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

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

I am sure that you all remember the scene from ‘The Sound Of Music’ when Maria (Julie Andrews) sings about her favourite things to distract the von Trapp children from the sounds of a raging thunderstorm. Like Maria, we all have those special things which lift our mood or take us to that special place. So, although we don’t all necessarily sing about them, we can still talk or write about the things we love. So today, I am sharing some of mine:
1 Cupcakes
2 Gerberas
3 Mozart
4 Rough seas
Wied iz-Zurrieq 014-1
5 Friday nights
6 Strong winds
7 Dark chocolate
8 Spring
9 Books – old books, new books – it doesn’t matter, I love them all
10 Sepia photos of family members
11 Summer skirts
12 Long boots
13 Sandals
Sandals (4)
14 Silver bracelets and bangles
15 Big dogs
16 Dwarf rabbits (also known as Dutch dwarves)
17 Strawberries
18 Sunsets
Tuscany 785
19 Winding streets
Mdina (47)
20 Old postcards
There’s more, of course, but I will stop here for today. Now tell me, what are some of your favourite things?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Giveaway At Coco Coterie

This is just a short post to let you know that  Carmen Alexandra is celebrating her blog having over 100 followers by having a giveaway at Coco Coterie. Coco Coterie is a celebration of all things pretty – from fashion to interior design - as each day Alexandra shares images of the ephemeral and the sublime.
I trust you are all having a wonderful weekend. Mine is turning out to be a time of simple pleasures: a night out with childhood friends, memories shared over a cheese platter and a glass of wine; a morning of pampering at the hair salon; a trip to the stores for some much-needed items to organise my clutter treasures; time spent outdoors; daylight savings time; and a wedding. See you all next week.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I love clouds. I love their wispy lightness and their playful whiteness.
On the back-path (1)
And yes, I love their angry greyness and the rain that falls from their soft bellies.
Sunset (2)
I love how the wind makes them scurry across the sky and constantly changes their shape.
Will it Rain (1)
I love the shadows they cast on the sea and the  silver lining they have when the sun is peeping through.
Clouds (1)
And I love their colourful palette at sunrise and sunset – the pastels and the brightness, the pinks and the burnt oranges, the pearls and the flaming reds.
Will it Rain (12)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Flying Without Wings

I have a longing right now for wide open spaces. For a long, lonely road and a deserted highway …
When I first visited the US we drove from Salt Lake City (Utah) to Las Vegas (Nevada) via Moab and Bryce Canyon. The drive was long but the scenery was fantastic and ever-changing. At times, ours was the only car on the highway. We drove through sleepy towns straight out of a Western, a seemingly never-ending forest with the quaint name of Dixie, parched desert landscapes and canyons the colour of terracotta. I could never have imagined such diversity. Nor can I explain the sensation of a close to unbearable lightness of being that took hold of me – a feeling that I was as light and transparent as the air we were passing through.
USA 2002 (1)
In retrospect I have come to realise that that euphoric moment of self-discovery was none other than the realisation that I had experienced freedom. Not the type of freedom that we take for granted, like freedom of speech and freedom of expression and so on, but the true freedom of the soul – untethered, with no restraint and no ties to Earth. Yes, I do believe that in that moment in time I came close to flying without wings.
USA 2002 (2)
So perhaps that is why I have this intense longing right now for the wide, open spaces and the long, lonely road to an unknown destination …
USA 2002 (3)
Please excuse the rather poor quality of these photos. These were not digital photos. So, since we do not have a scanner, I had to take photos of hard copies with my camera.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I Used To Get Home In The Darkness But I Don’t Anymore

Now I arrive to this.

Sunset (4)

And in our yard I am greeted by these


and these.


As much as I love winter, I think Spring is the most cheerful month. It is certainly my favourite month. In my mind, Spring is a bit of a tomboy – warm and sunny with sudden storms and gusts of wind. Bouts of rambunctiousness are followed by periods of tranquillity. I always find Spring to be energising to my soul.
For some reason, it also puts me in the perfect frame of mind to cook – nothing too grand, of course. In my book, simplicity is key. So here’s a simple recipe (courtesy of Emeril Lagasse from Foodnetwork) for you to try. My tweaks are in brackets.

Pasta With Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce
Serves 4

  • 12 ounces orchiette pasta (I used penne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (I used dry)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (I used dry)
  • (200g bresaola* – I added this because my husband likes to have some meat in his pasta)
*Bresaola is air-dried salted beef that is left to age for 2-3 months until it turns a dark red colour. It is a very lean cut of meat (not much use here since the recipe calls for cream Eye rolling smile).



In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. (Add the bresaola and cook for 3-4 minutes). Add the cream, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Add the pasta, stir to coat with the sauce, and cook until the pasta is heated through, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and divide among 4 serving bowls or plates. Sprinkle each serving with chives and serve immediately.

Pasta and mushrooms (18)

Friday, 4 March 2011

From A Daffodil’s Heart

Every year at the beginning of March, as if on cue from an invisible conductor, our daffodils flower.
From buds gently enfolding their secrets
On the back-path (38)
They slowly unfurl into golden trumpets
First Spring Flowers (3)
Heralding the start of Spring.
First Spring Flowers (1)
And from their innermost heart comes the whisper of a promise :
First Spring Flowers (4)
That warmth and sunshine will soon be on their way.


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