Saturday 21 May 2016

Auntiegwen's guide to 5 days in Marrakech

Stay in a raid in the Medina. Stay at Riad Dar Nour El Houda,  Nourredine and Aysia are the best of the best, I wanted to hide under the bed and not come home. Aysia fed me, nearly as well as mr auntigwen does although I don't have to do anything for my dinner for Aysia..

Get a good map and don't look lost, some enterprising young lad, any age from 8 to 80 will rescue you, take you somewhere you don't actually want to go and charge you for the privilege.

Prepare yourself for everyone trying to sell you something. We have developed a good no thanks patter due to extensive practice in Turkish markets and holiday resorts.  We were tested.

There is no set price in the souks, know in your head what you are prepared to pay then stop looking. You will always find something very similar but cheaper two stalls down, I have the most expensive caftans ever bought in Marrakesh, I expect I was on the news as the single biggest boost to their economy. I have made my peace with it, they are gorgeous

All the guidebooks tell you to eat at the street food stalls at Jemaa El Fnaa main market square, it's a Unesco world heritage site. It has snake charmers, traditional dancers, fellas in frocks and monkeys in football strips, sunglasses and nappies.  Waste not your dirhams on stall 25. It's a vastly over rated experience.

Ditto the excursion up the Atlas Mountains to visit the Ourika falls

Bahia palace and Ben Yussef madrasah  were my best places we visited

Jardin Majorelle, Badii palace and museum of photography are okay, another damned by faint praise review by your auntie

I really wished I'd gone up in a hot air ballon over the Atlas Mountains, I will definitely do that on my next trip

Alcohol was served in only 1 of the dozen or so restaurant's we visited, don't be expecting to get drunk there. I drank an awful lot of water. I also had a really nice strawberry milkshake one day too, probably the first one since primary school, we even looked like kids with our sensible Velcro walking sandals, no there are no photies of our feet. We shall gloss over the indignity.

This trip was mr auntiegwen's birthday present, we flew Ryanair and our Riad included breakfast. Our 5 nights cost LOOK AWAY NOW husband dear, I paid £309. Do you think I could set myself up in a wee business finding nice wee jollities for people? My middle aged feet can't cope with the middle aged lady lecturing outfit shoes

Friday 13 May 2016

In March & April auntie read

After  you'd gone _ Maggie O Farrell - on offer for a quid at Amazon so bought this for my Kindle. I loved this book but it had lost something for me on re reading, don't all be coming after me for refunds if you'd shelled out the 99p and didn't like it, I still liked it but maybe not quite as much as before.

The Girl from Krakow - Alex Rosenberg - Now I should have loved this, its worthy, set in WW2 which is a period in history I am hugely interested in and I have been to Krakow and I do love when I get the "ooh I've been there" moment in a book. Sadly it didn't do anything much for me at all. Save your 99p on this one.

The Skeleton Cupboard - Tanya Byron - I loved her when she was in all those tv parenting programmes. This was the story of her clinical training. I should have saved my 99p, can you see a theme emerging from my choices of books, I currently have a £2 limit, which is clearly why I am having such a poor run at present.

Where Memories Go - Sally Magnusson. This was ace, a beautifully written memoir of a mother dearly loved as she developed dementia. Hugely poignant and I really felt that Sally did a great job of describing Mamie to us, I can see why she loved her mammy so much. This is so worth reading, please get a copy of this, it was worth way more than the couple of quid it cost me.

Behind closed doors - BA Paris - I liked this, very easy to read and I liked Grace the main character, not the nicest subject matter but I enjoyed it plenty fine.

The lost boy - Camilla Lackberg. Set in Sweden a detective husband and his novelist wife solve crimes. He has a bonkers boss who is quite lovable now and she has a sister where everything bad in the world happens to. Easy crime, not mad graphic but graphic enough for an auntie

According to yes - Dawn French, not even going to describe this, waste not your time, utter shite, even though I got this free from the library, I was robbed

Driving over lemons - Chris Stewart - the story of adventures in Andalucia, they bought a farm and moved there, it was ok

The sea detective - Mark Douglas Home , another 99p Amazon marvel, about sex trafficked Indian girls to the outer Hebrides feuds, as weird as that sounds. I can't wait for my second 99p book from him so will read it next and get it over with. I am having a very poor year in books.

The woman who walked into the sea - Mark Douglas , another disappointment

The milliners secret - Natalie Meg Evans - Paris, couture, ww2 and nazis, actually really enjoyed this, romped through this nae bother at a

Room - Emma Donahue - for book group, it was all right

Balancing Act - Joanna Trollope , not her best but good enough, passed the time quite pleasantly

The secrets of the sea house - Elizabeth Gifford couple find the desiccated corpse of a baby under the floor of the house they are renovating, jeez that sounds properly grim written down, not the worst I've read this month. Lordy Lordy  I am a harsh critic

Ursula's secret - Mari Wilson - another disaster

Spectacles - Sue Perkins- I had high hopes for this but after reading it I liked her a lot less

Shatter the bones - Stuart Mcbride - graphic crime in Aberdeen? Oh yes please, not his finest but jeez I have had dreadful books these last 2 months so was plenty happy with this

Burnt paper sky - Gilly Macmillan- I was really looking forward to this. It started brilliantly and I was so pleased as it was the 18th book of the 2 months and genuinely I had only properly enjoyed the Sally Magnusson one about dementia so felt I was due a break. This has been the best book I've read in aeons, it just got better and better, I loved this. Go and read it.