I sat staring from my bedroom window at the new rooftops, red with embarrassment at the mental assylum they had replaced. My own personalised looming lookout point, situated at the highest point of the highest tower  of the highest house on the highest hill. I threw my hair down and out of the window. Then I waited but nothing happened.

So hauled it all back in and, instead, I have been consumed with experimenting with moody film noir techniques, wondering all the time where my tripod is, learning to infuse lavender oil because I hear it’s good for the hair, mostly arguing with poorly informed Brownie associations who I often leave speechless and promising me that the manager will call back personally, trying to figure out who left the black olive to roll into the cutlery drawer and why everybody doubts my strawberry and basil smoothie-coolie-juice addition and then loves it when they do try it, not to mention thinking about where Harry II is performing nowadays, how many pyramids Deeja has confronted and whether she has a suitable hand-fan for the job, does the Maggy-Bird live where I sent her her very own voodoo doll, who knows how to convert SWF to MPG, when I’m going to have lunch, when I’m going to have lunch with Fun, remembering to get superglue tomorrow morning to fix the broken finger on my delicate mannequin hand, musing over what drunken astronauts are doing fizzing around the atmosphere and why some people just cannot let things go and how many shots Aussie would get by sitting in every tree in the park. Photographic shots, you know. At least I’ve decided I’d like to leave my tower. Enough vegetables have been peeled and plenty of spinning has been spun, at least for now.

Another thing I haven’t thought about, but others have and do, is the use of numerical digits when typing Arabic words in roman script. I guess it was the mu7ahajaba that triggered it. Why use numericals? To represent the letter that the English Alephbet doesn’t have, of course, and thus not risking a compromise with the meaning of words. Also, it is sometimes used simply to confuse and belittle people who don’t understand. Sometimes. Sometimes, uppercase is used intead of numbers but numbers are more common. And words are important.

2 – This is the glottal stop, like the cockney ‘butter’ (: bu2er) which is usually the Hamza ء in the Arabic script. In colloquial, it also represents the glottal stop that Egyptians turn the ق into. Guilty. e.g. Enti fen ba2aaaa? – Where ARE you?

3 – This represents the Ayn ع , the sound of which can’t really be explained, only picked up and is actually not as difficult or vomit inducing as most people make it out to be when first trying to pronounce it. When followed by an apostrophe (3′) it represents the Ghayn غ . e.g. as Nancy Ajram beautifully sings ‘lawn 3ayounak’ – The colour of your eyes.

5 – This is sometimes, but extremely rarely, used in place of 7 [see below]

6 – This is used for the explosive Ta ط and when followed by an apostrophe (6′) it represents the explosive Dha ظ . e.g. 6ayyeb – Good.

7 – This is the deep Ha ح which comes from the same part of the throat that the haaaa comes from after a sip of hot tea. When followed by an apostrophe (7′) it represents the Kha خ . e.g. Sa7! – Indeed! Correct! Right!

9 – This is the explosive Sa ص and when followed by an apostrophe (9′) it represents the Da ض

So, if anybody ever wants to have a giggle at Araboman script, just don’t use the numbers 1, 4, 8 or 0. Or it might look silly.


Above: Film Noir with a touch of what the Dr ordered.