Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ups and Downs

My anonymous quotes of the week are:

With nuclear reactors the most important thing is to keep them cool."

"Magdi, hold on tight to the ladder in case it falls" - when Magdi was the one on top of the ladder on top of a VERY high drop. I am not sure what landing while attached to the ladder was going to do for him.

"In the Middle East it is better to be a willow than an oak. A willow bends with th winds, an oak will break."

"She was born offended."

No comments on them - but the variation gives you an idea of my week.

I have had a three ring circus going on here today. We have had the handyman from the Embassy, Magdi, and one of the three Mohammeds who are all guards putting up quilts. I have swung between delight at how they look and horror at some of the work practices.

The two men stood on tall ladders and threw tools back and forth to each other. No-one missed a catch, but one ladder rocked precariously and frightened the wits out of me. When I asked them to hand the things to me and I would carry them back and forth I was asked "Why should you worry? We have many more Egyptians!"

Arabesque is a two and a half metre wide quilt, and is almost as high. It fits easily well above a buffet in the dining room, and doesn't even look like touching the ceiling or filling the gap between the window and the corner of the room. I have never had a wall big enough to hang it or Postcards from Jerusalem. Now both are up -and nine others too.

I have one very special thing - a gift from a friend in Australia whose husband restores old buses. It is a Desto Roll. I am guessing that the name came from destination. In old buses they had a double roller and the fabric with the names of the bus stops was wound between one and another. It is black, about six metres long and has wonderful white lettering - and all the names of Sydney stops.

The men carefully removed shoes as they entered the house, and with shoes off they still skirted the rug in the entrance hall. This meant that they had to slide down small gaps between the rug and sidetables.

Then they proceeded to start cutting metal with heavy rasps - on the Persian carpets! It turned out that they were just marking the place to cut, but it left me speechless for a moment. One quilt is hung halfway up a long and narrow set of stairs to the basement. To hang it they wedged a long ladder between the top stair and the wall six metres away. they moved up and down this, fast and rapidly, sometimes both at once, while the ladder drooped lower and lower in the centre,
and they were totally nonchalent about it.

I have a very special place for this in the stairwell in the two storey drop between ground and first floor. That will go up on Thursday. I am not sure if I can bear to watch. I will post photos in the next blog entry, so those of you who know my big quilts can see the scale of the house.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny, just imagine you could invent your own Cirque de Soliel(sp)storyline with these acrobats and their amazing quilt hanging stories! what a colourful tale it would be : )
Keep writing it's fabulous!
Bernie Levey

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,
Sounds like you are having fun!!!
Wendy P.

11:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny I'm one of the 600+ who expressed interest in the email list idea. I'm really enjoying this blog and the great photos. I sit with my sandwich at lunchtime catching up on the news.
Eleanor in Orange

12:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny,
I'm so enjoying your wonderful commentary of your new adventures in Cairo. With my year residence in Kuwait and meeting you at the Bernina workshop there, your descriptive prose and colourful photographs of Cairo come alive. Thanks for sharing, its an adventure from my laptop.
Sandy Lacy, now living in the UK
PS: I have a photo of our coffee morning under the only shade tree in the car park by Q8's Dubai Fabric Souk that I don't think I sent you, I will do. :¬)

8:13 pm  
Blogger Penniedarling said...

Hello Jenny, You are making life in Cairo come alive for me... Wonderful!
Cheers Pennie

11:11 pm  
Blogger Penniedarling said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:12 pm  
Blogger Liz Needle said...

Jenny,

I must be an amazing feeling to see all your wonderful quilts hanging together. We're dying to see photos of the display.

I wonder if there is such a thing as work cover in Egypt. Sounds like they would go broke fairly quickly. maybe it is just cheaper to replace the Egyptians as suggested. (LOL)

These blogs are great. Kate has set one up for the Retreat and Pam Holland has one too. Oh dear. More time spent on the computer.

8:48 pm  

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