The paper tourniquet tightened around my neck as ‘the cutter’ sharpened the carbon-tempered steal blades behind me. This man was an expert with 10 instruments of choice laid on a formica topped cabinet in front of me. I was trapped with nowhere to go in a seat that had more tales to tell than I would like to remember. Had Tracy double-crossed me? Was I in a Godfather based dream? Would it be over quickly? I was in Southern Sicily, a place more than any other in Europe where the cold blade is the weapon of choice, where not only fish swim in the sea. The Cutter now came close behind me and smiled using the reflection in the mirror to size me up. He spoke in broken English, ‘Would you like shampoo as well?’ And there started my hairdressing experience in the ‘Sala da Barba’.
This man had 11 pairs of scissors of all different sizes and shapes, he had 5 different trimmers all with varying blade lengths. He continually swapped cutting implements in and out of his top pocket as he worked. This man had every conceivable hair grooming product, and I was his only customer. He used every single implement he had on giving me a haircut and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It felt great to have my hair cut by somebody with a bit of pride and a whole lot of skill. Beats getting cut by some deadbeat whose only tool is a hair trimmer bought on amazon the day before.
But this is just another example of the quality you can get here in Sicily, whether it be the food, the wine, the warmth of the people. It is a bit like growing up in 60’s England when individuals ran business rather than corporations. Hurry here before it changes. So a few pictures of my haircut.
The Salon You can just see the rows of scissors
We had spent the night before in Modica. We said we would return and we did. The weather was forecast to be bad and it was and tipped it down all day and most of the night. This is no excuse for not getting out of the Homie and filling up the tanks with water and this we did on the prom in Sampiere. We used the town fountain and it took bloody ages and predictably I got soaking wet.
Filling up. Our ‘spot’ is by the white building on the left
Modica 18/02 -19/02/2016
The weather put a bit of a scupper on our plans to finish off the things we missed in Modica the first time around but it did allow us to get our washing done in a launderette. That evening we went to a rustic restaurant in Modica where we scoffed some traditional mountain food which obviously included chocolate for dessert. Next morning we went for a walk around the town and re-stocked our chocolate supplies. We managed to demolish an orange flavoured bar before hitting a supermarket and back to the beach for some forecast sunshine.
Next morning the sun was shining as predicted and we settled down for a hot weekend. Stakes were out of the fridge, the beers were in the fridge and the chairs were facing the sun and the sea. So what could go wrong? Nothing really; unless you call the invite from the chap who owns the beach bar we are parked by to come and join him and his friends for a BBQ. So there we are in mid-February sitting out on the beach to the sun goes down eating home-made sausages, drinking wine ‘from a mate’ and listening to Heinz and the Tornados playing ‘Telstar’. He also gives us a free run of the beach bar for water and anything else we might need. A great day.
Sunday was more of the same really, sitting in the sun, fruit-based beverages for the ladies, beer for the men and some prime beef on the Barbie. We did have a walk along the beach where we saw this chap exercising his horse.
So that just leaves today where we have been for a bike ride along the cycle way to Marina and back. One of the things that is advertised here in Italy compared to a lot of other countries we have visited is the announcement of death. As Italy has a new government every week I initially thought they were posters for forthcoming elections. But then I started to notice most of the notices had a crucifix on them and realised they must be for something else as not every politician is as honest Mr Berlusconi in Italian politics. The notices are lovely and usually say a little about the person and sometimes have poetry. They all tell you the time of the funeral and often they have a picture of the deceased person. What a lovely idea. Picture.
Tomorrow we are going to travel around a few of the places used in the Montalbano series and head up the coast for a bit. With just over two weeks to go before we leave Sicily we are feeling a smite sad and wonder if mainland Italy is going to be as good as this. We will leave you with a picture of the bay.
Love to all