2012 in pictures

Well, this is my 100th blog post and it’s the end of the year so I thought I should do some kind of retrospective. It’s been a very different year from 2011, when I lived in Shanghai. Here are some aspects of 2012 that I managed to document in between moments of actually living my … Continue reading

Derelict buildings in Siracusa

There were loads of derelict buildings in Siracusa. They were beautiful, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. This is by no means an exhaustive collection.


My last few days in Sicily were very fun. On Saturday, Aisling and I went to Licata to see our new friends who are living on a boat there and putting together an anarchist opera. (We met them through a shared admiration of a cherub-encrusted cigar holder at the antique market in Siracusa a few … Continue reading


Last year I lived on the 25th floor of a skyscraper in Shanghai. This was the view from my flat: Now I live in Siracusa, Sicily. This is the view from my flat: Next year: TBC.

Necropolis of Pantalica

The Necropolis of Pantalica is on a plateau surrounded by canyons, and houses over 5,000 tombs dating from the 13th to the 7th century BC. I went there at the end of a hectic week, totally exhausted, but was woken up temporarily by the insanely beautiful views and a picnic by the turquoise river with … Continue reading


Museo Archeologico

Living in a city full of major archaeological sites is not doing anything to quash my delusions that I am, in fact, Indiana Jones. Ah, so he’s a fictional character, and a male one at that – these facts do not stop archaeology students writing ‘love you’ on their eyelids and blinking at me as … Continue reading

Puppet Museum

When I first moved to Siracusa in February, I lived on Piazza San Giuseppe, home of the Museo dei Pupi (Puppet Museum). For some reason I never actually went inside until I moved to my current flat (okay, it’s less than ten minutes’ walk away…) and had visitors who wanted to go. It was €3 … Continue reading


My parents visited recently and we went on a trip to Ragusa. People kept recommending the place – everyone from the guidebooks to my students said I should visit Ragusa Ibla, the old town, while I’m in Sicily. We took a train there (about a two-hour journey) and wandered down from the new town (where … Continue reading


A few of us went to Catania on the train the other week. It’s the home of the nearest airport and I’d heard it was an uninteresting and not particularly attractive city, but there was plenty to see and much of it was pretty. People dressed better and more individually than they do in Siracusa, … Continue reading