Saturday 29th May. Asilah, Morocco.

My hotel, the Hotel Marhaba. You can just see my room on the roof of the low building in the middle..The main drag of Asila, at dusk.

looks like his uncle doesn't he, cheeky little monkey!There's always kids laughing and playing in the streets here. It makes me miss my nieces and nephews. May is fast coming to an end, and in just a few short days it will be eleven months since I left Australia. Do I miss home? Yes. A lot. Especially when I hear from my Mum that my little five year old nephew wants her to give him a piece of rope so he can lassoo the girl in the next room at school. Mum, by the way, has found a flat that she really likes, and is moving in two weeks. It's a huge step for her, after living in the same place for over fifty years, but she's been through tough times before and come out smiling on the other side, so I'm sure she'll be fine. Thanks for your thoughts and wishes for her.

Someone posed me a very challenging question a few weeks ago. He asked me when was the last time that you did something for the first time? I was stumped. Try it for yourself and see what answer you come up with. Well, if he's reading, I've got an answer; yesterday I started the day not with a cheese omelette, but by going for a shave. My whiskers were starting to go through that itchy stage, and with only cold water in the sink in my room, it was a job that I just wasn't up for. So for the first time in my life, I let someone else shave me. It was a strange sensation at first, but man what a close shave you get from those cutthroat razors. Thirty-six hours later, I still feel and look like I've just shaved. I'd make it a regular ritual but for the fact that he couldn't resist charging me more than twice the going rate.

It was the Muslim equivalent of the Sabbath yesterday, and it threw my routine out somewhat. The internet cafe didn't open until the evening, so I spent most of the day in my room editing, editing and editing. Have I mentioned how exciting it is to know that in a matter of weeks, my book should be finished and for sale? Well, it is. Very exciting. Hopefully income from the sale of the book will fund the next leg of my travels- across Mediterranean Europe to the Middle East, and up through Eastern Europe to Russia. Then I might have to put my thinking cap on to come up with a way to pay for the last leg of the journey; across Russia to China and down the east coast of Asia. Any ideas?

A couple of new challenges came in yesterday which is always encouraging. One is a very clever ongoing challenge, from a lady who collects coins and foreign banknotes. I'm looking forward to taking that challenge up after the weekend. The other is a bit of a wacky challenge from a bit of a wacky guy who I met in Alaska. He's now in Thailand, and wants to tattoo a photo of me on his back. To allow people to read about how I completed each challenge, I've also linked each photo on the the Challenge Steve page, back to the story that relates to the successful completion. Yes, this is how I spend my days!

Which reminds me, if you come across a link that doesn't work, please let me know. Also if you have any suggestions or feedback at all, I'm always appreciative of constructive criticism. I checked my web statistics today and it proved to be intriguing. Thanks for enjoying the website. Last week was the busiest week since the site was created, and this month has been by far the busiest month. It's rewarding to know that I must be doing a good job. But what caught my eye was this- of all the old archived journal pages from last year, very few of them get hit on more than a handful of times on any given day. Except for three pages, that have been receiving dozens of hits over the past few days. I've looked at the three pages, and they're just random days from my trip, one when I was in Las Vegas, one from Oregon, and one about the train ride from Seward to Anchorage, in Alaska.

I'll leave you with a couple of bits of nonsense to make you laugh. One of them is the 'WAYS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LEVEL OF INSANITY' that I posted a few weeks ago, and the other is the set of GUYS' RULES that you sheilas better read!



Did you know there's four galleries of funny road signs, funny pictures, funny George Bush quotes (aren't they all funny?) and other funny stuff, if you follow the links in the left column on my index page. Don't laugh your head off. Ha ha ha plop.

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