We’ve been reading bits of Elias Canetti's Voices of Marrakech. In one of them he talks about the importance of a room of one’s own to the full enjoyment of the city around. How right, even if the room is one’s own only for the night. So different today, our last night, from our first night. Very tired and somewhat fractious, having driven from the Gorges du Dadés, negotiated the traffic, found a parking place and despatched The Squeeze to find the car hire lad, we eventually made our way confidently to “our” riad. Blissful relief.

Canetti talks too of how the swallows own the space above the city, and that remains true too. I went up on the roof to watch the setting sun on the clouds, and the swallows were the perfect end to the day. Sometimes just one or two chasing high up, then a major squadron would come chattering over fast and low. Constant surprises as they hawk overhead, stopping sometimes to flutter almost still in mid-flight. Behind it all the clouds shifting and colouring from bright white through dismal grey to a clear salmon pink. Just before the loudspeaker in the nearby mosque clicked on at 7:10 a stork sailed through the corner of the sky above the roofspace, the swallows utterly beneath it.

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