Monday, 28 April 2008


Spring approached hesitantly this year. A blast of colour from our apricot, peach and almond blossom was met with a crisp, white frost! And consequently they all bit the dust.

Alan Titchmarsh told me on television that these blossoms should be covered with some form of protection against early frosts but this proves difficult, if not impossible, when one is dealing with trees as tall as ours!!!

We have lost most of our early fruit but the cherries, apples and pears will make up for the loss. Luckily the flowers on the olive trees do not show until much later in the year after any fear of low temperatures.

Our daffodils and tulips are now over but were a wonderful splash of colour under grey skies.

Some came to London with me and brightened up our stay.

The wisteria is out at the moment and plants that I only put in a couple of years ago are covering the wall below the house.

For the past week we have been enjoying wonderful blue skies and warm winds.

The terraces are knee deep in spring flowers, poppies, wild lupins and many I have never seen before. Prince Charles would approve!!

The kitchen garden is keeping me busy and I fall into bed exhausted at about eight every evening. No trouble in sleeping after a day in the sunshine and hard manual labour! I wonder how many years will I be bothered to grow my own?

Now the olive terraces are waist high in grass and need the attention of the Ferrari, (bright red tractor mower), so anyone thinking of retiring to a life of milk in honey in Tuscany, forget it. I work harder here than I have ever done in London. Different, more enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.

The ponies are loving the spring grass and if anyone ever wondered who did most of the chasing in a romantic relationship, I have had proof from Sock's behaviour that it is definitely the male of the species. I have felt positively sorry for poor Knickers. Still the exercise is keeping her figure trim! He chases her around the field constantly. He's very brave because in the midst of galloping she is lashing out with her back feet and often catches him either on the knees or in the windpipe. He is can be seen lying on the floor coughing his little heart out!

This is a picture of Socks working out if he could drop from one of the terraces on to Knickers bones without her noticing!!!

He did and they are now both dead!!!!

The locals will be pleased, they eat horsemeat here.

I often pick it up by mistake when shopping and feel a slight shock. Why do the Brits feel upset when offered horse meat for consumption? We eat everything else on four legs, why not horse?

Is it because they have served us so well as loyal, uncomplaining servants during wars and in preparation of our lands for growing foodstuffs? I have never forgotten being offered horsemeat by the woman who sold us our farm. She pretended not to hear when I asked what we were eating but waited until we had finished and asked, had we enjoyed our meal. Of course we said we had, only to be told we had been eating horse.

A mental feeling of having been cheated intentionally and her evident pleasure in our discomfort will stay with me for ever.


Aziz and I were invited by Kokoly Fallah to visit her in her new home in Marrakech. I have always loved this city since early in our marriage we drove over the High Atlas Mountains, into the desert at Quassersat, and on to Taradant. We had a very dangerous but exciting incident on that drive but do not have time for the story now.

Kooks has a lovely new house just off the golf course and my stay was made by going to watch the storks/cranes making their nest on the tops of the palm trees all around the Amangena Hotel and golf course.

The colours, sounds and smells of Morocco always give me a thrill. So close by plane, so different only two hours away.

Kooks new house and a wonderful spice shop we found. We spent hours being made-up and drinking sweet tea.

The Amangeena Hotel. (Wrong spelling I am sure)

Alladin's Cave