A Tribe of Aunts

The real Piera Chirigoni and a view of Ozieri - the town the fictional Simius is based on....

The real Piera Chirigoni and a view of Ozieri - the town the fictional Simius is based on....

The fictional town of Simius in Under a Sardinian Sky is based entirely on my mother’s home town of Ozieri, which lies toward the northern central area of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari. This is where I spent all my summers growing up, scuffing the dusty lanes with my cousins, arguing and falling in love with the neighbours, listening to the grown ups talk into the night, catching their murmured memories of bandits, witchcraft and magic. The smell of wild fennel, sun toasted pine and my grandmother's bottomless pots of pasta are never far from mind. I grew up in North London, but the island of Sardinia is my homeland.

I'll be writing regular posts here, with pics of the people who inspired my first novel and tit-bits of their closely guarded recipes....