Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Where was I . . . . .

Anyone for Hopscotch?
Make sure you don’t step on the cracks.

The crops are in, the hay is in, the fields round about look
smooth and neat and tidy, ready for winter sowing.


Apparently Egypt is a very cheap holiday destination at the moment. I wonder why? 
I had my face scraped and plastered and de-fuzzed this morning and the delightful beautician lady was all in a flutter. “We’re off on holiday”, she said, - dramatic pause - “to Egypt.” As I was recumbent on her treatment couch, my jaw didn’t have far to drop.

Bryn decided he needed a holiday, right now, somewhere warm and cheap; I haven’t slept ever since he told me.” Helen giggled manically. “A lot of my clients have just come back from Egypt - is the Knighton estate agent getting commission ? - and they’re all saying how wonderful it is at the moment. We’re going nowhere near Cairo, of course. The tourist industry is desperate to get going again and hotels can’t do enough to attract guests.”  Yes, they are taking the kids.

Happy holidays, Helen; tell me about it when you get back. 


Next stop back in England, (Knighton is over the border in Wales) to the little town down the road and the hairdresser’s salon. Once I’ve decided that refurbishment of the outer Friko can no longer be avoided I cram it all into the same day.  I used to have a massage as well, but the resulting palpitations put an end to that. Justine was waiting for me. “You’ve got an IPad”, she trilled after I’d sat down and dug it out of my bag. I usually read while I’m at the hairdresser’s but today we discovered our mutual fascination with all things Apple. Once that subject was exhausted, we talked about dogs; we both love them and like all dog lovers we competed madly and trumped each other’s stories about the intelligence and all-round superiority of “dogs we have owned".  (I know that cat lovers are no different).


And finally:
At the risk of my US readers hating me for ever: hasn’t Downton Abbey gone stupid? or rather, how stupid do the programme makers think we are? Every new strand of story line is hinted at, set up and executed with all the grace and subtlety of a duck dancing Swan Lake.


  1. ha. see you are already getting the new season of downton abbey...we dont get it for a while...oh joy, cant wait now....smiles...egypt...hmmm

  2. I don't think I'd be going to Egypt at the moment...or in the foreseeable future.
    Do people think trouble only happens in Cairo because that's the only place they see on the box?
    I'm glad we went when we did...lovely memories of super people, quite apart from the sites and sights.

    I only saw Downton Abbey the first series. Total codswallop then so goodness only knows to what depths it has descended since.

  3. I love Downton Abbey becuse what I am offered in this country is so bloody or sexy or stupid that it makes DA look like Shakespeare. Yes, last season was stupid, and this season may be stupider (please no spoiler alerts as we have not gotten it and will not until winter) but I am addicted. It is a comic costume drama for adults. I think we can travel in many countries...but we just dropped our aid to Egypt, so I would not got there on a free ticket.

  4. Oh you are too funny. I can't take Downton Abby, or anything that smacks of cloying sentimentality, and have never watched this stupid series, Maggie or no. OK I lied, I watched part of an episode.but that's all. . I am turning into a real crock.I am disgusted with most TV those days. It's probably the drugs I am taking, but all of a sudden, I am irritated with much media. I do love my Apple things, however.

  5. OK, I confess. I really like Downton Abby. It's not a mystery and pretty predictable, but I still like it. The clothes are beautiful (thank god we don't have to dress like that, but still beautiful). And I like quite a lot of the BBC shows... enjoy seeing the English countryside, etc... much better than the blood and guts on regular TV nowadays.

  6. Most TV series get worse as they go along. But hey, I thought you Brits were better than that! (But please don't spoil it for me; B and I will watch it, regardless.)

  7. Well, first of all, I love hearing about your day -- but really, Egypt? Seems like those pyramids and all would be like a target. Maybe they have nice beaches. Or is it landlocked? Well, I'm not sure I'd take the kids out of school for that but then different strokes for different folks.

