So our bunches of dates have just been wrapped up. That is, after watching the neighbourhood’s birds snacking on them and finding numerous pecked-at fruit scattered around on the ground at the foot of the tree, we brought a local gardener in to net them for protection. He did a neat job. Read more
We are in the middle of a mini-heatwave. The air in Heliopolis yesterday felt like a fan oven. Today, the temperature in New Cairo hit 39C (100F) in the shade, and I can only imagine what it must be like for farmers working in the fields, or commuters travelling downtown.
On top of all that, Cairo has been named by the World Health Organisation as the second most polluted major city in the world, after New Delhi.
In the circumstances, the Jasmine Garden is now, more than ever, our retreat from stifling heat, dust and pollutants.
We have just extracted the first batch of honey this year: deep golden to light brown, with a distinctive and quite mellow flavour, it brings a wonderful warmth to the throat and a pleasing taste to the tongue. Nothing thin, bland or self effacing about this honey: it is as full-bodied as it is full of Egyptian sunshine.
It arrived just in the nick of time: I have been floored by a very nasty bout of flu, unable even to get out into the garden – imagine! Emergency supplies of lemon juice, from our tree, and honey, kindly donated by our bees, have helped to pick me up. Read more