Camping like Tarzan

books-tarzan-1You may have noticed I’ve fallen quiet lately. This was partly because I hoped you’d miss my witty tales of derring do around Sicily so much you would decide to buy my hilarious novel to fill the void. It was mainly because the electricity keeps getting cut off.

The electricity has been cut off 42 times since my last blog post. The longest was 12 hours and, with no air conditioning, my son and I put on our swimming costumes and spent eight hours in the sea in order to stave off certain death. By the end of this time, I had gone red, peeled and gone white again, burnt red, and peeled white once more. The kiddo, on the other hand, like a proper Sicilian had gone so dark that a couple of volunteers hauled him out of the water probably thinking he had just bobbed over from Libya.

I gave him an ice-lolly and threw him back.

Well, apart from having no air conditioning, may I tell you what happens in Sicily when the electricity gets cut off?

First off, you have no water. Our water doesn’t come from the mains under the pressure of a water tower. Oh no! Sending water to houses by gravity was used by the Ancient Romans and it’s old hat nowadays. Instead we have the water delivered to us by a succession of electric pumps under the road, which push it along the pipes.

I always thought that connecting electrical apparatus to water was scientifically risky, but I was never much good at science in school. In fact the only way I could tell the difference between Chemistry and Physics was that if Randy Richardson was writing on the board it was chemistry, whereas it was Physics if Slimy Lipscombe was applying cream to his warts between strangely fondling coloured wires tipped with crocodile clips.

They both talked about atoms and electrons all the time. They both delivered the devastating news that solid objects are actually made almost entirely of nothing but empty space (I lost a lot of sleep over that) and they both wrote a great deal of odd stuff on the board that reminded me of people swearing in comic strips. You &/H∑Φ)$/”∇→µϖ=$⇒)=”^?!!! kind of stuff.

So, obviously I know nothing about science and it is absolutely fine to have live electrical wires embracing leaking pipes full of water all around town, and indeed connected to all my metal taps so that it knows when I turn one on.

Except when there’s no electricity, of course. We keep buckets of cold water lying around so we can flush the loo medieval style and vaguely pretend to wash our hands in them. Our loo has no window so we have to leave the door slightly open and yodel like Tarzan to keep unwanted intruders at bay.


The second thing that happens is, of course, that you cannot cook anything in your microwave, which is the only civilised way to cook at these temperatures.

Since it’s about 40 degrees most of the time, the third thing that happens is that the fridge-freezer transforms into a slow cooker. Whatever was in it will be cooked and ready to eat by dinner time. Maybe that negates item number two?

After this, the nerves start rising because we cannot have air conditioning. The thing that makes the electricity cut itself off in the first place is the hotter than usual heat.

Yes folks. We all like to criticise and laugh at the pathetic English who go into social breakdown when it snows and cancel all transport, schools and Christmas pantomimes at the first sign of a white flake. Yet the Sicilians are no better. Just wait for August and 40 degrees centigrade, and the island turns Neolithic. No electricity, no water, no i-Tunes.

This is when the real Tarzan would be such an asset. I mean the book Tarzan, not the film Tarzan who bears no resemblance to him, and who made Tarzan’s creator Edgar Rice Burroughs cringe.


Book Tarzan is so sexy I might cause another heat-induced power cut just thinking about him.

Book Tarzan has magnificently elegant aristocratic manners, by instinct, because he is by birth an English Lord. Sometimes he takes Jane over to his vast, fabulously wealthy Greystoke estates in England for a holiday, to let her eat with his silver cutlery and have monkey sex in one of his four-poster beds. He can learn to speak any foreign language as well as a native speaker in just eight weeks. By book three he speaks several different dialects of Arabic as well as Russian, most European languages and a few African ones.

But he speaks English wiz a sexy French accent because ‘e first learned English wiz a French Man in ze jungle. And ‘e cannot drop ze accent because zat would be less sexy.