    I read a spoiler on BBC about Episode 4 of Downton Abbey and Anna -- and that's all I'll say here. Other than from what I hear about the new season, it is spot on as you described. That makes me incredibly sad because it was, after all, one of my pleasures. And I'll watch. But I know there will be disappointment if it doesn't hold up. Right now I'm watching "The Paradise" and just finished three "Foyle's War" episodes set in the Cold War. And devouring "Rosemary and Thyme" on video. I love all the gardens, even if sometimes the plots seem a tad loose!

  8. Many TV shows outlive their peak, just phoning it in. . . .
    Recent science proves that dogs "are people" mentally/emotionally. the New York Times reported it recently...

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    =^..^= <3


  9. Love, love, love your winter fields.
    My partner adores Egypt and has gone back a number of times. I hope he will put off his next trip.
    And yes, dogs and cats rule the world - and certainly the homes in which they reside...

  10. "with all the grace and subtlety of a duck dancing Swan Lake" — this is why I love you, Friko. You definitely do not mince words.
    I must admit to never having laid eyes on Downton Abbey and not missing it at all, thank you very much. My TV habits lean heavily toward house-remodeling shows with handsome builders and interesting problems. If I were to do it all over again, I think I would like to work in the building trades. I haven't the math skills to be an architect, and I don't want to be an interior designer, but I'd like to build, make design changes, and remodel houses.
    In the meantime, I'm a very poor poet, but I make people laugh, which is a higher calling than most.
    Love, K

  11. The photograph is wonderful.
    I don't think I would take children to Egypt.
    I have never seen Downton Abbey and suspect i'll not be going out of my way to rectify this.

  12. Going to Egypt sounds so delicious!! And your pampering sounded wonderful.

  13. OK, let me see - what places would I definitely not visit - Mexico and Egypt - yep, that's it. For some crazy reason Canadians disappear in Mexico and jump off balcony's killing themselves or they get into a gunfire battle in their hotel room with locals.....or they disappear into sand dunes, never to be found again. We all know polite Canadians don't just disappear from their families, most are afraid to jump off balconies, as they probably have never been on one and would not be tempted, tending to stay put on firm ground like the animals of our great forests - and only the criminals in our great country are allowed to carry firearms, so my choice of holiday would be your backyard Friko :) Sounds safe to me :)
    On the other hand, your day of pampering sounds delightful and chatty - what a nice way to relax.

  14. I can't believe I haven't seen Downton Abbey yet. I really want to start watching it because everyone says it's wonderful.

  15. Friko, the photo of the expanse of fields is truly lovely. I don't see much of that sort of view around here.

    Downton A is awful. It was always awful I guess it's good in that it's provided employment for various actors, set and costume designers, but the plots....

    I don't think I would wish a holiday in Egypt. Last week I met a lady, with a British accent, who was on holiday in NYC, and soon to return to her Cairo home. We did have a little chat.


  16. Hi Friko .. I haven't been watching Downton. I'm not sure about the Egypt holiday though - but Helen and family I sure hope will have a lovely time .. presumably scuba diving in the Red Sea.

    Your hopscotch photo is wonderful ... love it - especially as the dark clouds have descended here with a large dose of wind!

    Well .. I now need to return and discuss all things Apple and perhaps pass once again via Knighton! Talk about border crossings galore ...

    Cheers and happy days now your pampered and rarin' to go .. Hilary

  17. Our nephew's off to Egypt too - because it's cheap. Rather him than me.

    As for Downton, DH would agree with you about the last episode, but I still enjoy it. I think I must be irredeemably middle-brow at best. :-)

  18. A bro of mine does Egypt a lot. I never did find out why. maybe I'm afraid. :)

    As to Downton, it started serious slippage on Season 2 and I do believe it has "jumped the shark" now. Too bad but "Upstairs, Downstairs" did it so much better at the beginning too.

    I still remember the "Duchess of Duke Street" with admiration.


  19. I've never seen Downtown Abbey, so I can't answer that. But you threw me into weird place with the mental imagery that went along with the idea of having my face scraped, plastered and defuzzed.

