Nobody but my niece Tess knows this, but in the second Swashbuckler! book there is a long sequence where the pirate crew goes into the Inland Sea - and today I did. It's a crack in the rock on the smaller island of Gozo, and you zoom through in a fishing boat (you don't row, lucky I checked) and the cliffs a sheer on either side and the water is... actually there's not a word for it... it's not electric blue, and azure doesn't even come close, it's just Impossibly Blue, that's all, and so clear you can see the coral forty feet down. I was in a little fishing boat with a grin from ear to ear (me, not the boat), although Max the fisherman told me I was crazy because you're supposed to do the research before you write the books. Thanks Max. And can I go visit his Aunty Maria in Springvale next time I'm home. She probably lives next to my Aunty Maureen.
Someone should really pay tribute to the Maltese Mullet (hairdo, not fish), and it may as well be me. It begins at the front with the short spiky Robbie Williams-style sticking up hair so beloved of eight year old boys and lesbians the world over, then cascades down to the shoulders, which are slouching rather theatrically. So far seen only on young men, some even verging on Rod Stewart circa 1976, but last night I went to see Kingdom of Heaven with about 300 of them, and they cheered so loudly for Orlando Bloom I have high hopes that he may inspire a comeback of long flowing locks. The Maltese are after all Crusader stock.
Trip notes continue here.