We all want our place in the sun

I'm in Morocco at the moment, where I go quite often but I'm really starting to feel like I hardly recognise Tangier, the

holiday haven I've known and loved for years.

Literally as I write this buildings are springing up all around me. They're going construction crazy. And it's all Europeans

like me who want a des res in the sun.

Now prices are higher in Spain and other hotspots, people are looking to Morocco to invest. And what's not to love?

Though it's in Africa, it's almost as handy as other ex-pat enclaves.

You can get cheap flights here, or if you prefer, a cheap flight to Spain and a cheap ferry across the water. There's exotic

food and colourful street life but home-style comforts too.

At the moment you can hardly head out for a mint tea without squeezing past hordes of prospective purchasers umming

and ahhing on building sites, clutching brochures. It feels like it's a free-for-all and builders just turn up and start digging

foundations wherever they fancy.

I sound like I disapprove but I don't see it as a bad thing, the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. It's all boosting

Morocco's economy, which has to be good, too. If you want classy and unspoilt, there's still plenty of that in Morocco away

from the main centres.

I have property abroad, as do plenty of people - including a few of my friends, and it's a weird sensation to set out to spend

some time there.

Travelling's a drag, however convenient your abode is to get to, and you're sooo pleased to get there, as if to say: ''Ah,

home at last!'' You go to make a cup of your tea and your instinct is to unpack your filthy holiday clothes and stick them in

the wash, as if you've just got back to civilisation... till you remember you've only just arrived.

Then, instead of going out and about and enjoying yourself 24/7 you spend valuable time and effort wondering what that

wall would look like if it was painted terracotta, and tidying up the bathroom.

In hotels you leave your belongings strewn wherever you abandon them, but you wouldn't do that at home, would you?

The other big issue about having your own place abroad is, who do you invite to use it? You don't want to be a Billy-no-

mates, all on your own, but you don't necessarily want your whole extended family and the milkman there, too.

And what if all your friends are desperate for an invite... as long as you're safely chained to your desk at work in Leeds

that week? Oh, it's a social minefield.

And the whole point of an overseas pad is to relax and get away from it all!


Alan Carr's been reading my column in the Examiner. Last week I talked at length about how the Friday Night Project

comedian would do a much better job as a prime time chat show host than Coronation Street's Antony Cotton.

Obviously not bothered about my obvious disdain for a fellow camp TV favourite, Alan emailed and thanked me for my

'lovely' comments.

Talking of camp TV favourites, I sometimes think that entertainment is being completely taken over by grinning, shiny-

suited gay hosts. It's definitely time I made my small screen debut, I am sure there must be room for one more!


I made the mistake of watching a bit of Crimewatch when I was alone in the house a few nights ago, before I came to


It's particularly unsettling if your home is open-plan and you can't shut the lounge door on armed robbers potentially about

to burst in.

I can't help thinking they've gone over the top with the drama they give it nowadays, all fashionably wobbly footage and

arty camera angles. I am waiting for them to add a rousing movie score, lots of CGI and exploding helicopters too.