Saturday, July 01, 2006

No Need To Warm This House

Long break from the blog from this end but we were moving to the farm last week and are still suffering the consequences. Moving has to be one of the most miserable experiences in the entire world, and I got myself through this one by telling myself that I’d just be dying in this house so I wouldn’t have to go through it again. We used the hadad’s (the iron-worker) pickup and the donkey cart along with the labour of all my grooms and as many of the neighbourhood teenagers as could be rounded up to get things out of the old house and into the new. Since it was done over the course of about three days and I was usually needed at the old house, furniture and boxes got piled willy-nilly all over the new house. The bedroom was set up almost immediately by the carpenter as everyone recognized that sleep was going to be a priority.

Mona the parrot spent the first night on a desk in the study to keep her from being harassed by the dogs, while the other parrots remained in their old cages since the painters had not finished painting the inside of the new ones. In Egypt, just as most other places, you have to choose whether you have more money or more time when you are building. Having more time than money, a lot of jobs have been rather slow in being finished. The cat and the fox also spent the initial night in their old digs as some of the plumbing for the laundry room in their garden hadn’t been completed.

The first morning in my new house….what can I say? The stove wasn’t hooked up yet, but the microwave worked so I could have my morning tea. I was up at 6 am to look out the bedroom window at the horses grazing happily in the rosy light of dawn, a rosy light that would take on more the appearance of the fires of hell as the day wore on. We have been having one of the hottest summers in some years these days, with the usual north wind barely keeping up a puff to cool us. The first order of business was getting the electrician to wire up the fans throughout the house, fans that he’d dismantled in the old place just yesterday.

As it turned out the cat, fox and parrots were much easier to move than I’d expected. Schmendrick the cat settled into his new garden happily and is pleased to find that he has a window into my bathroom and can expect scratches and cuddles there on a regular basis. Thea the fox was less impressed and promptly took off for better surroundings. The Amazons had to be captured with a bag to be moved, but the Greys could be picked up and put into cat carriers. Once they were in their new flight cages, they seemed to be rather intrigued by the similarities to the old layout, but the new things to watch and look at were okay.

The dogs have settled in very well and love having all the space to run in, if only it weren’t so hot. Most of the day they spend sleeping in the shade…or on the bed if they get the chance…and then the play starts once the sun sets. The fact that there is no grass yet in the front garden does mean that we are sweeping about a kilo of sand out of the house each morning, but what can you do?

While the dogs have been getting used to the area and the new noises, I’ve been leaving the front door open at night so that they could get out to bark instead of waking me up. Last night, however, was the last one for that practice. At about 3 am the dogs were going nuts, but inside the house rather than along the fenceline, so I hauled myself out of bed and walked into my recently almost-cleared living room to find George the donkey standing there in the middle of the room looking around with great interest. I shooed him out to find Margarita standing at the front steps and Gameela the gamoosa over by the bird cages.
The three of them were having an exploration in the cool night air. My suspicion is that the donkeys were lured by the irrestistible aroma of dry dog food, something that they love but which is not really very good for them. I used to feed the dogs outside, but right now the dog food is indoors to preserve it from donkey predation. And from now on the dogs will be shut in at night … or is it that the donkeys will be shut out?