Saturday, September 23, 2006

One hectic day, and some photographs

I had such a busy day two days ago. I had a good friend arriving the night before. Her father was already here so he wanted to meet her at the airport.

At midnight I introduced Rod to our lovely taxi driver, Ibrahim. Off they went. I wrote a long and rambly blog entry - because I was tired and thought that would keep me awake. They arrived at two, but had to be in a cab by 7.00 am to join a tour which was, on day one, taking them to the Pyramids. There had been a brief flurry of panic with the realisation that Rod did not know which hotel they were to meet at, or what time - but Danielle had all this.

They left, I headed home and packed quilts and my lap top. There was another flurry of panic when I realised that I didn't have the right adapter to plug in my computer. I was giving a talk to a large local women's group at the Marriot and while this house has British plugs, and my computer has Aussie plugs - the Marriot has the local two pin plug. The Embassy came to the rescue, at the last minute.

The talk went well, though I felt I was fighting off efforts to purchase my work. I will not sell here - we had a quilt show through Libya, Syria and Egypt (all countries where Bob is Ambassador) and I am so afraid of complaints of conflict of interest that it seems easier not to make money from my profession here.

Then - lunch with a group of dear friends, my 'swim girls' and a movie session.

I arrived back at five, with a cocktail party - a farewell for Bob's number two in the Embassy and arms full of flowers I had picked up on the way. They are cheap here, and these were beautiful. I bought lots of tawny chrysanthemems as these are the colours in the lounge, babies breathe because I love its shimmer, and stems of tuberose for their scent (20 cents each stem) and pale creamy roses for the bathrooms.

Waiters were setting up tables and the bar, the kitchen infused the house with good and savoury smells.

Another flurry as my guests arrived and needed to borrow a sleeping bag. I left them burrowing in the back of the darkest cupboard under the stairs where the camping gear lives and went back to the flowers.

Then one of the waiters asked which wines we were serving.

This triggered a full scale panic! As far as I knew all the wine was still under lock and key at the Embassy (now closed). There is a law in Egypt that alcohol has to be locked up and we have a cold room under the house where it is usually kept. bob keeps the key. While we were away the room was repaired (damage from salination from the nearby Nile) and as far as I knew the wine was still elsewhere.

A frantic phone call - and all was well. It had been delivered and stacked int he cold room the day before but no-one had thought to tell me that it was there.

Wine was found. I showered in the nick of time. Our Charge d'Affaire was hosting the party so I just had to mingle and chat - so I was not on duty!

The night was fun.

I have been reorganising my Flickr membership. I had let my professional membership lapse, so could not create sets and link to them from here. I am so rusty - but will spend some time now following my blog angel's instructions to try to set up links.

The photos are sets of the ones we gave away in the Khan a few days ago, and followed by some new photos we took at the request of those who were there when we were handing images out.

If you click on the face of the old man it will open a set of other images for you to look at. This is the man who is the caretaker for a small and very old mosque - the Sufi Mosque, who sat us down and bought us 7-Up.

Portraits to give away

I love the variation in the faces.

There are more that we gave away - once again click on the image to see the set! I love this photograph. I did not want him to pose as I love the way he was going through his stock of tomatoes. They were sad tomatoes - and would have been discarded anywhere else - but he went through them all the time discarding only the worst as they wilted in the shimmering heat. It was a 'shoot from the hip shot' and I struggle a little with my conscience when I do this.I don't like to be sneaky but it gives very natural photographs - and a lot of views of ceilings.

Fwd: Behind Tentmakers'

One of the next group might offend and for this I apologise - a small boy with his bottom very naked and sitting on a pile of potatoes - but it was a favourite and I have left it in. I did not buy potatoes though. This set is all photographs taken three days ago when Rod and I walked through handing out the photgraphs. It was exhilarating and you can read that blog if you wish!

The first photo is the wife of the caretaker of the Mosque from the first set here. Once again - click to open the set. Skip the second with the child on potatoes if you do not want offensive detail.

Portraits from Tentmakers'


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judy,Such wonderful faces, and textiles in background you convey the feeling and images of Cairo so well, Thank you Jenny for sharing.

3:08 pm  

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