The Orton's on the Nile - 2005

The final curtain

The final curtain

The final curtain

The last few days were pretty much as before in Sharm; sun, water run, meals and boozy nights, so I shall sumarise the main events of the end of the week.

Over breakfast Sean recounted his close shave with a beer bottle. Somebody should relate this to all those do gooders in Berlin that have banned the canned beers from supermarkets. But, I digress. Sean had been delighted to find some bottled beers at competitive prices down in the town and had returned with a goodly supply to last out the heat of the morrow. Trouble was, as previously mentioned it is awfully hot and the ride was never too smooth in the back of the minibus.

Anyway, he got back to his room with no problems and was deciding whether to sample his wares or wait until they had chance to chill a little when the penultimate bottle slid from the top shelf of his sloping fridge. (Seems it is law in Egypt to either have a door fall of or shelves that roll food out when the door is opened.) Now with all those years of keepie-uppy practice he managed to catch the bottle on his toes and there it teetered like the boulder above Wyllie Koyote?s head and with the same resignation rolled gently to the floor.

No big deal, a beer bottle settles the last two inches onto a carpeted floor. Wrong!! It exploded and sprayed glass and warm beer all across his room. He was even hit on the side of the face by one nasty piece which at least had the good manners to hit him smooth edge on so did no damage although the room was wrecked and he had the job of hunting down bits of bottle before he could go to bed. We all decided to stick with cans.

Luke had been sulking after Adam had gone off with Bob and all to the reefs and I dare say Adam had played up how good it was and what a shame it was he had not been old enough to go. Anyway, he decided he was going to sit by the pool while we finished our meal and then go down the town with us later. So after the meal I went off to fetch him and the damn fool has gone walk about. Adam checked his room, but he was not there, we saw Vanessa and Dan and they hadn?t seen him so we concluded the twit had gone off on his own and went off to find him.

Well we were pretty annoyed as he was our responsibility and had told him to wait by the pool. Trouble was he was used to roaming the streets in UK without any supervision and thought he could do the same in Egypt. Anyway we rounded up the posse and set off in the bus to the town.

We hadn?t gone far when we saw a large crown hanging around some Arab street performers, juggling and music etc. I guessed he could not resist checking out what was going on and sure enough there was the pillock in the middle of the crowds without a care in the world. I gave him a gentle summons to draw his attention. Caught the attention of most of the crowd too as they turned away from the juggling to watch the teenager being verbally flayed alive. He gave the usual dumb kid look reserved for bad classroom situations and then Annette started on him; ?Don?t give me that look Luke! You could have been killed for all we knew. What a bloody stupid thing to do etc.? That quite shocked him and he was like a scolded puppy for the rest of the holiday.

Riding the whale

Adam had got his humped back whale in the pool again and with nothing better to do I decided I was going to ride the beast drown trying. I had been studying Adams technique and although he is a good few stones lighter figured if I kept my centre of gravity low enough I might have a chance. Part of his skill was the leap and grab at the handle grips from the tail end, so I hoisted up my shorts and pulled the plastic orca to the side of the pool.

Deep breath, keep eyes on the handles. Leap and grasp, legs wrap round underneath. It worked ? for nearly three seconds then I turned turtle again. For some reason Bob and Annette thought this funny. Maybe I just needed some momentum. If I jumped hard enough then it should move forward and be more stable. Here we go again. I got Bob to steady the tail section for me and took a brick run and dived and sank as I slid off the left hand side. More laughter.

Obviously I had been slightly off centre, would correct that next time. Adam by now was filming and saying it was certain to win on you?ve been framed. Remembering how the Damn busters had used the two towers to align themselves on the centre for the run in I fixed my eyes on the handles and listened to the voices in my head, left, left, touch right on target, launch! My hands connected, my legs wrapped underneath and I clung on for grim death as it splashes forward three feet and turned turtle. Having swallowed half the pool I gave Bob a crack at it. He too had similar results and by now we had quite a crowd on onlookers giving us encouragement. When Bob tired and I got my breath back I had another go. It was getting personal.

I decided the key lay in ignoring the damn handles designed to keep a young child in place amidships and remembering I was probably well over the maximum float weight for the volume of plastic. Now if I sat right back straddling the tail rather than trying to balance on the central hump I might have a chance. The target was now to stay afloat for 5 seconds without falling off. Five seconds came and past. I had done it, relaxed a little and slipped into the water at about 8 seconds.

It was pretty well just a matter of practice after that and me and Bob setting each other challenges. Paddle round the centre piece of the pool without falling off. Paddle backwards from the centre of the pool. It had took most of the day but we were champions of the plastic beastie. So much so that Adam took it off us as it was his!!!

On our last night we were pretty late for the evening meal and we were caught in the middle of short power cuts while we were eating. Quite funny, but a reminder that all the posh hotels are out of place in this desert region. Then to our amazement the Blair Smilers male sequined dancers strutted onto a corner of the dinning room and performed a cross between St. Viturs? dance and what normally happens to Sylvester when Tweety Pie plugs in the electric cable he has in his mouth.

It all came back to me. When we booked the holiday Annette had said she wanted a hotel that provided entertainment ? I thought the arse of the year show was it, but apparently not. Two minutes of these demented spotty teens squirming about and out came four women dancers that made Olive Oyle look like a pregnant hippo. If they had been topless they would have looked like drag queens. And all the time the lights are flickering and the music stops and restarts. It was too much. Chuckling like a demented hyena I made my way out to the bus for more beer and booze for the flight back.

Next morning Sean told me he had pulled. Unable to settle in the heat he had gone down to the poolside bar and had a drink at about 01:30 hours. There he met a hot Czech babe and sat drinking and chatting until about 03:10 when she said she really enjoyed meeting him and it was so sad as this was her last night, she had been on her own all week!! She would ask him back to her room but had to get ready for her transfer in twenty minutes. That type of luck I am familiar with and I believe it was all genuine ? the drinks were not expensive enough to hustle freebies from anyone. It seemed a fitting way to end a week on a disappointment after all the high notes.

The transfer to the airport went well enough and all was going nicely; Annette had her 2.50 whiskey mixed with coke in a bottle for the flight back. Adam puts his case on the x-ray machine and the smiles drop from the guards faces like he was waving a bacon sandwich under their noses. When we looked their appeared to be a small automatic pistol in his suitcase. Annette couldn?t find the key to the pathetic secure padlock and they were about ready to blast it open when she finally found the bent piece of tin that passed for a key. When they open the case up the smiles returned with slight chuckles. His statues of Anubis and Osaris had been wrapped up by the shop in such a way that viewed from the side they looked like a gun. We separated them and lay them flat before resealing the case.

We had a slight wait at Cairo before the last leg home and when we collected the cases the cheap 2.50 plastic tartan monstrosity Annette had got of the charity stall on Bilston market had split open. Fortunately there was nothing missing, but having paid for insurance Annette was going to claim for baggage damage to our hand crafted crocodile skin Harrods exclusive suitcase. We eventually tracked down the bloke to report it to and filed in a form amidst his shrugs and frowns. Then he got a porter to get some tape and he wrapped up the split in parcel tape and waited for a backhander for his trouble. Jury rigged or not it made it home and eventually Annette got 6.50 compensation for the damaged caused.

We got home to hugs from Emma who had been oh so lonely and not a mention of where is my present. Here endeth the Egyptian Experiences.

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Copyright 2005 D.J.Orton and A.G.Morris