Morocco | No Mood For Snakes

Sam and I spent our first morning in Morocco breakfasting on the roof terrace. The view wasn’t exactly grand, but it was certainly alien: stacks of rooftops, all at different heights, all unfinished. Each building was the same: rising sturdily from the clamour of the streets below, only to peter out suddenly, as if the builders had lost interest the minute they thought nobody would see their work. Each terrace adjacent to our own very lovely one was a jumble of breeze blocks and empty paint cans and broomsticks, with stray cats prowling the rubble.

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Morocco | In At The Deep End… And Then Some

As we walked towards the taxi rank after leaving the airport in Marrakesh, Sam and I acknowledged the fact that we would need to haggle with the taxi driver – that he would undoubtedly try to rip us off. We agreed we would be tough; drive a hard bargain, get a fair price. We checked the distance to our accommodation on Sam’s phone: two miles. The exchange rate was £1 to 12 dirhams. We decided we’d not pay a penny over £15 total, or around 180 dirhams.

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Morocco | In Which A Lot of Things Go Wrong In Quick Succession, Just For A Change

After finishing up in Budapest, I spent three weeks back in the UK. I had a big plan laid out, and it was a good one: I was going to visit one of my best and oldest friends, Sam, for a holiday weekend in Brighton, along with his girlfriend and a bunch of their friends. Then I was going to spend a week visiting family in Leeds, and then I was going to head to France and find a Workaway or HelpX on a farm somewhere, and stay there for two to three months to improve my French and try to enjoy some more of the farm life that I loved so much in Australia. After that – well, I hadn’t planned any further, but I was confident something would come up along the way. Amerique du Sud, peut etre.

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Travelling Back In Time To Break My Father’s Nose, or, The Weirdest Story I Have Ever Written

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Do you think you could beat your father in a fight? What about when he was in his prime? My uncle asked this very question at my father’s birthday dinner last weekend, and my father, without a hint of irony or humour, gazed straight into my eyes and told me he would ‘massacre’ me, even now. He’s 59 years old with a hernia and a beer gut, I am 25. The hubris. This simply won’t stand. Something must be done.

I am going to break your nose, old man. Not now, not today, while you’re old and feeble and your best years are behind you. There’d be no satisfaction in that, there’d be no challenge. No, father, I’m going to go back to the 1980’s, I’m going to find you, and I’m going to make you wish I’d never been born. Continue reading

Jill

Last week, on a sunny Thursday evening after work, I’d had a couple of beers with friends who were heading off to watch the rugby. I said goodbye, and hopped on a bus home. I was on the back seat and watched the bus slowly fill with people. An old woman stepped on, and headed straight for my back seat. She asked me if I minded her sitting next to me, and I smiled and shifted along to give her more room. I didn’t pay her much attention. She was wearing a pink t-shirt, and had her hair in a ponytail. She didn’t look very old, for an old person. Continue reading