The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A little something something

The clouds whirled and twirled above my head, the trees swayed drunkenly this way and that and the wind chime jangled a tuneless melody. It was that magical moment before the storm broke. And then the rain came – hard and heavy.
Ghar Lapsi (49)
For half an hour it poured down from the bloated clouds, pelting the windows in an erratic, staccato rhythm that ended in a burst of hail-stones the size of marbles. Then it was over and around half an hour later the sun tentatively showed its golden face amid the fragments of the storm and shooed the clouds away.
Ghar Lapsi (8)
That was last week. Saturday morning dawned with a perfect mixture of sunlight and brooding clouds and I felt that inexplicable urge to go out in search of something that I could not name, in the hope of discovering what I shall call that little something something, that missing fragment of the puzzle.
Ghar Lapsi (27)-001
So, without further ado, we set out and drove to a cove that we had frequented many times. But this time we did not take the easy path to the sea but took the trail to the path less travelled; the lonesome path beneath the cliffs. Soon, it was just us, the bleak garigue, the craggy rocks, the patchwork sea and the huge expanse of the infinite sky.
Ghar Lapsi (51)
It’s mostly barren here – the long hot summer and predominantly dry autumn have taken their toll on almost everything except for some hardy bushes that, in spite of the harsh conditions, cling to life. Everything seems dead, beyond any hope of redemption and the flowers of spring are but a distant memory, a few withered fragments at our feet.
Ghar Lapsi (43)
I had lost hope of finding new life or new growth but Nature is resilient in a way that I cannot quite comprehend. In spite of all the odds, life is renewed. Despite the excesses of the past season it still burst forth in an emerald explosion right where I least expected it.
Ghar Lapsi (47)
I had found life where no life should be. In the most secret places of my heart I smiled. This was the little something something that I had set out to discover. It was enough for now. The promise of regeneration is near at hand.
Ghar Lapsi (40)
Location: Ghar Lapsi, October 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Sometimes I dream of a place where the sun is kind and the air is as soft as rose petals. It is a place where fat clouds roll in from the ocean and weep gentle tears on the land. Wild flowers grow in abundance here and the grass seems to shimmer with its own particular shade of green. There are gentle streams and jagged cliffs and valleys that cascade into the sea.
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The silence is broken by the shrill cry of the gulls and, on some days, the mist envelopes the land in a ghostly embrace. There are pretty harbours and ruined castles and an abundance of history and legends. And I would be at peace there. My soul would soar to the heavens and fly with the birds. My wandering heart would have found its home.
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And I often wake up from these dreams, in the stillness and darkness of the night, with a yearning for I know not what. Because sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own land. Like an exile  from some other other place or some other time. Because the sun is unforgiving here and the land is dry as a bone. All summer long I have searched in vain for a blade of grass or something that will remind me of the beauty of spring. And when I don’t find it? Well, I wish myself away. Over the sea and far away. Because although  I am here physically, totally grounded, with the weight of responsibility anchoring me down, that other part of me (my spirit self?) soars to that other place; that other place where the sun is kind and the air is sweet and the mist embraces the land.
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Hiraeth: a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return,a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
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Don’t you just love Pinterest? It’s a great place for finding these weird and wonderful words that totally inspire me to create my own take on them. Hiraeth is a Welsh word (in Cornish it is hireth) so I won’t attempt to pronounce it, but you can hear how the Welsh say it here.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

I seem to have lost myself over the summer. Words slipped through my fingers like sand and they were gone before I could capture them. I blame the heat. But maybe there is more to it than that. Maybe I’ve become jaded with this whole blogging thing. Maybe I have nothing left to say. I am fearful of making connections and losing them; of the transient nature of it all. I compare myself to this one or to that other and wonder whether the bar has been raised too high making me afraid that I will never reach it. My self-confidence is low. I confess that I have struggled with that all my life. Which is perhaps why I have never shared my blog with any of my close friends. I tend to find it easier to step out into the unknown and share my thoughts and words with people that I have never met. Strangely enough, I feel safer. Safe in the knowledge that I am not laying myself too bare to those that know me best. Which is, perhaps, another reason why I am not fond of summer. Bear with me, I will eventually get to the point.
Wied iz-Zurrieq (1)
I have called myself a bundle of contradictions on many occasions. And I will do so again today. I am a very private person. I do not naturally share my strengths, sorrows, successes or failures with the world. And yet, I have a blog. Now if that isn’t a contradiction, I don’t know what is. But there are millions of blogs out there, and since mine has never drawn thousands of followers, it is safe to say that I am more or less anonymous except to the few who stop by and read. Which is why summers are a bit of an ordeal for me.
Wied iz-Zurrieq (2)
Living through a Mediterranean summer is like constantly being on a stage. Everybody is out and about, windows and doors are thrown wide open, peace and serenity take a vacation and there is a cacophony in my head that just doesn’t let me think. So I become moody. I day-dream and my productivity falls to zero. Like a snail I tend to hide away in summer and wait for the first rain and cool breezes to nudge me out of my stupor. So with that confession done and dusted, it is time to make amends as I bid summer farewell and look to autumn for  new adventures.
Wied iz-Zurrieq (15)
So what shall I do now that the days are relatively cooler and I have recovered my sanity? Well, I definitely plan on reading more books. The last book I read was while we were on vacation in the US. I think that joining a library would be a good option. Another resolution on my list is to write/ journal/ blog more often. Once I settle into a schedule, that should be a no-brainer. With that comes the overwhelming desire to take better photos. I am working hard on that one but it’s not easy to find interesting subjects indoors. So that brings me to the next ‘resolution’, which is hiking. We have a very bad habit of sticking to our own neck of the woods, even though no place on this island is more than an hour away (and that’s stretching it quite a bit). We have also developed a very sedentary lifestyle which is good for nobody. So we plan on putting our hiking boots back on (they haven’t had a work out in years) and exploring other areas. Hopefully these hikes and walks will give me the subject matter on which I can practise my photography - call it killing two birds with one stone. And since hiking is more fun with a treat or two in the back-pack, I think it’s time to put to good use the hundreds of recipes I have pinned on Pinterest by baking more goodies.
Wied iz-Zurrieq (16)
It sounds like a plan to me. I will do my best to act on it but it’s all looking good and, hopefully, this autumn I will catch all those errant words that have slipped through my grasp and write a tale or two to share with you.
Wied iz-Zurrieq (17)
Beneath the cliffs at Wied iz-Zurrieq, August 2015


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