Wednesday, April 28, 2010

wildlife as it is

Todays dragons and damsels on

 The baby egrets from todays shoot are on


a few months ago I did a blog on steam engine  housing  after going to 9 of these derelict buildings  I did not find one engine or remnants to say it once housed a pump    ;

 and here on banana island under the trees of the heronry  I did not find a building just a few walls and what remains of the pump  the boiler that drove this pump has long gone Mr afiz tells me this pump was built in 1890s and in use until the boiler itself blew in 1976, this small steam engine was fired on the abundant tree croppings  banana, mango,arange,lemon and the cuttings from the sugar cane. in them days banana island was an island  before the days of the high dam and the barrages along the Nile  Edfu and Isna that now guvorn the rise and fall of inundation  the island itself rises some 20ft above the Nile at high level. and the land has always been irugated and  looked after by hand so it must have been a blessing when they brought a steam engine pump  on the island ,

 but alas all it is now is home to lizards rats and snakes, not to say the young heron that falls from the trees while taking its first brave flight before its feathers grow. and of course the trusted donkey  no doubt has spent a few of its none working hours  tied to the  flywheel  or the pulley wheel.


And housed next door to the old pump house is another workhorse if I may call a camel that.this young lady only works for 6 months of the year  and that is in sugar harvest time,


The Lizard what  can we say about the lizard.


One of the shy wildlife always running across your path to get out of your way  and until it moves one will not see it a master of disguise. until it sees something that wets its appitite  and caution is blown to the wind. or  in this case the wind has blinded caution.

Ok wise guy!   its not mine. the dog left it for the flies.  and me,  I eat the flies see,  at least its fresh meat. unlike those poor fish in the stagnant pool;


Nile perch 


Nice fish  big enough for 2 people.  these are the fish who are serviving in the stagnant pool  caused by the filling of reed bed land,   go to the Nile pollution page                no fishermen near the pool any more,  because of the smell from the pool.  last year this pool was filled by fresh nile water that filtered through the reed beds giving new life to the pool.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunset over the Nile in Luxor Egypt

Looks inviting?  now read the reason for todays blog from the land of the Pharaos

who has the most brains?

Me of course.Said the billy goat ! I get fed watered and I have a harem  of 12 nanny's  on the last count anyway  before ramadan,   all have my kids,  so will be busy again shortly.  and the only reason I have a black coat is because I was born with it. I know it gets hot but I have plenty of shade. not that I do anything to get hot   " wink wink"

 idiot kids racing on the main highway  the donkey has more sense  but if it does not do as its told it gets a flogging, 
the slave driver just unloaded 2 ton of cement,   not him personally , he is the donkey whipper a one job man.
that is a piece of plastic pipe he hits the beast of burden with. 
What a shy man  and all I am doing is taking a photo of the hairdressers sign  that he seems to be guarding. 

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OpenID egyptgift said...
The "idiot" kids I would say. Despite the fact that they are being enslaved by our new world order, they still found a way to put a smile on their innocent faces. I wish we all were as "idiots" as they are... my answer to egypt gift,  Just the comment I would expect.  what has new world order got to do with flogging a donkey to death just for a bit of fun. and what innocent face, these kids?  ha ha. make me laugh again,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

luxor street and pavements.

 sunset over Luxor

just below my balcony the furniture painters use what smells like car paint and the smell sticks in the throat,
no health and safety in Egypt,
Not what we expect to see a butcher in the side street just off the main tourist bus route. the fumes and  smoke from the coffee shps bubble pipes must make a nice flavour to the meat.

Chickens for sale
a street vendor selling hens, do they lay eggs,can I cook them, where do I get food for them, I asked.
The new bath is in place all we need now is a footpath to get to it

Balloons over the Nile

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Up at first light  watching the balloons over the Nile   With Luxor Temple in the foreground.

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was founded in 1400 B.C.E.
Known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or "the southern sanctuary", the temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons and was built during the New Kingdom, the focus of the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple (ipet-isut) to stay there for a while, with his consort Mut, in a celebration of fertility – whence its name.
The earliest parts of the temple still standing are the barque chapels, just behind the first pylon. They were built by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III. The main part of the temple - the colonnade and the sun court were built by Amenhotep III, and a later addition by Rameses II, who built the entrance pylon, and the two obelisks (one of which was taken to France, and is now at the centre of the Place de la Concorde) linked the Hatshepsut buildings with the main temple.
To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Tuthmosis III, and Alexander. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area.
 better photos are on  myegypt website   luxor area temples  at the bottom of the on the photos to enlarge

All the next shots are on the road that runs alongside the temple,
The Pharaos chariot is in the city  not sure what its doing here  or how it got here there is no draw bar attached so maybe they are going to have a chariot and bike race?

The sugar cane trike  could be a bit of a sore point  with the rider.

Good shade from the midday sun for this street dog

which trike you want one will put a spring in your movement.

The butcher had a new side of beef in not in the uk here what you see is what you get flies and all.

One of the strange things I find here is  people who go begging only do it cos some fool tourist will feel sorry for them and give them money, the real poor down and outs do not beg  because a local will always give them something like a cup of tea  or a breakfast or a pound to get his own. 

