Crystal Balls and Moroccan Walls is another irreverent and provocative account of an expedition made by Brian and his wife, this time to that part of Morocco that lies to the south of the Atlas Mountains. However, it is also a prognostication. Southern Morocco doesn’t live up to Brian’s expectations. So, to brighten the dismal prospect of a dismal trip through the desert, Brian refers to a series of ‘crystal balls’, balls from which he is able to forecast the state of Britain in just forty years’ time. This means that there is still a consideration of the merits of tajines, a description of ‘fat sand rats’, and a thorough assessment of all those Moroccan walls, but there is also so much more. For example, there is an explanation of how Scotland, by mid-century, has changed its name to Trumpland and how its southern neighbour, by this same time, has begun to sell itself to potential visitors from the Far East as ’Ye Olde Solde-Offe England’. There is even a review of some of the latest film offerings by this date – such as No Great Expectations… This unusual work is the penultimate book in David’s seven-part series that details Brian and Sandra’s travels to Assam, Syria, Borneo, Cape Verde, Namibia/Botswana, Morocco and Zambia. It is book number one in David’s ‘shameless subversion’ of the travel book genre.
Brian and Sandra’s room was near the reception area, but very far removed from anything that could be construed as warm and inviting. It was a not-too-distant cousin of that room in which they had taken their lunch: long, high-ceilinged, with unadorned (clay?) walls, poor lighting, no heating, no usable TV and, instead of tables and benches, three beds covered in white sequinned shrouds. Kirstie Allsopp would have had something to say about this room and none of it would have been very complimentary. Oh, and it had a cockroach as well