Why hone in on a particular period of one's life above others? We also lived in Pakistan, Bahrein and Libya. But it is to this period, when I was between 5 and 10 years of age, that my mind inexorably returns.
Here the famous Mushtamal patio with the fountain and the vine arbours, the building itself just visible, with overhanging balcony which ran along the whole length of the house, from which each upper room was accessed. The trees - palm and orange tantalisingly in the background - but hidden away at the right, at the back of the house,a massive white mulberry tree which leant over the outdoor stairs, from which you might be lucky enough to pluck a ripe fruit.
When Mum and Dad (I raise a glass to your memory) were out, Carmel served me spagetti, with tomato sauce from a bottle, right there...
The simple, uncomplicated, satisfying demi-paradise
of my happy youth.