Sunday, 8 July 2007

A great deal of fun for fewer than 2000 dirhams (200usd/100 pounds)!

I’m going to a writer’s conference in Canada in October. They are having a contest for stories. The deadline for entry is 3 August. Today is my day off from the gym (there is a higher power!), so I am putting my paper on “Opening the Flood Gates of Retail Bank Product Innovation: Technology Drivers to Realize the Future” (I mean really doesn’t that just make you hot?) off until tomorrow as it is not due until Sunday night and working on my story instead. I don’t know why but I work well in restaurants (preferably with bars and good lighting) when writing, so I took myself off to Paul’s – which everyone seems to know the directions to by the by. Unlike Moving, which is a hit and miss deal (but I have the address down now). I did another walk around Agdal trying this time to ask store owners if they had a bed/breakfast table, no joy and it was way too hot for a longer walk so I retired to Paul’s after about forty minutes or so. I found myself an ideal position with my back to the wall and a view of the room. Lunch was good (it’s not Le Grand Comptoir, but I would not be comfortable sitting there working for two hours either) but the service was excellent as was the café’ au lait. I got through all my notes and managed a through editing of the story so far.

The story, “Three for Matilda”, has a story… This is not a tale I would ever have chosen to write. I like writing stories where stuff blows up or there is time or interdimensional space travel and a good deal of saucy humor. I wrote the beginning of this story during the winter quarter for a Creative Writing class (which was really good) and my professor went nuts for it. She insisted I finish the story for my final, then said it couldn’t, shouldn’t be finished in a story but I should turn it into a novel. Crap! I never wanted to write the bloody thing in the first place, I don’t even know what happens; but now I am stuck with it because I think it might be good as well. It is a good problem to have I admit.

After the ver-r-r-ry long lunch I took a taxi over to Souissi Marjane mini-mall in hopes of a table at the fancy-dan bedroom place. There were already two young girls in the back (sometimes the taxis will pick up double fares if you are headed in the same direction; and I really did not want to stand in the sun). When we arrived at Marjane the driver cut the fare by almost ten dirhams because of the double fare, they don’t always do that (this after he had made the girls throw out their cigarettes when he noticed my nose wrinkling and my fan working overtime). I love that, so I over tipped him like mad.

When we were passing about a block or so from Dessange I saw a stork’s nest on top of one of the streetlights!!!! So cool! I will walk down there next week (the forecast is 39C, so it may be a few days) and get a photograph. It was huge!

I had even remembered the French word for table but I couldn’t remember the word for bed, just for monkey – all in all not very helpful.

I worked hard this week and was missing Q a bit so I indulged in some shopping therapy, works every time. First Planet Sport for a new swimsuit and cap – Speedo in blue. I thought for a moment there they had some of those New Balance skirt/shorts that I wear to run and work out in, but no, just tennis skirts and the shorts are toooooo short on those (yikes! no one wants to see that when you are sweating over 56 kg on the squat!).

I also need a parasol; I can’t imagine trying to describe that! I have one of the lovely paper and wood Japanese ones, but it is with my ‘stuff’ in storage. Perhaps when I go to Spain?

Then to the fancy bedroom store where the nice shop lady who only spoke French was unable to understand why a monkey would want a table in his bed. She had some beautiful towels and a robe to die for with a matching towel all embroidered with flowers and a butterfly just on the edges – lovely and really quite reasonable for the work. Good towels are so very expensive here, and the inexpensive ones shed on you like a desert dust storm; which explains why Q’s grandmother for my birthday and Q’s (just because you are the only grandchild gift) gave us the most luscious towel sets. I mean really – like butter! But I decided to do the old three-day-wait on the robe as it is still too hot to wear any such thing and it is too fancy for a swim robe.

Then I was off to the shops for clothes. I found a great shirt by Boss to wear with jeans and dress them up a bit, and a beautiful pink linen tulip (turn that upside down in your heads gents) skirt. I bought the shirt but I will wait for the skirt to go on sale as it was overpriced for this late into the summer, but oh so lovely.

I was window-shopping when Maison du Caftan caught my eye with a beautiful window display. As I went over I saw the lace fan in the window and almost tripped with glee getting into the store. I collect fans. I used to collect teacup sets when I was in one place for longer than a few months. I am a ‘collector’, but I only like to collect things I use. She brought out another lace fan, one in black and one in white. THEN she brought out one with a black wooden face with silk edging. That’s it in the photograph. Isn’t it gorgeous? And it is one of the large ones, I am so excited. I wanted a lace one too but I will have to get it next time. Too much indulgence will spoil your complexion.

Then I went into Morocco’s version of Ikea because the lady at the bedroom shop said, “They have all the “la tabs” made. But alas, no joy.

Then I walked past Caterpillar shoe store and spotted Merrell sandals in the window – again with the sprinting into the shop. When I was visiting Boston in March I stocked up on bras, shoes, computer, and books. I am a fanatic on good shoes and good bras, two items where you should never skimp. I have high arches and I prefer high.. well you get the idea. It was the Morocco story again with the supply. They had the style I wanted but only in one color, in one pair, in my size. Orange, a pretty orange but I have never had orange shoes before! The one pair of red were one size too big, the one pair of black were one size too small, and I don’t care WHAT size those putrid green ones were! Nonetheless I am thrilled.

