Warm desert wind rattles in the palm trees, wafting the scent of ripened dates on a cedar platter through the Moroccan night. Wicker chairs, deep cushions around a games table, the winning steel ball of the bagatelle board cracks through like a whip on a shout of laughter. The sparkle and scent of a tea glass heady with Maghrebe, the mint a splash of green poured high from a pewter pot. Outside an oasis, water trickles through the canopy of date palms, a lizard scampers across a giant gunnera leaf and into the cool shade. Beyond lies the desert, cool and calm beneath the moon, a breath of still night before dawn brings the Call to Prayer, the return of the sun and another sandalwood scented day.