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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Marrakesh, The London to Brighton Bike and Workshop updates

Good Morning 
Arundel Eccentrics

Back down to earth after a week
 in Marrakesh with old friends.

I'll bore you senseless with it I'm sure
 over the next week or so with
 some of the exciting experiences.

Here is a little flavour.

The Square in Marrakesh

 Sitting in a restaurant above Jemaa el-Fnaa  square in Marrakesh 
on any afternoon you can watch the hustle and bustle
 below, while calmly relaxing with a mint tea, cold drink or simple lunch.

The drums  from Berber dancers mix with shouts 
of street vendors enticing buyers to their stalls.
 Horses clatter across the vast expanse pulling decorated 
carriages taking visitors on city tours.
 Donkeys haul carts laden with anything from building materials to eggs,
 their wheels noisily traversing the uneven surface.

Looking down you'll spot snake charmers and jugglers.
 Chained Barbary apes and fortune tellers. 
If a tourist inadvertently  takes a photograph of any of these
 they will often be chased across the square for  payment.
 Morrocan  women persuade visitors to have henna tattoos on their hands. 

Sometimes this is in a forceful way.
 Snatching a hand and applying henna before the victim is aware of what is happening.
Vendors on stalls sell fruit and freshly pressed juices.
Shop owners noisily tout their wares and encourage anyone walking past to go inside.
Souks on the edge of the square are, on most days bursting with both locals and tourists.
 The former confidently haggling for everyday essentials.
 The latter mostly practising their bartering skills walk away with rugs, lanterns,bags, Argan oil......

"Keep your smile and tell me your best price "
"Hello, come and see my lamps"
" Beautiful Moroccan bowls inside. I give you good price"
"Where are you from? Come and look..lovely leather handbags. My brother makes them"

Then there is the Moroccan cheeky chappie approach.
"English? Lovely jubbly. Apples n pears. Come in my shop."

Yes. Its noisy and busy. But nothing can quite prepare you for the evening.
Around five o'clock you will notice huge carts being pushed into the square.
The already busy place becomes frenetic.
Tents are erected.
Food is cooked.
 Trestle tables emerge.

By nine o'clock the square takes on a whole new persona. 
There is a cacophony of sound.
Smoke and steam rise from the pop up restaurants producing an eery atmosphere.
Thousands of people flock to the dimly lit square.
 Moroccan lamps are laid on the ground to sell and many are lit. 
Lights shine from the food vendors stalls and they all call out vying for business.

"English? Eastenders. Lovely jubbly. I am Fanny Craddock's great grandson.
Come and have food from my place. No.22"

Mostly it's all good humoured.

It's also incredibly crowded so if you visit hold onto your valuables.
Be aware you will be a target of every passing vendor.
Watch who you take photographs might find a traditional dressed character trying to edge into the frame and then demand money for being photographed.

Having said all that its a wonderful experience.

The square closes down late and the theatre and excitement  repeated  every day of the week.

London to Brighton Bike Ride.

Well, he did it.
My amazing husband.

Nass and our lovely friend Amy who rode with him....well done you guys

Firstly, he has MS.
Secondly he hasn't really ridden bike.
Thirdly, he only managed to obtain a bike two weeks ago.
Went up and down the road when he brought it home.

"ooo err its a bit wobbly"

Went for two 4 mile cycles.

On Sunday he rose at 4am.
His friend collected him in his van at 5.15
 and they travelled from Arundel to London.

Where Nass then proceeded to cycle around 54 miles back to Brighton.
For charity.

I can't tell you how proud I felt as
 he came through the finishing line.
In pretty good time as well.

If you'd like to sponsor him,
here are the links.

Chestnut tree hospice
Brain Tumour Charity

Or if you would like to 
leave a message of support
please do.

Botanicals on 19th century chests

I've been working on some new botanical designs
 on our 19th century chests of drawers

Using 19th century drawings of botanicals and butterflies.
They have come up.


Rapidly booking up ...heres the available dates.
 Next workshop dates 

Wednesday 24th July 
Paint and distress furniture
Fully Booked

Thursday 25th July 
Decoupage and Craquelure
Fully Booked

 Monday 29th July   
Paint and distress furniture
3 places available

Tuesday 30th July 
Decoupage and craquelure
3 places available

Tuesday 6th August workshop
Paint and distress furniture
3 places available

Wednesday 7th August 
decoupage and craquelure
3 places available

Wednesday 14th August 
3 places available
Paint and distress furniture

Thursday 15th August 
Decoupage and craquelure
3 places available

£95 day
The two days together...£150


Spotted us in Homes and gardens this month?

Have a good day
and as they say in Marrakesh
" Keep your smile"

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