Now my second pirate book is out, people ask me constantly about Johnny Depp. Honestly. I've never cared about those Caribbean pirates, nasty lot that they were. What's the Caribbean ever done for anyone? Well, OK, if you're a British pop star you have holidays there and, sure, there is the cricket team. And Bob Marley. But through most of history, especially since European contact, it's been a place of misery and greed.
Now I accept that there are pockets of the Mediterranean that have also had their moments. But isn't it much more interesting? Phoenicians. Greeks. Romans. Venetians. Sophia Loren.
Mediterranean pirates, like my imaginary ones, got caught up in all sorts of fascinating regional and religious conflicts, wore better clothes than Blackbeard (at least if they were Knights of Malta or Barbary captains) and God knows they ate better.
This evening on the ferry I finished Chris Stewart's third book on his Spanish life, The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (lovely read, too), went to the shop to buy pesto and cannellini beans; drove home past the olive groves to our little Spanish-inspired mudbrick home overlooking the grapevines; helped myself to some Turkish extra virgin olive oil (organic), Greek olives, and crusty French bread while I made spaghetti (Italian import) bolognese (with rosemary, bay leaves and a splash of cab sav).
Sadly, while I ponder my pseudo-Mediterranean existence, it's hailing outside, the wind is whipping right off Antarctica and heading straight towards the island, ripping the apple blossom off the trees. They've had the helicopters hovering over the vines down south to stave off the frost.
But if only I could top off the day with a Maltese pastizzi, or a Moroccan orange syrup cake and a glass of mint tea, I could at least pretend a little longer.
Where would we be without the Mediterranean? Even Johnny Depp lives there.