Tuesday, 22 May 2007

another look back

25 September 2006, Fez, Morocco, 0754 hrs
Second Day of Ramadan

Yes, well, the big news today is – we did not die in a fire last night. While not as dodgy as electricity in India (it does not bugger off as often, albeit does on occasion) the Moroccan system is of one of parsimonious usage. We have a total of two working plugs in the apartment; apparently the other two are only for show. We have our computers plugged in, the fan, two very small, very small, no - really small lamps, the kettle, and an open spot on the extension for the iron and/or whatever else may need plugging in when needed. I had put my electric toothbrush on this spot overnight, with the fan and kettle off, and the computers asleep; I thought I was safe enough. Apparently not, since around three a.m. a popping noise woke me (thank you Shiva) and at the end of the bed, on the table where we have the kettle, the tea set-up, and a large basket full of ‘stuff’; it was there I saw the flames shooting up from the cloth covering the tea tray set next to the toothbrush. I sprang (sounds like Christmas doesn’t it?!) from the bed, wide awake, pulled the cover off, knocked the electric toothbrush and base to the floor, while reaching with my other hand to unplug the device. It was during this gymnastic feat that I was stomping on the fiery cloth with my sandaled feet (said sandals of which I had brilliantly placed at the bedside - obsessive ness is a virtue). Once again I was grateful for our large and private balcony as I carried the now reeking cloth and electrical device outside, closed the shutters, latched the double glass doors, assured myself nothing else was in danger of igniting, and returned to sleep.
During this entire Beach Party Bingo scene (those of you of a certain age will get this reference, you know who you are; the rest of you think of your own metaphor), Q briefly lifted her head, ask if everything were “A’righ’?”, and then drifted quickly back into a sound and undisturbed sleep.

After my morning ablutions, I threw the mess on the balcony away, did a swift clean up (I love Clorox), and made morning tea

Meanwhile back at the school, Q’s teacher made the most gentle observation when she explained to him her philosophy regarding fasting – which involves not doing it. She is fasting after breakfast to lunch, and after lunch to dinner. His comment was lovely, “It is fine. God will stitch it all together.”

1817 hrs local time
Ah! The prayer call sounds out over the city, coming after the cannon shot; time to break the fast! Oh lovely, Earl Grey tea with milk, crisp yellow apples, banana, almonds, and succulent dates that ooze sweet syrup. Q has made a traditional Moroccan soup (more like a stew) for Ramadan. It has lamb, cinnamon, fava beans, tomatoes, and a host of spices I cannot begin to name. It is luscious. We had walked to the nearby hamut before sunset, and purchased fresh loaves of the local bread to serve with the soup – heavenly.


Eden said...

Is that soup Harira? sounds a bit like it. love reading this as I lived in Casablanca years and years ago. great memories.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Thank God (or Shiva) for your quick thinking in the middle of the night. Amazing thing, adrenaline, isn't it. I love Q's teacher and the soup sounds delish. The sounds of the imam remind me of my honeymoon in India.

lady macleod said...


I have to go ask Q, hang on..harira. so yes! Glad you enjoyed it. I like your avatar.

thank you for coming by.


Adrenaline, you betcha'. I know, I love what her teacher said. If only we could bottle that attitude eh?

Where were you in India? Another amazing country.

thanks again for coming by.

Drunk Mummy said...

I love your daughter's reaction to the pyrotechnic drama - although if she makes such delicious stews it would be hard to be cross with her!

Omega Mum said...

What quick thinking. Now, be honest. How long (after the immediate danger had passed, of course) did it take you to think, 'Hmmmn, that'll make a good blog post' ?....
Another lovely 'stitching together' quote. It sounds as though poetry is oozing through ever national pore there. Your blog is giving me the vicarious ride of the new millennium.....

lady macleod said...

drunk mummy,

that's the truth, the cooking and the fact that she is soooooo funny!

Thanks for coming by.

omega mum,

It was right after I realized no one was dead!

