Kate Bailward (aka Katja) is a cat-loving, trifle-hating Englishwoman in Sicily.
Before becoming an EFL teacher in 2009, she spent 10 years working as an actor. This fueled her love of storytelling, and started her on the road to narrative writing. Since 2004 she has had various different blog incarnations, all previous versons of which have now been deleted for being embarrassingly bad. She hopes to do better with this one.
She is a regular writer for Charming Italy.com and one sixth of the Italy Blogging Roundtable team. She also writes about food at her cookery blog, Quasi Siciliana, and (infrequently) about non-Italian subjects at KateBailward.com.
Visit her Blog Driving Like a Maniac
"Quindi... papà... mamma... sorella?" Alessia is making her way around the group, shaking hands as she goes. I correct her – Alice is a friend, not my sister – and then Davide leaps into the fray. "E poi … Alessia …" He holds up his left hand with the shiny new wedding ring on the fourth finger. "Marito!" Alessia's mouth drops open and she flings her pen over her shoulder in a comic "Shut UP!" gesture. I hold up my left hand as well and she breaks into a huge grin before rushing forward to give me a kiss on both cheeks and then kissing Davide - and everyone else - in a flurry of over excitement. "Congratulations! When did this happen? A few days ago? Ohmygod, don't surprise me like that!"
We’re at U Fucularu, our favourite trattoria in Catania. Alessia runs front of house, while her mum cooks and her dad flits between the kitchen and waiting tables. We turned up ten minutes ago to find all the tables full apart from one, and that was reserved. "But they're late," said Alessia's dad, "so if they're not here in ten minutes the table's yours." When we break the wedding news, everything changes. "The table's yours! Subito! Hang on – we'll just get clean glasses for you …"
Davide and I are sitting next to each other, but the conversational factions at the table have split into two: he's mainly chatting to my parents, while I'm talking to Alice and Lexy, who arrived late and is struggling through a giant salad the size of her head. On seeing Lex’s tiny frame Alessia promptly names her 'due ossi' ('two bones') which causes much laughter around the table, as we've recently decided that Davide's nickname should be 'Sicilian Dave', and Alice's work moniker is 'Alice the Camera'. We sound like we should be in a bad Guy Ritchie film.
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