Thursday, December 31, 2009

First and last!

This is my first blog with my new laptop... which i have only managed to set up and get online with now! The last one survived three and a half years of Cairo heat and dust- i think that is pretty impressive! Inshallah this one lasts at least as long!!!!

This is also my last blog of 2009.

What a year.

It's been a year of personal challenges never mind the day to day Cairo challenges. But a good strong support system of fabulous friends has kept everything going along quite nicely thank you and I am feeling good as i head into the year of the Tiger, 2010 !

The last year has seen me become stronger and more confidence in work, 3 years now I have been working at the Pharoah boats on the Nile. I AM a bellydancer on the Nile!! (sometimes even now it still feels like a game of dressing up or lets pretend!!!). I have my papers and contract for another year... and my dancing is improving daily.... just as my understanding of Egyptian language, culture and music increases too. I am getting more work abroad teaching workshops and performing... and lots more people are coming to me here in Cairo to either take private classes or stay with me in my 'bellydance' hotel ( ie my spare rooms which I rent out to dancers!!!). Things are good. Thank God and long may it last!!!!

So what are my dreams and resolutions for 2010?

- to do more. I am one of those dancers who is very lucky to be able to perform well without a lot of practise (assuming you don't include daily performances as practise which of course it is- just as teaching 25 classes per week when i was in Scotland was practise too!!!!). In 2010 I am going to make more effort to push my dance to greater heights and do more study, lessons and practise! That includes more stretching- which has unfortunalty fallen by the wayside as of late!

-to improve my arabic. It's ok at the moment- and I get by and can usually make myself understood and understand most of what is said to me- but i am sadly lacking in grammer and has a specialised, limited vocabulary and i feel after 4 years living in a country i really should be more fluent than i am! Lessons start this weekend!!!

-to get my music organised and onto this new laptop! I've not had music on my computer for a year now, and its been a hard year because of it! I need to get better aquainted with my music collection!

Actually thats it............ if I can manage those 3 things i will be a much better person and dancer I am sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've written them down here so that you guys out there who read this (and thank you for all your support through the years!!) can help remind me of my resolutions and pull me up on them should I fall by the wayside!

I wish you all, all the very best in 2010 and hope it brings out the Tiger in you too!

Feel free to comment with your new years resolutions too....................!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009



What a week!!! Christmas is a wonderful time to head back to Scotland, because lots of people are home so its easy to meet up with everyone… unless of course the snow is so bad that its not safe to drive anywhere and you end up sitting home a lot…. Which is unfortunately, what happened most of the time! It didn’t help that my mobile phone refused to receive and send text messages…… amazing how much I rely on technology!

Despite the weather, which I am REALLY not used to, there were some special moments in the week. Thank you to those who made my time special- you all know who you are!

I managed to buy a new laptop, the idea being that the webcam will help me stay in better contact with my friends and family, and that now I have NO excuse not to organise my music properly! As a dancer it is really shocking how unorganised my music collection is- the number of songs listed as ‘track 1’, no artist, track or album name etc is scary. My resolution in 2010 is to get that sorted!!!! At this moment I am sitting in the comfy seats at Amsterdam airport have a play on said laptop just now during my 5hour wait for my Cairo connection!. Feels like the first time I have sat down all week!

Looking forward to New Year and all the fun that will be dashing between venues to perform (although of course the main event is the Nile Pharoah!)

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas- and in case things get hectic when I land back in Cairo and I don’t get a chance to write again this year- I wish you all the very best in 2010. I hope it is a wonderful year for you all and that you get, and take, the chance to realise your dreams.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's cccccccccccold in Scotland!!!

I am home visiting everyone for Christmas. i only have a weeks holiday so i am saving it for friends and family only. Workshops and performances will have to wait until March when I am next back in the UK (watch the blog for info re when and where those events will be, as soon as all confirmed!)

Weather forecast here in Edinburgh tomorrow is high of -1deg c and low of -4 !!!
Cairo is to be high of 17 and low of 11.

and people ask me why I like to live in Cairo????? !!! Hmmm... well- THAT has got to be high on my list of reasons!!!!!

It is good to be back to visit friends and family though... although plans somewhat fell apart today , partly because i am snowed in!!!! Was a very strange experience, after all this time living in Africa, to be here, hunting for something to put under the car wheels to stop them spinning on the snow and get my car out of the gutter where it was stuck! Last time in my life I had a similar problem was in a jeep that got stuck in the sand in the sahara and we had to get bits of cardboard to place under the wheels!!!!!

