Summer is back. The Met boys seem convinced that summer is back after an eight day hiatus in Puglia. However here in the high hills of Martina Franca they say we can expect thunderstorms most afternoons for the next week so we will be decamping to the beach most days where the weather is expected to be beautiful.
Like the young lady in the picture I shall be brushing the dust ( metaphorically) off my iPod beach playlist , charging up the Kindle and packing the cool box ready to buy the daily focaccia at the bakers.
I have finally bought one of those very clever corkscrew like implements with handles on that you drill down into the sand with .Then you place your umbrella pole in the deeply drilled screw and away you go. Hopefully this year for the first time ours won’t be the umbrella that takes off and flies around the beach almost taking off peoples heads.
It is clearly not La Bella Figura to allow this and I most definitely would lose face except Italians seem to expect foreigners to do such things.
Well the Azzuri didn’t come up with the goods last night and the bar at 8 p.m. as I predicted in an earlier post was full of people telling me that they were no better than England indeed in the secondo tempo they were worse. A Uruguayan victory seems to them inevitable and so they have gone back to playing cards and there is no more ribbing about their victory the other night. My newly found car mechanic was even more scathing but at least he spent most of his youth in Germany so has a fall back team that actually looks like it will go a long way.
With any real interest in the World Cup almost certainly over life gets back to normal.
The local rag today is mightily concerned with the state of Brindisi dock. Brindisi harbour certainly has a fabulous history. The Greeks used it as the major port as did the Romans to get to the Eastern Mediterranean. It was used by the Crusaders and Richard the Lionheart King of England was there:
The Third Crusade
During the Third Crusade (1189-1192) King Richard “Lionheart”, while being in Messina ready to leave for the Crusade, decided to come to Brindisi in April 1191 to meet his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine and his future wife Berengaria of Navarre, to decide on the date of their wedding. The King resided in the house of admiral Margarito, well known for its magnificence.
Francis of Assisi sailed to try to convert the muslims of Egypt from the port and with the opening of the Suez Canal it became the main port linking Northern Europe with Bombay. P&O had an huge base there. Between the World Wars it was the hub of the flying boats and after WWII it was the main port for ferries to Greece.
In those days they used to go through the Corinth canal all the way to Athens.
However poor management has meant the running down of the port and the loss of most ferry routes.
In 2013 to the surprise of all the Council appointed Professor Haralambides a Greek national with no experience of running a port as President of the Port Authority.
His appointment was hotly contested as were most of his early decisions that continued to lead the decline of the once great port.
Eventually he was ousted when the Court ruled that the the post must go to an Italian National and a new more dynamic leader came in.
The plan was drawn up to return Brindisi to major port status by attracting cruise ships. To do this plans were agreed to dredge the main harbour and widen the Pigonati Canal into the inner harbour to allow the largest cruise ships to dock right in the town. Without the widening the cruise ships would dock alongside in the outer harbour at the Enel petrol jetty and close by the coal jetty. Not the most romantic place. Indeed the few ships that do come at the moment lay off the port and tender in the passengers.
Well guess what. Haramlabides sued to get his job back and the Council decided that until the court case is heard and a verdict given he should be reinstated.
His first decision is to cancel the widening of the canal !
It would seem the Council have a suicide wish or have some other agenda that doesn’t include a port
Still I shall be on the beach and leave the politicians to it. Switch on the iPod and off we go.