Soup in a basket, anyone?

Our son and his 'partner' (girlfriend really) took us out for a meal the other night. We went to a semi country hotel called the Ravensworth Arms. It was very busy for a Tuesday night, especially in these difficult financial times, I was really quite surprised.

The meal was absolutely lovely, I had venison pie, which came with a selection of veggies and mashed potatoes. it really was excellent. Freda had 'medallions' of venison, and when she told the waitress that she would prefer it 'well done', was surprised to be told that it would be quite tough and dry if it was well done.

Well, you know Freda! "And why should it be tough and dry, just because it's well done?" the waitress looked embarrassed, to say the least, "I've been cooking venison for years and it's never turned out to be tough and dry because it's well done! Perhaps you need a new chef?"

I had these lovely large Stilton drizzled mushrooms while we waited. In the event, Freda said that the venison didn't taste like venison until she got right into the middle of it, she reckoned that it had been under the grill, and it was that practice which resulted in it being, indeed, tough and dry!

Never mind, we all enjoyed what we had, even Freda, eventually. Dining in pubs that have metamorphosised into restaurants, I'm always reminded of the 'soup-in-a-basket' jibes made about social climbing, wine drinking, restaurant goers in our youth.

Derrick Brown, a friend, who is currently travelling from London to Perth Australia (by road???) sent me the following picture from (I think) Cambodia. I know it's probably the height of cruelty, but it did tickle me as an alternative to the proverbial 's-i-a-b':


The next Blog might be from a place called Luxor!

Gearing down and drinking tea.

Well, we're now into our last week here in the land of pitmen and whippets! I'm sorry that I haven't written much of any real interest for you Egyptophiles of late, but it's rather difficult to report on things 'Egyptian' from the cool comfort of  England, as the BBC's coverage of the revolution proved, lol.

Freda has had me working (what's new; I'm sure that she thinks that I'll die if I'm allowed to just sit about and relax) I've overseen the plasterer doing the bathroom ceiling, and the four walls in the little front bedroom, painted said ceiling with PVA and two coats of white, sealed the new plaster walls with the same PVA. I've even done the 'up the ladder' work helping her to wallpaper the bedroom!

Being colour-blind is a bit of a bind as far as being an unqualified and already dangerous electrician is concerned! But, hey-ho, I managed to fit a new ceiling light in the bathroom, without killing myself or anyone else.

I've also become something of a plastic window aficionado! All the windows in the first floor of our (two floor) flat were replaced when we moved in, but never finished off! The two front bedrooms were left without window sills, and the old wooden bits were just screwed on around the new windows; to be finished off 'later on', likewise the two windows in the livingroom.

I don't know if you're familiar with the one-time singing duo, 'The Silly Sisters', but one of their songs contains the lines "When I kissed her on the Wednesday, I couldn't wait for Thursday. But I can tell you now, me lads, that Thursday never came!" Well, that was about the plight of our UPVC (or PUVC, or whatever) windows, until this holiday, anyway.

As I lay in bed, contemplating the unfinished windows which were staring me in the face, I had a Pauline type of revelation! "Can we fix it? YES, we can!" Well, Dear Reader, it's easier said than done, especially when you're an outdated motor mechanic trying to mess on with bits of white plastic and sticky sealer which has a mind of its own! But never mind, 'faint heart never won fair lady', or so they say.

I was determined to keep in my 'fair lady's' good books and get on without grumbling. Like our home in Luxor, our home in Windy Nook is a bit of a 'House that Jack built", consequently nothing's straight or plumb or level! What a surprise, eh? I've had to trim and cajole odd pieces of plastic to fit where they are equally determined NOT to fit. But it's coming, it's coming! Here's a pic of the first attempt, there was no windowsill or cover over the central mullion.


I'm writing this while I'm waiting for one bit to stick, so that I can remove the 'scaffolding' of my level and a piece of wood in order to get on with the opposite side.


I think it's probably time for a cuppa while I wait, why don't you join me?

That's better, isn't it? Talking of tea drinking; I had a very pleasant experience the other day! I just know that your'e dying to hear about it, lol. (Well, you're going to anyway!)

