I am not a morning person at all but was delighted when the phone rang at 9.30 am today and my friend Giovanna invited James and me to spend the day with her and her family at their seaside house.
Newer readers may like to know that Giovanna, her husband Marco and the two boys they then had [aged about ten and eight at the time] were the first Modicani I ever met: I have stayed with them all many times and they let me live rent-free in a little house of theirs in Modica Bassa whilst I was sorting myself out after moving here permanently in 2005. So I owe them a great deal. Now there are four boys and the elder two have grown into fine young men.
After the phone call it was all rush, as I hadn't yet showered, got my war paint on [let alone my clothes] or taken Simi out. I accomplished the lot within 45 minutes, informed poor James, just as he returned from his "morning constitutional" [which he relies upon to recharge his batteries - shush!] about the intended outing and by 10.30 we were on our way to the Marina di Modica.
Today the Mediterranean was at its deepest blue, with the waves turning purple as they neared the jagged rocks of the stunningly beautiful shore.
At 1pm precisely, like all good Italians, back we went to Giovanna and Marco's for lunch: there was pasta with prawns and zucchini, polpettine di melanzane [aubergine fritters] with cheese-topped tomatoes followed by cotolette di pollo [chicken cutlets] then Giovanna's fresh fruit salad for dessert, served with lemon ice cream and peach granita.
James then had a snooze on the balcony whilst I reminisced with the family until about 4pm, when we were served dishes of the freshest gelsi [mulberries] with cream.
Un bel giorno al mare!