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—  Elaine June 2017

16 May, Yes, set off for Sicily and spent 16 hours getting from Paignton to Comiso Airport, of which only 2½ were the flight!


But, despite difficulties, the Airport Special Assistance was wonderful at both ends, unlike the Heathrow nightmare when I last went to see my mother. On arrival at Comiso the Italian who managed the baggage for me insisted on holding my hand firmly all the way with his big warm one. I got pleasantly used to it. He was going to make damn sure I didn't fall! I had been reading Grazia Deledda during the flight. How she could write so many powerful pieces beats me! I'm glad to say there are many more unread ones in waiting.


The connection taxi drive to Ragusa Ibla was wonderful even though it was dark by then. The driver and I were jabbering away, mostly in his broken English. He was very knowledgeable about and proud of the area. I had started it off about Inspector Montalbano, then off we went about various dialects, including Neapolitan and singing, Verdi, Deledda, and the writer of Montalbano, etc., etc. He approached the "B and B" from the wrong end and had to drive out of the place and back into the mountains to get past the valley and down the other side, so I had an extra tour.


When we finally made it, two young Italian ladies were waiting to greet me at the taxi door, so excited and welcoming. It made up for all the bother. The outer entrance, great double doors, was on a beautiful street, into a great stone pillared vaulted courtyard. Off that another great pair of doors through to the interior and a third pair—the entrance to my room, more like a semi suite. High vaulted ceiling, white and black tiled floor, original furniture plus mod cons. The lighting is bright and generous. Wish the English entertainment trade could emulate.


It's the ground floor of a baroque palazzo, inherited a year ago by sisters Costanza and Maria. C is always accompanied by her friend Antonella who is staying the week. They proudly showed me round. They were so pleased with my reactions to the building and the various laces, etc., they stayed talking and finally A gave me a big goodnight hug and was there in the morning with another one!


A copious breakfast of which I partook a little, hoping my stomach would process it without too much objection, including a gorgeous homemade strawberry granita which I didn't wish to spoil with proffered sour cream. All on a sunny terrace well umbrella protected. They do everything they can for their guests' comfort.


Then out exploring in the sun, walking very carefully and awkwardly with a stick, the main area being quiet and traffic-free. And on and on, all baroque, then sharing the space with cars. From time to time parties of semi-noisy Italian school teenagers, but un-threaghtening. As yet I've met no vulgarity or filthy language. Torbay is full of it. I think the worst holiday makers must drift there. Or is all England like it now?


The two restaurants I liked the menus of and thought they would be good seem to be only open for dinner. I found the Pasta con sarde that I wanted and that Barrie and I had enjoyed in Taormina, but knew it wouldn't be good because too cheap. I was right. Didn't eat much, but everyone was so nice that I didn't want to disappoint them, so I said, "Le vecchie non mangiano troppo" and that seemed to satisfy.


But suddenly thunder rumbled, the skies darkened and people were rushing about taking everything indoors..........want to read more?  


Photo Contibutions from Elaine
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