Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Cave Church....

So after travelling through Garbage City
we made it to the Cave Church,
which as its name would describe is a church that is in the cave of a mountain.

It was so impressive,
with biblical carvings all over the side of the mountain,
and can hold up to 15,000 people.

We were invited to look into this room which was filled
with wheel chairs and crutches.
Apparently on Thursday nights they hold miracle
healing sessions and exorcisms of devils,
the wheelchairs and crutches are left behind by
those who dont need them any more.

Thats definitely something i'm going to have to go back to see!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Different Kind Of Christmas....

This Christmas was a little bit different.
Mainly because it was 25degrees Celsius and spent in a place where Western Christmas traditions barely exist.

I went with a couple of friends to visit the Cave Church,
but to get there you have to take a taxi through Garbage City.

Here is the Wikipedia explanation for Garbage City...

Manshiyat naser (also known as Garbage City) is a slum settlement on the outskirts of the city of Cairo whose economy revolves around the collection and recycling of the city's garbage. Although the area has streets, shops, and apartments like any other area of the city, it lacks infrastructure and often has no running water, sewage, or electricity.

The city's garbage is brought to Manshiyat Naser by the Zabbaleen, or garbage collectors, who then sort through the garbage to attempt to retrieve any potentially useful or recyclable items. As a passerby walks or drives down the road he will see large rooms stacked with garbage with men, women or children crouching and sorting the garbage into unsellable or sellable. Families typically specialize in a particular type of garbage they sort and sell - one room of children sorting out plastic bottles, while the next of women separating cans from the rest. Anything that can be reused or recycled is saved by one of the numerous families in Manshiyat naser. Various recycled paper and glass products are made and sold from the city, while metal is sold by the kilo to be melted down and reused. Carts pulled by horse or donkey are often stacked 2.5 to 3m (8 to 10 feet) high with the recyclable goods.

The economic system in garbage City is classified as the informal sector. Most families typically have worked in the same area and type of specialization in the garbage piles and continue to make enough money to support themselves.

(all these bags are full of trash waiting to be sorted)

It was a very humbling experience.
To see how these people lived,
where they lived.
Children with no shoes sitting next to their mothers helping sort out the trash
And a young boy dancing down the street barefoot smiling
whilst blowing through his homemade paper horn.

It made me exceedingly grateful or all the things that i have.

There was a recent movie made called Garbage Dreams
which is a documentary on some teenage boys living in this area.
I haven't seen it yet
but i've heard it excellent
and want to watch it so i can learn more.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Basic Addition....

Secret Santa

Tiny Christmas Tree
party games
Santa Hats
Random Street Camels

Ukulele Christmas Carols


My Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Egypt.....

So there may no be snow or any of the traditional western images that surround the birth of Christ, but i am finding it kinda cool to be in a part of the world where the actual Christmas story took place.

matthew 2

behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt

15And there was until the death of Herod, that it might be fufilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Do you think he went to visit the Pyramids?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Power Of Christmas Music....

I'd like to share lots of pictures of me doing lots of Christmassy
things in this Christmas Week,
but this is what my week actually looks like....


but too and from work whilst i'm squished
very tightly into the Metro on the womans carriage,
i am a million miles away,

Cause i'm listening to my Christmas music.
and all of a sudden i'm in a Little Women style novel with snow all around,
listening to sleigh bells and what-not.

i tell you Christmas Music is a very powerful tool for the imagination.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Ballets....

I dislike the Nutcracker.
There i said it.
Okay, to be fair not all Nutcrackers, but the bog-standard traditional version,
yes i dislike it.
It's a tired old ballet that in most companies is
run over the edge with endless repeats and no recent inspiration.

I did liked the version that i did with my previous company,
it had a fresh sparkle to it, mainly because the choreographer had opened
up the music to new ideas (we mixed the story with a christmas carol)

but now i'm back to doing a traditional Nutcracker,
and its not that its a bad show, its just that having seen
a version of the nutcracker like this every year
since i was born, i doesn't excite me.
And yet i'm sure it going to make many a little girl out there happy.

