Daily Prompt – Take A Chance On Me

If there is one place I like a bit of spontaneity and unpredictability, its on my holiday. To much planning and format is not for me as that is what normal life is like for me back home and holiday is about breaking routine!

This holiday was with myself and two of my best girlie’s.  We had been close friends for years and we were almost inseparable.  It was the first time to Agadir for two of us and we were totally in love with Morocco.  It was spring time, and we were fortunate, as the weather was really warm and our hotel was something else. We had an executive apartment,  with a spiral staircase up to our bed room.  It was what could only be described as, stunning and our welcome pack was beautiful.

The beach was at the back of the hotel and we had less than a five-minute walk before we would find ourselves by the sea. It was another stunning view and we were happily taking photos  of us, the beach and the unfamiliar scenery around us.  This would us, our home for the next five days and it was total bliss.  We strolled further onto the sand after first taking off our sandals, aiming for the water and then just stood at the edge of the wet sand allowing the sea to roll gently over our feet. It has to be one of my must do’s when I am near the sea. There’s nothing like walking to that point where the waves start to gently crash over your feet and around your ankles.  Nothing like that distinct chill of the cold water taking away the heat of the sun that just seconds before cover your feet as you walked along the hot sand.

We were women of a mature age, but here with none of the everyday responsibilities of family and work. We were girl’s having fun without a care in the world and absolutely no clock to watch.  Whilst on the beach we were approached by a young male, who clearly was working, the question was what was he selling? He asked all the normal niceties as he introduced himself and enquired who we were and how long we were on holiday for? We answered to appoint, just enough to keep it all fun and friendly but with the minimum information.  It soon became clear he provided tours and trips and asked if were interested. I knew one thing I wanted to do was quad biking, so I asked how much it was and what was involved.  I was sold as soon as he explained and before we knew it, we agreed to meet him at a particular time in front of the hotel later on that day.

None of us had ever been quad biking before, so we were all excited by our impulsive decision which was a bargain of a price compared to what we had seen in the hotel brochures.

The time came and we were ready and waiting outside the hotel.  Sure enough after about five minutes or so he turned up and we got into his car and we were off.   It wasn’t until we were in his car and driving along for what seemed like ages it dawned on us mature, normally sensible females what we had done. No one knew where we had gone.  We left no information with the hotel, I don’t even think we brought our phones. We drove through what i could only describe as ‘real country.’  We were now seeing the real Morocco, and all the fancy buildings of the town with the modern hotels were nowhere to be seen.  Only simple houses scattered between funny shaped trees, sheep , and lots of land.  Eventually, we started to slow down as we approach some houses and we could see quad bikes standing side by side in a corner, waiting for their next escapade.  It was at that point I must admit my mind started to settle and the worry of ‘Where are we?’ and ‘Where is he taking us?’ subsided.

As we parked he jumped out and we were surrounded by all these young children who seemed to come from nowhere.  We didn’t have much with us in our small bags, just drink and sweets but that made them happy.  He directed us to the bikes and gave us helmets and we jumped on the bikes. I rode one and my friend sat behind me as she wasn’t confident to ride at first.  My other friend rode the other bike.

Our instructions were very simple. How to start it , stop it, and how to accelerate.  Oh, and we were warned about dogs that sometimes chase after bikers, but we would be fine just keep riding.  That was it really and we were off.  Our journey  was to take through the country farm land of Morocco with its hills , dips and red dirt.

It was the most fantastic thing i had ever done at that point in time in my life.  The speed, the feel of racing flat-out on the bikes in the freedom of the country was so amazing as we biked against each other.  All together, we were gone for about two hours.  We were on such a buzz and I can’t express the fun and exhilaration.  My friend even swamped with me at some point and ended up riding the quad bike her self.  We laughed, and screamed, shouted  and just squealed with excitement as we raced along.

To this day. its one of our best memories and one of those things we are so glad we did, but recognise it’s not something we would recommend for obvious reasons as clearly we had taken a big risk as well.

