Sunday, 22 January 2012

Comments on Comments, where will it end....?

I always love reading comments on my blog - who doesn't?   The last post got so many interesting ones that I'm going to give this post over to answering those that still need answering.  When I try to use the comments box,  my creaky old computer starts freezing and jumping about. Also,  I can put links and add  photos here. So this will be comments on comments. But I won't make a regular thing of it.

But first, this picture above made me do a double take when I arrived at Luxor airport.  A bit late for Christmas trees, surely?  I thought. Then I realised it was commemorating the Coptic (Christian) Christmas, which was celebrated in Egypt on 7 January.

I also spotted another snowman (not a Christmas one this time) staffing the activities desk at a resort hotel one evening.  I think you'll have to admit he looks pleasant and ready to assist.

And here are my replies...

Emm, your family background sounds so interesting. I don't know of any blockbuster family sagas about Jews but there must be a wonderful book to be written about the fortunes of a Jewish family moving around different countries over the centuries - did your ancestors pass down any stories?.

Lynilu. History did come to life, as the dry desert air has preserved so much (including bright colours) over thousands of years. Inside the tombs was remarkably colourful and pleasant, not dark and dank as I'd expected.

Jo,  Egypt's tourism is so important to them and most people desperately want more prosperity.   The Muslim Brotherhood (who got most of the vote in the elections) is aware of what tourism needs, and,I noticed they sent representatives to the Christmas service at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo on 7 January, so  "tolerance" has official thumbs up.

Jane and Lance, how nice to hear from you again, your comments are always thoughtful and thought provoking.   I was (from a selfish point of view) grateful to see the sights without the crowds, and this also contributed to my feeling of stepping back into the 1930s.  I hope you get to Egypt yourselves!

Dominic D, I haven't seen the first Indiana Jones movie, but that dining room was just MADE for movies.  I imagined men in suits and pith helmets, like old films of Howard Carter, (or, like you suggested, Malyss, some lovely Agatha Christie ladies and elegant detectives. )

And carrying on from that, Foolish Aesthete,  my own "family reminiscences" date firmly from the Agatha Christie period.  I kept feeling that certain places were familiar, a mixture of the old photos and all those movies, perhaps!   I wrote hieroglyphic notes to my friends too, as a kid, but we made up our own, were not intellectual enough to study the real thing I am afraid!

DeeBeeL,  such a brilliant idea to show kids real places that are related to their studies. It brings it to life as nothing else can.  There used to be educational cruises for kids though I haven't heard of those for years. Surely an opportunity for some holiday company!

GB, I'm really glad my post made you consider going to Egypt (though I have to say that it's not exactly quiet and restful there.)  I'm more likely to want to go somewhere if I anticipate seeing more than the tourist stuff and if there's a chance to meet the locals..  In fact, while in Egypt I fulfilled a longtime dream and visited the Wissa Wassef Art Centre. I will give it a blog post of its own later, but I'll just say now that I heard about the visionary creative Ramses Wissa Wassef years ago and was blown away by the tapestries (done by uneducated weavers) from his workshop when I saw an exhibition in London . That's one big reason I decided to visit Egypt myself and it was well worth it. This  tapestry shows stars and sunset I suppose. I forgot to ask the story behind it.

Thanks for the follow, Sprinkles!    And Librarian, I hope your sister liked the link.  Did she make a comment?  I remembered you as my camel got to its feet and it was like sitting on a nice big sofa.

Oh, Broad, now I know I have tasted perfection in Eggs Benedict. - T. had Eggs Florentine which were just as nice, (I tasted) and the orange juice was fresh squeezed too. And the Great Pyramid just outside the window...bright sunshine, blue skies, palm trees... a memorable moment.  I'm glad I took the photo to remind me.

gz, (and GB too) When I go to a place to write an article about taking a holiday, I try to remember that to the inhabitants it's the place where they get on with everyday life.  A life which may be very different from what we know and expect for ourselves, but still complex, messy, good, bad, fun - real life.  I can't be an expert after only a short time in a place, so all I can do is sum up what I discover, what I hear from local people, what I feel - the kind of travel writing I like to read myself

Thanks for the nice comment, Adullamite . I have rather got into 1920s popular music and have been considering attending a few jumble sales to see if anyone is chucking out a wind up gramophone. I wasn't exactly tempted by that one though because it was GIGANTIC! I could just imagine trying to get it back to England on the plane - or any way!

