Beyond the Ghibli - A MEMOIR by Vicki Crowley
As she traces her personal journey from childhood to womanhood, visual artist Vicki Crowley’s memories are as detailed and colourful as the collected labels of the Xuereb family’s business products displayed on the inner cover of her book.
She describes how life was in Malta during and after WW2 and, how after a long voyage across the Mediterranean and down the Red Sea, together with her mother and brother, she was reunited with her father in Eritrea.
An idyllic period in Asmara was cut short when a family tragedy caused the family to tranfer to Benghazi, Libya which became their home base until the Ghaddafi regime took over the country.
During the time of the discovery of major oil fields in Libya, a chance meeting with her future husband during a Ghibli storm, was to change her life. After their marriage in Benghazi, the couple went on to live in Malta, Gibraltar, Sierra Leone and Cameroon where Don Crowley’s engineering contracts took them.
The author’s commentary about life in S. Europe and various parts of Africa during the 40s, 50s and 60s give a rare insight on prevailing customs, traditions and conditions which she observed and recorded. Often living in isolated areas in the African bush, she home-schooled her children and cared for a menagerie of orphaned animals. There were, however, real dangers that presented from time to time, such as a coup d’état in Sierra Leone, poisonous snakes and malaria, which finally prompted a final move to the West of Ireland in 1970.
Vicki's new book can be purchased at Kenny's Bookshop, Galway and Charlie Byrne Bookstore, Galway