Saturday, January 19
Finally the rain had stopped and rays of sunlight were shining through the venetian blinds.
“Is it summer Mummy? The sun is here so that means summer, no?”
“No, its still winter, but if you like we can go to the beach today.”
“Yay! The beach! Lets go, hurry up Mummy!” As we walked down the steps a gardener presented Skye with a sprig of flowering rosemary, which she carried with her for the rest of the day.
Down on the beach she flung herself joyfully into the sand and scrambled up rocks with some other children. I strolled along the beach chatting to a variety of people that had finally emerged from their homes to enjoy the good weather. I decided that we'd stay and have pizza on the beach, rather than go home for lunch. But then Carlo phoned and suggested that we went to his mothers for lunch so that we could say goodbye before we left for our holiday.
Reluctantly we left the beach and started the long walk up towards the cemetery, Skye clutching her rosemary and me laiden with our unneeded coats and sweaters. At one point our way was blocked as a team of mules made their way up the steps and another one came down. While we waited for the mules to pass I chatted to a lady I knew that was leaning over her balcony.
At Nonnas house we ate risotto with wild mushrooms and artichoke and small creamy ricotta with fresh crusty bread. After lunch we sat on the warm terrace, high above the sea until a cool breeze made us shiver a little. Skye hugged Nonna goodbye and I promised that we would call every now and then to let them know where we were.
As we walked home the wind grew colder and I pulled my coat tighter around me. “Nicki!” I heard someone call and saw Antonio, a friend walking towards us.
“So when are you leaving?” he asked as Skye hung onto his hand in delight.
“The day after tomorrow,” I replied, “and you?”
“In a week…So, give me a call the day before you arrive in Phuket and I’ll meet you at the airport. We’ll find you somewhere to stay and then go to the beach. Hey Skye, you like the idea of spending your birthday on the beach with me?”
“Si!” She replied, dancing in excitement. I must remember to pack some balloons for her birthday, I thought, as we said goodbye to Antonio and headed for home.
at 5:24 PM