We were invited to stay with a friend in Dumfries (in Scotland) whom we hadn't seen in a while. She used to live in Luxor, but is now back here in the UK. It was a lovely change, and we were really glad to see her and exchange all our news and gossip. She also took us shopping in some of the great value places around about Dumfries. Of course we spent more than we could really afford, the prices were very good and too good to miss! We did save though! Instead of using 'Number One Son's' Volvo (at 30 mpg) we borrowed his, recently acquired, fancy BMW estate (50mpg), so I didn't feel too guilty about buying yet more TOOLS!! (I wonder if there's a self-help group or something, perhaps 'Tool Hoarders Anonymous')

Getting back to the tea drinking; on the return journey, we stopped off at Brampton on the A69 for a break. After acquiring a parking disc (and remembering about them and how they are used) we trotted off to see what we could see. Freda, of the 'Eagle Eyes', noticed a sign which had completely passed me by, but which read "The Enchanted Teapot". Who could refuse?

It's a small tearoom, just off the main street where the Post Office is. And it's a delight! The lady owner only opened up a couple of weeks ago, and she does all the cooking herself. Her light snacks, cakes and pastries etc. all looked lovely, we had a toasted teacake and a plain scone with our two small pots of 'Ceylon' tea. Now then, I'm sure that, by now, you're all aware of my predilection for tea? This was the 'tea to end all, teas', easily the best tea I've had in the past few years!

Nothing strange about the tea itself, it was the standard Twinings tea-bag, I've had (at least) thousands of them. The cup was a normal china teacup, normal white sugar with normal cow's milk. All these factors taken into consideration, it only leaves the water which could be different! But different it must have been, 'cause the tea was absolutely beautiful; crisp, clean, refreshing beyond measure. I cannot find words with which to adequately extol its many virtues. Although we only had two small pots of this divine elixir, I managed to squeeze over seven cups from them, what a delight! The cost was most acceptable too, about six pounds in total.

I only got these few pictures, but I hope they help someone to recognise this treasure house when they find themselves in Brampton.


This last one shows our messy table and the (up-to-date and current) magazines and newspapers which are available for the customers to browse through, quite a selection, I'm sure you'll agree!


If you're in the area, I couldn't give better advice to any tea drinker than to call at this place; 'The Enchanted Teapot' I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Better go now, I can almost hear the windows calling!

Another posting of dubious interest!

"What's that?", I can almost hear you asking. Well, it's a (former) giant steam hammer, and it now serves as an arch over the entrance to one of the North East's best visitor attractions: Beamish Museum! You certainly wouldn't have wanted to get your thumb in the way of that, would you? I cannot imagine what it was used to hammer, or the noise and shakings that would have been associated with its use; to use a much overused word, I suspect it would have been 'awesome'. But now it's just the first oversized monument, of the bygone ages that are represented at this wonderful museum, that the visitor comes across.

Although I've never actually paid to get into this place, I've been there on a number of occasions and always enjoyed it tremendously.  Our connections to the museum go back a long way, in fact they go back to when there was no museum at all!
When the site was originally being cleared, a gentleman named Albert Watson was contracted to do away with all the trees, which would otherwise have been in the way of the construction plans.

Funnily enough, Albert Watson was from the "Felling". A place which was originally named after the main occupation of the place; felling trees! (Like Windy Nook, the Felling only now exists as part of the greater "Gateshead", which in turn is being subsumed by the even greater socialist soviet republic of "Newcastle/Gateshead")

I remember Albert distinctly; thinnish, with a moustache and a characterful 'outdoor' type of face. He also had a dodgy leg (the right, I think) which he seemed to have to throw around from back to front when he walked. He seemed to be permanently enshrouded in a mud-splattered donkey jacket, with wellies sticking out at the bottom! At the time, he was (like many of us) 'living from hand to mouth', and struggled to keep his tractors and wagons etc. running, while undertaking this massive job. This is where my father came in! Dad was the only man carrying out repairs on commercial diesels in the area, apart from the 'big boys', like Adams and Gibbon and R H Patterson and Co Ltd, whose labour rates put them out of contention! They were also more specialist, in that they were main agents for Bedford and Ford respectively, and didn't have men with the required skills with heavy plant and earthmovers etc., which dad also had. So, our dad was often to be found in the snow and rain and mud up at Beamish, howking out a back axle or gearbox while trying to keep Albert Watson's enterprise going. A good many years later, and a good many years after dad had died, I found a small bundle of unpaid invoices for such work! I had thought of seeking out Mr Watson and presenting them to him for payment, but by that time he was prominent in local politics (or something!) and I didn't think it worth the bother and upset.