They think they can spell as long as it sounds ok 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making a brew. baking a cake,

I find it fascinating how folks can blog about almost anything and everything. so I am going to blog today  on Tea, the making of.   and one of the important things in my life  a good cup of tea. I know not my usual  blog but  I am stuck inside today.
2  photos taken on my volunteering days in Kenya.
This is where the best  tea I tasted was brewed.  

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When I was volunteering in Kenya. my neighbor made the best brew ever. she could even tell what time of day the leaves were picked, she never made tea from a packet as this was tea leaves grown in Kenya, and from her brothers farm in the rift valley where the best tea in the world is grown, she never touched coffee even though this is what she grew in Muchakos Kenya.
the way tea was made in her home first all the animals where let out of the kitchen as she called it the fire was lit and a pot was put over the fire this water was the main part of the days cooking. they boil everything meat especially us missionaries taught them this, boil for at least 8 hours. but first the making of tea was the most important feature of the day when they had a guest living nearby who liked his morning cup of Chai. once the water had boiled a small piece of wood or a couple of matchsticks (heads taken  off,  sulfur makes a bad taste in the water) were put in then the tea leaves whole even with the stem still on. then the milk was added fresh from the cow.
that was usually ready for 6.00 . next break was 10.00 and time for another cup of tea. this after been on the side of the fire next to the cooking pot had been steadily mashing ( kept hot) and was quite strong , then by dinner time 13.00 the tea tasted burnt or rather the milk had been burnt. but still tasted good even though the spoon could be stood on end in the cup.

This is the tea we buy in Luxor Egypt. They have another make called Alarosa. but that is a mix of teas from various countries.
this is tea dust and is 100% grown in Kenya. I think that is what the packet says. the proof was in the taste and it sure was good to taste proper tea again. as I was house bound yesterday. and my internet or rather fire fox internet provider kept crashing I gave up and went to finishing my story on my volunteering days. and my taste buds went back to my tea in Kenya. so I decided to try and make some like before. I always have tea in and being A Welshman I like my tea with a little milk 4/5 cups a day. first boil the water in an electric kettle add the tea bag then the milk. so today i wanted a proper tea like I had in Kenya. I had an earthenware pot as I use them for cooking. I had an unopened packet of Kenyan tea. i also get fresh cow milk delivered every two days to my door. that is also strait from the cow. not sure what they do with it before it arrives but It tastes good and its fresh and sooo creamy.
never mind the cholesterol levels, OK" its the taste I go for and I do not have much pleasures in life these days.
the end results of my tea making was excellent I made enough for four mugs. the first brew I made with sweetener , not quite right I thought.  the next  I put cane sugar in  that was better. I  left the tea pot on simmer all morning. and by twelve o.clock the tea was getting burnt.   so there you go how to make proper tea with a taste of milk.

from a pint of milk  I get enough cream to top my fruit with. 
I use sweeteners in my tea,  but I always have cane sugar in for making cakes etc
this is local sugar grown here in the Nile Delta.

Going on about the sugar,I did not feel like going out today just to give my back a complete rest   so what can I make that's quick with the ingredients I already have in stock.  local produce bananas. flour, butter, milk and eggs.  so I made a banana  sponge cake. I am not into sweet things  like icing and chocolate so plain they were  and just finger licking good just like the  scrapings in the mixing bowl ,   4 of the smaller cakes went to my landlord who lives next flat. and the other small one is for my kindly neighbor who came over yesterday after seeing my windows and balcony door shut.  something wrong!  and    came over with a fresh pint of orange juice.  should have made these yesterday to go with my chai. 

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Making chicken stock and tomato soup.
I had a frozen chicken that needed using I usually get fresh chicken and roast it, but this was frozen before I thawed it out and seeing I can not read Arabic I knew not where or how this chicken was raised it said it was Egyptian, not the chicken  the writing on the  packet,   remember I bought it frozen.  So I decided to boil it  I put in 2 pints of water or 1 litre, 3 medium sized onions sliced, one whole Garlic , you could I suppose put more but I am just telling you how I made the stock,  and a couple of sliced tomato and one small chilli pepper.  That too depends on how hot you want your soup . (chilli hot)
It was not my initial idea to make soup the ingredients up to this point was to add flavour to the chicken that was boiling in the pan,  only after I took the chicken out of the pan did I decide to make soup.   I do not like to waste good food .

After the chicken and stock is cooked eat the chicken  I had mine with a tagine,  half anyway and froze the other half for another day, if you are wondering why!   I live on my own.   So basically I am cooking for one even though this recipe is for 9/12 people, depends on how yummy the soup turns out.  I also put all the chicken bones back in the stock and simmered for 20 minutes,   Now let the stock cool, once cool  then  preferably put in the fridge overnight,  next day take all the chicken fat off the top of the stock  not necessary  but I have to watch the calories,   prepare 6 fair sized tomatoes slice and put in the blender then  add to the stock, heat the stock up not too hot, then take out all the bones before putting in the blender again, this is to blend all the ingredients  . Tomatoes onions and garlic.  Put it in a pan   bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with a blob of fresh cream.   Add your own salt and pepper.
 My neighbours loved it and so did I ,   I do not weigh anything if it needs an extra ingredient or more of something I just add it.