Saeko Hamada Column vol.29 Found a Gift in Marrakech05-05-2014
Marrakech is always known as a stylish place to live for European artists. You have seen all those beautiful villas in magazine like "House & Garden”, “AD" ,"Vogue" etc. Glamour of those villas are not only architectural design. It's a lifestyle of people who live there. This column will be not a guide to Marrakech that will show you where to go.. we were mostly spending time with our friends instead of going around for sightseeing. I was interested in finding out more about people who are coming from outside of Marrakech and who have a different culture and then who stay to live in Marrakech. Like I have stayed in Marbella.
Our friend Shane Shelton was an English actor in the 70's. He started visiting Marrakech 40 years ago and now he spends most of his time in his Villa enjoying the Morocco life. My husband and I visited him with our dear friends, Derek & Geoffrey, who are friends of Shane for 40 years already. How wonderful to be hosted by family friends who have a very long friendship. Naturally our stay was so cozy and comfortable, we cooked and ate, stayed in terrace and by the chimney until late talking about 60's & 70's London clubbing and behind the scenes of the celebrity world. I made 1000 question or even more about the Golden Age of Show Biz in London. It's a shame that most of the episodes I am not able to share here on i-marbella for confidentiality reasons and also because of the limit of the space.
It was before the social network and internet era. So Stars were real Stars and they had exclusivity everywhere they went. To be with them at dinners and parties in New York, Hollywood, London was a real privilege.
We were looking at his album and Studio 54 Photos Album, looking at all the celebrities that everybody knows and I was wondering if Shane ever feels lonely here in Marrakech, away from limelight and old friends.
He is a very cultural person who has a lot of books of art and history. His villa is full of art work and photos. Talking and listening to him you can totally forget about time. Since he was an actor he is a very good story teller plus Derek was also there this time who has so many friends in common in London with him, I think between two of them they know everyone from Royalty to celebrity. We shared so many nice episodes and culture differences between Morocco, England , Japan, Italy, Ireland, Germany.. We are big mix of nationalities.
After Geoffrey's delicious meal we stayed in the salon by the chimney and we exchanged our opinions on art, history, politics, culture every night until very late. For my husband and also for me this is pure pleasure and very enjoyable moments in our life, since we both appreciate this kind of conversation because we both love to learn something everyday and curiosity in our life has no limit. End of the day we always learn a lot from history and other people’s views in different cultures.
I remember in my childhood I was asking thousands of questions from my grandfather when the life was a mystery … It is still a mystery in general but I am discovering something day by day. Everyday new things and I hope my challenge will continue all my life.
Shane made a such a effort to take us to the mountain side where he used live for a little while when he was writing his book. As he spoke to the local people and as I listened to his opinion of the people's life there, I felt a tremendous love towards Marrakech. How he cares about local people, how he understands their culture is real and all comes from his heart. Something very close to mine towards - Andalucia, Spain. Must be very different from the world he used belong to in London. But end of this trip I completely understood why he chose to live there. He doesn't live there just because its fashionable thing to do for celebrities, he lives there because of his deep understanding of their culture and daily life in Marrakech and for the love towards them.
The day we left his villa, I kept saying to my husband I feel sad to say goodbye to Shane, even though we know that we will see each other very soon and probably in Marbella. But still it was not easy for me to leave him. My husband said he has his lifestyle that he feels safe and comfortable with and his people who are taking care of him. He will be fine… Derek and Geoffrey told me the same. But still I felt like I left something very important in my life there…. hard to explain. Friendship is a magical thing. It connects people very deeply. It is a truly precious thing to have in our life.
In this trip I was thinking about the friendship between Derek & Geoffrey who have been friends almost 40 years with Shane and my friend Tene, who had a 28th Birthday in Marbella. I met Tene when she was very young, and unfortunately I couldn't be at her Birthday this year because of this trip to Marrakech. None of my friendship is 40 years old yet but someday they will be. Hopefully many of them stay in my life forever.
Thank you to our hosts Derek & Geoffrey and Shane who taught me again how important Friendships are in our life. Alessandro and I had a very good feeling and felt a lot of love in this trip watching how you take care of each other.
Also Big Happy Birthday to dear Tene :) I wish you many more happiness to come!!
And to all my friends ..Send you love.
By: Saeko Hamada
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Shane had a emergency surgery at Xanit International Hospital in Marbella last Monday. Thank you for saving his life everybody who involved to this surgery and taking care of him everyday at the hospital. We can't thank enough for saving our friend's life. Shane is his acting carrier name. I am sure you all know which patient I am talking about. Thank you to you all from the bottom of my heart.
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