Doing what we love; loving what we do…

We have taken to visiting our blue rooftop restaurant every day…

We clamber up the narrow steep steps from the street and emerge into our blue oasis, with pots of plants sitting on top of the thick walls. It is tiny up there, with four tables crammed in, bright parasols jostle with one another to protect us from the bright glinting yellow light of the afternoon sun…

I am working my way through their list of ‘juices’ made with milk and ground almonds, dates and  raisins… It’s a bit like having my ‘pudding’ first…

And then we are brought a tapenade, black olive shiny salty deliciousness, to spread on crisp little toasts…

I like this new ‘routine’ – I order mozzarella and tomato salad and Anadi takes a soup and then we finish with the moroccan tea ritual… Anadi has perfected the art of filling our second glass in the style our waiter delivered our first; pouring from high up, golden liquid landing in the little glass in bubbling delight…

Fun… Our lunchtime break.

When we went to pay, the owner asked us where we live and how long we are in Essaouira for… We have been to his cafe now four days running now 🙂

When he heard we were nomads, he liked it ‘The best life – no restrictions – free from the environment, then you don’t get stuck in it’… He said…  ‘Good for “here”,’ he continued, pointing to his head…

He said he was happy we kept coming back to his restaurant, he thanked us, asked us to do a trip advisor report and then as we left, we all said… ‘See you tomorrow…’

Fatima thinks we work too hard, she wants us to go out for longer in the day, to leave her oasis of the riad, with tall green plants and quiet – the rooftop cats which we love… She wants us to go and swim…!

But we don’t want to swim 🙂 We love what we are doing and we are loving our time here… Anadi loves his programming and I love my new rhythm of running and writing as I have dreamed of doing for much of my life…!

I ran alone today on the beach; the wind has left and so the running – joyous before – has taken on another quality… It feels limitless, the beach curves around the edge of this part of Morocco for another 70k… And my feet are so willing; they feel like they could run the whole way round…

I was reminded today of a hero of many of us, Caballo Blanco (aka Micah True) of the book ‘Born to run’ fame… He is no longer alive in his body on earth; but his energy, his legacy lives on, and his mantra… ‘Easy light smooth fast…’

Barefoot running, more than any running I have done, lends itself to this mantra… My feet sing it to me; rather than me to them…

There is something about running in bare feet which is always like playtime…

Later…

I received a text from my sister Rosy, saying that she was very glad we had changed our plans…

We had booked to be in Freetown, in Sierra Leone, now rather than here… But in June I started to feel unsure about going; it was just a feeling rumbling away, But then both Anadi’s colleague Mudassir and my sister expressed concern over us going…

‘Lets cancel…’ I said to Anadi, ‘I have been having doubts, so this confirms it, we’ll change our plans…’ and so we did.

Two days ago Anadi said to me… ‘I believe we escaped something bad happening, by not going to Freetown’. ‘I agree…’ I replied ‘Even possible death…’

In the text from my sister, she told me that there has been a tragedy in Freetown, over 300 people have been killed in a mudslide that occurred very near to where we would have staying…

As Maricarmen – my Spanish teacher – said, when I told her this story… ‘It wasn’t your time… You aren’t good enough at Spanish yet…’!

Connection unknown, unexplained, but recognised….

Thursday : I am writing in the Larder

Running in bare feet is a bit like having a puppy or a baby, it lends itself to connection and conversation…

I met a man in the park yesterday called Jim, who you will be meeting in a vlog next week… He was walking round the huge playing fields in Enfield with his black labrador Casandra and my naked feet opened the dialogue… We then discovered that for both of us, our first ever marathon was the 1983 London Marathon… Back in the day when we had to post our entries into post boxes to secure an entry… I can’t exactly remember the system! But Jim will hopefully remind me next week…

And then today I met a man who remembered running with Bruce Tulloh, who was a great advocate of barefoot running… He was reported to say ‘Its the lightest shoe you will find…’

The more I live barefoot, the more I don’t want to put shoes on… However, I also recognise that my feet may never – or take a very long time to – be able to run on rocky (extremely ‘ouchie’) terrain without a bit of protection… The Tarahumara tribe, featured and famous in the book ‘Born to Run‘ wear the thinnest of home-made sandals, with zero cushioning, no motion-control… Just something to stop ‘rocks on the path’ digging in!

The way will find me… I am feeling fitter and stronger by the week; and I am loving running more than I can remember…

I am also keen to run off road on more adventurous terrain… A journey, of discovery, but there is no rush…

More than ever I see the path knows the way and I must follow…

Today, Friday, I am writing in the Larder again…

I met my gorgeous beautiful goddaughter Pru last night in our favourite place to eat together… Nama, a vegan restaurant in Notting Hill… The food is amazing, so delicious, that I always feel that I would be happy to eat breakfast, lunch and supper there for the rest of my life…
But much more important was seeing Pru, hugging her tight and sitting across the table from her, looking into her clear, honest open blue eyes… Treasuring spending a few hours together…

I love wandering about in my bare – be scarfed was the adornment for the night – feet… I have become completely relaxed about it now, and find that most people don’t notice… A few do of course, and I can only ‘make up’ their reaction from what I see in their faces… And others connect, make it clear they have seen and that they enjoy what they have seen… Out and about in ‘normal life’ as opposed to ‘running life’, this has mainly been women… A sort of sisterhood; a connection unknown, unexplained, but recognised….

We often need a reason to connect, to make the first move in relating, although brief encounters on the path, have been very much part of the tapestry and enjoyment of my life… But my bare feet have opened a whole new door… The connection is even more transparent, immediate, and I reflect that this is because to be barefoot I have had to step more deeply into my vulnerability, transparency, my naked self…

If there was any part of me wanting to hide before, it seems now that with the shedding of the shoes, there has been a stripping away of another layer… Or the stripping away has caused me to abandon the shoes…. And with no linear time these occurrences are happening simultaneously, they are the same thing…

Outward manifestation of our  inner states… if we dare to be fully authentic with ourselves, we do not know what this will require, but we do know that at the deepest level we will find peace inside….

There were bees on the path today…

Or rather bees on Anadi’s path and dog poo on mine! Anadi and I ran 8 miles all around the vast Enfield playing fields, which are beautifully kept and no dog poo in site, except for the bit my left foot discovered hidden in the grass… But the joy of barefoot is that it is easy to clean on the green green grass… Full of clover in places, with bees nestling right in…

Anadi was stung, not once but twice! I have looked up bee symbolism as apart from the stinging, they were everywhere on our path today! And this is what I found….

‘Ah to have wings and be totally free, that is the ultimate dream is it not?

Bee is a marvelous symbol of the idea that anything is possible…

Bee seems to have the magic of believing down, he has conquered what so many of us dream of, to take flight and soar through the sky.

Humming and buzzing through the air the hum of the Bees wings sing the song…. “I believe I can fly”…!

And it conveys the meaning “to have the height of excellence”, a premiere shining message of royal Bee symbolism’.