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

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Road Less Travelled

Source: via Lorna on Pinterest

And what about you, my dear friends? Which road have you chosen? It takes courage to travel on the less travelled road but, in the end, it will be more fulfilling, more rewarding. Happy weekend to you all.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Last Hour Before Sunset

I love it, the last hour before sunset. I love how the setting sun embraces the world in a golden glow. I love the quality of the light and its ability to create the extraordinary out of the ordinary. It is a magical hour, the last hour of sunlight, a serendipitous moment in time.
Fontanella 013 copy
It’s my favourite hour, the hour before sunset, the hour that brings with it the promise of rest. I turn my face to bask in its beauty, lulled by its warmth, suffused in its light.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Something To Make You Smile

I really wanted to write something interesting or meaningful or witty today. But I feel like a deflated balloon. It wasn’t a bad day. It was just a very long, intense day. So, I can decide to sit and sulk because I am feeling tired and dejected. Or I can choose to take life with a pinch of salt.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and trust that you will all find something to smile about. In the meantime I will try to calm my nerves as the  Mischief Maker gets ready for his first day of real school.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Beginnings. Endings. Transitions.

USA 715
As the wheel of life turns so it brings with it endings and new beginnings.
Endings. Summer. A season in its death throes.
Beginnings. Autumn. Still mysterious, still waiting in the shadows, with its promise of crisp morning air, soft pink sunsets and steaming mugs of thick, hot chocolate.
Transitions.  Lazy summer days slowly merging into the more hectic pace of autumn and winter. 
Beginnings. Endings. Transitions.
Endings. A thistle – dry and dead; at its heart the beginnings of new life.
Bahrija (10)
Beginnings. Rain. Fat droplets of cooling rain that made the hot ground sizzle and sing as it quenched a summer-long thirst.
Transitions. From the frills, flounces and pretty pastel clothes of summer to the darker, more sombre hues of autumn and winter.
Kitchen Garden 016
Endings. Silence. The cicadas and crickets have ceased their song. Our days and nights now echo to the silent whisper of summer memories.
So it goes on … The death of one moment gives birth to the next. The wheel of life. Turning. Never flagging. Never stopping. Not for a minute. Or for an hour. Or for a season. Beginnings. Endings.
USA 716

Thursday, 15 September 2011

My 7 Links

Amanda at Travels with Persephone has nominated this blog to participate in Tripbase's My 7 Links Project. The project aims to “unite all bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned, and create a bank of blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again”. Each nominated blogger then selects 7 posts from their archives that fit into the following categories:
Your most beautiful post
Your most popular post
Your most controversial post
Your most helpful post
Post whose success surprised you
Post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
Post you are most proud of
Thank you Amanda for nominating Stories & Scribbles to participate in this project. After a bit of pondering, here are my seven links:
Your most beautiful  post
Seductive Siena is a post I wrote that came straight from the heart and just seemed to flow out of my fingertips. I wrote it soon after a short holiday in Tuscany back in 2009 (I can’t believe it’s been that long already) and I was still under the powerful thrall of the whole region. Siena is a place that I would love to go back and visit.
Tuscany 524
Your most popular post
I was not expecting Ruby  Tuesday – Vintage Sign to be my most popular post and I always wonder why people like it so much. Perhaps it’s because there is the word vintage in it. Vintage has become popular again – not that it ever went out of fashion in my family. We love to re-use and re-purpose. Anyway, this post was part of a photo meme I sometimes participate in that has red as the  main theme.
Tuscany 192
The photo was taken at an antiques fair in the lovely medieval town of Lucca in Italy. Sweet memories!
Your most controversial post
I usually try to steer away from too much controversy but I think that a post I write not too long ago entitled Love Yourself The Way You Are about women’s perception of their body shape is the closest I got to causing a bit of a stir.
Your most helpful post
Well, I don’t know if any of my posts were particularly helpful but I would say Fabulous Fridays: Free Actions For Photoshop provides a useful link to a site where you can download different actions to make your photos stand out or to give them that vintage look.
Post whose success surprised you
I wrote Bygone Days after someone sent me an e-mail of a  number of old photos of Malta. My readers loved the glimpses I gave of Malta at the turn of the 20th century. It has changed so much over the years.
Post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
I had only been blogging for a couple of weeks so this post did not receive too much attention. But I still consider Stormy Seas to be my personal love affair with the waters that surround this island.
Golden Bay - Stormy Seas 013

Post you are most proud of
This has to be The Book Thief Who Stole My Heart. Inspired by the novel The Book Thief it is a small tribute to the power of words.
Now it’s time for me to nominate five other blogs for the 7 Links Project. So, without further ado, here they are.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Busy Days

