"The Art of Feeling Good" Zejtun by ray_d
Zejtun Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 7 photos
3 pm. Sun is hot, hotter than a snake's arm-pit. It is still a bad time to be out in the heat and the old cliché of "Only Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" extends right up to 3 pm.
Saint Thomas Bay is at the south end of the island. A minute open bay with a part rocky, part sandy beach.
It is also called "Ir-Ramla taz-Zejtun" in Maltese, or " Zejtun's sandy beach.
Zejtun is the closest large town, as well as my birth-place.
38 years ago no tourist ever went to St Thomas bay. At the time, only I and very few others could be bothered walking the 3 Km to swim in the clear blue-green waters.
That time was different, that time I was 11 years old, marginally talented as a hunter of Octopi and a Sea-urchin specialist.
At that time, for young boys, it was normal to do things without supervision. No one worried on your safety for that 3 Km meandering through fields and cart-tracts in fading darkness of dawn.
Life was simple then!
At 5 am I would wait for the baker to pull the first batch out of the wood-fired oven. A half penny baught you a kilo loaf. Tucking it under my arm I would , absent-mindedly, pull the soft hot bread from where this loaf was attached to its neighbour and progressively give myself a belly-ache.
A bag, my favourite, made out of sack cloth, held my ragged flipper and "Acuasub" mask that was my pride and joy. A large Tuna Fish-hook wired and brazed to a foot-long steel rod, with the end bent into a handle was my tool; A Wine-bottle cork protected the sharp point.
I suppose we grew up with a large dose of self-sufficiency then. Walking, talking and debating my young life's problems I would hop over a rubble wall for a spring-onion or a tomatoe from another.
A known tree is watched for ripening Pomegranates but the first thunder-storm, which is the day of ripening is far off in September, but one can always hope. The rest of the contents were a can of "Bully Beef" and a small corked bottle of olive oil and another with water.
It is 3 pm. the sun was hot but the sea is cool. Sun sparks and sparkles off the corrugations of the breeze-ruffled water. I lie facing the crumbling chalk-cliff. The breeze bounces off the water and courses over my face, tumbles in my ears before falling onto the heat eddies on my back and wrapping around my thigh and legs.
It trickles down to the ankles and soles to furrow between the toes. It leaves the body relaxed and I await the next one, presently, teasing the glinting tips of the playful wavelets.
I am 49 now and I never feel more alive than when I sit at this place, at 3 pm on a hot summer's afternoon.
A hollowed bread with a squashed tomatoe soaked in olive-oil and spring inions for taste.
My catch in my bag hanging in the water for freshness and just feeling the tiny hairs on my face feel the fingers of wind play me.
It is as if I had never left.
There is no reason for feeling good. It just happens.
- Pros:a place where memories are made
- Cons:Transport is not around the corner
- In a nutshell:beautifully isolated
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