Our next connection to the museum was during the 12 years, or so, that we had the 1955 Morris Oxford. We were members of the "North East Club For Pre-War Austins", even though our car wasn't an Austin or pre-war! The club held annual rallies at Beamish, which meant that participants didn't have to pay! We went every year as the kids were growing; apart from showing off the car to hundreds of nostalgic visitors, we used to enjoy the picnics and the fascinations to be found at the ever growing museum.

This pic was taken at a show at Washington, and the next was taken just after we had won some rally or other, showing off the cup, standing on the bonnet with two other winner's plaques at the sides:


Eventually, of course, the kids started to lose interest in going to these 'old people's do's', and work commitments meant that I could no longer look after the car properly, or indeed, make the time available for such gallivanting, and the car was sold.

Not to worry! Our chapel organist and choir master, the redoubtable John McKie, arranged for our choir to sing in the Methodist Chapel, which had been rebuilt within the museum, one Saturday! Again this meant free entry, and the chance to have a nosey around, as we would only be singing for two, one hour, slots during the day.  It was great! The choir have been every year since, I believe, but I have been in Egypt on those particular weekends, so haven't been able to join them for the past five years. Nevertheless, yesterday my wayward kid brother (Richard, he's only 50) had arranged for his Springwell Village Methodist Church Choir to also sing at Beamish. It turned out that it was a bad week, and most of his choir wouldn't be able to make it! He was left with only about 7 or 8, so he was frantically phoning around to find helpers. It's a measure of how well thought of he is, that he ended up with a choir of over thirty! (Me included.) Here we are, well, I'm taking the picture.

The back row is taken up with the men, and the people facing the camera from the floor of the chapel just couldn't fit into the choir stalls! The visitors came and went throughout our allotted times, the next picture is typical of the numbers in the congregation during our two hours:

It was a very enjoyable time! Of course we didn't have some imbecilic theological new-age-know-it-all of a preacher picking the hymns, so we just had those which we love to sing! (Strangely enough, there were none by F Pratt-Green!) Hymns which speak of our experiences of God's love, and how He sustains us in adversity and the like. Some of the visitors were quite taken with emotion, and left in tears. (I hope it wasn't the quality of our singing!!!) There were many words of appreciation from members of the crowds, as well as from museum staff who invited the choir back next year, I do hope it's while I'm here!

Brother Richard had someone taking videos with his compact camera, one of them can be seen at http://youtu.be/-eRIsUyKy3c  It's actually "When I survey the Wondrous Cross" and we sang it unaccompanied. I don't think it's all that good, but we enjoyed singing it, anyway.

During our break, I had a wander around, and as you know by now; I've had a love affair with motors which has endured longer than my 40 year marriage! So it's to be expected that most of my pictures will be in that sphere. Here's a selection:



This is in the reconstructed car repair workshop, I can vividly remember seeing most of the equipment in my youth, as dad and I visited other people's places. We had quite a bit of the same old junk ourselves! All I have to say about it now is, "Thank heaven for the importation of 'Snap-on' tools!"





This last car, which runs up and down through the museum all day, must be one of a very few in existence, or perhaps the only one! It's an Armstrong Whitworth, built at Armstrong's factory on Scotswood Road in Newcastle, more famous for it's military manufacturing of tanks and other fearsome weapons of death and destruction!

I would recommend Beamish Museum to anyone visiting the North East, there's so  much to see that you'd be struggling to get around it all in just one day! (It's a bit like Luxor in that respect!)

There's a complete village, reconstructed with shops bursting with produce and manufactured goods of the era, a Barclays Bank before the likes of Bob Diamond got his hands on it, and a Masonic Hall for those who hanker after the days of  filial 'preferment'. The museum truly is a marvel, a real monument to some person's fabulous vision! There's the 'Home Farm' with farm house and everything, and the 'Pit Village', complete with the Chapel, School, Pitmen's Houses Allotment Gardens, and the Pithead and the small Drift Mine. There is even the old Manor House, which I haven't actually been to yet. The various (working) trams and buses, vans and wagons, the Railway Station. Honestly, the Edwardian (is it?) era is all here, in all its glory and sentimentality. The staff all look like extras from a Catherine Cookson film!

Here are a few more shots from yesterday:

Tom Cowie's Garage

The once ubiquitous 'Store'

Pelaw Polish was manufactured right by where we used to live. 

The 'best room' or 'front parlour'; we all had them, remember?

The only man in the world of whom everyone was frightened!

Probably a poor ex-soldier, down on his luck!

