For those who may be fresh to this blog, or who have, perhaps, forgotten how things ended last year, let me just recap. My odyssey among the Italian islands last year came to an abrupt end in July when my Achilles tendon snapped with a crack of a gun shot as I was leaving the beach at Barana, and I had to retire back home hurt and helpless.
I’m now back on Ischia, staying at the comfortable and kindly Villa d’Orta in Casamicciola, an oasis of tranquility and generosity in a mad world. Francesco and his team took care of my wounded leg and spirit in my moment of crisis last year. Theirs was the first of so many kindnesses from friends, family and strangers that gave a sunnier aspect to the disaster.
I’ve been reunited with Nicoletta, my delicious Vespa Primavera 125cc, and we went for a spin together. To be honest, I was more than apprehensive, but soon we were bowling along the roads of the island as if we had never been parted. She is, as ever, stable and dependable, with enough acceleration and a troaty roar to suggest a feistier spirit if required.
The only slight shadow is the weather – grey and humid. A heaviness hangs in the air as I look from my balcony across the Bay of Naples towards the city, itself. A thuggish breeze is bullying the trees. Rain tonight? This was not in my master plan. I was thinking of heading for Procida for the day tomorrow, but if it’s going to be like one of the those days at Middleton-on-Sea that I remember from my youth, only warmer, I think I may just stay in bed.