Saturday, February 11, 2006

Alternative Modes of Transport

Cairo is a huge grinding city with too many cars for a city which really is not large in area ,bounded as it is by the valley of the Nile and the desert which sits within sight from the Nile. However apart from cars there are still many horses and donkeys pulling their loads particularly in the poorer parts of Cairo and around the fresh food market areas, for the farmers bring their produce from the surrounding countryside. And of course there is the camel. The police out at Giza, Saqqara and Dashur ride camels, and Celeste got to ride one at the Red Pyramid inclusive of the machine gun strapped just behind her left foot. Its not often a girl gets to ride a machine gun toting camel!

Across Australia- those of you who wanted a catalogue can you please email on as I tried clicking your links and they did not work.

Yesterday was my 50th birthday as well as the finals of the All Africa's cup. I have to say when I was 30 I dreamt of riding in a sports car through the streets of Paris in Lucy Jordan style ( Marianne Faithfull), when I turned 40 I was knee deep in small children under the age of 5 and now that I have turned 50 I got to sail on the Nile on a felucca with the name Paris. Jenny had arranged it all, so towards sunset we set off towards Maadi with picnic and wine with Celeste, Jenny's son and daughter and friends- the boats name was coincidental. Earlier in the day we had had an interview and photo session with the Egyptian equivalent of Home Beautiful about Across Australia and Jenny's wonderful quilts which look stunning on the large wall spaces in the residence- that took more than 4 hours ( even with us saying we had to leave by 3pm) and Jenny and I had to sit ,hand sewing, for photos ( how is this going to look???) Anyway the evening ended with Egypt beating Ivory Coast in a penalty shoot out- there was honking of cars well into the wee hours of the morning and no doubt many happy Egyptians. My one thought about all this was- excellent birthday, but does quilting make us as happy as football makes its fans? Perhaps we ought to be more demonstrative in our passion or inject the happy happy factor?

And last but not least on Wednesday night we gave a demonstration at the Sudanese Community Centre in Cairo- the day had been swirling with dust and sand from a dust storm that blew out of the desert. These women were so enthusiastic- they were smitten and took to free machining like nobody's business. We received, as present for our time, hand made leather whips-surely one of the more unusual gifts I have received and I can see many uses for it!


Gill said...

Dijanne, your photographs are wonderful and will surely provide a wealth of inspiration for months (years?!)

I love the way you collage them together too.

Digitalgran said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you Dijanne.
I love the photos and your report. Isn't your daughter a lucky girl? She looks very happy.
My memories of Cairo include happy , smiling little children waving wherever we went(not begging I hasten to add)

Deb R said...

Happy Birthday Dijanne!!

I'm loving all the photos you've been posting from Egypt.

Karoda said...

Happy 50th simply special your day was! I'm enjoying your photos and entries very much!

Felicity Grace said...

Happy Birthday Dijanne! The photos are such a treat to look at, what an experience! Do you have any catalogues left? If so, I will get someone here in Kuwait to get one for me.

Claire said...

Happy birthday Dijanne, what a fabulous way to spend your 50th :-)

Frances said...

happy belated birthday Dijanne,
glad you are having such an interesting and wonderful time, thanks for sharing, FrancES,

Dale Anne Potter said...


Shirley Goodwin said...

Happy 50th Dijanne. I bet you never thought you'd be spending it in Egypt! We look forward to some wonderful eastern-inspired quilts.

Shirley in New Zealand

annabel said...

Yep, Happy Birthday from me too Dijanne! Pretty cool day you had there. Hmmm, whips eh? What're going to do with them then? (Obviously you're at a dangerous age; don't go getting too vigorous will you!!)lol from a woman who is also just 50.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dijanne. Your discriptions are fabulous. 50 in Egypt, that is quite special. "Proost!"
Going to be 50 this year as well,
Ina Klugt.

margaret said...

many happy birthday returns - you seem to be on a great trajectory!

the composite pictures are delightful.

Bellaquilter said...

Wow these pictures are so great! the pictures and the description are all reminding of my time in Cairo...I was there for my 35th birthday, we went for a dinner cruise on the Nile complete with belly dancer and whiling dervish. Also Kushari was my favority lunch time item. I was there for 3 months and it was a memorable experience!