The water here evidently has some minerals in it which is the cause of the almost continuous belly ache we have had since coming here. Near the Oued Tensift noticed that where the water had receded it had left some white deposit behind. Possibly something akin to Epsom salts – at any rate not an organism as it is not affected by boiling. Arranging to get Marrakech tap water (which is all right & said to come from the Atlas.) Various bottled table-waters impossibly expensive, actually dearer than the cheapest wine.
Soil here is extremely deep, at least 4’ without any change of substance. Rather light & reddish, though it dries into a kind of brick, & said to need a lot of manure.
Some of the small oranges (“mandarins”) are yellowing. Some lemons almost ripe, others only in blossom – different kinds, perhaps.¹
Today the first day we have had when it was cool all the time. Overcast, windy & some rain rather like a damp day in September in England. The day before yesterday a little rain with much thunder.
The doves come to the house from time to time & are very tame, eating from one’s hand with a little persuasion. Saw a partridge in the grounds yesterday.
Flytox very good & kills flies by the thousand. Otherwise they are utterly intolerable.
Red chilis° spread out to dry in the fields, like huge red carpets.
¹ Orwell was evidently unaware that in the lemon all stages of flowering and fruiting occur at the same time. He does know this later; see Domestic Diary, 4.3.39.
² Perhaps this was the annual phlox drummondii, which is found in several varieties. Peter Davison