Saturday, 15 June 2013
Corsica Bound: Diary of Departure: 6
I start reading ‘The Swansong of Wilbur McCrum’ by Bronia Kita. It’s set in the Wild West and our hero is first encountered dressed in women’s clothes, shot and drowning in a well. As he drowns his life flashes before him and he recounts the peculiar events that led him there. It’s a winsome concoction, picaresque and addictive. If the Coen brothers hadn’t done things so definitively with ‘True Grit’ they’d surely be all over this dark comedy caper.
We visit a local vineyard to stock up on our favourite Rose wine. Clos Landry is a pale, dry ’gris’ that after a lot of testing we’ve judged the best on the island. We have a free tasting, buy a box and move on to Calvi having arranged to meet up with Steve and Jane to do a late afternoon walk. Occi is a deserted village perched perched spectacularly above the gulf of Calvi. We park up in Lumio and ascend the rocky path towards a village that was deserted over one hundred years ago.
The village well dried up and the hour ‘s walk down into Lumio and back became a trudge so the locals debunked, downhill to a less dry, less spectacular abode. We sit above the ruins and the view is spectacular: the shimmering bay of Calvi through the silhouetted ruins; if you lean in you can hear the ancient voices, the children running through the streets, the sheep and goats running wild within the confines of the walled village. Eerie and evocative, this is a special place. We bask in the sun before descending and I recognize this as one of life’s great therapeutic pleasures; absorbing the day’s last redemptive rays. The warmth of the sun is something we haven’t enjoyed since our last visit in September and we can feel the healing.
Back down the hill in no time and I drive the four of us back to the house where we shower and share a late supper: a starter of Parmigiani and bread, – baked aubergine in a tomato sauce with anchovy fillets, melted mozzarella, parmesan and basil, (which Di inevitably dribbles all down the front of her party dress) followed by sautéed chicken fillets in parsley butter with balsamic chips, salad and more of that garlicky aioli. Lots of red. Cheese of Brebis and Chevre served with with fig jam and a desert of almond chocolate and brandy. Knackered and pissed we convince our guests to sleep over.
Ipod: We fall asleep to the strains of Daniel Barenboim playing Beethoven Piano Sonatas. I wish we’d had this music up in Occi, it would have been perfect.
Song of the day: Sonata number 15: ‘Pastoral’.