Friday, January 12, 2007


That's what we have had today and once again I have failed in the good Sicilian housewife stakes and did not have my washing hanging out by the crack of dawn.

When the Scirocco blows at night the shutters creak and sometimes blow open, pots slide about on the balconies and you imagine that you won't have a home left by morning. Then you awake and everything looks surprisingly normal. You go out and see the leaves of the palm trees swaying as they greet you with a swishing sound, the awnings of shops and cafés flap merrily and the perfectly hung washing on the balcony lines [ on a day when there is sunshine, too] also competes noisily for your attention.

Very occasionally, in summer, a locust blown in from the desert will land on the balcony. This scared me to death the first time it happened but now I just sweep them up. They are not, after all, spiders!

It is no mean feat, I must tell you, to be a good citizen and pick up dog poo when the Scirocco is doing its work: bits of the stuff go hurtling along the street away from you, the plastic bags are swept out of your hands and then the scooper [which I will have put down for a second whilst I chase the bags] decides to join in the fun and bounce down the road a few yards as well. By now I am cursing loudly in several languages and Simi, whilst barking happily at the commotion, is pulling like crazy on the lead because she cannot understand why we don't just get on with our walk. We must cut a comical figure!


James Higham said...

Does it blow on most nights and is it seasonal, this wind?

Bill Haydon said...

Another fabulous post. I was so right you, WL: you are an excellent writer, who is able to bring alive things other people know absolutely nothing about. You must have been an excellent teacher. I feel totally vindicated championing you, I'm just cheesed off I didn't mention you on 5Live!

Lee said...

I hate to say this, Welsh, but I believe you I was laughing reading about you, Simi and the 'pooper-scooper'! ;)

When I win the lotto tonight, I'm going to find myself a place in Tuscany for about 6 months, so you must come up for a visit so we can sip on some good red! I'm forever a day-dreamer! lol

Ballpoint Wren said...

Wa ha! Poop patrol never sounded so exciting!

I only bring a plastic bag. I reach into the bag, pick up the mess, pull it back through the bag and tie it off! Then I can drop it in the nearest trash bin.

I frown at piles of dog poo left on the sidewalk as I think nasty thoughts about their owners.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh, Welshcakes. The description is funny, though I imagine it wasn't at the time.

Unknown said...

Having spent a few great years in Sicily (courtesy of Uncle Sam), I remember the winter and summer winds. I never saw a locust blown up from the desert (wish I had), but I do remember temperatures in excess of 130 degrees (F) on our airplane runway! Ouch!

I have also experienced the winter winds on the north coast of Africa (Alexandria, Egypt) and it is frightening! We swore our windows and doors would simply be blown to bits at any minute, but they never were. Sand was driven into the flat through the tiniest, imperceptible holes, cracks and crevices!

Liz Hinds said...

I hope your knickers are safe on the line!

What a wonderful story about poo. Why on earth do we have dogs? No, don't answer that: I know the answer.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Bonnie. Well, I put the plastic bag in a carrier bag and the dirty scooper in another plastic bag inside a master-carrier-bag! You see, you might have to walk a fair way between trash bins here. I hate stepping and slipping on the stuff, too, and so I do my best to make sure we are clean about it all!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Gary. What an exciting comment! Where were you based in Sicily? Are you allowed to say? Yes, the heat can be quite painful, can't it? I can't imagine the Egyptian winter winds but they sound really scary! I worry here when sand gets into the bath and kitchen taps, but that is nothing compared to your experiences. Next time I see a blown-in locust, I'll photograph and post it here. Auguri.

Unknown said...

I was in Sigonella, near Catania. We had a wonderful view of Etna from our quarters :-)

Nowadays, I enjoy "looking around" Sicily online with Flash Earth. You can try it out here:
(no download needed, it's all online :-)

Unknown said...

I was in Sigonella, near Catania. We had a wonderful view of Etna from our quarters :-)

Unknown said...

I was in Sigonella, near Catania. We had an amazing view of Etna from our quarters :-)

Maria said...

Oh! I don't even know what to say here... I am thinking poor Simi. All he would like to do is make his business and move along not have it highlighted for the world to see! lol ~M
PS... I think the locusts would have given me a heart attack!

Unknown said...

I was in Sigonella, near's a picture:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, James. No, not most nights and it's not seasonal.
tin drummer, thank you! You have really cheered me up. And thank you for all you are doing for your fellow-bloggers.
Lee, I'll be over to Tuscany!
Never been to Sigonella, Gary. I will check it out and try your link. Thank you.
Thanks, Steve. Glad I gave you a laugh.
Don't worry, Liz. I brought my knickers in earlier!
Hi, M. Simi agrees with you!
Lol to all.


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