14th JULY

Sori, 14 July 2015

When 14th July rolls around, my wife and I give each other fond looks and, depending on where we are, we will go out to celebrate. Not, as some readers might think, to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, although the French Revolution behind that act of rebellion was, when all is said and done, a great thing. No, we are celebrating the anniversary of Us Getting Together. This momentous event took place in Corsica, in the Year of our Lord 1975 (goodness me, when I write it down it seems so long ago …). I had gone to visit her in Milan at the end of a tour of Italy (my first), and on the spur of the moment we had decided to go to Corsica – well, she had proposed it and, rather startled but willing, I had agreed; this was the start of what would be a common pattern in our marriage: she proposes and I agree. We took the ferry from Genova to Bastia, and during the trip I had felt rather sea-sick; this was the start of the process of my wife learning a lot of unedifying things about me. After a day in Bastia, we took the Trinichellu (“little train” in Corsican dialect)


which runs from Bastia on the north-eastern coast to Ajaccio on the western coast, passing over the island’s wild and mountainous spine. We got off in Corte, a nice little mountain town in the centre of the island.


We must have walked around the town but actually my only memory of the place is of the restaurant where my wife introduced me to steak tartare, the start of many culinary discoveries for me, courtesy of my wife.


We spent the night in a campground where we shared my rather small tent. And the rest, as they say, is history …

The next day, we took the Trinichellu back to Bastia, to catch the ferry to the mainland. It was 14th July, and that night, hand in hand, we watched the fireworks display. It seemed a fitting commentary on what had just started between us.


Which is why we look at each other fondly every 14th July.


Trinichellu: http://www.lightmediation.net/blog/wp-content/myfotos/train-corse/00000053125.jpg (in http://www.lightmediation.net/blog/index.php/2010/09/27/trinichellu-un-express-bien-corse/)
Corte: http://ajaccio.media.tourinsoft.eu/upload/corte.JPG (in http://www.ajaccio-tourisme.com/commerces-et-services/ORGCOR2AV5008WB-7/detail/corte/office-de-tourisme-de-corte-centru-di-corsica)
Steak tartare: http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/2/2c/Make-Steak-Tartare-Step-8.jpg/670px-Make-Steak-Tartare-Step-8.jpg (in http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Steak-Tartare)
Fireworks: http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/nord-pas-de-calais/sites/regions_france3/files/styles/top_big/public/assets/images/2013/07/13/artifice_2.jpg?itok=1HvQYr8a (in http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/nord-pas-de-calais/2013/07/13/14-juillet-les-feux-d-artifice-du-samedi-287075.html)