The Great Reveal

18 Nov

If you’ve been following my travels you’ll recall my impulse purchase of an ornate mozaic fountain in Fez, Morocco, back in early June.

I rarely buy souvenirs when travelling, especially as I’m still trying to cull thirty years of possessions from around the globe, but the beauty and artistry of Moroccan mozaic proved irresistible. Here was my chance to have a fountain made to order, an instant family heirloom. Working from a snapshot artisans would spend three months creating my fountain by hand. I was confident it would be a thing of great beauty.

Stuart, when I told him, doubted I would ever see it in Australia. Sometimes, I retorted, one has to take a leap of faith. Admittedly this was a pretty big leap and I was slightly anxious about it.

Three months went by. I emailed Poterie de Fez and asked when I might expect my fountain to be delivered. No reply. Two weeks later I emailed again. I received a reply to say it was finished and would be sent DHL or FedEx. I inquired politely as to when that might be. Another week of waiting caused me to become a little impatient. I wrote that I was concerned the pottery had not kept their end of the deal and added that if they were not going to send my fountain perhaps they might like to refund my money and we’d call it quits.

Next day my contact emailed with a photo of the DHL consignment bill attached. My fountain truly was on its way!

Four months from the date I bought it DHL contacted me to pay the duties, Goods and Services Tax, and the handling fee. With some trepidation I paid and arranged to have the 108kg package delivered to our house in Brisbane.

The agreed date came and went. I called DHL again. Some unexplained delay with the local warehouse was the excuse so we arranged a second delivery date. When this too came and went without even so much as a courtesy call I began to get a little irate. After being given the run around I discovered the problem was the size and weight of the package. DHL had to outsource the delivery to a specialist outfit who agreed to deliver next day.

And they did. One man with a trolley brought a very large object wrapped in plastic and tied with rope down the drive and into the garage where it sat while we figured out how to move it through the house and out to the verandah. Stuart and I could barely raise it a centimetre let alone carry it.

The ideal opportunity presented a few days later when our new leather couches were delivered by two burly, young men and installed in the lounge. I showed them the package and offered them twenty dollars each to move it for me. No problem! I was so grateful I threw in a bottle of wine each.

Now the moment of truth. Stuart was at work and I had free hours ahead. No time like the present to undertake the great reveal. I helped myself to a bottle of beer to steady my nerves as I worked.

With the rope and plastic sheeting off I could see a wire cage had been welded to protect the fountain. Ten screws unscrewed and I carefully separated the cage into its two sections. In two places the wire of the cage had been bent and breached.

The next layer was cardboard. Then sheets of white styrofoam packed in tightly. As I pulled it away bits would break off and I created a mini snow storm. Time to get the vacuumn cleaner and suck up the styrofoam as I went. In an effort to keep the ‘snow’ out of the house I pushed the bifold sliding door to almost close it. I pushed too hard and it shut completely. That was a mistake. The door has no handle on the outside, it can only be opened from the inside. Oh oh.. It was midday. No one else was home. I had no way to get inside or down from the verandah, no phone and only the dregs of my beer to sustain me. Deep breaths. Think….

I hunted around in the barbecue cupboard and found a large pair of BBQ tongs. By climbing up on a stool and carefully hooking one side of the tongs over the lip of the sliding door and pulling hard I eventually managed to open the door enough to pull it outwards. Lucky escape.

Back to work on the fountain I could see the outline of the fountain on its three wheels. It was in one piece and nothing major seemed amiss.




Many more layers of styrofoam later I wiggled the fountain free of its packing and could see it in its entirety. It was perfect!

The curvaceous shape was as I’d ordered but the colours of the tiles are totally different. Instead of blues, pinks and pale greens I have a riot of yellow, red, black, blue, white, green and pink. It’s gorgeous!

By day the fountain’s brightness cheers me up. I never tire of tracing its intricate patterns with my eyes. By night, lit with candles, the tiles dance and glow and carry me back to Morocco and Andalusia.

Sometimes a leap of faith is rewarded.


5 Responses to “The Great Reveal”

  1. Simone Pope November 18, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Wow that is STUNNING Sharon! And even more so hearing the story of how it got to your house…..well done for keeping the faith :)))

  2. Michelle Noble November 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Stunning foot bath Sheila!! xxxx

    • Sharon Tickle November 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

      Trust you to think of that Michelle! ;-)) Sxx

  3. Charmaine Lawton November 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    “Stunning” is the word; its absolutely beautiful. Bold, wonderful – so very worth all the angst!

  4. Kate McNally November 19, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    It is gorgeous Sharon! I’m so glad everything worked out in the end … I was reading your post nervously and was so happy to see the stunning pics at the end! 🙂

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