Well, here is the new and improved amber: it fits! I'm pretty pleased with it; we're in the middle of a heatwave here in London, so I haven't really had an opportunity to wear it yet.
Seriously, we got off the plane from Sicily, and it felt like instead of landing in London, we had landed right back in Sicily. Luckily, the garden didn't suffer too much, though it was desperate to be watered. My broad beans, courgettes and tomatoes were all fine. Thank goodness.
Sicily was lovely, as ever. The town we stay in seems so small, yet every year we find things we hadn't encountered before. This year, we wandered around the historic town centre, which has two churches, a theatre and an old palazzo (apparently built for / by Frederick II). We took photos, were suitably impressed, had gelati.
We only realised the next day, that this palazzo is the one where my friend lives. In the turret! This is her kitchen, in the turret of her castle, where she lives. I should mention that the whole thing is in disrepair, and in winter she has to drag around a space heater to stay warm. Most of the rooms have fallen to pieces, with piles of rubble everywhere.
This trip, we also went to Erice, an old medieval walled cliff-top town, which was built over the towns built by successive civilisations, going all the way back to the Phoenicians. It was too touristy, but still well worth it.
View from below, looking up at Erice
View from the Norman castle in Erice, looking down
And some pictures of the olive estate where we stayed, again:
The compost bin, Sicilian-style: