Thursday, December 4, 2014

Oh no ... sirocco again

Oh no ... it's sirocco again... 

Sirocco, if you haven’t experienced it, is like spending an entire day on the London Underground. You feel irritable, headachy, sweaty and dirty, have a stuffy nose and dusty clothes.

I was at the fruttivendolo this morning, popping veg from the outdoor stalls into my bag. "I hate sirocco," the grocer said. "And you're Sicilian!" I said. "In Ireland we don't get this wind. It drives me CRAZY." He said, "It's bad news for my vegetables. I can't leave them untended outside because they get covered in black, dusty sand." He stopped, as I hesitated, my hand hovering over some luscious green beans. 

That's it: sirocco gets EVERYWHERE. You can't hang your washing outside, unless you want dusty dried clothes. I left a window open by mistake last time and found my piano - my most prized possession - with little piles of sooty sand in the corners. And you need to be careful how you clean it off because sirocco dust scratches. 


Soon, it will rain, and we'll all be driving sand-smeared cars and wondering whether it is safe to clean the sand-streaked windows at home. Because the other thing about sirocco is that it lasts for days. Bringing with it the chemical stink from the refinery across Milazzo bay. Insidious, deadly, foul.

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