Well, there I was in Bolton on Friday 28th December. It had taken me 8 weeks to get to Marrakech and just over 4 hours to get home again!

It was wonderful to see little Hattie, she has changed and developed so much over those eight weeks. Sounded like Alana and Drew had had a very busy Christmas and had a lot of plans for the next few days. They took Hattie swimming Friday afternoon and then cooked a lovely tea for us all when they got back. I set to with sorting out all the post, hateful job!

Does my bum look pink in this?
Little Hattie in her swimming cozzy!

Alana’s mum and brother came round while I was home and all admired and tried on the berber hat I bought Drew. I now have orders for another 4 in different colours! I’ll see what I can do but I’m not going back to the Marrakech souks again! Everyone loved the scarves I bought them….the hand made scarves from the widow lady near Ouazerzate who set up her own business making them and hand stitches them all…..oh yes, the same ones I saw in all the souks after….gullible is my middle name! 

I was also arranging some visits of my own. On the Sunday I drove over to Rotherham to visit my sister who has also been to Morocco but in 1976 so she was interested to see the photos. I got back to Bolton about 5 and Alana’s lovely sister Charlotte cooked for us and then we played Trivial Pursuit…I was hopeless!

On Monday I travelled down to Milton Keynes (by train as I had to “sorn” the car from 31st December) to visit an old college friend. We met in 1969 and have kept in touch ever since. Her daughter and fiancee were also staying so we spent a convivial few days over New Year together chatting, playing scrabble and drinking lots of tea.

One thing I will never forget…..I took Jean a jar of argan oil cream as a little gift. As she opened it, I said, “Be careful, it’s quite runny, don’t tip it up or you’ll end up wearing it.” Jean if you read this, please forgive me, I couldn’t resist. I know Mandy and Bill will enjoy this photo! We laughed till we cried and Jean’s clothes smelt very nice after!

I buy her expensive presents and look what she does with it!

All too soon it was time to return to Bolton. I arrived at 4pm and Drew picked me up again. We went to a little Italian for a meal, my treat as a thank you for looking after me, Hattie came too of course.

Thursday morning was a bit frantic getting ready in time but I got to the airport by train, Alana’s car having broken down yesterday. I had decided to take Nigel some bacon as a treat, and my sister had given me a chunk of her Christmas cake so that went in the bag too.

So here’s a list of what was in my hand luggage:

2 packets of bacon
1 large chunk of Christmas cake
Prescription drugs (both N and I had ordered repeats for BP meds)
2 tubs of multivitamins (for when we can’t get fresh fruit and veg)
Various “stuff” Nigel had ordered online..a wallet, some camera bits, Morrocan maps on CD to name a few.
2 magazines 
Some paperwork
My Kindle and Blackberry Tablet
2 rotary drying “thingies” with pegs on for drying socks and underwear
My toothbrush, deodorant and 2 nail polishes
Very few clothes, had to leave most at home
Oh and my ‘she wee’!

And my bag would only just zip up. Imagine how my stomach lurched when  it went off down the “naughty” channel and was opened and riffled through. I said “Oh, is it the bacon?” “No,” said the woman who had left her sense of humour at home. “It’s this,” whereupon she took out my deodorant that I had only bought the day before and chucked it in the bin. She gave my she wee a cursory glance and then cast it aside. “Do you know what that is?” I asked. No reply. She then fiddled around and brought out the nail polishes, looked at me as if I was something she had trodden in, shoved them in a plastic bag and then sent the whole bag through the scanner again. This time it was ok so I hastily packed it all up again and slunk away. Approximately 50 metres away was a Boots so I bought another deodorant, a sandwich and a bottle of water and some strepsils as I’d had a sore throat for a few days. These were all in a plastic carrier bag. 

Moving swiftly on, I arrived in Marrakech and was approached by a man who asked if I wanted a taxi, naively I said yes and he took my bag and off we went, me telling him the name of the campsite I was going to and him nodding knowledgeably and agreeing a price.  “Ah,” I suddenly thought, “What if he’s not a taxi driver?” But very soon we came to his minibus which looked ok. Off we set and after we had exited the airport he told me (in French) that there were 3 campsites in Marrakech and which one did I want. I kept repeating the name of the campsite, he just kept saying “Camping Marrakech???” I must have kept sighing (a habit I have) as he asked me if I was tired, I said no, I was worried and he repeated “3 camping Marrakech, do you know the phone number.” I didn’t!!!! 3g on my phone was so slow I couldn’t access the website of the right place…what a to do! Anyway, he guessed right because suddenly I saw the sign for the right place, he was highly amused at my evident relief!
Suffice it to say that I forgot to pick up the carrier bag with my goodies in. It wasn’t until I had said hello to Nigel and the dogs and had a cup of tea in my hand that I thought I would eat my sandwich. Nigel said, “You can’t have a sandwich, there’s no bread.” It’s okay,” I said, I’ve brought one with me, it’s in this Boots carrier”……………………….
We ate the Christmas cake instead! Thanks Janet! And Nigel was ecstatic about his bacon!