Books are great for many things, reading, weighing things down and for multipurpose stacking. However, they do not work so well if you decide to use them as curtains to fend off the sun. I tried and ended up with a cracked window as most of the books I own come with dark or black covers which apparently muster up enough heat when exposed to direct sunlight to smash glass. The books are not to blame, we should have picked out blinds a long time ago. The decision as to which side the pulley thing was supposed to go was our undoing.
Back from Egypt I cannot skip giving the country a huge seal of approval. Everything was good. The people nice as can be, the food good and not a cloud in the sky - ever apparently, which is probably a drag if you live there and are would like to take up gardening. The pyramids were disturbingly mammoth and the museum of antiquities so brimming with ancient treasures that it is mind-blowing. How can there still be stuff from Ancient Egypt around when at my house we cannot own a set of any sort of cutlery or silverware without some pieces getting lost or broken from the set? Of some sets we now have one cup left or one saucer – not from the same one even. And how can their paintings and writing exist after five thousand years when my photographs from childhood are diluted into mere shadows? I just do not get it.
The Red Sea is a diver‘s paradise and one of the things we intended to do was to dive. I personally ended up having to pass due to writing dutieswhen it turned out a simple dive was anything but a rapid process. Through a conversation which must have involved language difficulties although at the time everyone seemed to understand each other, my husband and daughter ended up in a diving school that took many days and even had exams they had to study for. We have gone diving before and no one then made us do more than just get in a pool and practice clearing our mask of water. You could do it wrong sixteen times in a row and then when you got it right on the seventeenth time you graduated. But not so in the Egyptian diving school my family accidentally got enrolled in. We are not sure but we think the two of them now have a licence to open up their own diving school. Too bad the water in Iceland is a bit cold for that. And no one goes diving to see a herring.
Since this post is rambling I am going to continue along that vein. This bit comes with a warning. It is gross. Recently I came across an article about remains of a woman that died in Ancient Rome. The pelvis of the skeleton contained a calcified tumour of a type not previously found in people from this time. Such tumours are an oddity and easily recognisable since they are formed from the uncontrolled growth or multiplication of the stem cells that form teeth, hair and nails. So these tumours tend to have teeth. Not messed up crazy things made of tooth material but teeth that look like perfect teeth. Molars, incisors and flat front teeth – all can be part of such tumours. Sometimes there are lock of hair that even look combed. You see I made the mistake of goolging images of these tumours that on top of everything turn out to be more common that I personally care for. The vileness is indescribable. For sake of prudence I am not going to give you the name of these growths. I will just post one photo, it is not photoshopped. On second thought I cannot bring myself to do it. This blog is too precious for that. But the tooth thing is not completely lost at sea here on this blog as it could be used in a murder mystery - teeth in a skeleton. The idea would need some tweaking of course.
They also have other versions of these tumours. Some have eyes, fully formed fingers or toes, even a larynx – you name it you‘ve got it. The natural world is a truly remarkable place.
To end on a more jolly note, the tumours I described are usually benign. They do not kill people except in rare circumstances. And they are being looked at as an alternative source for stem cell research since they can grow whatever but never into a functional human being. All dressed up but nowhere to go.
Yrsa - Wednesday