called 'kersha' which is the name in arabic of the stomach lining of an animal, ie tripe!

My happy turtle with his 'umbrella tree' shell...

This cactus type tree is going to be our substitute christmas tree this year. We have a gathering of 8 friends planned for christmas day, turkey and everything... really looking forward to it.

This is an attempt- I have never had any plants indoor here in Cairo for the fear that ants will follow them into the flat... but i am going to try with this one and see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

Happiness is easy to find when the simple things like my lovely plants make me smile. Wishing you lots of simple pleasures in your life too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mirror and Mozzies and Military..

Look what woke me with a jump at 7am this morning!!!

The hook just decided it had been there too long... and dropped the mirror to the floor for no reason.  7am... and 7 years bad luck..... ? I really hope not. This year has been bad enough! We certainly have been living through interesting times!

I am....

-          Wishing there were more tourists in town. Work is VERY slow. Hard on me, my band and their families, as well as the people who work at the pharaohs and I guess their suppliers too. Two of my band members just had revolution babies this month (a baby boom after all the ‘downtime’ caused by the revolution 9 months ago?!!). Times is hard.

-          Wishing my back didn’t hurt so badly still. A month of pain- It’s really getting to me. I have an appointment with a physiotherapist tomorrow.... I am hoping she can succeed where the massage hasn’t. I am not dancing enough, and due to this pain, I can’t even get to the gym to keep myself in shape- it’s driving me nuts! The other Hotel Bellylorna residents (Ellie and Laura) keep trying to get me to dance; they can see how it is getting me down being so stationary!

3rd wish (have decided that instead of 7 years bad luck, the broken mirror has released a genie who’ll grant these wishes!);

-          Wish there were fewer mosquitos around. They are driving us all crazy. Every evening you find me tracking them through the flat with a pillow to throw at them when they land on the ceiling! When we sit to watch TV, our eyes are scanning the ceilings and walls every 2 minutes! One will point; the other will grab the pillow. Our sport each evening! Where are they all coming from? We kill them all every evening, and there are still enough to bite us during the night! I have never known them so bad in all the time I have lived in this flat. I presume they have stopped spraying the streets around this area. I really hope they start again soon.  It’s beginning to resemble the set of Dexter with the blood splatters on the walls after each successful pillow fight!

I guess with the upheaval the country has been facing these past 11 months, a few extra mosquitoes are the least of most people’s problems. However, when you are at home more because of less work it does make a difference!

(Everyone due to come to stay with me in Hotel Bellylorna in the next few months- bring mozzie spray with you!!!  )

Oh, and the protesters in Tahrir have started to let the traffic flow there again. This was good, since I had to go to do my aids test today to renew my work papers for next year. All foreign workers, whatever their field, have to be tested. The hospital you go to do that is one of the streets off Tahrir square that saw a lot of the fighting. It looks still like a war zone. There are rolls and rolls of barbed wire, and soldiers and tanks. I have to say- that I was hugely relieved walking past that I got not one single comment. How rare and how refreshing! I guess there has been enough excitement to spend the testosterone on as of late! Everything was quiet. Long may that last! (It shows how bad things have got this past year, when its news that a group of men *don’t* make comments when a girl passes by!!!!)

Here’s to 7 good years... or at least those 3 wishes being granted for now!!!