It's true, sometimes the verbalization or translation into another language or two comes poetic.

Thank you for reading.

debio said...

I think our electrical system was installed by the same contractors as yours - I too have light switches and sockets purely for decoration and sparks fly every time I pull out a plug.
Not sure I would have your presence of mind in an emergency though.

lady macleod said...


Pure reaction love, pure reaction!

thank you for coming by.

jenny said...

I'm grateful no one perished in the fire, because then there would be no more of Lady MacLeods BLogs to read. That would be a loss for us all! :o)

I love your tales and you really make it seem as if I am right there with you. Someday I shall have to visit and see for myself.

lady macleod said...

jenny, jenny

Thank you sweetie. Come on down! Morocco is fabulous. I know where just the junk, uh antique market to take you is located.

As always, thank you for coming by.

Andres Carl Sena said...

this makes me hungry. is that wrong, being ramadan and all?

lady macleod said...

andres carl sena,

Not wrong dear. Ramadan is over, and non-Muslims are not required to fast. It was mouth watering.

Thank you for coming by.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Well done you for your Fireman Sam reactions.

I like the teacher's reaction too.

Exmoorjane said...

Gorgeous blog - fabulous pics and makes me want to go to Morocco even more than I already did (which was a lot!)...... Love the serendipity of this blogplace - read one blog, see a comment and lurch off into another world altogether.... I see fabulous Eden has got here before me....always a smart button!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Wow, that sounds a bit scary...could you pop to your local B&Q and get a few smoke alarms?!

lady macleod said...


may I have a pass to the firehouse now? with all the burly firemen? sigh

Thank you for coming by.


Thank you for the lovely compliments and for coming by. Do come back again.


smoke alarms? Piggy, Piggy remember where I am..the reassuring news is our little house now is stone and iron and tile - so no worries.

Thank you for coming over.

BOSSY said...

This is magnificent and makes Bossy think she is living a very inconsequential cotton candy life.

Bill Day said...

Glad you are O.K.

Quick said...

Scary. Lucky. Phewy.

The soup sounds divine.

Blossomcottage said...

Thanks for your comments on Mags, once at the Royal Show I noticed she had a gas leak in her lorry, I went to feed the ponies and when I returned she looked out of the lorry door minus the front of her hair, her eylashes and eyebrows and said "No problem found the leak looked for it with a match"
Boom Boom and perfectly true!!

I Beatrice said...

So relieved your quick thinking kept you safe! None of us could live without you now.

A pity you weren't around when the poor old Cutty Sark went up in flames though..

And yet, such lovely stories have emerged from that disaster. The 'fastest tea-clipper in the world' - how romantic, in a Joseph Conrad kind of way, is that?

And then there's this: the Cutty Sark was named after a fleet-footed witch in a poem by Robbie Burns.


I Beatrice said...

By the bye, lady m ... it has occurred to me that I have lately (on my own page) produced the 8 things necessary for joining the tagging game.

Consider yourself tagged therefore - you are my number one IT.

And the others are: Omegamum; Marianne; dulwichmum; and debio....

I'd have included the exasperating but ever-faithful Mutley, had there been space for just one more. (And had he not uttered such foul calumnies this morning, about the proclivities of some of my characters!)

lady macleod said...


I love cotton candy. Sounds a great life. thank you for coming by.

bill day,

thank you! and thanks for coming by.


yes,yes,yes. thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Oh Mags! All I did was scream and stomp, no injuries. An independent woman indeed your Mags. I suggest you keep her close at hand for the rest of the show.

thank you for coming by.

i beatrice,

I was very upset to see the Cutty Sark in flames. She was built in Scotland you know. What a beauty and romantic indeed.

I consider myself tagged, always fun to be a part of the game. I have something else for today but I shall address it on the morrow.

Oh dear what did Mutley say!?

As always thank you for coming by and your correspondence.

Shauna said...

Wow. Talk about being on your toes!!

lady macleod said...


and my heels! I think I was too shocked to be frightened until the next day!