Bryce, I don't know if they name their camels but they seem to look after them well (unlike some of the poor working horses and donkeys who were as thin as their owners). So my guess is that they do name them but I will ask some of my Egyptian friends if they know.

 Isabel, I would guess it wouldn't seem very exotic to you, but I'm glad you liked the post! :)

Thanks for your comments, Linda. As I said on your Flowers on my Table  blog, I would like to change the background myself - it IS too dark - but first I need to update my computer. It really, really doesn't seem to like Blogger and is endlessly freezing and doing weird things. I'm still patting myself on the back at present that I managed to get the header photo behind the lettering, and not floating in some tiny size far away, or so huge that it takes ages to scroll down!

To be honest, Nick,  Egyptians seem to love food of all kinds, and they just haven't noticed that many of their starters, and things that poor people traditionally eat, are actually vegetarian. So it wasn't quite as hard as they seemed to think it would be to find dishes with beans and other pulses.  T's the vegetarian, not me, anyhow, although I don't eat much meat.

I'm thrilled you liked E. Nesbit's stories too, Christine.  She enchanted me as a child. I've helped introduce her books to some modern kids and glad to see that they love them, partly because the kids in them are allowed to go out all day and look after themselves, (a hopeless dream for many modern children, sadly) and also of course because the stories are so magical and intriguing.

Nice to meet you, red dirt girl, and now I've learned a new word, "tsotchke".  I found a lucky scarab in the sand by one of the Pyramids, which definitely qualifies as tsotchke, needless to say it wasn't an old one! :)

Louciao, camels are the ideal thing to ride on in dreams. I noticed that they have kind of squashy feet which obviously act as wonderful suspension, and as Librarian pointed out, they're a really comfortable ride.

Kay,  I already said something on your blog but I hope some other folks will pop over there and read your amazing post on the wonderful old gent you met when you were a travel agent. .

Thank you Stardust, your blog  is always full of inspiration for me,  and is one of the reasons I want to go to Japan someday, so I am glad we can inspire each other!

Yes,  Rowan, I was warned Egypt is one of the countries where it's wise not to drink the tap water too freely. I didn't get ill but I was horrified to see some of the poor people actually drinking water out of the Nile, I suppose they were used to it but - !!

As for cruising down the Nile, I am not much of a cruise fan normally- nothing but sea for days and days...... BUT I could see myself cruising on the Nile, because it's so wide and placid and sunny and interesting. So much of the country is is desert and life clusters round the Nile.  The colours are so wonderful - blues and pinks and violets, and there is a lot of bird life.

Sorry you couldn't comment in your own name,  Suzanne.  - I had that problem too. It may help by not checking the "Stay logged in" tab.  I'm watching to see what happens on 25 January too. There are bound to be ups and down but the election results are cautiously encouraging, so fingers crossed all round.

Elizabeth, glad you're planning a trip - I think going soon might make a good combination of bearable temperatures and lack of crowds plus some brilliant tourist incentives.   We met a couple in the Mena House who had been upgraded into a truly palatial suite without even asking for an upgrade. They were so thrilled they invited us over to tea in it! :)

I don't know figures for street crime in Luxor but can only say we walked around alone quite a lot and felt entirely safe. Even the hawkers weren't as bothersome as I'd been led to expect.   In fact, there were remarkably few, perhaps they're finding other ways to earn money now the tourists aren't here. Interestingly, we didn't see a single beggar.

As for the handover to civilian rule, if and when they reach THAT point I think a lot of people are going to be celebrating like mad, but I don't see the Army being very keen and so IMHO this problem could run and run. Several people told me that the Army is trying to sow discord, which might well be true, but if people are aware of it, they may be less easily manipulated.
Dominic R, I love Wales too, but I'm glad the post made you consider something different.  Imagining myself  somewhere different is one of the pleasures of reading about travel, so I'm delighted my writing helped you do that.

Hi,  Mimi and Klahanie, thank you very much for joining the blog and I'm pleased to have found and joined your great blogs too!

It is interesting,  Rurosha, that you've been there during previous disturbances, yet still think Cairo is second only to Tokyo in safety.  I haven't been to Tokyo (want to, though) but prior to the disturbances in Syria I'd have said Damascus was the capital city where I felt safest, so different to how everyone imagined Damascus here!

I reckon it's about the difference between an inherently dangerous place, like San Pedro Sula, and somewhere that's just a problem if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time - which in my experience is almost anywhere. 

