Yes, this package of white powder is mine

Last week I received a summons from the local post office, informing me I must present myself at their offices within an appointed deadline. The card had rubber stamps and a signature and even a RED rubber stamp, which in Italy is downright scary. Our main post office is in the western wing of the…

The Sadness of Sicilians in England

There’s often something forlorn about Italians in England, isn’t there? An air of pathos hangs around them, especially in summer when they are gradually realising that it really, truly isn’t going to stop raining, not today, not before the end of their holiday, not ever. They look tragi-comically out of place, what with their glowing…

Found in Translation

One of the various jobs I did in Sicily was technical translations. I specialised in translating and co-authoring medical textbooks and research papers, and legal documents. You may think this sounds dull but, trust me, they are far more entertaining than regular translations. By doing this job, I learnt that Italian doctors are world leaders…

Where is the Sicilian Housewife?

Hello darlings! Sorry about my very long silence. It has provoked rumours of pregnancy (I am too old, mentally not biologically), lottery winning (I wish!) and falling down a large pot hole in one of Sicily’s main motorways (I just invented that one actually). None of this is true, but… Drumroll…. I am at last…

Sicilian Housewife gives her Husband two Black Eyes

Hubby and I had just flopped blissfully into bed from parenting-induced exhaustion. When our kiddo has a cold, he makes sure the suffering is dished out fairly and evenly among all persons present. I believe some people can finish running a marathon with more energy than we had after a day of making lemon and honey,…

Camping like Tarzan

You 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…

Home at Last!

I’m glad to have survived the heart thing, but surviving that hospital was more miraculous really. It turned into a series of Fear Factor. DAY 1 – Meeting the contestants Smell rating: Gorgonzola You need to read From my Sicilian Hospital Bed if you haven’t read that yet.   There was no bidet or shower…

From my Sicilian Hospital Bed

You might think being in hospital isn’t very funny, but that’s just because you’ve never been in a Sicilian one. A heart condition…. or not? I came in yesterday because my heart was being naughty. Apparently I have ventricular tachycardia, which is the same arrhythmia that makes professional footballers drop dead right after winning an…

Into which orifice do I stick this?

In the UK, where I come from, medicine is something you swallow. In Italy, you cannot leave the doctor’s surgery with a prescription in your hand before asking the immortal question, “Into which orifice do I stick this?” Seriously, it could be any one of them. Over the years I have been prescribed things to…

Loafing around in Sicily’s Gingerbread Village

The people of San Biagio Platani, a village in the Agrigento province of south-western Sicily, have celebrated Easter every year since the 1700’s by decorating their streets with arches and towers made of bread. The entire community spends three months turning the place into a gingerbread village… yet Hansel and Gretel never come!   For…

A Rough Start for the Rough Guide to Sicily

  So, what’s it like to earn your living by going on holiday? Jules Brown, author of The Rough Guide to Sicily, describes his very first hilarious trip to Sicily especially for my blog. He has written stacks of travel guides, but Sicily was his first and, he says, still his favourite  – despite how…

How to Queue-hop in front of a Sicilian

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 has a massive amount of blood tests. We always go to the same clinic, as the people who work there are my friends. One of the men looks exactly like Johnny…

How authentic an Italian are you?

Originally posted on Englishman in Italy:
I asked Mrs Sensible if I could pass for an Italian, not a chance she said, you don’t dress like an Italian, you don’t think like an Italian and even the Italian words you know, sound funny when you use them. To prove her wrong I have put together…