Friday, 23 November 2007

I am returned

I continue to be amazed at how supportive the cyber community is; we need to be reminded I guess that it is flesh and blood people writing these posts. When you get out in the world and meet members of your cyber circle, like sally, Geoff, and jmb, you become certain it is a brilliant medium. This is my roundabout way of saying “thank you!” to everyone who was so kind to leave a message during my recent indisposition. I apologize to all my lovely readers for the lack of material these past few days and I shall endeavor to make it up to you by being extra witty and entertaining.

I must admit I have no adventures to report as I have been confined to my bed – alone. Not a lot of material there. We have had rain here; a good solid rain, enough to come through my sometimes-leaky glass ceiling. Fortunately it kindly always leaks in the same place so I am at the ready with a towel on the floor. I am going out later to retrieve my laundry from the Press and to see the city, as I am sure it has exploded in green. after the rain; always a glorious site.

I began reading a new novel yesterday when I started to feel better and I am going though it like a knife through warm butter. It is Ken Follett’s “ World Without End”. That man can spin a tale so well. It is a sequel of sorts to “Pillars of the Earth” which was brilliant, about the building of a Cathedral in England. If you are an architecture or history buff, or just like a good story, I highly recommend both. You don’t need to have read the first at all to read the present offering which takes place some hundreds of years later and follows the lives of several children who witnessed a murder in the forest. Yes…. I am reading it and as I find myself hundreds of pages past where I was going to stop I ask, “How does he do that?”

Here are some observations from Fez this time last year:
4 December 2006, Fez Morocco, 1144 hours local time

I have in amazement noted the presence of many liquor shops, and a large liquor section at Marjane’s, with a back door… for the French, the tourists, the Muslims gone astray?

There are a section of women with hair the color of shoe polish; an odd purple color that comes from henna applied to jet-black hair I believe.

I have made note of a great many people – men, women, and the occasional child – with eye patches. It appears to be medical, not from an injury, and I wonder if it is some endemic disease, or something environmental?

None of the government offices in Fez, and I had cause to visit them all in pursuit of a residency card, have a single computer. They all work on paper and the files are kept in flimsy tin cabinets.

The cab driver I had recently on my trip to Marjane’s: “You must learn Arabic to read the Koran, to enter the mosque, the Koran takes all (after the explanation I am Buddhist) people under Islam. “You are a writer woman. This is good.” It was the kindest of proselytizing.

The distance between rich and poor is vast, but they don’t clash up against each other on a daily basis; the culture is “inward” like the houses. Even more than in other places of the world, you can’t go on outside appearances.

Overheard in conversation at lunch with Q and some of the girls: We were discussing the differences between the Catholic and Buddhist views on sex before marriage.
P: “My parents have accepted that I sinned and we moved on, we just don’t talk about it?”
Q: “I think it is great that you learned to speak Italian just to sin.”

There is no “Health and Safety commission”, no OSCHA: at the construction site you see the workers hauling the bricks up with rope on precarious wooden platforms, chaps on the ledge smoothing the cement with trowels and no safety ropes or helmets; and the welder with no gloves, glasses, helmet, or coveralls.

Moroccan men cannot parallel park, but they can dance.

I have been here long enough now to tell the difference between couture and off the rack djellabas.

The scariest rooms I know are – empty. The bureaucrat from the Residency cards took us upstairs to “the boss”. I long for the simplicity of the bajeesh of India where you simply hand over the bribe and you’re done) the bottom floor is like any bureaucracy, but notably bare of decoration, personal or otherwise. The second floor sent me reeling back thirty years to a similar set of bare rooms with long dark hallways set with closed doors with numbers set above. Shiver.

Morocco is lousy with birds and full of bird song. The birds come in all sizes from the tiny brown and grey songsters that perch in our window’s iron grating to the huge black majestic that fly the thermals.

Ciao lovely readers.


Lord James-River said...

I must admit I have no adventures to report as I have been confined to my bed – alone.

Alone? You poor dear!!!

lady macleod said...


I know! *sniff sniff*

thank you for coming by.

debio said...

So great to have you back.

Love the notes - tells so much about where you live.

jmb said...

Glad you are feeling better and out and about again. Rain, how wonderful. The green must just explode. My daughter went to Stanford in 1990 when they had a very long standing drought in CA and she said she didn't see green grass for 18 months.

My son gave me Ken Follett's new book for my birthday and I thought I might have to reread Pillars so I dug it out from the third row in a bookcase and it is next on the TBR pile. However on your say so I'll dive straight in when I finish the Lisa See book I am reading. Check her out if you don't know her, writes about life of Chinese women in earlier centuries. This is my second recently and I think she is a good writer and it is a very interesting subject.

Take care

Mama Zen said...

So glad that you're feeling better!

lady macleod said...


thank you, and thank you for coming by

lady macleod said...


Yes I read "Pillars of the Earth" when it came out, and as I read along I am remembering parts of it; he does a good job of referencing back to the book without confusing the present plot. I will put Lisa See on my list as well. I will be interested to hear what you think of "World without End".

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

mama zen

thank you, and thank you for coming by.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Glad you are back among us, dear Lady M. I've never read any KF but you have inspired me to try him. Love your observations. How strange about the liquor stores and the purple hair!

darth sardonic said...

glad your back and sorry i didn't leave you a comment of support and what-have-you. i love your snippets on life in morocco (which i am pretty sure i keep misspelling but am too lazy to check), i think they might be my favorite. well, i don't know. i like it all. anyways.

Sparx said...

Hello lovely Lady M, I'm so sorry you've been ill, you do suffer. Glad that you're a little better and that the weather is clearing. We're wretched with rain here too.

lady macleod said...


Thank you love. I have enjoyed the rain here and will be sorry to see it pass, but it is winter so I am hopeful to see more.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


You big softie, you forget I read your blog; I already know you sent support and "what-have-you". :-)

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Oh yes do try some Folliet, he is one of my favourites. His earlier work is mystery and spy novels, then he moved to historical fiction and does it so well.

thank you for coming by.

Winchester whisperer said...

so glad you're better