The last stop was Marjane’s for canned cat food for M.C. because I am not going to cater his raw chicken, vitamin, organic gourmet dishes that Q makes for him.

I was on my way home at 1730 hours when my mobile chirped and this message appeared: “Sausage & beans are cookd, eat pls.” From Q. A little role reversal. She knows me so well. She cooked for me before she left for the week-end and put it in the ice box. I was very good; I picked up fresh bread from the hannut on the way to the house and had my first purchase of the day – macaroons from Paul’s (heavenly) for desert.

I watched “Good Night and Good Luck” again for about the tenth time while having my dinner (which was delicious dear, thank you). Doesn’t it give you hope that someone as pretty as George Clooney is that smart?

What a great day and I got work done as well!

On this Sunday Morning I read an article in the International Herald Tribune (IHT) about the call for NASA to support research into “weird life”. They go on to mention the possibility of life forms based on other than a water base, such as silicon or carbon chemistry. I have two things to say on this: one, duh! Have they never read EE “Doc” Smith? He said that in 1949. Two, if they want signs of weird life… well I ask you have these people never been to Britain? We bring our weird life right down into the parlor and have them for tea.
My favorite quote was this:
"Nothing," the report concluded, "would be more tragic in the American exploration of space than to encounter alien life and fail to recognize it."
Really, make up your own jokes.


debio said...

Oh what fun, lady m, and a great read.

Hope you're all set for the Canada trip.

Kaycie said...

Sounds like a lovely day. Canada in October will be blessedly cool. I bet you are looking forward to that!

Mama Zen said...

Oooo, that fan is lovely! I've always been fascinated by fans; I collected them when I was a child. That one is beautiful!

As for "support research into weird life- " hey, I got up this morning! What more do these people want from me?

lady macleod said...


thank you and thank you for coming by.


Oh I hope so! I may walk about just savoring the coolness!
thank you for coming by.

mama zen

thank you, i love it! Well done "weird life form"!
thank you for coming by.

I Beatrice said...

Sorry this doesn't relate to your blog - and I loved the photos, and all the shopping, and the story title "Three for Matilda"..... (Are we to see the story?)

But this next bit is strictly irrelevant I'm afraid to say. I posted it for you on my own page, then thought you mightn't find it there, so decided to post it for you here as well...

"I thought of you the other day. I was up at the British Library (which is magnificent btw!), where there is a beautiful, serene exhibition comparing the history and ancient documents and artefacts of the three great faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It seems to have been spear-headed by Prince Philip of Britain, and King Abdullah VI (? name) of Morocco - there were signed letters from each of them on display there.

I marvelled at the paradox of it all - viz, that while terrorists try to explode their bombs in Britain to point up the differences between the faiths, here is this inspirational exhibition designed to illustrate the many beautiful things they actually have in common! Including a common descent from the prophet Abraham.

I only wonder there has been so little publicity associated with it? Every convicted terrorist ought to be taken along and made to contemplate every aspect of this splendid exhibition, in my opinion....

Omega Mum said...

Sounds v exciting. Now, of course, desperate to read the story.....And how lovely of Q to do the meal - and remind you to eat it!!Parasol - parapluie contre le soleil?

The Good Woman said...

I've never been a good shopper Lady M. You could teach me many things on that front. I too have hihg arches and yes, prefer other bits of me that way too!

lady macleod said...

i beatrice

I know I love the British Library and the British Museum - I keep thinking the Rosetta Stone has something to tell me...

It's King Mohammad VI, and that's fabulous! What timing eh? Oh I wish I could see it. I agree with you that more publicity is needed. I knew nothing of this!

You are doing your bit to get the word out and that's very well done.
Thank you for telling me about it, and as always thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

thank you, having you all read the story is what I have in mind, but I have to link it, so that it is copyright protected but not "published", and it will most likely be best if I FINISH IT first. Most of my regular "readers" are scattered about the globe for the summer so I can use the feedback.
thank you for coming by.

good woman

Once we are on the same continent we shall have to have a shopping trip!

thank you for coming by.

jmb said...

Well a day spent shopping and writing is as good as going to the spa!
Orange shoes! The colour of the seventies and I was very fond of it.

I have several very good lap tables which I like to use while sitting in chairs or in bed. Useful for laptop or book or even eating. Like this. I hope this link works.
Coming to Canada, eh? I'm sure you've been before. But a writer's conference sounds like fun, well hopefully they don't take themselves too seriously.

Liz said...

What a wonderful day! Hope the story is going well.

Such lovely purchases too. A beautiful fan and so practical.

lady macleod said...


that's a good one, never thought of one with a cushion, and a nice price on it as well. Unless I can come up with some suitable substitute I suppose I shall have to wait until I go west again.. I thought everyone had them! We used to have one for each bedroom for heaven's sake. What do people do when they have guest, or when someone in ill? I can certainly live without it, but I don't want to.

