Imagine my shock and embarrassment when I suddenly realised, after 11 years in Sicily, I had never blogged about Mount Etna! Now I have finished clutching my pearls in horror, I am rectifying this oversight forthwith. Mount Etna is Europe’s largest volcano, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is not only the biggest, but the … More Mount Etna, Europe’s Biggest Volcano
I recently moved back to England, partly because I found my dream job, my life’s calling; and equally so that my son could go to school in peace after his school in Sicily fell down. Now that I am back in England I am realising that the level of pity and sympathy for refugees is … More Why are these refugees coming to Europe anyway?
I had to collect my son from school early on Wednesday of the week before last, because the school fell down. It sounds like the punchline to a cheesy joke, or some schoolboy’s fantasy, but here in the dump of a Sicilian town where I live, it has happened to three other schools already and … More Held to Ransom by the Maternal Mafia
I was chatting on Facebook with a fellow Expat in Sicily recently about how to make children do their homework. I actually don’t think it IS always a good idea. Children need time for hobbies and a social life When my son began school, I used all means possible to make him do his homework, … More Why I am teaching my son to break the rules
Here’s a photo of a road in Sicily which collapsed just ten days after it was built. It’s near Mezzojuso, 25 miles from Palermo. It cost more than Euros 200 million – at least, that’s what the taxpayer forked out for it. The actual materials and work, no doubt, cost far less. I don’t know if … More Schools and Bridges Collapsing in Sicily: Thanks Mafia!
If queue-hopping were an Olympic sport, the Sicilians would win gold every time. Yet recently I beat them at their own game. My son – who lives bravely with chronic Lyme disease – had to have a massive amount of blood tests. We always go to the same clinic, as the people who work there … More How to Queue-hop in front of a Sicilian
At the start of this year, I started home schooling my little lad. I had always thought home schooling was for people who like wearing Medieval clothes and re-enacting the Battle of Hastings in French at weekends, or who have been preparing their child, since before birth, to do a maths degree at Harvard aged … More Dyslexic Home-Schooling Horror Hits the Housewife
“Mummy, why are the baddies English?” my son asked me last week. He was watching “Rio”, a cartoon film about parrots in which the bad parrot, from the Brazilian jungle, inexplicably talks with a very posh English accent. “Well, it’s just one silly cartoon,” I reassured him. Then he listed all the English baddies he … More So you’re Sicilian. Are you in the Mafia?
A wonderful guest post called Sicily vs. England, written for my blog by Pecora Nera, turned out to be so popular that it inspired another great Sicilian blogger, Rochelle Del Borello of Unwilling Expat, to write this article – Sicily vs. Australia – for my blog. ***** The beauty of experiencing different cultures is seeing how they … More Sicily vs. Australia
‘SICILIAN CARD GAMES an easy-to-follow guide’ gives very clear instructions for twelve Sicilian card games, with photographic illustrations. It is the only book of Sicilian card games in print worldwide. Sicily has its own unique deck of playing cards, and lots of games exclusive to the island. Card games are an indispensable part of the … More A new book: SICILIAN CARD GAMES an easy-to-follow guide
Mine does. He’s eight. People often comment on how much he knows about animals and their evolution. A few days ago I was watching a film with him in which this bizarre little animal appeared: “That’s a honey badger,” he told me immediately. “They love eating honey but they sometimes attack lions to steal their … More Does your child know more than you do?
Until recently, in my part of Sicily, owning an iPhone was so cutting edge and high-tech that it was basically one step away from being an astronaut. In a culture where speaking is impossible without bilateral full-arm gesticulation, it was fairly obvious that talking to people using just two thumbs would feel far too restrictive. … More Big Brother Is Watching You
This afternoon we went for a walk around central Palermo. In Piazza Politeama we saw these fellows. The man at the bottom was sitting cross-legged on a glass tumbler. All along Via Ruggiero Settimo there were buskers playing drums and guitars, there were fire-breathers and jugglers, there were men on stilts making balloon animals for the … More Multicultural Sicily: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ridiculous
Throughout early November, the weather here in Sicily is often still warm and summery enough to go for a swim in the sea. We Sicilian housewives are still walking about in our boob tubes and hot pants (or something like that) while our poor fellow Europeans, up in Germany and England, are getting wet and … More Festival of St Martin: Time for Children to Drink Wine and Play with Naked Flames