60. Lapis lazuli necklace
I share with my mother and grandmother a love of necklaces. Each one that I possess has particular associations. The lapis lazuli belonged to my grandmother, Isabella. It is made of round, even sized stones that sit neatly at the nape of the neck. It was a favourite, worn often by of my mother, so I associate it with her. All three generations had a similar taste, none of us caring much for glitter.
Over the years my own choices have become less delicate, and, as my fingers become less agile, the type of fastening is of greater importance. Many of the necklaces have been bought as holiday souvenirs.
61. Elidoro and peridot necklace.
In the Aeolian islands we passed a tempting small jewelry shop on our way to and from the harbour. The owner stood in the doorway and smiled and we soon struck up a conversation. He and his wife were from mainland Italy. Their display of jewelry was beautiful. An amethyst and pearl necklace called me in like a siren's song to a sailor. Each evening on our way back to the hotel we would stop to talk. We learnt that the shop owners were avid followers of the British television series, 'Flog It', and this was a source of amusement and gentle joking between us, along with an ongoing riff that the price of the items on display should drop with each time that we entered the shop. They were a stylish and intelligent couple and our exchanges were wide ranging and enjoyable.
On the last evening of our holiday Peter bought me a necklace of quartz, described by Adrianna, one of the owners, as 'elidoro'. The stones are strung between small beads of peridot.
We had chosen to holiday in the Aeolian Islands after seeing the film 'Il Postino', which was filmed on Panarea. It tells the story of a local man who is hired to deliver post to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who came to live on the island for a while after being exiled from his own country.
We caught the ferry to visit the different islands, walking around patches of bubbling sulphur on the crater of Vulcano, listening to silence on Panarea, and watching from a rocking boat as sparks leapt into the night sky above Stromboli.
The quartz stones on my necklace are rough-cut and irregular, of differing smoky colours. They are a good reminder of the Italian islands, also rough-cut and irregular, a couple of them smoky, and all beautiful.
It is a necklace strung with good memories.