So we've officially moved into British Summertime, which is probably why we had a frost so fierce it predictably burned all my magnolia blossom! Still, at least it had been in full bloom and all its glory for my birthday, and I'm really glad I'd shared it with you by way of the photos in last week's blog
Thanks as always for your delightful comments and for bringing me up to speed with all that's been happening. Of course those of you who read this blog regularly will know that Colin and I have had a week away in Morocco, which was a truly restful break. We had originally planned to return to the same hotel, but decided at the last moment to stay a little further down the coast.
Agadir is right on the Atlantic, with a fabulous expanse of soft sand and crashing waves. However, it can be pretty chilly because of the wind off the Atlantic, so we were very grateful to have a lot more sunshine than last year, which, when out of the wind, was very warm indeed. Last year we didn't venture out of the hotel complex, but decided that this visit we should find go exploring, and so we headed off to an enormous Souk – a covered market – that sells everything from furniture, fashion and food and spices to jewellery, china, natural remedies and reptiles!
If you've ever been to the exhibition centre at Olympia, the size of this walled and covered market was pretty similar and is the main shopping centre for the Berber people who live in Agadir rather than a tourist haunt. Plenty of bargains to be had, and each stall holder had their own particular way of drawing you in, which we loved.
I'd never seen such tiny turtles, and was also allowed to hold this chameleon, which was equally small – dinky aren't they We haggled over price, bought some lovely wooden boxes and Berber tea, and headed back in the late afternoon.
The hotel grounds were extensive, and very beautifully laid out, but right in the centre there was a large pond, and every night as we headed to the restaurant, we were greeted with this incredible chorus – sounded like a VW Beetle trying to start up – which was created by a collection of tiny frogs!
Apparently it's their mating season, and so I wondered as I walked, how, if they were lucky enough to meet one they really fancied, they would ever be able to have a conversation with that racket going on…I know, I know…but I had drunk a large sangria earlier :) I got a photo of one during the daytime and was amazed to see they were no bigger than the terrapins – amazing!
In fact the restaurants and food played a large part in making our holiday such a pleasurable one. Not just because it is SO nice to be cooked for and cleared away after, but because the food was fabulous. Lamb and beef tagines, cous cous, incredible vegetables, and stunning salads – I'd never realised you could do so many things with a beetroot!
Of course being a coastal resort they had fresh fish every day and along with red mullet and swordfish they had gorgeous grilled hake – not surprising I was drawn to it eh? Along with the large dining hall there was a small Moroccon restaurant with low tables, cushions to sit on and fabulous lanterns.
It was there we met some lovely couples – ranging in age from their 80s to 30s and stayed up talking until at least 2am most nights. I love hearing about other people's lives and we all got on famously – am hoping that this time we might manage to keep in touch.
All too soon the week was over, but I was looking forward to my hours over the weekend and was delighted that the Diamonique TSV was so well received I'd booked the 1st April off ages ago as it was my friend Jo's daughter's 21st. Sophie is currently studying at Bath University and so we headed down with a car filled with balloons, presents, cake and fizz and had a lovely day.
I am her Godmother, as Jo is Jack's, and there's only two months between them. I bought her Charlie's diamond heart pendant, as they are her birthstone, and she loved it, as I knew she would. Do you remember what you got for your 21st birthday? Do you still have it? I'd love to know so just post it below.
And as it's been a while since I set a competition, I thought this might intrigue you… Guess what the object in the photo is and you could win over £80 of Laura Geller make up!
b) Mosquito repellant
c) Hand towel
Just pop your answers in the comments below (make sure to include your email address in the email field – this won't be published) and good luck!
I hope you enjoy the photos and as always I'll look forward to hearing from you and will promise to write back. Have a great week,
Love, Ali xx