Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Holiday Wishes


Tomorrow begins a new year and we wish everyone all the best in the coming year. My post today is a silly photo of the farm staff and visiting friends in Santa hats and the preparations for a couple days of camping and sandboarding in the desert near Fayoum.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'll Just Stop For A Snack


Donkeys are really smart. They can be sent on errands from a farmer's house to his fields and will reliably deliver things, in this case a load of manure for the fields. They do, however, have their own ideas about when and where they can stop for a break.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Homecoming


It's Christmas and all over the world people are trying to get home to their families. My daughter was on her way home to Egypt for the holidays and got stuck for two days in New York when Frankfurt airport was closed. We finally got her back from the airport today and the dogs who had grown up with her were ecstatic to see her.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Making The Promise


Last night one of my grooms got engaged. His fiancee has been to university apparently. The engagement party was held in the neighbouring village of Abu Sir and involved a gift of jewelry worth several thousand Egyptian pounds to the prospective bride followed by dancing and general celebration.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Going Christmas Shopping


Who says that people in Egypt don't believe in Christmas shopping? This mural at the entrance to the Dandy Mall near the entrance of the Alex/Cairo desert highway. I think it gets the message across.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rube Goldberg in Giza


This fascinating machine consists of a diesel pump that pumps water from a well and also turns the wheels that move the belts to run the machine that shreds palm leaves into a fine fiber that is dried and then used in upholstery. The water from the well cools the moving parts of the machine and then is pumped into a tank that then is used to irrigate fields. All in one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Trees


I was driving in Maadi when I came to a screeching halt in front of this florist shop with a display of real Christmas trees. Most green Christmas trees here are cypress trees as pines don't grow in the Middle East much. I asked the shopkeeper the prices and was told that a 2 metre tree would cost about LE 1500 (around $300) while a smaller 1.5 metre tree would cost LE 750 or about $150. But they don't smell real.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fussball At The Harley Shop


Harley Davidson and Cairo don't usually roll off the tongue together. After all, with our traffic roaring down the highway isn't usually an option. Be that as it may, there is a Harley Davidson shop in Zamalek and another in Mohendessin. And the one in Zamalek has a nice fussball game to play with.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Shopping at the Fair Trade Shop


We have a lot of choices of places to shop for handicrafts here but my preference is for the shops that make sure that the artisans get their fair profit. This is a shop in Zamalek near 26th of July that carries fabrics, clothing, jewelry, baskets, rugs, pottery, embroidery...just to name a few.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deck The Walls


Christmas celebrations around the farm are usually very low-key involving visits to friends for dinners, small exchanges of gifts and so on. With my children in the US and my busiest working season being around Christmas, I don't generally bother with decorations. But this year I have some Canadian and British friends spending Christmas with me and they are very much into decorations. Paddi brought a bunch of Santa hats for some of the village kids, which were a big hit, and they've begun decorating the farm with the help of my village neighbours who find the whole exercise a bit odd but quite entertaining.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sometimes A Pillow Is Nice


When Finn, our over-sized baladi dog decided to nap with the others on the bench by the tack room, he used our oldest Rat Terrier, Terra, as a convenient pillow. His head is almost the same size as her body but she didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Not Quite a Harley


Motorcycles are becoming more and more common on Cairo streets. This one, however, probably dates back to the revolution.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just To Get The Shot


It's amazing how you can get caught up in the immediate project and forget where you are and what you are doing. The young lady taking the photo has only been riding for a couple of months. Happily, her equine partner is a really lovely reliable mare.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where's Waldo?


I was taking a Canadian rider for a spin in the desert yesterday and I noticed this round white object on a pile of sand and rock in the Boneyard. Can you spot Waldo?