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Daily Prompt: The Spice Of Success

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

The spice of success for me would be chilli and the failure to eat certain types I happily accept!

I like my food to have lots of flavour and certain dishes do need a greater degree of pepper, beyond your ordinary black or white pepper.

However, there are certain levels and types of spice which I am afraid simply do not agree with my constitution.  To much chilli and my internals rebel and I in turn suffer the price of my daring or stupidity, depending on how you wish to see it.

Certain chili peppers that are notorious for their heat, I simply would not even attempt to try today, having learnt my lesson with their lesser relatives over the years.

Wasabi and horseradish are also not for me.  I remember the first time I tasted wasabi. the sensation hit me in my nasal area, with an intensity I can only  liken to  smelling salts (if you have ever smelt them?), it was weird and I hated it!

Likewise, it is the same with success. Success can be measured and attained in many ways but most would perceive success to be a combination of wealth and achievement. But not all success would agree with me.

Some people will attain success at any cost, regardless of who gets hurt in the process. That is not me. I never ever had a ruthless streak.

Success can also be at the expense of health. Just as there was a consequence for me, if I choose to ignore my bodies reaction to certain spices, so it can be with Success.  Success in line with who you are and your integrity is important.

I really appreciate it when there is balance in the spicing.  I can taste the flavour of the food itself that I am eating as well as appreciate the taste and flavours of the spices used to season it.  I love the kick of the right amount of chilli that gives heat but still allows you to taste what you are eating. So much better than than an overwhelming fire that leaves your eyes watering and the desperate need for water. My hottest experience, left me coughing and words failed me completely.

So success, not all success or spicing is for me:-)

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Writing Challenge: Object – The Walking Stick

As I waited to speak to Alison the receptionist, a simple wooden walking stick caught my eye as it stood in the corner of the hotel reception room propped against the white wall behind the desk. How long it had been there was anyone’s guess as I could see a thin coat of powdery grey dust sitting undisturbed along the top of its handle.

‘There must be many walking sticks standing or lying idly all over the place,’ I thought. Antique ones, decorative ones,  of all styles and descriptions. They’re mostly seen as antiques now or just for the elderly,  but once upon a time, all noblemen would have had one. It was a sign of status and position, a far cry from today.

However, this walking stick was simply carved and I could see it was a beautiful walnut colour. It had a hooked top and it looked more like a cut down version of a shepherd’s staff. At the bottom however, was what can only be described as an ugly rubber cover, which was worn from regular use and some what I’ll fitting. It spoilt its look and design, but a necessary adage I suppose for its elderly owner at the time.

How old was it? Who knew? To me, I think no more than fifty years but I fear my judgement is driven more by the modern stopper than the rest of the stick. So what do I know, it may well be a lot older.

I remember my grandmother had one just like it. She used it during the times she was at her most frail, otherwise she would walked unaided.  I remember her first using it after she had her stroke. It had been a sweltering summers day in London and the night was oppressively hot. There was no air.  Even with the windows opened, nothing happened. The heat and the humidity felt like and insufferable coat, that you could not remove.  She was 75 at the time. Following the stroke (and there were many elderly victims that summer) her recovery was quite impressive, considering her speech had been lost and she was affected down her whole right side. Initially she had a walking frame, but as she grew stronger through physiotherapy she progressed to the hospital issued metal sticks. You know, the ones you get if you had broken your leg or injured your foot? The weeks  and months went by and she continued to regain her strength and mobility. She then started to use her own wooden stick.

As I looked at the walking stick, it seemed out-of-place in this home, I wondered whose it was? Did it have an owner like my grandmother? Someone who would have loving taken care of it and used it in their life time? Where had it been? What conversations had it stood in the mist of?  Had it been forgotten, or even lost?

This walking stick was about function. Nothing ornate or expensive about it. Its reason and  purpose now lost. It really made no sense as to why it was where it was? But someone had placed it there rather than throwing it away or placing it in the attic. So maybe, it has some sentimental value. Maybe no longer used, but still a need for it to be seen.

This weeks writing challenge, something I will be participating in regularly in order to develop my writing skills.

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