By the way,  I want to follow your blog - I love it - but can't find any buttons to do so. Is this dear old Blogger again, or can you suggest some other way to do it?

AVCr8tur When I saw your comment I realised I haven't seen your posts recently even though I'm following you. I've just checked your blog and seen a whole lot of wonderful posts I missed about Taiwan and San Francisco.  Think I'll unfollow and then follow again, and perhaps that will do the trick.

Hi, Wendy, your web page is fun and so are your flickr pics. If you go to Egypt let me know what you think!

And thank you to Lina, Carlos, RitaHARRYGOAZ, aka Penelope, AGATKA, Country Cathy, Happy Homemaker UK,  Josep,  I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece, and I appreciate your thoughts and remarks.  


  1. Now Jenny, are you expecting Comments on your Comments!!? :))
    Fun concept, i like that!

  2. Sure, people can comment on my comments if they want :)

    So many people said so many interesting things that I wanted to respond even though I'm still having this problem with my computer - or Blogger (or both).

  3. Hi Jenny,
    Somehow I missed your Egypt post so have just read it now. Amazing and fascinating and so much interesting detail. I would love to go there-maybe one day!
    That hotel is beautiful and I especially loved the view of the traffic, minarets and distant pyramid-time flowing indeed.

  4. I think that your original post and now the follow-up have been really interesting and informative and I'm obviously not the only one. The only place I've ever been for a holiday where I haven't known people who could give me the benefit of local knowledge is Italy - a place where discovery and interest abounds everywhere anyway. One of the beauties of blogging and Blogland is that it can open so many doors.

  5. The Nile cruise was actually archaeology based, we were a group of about 20 adults using the Nile to enable us to visit many of the wonderful Ancient Egyptian sites along the river - Luxor, Karnak,a fantastic pre-dawn drive through the Western Desert to see the temples and statues of Rameses at Abu Simbel and a fantastic sound and light show at the Temple of Isis on Philae were among the marvellous things we saw. We had a superb guide with us and I feel sure you'd have enjoyed it too. Our group had many great archaeology based holidays - the best of them was to Jordan to visit Petra, Jerash, Madaba and Karak. Sadly it's a good ten years since we had the last trip.

  6. Hi Jenny! I'm sorry you're having problems with your comments! Perhaps a different browser is required?

    My family did one better than pass stories down - my aunt wrote a book. It is called A Necklace of Jasmine by Sita Sheer. It was written as fiction but was essentially her autobiography.

    My mum has also given me The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado to read.

  7. I am so fashionably late to your brand new spanking blog!! Now you are travelling!! Wow!! How exciting!! Can't wait to catch up - you're in Egypt!! With camels and blown up snow men and plastic christmas trees. How surreal!!

    Take care

  8. This is such a fantastic idea! A post full of comments on comments...wish I'd thought of that ;-) Love your photos, too. Have a good evening xo

  9. Hello Jenny:
    This was such a good idea. Indeed the comments on the comments have been really fascinating reading.

    It is wonderful when the dialogue with one's commenters develops new avenues of interest. This is a truly beguiling topic which has clearly captured the imaginations of your readers, ourselves very much included!!

  10. It must've taken you awhile to do this post - commenting on each and every comment! It's a cool idea though!

  11. One of my dreams to visit Egypt, one day.......

    Love the image of the swans on the lake, and the last one too, very tranquil.

  12. Now I probably need to go back and read the comments to make sense of all that! :)

  13. Snowman Original that works as a receptionist, I had never seen before except in Lapland, lol. Egypt wonderful country full of culture. A greeting.

  14. Greetings Jenny,
    I would very much like to make a comment about the fact that the title of, "Comments on Comments, where will it end....?" is worth a comment that comments about such a title.
    And thus I shall comment on commenting and comment that commenting and mentioning those who commented and reply to the comments via your posting on, "Comments on Comments, where will it end....?" adds a nice personal touch.
    I comment back to comments on my shy, humble and unassuming blog so that it doubles the comment count:)
    And a snowman at the resort hotel desk. How cool is that....
    Right then, I shall now end this disjointed, nonsensical comment and comment that it was very nice to get a comment from you on my silly, bordering on the ridiculous, blog.
    And with that and for no apparent reason, this comment on comments will abruptly end with an exclamation mark for dramatic purposes!

  15. Very interesting Egypt post. I would like to go there but would be a bit nervous.

  16. adding to the comments on comments!!
    Love the snowman behind the desk, he's cute!
    And I love your Nile pic with the birds.
    Delighted to be a follower, and thanks for following me back!

