Lazy Poets Thursday Haiku

catkins Small tassles of joy
catkins or pussy willow
my childhood delight

 

 

My lovely friends I won’t be around much for the next week, so I’ll see you when I get back. I’ll try to catch up with my visits then, but please forgive me if I don’t.  I hope I don’t miss your best ever posts.

A tale of a favourite city

Accor Hotels have a competition that invites bloggers to write about one of their favourite cities.   The idea is to show three reasons why you love it and the prize is three-night stay for two, in London, Paris and Amsterdam. They’re including transport by Eurostar and even spending money, doesn’t that sound wonderful?

One of my favourite cities is Marrakech, a passion that began way back in 1969 when Crosby, Stills and Nash released the track Marrakech Express. I was very young, but something in that song intrigued me, from then on Marrakech seemed like a very exotic destination, even though at the time I would have struggled to find it on a map.

A few years ago I finally made it and it didn’t disappoint one bit, in fact I loved it so much I returned for a second visit.  It’s difficult to narrow it down to just three things I love about it, but the first I’ve chosen is Les Jardins Majorelle. Originally created by the artist Jacques Majorelle, who devoted forty years developing it into a lush paradise. The intense ultramarine cobalt colour that he used abundantly through the garden, later came to be known as Majorelle blue.

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When Majorelle passed away, the garden became neglected and would have been destroyed and replaced by an hotel, had it not been for the vision of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, who bought and began the restoration process.

There is now a memorial to Saint Laurent in the garden and  Berge gifted it to the Foundation Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent.

Bahia Palace – meaning ‘the beautiful’ was built in the 19th century by Grand Vizier Si Moussa. It has two acres of gardens and around 160 rooms, some of which are open to the public. The main attraction for me is the ornate tile work on floors, walls and ceilings. These are multicoloured Zellij mosaic, in Islamic, Andalucian and Moorish style, with green ceramic roof tiles.
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There is also some delicate stucco work that reminds me of the jail screens in Rajasthan – used in the womens quarters of major palaces as well as havelis. Naturally the Bahia once had a harem filled with concubines.


The palace can be found in the medina, next to the Jewish quarter and is open daily, unless there are royal visitors. It is one of the cheapest places to visit in Marrakech, about a pound, plus a small tip if you have a guide.
Last but not least on my list, is La Place Jemaa el Fna, a UNESCO world heritage site for ‘the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’. I think it’s a love it or hate it kind of place, that many would describe as crazy and impossible. By day the vast square is a sun trap, only copious quantities of the best and cheapest orange juice ever will keep you going. Luckily the stalls are everywhere, as are the caleches, ready to take you around the city for a negotiable fee.
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As the sun begins to go down, if you want to take it easy, head for one of the roof terrace cafes, and sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
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Every night, La Place is transformed into a huge open sea of eating places and it has to be tried at least once during your stay. The food is freshly cooked and the air quickly fills with smoke, but its tasty and authentic. Anything thing you want, and an awful lot of things you didn’t know you wanted, can be bought around the square and the souk. If you show any interest in an item they will do their utmost to get you to part with your money, but I found it to be good natured haggling.


Before you leave the square, have a wander through the crowds. You will find snake charmers, tooth pullers, henna artists, story tellers, fortune tellers and monkey handlers – I’d avoid those if I were you!
I hope you enjoyed visiting Marrakech with me, the competition ends tomorrow but if you’re very quick . . .

 

A Bench with Daisy

Jude at https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/bench-series/ is running a monthly challenge with the theme of benches this year and January’s topic is ‘In the Garden. I’ve already posted one photo but I came across this one today and as it made me smile maybe you will too. daisy bench This is Daisy, I don’t remember what she was laughing at, but this is a typical Daisy expression and it comes with a happy ‘grrrhhh’ and a lot of tail wagging. She was probably enjoying the fresh air at Hartland Abbey garden in north Devon. Or maybe she wanted me to sit on the bench so she could have a rest too!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

 

I’ve always considered myself a creative person and can turn my hand to many things, but I’m a Gilly of all trades mistress of none. I can take pleasing photos, but even though I know how to use my camera on manual settings, I most often use it on auto settings. I can knit and sew but I don’t finish things off neatly. I can cook but I don’t follow recipes, I can write but I’m a bit lazy about punctuation etc.

I’ve always wished I could draw, play an instrument and sing but I can’t do any of that!

Here are some of my creations, I try to express my creativity with a mix of photo editing and haiku that I’ve photographed and edited.

Striving
Striving

 

Leaves
Leaves
My haiku
My haiku

How do you express yourself? Can you express yourself in a WordPress post? This is for the Weekly Photo Challenge and you can join in here, https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/express-yourself/

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week #163

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My first go at Julia’s prompt for ages, Freedom jumped out at me and my flash fiction wrote itself.

Helpless, me?

Far more subtle than physical abuse, more a creeping way he had of getting under my skin. He projected his own sick feelings of inadequacy that spread like a virus through any sense of self I possessed. He made me believe that I was useless, with no value or purpose at all.

How could I possibly help when he fell into the bowels of Hades Shaft, a disused mine, on Botley moor?

I’d shown him on the map, but he insisted he had the better sense of direction.

Then as the clouds lifted, I found my freedom and he’d met his maker.

Me, helpless?

 Join in at https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week163/ if you ‘re quick before this weeks deadline!

Serenity

Serenity (noun):
The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands has been to Hong Kong and was impressed by the serenity of the big Buddha in Ngong Ping, on Lantau Island. Cheri challenges us to interpret serenity in photos.

I’ve posted about St Peters Cathedral in my home town, Exeter, before and I probably will again. Today it was the first place I thought of as serene, what do you think?

Perhaps you will join the challenge, https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/serenity/

Let’s Get Together and Be All Right

‘Open your heart and keep it open’ Words of wisdom from Barbara.

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I believe this song is familiar to at least half of us. I love to listen to it while having a bad day. We, the citizens of the world have had a bad week. Mass murders in Nairobi and in Paris. More people were killed in Nairobi and my heart cries for them and their families. May they all RIP and may their families find comfort and freedom.

In Paris, we also had murders. We had a crazy horrible breach of Charlie Hebdo offices and twelve people were dead. Both events left the world shaken and stunned. This is the bad part, the painful part.

The good part is the love shared by the people around all of the victims. It is the love we, the rest of the people in the world feel for all those effected. The good part is also people drawing together to support each other.

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