If i could go see a ballet this Christmas it would be this one,
Edward Scissorhands the Ballet

doesnt that look fresh and exciting.
i've seen works by this choreographer before and he is a master story teller.

but it isnt playing anywhere in the world at the moment....

so i guess i'll just to stick to The Nutcracker
besides hearing the music reminds me that its Christmas
and thats never a bad thing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Social Lifeless.....

I realised the other night that my outside of work social activities
have become very small as of late.
Well nearly non-existent.

Ordinarily i would put this problem down to my social skills
but today i'm going to blame it on my working hours,
which recently have been between 2.30-9pm,
after which i 'm normally too tired to go out bounding around being all social-likeable,
and people who dont have my
working hours tend not to want to start socialising at 10pm.

Which means no Christmas Concerts for me this year.
(i think last year i managed to get about 4 in)
and i have a sneaky feeling that they are going to make us work Christmas day.

Ballet Companies like to do silly things like that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Santa....

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is for someone to fix my washing machine.

Really thats all.

Love and Kisses


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Neverending Story.....

i'm re-reading The Neverending Story.
By the title of this blog i'm sure that its clear that i'm a fan.
As a child i dreamed of being The Childlike Empress,
and at around the age of 16 i discovered the book and a whole new adventure began.

When people ask me for a recommended read,
its always my first recommendation.

I've read about 20 pages and already i've oodles of quotes that
i've wanted to write out, i think i'm going to have to contain myself.

'I wonder, he said to himself, whats in a book while its closed. Oh, i know its full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as i open it, there's a whole story with people i don't know yet and all kind of adventures and deeds and battles. And sometimes there are storms at sea, or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All those thig are somehow shut up in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. But, its already there, thats the funny thing. i just wish i knew how it could be'
Suddenly an almost festive mood came over him.
He settled himself, picked up the book, opened it to the first page and began to read

The Neverending Story'

Michael Ende

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kid History....

Have you seen this video yet?
It made me chortle....

Monday, December 6, 2010

A little bit of Dickens.....

I've never read, 'A Christmas Carol',
mainly cause i aint no fan of Dickens,
but after seeing these two little quotes
i'm thinking i might just have to find meself a copy.

'Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost.
Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere,
whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness.
Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused!
Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!'

Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings
with my eyes turned down,
and never raise them to that blessed Star which
led the Wise Men to a poor abode?
Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!'

"I wear the chain I forged in life....
I made it link by link, and yard by yard;
I girded it on of my own free will,
and of my own free will I wore it."

Friday, December 3, 2010


Its not fair,
whenever i go on facebook at the moment is filled
with comments/stauses/pictures
from the UK where everyone is snowed in
and therefore having ample

Not fair!
I am an expert Snow-Appreciator
and feel like my talent is being wasted
in thi 27degrees sun during the month of December.

But then again,
i have been spending my days lately
running around pretending to be a snowflake
and getting paid for it....

and take my word for it
life as a snowflake is short-lived
and tough for all its beauty.

So we do like to be appreciated.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Common Cairo Occurrences...

A friend of mines friend came to visit last week,
and it was interesting to see his shock re-actions to things around him,
pretty much the same ones i was having a couple of months ago.

Things in Cairo are a little bit different,
some of things i'm getting used to
others not.

But i thought i'd start a little thing where i put up
the occasional picture or tell little stories to emulate a wee bit what i'm talking about.

I also thought i'd call it Common Cairo Occurrences,
mainly because i like alliteration

i thought i'd start with this dude,

There are so many of these guys driving around,
and you wouldn't believe how fast they go,
down little alleys ways swerving between
people and what not.

Trust its impressive.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Growing Old....

I secretly hope that when i'm old i'm one of those crazy old ladys
that kids are secretly scared of but know for a fact that i'm guaranteed
to give them a sticky old sweetie from my handbag.

i was inspired by this blog today

"A person is not old until regret takes place of dreams"
John Barrymore

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Introducing Sookie the Uki.....

