Saturday, August 27, 2005

Other Egyptian Bloggers

I ran across Baheyya's blog while looking up something on the net. That's one of the things that I love about the internet, the serendipitous encounters of ideas and thoughts that are so easy. I get Slate and there was a reference to a blog written by an American in Iraq who is following US forces and writing war stories. Apparently, and not too surprisingly, he is the darling of the right neo-cons....equally unsurprisingly, I wasn't so thrilled with his blog. In the process of checking out Michael Yon's work, I found Baheyya. She's much more political than I am, which is appropriate because she is Egyptian and has much more pertinent comments on the political scene than I do. I highly recommend her. Go check her out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Starting The New Place

Well, I have to admit that it doesn't look like much right now, but this is the main building on my land. It's a square room with a door and two windows, but lacking anything that I'm willing to call a roof. The grape vine is in good shape though. We will roof the room, put in doors and windows and connect the electricity to the room to provide electricity for my land. The room itself is going to be a storage for the lawn mower, the garden tools, the bicycle and other miscellaneous objects that I don't want cluttering up the inside of my new house once it gets built.

Yes, I'm definitely excited and I walk over to the land every day to see the progress on the building of the chain link fence that will give my beleaguered neighbours peace of mind and safety from the depredations of the rat pack. If you look very, very, very closely between the grape leaves, you can just barely make out the back of my present house showing through. The horses will be within sight of my rented house by next month. Right now there isn't anything other than my lungs and the threat of becoming cat food to keep the dogs away from my neighbours' poultry, so I will be immensely happy when we finish the fence. I was also happy to learn that ducks are smart enough to play dead when a rat terrier jumps on them. Dead ducks are SO much less exciting.
Cameras do such wonderful things with the size of land. I have 2.5 feddan, which is about 2 acres and my nice little Minolta digital makes the parcel look much bigger, I think. The plot is rectangular with one end on a dirt road and the other behind the hexagonal monstrosity visible at the end in the photo. I have an access to the main road that runs next to the monstrosity's wall just to the left. Right now I'm up to my ears in cornstalks and hot peppers since I had to buy the crops in the fields to begin clearing them for construction. The parrots are delighted with the peppers since they eat them every day and the horses, donkeys and water buffalo are enjoying the cornstalks. In the current summer heat, I can't say that the grooms are enjoying chopping this stuff down, however.
The other end of the land has my duck-owning neighbours. They are a tiny bit less elegant in their living quarters, but they are very nice about the predatory hounds. Morgana the Dane and Terra, my oldest terrier, are exploring the open spaces at that end of the land. There should be horse paddocks in that spot in a month or so. I'm lucky to have a neighbour with a nursery so I can get pretty good size trees for the land at a reasonable price. This whole experience will be an exercise in frugality and I'm exploring local types of architecture and construction. I'm planning a one bedroom house with an office. Most of the space is for the menagerie, with the horses getting the lion's share to mix a zoological metaphor.
Meanwhile, the dogs are having an absolute ball in the irrigation ditches when we visit the land. This ditch runs right behind my rented house. The path that Koheila the Dalmation is looking down passes next to the fence of my current house, the fence covered in morning glory to the left of the path. The main problem with their aquatic play time is that I have to lock them out of the house while they dry off and clean themselves up. If they get into some really disgusting mud, then it is bath time which, for reasons that escape me but probably make perfect sense to a dog, is cruel and unusual punishment. I don't get it. A muddy, smelly canal is a dog's playground, but a bath kills? I think that they might be related to children.

Blogging is Getting Noticed Here?

I don't quite know how to react to this story. On one hand, I think that the flow of information is always a good thing. On the other, given the projections in the article that the government here might become unfriendly to bloggers, I can only hope that the soothsayers are wrong. In the meantime, I don't blog in Arabic and most of what I write can hardly be called political. Lets all hope for the best.