Tonight is the night of shooting stars and midnight swims. It is a clear, balmy night with a full moon, cloudless and wind free. There are stars, lots of them, but none moving, or at least not whilst I am looking. Nothing new there.
How many times have we walked to our favourite look out point high above the Bay of Jeranto beyond the pine woods of Monte San Costanzo. We would sit on the hill side, eating olives and sipping wine, staring upwards, cricking our necks, in the hope of seeing at least one star shooting across the sky.
Sometimes we were lucky, and a wish was expressed, often we were not. Some of us (not me) were more lucky than others, or just more concentrated, and a shout would go up and we would all stare a little harder.
And then we would make our way back through the pines, trying not to trip over the roots in the dark (torch use was discouraged), before walking back down the hill into the village of Termini where a bowl of pasta would be waiting for us at the local trattoria.