Archive | June, 2015

Peppermint Tea on the Balcony

19 Jun

I’ve been searching for this balcony all my life. It’s like a treehouse in a rain forest and the previous occupant was kind enough to festoon it with foliage and night lights. When Cairo life becomes a tad demanding, as in often, there is always, in my thoughts the knowledge that awaiting me, with the birds, the blossom heavy trees, just beyond a sliding door from the living room is my beautiful balcony.

So here I am early morning sipping peppermint tea and gathering my thoughts after a tumultuous few weeks at work, culminating in the parting of ways for many amazing colleagues, for whom the adventure continues elsewhere, but the long, bumpy white knuckle bus ride to and from work, listening to their stories of travels around Egypt and beyond, swapping experiences and advice, has been a daily theatrical event.

Next year the bus will fill with more of the same, gutsy adventurous souls, who combine dedication to their job with a lust for life.

This time tomorrow, my taxi will arrive and I’ll be leaving Cairo and my beautiful balcony for a while; first stop, a Bedouin village in Sharm El Shaikh, then on to my home and family in Cumbria to do some conventional grannying, but I will return to the stifling heat of Egypt in August, for there is so much more to see and learn in the Land of the Pharaohs.

Khan el Khalili Souk

14 Jun

‘Come inside my shop madam. Everything is free in here.’

‘Yes I know. Free to look. Was this made in China or Egypt?’

‘Madam! What does it matter? It was made by a human. That is all.’

‘How much?’

‘For you, my first customer of the day, a special price. Seven hundred Egyptian pounds.,’

‘I’ll give you three hundred.’

‘Madam! Look at the quality. How will my children eat?’ Six hundred and it’s yours.’

‘Four hundred.’

‘Five hundred, final price.’

‘Four fifty.’

‘Impossible. My father made this. Look at the detail. My children will starve.’


‘Okay, Okay, it’s yours. Let me wrap it for you…That will be five hundred Egyptian pounds.’

‘We agreed four hundred and fifty.’

‘Madam! The wrapping service is fifty Egyptian pounds.’


A Warm Egyptian Night

13 Jun

A warm Egypt evening

and a theatre of floodlit trees quiver

in the eastern breeze

as the call to prayer

rises through the night air

while bright, the moon listens

until a soulful silence settles

on a warm Egyptian night.