84 Days

84 Days until Sicily

I have been blogging for around 20 years. I blogged all the way through IVF, every minutia of it. And I blogged my way through a psychiatric hospital stay. Every single moment of it. So, it’s only right that I blog my way through the BIG TRIP.

Unlike the big 6-month trip of 1997, it feels like this time there’s a bit to lose. Jeff and I are older, like, almost double our age back then. Is it the second Saturn Return?

When I turned fifty-three, I had this feeling that said, this is your time now. It’s about to be great. And then we went to Sicily last August, and I knew exactly what that feeling was about.

I’ve posted about the trip HERE.

I am a person who has never “needed” family. Welcomed it, but I didn’t need it to fill my cup. Jeff aside, obviously. But the trip back, for two weeks, had us planning our return six months later, to stay almost three months. It’s the silliest thing I’ve done.

We have a house on a farm just out of town. Are about to organise a car. A friend is staying at the house to look after the cats and the dogs will go to my parents.

What the fuck do we think we’re doing?

But I fit there. Not 100%. I’m a contrarian, and we get into mischief. But one of my cousins is also a contrarian so… And I don’t care if people talk behind my back about silly things like dust in the house or that I’m vocal or whatever. I like efficiency, especially when it comes to bureaucracy, and that isn’t even on the long list of what’s important in Italy, let alone Sicily. I mean, the internet might drop out for a week. And I won’t be able to get the Costco toilet paper I like. And Amazon may not have next day delivery.


I’m trying not to picture it too much, to avoid disappointment when it doesn’t look exactly as I’d imagined. I’m not trying to protect myself; I’m just trying to say:

Let it be what it is.

Which goes against everything I believe. But I do have some ideas that I’m prepared to fantasise about. Like how great I’ll be at lighting fires in wood fire ovens, but also that I’ll have some permanent scars. I’m going to serenade Jeff on guitar, poorly, but better by the end of it. I want to take a photo a day at the same time from the terrace looking into Rosolini. I want to sit around the kitchen table and talk shit, maybe even play cards again. I know we’ll be going to fresh markets in Catania and Pozzallo for fish, and to the ricotta maker for fresh sheep’s cheese curds in hot whey with day old hard Sicilian bread. I’ll go to Bar Taormina for a granita, maybe once a week, to keep it special.

But where does one get firewood? And how about water, can we drink it? Is there a water heater? And gas and electricity, how do you arrange that shit? Will I need to stock a pantry? Fun but oh shit.

Do they even have toasters in Sicily?

And what about medical cannabis? What if something happens to the animals? To my parents?

What if it’s nothing like I hoped, and everyone hates me and it’s a horrible experience?