We sneaked back to Sicily for a holiday a little while ago. Here’s a list of the best ten things I enjoyed doing again:
Laughing at my husband who had forgotten how to drive a manual car, and how to stay on the right-hand side of the road, and how to keep cool when a vehicle made of cardboard, brown parcel tape and rosary beads was coming at him on the wrong side of the road, via the pavement.
Walking around in a T-shirt because it was 30 degrees centigrade. And recklessly not bothering to take a cardigan with me.
Eating an arancina and panelle, sitting in the street overlooking the beach.
Drinking far more coffee than was good for me, all over the place, and knowing it would be fabulous every time. (Why does coffee in England taste like what I scrape of the bottom of the saucepan after I’ve burnt a curry?)
Watching everyone being really kind and paying attention to my little boy, trying to make him laugh, and generally appreciating that children are important and good company.
Eating a pistachio and olive oil ice-cream at my friend’s bar while having a really good catch up and a laugh together. And then a cup of coffee. And another ice-cream.
Taking my shoes off and walking along the beach on the pebbles with a view of the fishermen’s boats, the blue sky and the craggy coastline.
Shouting really loudly in public without feeling self conscious about it. Actually, one of my friends out-did me in a restaurant, loudly intruducing our table to the waiter by saying “We’re all family here. This lady is English, this (indicating Hubby) is her husband, and I am her lover. And these (indicating friends ranging from 12 to 45 years of age) are our children.”
Throwing open all the windows of my lovely, beautiful, wonderful Sicilian villa and standing on the balconies in the sunshine; and looking out over the lemon orchard; and walking up and down my long marble staircase with loads of room; and sauntering across my airy sitting room; and sitting at my big kitchen table having breakfast; and sleeping in my lovely, huge walnut super-king size bed. (Yes, in case you were wondering, our home in England is too small to swing a cat.)
Having a hilarious dinner party with my two best friends and all their families. The table groaned with roast chicken and chips, panelle made from chick peas and parsely, spleen sandwiches, potato croquettes and Italian beer. Hubby thought I looked particularly beautiful that night, through his neer goggles…
Uncle Pasquale was there too. We just found him in our hand luggage when we unzipped it on the way from the airport. We were so happy! He did all the dishes after we finished eating!
Well, there you go. I thought sicily was mostly about the history and the culture for me, but I realised what I wanted most was to enjoy great food with family and dear friends.
What I miss most about Sicily is the Sicilians.