  17. Comments on the comments, how unique!

  18. Jenny, my sister loved your post about Egypt - and she told me that she and her friend went eating at the very same restaurant several times!

    You are not the only one experiencing problems with blogger, especially the comments feature. I can not read the comments to my own posts when I use Internet Explorer, but it works perfectly alright with Firefox.

  19. Thanks for making the effort to reply to all of us - what a task that was!

  20. Wierd things have been happening on Blogger lately...sometimes I cannot access comments. So it may be you or it maybe the server somewhere. Yes, I loved Edith Nesbit's books, too, and have a copy of The Railway Children as a relic from childhood stashed away somewhere. I remember listening to The Story of the Psmead ( Pronounced Sammyadd) on our broadcaster, the ABC, on Sunday Mornings. Children were free to explore their own worlds in those days, I agree.

  21. Dear Jenny,
    Your photos and writing from your post on Egypt were excellent and left quite an impression. This one does the same.
    Thanks for mentioning me and my post about Mr. Connor surviving the Leopoldville sinking! I was thrilled to see the link.
    Oh, and please try to see the first Indiana Jones movie!
    It's breakfast time and I wish I had that plate of Eggs Benedict!

  22. Love that Camel pic!
    Don't answer comments if you don't wish to or are having problems. Some don't need an answer I find.

  23. My goodness Jenny, you have been terribly busy with your replies! I hadn't noticed my name was wrong so you needn't have worried. Sorry about the teapot accident, perhaps it's time to get yourself another? Have a great week. I wonder where you are jetting off to next? ove Linda x

  24. OK, I won't comment your comments to comments! :o) just enjoying the new pictures..

  25. Comments on comments and comments on them. It is an interesting topic and one that isn't discussed often enough by us bloggers. Sometimes the comment thread can add so much to a blog post and the extended discussion is a post in itself (like your example) Sometimes comments seem to be "duty" (and I am as guilty of this as the next person). Perhaps there should be an International Bloggers Convention on comments.

  26. Now that's a new way to comment on comments!

    I'm in Cairo right now, and last year I was here over the Coptic Christmas. Quite the experience.

  27. A comment on a comment on a comment! :)

    First, I love your distinction between an inherently dangerous place and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. YES!

    I may have a slightly warped idea of "danger" because I lived in South Africa with its sky-high crime figures. What others regard as dangerous is normal to me.

    I've added follow buttons to my blog, just for you! ^^ I usually subscribe to blog feeds via my dashboard, but it's a bit of a schlep, so let's make it easier! I look forward to swapping stories with you!

  28. Gosh, comments on comments all in different blog posts and really lengthy linearly structured threads is defintiely discombobulating!

    Your comment box is so lively! No wonder you missed that I've already visited and blogged on Cairo (Egypt)

  29. Hi Jenny. Just thought I'd say hello and let you know I'm around. Thanks for your comments on my blog.

  30. Nice capture! It's fresh and interesting.

  31. Reading this comments on comments is just as interesting as reading a post. :)

    And lovely photos that accompanied the comments. ^^

  32. Hi, Jenny! This is an interesting trial. I'm sorry for not responding to each and every comment on my any posts. However, I'm sure to visit the commentator's blog as soon as possible and leave a comment. Thank you for making a link to my blog.

    The camel is charming and I like the sun with golden halo and the glowing path across the golden water. Have happy days ahead.


  33. Jenny, thanks for the visit to sixtyfivewhatnow and leaving a comment!
    You have a fantastic blog here, and I'm lucky to be able to drop in and enjoy myself here.
    Cheers and Happy Chinese New Year!

  34. aahhh, even more enchanting photos (barring the odd snowman or two), cunningly interspersed between your comments on comments. Thank you for plodding through the deep sands of the comment box to find them all and leave little oases of responses.

  35. Hi Jenny,

    So nice to meet you, too!
    Thank you for the link back. I'm looking forward to your next destination ... where in Spain are you going?


  36. I hope the snowman can help customers before he melts. The lake with the ducks look so unusual. It seems like a few ducks can cause a wave all across the huge lake. :)

  37. Commenting back on your comment, yes, we both do carry the same name! An old colleague from England told me my given names were so English (middle name "Claire"). Is that true?

    And I just love that sweet camel photo you posted here! He looks like he's smiling for his snapshot.



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