For the last five days the night time noises I’m used to have been replaced with different ones. Instead of police sirens, the steady rumble of the tube and couples arguing drunkenly on the corner, there has been the call of the muezzin, ferocious cat fights and the crow of an exuberant cockerel that didn’t bother waiting for dawn to let us know he was there.


Light fell differently here, brighter, whiter, and my thoughts began to fall at different angles as well. I did a little bit of writing to keep my hand in. If I let it go too long it feels very far away when I come back to it. So I pat its head and put down a bowl of milk. I don’t want it to be sulking or eating me alive when I pick up my pen again. I was trying to write scenes set in Oxford in January in 1643 in a bitterly cold winter when the temperature around me was rising to 40 degrees. And it was fine. The imagination finds something to trigger it and I found myself using the sound of the pumps in the swimming pool to conjure a scene by the river and a man remembering the first time he was kissed one hot summer day under the fronds of a willow tree.


Now I am back and during my absence my morning glory/bindweed has developed buds. I feared it would flower while I was away but it has waited. Perhaps it liked its holiday from me. All that intense staring and wondering if and when. I’ve also liked my holiday from me. Jumped somewhere else for a while where the light falls differently and dates are not something you pick up in the supermarket but things that hang in yellow abundance above your head and pelt you while you are swimming. And the hours of the day are marked by the call of the muezzin. Prayer woven into everyday life as naturally as breathing.

bindweed and tiger

And the images that lodge in my mind? A woman wearing a burka riding a bike along a desert motorway towards the oncoming traffic. Large coloured stones in the middle of a roundabout, like things a giant child might have fashioned out of plasticine and then abandoned. A delicate piece of glowing purple neon attached to a broken down building on the side of a hot, dusty road, hinting at a more glamorous past.



    • Oh you’re very welcome Madame B thanks for reading. Just before posting I read a bit by Giles Coren in The Times. I don’t usually like him but this made me laugh ‘Travel makes boring people think they’re interesting.’ Uh oh, I thought!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely images – I wonder if it sparked thoughts about a Moroccan-set novel? And an interesting point about being able to write about the cold when you were in the heat – the creative brain is a marvel. Happy to see your morning glory is living up to its name!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Riad we stayed in was beautiful Riad dar dattiers in Taroudant. It’s amazing how well designed they are to cope with the heat so even though it was very hot there was always a place/courtyard which was cool enough. I think I would find a Moroccan novel a bit of a challenge but being somewhere soooo very different sort of swipes my brain, re-boots it. It was good for me. Now back to 1643 and I think my hero was just about to be hit on the head having staggered out of The Blue Boar Inn drunk on sack … Something like that anyway!


  2. Ha Ha (Just read the Times quote above about travel making boring people think they’re interesting.). But you are never, ever boring in your writing and sharing whether you’re at home or away. I love the idea of ‘patting’ our muse on the head and giving her some milk. Yes, we can’t let her go too far away, for sure. Your muse seems to always be close at hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post, taking us all away to exotic climes. How dreamy …
    Many years ago I stayed in Marrakesh – such a different world, and all those wonderful colours.
    And now you come home and your creativity is in fully bloom. In all areas!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s