Category Archives: Travellers’ tales

Early travellers and other occasionally odd characters.

The Fishing Fleet

Before writing Grand Hotels of Egypt, I’d never come across the term ‘fishing fleet’ to mean anything other than the obvious. But as I discovered, it was also a term widely used in the 19th century to describe the boatloads … Continue reading

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It’s just a flesh wound

Just posted on the always excellent boingboing.net: The best opening paragraph on Wikipedia Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880–5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish … Continue reading

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Ann Lees, former guest at Shepheard’s

My cousin Anthony, who lives on Alderney, called me recently to say that he’d lent his copy of Grand Hotels of Egypt to a friend of his on the island and that this person wanted to talk to me. I … Continue reading

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Filed under Memorabilia, Shepheard's, Travellers' tales

Hollywood royalty in Egypt

My last post mentioned in passing the fact that Hollywood golden couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford had added their signatures to the Winter Palace Golden Book in November 1929. At the time they were just about two of the … Continue reading

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Kipling’s Egypt

Eighty-four years ago today, The Egyptian Gazette of 14 February 1929 carried a notice of the arrival of well known author Rudyard Kipling (that’s him, above) and Mrs Kipling at Port Said. They’d landed the previous day and proceeded direct … Continue reading

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Filed under Nile steamers, Travellers' tales

Striking the right note

It’s just one of those odd combinations: Louis Armstrong and the Sphinx. But then why not? Everybody who can visits Egypt at some point in their lives, and everyone who visits Egypt visits the Pyramids. Except this was no casual … Continue reading

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The Gayer-Anderson Museum (and its departed cat)

Earlier this year I had a piece published in Canvas, the magazine of Middle Eastern art, about the Gayer-Anderson Museum in Cairo. It’s one of the most fantastic places I know and I go back every few years just to … Continue reading

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Filed under Egyptologists and Egyptology, My journalism, Travellers' tales

More people on Pyramids

Following on from one of the posts of last month, here’s another evocative image of Bright Young Things on a Pyramid. No idea of the date but given the dress, it has to be the 1920s. This image was also … Continue reading

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Lawrence of Arabia: stamp designer

David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia is back in the cinemas in a new, digitally restored, 50th anniversary edition (the film was first released in the UK on 10 December 1962). I’m looking forward to watching it again on a big … Continue reading

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Waugh in Egypt

Recognise the picture on this book jacket? It’s the same pic that headed my last post. Not that you can make much out with the type obscuring most of the image (the designer also chose to flip the photo). It’s … Continue reading

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