Having left the party early, 30 minutes after sunset, I was up before sunrise and in the watery paleness before dawn I am writing this while the bull frogs sleep and the peacocks are bristling their feathers. The dogs are alert waiting for their next adventure and the cats are stretching their limbs hoping for another boring day of being picked up by the kids and cuddled. It is a very cool 9C with a few strands of white cloud out to the east anticipating the sun in all its glory but the sun is struggling this morning, he probably had a late one. The dawn chorus is at full voice, the only silence coming from the slumbering house which will slowly awake as we approach 8.00am. The three nurse maids arrive for their day’s work, previously they had a hour’s walk from their village and a hours walk back again in the evening but daughter No 2 bought them a scooter and now they do it in 10 minutes. It has opened up their lives. Fatimzara can now go to the souk twice a week and buy fresh vegetables for her household without the fear of another hour’s walk with a heavy load. Khalid on his scooter can go to his family home, a couple of hundred kilometres away for a few dirhams of petrol, a journey I could never contemplate considering the roads over here. To these people any form of conveyance other than Shank’s is a blessing.
The ladies start to clean up the place from the mess of the night before and giving the kids their breakfast which they hardly touched. However hard I try I cannot and will not submit wholly to this style of life whilst I can still wipe my own arse and when the day comes when I can’t, you might as well put a bullet through my brain, all quality gone. Don’t get me wrong I am not criticising this mode it is just that it ain’t for me.
It is 8.30 and everybody is up including those who never made the bed. The mechanics of the household take quite a while to start up certainly until enough energy has arisen from its component parts to enable the machine to trundle off; the kids to the school with the teachers, the adults to their work stations and myself to write down my observations. It is 8.45am and it feels like a coiled spring ready at some stage to burst into life. Come 9.00am we might see the dispersal of this pent up energy.
Breakfast of the usual omelette, cheese, olives and bread with a fresh fruit salad bathed in orange juice and a cup of strong coffee. An hour of quiet reading and we are now off to Marakech. Helen has bought fabrics to recover our chesterfield and we have to somehow fit 19kgs of fabric into a 15kg suitcase. I fear the worst at the airport but to make up for dark thoughts the sun is shining and the temperature in Boyle is 8C whilst here it is 22C at 11.00am. Having done our business in chaotic Marakech it is home for 2.00pm in 33C of heat. I am glad to welcome the coolness of the house. The pool is full and the kids are going to go daft in it when they get out of school. My second and lasting impression of Marakech is no better than my first. The place is heaving with people, cars, wagons, buses, horse drawn carriages and man drawn buggies and most of all scooters by the million, all vying for prominence with no particular rules and very few traffic lights, The only rule if it is a rule is priorite a gauche but who cares. It is not my type of town and before you say it, I am getting old, give me the peace and quiet of the countryside. I long for Boyle and its paltry 9C and order, but I have to say the house here in Morocco is something else, silence, comfort, coolness.
And then noise and splash and the kids are at it in the water, the start of the Easter holidays although Morocco does not understand. The Christian off-shoot, Islam, has other days to go daft. Sophia, the teacher from Rabat, is off to Casablanca and then to London where she will meet her boyfriend, a musician. They met at Birmingham University where they both did their 3rd level education. A really lovely girl who could make big money on any cat-walk if she wished but that world is far below her and rightly so. A beautiful face 1.75 metres tall and as slim as a wisp. We only have quality in this house.
Two teachers remain, we go tomorrow. the house will remain at bedlam point for 14 hours a day instead of the usual four hours. The sun has just gone over the curtain rail on the lean-to, an apero is required. What harm a large pastis. Ricard is my favourite and a few left-over calamari from the kids supper.
The kids have come on tremendously in this environment, Joe at 10 can understand French and can do a bit of Arabic, Daisy at eight can understand Arabic and French and Polly, George and Tom have bits of both which is fantastic at 7 and the twins at four. Their teachers are very proud of them at the way they soak up knowledge. The only downside hereabouts is the lonely jobless oilman who lives next door who comes visiting eight times a day, talks crap and has no sense of humour but he goes to his beloved in Scotland in a week, how she must fear that day. I will not miss him but I am a genuine miserable bugger. We are a declining minority, it seems that people will listen to any old crap these days and it is not my position to fuck him off.