I’ve gotten new ones but I’m still looking after these ones. I still use them. I don’t know why but when I use new ones things don’t come out the way I want them to come out, maybe because of my energy. It’s used to create decoration for a traditional Moroccan kind of a pasta, so you cut the edges with it and you decorate sweets as well. This equipment reminds me of the way we sat around and all of us, me and my cousins, while chatting and talking, the celebrations we had, like, we used it everywhere, even my mom, she had it for years when she got married. And these ones are really old. I left with those. There was a book, I still have it, with recipes, food we make, because women have to cook, they have to prepare things, so there were these ones, there was a book where I had all the recipes my mom prepares originally and I still have it.
I came to the UK in 2001. I was 17 at the time. My husband was here, so we got engaged and then I moved in. I go back to Morocco. Lately and after Covid of course, I feel like I want to go more often. Last time I stayed for seven months, from August I came back in February, I was really, it was a good step in my life to reconnect with my family, because when I left I was young. I tend to go every year for a month, we don’t get to see them, well, they don’t get to see who you became, they see you just for those months and it’s heartbreaking. It’s nice to be there, it’s noisy and there are conflicts as well but you do get to know each other more.
It wasn’t easy at all to come here, at a younger age, in a very very slow and quiet town. I wasn’t a refugee but I can really relate to that, the feeling. I mean it’s a different scenario for each one when they come, but the feeling will be quite similar. It was so hard the first time I arrived in Brixton. Because I wasn’t living in Hastings at that time, I was living in Brixton. Ten minutes car ride, but it was dead for me, it was like a graveyard. No one was there, everyone was on their business, people working, there was no family -there’s family but there’s no family because they are not there, everyone was busy with their own life. My husband used to work the night shift. I thought I had to go study, I wanted to be something. If it’s going to be like this for me, I don’t want it, so it wasn’t easy. I moved to Hastings about twelve years ago now. It’s very different, because, as I said, Brixton was very quiet, very… it’s a relaxing place for some people, this is how we describe it. Hastings had more activity at the time. They were helping people. I’d just put myself in any course I could find. I don’t know what for, I just wanted to go into people, it was classes, managing changes, I will never forget that, it was managing changes, a course which helped me a lot at the time, my English was zero, I only spoke French and Spanish, so I would go there and try to understand what they’re saying. I just attended class, it was better than being at home, just to keep myself busy, and then I started thinking about, let’s move to Hastings.