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

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Light, It’s All About The Light

It’s the end of October and I am still dreaming of rain. The ground is parched and the sky seems to have forgotten how to create clouds. Autumn has decided to take its ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ to some other place this year, leaving us with a season that is long past its sell-by date.
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But, despite everything, I have come to appreciate the sunlight. Because when you walk around with a camera attached to your hip, you start to notice things that would otherwise be taken for granted. Like the nuances of the light. Its ephemeral hues. From the blinding, harsh brightness of mid-day; to the golden light of mid-afternoon and the rosy glow of sunset. I have come to know them all, to look out for that time of day when the light will be …, well, just right. Just picture-perfect right.
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Suddenly,it almost becomes a game. A game of looking for sunlight and shadows; of seeking unexpected patterns on walls; of brightness and darkness. It’s a game of telling a story without words.
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Location: Mdina, June 2013

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Whiter Shade of Pale

“Mummy,” he told me as we drove home one evening last week,"do you know that the moon has no light of its own?”
“Yes, I know …”
“It just reflects the light of the sun,” he continued.
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Above us, the not-quite-full moon cast a milky light on the time-worn walls of Mdina. He was right, of course, my Mischief  Maker. But inwardly, I sighed. Just a little bit. Would he always be so analytical, so scientifically correct? Would he grow up and remain unmoved by the sight of a beautiful, full golden moon suspended over the darkness of a bay, casting its reflection on the ink-dark water? I thought of all the poems, all the love songs and famous movie scenes inspired by our closest celestial neighbour and I realised that, despite the facts, despite the truth staring me straight in my eyes, my moon would always shine with its own light. I wanted to tell my son all  this. I wanted him to see the moon through my eyes. But I didn’t. I just smiled, secretly. With the passing years, he would learn that even scientists, occasionally, need a little romance in their lives.
We were almost home, my son still bombarding me with facts about the moon, the stars and everything in between. Above us, the golden orb rode higher in the sky, bathing us in a light that was a whiter shade of pale.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Fragments … of my thoughts.
Fragments … of my country.
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Fragments … of my hometown.
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Fragments … of my dreams.
Fragments … of memories, of stories, of secrets.
These are what I write about - tiny fragments; little pieces of me. Like a jig-saw, you can put them all together, until the final  picture is revealed. There are days when the words pour right out  of me and others, like today, when it seems like I have nothing to share.
Except fragments.
Of me.
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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Autumn Tears

I opened the curtains and, for the first time in weeks, I was not greeted by the rosy fingers of dawn. Instead the sky was dark and a gentle rain fell.
Stuck in traffic, with my windows tightly rolled up, I was overcome by a strange sensation that felt akin to being inside a cocoon. All I could hear was the swishing sound of the wipers and my MP4 player belting out Sixx AM.
Traffic was head-to-tail to the next intersection. Yet I had this uncanny feeling of being alone. Alone in a world of rain and puddles; suspended in the ether and looking down from a vantage point on the trail of cars inching their way forward, red brake lights leaving a bleary reflection on the shiny, wet tarmac. The traffic’s backed up on the 405… Yes, indeed. But that was LA and this was Malta and I was definitely not on a highway. So it went on, all the way to work. Yet despite running late, I was unusually calm. Perhaps I was still suspended in the ether.
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Fast forward to the evening … I sat in my car (again) waiting for my son’s Boy Scout meeting to wind up. In front of my wind-shield a posse of mosquitoes danced and twirled in crazy delight, probably thinking that I would be their next victim. I closed my windows tightly shut and looked at the patches of sky above the tree-tops. A bat came into view; and then another; and another. They flew erratically in my line of vision for a few seconds and then headed on to their next destination. Meanwhile, down below, the mosquitoes continued their frenzied dance. And I felt a heavy weariness descend upon me.
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It had been a long day but we finally got home. I logged on to Facebook and started to scroll down my wall, wondering why so many people had yellow gerberas for a profile picture. Then I read the sad news. Cancer had claimed another victim. A woman of 40, with two young sons. An acquaintance  from my past. I was stunned. I inwardly screamed ‘no, no, no’. Oh my God, this is insane, How'd it get like this or has it always been this way? This was the fourth woman, that I had known at some point in my life, that had lost the battle this year. I felt a grief beyond words yet my lips mouthed a prayer. Piles of roses at my feet, friends and lovers gather around me … On and on, in my numb brain I repeated the words, like a secret mantra, like a call to arms. Enough, I wanted to say. Too many tears have been shed; too many lives have departed – gone too soon, silently, like the autumn rain.
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This post is written in tribute to the brave survivors and in remembrance of all those who have lost the battle.
The words in italics are not my own but are taken from: Sure Feels Right; Oh My God and Goodbye My Friends from the album This Is Gonna Hurt by Sixx AM.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Her Secret is Patience

Patience is one virtue which I am truly lacking right now. But I won’t go into that and bore you with the details. Instead, I invite you to adopt the pace of nature. For she is a wonderful teacher. And her secret is patience.
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She does not rush things but waits until every petal unfolds in perfection.
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From seeds to flowers and back again, the cycle is repeated, in its proper time, in its appropriate season …
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Summer is slowly dying and autumn is creeping in. Subtly. Secretly. There is a slight shift in the nature of the lift – it is softer, more golden. The shadows are longer. The nights are cooler.
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The crickets have ceased their song and the fields lie in wait for the life-giving rain. Sometimes dark clouds gather and the thunder growls.
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I long for the storm to break. I will it to break. But she whispers in my ear that she is in control. And her secret is patience.
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I feel myself sigh, my tension relax. A measure of serenity returns. I tell myself that there is beauty in every season.
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Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Location: wild-flowers – Missouri and Utah (USA); storm clouds – Malta


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