I have just published a new book about living in Sicily.
It includes all the usual adventures, among them the time we were in an earthquake, some thoughts on the Sicilian language and whether it will survive, and a debate on the fact that in Sicily you can buy really, I mean really really large bags of pasta sold especially for your dog to eat.
So, it’s all quite literary stuff.
The book is my secret diary from 2012. Most of it has never been published online and I added some extra special content.
But why did I keep it hidden for so long? Before starting this blog on WordPress, I began an earlier incarnation back in 2012 on a blog service provided by Google.
In case you’re wondering how old-fashioned this so-called “Blogspot” was, the background of the whole page was not only coloured in mid-brown, but it was actually textured with a hessian effect. Some of the hyperlinks were made to look like buttons, little rectangles with 3D effect edges for you to “virtually” click on with your mouse. It was already obsolete-looking before I got started, but I did not know about the snazziness of WordPress and the alternatives available. I was a blogging novice.
Things sadly went downhill rapidly when I logged in one day and found that the whole page was blank, but for a vertical string of letters going down the very right hand side of my screen. It was an entire blog post displayed as if it were Japanese.
I could have scrolled for days, as the blog post was several miles long in that format. It was impossible to alter and impossible to write anything – at least to write anything that I could see. A few weeks later I was unable to log in at all. Then, I started to receive sporadic emails asking me if I authorised surprisingly named personalities to be co-owners of my blog. Still unable to log in, and having established there is no such thing as Google customer service (what can you expect when you pay nothing?), I had no way to refuse.
And thus my Google blog became a party and I was joined by authors Gertie Gasbag, Wang Chang, Wing Chang, Mabel Maple and Donald Dog. And many more.
Meanwhile I was so keen to keep writing that I wrote my diary and emailed it to a select few friends and family for the whole of 2012. One of them wrote back after a memorable email, saying it had made him laugh so hard he snorted his chateau cardboard red wine all over his keyboard.
I received a message from Google earlier this year telling me that the entire Blogspot venture is going to be erased from the history books. Apparently Google regrets it as much as I do. All Blogspot blogs will be deleted forever.
What to do with those witty blog posts and emails? I asked myself. Well, why not turn them into a new book?
Here it is.
And yes, that is me on the cover smoking a wooden spoon and taking a call on the iron. Boy did I need that glass of tomato passata after a hard day pretending to be a housewife!
All the reviews on Amazon so far have given it 5 stars (out of 5!) and the Times of Sicily described me as “A joy to read” so I think you can’t go too far wrong with it.
You can buy your copy on any Amazon website worldwide.