The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Believe In Your Dreams

And so this year ends … and another one is about to begin. It stretches before us like an empty highway, like a mystery still to be revealed. On this day of the year, many of us make resolutions. But I do not believe in resolutions. However, I do believe in dreams. I do believe in making each and every  one of your dreams come true. Yes I truly do believe that each one of us has the power to shape his or her destiny and fulfill all their hopes.
Chadwick Lakes (22)
So while some of us may decide to shine like stars, others may choose to play out their dreams more subtly, in the background. Yet each dream is important, each dream is unique. Like each one of us. Give life to your hopes, your dreams so that a year from now, when you look back, you will be able to say: I did and I did it my way.
Chadwick Lakes (23)
I would like to wish all my readers and visitors and their loved ones a very happy 2011 – a year when you make your hopes and dreams come true.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas To You All

I do not know which type of Christmas music you prefer, the catchy modern tunes or the more classic hymns. These guys give an awesome rendition of one of my favourite Christmas hymns 'O Holy Night'. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and I would like to wish you and your families a very joyful and peaceful Christmas.
This blog (and blogger) will be on a break for a while. I hope to catch up with you all towards the end of next week. So I will leave you to enjoy Apocalyptica (whose music is usually much more hard and heavy) and this haunting piece of music.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

My Wish This Christmas

If I had the time, I would probably be following and commenting on at least 1000 blogs. There is so much talent out there. And there is so much pain. I look at myself and my life and I realise that I have so much to be thankful for. There are people out there dealing with diseases that, even I, with a pharmaceutical background, have hardly heard of; there are souls out there who are lost, searching for answers that never come; there are children who do not even have water and basic medicines, let alone a gift under a Christmas tree …
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It makes me feel pathetic sometimes how we gripe and complain when, really, we have such an abundance of everything. If I could have a wish this Christmas, I would wish to touch one person in a very special way; to make one person smile. It would just be a drop in the ocean; a grain of sand on all the beaches and deserts in the world. But it would be a start. I am sure that we come across these blogs every day. Maybe each of us should take the time to stop, read and leave a word of encouragement or of hope.  Flowers and decorations 017
And if that sounds like a very impersonal thing to do, then I suggest we all take a good look around us. I am sure that there are people in our own community who need help of some sort – and not just at Christmas, but the whole year through.
Now, for a big ‘Thank you” to Angela at Reflections for the pretty gift I received in the mail  last week. All the cute items were hand-made by Angela (who is originally from Canada but moved to Malta earlier this year). You may read about her adventures on this little island here.
Reflections (1) Reflections (2) Reflections (3)
With that I would like to wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and if I am not around regularly this week, please rest assured that I will be back after the baking, the office parties and the gift wrapping is over. Although, in truth, that is not what Christmas is all about and if any of you would like to find out how I really feel about Christmas, I invite you to read this article that I had written a few years ago.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Book Thief Who Stole My Heart

As you know, I rarely write a post about books I have read because opinions differ about what constitutes a good story. But this book gripped me from the very first sentence and took me on a journey. To Germany. During World War II. This is not a story with a complicated or convoluted plot. It is just a story about a girl, her foster parents and a Jew they hid in their basement - in Germany, during WW2. At school we learnt the history of the war but this story struck me with the humanity of its characters. Because the further I read, the more I realised that even Germans lost their loved ones during this war, even Germans were hungry and even Germans had a heart. Perhaps you might think it is strange that it took a story for me to realise this but sometimes, history de-humanises the countless numbers that died on both sides and makes statistics out of all the men, women and children that lost their lives during this conflict.
The Book Thief is one of those books which I did not want to put down and, at the same time, I read very slowly, because the characters became so dear to me that I did not want the story to  finish. Essentially, the underlying theme of the book is very simple. It is a story about the power of words - the beauty of words, the magic of words, their terrible hold over people. Because  the protagonist,  Liesel Meminger, understood the importance of words and how words could set you free in the same way that the words of a mad-mad had seduced and mesmerised a nation. The frightening thing is that, despite the lessons the world should have learnt, I am sure that if someone comes along whose words are capable of swaying nations, the world will once more be brought to the brink of catastrophe and disaster.
In Liesel's words:" I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right". Like Liesel, I too am in love with words ... struggle with words ... have felt the power of words - words talk to be, sing to be, soother me and anger me ... Perhaps that is why I felt that Liesel Meminger and I are kindred spirits on a highway of words, on a journey called life
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Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Day We First Met

Nine years ago today I met my husband (well, he wasn’t my husband back then) for the first time. We spent the summer of 2001 writing long e-mails to each other. Every. Single. Day. Then, in December, my handsome friend from St Louis just felt he had to attend his second cousin’s wedding. The rest, as they say, is history.
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We spent a wonderful 10 days visiting historic places, eating out, meeting friends. And talking. For hours on end. Just the two of us,  in my car, accompanied by a howling wind  (a north-easterly this time – the one we call the gregale) and lashing rain. I remember everything so clearly – the warm glow of a first kiss, and the cold air that made our fingers and noses numb (it actually got cold that year with temperatures plummeting to 3 Celsius during the day – like I said, I remember everything :))
Nine years later, we’ve weathered a few storms, but that warm, fuzzy feeling is still there. And my sweet husband still manages to surprise me with flowers every now and then.
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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Where the Sea Meets the Sky

Had a relaxing weekend – did some shopping, some cleaning, hardly any cooking (yay!), spent some time in the company of old friends that I had not seen for a while… And I went for a wonderful walk on a desolate trail. It was the perfect place to watch the storm clouds roll in and move on – just gazing at miles and miles of empty, grey sea and wondering what it’s like to be in that magical place where the sea meets the sky.
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Just me and my thoughts: pondering, dreaming, thankful for the beauty of a cold December day.


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