Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The heat is increasing steadily and as work has become more difficult as a result, we have been venturing out of doors more, which, of course, is resulting in more to tell you about here.

On Sunday I ventured out alone. I wanted to go to the internet café to check for replies about our proposed trip to Essaouira later in the month. The streets were relatively quiet and emboldened by the absence of vulgar comments from passing youths (I have developed a sneer before which Caligula himself would quail), I opened the unassuming door of Beldi and stepped inside.

Beldi is spoken of in almost hushed tones on the internet as being the chicest and most upmarket of Moroccan textile shops. This reputation is further enhanced from my perspective by the fact that their prices are fixed, so no dreaded haggling lurks on the horizon inside those hallowed walls. Beldi is run by refreshingly severe and reserved men, utterly unsullied by those infernal cringeing smiles which many men in the service industry here affect for reasons best known to themselves. I flicked through the rack of clothing but beautiful as it all undoubtedly is, I asked to be shown their bedspeads instead. Oh my. I was far too shy to ask to take any photographs, so you must imagine the glories I was shown. Vast lengths of cashmere, bound in five inch deep woven silk borders for 450 euros, the softest paisley weaves and most extraordinary of all, a bedspread which they alleged was king size, but which would certainly have covered our entire bedroom in Ireland, in the softest ivory wool blend, embroidered in sunshine yellow almost in its entirety. It took two women two months to make and is for sale at a stunningly reasonable 650 euros. By local standards, their prices are astronomical, but for anyone interested in buying absolutely top quality textiles the place is a gem.

But of course, you have heard me talk before about lamps, and I promised pictures, did I not? Well here you are:

Yesterday we went on a bit of lamp reconaissance and although we haven’t bought anything yet, I had sufficient presence of mind to take a couple of pictures. See the first one? See the great big silver lamp in the middle? Now look at the large dark lamp immediately to its right. That one. And probably the dark one on the far right, too. We also went to Place des Ferblantiers, the tinsmith’s square (also home to the fabulous Kosybar), and they had some more lamps for us to gaze at – and sinks too, it would seem.

Right beside Ferblantiers lies the Bahia palace, and we might have wandered in there for a little while afterwards….

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