Rosaria had finished the exquisite lace on the four porcelain dolls and started to prepare herself for the boat trip to Messina. Once more she overlooked her art works which she had spread along the front of her house, carefully propped up against the facade of those ancient rocks. The lace had an even more intricate pattern than ever before and she was very happy; felt that each one of those dolls was better than the previous ones. She didn’t quite know how that happened except that she felt free to just follow her instincts. Her nature was loath to repeat things and wanted always to feel inspired by something new and different. Not that anything was ever deliberately different or showy. The colourful garments and the lace on top complimented each other. For her each work was a kind of playing and the dolls themselves almost telling her how to move those bobbins. The resulting works were art by accident more than by a deliberate imposition. In any case, Rosario was never worried about this. She just made beautiful lace.
The trips to Sicily were most times done by ferry but Joe decided to just borrow a bigger boat. It was much bigger, had a galley, separate rooms with bedding and all the comforts of a luxury cruiser, even had navigation gadgets that he never sat eyes on before. Rosaria and Joe would surprise their aunt Maria asking her to join them as well. It would be the last trip before the baby was born and aunt was always a joy to be with either on terra firma or at sea. She had kept up her singing voice and often could be heard in the evening when the sultry evening beckoned everyone to be outside. The smell of cooking wafting throughout Gozo with the aroma of lamb and fish, all basted, cooked and infused with rosemary as well. The sun was like a fiery orange ball, sinking in the sea late in the evening with laughter and music slowly fading at last. Gozo slept well during those nights.
If only the Azzopardi family could see it all again. That was not possible. They were truly and well entrenched, and very happily, in the delights of the life style of Rockdale and its many possibilities of improvements. All thanks to Halal and the magic of so many meat solutions.
The porcelain dolls were woken up early when Rosaria packed them in wood shavings and into sturdy carton boxes. Joe reckons the trip would take about 5 hours and had already loaded enough diesel fuel for the return trip. He had also packed enough food, almost as if Messina was getting a feed from Malta now. Sharing of food was of course reciprocal no matter where one went in the Mediterranean. At times, almost a contest who could outdo each other with the giving of meals. Rosaria’s stuffed olives eagerly expected at the gallery where most of the dolls were being exhibited and sold.
A letter was received the previous week in which the gallery had received an order for her dolls from someone from England. His name was Frank Bovims and his wife Wendy, who had their own gallery in London, would take care of the dolls if they were sold. Amazingly it seemed that the dolls had practically sold already. Joe was pleased that his wife was getting such a name for herself. She was the best in more ways than one.
He helped her aboard. While she jumped from the plank she had tucked her skirt in between her legs exposing her shapely thighs. He still fancied throwing a bold peak at her sturdy legs and she knew his way, looked up and smiled back. The still fancying of each other was something they did not take too much for granted. They left late in the afternoon, and at dusk almost halfway, they dropped anchor. Aunt Maria didn’t disappoint, she sang beautiful with the swell of the sea breathing as if pregnant as well. Joe and Rosaria were soon in a deep slumber but not before there had been some hugging and tugging at each other with a loving embrace.
Even in Gozo modern times had arrived. Skype was not just confined to Rosaria and family. Young people would now also be seen with heads bowed down onto a small object with tiny buttons and shiny screens. The pushing of those buttons was often seen as a form of voodoo by some elders, whose comprehension did not really include communicating in such silence. There you go though; this is the way of an even braver world. It even had spread its wings to lovely Gozo.