p a r t e n z e

[ 09:20 tuesday 1 july – train leaving central palermo ]

i spent much of sunday night reorganising my chattels and carrying boxes to gustl and valerie’s magazzino on the beach at scalo dei balordi, assisted greatly by sergio. leonardo came by with his taxi at eleven forty and conveyed me to the port where we shared a last bottle of water. at quarter past twelve i was on the hydrofoil to messina. from there i took the four o’clock coach to palermo, where i met some friends. we had some truly excellent pizza together, followed by some of the best ice cream in palermo (and therefore the world). the gelsi nero is exquisite at the moment. after supper we drove a little way out of palermo to the east and had a swim with the plankton sparkling around us. now i am on my way to the airport for a flight to london.

this first chapter of my life on stromboli is now complete. for the next six months i will be based in london. leaving the island isn’t something i particularly want to do, but it’s clear this is what trampoline needs from me at this stage. for the final week i lived once again in paolo’s house above the beach where i spent my first six months on stromboli. on wednesday evening i held a dinner party for 15 of my closest friends on the island, around a long table amongst the mesumbryanthemums, lit by candles and the stars.

in the last few days the volcano has started making its familiar grumbling noises again. the islanders greet this much as anxious parents greet the renewed crying of a baby that has been silenced awhile by a fever.

: c***

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