|Fort St Elmo - http://schoolnet.gov.mt/tanti/Panoramic_Malta2.html|
But his name is one all Maltese people recognise - and it is known to be a name closely associated with Malta. Why? The pictures might give you a clue: it's Fort St Elmo, one of the many sites belonging to the island's historic patrimony. It is built of limestone, and is so old, it seems to rise from the bedrock as part of the headland's own substance.
The bastions were built by the Knights of Malta, and form part of the fortifications that give the capital, Valletta, its unique appearance. Whether you come upon it from the air, over the crystaline Mediterranean water, or on foot through the narrow Valletta streets, Fort St Elmo is a memorable sight: one that is not easily filed away together with a hundred snaps from various other tours, trips and voyages.
This is what the name Elmo conjures for anyone who has been there - or, like me, grown up with. It is a considerable legacy, this harking back to when the island was beseiged by the fleets of the Ottoman Empire, and the Knights of the Order of St John, together with valiant Maltese soldiers, fought off the enemy from these strange but formidable battlements.
The next time you hear the name Elmo mentioned, you might attach the image you see above, and others you might look up, together with the eternal story of wars fought in the Mediterranean Sea, to the fluffy red one already in your mind.
Is this amazing monument to the ingenuity of the Knights mentioned in my books? It is included as a location in my current work in progress, whose title is still under wraps, and might emerge in a couple of years as part of a new novel. For the time being, I am still excited about my forthcoming thriller, According to Luke, of which you have heard more than enough for now!