Taking Tea in the Kasbah

clock in Borghese Gardens, Rome, Italy

As the champagne corks are popped and 2012 winds to a close, it is natural to reflect upon all that’s taken place in the last year. 2012 was a year of BIG things for me, many of them too heartbreaking and devastating to even discuss or lament here, but many of them were also some of the greatest joys I’ve had in a long time. One of those joyful things was creating and writing this humble little blog and meeting all of the wonderful people who visit and comment each week. Getting to know the lovely and immensely supportive WANA friends that I met through Kristen Lamb’s blogging class was a definitive highlight of the year. This encouraging group of writer friends has given me the courage to put my writing out there in ways I hadn’t thought possible.

I also didn’t think it was within the realm of possibility that people other than my family and friends (whom I badgered politely asked to subscribe to my blog) would read what I wrote. Imagine my surprise when strangers stopped by the kasbah and left me a comment or, even better, a compliment. It was like Christmas every day. A totally nerdy thing to say, I know. But if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’d know that I tend to lean that way anyway.

Book Love

photo by cellar_door_films via WANA Commons

All of this is to say THANK YOU for continuing to support me and my writing efforts. Each post is an exercise not only in writing in a succinct and entertaining way, but also a leap of faith that the universe won’t implode on itself because I made a typo or used the wrong verb tense or dangled a participle. It is also a way to push myself to accept that not everything I write will be perfect, well-received, or even liked. This writing gig is one giant, on-going lesson in balancing humility and self-confidence, that’s for sure.

So, as 2013 pulls on her fab new boots (that she bought at the after Christmas sales) and slips into her party frock for her turn in the spotlight over the next 365 days, I thought I’d reflect on the past year in the kasbah and share the top ten posts from 2012. These are the gems that were the most visited, the ones that you, fabulous readers, took time out of your busy lives to read and comment on.

The top ten posts were heavily focused on two topics: travel posts on Morocco and letters to/from a certain classy British actor. Seeing as travel and classy British actors are what I tend to write about, I wasn’t terribly surprised. In retrospect, I should have named the new kasbah “Traveling Classy British Actors.” Or “Classy Traveling with British Actors.” Or “Classy British Actors on Holiday”. Because that sounds more authentic.

So, without further rambling or ado, I give you…


#10 ~ Volunteer Week in Morocco with Cross-Cultural Solutions, Part 2 ~ I started off my travel series with my visit to Morocco and the volunteer trip that inspired it. In this post, I wrote about getting settled in at the Cross-Cultural Solutions home base and our first day volunteering at the children’s hospital in the capital city of Rabat.

Bab Bou Jeloud ~ entrance to the Fez medina

#9 ~ Intrepid Traveler: Go Big or Stay Home, Part 2 ~ The beginning of the travel series on Morocco. I shared the start of my travels in Morocco with our arrival in Fez in this post.

Pike Place Market, Seattle

#8 ~ Dear Benedict: On Road Trips, Laughter, & Career Advice ~ In this letter to Benedict, I wrote about a road trip I took to Seattle, lamented how so much of his work has delayed airings in the US, and shared photos of what the writing cave strives to be.

Moroccan tagine

#7 ~ Volunteer Week in Morocco with Cross-Cultural Solutions, Part 4 ~ The final post on my volunteer stint in Morocco. I shared two of the cultural activities we participated in: a tour of the Roman ruins at the Chellah Necropolis and a cooking lesson.


#6 ~ Letters from Benedict: On Fateful Meetings, Vulcan Death Grips, & The Great Sherlock Debate ~ The first letter from my co-conspirator in the kasbah, in which he spills the beans on how we first met.

#5 ~ If You Give A Writer A Brownie ~ In which I poke fun at the ways I am distracted from my writing through a retelling of the best-selling children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

Marrakesh, Morocco

#4 ~ My All-Too Brief Time in Marrakesh ~ Even though I was there for only a day, I found Marrakesh to be an enchanting place. I hope to return to someday.

medina, Rabat, Morocco

#3 ~ Volunteer Week in Morocco with Cross-Cultural Solutions, Part 1 ~ The chronicles of our arrival in Rabat and the volunteer home base. (Apologies for the dreadfully boring titles. Note to self: get more creative in 2013 with the post titles. I have way too many posts with the word “part” in them.)


#2 ~ Letters from Benedict: On the Art of Detecting Deception ~ As Benedict continued his search for the writing cave, he decided to consult the website of Joe Riggs, internationally acclaimed Mentalist, Hypnotist, Lecturer, and Consultant, on how to detect deception. When Joe mentioned this letter on his website in June, many others were introduced to the weird inner workings of my imagination and bumped this post to the number 2 spot on the list.

