The Adventure continues….
Having sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar and across a very rough Mediterranean Sea, the SS Norman finally reached Port Said on November 24th.
Nov 24th, Monday
After two more days of villainous weather we reached the above at 6.0 this morning, and to our disgust found it in pouring rain. P.S. in rain!! is the world quite mad and here we are going through the Suez Canal sitting muffed up in fur coats and rugs!!
P.S. proved as interesting to me as it did 26 years ago when I came out in the Egypt as a girl! little did I think then that the next time I came it would be with two grown daughters and the man who I could see from my table in whose hotel we lunched but whom I hardly knew. Well we went first to the P.O. and the telegraph office from where I sent a cable to Pink and then proceeded to Simon Artz who now looks almost like Woolworth! and where we bought the usual Turkish Delight, Nougat and cigarettes. The place itself looked little altered from when I saw it last, its quaint ramshackle houses, its sinister byways and the same crowd of pestilent natives who follow one and dog ones footsteps pressing upon one beads and amber cigarette holders, shawls and other messes.
We left again at noon and for a few minutes the sun feebly struggled out but we had not been going long before the rain again poured down and really the Suez Canal in rain looked comic.
I awoke early this morning to find that we were tied up in Suez harbour too far out to see anything much of the houses. Today the ship’s sports began, the usual competition in which we all took part but alas beyond a second in potato race by Noots the family didn’t distinguish themselves. I managed to get into the final for egg and spoon and then dropped the egg, also the finals of the whistling race with Mr King but the tune he had for me though I knew it as well as my own name I couldn’t own to it and so lost (Dolly Gray).
It is beginning to warm up now and so I am rising early in order to escape from the cabin. We have on board a party of “Bright Young People”, some real and some would be’s, one terrible girl who clads herself in nothing, gives out that she is 20 and is followed by a train of admiring sprigs!
We reached the above this morning and stood out for sometime before we could berth. Then drawing in a rumour went round that owing to a case of chickenpox or to the unrest all through the Sudan following on the murder of the Sirdar, we should not be allowed to land. Great relief therefore when at about tea time we were informed of the contrary so after dinner we made up a party and went across the ferry to the Hotel.
(In 1922 Britain had approved Egypt’s declaration of independence, leaving some uncertainty about the position of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. However, the 1923 Egyptian constitution made no claim to Egyptian sovereignty over Sudan. Subsequent negotiations in London between the British and the new Egyptian government foundered on the Sudan question. Nationalists who were inflamed by the failure of the talks rioted in Egypt and Sudan, where a minority supported union with Egypt. In November 1924, Sir Lee Stack, governor general of Sudan and sirdar, was assassinated in Cairo. Britain ordered all Egyptian troops, civil servants, and public employees withdrawn from Sudan.)
Well on account of the trouble in Cairo we’ve been fortunate enough to see the arrival of the Dorsets on their way to Khartoum and later the Egyptian troops from K who are being “invited” to clear out and proceed to Alexandria. There’s been a fearful row over Sir Lee Stack’s assassination, the British Government have demanded a fine of half a million and the evacuation of the Gippy troops, this latter was at first refused but apparently though a ticklish job all is proceeding to plan.