Book Tarzan also happens to have the most magnificently rippling expanse of chocolate-brown, succulent chest muscles any woman could dream of fondling (or licking, because he’s not hairy), and a fabulous streak of silky black hair down to his waist that flies out behind him when he is whizzing through the trees.

In the books he never uses vines. How camp! Instead he swings on his arms and flies from one branch to the next, like a gibbon. A handsome gibbon.

He usually swings to the rescue of ladies – for yes, girls, he is such a gentleman that he cannot see a woman, any woman, slighted or insulted in any way without avenging her. And this always involves baring his chest, sooner or later, and wrestling a lion bare-handed.

Here’s Indian Tarzan from Bollywood. He’s even more of an imbecile than Johnny Weissmuller. No use whatsoever in a power cut.

His physical prowess as a sportsman is outdone only by his dazzling intellect. He has read thousands of books, having first taught himself to read by finding a children’s first reader lying about in the jungle and figuring it out for himself. There is literally nothing he is not brilliant at. He is a proficient guitarist and singer, dancer and conjurer, and he writes moving poetry. Including love poems. He knows how ships work and can mend them at sea to save the lives of everyone. He takes up a job as a spy from time to time. In between being aristocratic and naked, that is.

If you haven’t read the original Tarzan books, you absolutely need to. (But after you have read my one, of course).

So anyway, what do I want book Tarzan to do for me?

First I want him to make me a gravity-powered shower.

Then I want him to sling me onto his back and swing through the palm trees all the way from my house to the beach. There, he can use a couple of trees to make me a well-ventilated shady hut.

Then I want him to recite me a couple of love poems to distract me from the fact that I feel too darn hot and have sand stuck all up my legs.

After that he can pick a few things for dinner and roast me a beast on the beach as well.

And finally I want him to phone ENEL, the Italian electricity company, and tell them in fluent Sicilian to buck their ideas up and make the electricity come back permanently, or else he’ll release a lion into their head office.

Actually, now I come to think of it, I don’t really need Tarzan. I’m pretty sure my Hubby could manage all that.

He may not ‘ave ze French accent…. but de Italian one isa even more sexy, donna you thinka?

Have you read it yet?

Buy it on

Buy it on

It’s available in paperback and Kindle on all Amazon websites worldwide

front cover

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    YUMMY TARZAN! (I’ve read like, 9 books)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s about how many I’ve read, too. I am secretly in love with Book Tarzan!
      I wish they’d make HIM into a film…..


      1. Anna says:


        Liked by 1 person

      2. And handsome, Don’t forget handsome!


  2. T. Franke says:

    Once Sicily will have managed to become an orderly society with stable electric supply, the tourist office will have to insist on cutting off electricity from time to time to give the tourists the proper Sicily feeling … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha haaaa! Though I don’t think there’s any danger of that happening any time soon! Unless they put my Tarzan in charge of sorting it out, of course…. 😉


  3. Rosaria in Florida/Michigan says:

    Jane, you are hilarious. From what I’ve seen, the Siculs have little respect for electricity and the feeling is mutual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀
      Very true. They certainly have no fear of it, the way they leave live wires dangling about all over the streets and from their houses. Maybe that’s just because they know the wires don’t often actually have any current in them….


  4. Jan Walcott says:

    veronica, i did indeed buy your book not only in paperback (so i coukd loan it out and get others hooked on your blog), but also on my kindle. Last summer when we were in Scicli in a lovely rented apt, the water suddenly stopped flowing just as my sister -in-law was shampooing. The landlord tried to say that we had exceeded our maximum for the week, but i informed him we had been taking navy showers and not cooking in the unit. After a day it came back on. There were no warnings that this might occur, so we subsequently bought a large plastic container that would hold enough to rinse one’s Hair if it occured again. Should have read your blog more closely instead of concentrating on just the driving tips!,,

