The hotel restaurant on the top floor of the Hilton Tangier.
Light is finally appearing the eastern sky, and gulls are circling high above the seashore.
And this bay. This bay.
A natural wonder, and one of the reasons that Tangier became the natural port (for Arabs and Berbers, for smugglers and sailors, for conquerors and colonials) over the centuries.
The view of this bay, through the dining room windows, is stunning. Waves slowly lap. And a block away the streets are still sleepy, like the locals who clearly wake later in the morning.
At a time of day when I would experience the Saint Louis freeway as a frustrating exercise in slow driving, the streets here have few cars on them. Morning rush hour must be later in the day?
And then the thought strikes: I am watching the sun rise over Africa. Sure, it might be Northern Africa, far from the sub-Saharan wonders that we envision in dreams and collective unconscious, but Arab Africa is still Afrique.
This particular country is decidedly French, at least in language. Arabic and French are the official languages. University business and lessons are in French. The local Arabic dialect is a spoken language only. And I am switching from English to French to a bit of Spanish (Spain is 15 km away, across the Mediterranean) and trying to mix in my five Arabic words, including the standard greeting of ‘saalam alaikum’ and the Arabic words for please and thank you.
Breakfast today was eggs over medium, crusty bread with a very rich butter, potatoes, beef sausages that were more like unspiced chorizo (and which I will definitely not try again), fruit, Brie cheese, and then a slice of almond cake and a small piece of dense flan. Tomorrow will be more of Moroccan day, with semolina porridge and chicken sausages and scrambled eggs and the like. And certainly more almond cake!
7.15 in the morning. Blue skies without a cloud. A hint of Spring in the air.
I’ve had my French toast, with wonderful sourdough as the bread. And honey from way up north in Manhattan as the topping.
Samson was especially cuddly this morning.
I like Fridays when they start off like this.
Spring Break is hours away. That probably influences my happiness this morning.
And I’m going to see Next to Normal this evening.
‘Tis the last day of the year.
Laundry is in the works right now. I’m determined to work on the pantry shelves today too.
At 9 a.m., snow is gently falling from the skies.
I’ve called my alderman this morning to lodge a third complaint about a trash dumpster that is perilously close to blocking my garage. Two previous complaints have been ‘closed’ showing that the problem has been fixed, but alas, whomever is closing the complaints is lying.
And I’ve made a call about my convection oven, plus cancelled my SiriusXM account since I really don’t need it!
So . . . the morning has been productive. Bills await payments; they are next. Then I’m going to do a bit of shopping for eyeglasses and a new iron.
I hit Nordstrom Rack yesterday, a dangerous thing to do. I went in for a new black belt and a bow tie, but left with a yoga mat for my studio at school, two pairs of socks, two bow ties, and a new pair of shoes (very festive!). Then I went to the antique mall to shop and ponder, but ended up with new stemware, some frosted glasses, and a three-way grater/shredder. And I found a desk lamp I think I just have to have for the office.
Samson gets a bath and a teeth-brushing today.
Did I mention that I’m re-watching all of Downton Abbey in prep for the new season? I’ve viewed eight episodes in two days. Sadly, I read a spoiler(s) and now know what happens this third season, but I shall watch intently anyhow.
So this last day of the year is a clean-up day — a peaceful day filled with the little tasks that make life easier in the long run.