Thursday, January 26, 2017

Some Merry Widows on Board
Christmas night -  the good part of the evening when we choose our wines and decide what we are going to eat.  We had the same two waiters and I became Mam Pat so have lost my previous  title.  The boys were very efficient and always charming.  My dinner companions were five widows - all totally different but excellent company and it was fun to let one's hair down.  Breakfast and lunch were also very enjoyable with two bachelors, a married couple and anyone who cared to join us.  I found it was relaxing always to use the same restaurant.  You are given a restaurant where you eat each night - you choose either first or second dinner and keep to it throughout but then you have 3 or 4 other places to eat the rest of the day.  You can eat throughout the day -some people do -  but I find sticking to three meals a day and sticking to my normal diet - their porridge is yummy - helps weight control.

A disappointment was that both at Puerto del Rosario and La Gomera the pilot declared the swell was too great to dock.  So that meant two extra days at sea. There was some mal de mer and a few empty seats at dinner.  I was thankful for the legacy from my sailing days.

Safely in the Canaries we went ashore and found a church which was quite normal outside
 but inside was so dazzling  I became emotional and was about to have a' moment.'

 Then over the tannoy came
'Yeah, you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.'
And I collapsed in fits of laughter.
 A nice bit of Gothic
 and a nice chap whose name I didn't discover.
 A Garden where we were served sweet little cakes and juice - or was it wine?

 Back to my haven.
Tea, coffee and more hanging space and drawers than I can use. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Day out in Casablanca

Day out in Casablanca
Please click on photos for best results
The beauty and spaciousness of the Mosque reminded me of the Taj Mahal.
Our gorgeous guide - GG used the space to demonstrate her daily ablutions and assured us that in her country women were free to choose how they dressed.

She talked a little about Ramadan and  explained that it was a matter of timing when you could eat  and drink and intimated that as far as sex was concerned the hours when it was permitted were not wasted.
 GG took us through this lovely market.  At no time did we feel uncomfortable or in any danger.  She told us that they loved their King and Queen who were kind and caring  and helped the less fortunate people.  She took us to an old, tall building in the city- which housed La Toque Blanche.
 Slowly with the aid of a tiny open iron lift - the like of which I haven't seen since visiting my agent's office in Cambridge Circus in the fifties- we reached the 5th? floor where we learned how to make Moroccan Fekkas, Bahla and Gazelle Horns.  And then of course we had to eat them.
 The School was owned by a young woman,  the women were in charge and we were waited on by sweet young men.  Delicious!  The cakes I mean.
 Gloria - one of us - was encouraged to have a go.
Then we were shown how to make Beef Tajine, Chiken Tajine and Couscous Tfaya with vegetables and chiken.
 Then we were taken even higher to a dining room.

   The silver tureens were removed and we were served with plates of divine food.  I had asked for a small helping so felt justified in going back and asking for more.  That pleased them greatly.
We all got a certificate from Mme Laila Lahlou, directrice de l'ecole de gastronomie La Toque Blanche to say Mackay Patricia (or whoever)  a participe au atage d'initiation a la Cuisine et Patisserie Marocaine en date du 24/12/2016.
After a little shopping a local man burst on to the coach - upset that he had unwittingly overcharged one of the passengers convincing us all that Casablanca is a special place.