I wish I could say that summer’s end has brought with it a sense of tranquillity. But it hasn’t. Instead it’s been a time of frenzied activity, of tying loose ends, of organising a last couple of BBQs, of preparing for a change of pace. The Mischief Maker will start primary school in 2 weeks. It will be a new school, a new uniform, new friends … a new beginning. I think I am more nervous than he is.
Last week, a public holiday and a much-needed break from work (where it is also very hectic right now) were the perfect excuse to visit once again the small but spectacular doline called Il-Maqluba that I have written about on my other blog here.
Steven and Cristina 027
Temperatures here remain very warm and, if it were not for the occasional cloud and the shorter daylight hours, you  would be forgiven for thinking that that summer was on its way in instead of its way out.
But although autumn seems as elusive as ever, I  am longing for windy days and chilly nights, for sweaters, scarves and boots …
Source: via Lorna on Pinterest

The cooler days may still take a while to make it to our shores but that does not mean I have been idle – a search for a new pair of riding boots is definitely in the cards. And since the weather wants to hold on to summer for a bit longer, who knows, I might even manage one last, invigorating swim.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dream A New Dream

Source: via Lorna on Pinterest

There are times when I need to hear something like that. When we start living life it is so easy to lose track of who we really are, who we’re meant to be. Some of us achieve our dreams at a young age; for others it may take a lifetime but, in the end, what we need to remember is that we can be anything we want to  be – now or later – as long as we do not forget our goal or lose sight of our dream.
So no matter what age you may be, dream your dream and set out to achieve it, because you know you can do it.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Ten Things

Last week I was tagged by Suze and Amanda. Thanks girls. I will be starting with Suze’s tag – revealing ten things about myself. So here they are, in no particular order:
10. After I married The American we lived in St Louis (Missouri) for a year. I was pretty homesick but what I missed most was that blue ribbon on the horizon that you can see from any town or village here. I don’t think I can live anywhere that is too far from the sea.
USA 555
Downtown St Louis and Gateway Arch
9. We got married in Malta in a church called Our Lady of Jesus in my hometown of Rabat. Its foundation stone was laid in 1492 – quite appropriate, I thought, since 1492 was the year Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.
8. When I took my pregnancy test and the result was positive, I closed my eyes and, for a split second, I saw a baby boy with lots of dark brown hair and big brown eyes. Nine months later he was born. It was the only time during my pregnancy that something like that happened.
7. I love to travel and I love European history. If I can do both on the same trip, then it’s total bliss.
Paris - Lorna's Day 2 (38)
The Louvre
6. I am more of a country girl than a city girl. I love the wide open spaces of North America.
5. Visiting all of the 50 states is on my bucket list. Up to now I have been to Utah, Missouri, Illinois, Nevada and Arizona. I have a ways to go still.
4. My favourite perfume is Miracle by Lancome. It is my ‘going  out’ perfume and I have used  it for the past 8 years. For everyday, I change constantly. As soon as I go through one scent I buy a different one. Right now I am thinking of getting this one.
3. My favourite place in the world is probably Rome. I love everything about it: the history, the food, the temperament, the architecture …
2. I love chocolate especially when it is dark and bitter. I am always on the look-out for a new chocolate dessert to make. I think I will try this cake for an upcoming BBQ we have next weekend.
1. Every September I desperately long for rain. When it does come, I love the smell of the clean, wet earth. Hopefully it will come our way soon.
Rainy Sunday (5)
A Rainy Day Last Spring
This is going to be a short work week for me. Thursday is a public holiday and I am taking Friday off. So  a lovely long weekend looms on the horizon. I wish you all a great week.
Thanks Suze for the tag (you may find Suze at Girl Wizard). Now it’s my turn to tag the following ladies:
Maggie at The Unibrow
Gattina at Writer Cramps

Friday, 2 September 2011

Love Yourself The Way You Are

I was browsing around on Pinterest the other day when I came across this:
Source: None via Lorna on Pinterest

My first reaction when I saw this was to snigger and think ‘really’? But my next reaction was one of shock and alarm. Why, you may ask? Because some women posted comments that were in total agreement with this statement. And this set me thinking about the power that the media in general has over women and their bodies. I would have thought that after so many celebrities have come public about their own battles with anorexia and bulimia, a message like this would be considered both banal and unacceptable. Apparently not. Now I am all for healthy eating, and I see nothing wrong with eliminating  junk food, but do some women still not realize that eating a balanced diet is essential? And that population genetics plays a big part in our body shape? That it is normal for a woman to have some curves or some fat and that we can’t all look like walking planks? Why we beat ourselves up constantly about our body shape is beyond me – and I am saying we because I know of very few men who go to the extremes that some women do to look skinny. In fact, in this long list of celebrities who have spoken openly about their eating disorders there is only one man (Elton John and, without any disrespect to Sir Elton, we all know he is not an archetypical male). What scares me is the effect that a statement like the one above will have on teenage girls, especially on those who already have self-esteem and self-image problems. We have become obsessed with our appearance for all the wrong reasons. It seems that the superficial has taken precedence over what really matters.

Perhaps it’s about time that all women take a good look at their shape, at their body frame and like what we see in the mirror. Perhaps it’s about time that we embrace ourselves as we are. And perhaps the poster below should be displayed along-side adverts featuring impossibly thin models.

After all, all cigarette boxes come with a health warning. So why should the attainment of an impossible body weight not come with its own?


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