[ 23:53 thursday 23 august – scari, stromboli, italia ]
i’m crouched on the little quay, people milling around in a good-natured way under the only street-lamps on this island. the ship back to napoli was scheduled to arrive at eleven. it hove into view about ten minutes ago. high high above us are the twinkling lights of a party heading up to the summit of the volcano. it’s a clear night with a less-than half moon. the view will be spectacular.
fabrizio is leaving for positano. i am here to say goodbye.
things have moved very quickly. on monday i bought a ticket to rome and collected a new passport (in that order). the whole night was spent packing in preparation for two months life and work in italy, conducted in parallel with clearing out the flat ready for mr vajra spook to arrive from new york in september.
a car came for me at 05:10. i took off from heathrow at 07:50, was in rome in time for lunch, napoli in time for tea. i boarded a ship sailing from napoli at 21:00 and arrived at stromboli at dawn on wednesday. i took a cabin on the ship. my sleep was deep and wonderful.
the ship edges up to the quay as i write. people prepare their goodbye gestures and words. luggage is coralled and balanced.
all change please.