Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Signing Off

Its now the 24th and its been a whirlwind of activity around Mernissi maison. As I mentioned the house has been sold due to my feeling that all eggs in one basket, as is the case for me and several others in the Medina can be counter productive. The house is beautiful but has absorbed a lot of money and I feel that spreading monies over smaller projects would be sensible in the long run as people always want small houses in the present crunch climate whereas the bigger ones could lanquish on the market for years. In the Medina house sales have dried up as Europeans keep a tight hold on their purse strings.

I did not honestly expect the house to be sold so quickly although like me the people who bought instantly fell in love with the quirky layout and negotiations were rapid and concluded in a matter of hours. The past week has been a blur of packing and worrying in equal measure. Luckily I am moving just up the road to a friends apartment with worldly goods until all the business is concluded and I can take stock of next moves.

What will that move be well hard to say really with the current housing situation worldwide you need to be cautious and pragmatic. In Fes there are smaller projects worth considering but I would also like to dip a toe back into Europe, Spain or Portugal so that I have a European base also. It might be wise to sit and wait a bit and see how the land lies so to speak over the coming months.

Several friends are well into their various projects coming up against familiar hurdles and overcoming them in their own sweet way. For some it is a lengthy and costly experience as work goes over time and budget and their ideas and dreams change then voila they have the finished project in front of them. Each could follow Susannah Clarkes route and write a book about their experience and all would be fascinating and individual regarding the trials and tribulations they have gone through. Its never easy but it is a journey that has an end and ultimately your reward is the knowledge you have gained on route and the pleasure in saving an old slice of history and putting your own personal stamp on it. For those who are considering taking the plunge, come on in the waters lovely but don't stray too far into the deep end.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What a long strange trip

When I take a break I really take a break to get mind, body and soul in order. If you live here or are planning to you will soon realise how necessary this is for your sanity. I have heard of a certain guest house couple who much prefer oyster eating at Oualidia to the rigours of day to day guest maintenance and who I am to say thats not such a bad balance.

Anyway back to me and over the last few weeks have been in Spain to lovely Vejer followed by feet up and Mums home cooking in Norwich before my old mate and business partner Tony whisked me off for two weeks in Phuket. Certainly appreciated the stunning beaches, bountiful food at roughly £1 a plate whilst Tony appreciated the fine art of conversation with several of the bar girls, who laughed in all the right places whilst understanding nothing, not that he cared.

Back at the fort in Dar Mernissi Ben was looking after various friends and family visiting and reported back every detail, he is a real treasure and also now a good friend and expectant father. One of the reasons for taking the break was to allow Ben and Sina time and space to have the baby without me getting in the way, babies are not my business, well not at his point in time anyway.

Enough gossip I hear you say where is the nitty gritty info, the lowdown, the real deal, well its coming. For some time now my creative juices have been drying up as this projects renovation came to a close and we furnished it and filled it with many interesting friends. This is not the same as getting your mitts dirty and watching something take shape before your eyes albeit with a helluva lot of pain balanced by gain in the long run. What I am getting at is I wanted to sell the old girl Mernissi so someone else can take it forward whilst I would like to take on smaller funkier projects because of cause I love the stress...not. Also it would make a tidy profit and in these credit crunch days cash is king folks ,not mortgaged up to the hilt and panicking about losing your house or the cost of oil and eggs.

So I thought I would test the somewhat stagnant waters of the property market here as all housebuying and selling has dried up dramatically this year. Hoping to make a profit for my endeavours of course I was also more interested in selling to people who would enhance what I have done here. I have always seen my role in the renovation here as a mercy mission to save a dilapidated home that had been neglected for over 50 years and I consider it has been a success and given lots of people including myself huge pleasure. But I need to move on to new adventures and challenges within this great country and elsewhere, being a somewhat restless Sagitarian Soul this is what rocks my boat so to speak.

So anyway it is now sold, as from today inshallah, it all happened tout sweet (sic) as a family took one look and fell in love with it, of course, and have now freed my little brain up to look at funky opportunities here there and wherever.....I'll let you know!!