Psychological tricks?

I just love being a grandfather! I can recommend it to any man who's feeling that life is somehow passing him by. My children have been good enough, so far, to provide us with six of the little blighters.

Maybe I shouldn't say that, as the second eldest is the same size as I am, and he's only 13, his bigger brother, at 15, is over six feet! Our Charlotte and husband Mark, have presented us with three strapping boys, Mark, Anthony and their youngest Joseph, who's 10.


Benjamin, our eldest, has only managed one girl, as yet, she's the beautiful Kezia. (We are hoping for more from him, as he now has a really serious partner; the lovely Bridget.) The only problem with Kez, is that she lives with her mam in Harrogate, so we only see her one weekend out of two. (And that's while we're here in Windy Nook!)


Then there's our baby, Alice! She has Isabella, who's now six, and of course her newest, Zachary, who's not yet even a week old, and whom you've already seen enough pictures of!

When Benjamin was a little boy, he was a fussy eater. At one point, while I was trying to get him to taste leek (he was probably about 25 at the time, OK, OK maybe 9 or 10) I told him that it was a slightly different type of onion, he loved fried onions. The ruse worked, and even though he now realises that he was tricked into trying it in the first place, he now enjoys leeks whenever he comes across them.

So, when Alice was coming for her haggis, I thought I'd try a similar course of action with little Izzy. When all's said and done, I'm a wise old grandfather, and she's just a little girl;  I was bound to be able to win her over with my innate charm and ingenuity!

The ploy was to tell her that the Scotchies all have porridge for their breakfast, and then haggis for their dinner. This was certain to grab her lively imagination, as I was sure that Alice would have introduced her to the delights of eating porridge by now?

"Hello little sugar, grandma has a real treat for you today!" After the welcome kisses etc. and a bit of cooing over Coconut, "You have to hold his head up, Granda!" she admonished. It was time to commence my cunning little plan!

"You know that the Scotchies have porridge for their breakfast every morning, don't you, Izzy? Well, they have haggis for their dinner, every day as well! And you like porridge, don't you?" Before I got any further, Izzy jumped in, " Oh, Granda!" (in her best 'explaining to a tiresome old fool' voice) "Porridge is just for OLD people, didn't you know that?" So, she ended up with just 'Tatties and Neeps', but asked for a second helping nonetheless.

Thereby, my six year old granddaughter proved the old adage, that while wisdom comes with age; age, sometimes comes alone! Children are so precocious now, aren't they?

Brats!!!!

London calling, London calling!

Well, not London really. But this blog is directed to those of our readers who are in Egypt, so just as for Egyptians; Cairo and Egypt are interchangeable, then so are London and England! I should, by rights, have written "Windy Nook calling, Windy Nook calling!" But it just doesn't have the same ring, does it?

Anyway, I cannot write about Egypt just now, as you all know that we're on holiday at our 'other' home, here in little Windy Nook. But I haven't forgotten about  our adopted home, either. Neither have I forgotten the sweltering heat of Luxor in August, nor the fools among the British contingent there, who miss the rain! So I thought that I'd just let those among you who do miss it, see what we had today:

video
It came on this afternoon, all of a sudden, and it was torrential, as you can see. Not only was it coming down like 'stair rods', it was also thundering and lightning! While the lightning was nothing out of the ordinary, the thunder was like nothing I've heard before in my 61 years. The sound of heavy breathing, in the background, isn't some raincoated pervert, it's just me, breathing normally! 

You've all heard thunder, haven't you? It 'rumbles', or 'booms', both words which suggest (well to me they do) a note in the lower register, like a bass or baritone voice. Not this thunder! It was more like a tenor (think Pavarotti rather than Terfel) it actually sounded like a complete roof of steel sheeting had been blown off, and was tumbling over and over on a concrete surface, and VERY loud!

We had our Alice here for lunch (haggis, tatties and neeps, which she has been craving for months, but couldn't have because she was preggers) with Izzy and young Coconut.


When it came to take them home, it had actually been stopped raining for quite some time, but, through having to take several detours to avoid flooded roads, the 10 to 12 minute job took 35! 

So there we are rain lovers, there was also a fair amount of hailstones among it, just for good measure! All it does for me is to confirm that we made the right decision to spend so much of our time in Egypt.

TTFN.

Welcome Coconut!

