Migrants, immigrants and refugees

  Observing the news of the recent tragedy off the coast of Sicily which saw more than 300 people drowned and later other boat loads rescued, I feel obliged to clarify certain terminology which is being misused by journalists. It may seem a bit pedantic in the face of the loss of life but it’s…

Squeezing those grapes

We're well and truly into the swing of Autumn/Fall here in Sicily even if it seems the weather has forgotten what time of year it is and the Sirocco wind is wreaking havoc withering everything it touches. For those unfamiliar with the term Sirocco here's a definition from our friends at Wikipedia: Sirocco, scirocco, /sɪˈrɒkoʊ/,…

The difference between a tourist and a traveller

   I don’t understand why people who have extra money to afford overseas travel, feel obliged to become tourists. There is something blazingly irksome when travel becomes a status symbol. People who travel without any love, desire, passion or preparation for the journey are simply blind. A tourist will pick the most popular, fashionable destinations, book a…

Sicily, how rude!

This past week I’ve had several reminders why I’m such an unwilling expat. Random encounters with rude and ignorant people who in their defensiveness are hurtful. Living in small town Sicily every time I open my mouth it is painfully obvious that I am a foreigner ( here they don’t say, what a lovely accent,…

A funeral, a wedding and a baptism in Sicily

This September has been a sombre month, the end of summer and the prelude to winter it is a transitional period in the cycle of life with the promise of new beginnings. The month began with the funeral of a friend's great grandmother who was the matriarch of the family. Carmela was elderly and she…

Finding your bearings with language

Well, I survived my latest translation job. I have to give it all a read through today and send it off tomorrow. With the aid of a translating program, I ran the science article through to literally translate it word for word and then spent the week going through it all. The pieces of the…

The ‘hen’s night’ Italian style

I’ve always disliked the ardent silliness that goes on at pre-wedding ‘hens’ nights and bachelor parties. In Australia and the UK these night time facades in the past have resulted in cruel practical jokes and lewd conduct that is often regretted the morning after. Thank goodness these types of parties have become a thing of…

First day at the beach

Summer has finally arrived here in Sicily, even if it’s been a chilly summer so far with overcast mornings and rainstorms. We’ve only just been able to put away our long sleeves but they are still within our reach as we are frightened to get a chill. I’m defiantly a lover of the summer and…

Secluded Sicily: Patti

The coastal city of Patti isn’t exactly a typical sleepy little Sicilian town, in the summer it is a buzzing tourist centre and is secured of its importance thanks to the many government offices and organizations that are located there. Patti’s vicinity to other big cities makes it a significant point in the map of…

Secluded Sicily: Sinagra

My journey into sleepy Sicilian places began with my current home, Sinagra. It is the town that my husband and his family adopted as they gradually moved towards the coast away from the once agriculturally rich mountain regions whose decline began after the post world war two period. Sinagra is one of those ancient towns…

The humble water fountain

Italy is a country with an abundance of water, where you find beautifully refreshing water fountains with drinkable water for everyone even in the biggest cities. The result is the beautiful art work that is used to celebrate the gift of water which we can see throughout Italy. The water fountain becomes an elaborate altar,…

Beauty in the details

As you get older I think you begin to appreciate the smaller details of things. I once used to look at the big detailed elements of a work of art like a statue or a church to become absorbed in the whole. It’s easy to become mesmerised by the art work in such a historically…

Praying for the summer to come

I recently looked over some old pictures I took one summer along the coastline in between Capo d’orlando and Brolo in the province of Messina, Sicily and I’ve suddenly had a yearning for the summer. Look and see if you don’t feel the same desire to dive into the waters of summer in Sicily.  

Buono come’ il pane : As good as bread

It is very Sicilian to say someone is as good as bread.There is nothing better or pure and simple as freshly baked bread. Lui e’ buono come pane means he is as ‘good as gold’ as Australians say. Sicilians are less materialistic in their turn of phrase, history has made them humble and appreciate the gift…