In other news the vacation is going well despite (the "despite" not being my sentiment) lots of cool weather and rain. How are all of you doing?
Now we are in France and life is good. Last night and this morning, I could literally feel tension melting out of me. Even the muscles in my hands loosened. Amazing feeling. This morning we had breakfast by a lake, and Sprout fed wild ducks and cavorted in the water. We took a nap in the grass under the trees. We listened to silence and birdsong, and even Sprout remarked several times, "there aren't any klaxons here!"
Oh yes, life is good. Will be here and there for the rest of the summer. Be well, my friends.
* I'm busy relaxing, so I really don't feel like ranting so I'm not going into details.
Any idea what the guy in the photo on the top left is doing?
( Answer under the cutCollapse )
I'm not sure what the guy with the green cart is selling. The cart and donkey driver is a trash collector, and the man with the yellow Dayun get-up sells foul,* an Egyptian specialty made from fava or broad beans.
* Pronounced kind of like "fool," the O's stretching out just a bit more.
Pics either later this week or next Sunday. We shall see...
Today, J and Sprout brought home croissants and pains au chocolat from the bakery, and we picnicked at a freshly renovated garden spot* just down the street. After breakfast, I traversed the slackline for the first time. I started trying about a month ago and did all right my first session. My second time, I almost made it across. However, the third time I hurt myself (I think I broke a toe), and that made me leery and unable to train for awhile. Here's hoping I can keep practicing so I can surprise my BIL when we return to France in 2 weeks; he is the one who turned J on to slacklining in the first place. He has no idea that I've started doing it, but he has always maintained that he thinks I'll be good at it since I have a good sense of balance.
And speaking of balance, Sprout has a cool word. I don't think she realizes her "mistake," but it makes perfect sense when one thinks about it. Instead of saying "equilibrist" or "escalade," she combines them into "escalibrist," which is what she is. (She says it in French and English but always with a French accent.)
* The "garden" is actually a small triangle of land formed by the intersections of three roads. It was an abandoned, overgrown, litter-filled lot when we moved here, but the inhabitants of the apartment building that fronts it grew tired of the unruly mess. Knowing the government or "city" wasn't going to get around to doing anything with it, they cleared, cleaned, replanted, and keep it watered with money from their own pockets. They are generous enough not to complain when our little family debarks for slacklining and running around in the grass.
I don't have any "late" snippets to post, my previous week being devoid of any creativity besides cooking and packing.
But I will share a bit about our trip.
( Pics and things this wayCollapse )
* I wish they would have played something by Xavier Rudd (link to YouTube video). Every time I listen to Rudd, I am transported to an intimate beach concert, sun setting, fire crackling, cool sand under my feet, waves lapping. And if I'm listening to an album and not just a single song, that beach concert continues, dark deepening while stars whirl overhead and I, by turns, dance or sit clasping my knees to my chest, watching the waves.
** Only J and I got burned; we had enough sense to protect the kids.
If you don’t feel like taking advantage of free water, you can also buy tea, roadside, here in Cairo. Tea is spooned, loose leaf and powder-fine*, into glasses with a generous helping of sugar (two, usually three, spoonfuls is the typical dose in those small glasses unless you ask for none or less) and then the whole is left to settle as it steeps. The last drink is tricky, trying to get the maximum of tea without ending up with a mouthful of dregs.
One thing I absolutely love is seeing how people still use glass glasses and mugs instead of plastic. Cheaper in the long run and sustainable. I’m not sure you can tell but even in the first glimpse I posted, the worker who arrives with his tea is using a glass mug. You often see taxi-, micro bus-, and tuk-tuk drivers with their glasses in hand.
BTW, I’m uploading the picture in large format so that if anyone curious can zoom in and look at the set up: the homemade stove on bricks, the copper teapot... Sorry for the quality; I snapped the pic from a moving vehicle.
* It is actually labeled "dust tea" on the package.
P.S. I must be feeling parched. I just realized that all of my glimpses thus far either feature or include water or something to drink. :P With today's temperature reaching 40°C/104°F, I don't guess it is any wonder. And speaking of tea, think I'll have a last cuppa before bed...
From the very beginning of our stay here in Egypt I've been fascinated and impressed by the various ways water is provided for the public at large. I've planned on taking a series of photos to highlight these methods but have yet to do it. Today's picture is actually courtesy of my husband, so thanks, J. :P One of these days I'll get around to taking my own pics.
Terracotta water jugs, curbside, for anyone who wants a drink:
If you were to offer a thirsty man all wisdom, you would not please him more than if you gave him a drink. ~~Sophocles
My second sewing project was a shirt for myself, using this tutorial. It doesn't look perfect, but it looks nice enough that I wore it to a party on Thursday night. Sorry, no pics. Maybe another day.
As for art, I worked on the doodle-scribble thing I mentioned last week, coloring in some of the sections. This playful experiment was inspired by this* and this on Colossal.
I got a piece of 16.5" X 23.4" drawing paper, took a Micron pen in each hand, closed my eyes and rested my forehead on a floor mat and drew, trying to move my hands in a symmetrical manner.
Two things to note: First, which is really highlighted by the coloring-in, my attempt was not very symmetrical at all. :P Sometimes I could feel this, sometimes not. Second, with my eyes closed and hands drawing "above" my head, I really had no idea how big and ample my scribbles were. I thought I was going to run off the page, but the actual drawing is much smaller than the space I had to work with.
I had initially thought to color in all of the sections, but, again, two things to note... :P
First, I was getting a bit bored by the time consuming aspect of it. I found it irksome rather than relaxing, working to get the symmetry right on something asymmetrical, as evinced in my break from accuracy in coloring sections that are not mirror opposites (those long, "wormy" bits to the left of the alternating blue and yellow). Second, I like how my vision of the black lines changes and different shapes and patterns emerge, depending on the angle I take when looking at the doodle; color breaks up that flow. The photo below does not do justice to the effect the eye sees.