Hi, I know that most of you won't be in the slightest bit interested in this blog, but one or two of you know our youngest, Alice. Well, I'd like to introduce you to her brand new son, Zachary Curtis Aitken, although he'll always be Coconut to us!

He was brought into the world at 12:45pm today, August 3rd 2012 and weighed in at 8 pounds 5 ounces (3.77kilos). He has everything he should have in the way of fingers and ears etc. and has plenty of dark brown hair. I could just eat him!!!!

Alice was hungry after her ordeal, here she is with the essentials of life:

That's right, a piece of toast and her telephone! Actually, she also needs her daughter, Isabella Grace, whom our other daughter Charlotte is collecting to bring her to meet her brother just now. Coco's dad, Curtis, is already there of course. He looks about as worn out as Alice does, bless him!

I couldn't be more proud of her if she had just won the Olympics, it's great being grandparents!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Marrakech 3

Well, I did say that I'd get back to this subject, didn't I?

But first, the ignominy of having a Diamond card for B&Q! Since being back in Windy Nook, we've been doing some long overdue work in our English home. As always, we hope to do it 'on the cheap'.

When we bought the place, it was in a bit of an 'unloved' state, windows needing replacing, awful decoration, rubbishy bathroom; I'm sure you can imagine a place in which you wouldn't really like to live, well, this was it! We were used to travelling on the 'road to hell' with our constant (unfulfilled) good intentions, but we started off quite well here.

Our sterling son-in-law brought his equally skilled mate Billy the plumber, and between them they did all sorts! New plastic windows, knocked-through rooms reinstated as two, two different rooms knocked-through, complete new bathroom and kitchen fittings,  heating system replaced, electricity meter re-located and wiring certified. There were other things as well, too numerous to mention. The only problem was that while the property was now liveable, very little was actually FINISHED! (It took 27 years to actually finish our first house!)

It's been like that for the past 5 years or so, and we had hoped that our number-one-son might have gotten around to doing the honours, but he hasn't! I did notice though, that there are an assortment of new paint brushes, rollers and paint trays on the back stairs, along with a few pots of paint. So it would seem that he is following in the family footsteps, and is also 'full of good intentions'.

Our first trip to B&Q, was to look for a new battery drill, it was like being a small child in a sweet shop, the choice was just too much to cope with, although the prices soon narrowed it down considerably! We eventually bought one from Aldi, and it isn't of Chinese manufacture! (Aldi have some great bargains from time to time, and their ginger snaps are lovely too!)

Never mind, at B&Q, we were offered these 'Diamond Club' cards, so, when we
were next going, Freda shoved our passports in my shirt breast pocket (to prove our ages) and we were given the cards. Now then, with these cards we are entitled to 10% off the normal prices of quite a few things at B&Q, but only on Wednesdays.

Today being the first Wednesday since we got them, off we toddled to B&Q at Dunston, near to the Metro Centre, searching for bargains. It was awful! The place was like being in an old people's home, with old people wandering aimlessly around (or so it seemed). They had even changed the 'Muzak' to hits from the 60's, just to please us old farts!

We bought some PVA glue, some Lap wallpaper paste and a cheap brush for the PVA, which snapped within two minutes of starting to apply the watered down mix. Let me OUT!!!!!!!!

While we were down that way (hahaha) Freda would have us call in to Ikea, and do the 20 mile route march from the entrance to the exit, and also to another huge place called Metro Bargains (or something like that) where everything was '20% off' but they omitted to tell us poor saps that they'd started off by adding 30% on beforehand, typical!

I was almost crying with the pains in my feet, by the time we got back to the car. But that's enough of my doom and gloom for one day, let's have a trip back down memory lane to Marrakech, eh?

You'll remember that we finally arrived at our lodgings in Marrakech after 37 years of travelling? The lovely Riad Les Trois Mages? Well, on that first evening we had decided to have our evening meal at the riad, Freda and I thought it was a bit pricey, but then again, we are more used to 10 pence falafel sandwiches in Luxor, aren't we? I'm so glad that we did this, though, the beautiful and filling meals were a great introduction to Moroccan cuisine, they certainly eat a lot of meat here!

We had also decided that we would have a guide to walk us around the place for an hour or two. We only had four nights, remember, and didn't want to waste time by getting lost, or trailing to see things which weren't really our cup of tea. In the event, sister Susan was overtired to go the following afternoon so we rearranged it for the morning after. On that first full day though, we couldn't wait to get out into the souks! What a difference to that which we are used to in Luxor, everywhere we went the streets were so much cleaner, the souvenirs so much better quality and more interesting, the vendors so much less insistent!




