Posts Tagged ‘Fes’

El Laberinto

In Practice on June 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

El Laberinto

“We got a new doorbell,” says P.

“Did I tell you?”

My fork stops dead in the air, half way to my mouth. It’s the best opening line I’ve heard in a while.

“No, Mum,” I reply. “You didn’t.”

She embarks on an account of it, describing the melody (which I’ve forgotten) and telling me how nice it is to have a doorbell that plays a tune. It makes her smile, she says, whenever someone calls. I do wonder about the caller though. Are they smiling? There is no doubt in my mind that my brother, who pops in to see them every week, will be appalled. She doesn’t seem to have thought about my feelings either, about the difficult position this places me in – to be a person whose mother has a doorbell that plays a tune. This on top of the clock in their living room that plays a tune. I can’t remember that one either – I think I’ve blanked it out – but there’s no escaping it when, on the turning of the hour, the clock face splits in two and each half does a three sixty rotation, slipping back into place on the final note.

It’s all a bit much. What if someone were to call at a minute past one, and the clock was still going off as she answered the door? Have they thought about that? Aural mayhem. I can imagine any visitor taking a step backwards, my brother included – it’s the kind of thing that would make even family think twice about going in. Read the rest of this entry »


In Plenary, Presentation on April 21, 2011 at 9:13 am


We’re standing in the tiny kitchen. We want to leave but will wait a few moments for the proprietor to finish his prayers. His daughter doesn’t want to take our money and besides, his prayer mat blocks the only exit.

We found this place by accident. Our blood sugars low, we needed something to eat and we spotted this hole in the wall, this hatch. The sign overhead informed us of tea on the terrace with panoramic views. Peering in through the sunken opening and past its solitary hotplate we saw nothing and assumed that the salon de the was to be found next door as part of the adjacent palace.

I beckoned to the bearded cook that we would like to go through but he indicated that we should descend the few steps into the sunken opening. Like the gentleman I am I asked K to preceed me. More