    Love the book and have reviewed on amazon. Still plan to return tp SIcilia….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was a bit “off” of your landlord. In hotels and rental properties they usually invest in a fancy, very large reserve tank to avoid such discomfort.
      If you come again I can recommend some very nice rental properties indeed (and I know the landlords, who are also extremely nice).
      Anyway, I really hope you are enjoying the book! 😉


  5. I can’t believe we both wrote senza utilities blog posts on the same day! You will love the apparent reason for our lack of water-theft of the copper wiring to power the generators! I guess I should be glad we still have electricity. This seems to happen once a year, always just before our festa Patronale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I laughed out loud when I saw your post, it was the very moment I had just posted mine! (Not laughing at your suffering, you understand.)
      Theft of copper wire – mad!!!!!
      I do hope you get your water back on soon, so you can enjoy the festa without too much communal B.O. !!!!


  6. onomatopoeicbliss says:

    Ewwwww, bad timing😐 Everyone’s freaked out over here about men hunting lions!👀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, Cecil’s been on the news here too.
      Meanwhile we’re all freaked out and completely bewildered over why and how Americans can fuss so much over one African lion, when we’ve got about 1,000 more African humans every day who need food, clothes and medical help.
      Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people cared about humans as much as they care about Cecil?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m puzzled. Not by Tarzan, obviously, the whole hunk of man that he clearly is. Or gay. One or the other. You decide. But by the ability of Sicilians to determine that it’s hot in summer. A peope who only take their fur coats off in June, or possibly July if the mercury is staying stubbornly below 25 degrees.,


    1. Well, I think they keep all the warm stuf on till the very last minute so that when August comes, they are toughened up to the heat. Even I have started doing that myself. It’s a pity it doesn’t actually work!!! Anyway ‘scuse me, I am just off to turn on the air-con……

      Liked by 1 person

  8. marianna raccuglia says:

    No water, no electricity, no air equals no patience! Bought three of your books from Amazon. I am reading “Evil Eye” first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You guessed it – I am sometimes not very calm about the power cuts!
      I hope you enjoy all the books! 😀


  9. Malla Duncan says:

    Sicily sounds like the way South Africa is going. We have ‘load-shedding’ when electricity disappears for a couple of hours a day, depending where you live across the country. This is because the infrastructure is old and falling apart and nobody thought this would happen. We also just cannot complete a major new coal power station – just – cannot – complete – (20+ billion over budget). Water is still with us – although has a tenuous future because rain is diminishing and they haven’t thought of anything else. Luckily, in general, we have a fairly temperate climate so household air-con is not really necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s scary when you see a vital infrastructure that is hanging on but at risk of disappearing…. makes you realise how tenuous our grip on civilisation and comfort really is, it doesn’t take much to bring the whole thing to an end.
      I always think that, when looking at ancient ruined Mediterranean cities which were once the flourishing centre of massive empires. All it took was one little setback to end the whole thing. Or te worst example was ancient Persia, once a vast green oasis because of their irrigation network covering about 5 modern countries which was not maintained for 15 years because of war…. result: the Middle East has been a desert ever since.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Diane C says:

    I bought your book (on, btw – I vote for to run this country or at the very least Telecom. They send what they say they will when they say they will… What a concept!). I LOVED it! I got the honest to goodness actual book so I could read it in our lukewarm Sicilian bathtub which is cooler than sitting in front of the lame *ss unit that passes for AC in this house. If you ever feel like a drive up into the hills,you are welcome in Cianciana any time – not that it is any cooler here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the book makes you laugh out loud in your bath of tepid water!!! 😀
      And I would LOVE to come down to Cianciana. I will definitely organise that as soon as I am in slightly better health. How long are you over here before heading off?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Diane C says:

        We are here until the end of August with a short sojourn out east. If it doesn’t work for you this summer, we’ll be back again and would love to have you visit!


  11. maristravels says:

    What an advert for your book. I’m straight on to Amazon to order it, and thanks to Rochelle for guiding me to your sie. Another fan sighed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll love it! 😀


  12. janettoms says:

    Can feel the heat rising – both temperature and passion!


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