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Dispatches from the mountain hut

I am in Montenegro, on the last stop of my six week Grand Tour of Ex-Yugoslavia.

The air here is incredible. A mix of mountain and cypress and salt from the sea. The children sleep for hours each day, like they have been given sedatives. it took me a week to keep my eyes open past 10pm.

My new no dinner policy is having a gratifying effect on my waistline, and my children's extended nap times are restoring my spirit. It's sweet to watch my boy and my girl crawling and running riot here in this cradle of wildflower and rock where I spent the happy summers of my own childhood. A place of crickets and swallows nests, endless stars and sunwarm rock. Each morning the light floods in; I am greeted by cloudless sky and sunlit hills. By pomegrantes and figs slowly ripening on the tree, by the flowering bushes (and there just beyond the hill, the bend in the road) the air from the sea.

My little village - with its unfinished brick houses and its occasional snakes and goats is no tourist attraction, but its stones and dirt paths, its dusty oaks and colourful riots of nightflowers belong to me as much as my own bones do. The house my grandfather built will never be pretty. It's a communist cube, utilitarian. A bunker with windows, designed to withstand earthquakes. If the Apocalypse comes my best bet will be to hide out here, especially now that the grape vines and tomato plants are prospering. I am sure I could take a number of you with me. I hope you like figs.

I swim daily. The tree-covered cliffs that border the little bay lurk in the water like half-submerged crocodiles. The tourist season has not yet started, and the sea is gratifyingly cool and clear. In this sheltered bay I temporarily set aside my fear of sharks and tsunamis. The water welcomes me like a friend. I swim at the day's end. The sun exits gaudily. The moon turns me silver as a fish.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
I like your world. It sounds magnificent!
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think you'd enjoy it here. The house has plenty of places in which to hide from the sun, and even the journey is pretty accessible. (Two and a half hour direct flight from Gatwick, 40 minutes car ride from airport to the house). Come one year. Bring some art materials and a good sunhat. x
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
lovely - lovely place, lovely post.

Of course Montengro chose to rain on me when I visited, but that's life...
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, you managed to get to Kotor which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

Also, you are alive! Hello! How are things?
Jun. 18th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
I want to visit you!
Jun. 18th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Come visit! T would love it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


deep sky, firefly

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