So here's the thing, i have a problem where i like to give inanimate objects names.
For some reason it brings them a little bit more to life
and makes them more friendly,
is this strange?
I dont know,
but its a thing i do and wont stop doing
even if you tell me that it is indeed strange.

So when i got my ukulele one of the first things
i started doing was trying to pick out a name for her.
The initial front runner was Lulu, i dont know why, which then progressed to Gigi.
But ultimately i have decided to call her Sookie.

Sookie, the Uki.

I think has a nice ring to it.
Plus it reminds me of Sookie from Gilmore Girls,
which is one of my fave tv shows,
and she had a fun personality but was also a little bit ditzy and clumsy,
i like to think that Sookie my Uki, shares these qualities.

Plus, you say it quickly it sounds a bit like Sookie the Wookie
and that makes me giggle.

Besides, now when people ask me what i have been doing all day
(and i do mean all day)
i can tell them i've been hanging out with Sookie,
and hopefully they wont question it further
and i look like a nice friendly person rather
than the ukulele obsessed hermit
which is what i have actually become.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Deer......

My latest obsession is youtubing ukulele videos....
some that can inspire me
and some that can teach me how to actually play the thing.

I came across this one by Kate Micucci,
which definitely goes under the catagory of inspire.
It also inspired me to buy her mini EP from itunes could Songs.....

its sparkelicious.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

(almost) A little mermaid....

Dahab was amazing.
I didnt want to leave.

After a few initial hiccups
(fighting with the bus driver for charging extra money)
and turning up to find my hostel double booked, and that they couldnt care less
(Octupus World Hostel, big black mark)

things were just great

I spent every day snorkelling,
and bought a disposable underwater camera
the pictures are ridiculously bad quality,
but i had fun taking them
and they will always be full of the memories that only i can see.

i spent the evenings attempting to play on my new ukulele,
(more about that later.)

it was bliss

and i think that in another life i would like to be a mermaid...

just sayin....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside.....

I just found out this week that i have four days holiday.
And seeing as i'm not sure the next time i'll get a holiday
(dancers are always working when everyone else holidays)
i'm making the most of it.
I'm catching an over night bus for 10 hours to go to
where i will stay in a youth hostel that costs less than 2 euros a night (should i be worried?)

but hopefully its going to look a bit like this

and i'm going to look a bit like this

(its so weird to me that its November and its still summer)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Bonnie....

My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
So bring back my Bonnie to me

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Older and Wiser?

So today is my birthday.
Which technically means that i've gotten older and wiser.
and seeing as i dont want to focus on the older part i thought i'd reflect
on somethings that i've learned in the last year which
may or may not have made me a little bit wiser.

(back when i was young)

1 cup = 128g

How to play a chord on the ukulele.

How to put on Snowboarding boots.

Snowboarding hurts

How to snorkel.

Robert The Bruce is the most important figure in Scottish History,
(everyone should read a biography on him.)

When baking cookies,
don't double the amount of sugar just because its my favourite ingredient.

If i dont cheat at monopoly i can actually win it.

How to say thankyou in Arabic (the rest is yet to come)

The story of La Bayadere.

How to look after a tortoise.

How to get angry so angry at a taxi driver that he is too
scared to ask you for his money and just drives a way.

How to make pizza dough, and pastry.

How to cook in general,
this past year has been a food revolution to me.

Egypt isn't as scary as i thought it might be.

Philadelphia cream cheese is amazing on anything.

Egypt is dirty.

Sometimes asking for help is the only way.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Land Before Time....

Last night i felt like watching
The Land Before TIme.
So i did.

It's a movie that i watched many a time when i was a wee bit wee-er,
I think it's been a long time since i last watched it as, i dont every remember really appreciate quite how beautiful a movie it is.

i'll admit i got emotional on the odd occasion
and the soundtrack had me dreaming up a dinosaur ballet.

i've decided that, one day, its definitely going to be a movie
that my children are going to be made to appreciate.

Yep, yep yep!