This particular conference is said to be a good bunch. I hope so. the worst that can happen is that I have a lovely trip to Canada.

thank you for coming by.


Thank you. The story is coming - it's one of those that comes in spurts and the rest is work, but it's coming.

thank you for coming by.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

What a great post. It made me laugh (British put their alien life on display and invite them for tea) and think. I love the film "Good Night and Good Luck." I watched it on a flight to Canada, in fact. They don't make newsmen like that anymore. Sad.

Drunk Mummy said...

You must be one shiny buffed individual! Following on from the massage and hairdo, you are bound to look great in your new togs. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about getting any work done - I would just drift around being fabulous for a day!

Anonymous said...

Mm, such wonderful evacative writing from you, as usual. I'm keeping up with your posts but haven't managed a lengthy back read yet. Love the way you bring daily life in Morocco to us while remaining the same women/mum/writer that so many of us are. We connect.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a lot you do in a day! The story sounds like it will be a great read and I write well in bars too! Love the pic of the fan - and the others. But there is just something about fans. I can understand why you collect them. Yes, GC's looks and brains do give me hope!

rilly super said...

I always imagine a writers conference to be something like a huge library with people typing and scribbling in notebooks and doing things wth highlighter pens, and everytime someone speaks everyone goes 'SHHHHHH!' very conspicuously. I do hope you don't get into any trouble there Lady M

Ellee Seymour said...

Good luck with the writing contest and trip to America. We would all vote for you, that's for sure.

jenny said...

No new post, you must be waiting for a comment from me before you can write your next post, eh?? LOL

I loved Canada and I just know you'll have a lovely time. Knowing you, you may meet another fellow that will sweep you off your orange sandals!! Or at least write that he will! :o)

Bogger Blogger said...

Breakfast tray/bed table hunt not going so well? Are there not some local artesans that do commissions? The wood workers in Essaouira were top notch and that lovely thuya/thuja wood is delicious.

Lord Straf-Coventry said...

“Sausage & beans are cookd, eat pls.”

Thrill a minute over there, your life, m'lady.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Goodness me, some of your topics you have to wrote about are as interesting as mine.

I have been delving into specialist diet pet food today. Yum yum!

Happy LOL Day said...

sounds heavenly..
Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.

lady macleod said...


I am pleased you enjoyed it.

Thank you for coming by.

Drunk Mummy

“just drift around being fabulous for a day!” Brilliant.

Thank you for coming


Thank you and thank you so much for the “we connect” compliment, which is quite special.

Thank you for coming by.

Welshcakes limoncello

What is it with the writing in bars and cafes, eh?

Thank you for coming by.

Rilly super

I hope not! I absolutely intend to “get into ..trouble there”, or why bother?

Thank you for coming by.

Ellee Seymour

Thank you. That’s very kind.

Thank you for coming by.


Yes, that’s it exactly. I am looking forward to Canada. I have only been to Victoria when I was in Seattle, Washington climbing their mountain and out to Olympic Peninsula.

Thank you for coming by.

Bogger blogger

That’s an idea if I can get them to understand what I want. We didn’t have very good luck with our seamstress in Fez with making anything other than the traditional garments. But you are right the word is so lovely.

Thank you for coming by.

Lord straf-coventry


Thank you for coming by.


“specialist diet pet food” Oh yes… of course… uh huh. You wacky dame you!

Thank you for coming by.

Happy lol day

Thank you for coming by.

bekbek said...

Having lived away from my country for a few years, I can tell you that "Canada" is rather vague. I mean... I am a proud Canadian, but there's no sense pretending that I have any idea what it is like to live anyplace but Toronto.

In other words: Where are you going in October?!

Meanwhile, I'm a bit wondering... isn't the French word for "table," uh... "table"?

Such a beautiful blog. I'm grateful you visited mine so I would know where to look.

Poetess said...


That stork wasn't bringing a baby street light was it?


lady macleod said...


How do you pronounce that? Cheeky Wench?
The conference is in Surrey British Columbia, which I most likely forgot to mention because I am not at all certain where it is! Yikes, I will find out between now and then. I shall show my ignorance here and ask is Toronto the one with the fantastic park? I’m sure there are parks all over but I remember reading once..

The spelling is the same but the pronunciation is la tab (short a) instead of table (long a and using all the letters). What can I tell you – the French! You have to love them, they dress so well.

Thank you for coming by, I am pleased you enjoyed it.


You know that possibility had not occurred to me, but the nest was large enough!

Thank you for coming by.

Grey Bear said...

With all due respect, I don't think that this is a totally fair representation of what real life in Morocco is like.

My friends and co-workers have experienced an entirely different Morocco than yours. Often money tempers one's experiences living in a third world country and your shopping adventures and trips to Dessange bear this out.

Sparx said...

Lady M, another evocativ post (and comments!). French for 'bed' is 'lit' pronounced 'lee'. Try asking for 'un petit table pour rester sur lit' which is probably TERRIBLE French but someone might understand!

I love catching up on your blog - I put an evening aside once a week!