I'm looking forward to performing at New Year on the Nile Pharoah again this year......... wonder if santa will be bringing in the 'bells' with a conga line as he did last year. Bizarre!!!! Whatever happens it will be fun because i have a big group of friends who are coming to the boat to say goodbye to 2009 with me!

Oh, and I will endeavour to write more if I can before the New Year! Friends have commented on the fact that I haven't been writing much as of late. If it's any consolation... I see a pattern. When i am both busier and more content within my life, I blog less. Blogging is a bit like my own self help therapy! So if you are a regular follower of my blog and get concerned about the reduction of blog entries at any period... please see it as a good thing and be happy for me!!!!!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.... enjoy it to the max!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I love my life!

After work last night I went to perform at a friends husbands birthday party. It was a fantastic night and very strange performing in 'normal' clothes. The venue doesn't have a license for entertainment- so I couldn't have my band with me... and I couldn't wear a proper dance costume either! So I wore the shiniest tightest dress i could find in my wardrobe instead! Was still very strange not dancing in costume!

The performance went really well with everyone joining in to dance too! Then, later, I was nearly in tears when one woman (Egyptian) said that if Samia Gamal and I were working together in the same era, then Samia would resign because I am so elegant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Considering Samia is still one of my biggest inspirations then even taken with a bucket of salt, that is a fabulous compliment!

What was lovely was that the bar staff, mostly Sudanese I presume, were all dancing away behind the bar and a couple of them would be able to give some of the more famous Egyptian male dancers a run for their money!

It was a lovely venue too... the Garden City Club. Never been there before- its a private members club... but very nice!!! A great place for a party!

Looking forward to having my house party this week too. A friend is coming to Cairo to live. That's 2 of my friends from uk to move here within the last 6 months!! The Egyptian goverment should give me money for the aid I give Egypts economy!!!!! Anyway- I decided to throw a welcome party for her! It's going to be great.

Then I fly the next morning to Scotland to spend Christmas with the family! I heard its snowing today in edinburgh................ Brrrrrrrr.... i don't think my body is ready for that kinda cold! Cairo weather suits me MUCH better... although even now its a little chilly!

Must go look out my tinsel......................... :-)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I've not been writing for ... wow... over 2 weeks... I think that's maybe my biggest gap between blog entries yet!

Why? many reasons I guess. I spent Eid working (the festival where they kill a sheep or cow on the doorstep) and then went up to Sharm for 4 days to lie by the pool and read. I LOVED it.

I am not a all......... I constantly love having people around me, or am online or on the phone because I usually get really depressed if I am on my own for any length of time. So it was a big surprise to me to actually enjoy the solitude. Just me, my ipod and 3 books in the sunshine....... pure bliss! So I am wondering why suddenly the peace was a blessing to me... maybe the noise and chaos that is my life in Cairo just suddenly became too much and my brain needed downtime? Maybe I am beginning to 'grow up' and not 'need' other people around me to know what I think and how I feel (about time huh!). Or Maybe I am just happier in my life. More content. Maybe.

Work is certainly going well......... I LOVE performing... and am beginning to be more confident on stage too. More able to do less. It really is the key to better dancing- less dancing!!!!!! That only comes with time and confidence though too. I've served my time! I'm just 3 months short of 4 years here in Cairo . 4 YEARS !!! I can't believe it. I can safely admit that my life is in Egypt now........... and I can't imagine living in Scotland again- not for a while anyway- i figure I'll perform here in Cairo as long as I can continue to get work permits and as long as people actually want to watch me dance while they eat their dinner......... then...well... then who knows... the world is my oyster..... not that I am really sure what that phrase means! I know I will always want to dance, whether it's teaching , or performing, or both.

Anyway- this is all a bit deep and personal for my 1st blog back after a while - so on a lighter note...

....right now I am typing this from the bathroom.... why? because 'they' have sprayed my stairwell with bug-killing stuff which is seeping under my door. Did always wonder why I never had a bug issue ever in this place- now I know! The whole flat is noxious and giving me a headache. So I have put some very hot water into the bath with lots of Olbas Oil and am writing this entry from my homemade sauna!!!! It's bliss to be able to breathe... although not so sure how good the steam will be for my laptop!!!