Run, cinghiale, run!

   I’m surrounded by people who love the sport of hunting. What’s a poor passive greenie like me supposed to do? There’s nothing much I can do, other than hoping whatever game is being pursued gets away and everyone comes home empty handed. This year it seems everything is going well for the animals and I’m…

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, it’s…

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…

Why do Sicilians fear Air conditioning?

I recently met a lovely Canadian lady who was complaining about the lack of air conditioning in Sicily. I had totally forgotten why Sicilian’s and Italian’s in general are so anti artificial cooling systems in the summer. I have passed through so many humid summers it must have fried my memory when it comes to…

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,…