Saturday, November 10, 2007


At last, my faithful readers - and oh but I have been testing your faith this week, with my long silence, have I not - I have a new address, a new life, a new blog for you to visit...

Now, you must be patient with me. The artwork hasn't actually happened yet, but it will. And my new camera hasn't arrived yet, but it will. And my wifi connection is very slow and needs to be upgraded to an official, paid, account, and it will. Patience. Patience.

Please be kind and update links and so forth, tell your friends about Passementerie, tell me how to improve it, tell me what you would like me to post about, tell me your favourite colour.

Goodbye from A Year in Marrakech - I hope you have taken something beautiful about Marrakech away with you from this blog, or at least useful. I only hope I can achieve the same for and from Paris!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bloganthropology and falafel

I am sitting here by a tall window that looks out on a courtyard of mature trees, diligently working my way through a raspberry pastry of epic proportions. Beside it, awaiting my attention is a pain au chocolat the like of which I never seen. I'm not sure I have the strength. Well. Perhaps I should be brave. Perhaps... oh dear, I just can't. Not even in the interests of bloganthropology (the careful study of other cultures for the benefit of a blog). Perhaps it is not such a blessing that we have a truly wonderful baker almost directly beneath our apartment...

Yesterday, we failed completely to acquire food due to a combination of exhaustion and the bank holiday, although we have high hopes for today. As soon as DHL puts in an appearance with the Famous Huge Lamp we will be going for some food reconnaissance at Rue Mouffetard, which holds one of the oldest food markets of Paris. While most people relish the idea of eating out in Paris, we are quivering with anticipation for eating IN. The sort of food to which places like Fallon & Byrne in Dublin had accustomed us was a little thin on the ground in Marrakech, and living in the Medina as we did (and without a car, of course) required trips into the Ville Nouvelle for the supermarket whenever we required something that the markets of the Djemma could not provide. I'm not a big fan of the meat on offer in Morocco, so my husband being a vegetarian was not a problem, but here in Paris, vegetarianism rules out the vast majority of the restaurants. It's not that the veggie option is a bit pathetic, it is that there simply isn't one at all on most menus, although the wonderful restaurants around the Rue des Rosiers are the exception with their huge arrays of falalel, hummus and other delights.

Please don't think I have forgotten about the new blog for Paris - I am waiting for the banner, and as soon as I have that, it will be up and running and I will post the link. I'm hoping for Monday the 12th right now and in the meantime will continue to post here. Original photographs will be back next week when my shiny new camera arrives.

Fabulous leek picture with credit to - I like leeks. They are also healthier than pain au chocolat.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


My loves, we woke up this morning in Paris! I don't know how it happened... I think that the lugging and the heaving and my husband plaintively asking me how on EARTH I saw fit to buy two rugs the day before we left Marrakech must have been a dream, because I woke up this morning between Frette sheets in a very cosy bed and looked around my Latin Quarter apartment with Maryam's Muse on the mantlepiece and a creamy Moroccan wedding blanket on the wooden floor by the bed, all peace and serenity. My husband tells me that I slept for just over eleven hours and that I must have been exhausted, but I don't think *that* can be it. Clearly we arrived here by magic.

Thank you, Maryam, for the loan you made us yesterday morning - we could never have done it without him!

Victor Vasnetsov. The Magic Carpet. 1880. Oil on canvas. The Art Museum of Nizhniy Novgorod, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

Monday, October 29, 2007

Time is ticking...

Oh readers, I know that on my second-last day in Marrakech I should be a) doing something worthwhile and b) posting about it, but really I am too excited/anxious about Paris to think about Marrakechness or to bestow any uniquely insightful pearls of Moroccan wisdom upon you today.

I am excited for all the obvious reasons (including the new Paris blog). I am anxious because there are many little things that need to be done before we leave - indeed I need to do most of them right now. I need to ring DHL, email my new landlord, email the old tenant (again - why didn't she reply the first time?), go on the French IKEA website and order a bed, wonder how to arrange telephone/internet in Paris in the quickest possible manner and find out if did or did not cancel my husband's flight from London to Paris next Wednesday and if they *did*, rebook it (although not, this time, with ebookers).