And now, the most visited post in 2012 is…


#1 ~ Dear Benedict ~ The original post that started it all. The letter in which I implore Benedict to stop distracting me with his abundantly talented ways and invite him to be a co-writer on the blog. The kasbah hasn’t been the same since.


Here’s to 2013 being the kind of year that’s friendly and generous, gentle with the life lessons, and all kinds of adventurous awesomeness. Happy New Year’s!


So, fine readers, was there a favorite of yours among the top ten list? Was there a post not mentioned that you would have added? Any topics would you like to see more of in 2013? All of you are what makes the kasbah a unique and awesome place, so please sit, sip, and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.

12 thoughts on “Best of the Kasbah: Top Ten Posts of 2012

  1. Congratulations on a year of solid blogging, Tami. Judging from the comments you receive every post, you’ve really nailed the formula for a successful blog. I wish you all the best for 2013 and look forward to sharing your writing and blogging journey with you.
    Hugs, Ellen

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Much obliged, Ellen! I don’t know about nailing the successful blogging formula ~ the kasbah is still a work in progress. But any success, such as it is, wouldn’t have been possible without supportive friends like you. I’m so thankful to have others join me on this quirky blogging journey as well as join people like you on yours. Cheers to a successful 2013 for us!

  2. I saw this earlier today but was too busy to comment because I couldnt’ decide which was my favorite post. As much as I love your connection to Benedict, your Morocco posts were mind-expanding. LIke, here was a real person, one with whom I’ve shared a glass of wine, who packed up a suitcase and a kid and went to Marrakesh. Just, wow.
    Happy New Year!!

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Mind-expanding? Lil’ ol’ me? Here’s a wow back atcha, Liv. Many humble thanks! I do consider my trip one of my more bolder accomplishments, especially when I remind myself that my first trip abroad was alone with an oppositional 13 year-old to Morocco, a country where neither of us spoke the language, and then on to an additional four European countries. If I can do that and thoroughly enjoy myself, then every other seemingly insurmountable task must surely be easy in comparison. Happy New Year to you, too!

  3. I always look forward to your posts. I don’t think I could choose a favorite. I’m looking forward to more delightful surprises in the coming year. Write on!

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      That’s so kind of you to say, Elizabeth. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead for both of us! Happy New Year! 🙂

  4. I remember the If You Give a Writer a Brownie post, Tami. I believe that post convinced me to hit the subscribe button. Have not looked back since, and happy to be blogging, writing and looking forward to 2013 with your friendship!

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      As I was prepping this post, I re-read those that made it into the top 10. The brownie post made me laugh because when I wrote it I remember thinking “no one will think this is remotely funny” but published it anyway and as it turned out, was my most commented on post.

      I, too, am looking forward to the coming year with such wonderful people like you along for the ride. Cheers to an abundantly creative and productive 2013 for us both! 🙂

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Thanks, Judythe! It’s truly heartwarming that so many of you are still interested in reading the letters. Here’s to another year of blogging and writing and supporting each other on our writer’s journey. 🙂

  5. Congratulations and Happy New Year, Tami!

    I remember many of these, but the one that truly pops my kettle corn brain cells is Give a Writer a Brownie. I know I pinged back to that post once on my own blog during one of my irregular, disjointed posts about distractions and goals.

    If memory serves correctly, you did an early post on the trials of having to use the LOO in the wild. Something to do with a lean-to and a rooster? The only reason that one wouldn’t have been on your most popular list (IMHO) is because you posted it early in your blogging career. Bring that one back out to play, ‘kay?

    If I have you confused with another blogger then…

    My name is Bertha Higgenbotham and I have stolen the identity of Gloria Richard.

    Happy New Year, fellow world traveler by car!

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Your comment made me laugh, partly because I actually sat here for several minutes trying to recall a post about a lean-to and a rooster. I actually had to do a quick search of my earlier posts. I then laughed at myself for even checking because as I may have mentioned, I have an intense fear of chickens and roosters (and ducks, geese, and most birds in general – undocumented past life trauma is to blame, I’m sure) and as such would have immediately remembered a horrifically terrifying scenario involving a rooster. Unfortunately you have me confused with another blogger who has a doozy of a story to tell. Don’t worry, Bertha, your secret is safe with me. Please tell Gloria Happy New Year for me, though, would ya? 🙂

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