  20. I'm sad, sad, sad to think that Downtown Abbey isn't going to be as good this year. Shoot.

    I had my hair cut and my nails done yesterday. Haven't had a manicure in years! And ya know what? It was kinda fun.


  21. These typical English patchwork landscapes are so beautiful, you find them nowhere else. I wanted to book my yearly sun cure in Egypt, but when I wanted to book my travel agency told me that all flights to Egypt had been cancelled for the moment. So I accepted the invitation of my friend at the Côte d'Azur. There is sunshine too. But I am really sad that I miss my yearly stay at the Red Sea this year.

  22. Blow me down with a feather, Friko. On two counts. Just wrote (not yet published) that I wish I were in Cairo. Not this precise moment, just in general. Mainly on account of camels. And air conditioning.

    Secondly: What do you know, first time I watch Downton Abbey, last weekend, hell breaks loose. Wasn't my fault. Wish Maggie Smith were my aunt. One better, I wish I were Maggie Smith (only my age, not hers).

    Greetings to your beautified self,

  23. Hi Friko, thanks for your comment over on my blog! The photo is so beautiful it makes me want to hop on a plane to England immediately. However, no photo of Egypt, no matter how pretty, could make me want to go there right now. I hope your beautician, Helen, and her family stay safe while they're there!

    The new season of Downton Abby hasn't started here in California, but what passes for television entertainment over here is so awful I never watch it. Thank goodness for PBS and British television programs!

  24. Two Canadians just arrived home from Egypt after being held in prison for 50+ days. Now they admit they acted somewhat foolishly. But still - there's a travel advisory on Egypt just now. Pyramids or no pyramids, it's not worth the risk.
    Oh dear. I thought the last season of DA was slipping and I'm sorry to hear it's going to be worse come January. But I'll likely watch it anyway. Canadian/American television is so wretched that we tune into British programming whenever possible. I'm hoping to find The Land Girls sometime. Have you watched that?

  25. Well, I guess we can't look forward to a good season from Downton Abby. That is what usually happens with all series.

    In the meantime, your adventures to get all fixed up were nice to read about. I need to make a hair appointment.

  26. That's a beautiful picture of the fields, very flowing and mellow. The new series of Downton hasn't yet started here, so I'm trying to keep my ears and eyes shut until then. Egypt? I don't get it.

  27. Hallo Friko,
    wunderschöne Heckenlandschaft (habe nur auf das Foto geschaut, ohne den Text zu lesen). Ich hatte während meiner Radtouren ebenso probiert, strukturierte Fotos von Landschaften zu machen. Da sieht man, was Hecken ausmachen, wie sie Struktur hineinbringen, wie sie abgrenzen und überleiten.

    Gruß Dieter

  28. I think we can all have fun imagining future plotlines for Downton Abbey. Will Edith turn into an intrepid ace reporter or pioneer aviatrix, or suddenly develop a Mitford-style pash for Mussolini or Franco? Will Rose turn into one of those Bright Young Things who ended up as drug addicts? And below stairs: will Carson and Mrs Hughes run off together to run a Select Guest House in Scarborough? Will Mrs Patmore take on in a huff as modern technology gets the better of her? In fact, if they ever get to Series Umpteen and the 1980s, I can see the latest descendant letting out the grounds for rock festivals and great-grandmama Mary asking "WHAT is a 'rave'?"

  29. A colleague of mine just came back from Egypt with the kids. Apparently it was great, but still. Of course I cannot help thinking of all the people who scraped a poor living from tourism and must be starving now. In fact I wonder what they ARE doing.

  30. Love that photo of the fields! As for Downton Abbey, I adored it at first but we quit watching after the second season -- it had been a bit of a soap opera from the beginning but it kept getting more and more histrionic.

  31. I loved Downton Abbey the first season, liked it the second (it did get a little slow), and am HOPING for a good third. We will see. EGYPT! I would have loved to see your face... and see how long it took you to figure out HOW to respond. Ha ha.

  32. Oh yes, cat lovers are exactly like dog lovers in that respect.
    And as for Egypt... no, I rather not say what I am thinking right now.


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