g i n o s t r a

[ 23.38 saturday 25 august – ginostra, isola di stromboli ]

some scene-setting. i’m sitting on the white-washed stone terrace of my house looking out over the quiet mediterranean. a crazily-tilted half moon descends towards the horizon in a sky strewn with stars. above me the black bulk of the volcano. far to the south the lights of panarea and salina glimmering across the the water. vines drape from the wooden framework overhead, weighed by bunches of wizzenned grapes. pomegranites and lemons grow beside the house. water is pumped from a cistern with a big lever. from time to time a siamese cat called felice winds herself around my ankles.

this is ginostra, a tiny village on the opposite side of stromboli from the main settlement. a year-round population of about 30, rising to a couple of hundred in the summer. no electricity. no telephone. no motor vehicles (there is a mule to bring supplies up the vertiginous steps from the tiny harbour).

by now i expected to be in sicily. but this feels like the right place to be. each day i clamber over the rocks to join friends swimming and playing. i’m doing a little work, but not much.

: cH

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