It was just as well that our riad was actually in the Medina ( the old town, just like 'Our Luxor') as it was very hot. Not only hot (49c) but it also felt rather humid? Why, I don't know; we were quite a way from the sea, after all. The famous Djemaa El Fna town square was just about far enough to walk in the mid afternoon heat. It's actually about a half mile from the riad, and more or less in a straight line. Ten minutes or so would do it, if you could resist stopping every few yards to look at even more fascinating merchandise or architecture.

The first things I noticed, other than the stuff in the shops, were all the magnificent doors and gates, here are a few:




Fab, aren't they? I just cannot get over the exquisite workmanship, and the minute detail. The next beautiful entrance is to a restaurant not far from our riad:

We asked prices at many of the shops as we passed, just for reference sake. Freda had a fancy for some nice decorative plates, and the going rate seemed to be about 170 Dirhams, which she wasn't happy with. But, like I always tell our guests, "It's your  money, so don't buy anything that you don't think is worth the price TO YOU, never mind anyone else. That way, you can never be 'ripped off'." I was interested in some tinplate stuff, the asking price was 180 Dirhams, also too much, I thought.

We eventually found a plate shop, with the self-same plates labelled with prices from 60 Dirhams! Another shop wanted 300 for the piece of tinplate work which I'd seen earlier, "300!" said I, almost dumbfounded. In a fit of pique, and as I turned away, I said "How about 80!" "OK 250!" But I'd gone by then, and was in no mood to haggle further. I had been quite willing to pay 100 Dirhams for the piece, as that was what the riad owner had paid for similar things, but had offered only 80 in anger!

About a dozen shops father along, and about five minutes later, here came the little tinplate shop man, running to catch us up! "OK, 80." So I bought it, and sister Susan bought two! I think he may have done some training in Luxor at some point! We bought more than we could really afford or justify, I just hope that we can get it all back home to Luxor without it smashing!

The guide was arrainged by the riad's English Aiden, a nice helpful lad. He took us into the souk, and then veered off track into some very narrow streets, about four feet wide? These were the caravanserais, where the craftsmen made all the things that were for sale in the various souks. What a find! I could have wondered around there for hours, but onwards and upwards, as they say. We left the tinsmiths and shoemakers, the tanners and the spicemen to their work, and went off in search of other sources of fascination! If my memory is correct, we eventually stumbled across the Bahia Palace, unutterably marvellous! A few shots, selected from loads which I took:  




The painted wooden ceilings are extraordinary, so detailed, and so many!

Freda and I were determined to try the food outside of the riad, in the various restaurants scattered about in the souks and the Djemaa El Fna area. The first one we tried, we went inside to escape the heat. It didn't look all that salubrious from the outside, nor from the inside, to be honest, but the meals were delightful, and very filling, more meat! It was called 7 Saints, and actually faced onto the Square, about directly opposite where we came into the Square from the riad.

Freda and I went to another one, which was recommended in one of the thirty seven guide books she had. I would certainly recommend it to you, or anyone else who is considering Marrakech! Again, it doesn't look anything, with its open frontage and plastic table cloths, but the food was fabulous, and cheap! Freda's vegetable tagine, on our second visit, was mainly carrots, instead of the previous potatoes. Of course I had to have a taste! The carrots were so delicious that I could have become a 'carrotarian' right there and then!!!!!


You can see that the tagines are slow cooked over charcoal, some of them need to be ordered 24 hours beforehand, because they cook for so long!

We had planned to ride in a caleche, they're bigger than those in Luxor, and consequently have two horses to pull them along. The actual carriages didn't look half as nice as we are used to though, and they weren't coachbuilt, but had metal chassis. In the event, we just didn't have time!

We bought a few nick nacks from the bloke in the following picture, he was a lovley chap, and a devout Muslim. He wouldn't shake hands with Freda, in case she was 'unclean' (some chance at her advanced age, eh?). His father sat in the shop, polishing the stock, and had been to England, Dewsbury, of all places! I asked the price of the tin item I had purchased for 80 Dirhams, just to gauge his value for money, "75 Dirhams", what more could I say?



I left him a TripAdvisor sticker, as I intend to review his small emporium on that site.

I've still got one or two pictures left, and I could go on writing, as well; but it's past 3am and I'd better get off to bed, there's lots to do tomorrow!