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…

Gathering wild fennel

It’s the end of August which means the end of summer is here. The reign of warm sunny days is beginning to lose it’s hold over the seasons as intense storms usher in the autumn and eventually winter. The ancient culinary rites which once symbolized the preparation for the harsh winters have already began. Tomatoes…

Postcards from Sicily: Welcome to Messina

Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I'd share some random picture from my holidays, when I get a moment. Here is the warm welcome Messina gives to it visitors arriving on the ferry, an open armed statue of the Virgin Mary greeting and blessing every visitor as they pass into the…

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…

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…

Sinagra from a different perspective

I took a few pictures of my local town Sinagra from a different point of view and of a building that is hidden, tucked deep within the breast of this maternal little town in the province of Messina. I want to share with you these photos that make this sleepy little place seem less haggard…