After England’s pedestrian performance against Switzerland last night – literally so, since much of it was played at walking pace – the BBC selected two Scousers for interview, and we saw Rooney and Gerrard competing to see how many “erm”s you can get into a single interview, I think Gerrard won by 47 to Rooney’s mere 35. But to be fair, Gerrard was asked more – erm – questions than – erm – Rooney. And they couldn’t interview the coach because they don’t have an “erm” in Italian.
Road to Morocco When you look in the London Library catalogue for books about Morocco you get 249 responses. But don’t get too excited, because in half the cases it’s a reference to the binding. Like Hope, Crosby and Shakespeare’s 1623 folio of “The Tragedie of Julius Caesar”, we’re Morocco-bound. We’re Casablanca-bound to be precise: I’ve had the trench-coat dry-cleaned and am learning not to grit my teeth when friends put on funny accents and say “Play it Sam” or “Here's looking at you, kid”.
Having spent some time in Marrakech a couple of years ago, we decided that this year we would spurn the tourist traps and see out the last of the winter in a real working city.
But we’re beginning to have misgivings, whatever they are, because we fear we may gone too far. Sandford’s, London’s leading map shop, can sell you maps and guide books on Marrakech, Fez and Meknes, but not of Casablanca. The Moroccan Tourist Board produces a glossy brochure called “The Imperial Cities”, which recommends doing a 1,047-kilometre road trip that takes them all in: Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat. Casablanca, although it’s on the route and is bigger than all four of them put together, does not get a mention. Casablanca is literally not on the tourist map.
But as I said to the - erm - DG, “It don’t amount to a hill o’ beans. We'll always have Marrakech".