In the meantime, our house is full of workmen as our landlord tries to fix all the little problems before he leaves for his exotic life abroad again, so we have scuttled off to our usual hideout. I leave you with a picture of Bab Fteuh, which takes you from Place Bab Fteuh, which is just off the Djemma el Fna, to Rue Mouassine and our little world.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Before digital cameras...

In my possession, I have thirteen postcards that I bought here in Marrakech in the gift shop (and I use the term loosely) of the Medersa. They are reproductions of postcards from 1910 - 1930 and I had been meaning to do a blog post about them and get pictures of them up here when my camera died (I promise you faithfully that I will be getting a new one for Paris).

Then today, in an unrelated frame of mind, but inspired by a fabulous art deco door-handle that I spotted on our way though the Ville Nouvelle, I did an online search for Art Deco Marrakech to see if I could do a post on that subject, but I found something even better for you to look at!

It's a *huge* quiz on a noticeboard where the poster has put up positively hundreds of beautiful photographs and postcards of Morocco from the first half of the last century for you to identify. Well, whatever your chances of identifying them are, the thread is most definitely a visual feast of a world that you can still see peeping through the mopeds and mobile phones of Marrakech today.,12330,page=1

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our last week...

Today is Thursday and we have less than a week to go here and I am feeling very pro-Marrakech indeed. Maybe it's the light rain we have had on and off today, the coolness in the air or the pomegranates and roses in our kitchen but today is a good day to be in Marrakech, I think.

This morning we got up to a chilly, rainy morning and after breakfast and pooching around for a bit I announced that we were going into the Ville Nouvelle for brunch at Kechmara again. And that after that we were going to have lunch in Grand Cafe de la Poste. And you know what? That's exactly what we did and it was wonderful. We have been very bad in recent weeks about hiding in our lovely hourse instead of going out and walking around the city as much as we should have been and to wrap up warmly (although all the tourists were wandering around in their usual - and not always flattering - skimpiness) and march through the Medina, out Bab Laksour, through the huge city walls into the Ville Nouvelle.

I tried to buy some of those perfume bottles, by the way, but they were a little overpriced, I thought. It turns out that most of the bottles in the shops along Rue Mouassine are recycled Western perfume bottles that have had the metalwork added to them. Some were pretty, but the Gaultier ones were just strange. Anyway, I decided that three euros was about right and although he came down from fifteen to six, I wanted five bottles and wouldn't budge up from five euros each. So I left it - I'd rather hold out for real bottles anyway, rather than recycled ones.

And yes, I had nutella crepes again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Frozen toes.

Well. I picked a name for the new blog, but I'm keeping it a secret for a few more days. The last two hours have been spent registering the domain name and setting up the blog. Tiresome things, like putting in all my info, entering the links of all the blogs I read on Google Reader and picking a colour scheme etc. take *forever* and my birkenstocked toes (seen above) are completely frozen from sitting here in this chilly sitting-room. The new colour scheme, incidentally, is monochrome - black text on white, with grey bars to either side. There will be lots of photographs and images on it, so it's not as though the whole experience will be black and white. What do you think?

Apart from that, this morning I woke up from a dream that awful people I didn't like had gatecrashed a dinner party to my husband bringing me a cup, nay a pot of Lapsang Souchong. A good start, don't you think? Of course, he had to get me into a good mood, and quickly, because this morning was the morning we had decided to go to DHL and have our huge lamp (do you remember the huge lamp?) shipped to either Dublin or Paris, whichever was cheaper. Turns out that Paris was cheaper, although cheap wouldn't really be the first word to spring to mind. Nevertheless, we sent it off and we now have one less thing to worry about on our *very* early morning flight out of Marrakech next week.

After that, we had brunch in Kechmara (Nutella crepes!) and made our way home, marvelling at the heavy traffic. Our housekeeper informed us later that President Sarkozy is here today and lots of roads were closed.

Well, off I go to thaw out my toes.