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

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Beach, In Autumn

There is a story in The Odyssey about the seductive song of the sirens. It is said that their music was so alluring that any sailors who heard it would not be able to resist it. I have my own siren call. One that is sometimes too loud and insistent to ignore.
The weather has changed almost overnight. Although the previous night’s storm had abated, it was still windy, and angry grey clouds hung in the sky when I made my way to one of our beaches last week. I felt my tension melting away as the surf pounded around me like the beating of a huge drum.
Autumn had finally arrived. I could smell it in the tangy air. I could taste it in the sea-spray that settled on my lips.If I was an artist, I would try to paint this scene – the frenzied waves, the scuttling clouds, the lacy froth forming on the golden sand. There is a drama to it that the calmness of summer can never impart.
For this is the sea of a thousand different faces. The one with the wind in its voice and the rain on its brow. This is the sea that I adore: turbulent, dangerous, moody, wild; its fury unleashed, its power uncontrolled. It is mesmerizingly beautiful; seductive, almost. Like the sirens of the ancient tales.
Location: Golden Bay, November 2013

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


It always takes me by surprise, like a schoolgirl caught napping during French lessons. One minute it’s Halloween, and November stretches out before me with the promise that there is enough time to get things done. But, before I have the chance to blink twice, Thanksgiving is looming and, after that, the fairy lights of Christmas won’t be far off. Everything is rushing towards the final curtain and I am not sure I am ready for Auld Lang Syne just yet. The pace has started to quicken. I feel weary. Weary of all that remains to be done. Weary, like a traveller who has walked a thousand miles but now needs to sprint through the final hundred.
Valletta on a Sunday (27)-001
November. It’s such a melancholy month. They call it ‘the month of the dead’ here and, even though the sun shines nearly every day, it fills me with a strange feeling of sadness that I cannot quite shake off. That, coupled with a restlessness caused by certain local events, have not been very conducive to writing. I wish I did not feed so much off of the emotions of those around me. But that’s the way I’m wired. From time to time, I still stop to wonder whether I’ve found my voice yet; whether I should be writing for myself or for an audience. So many questions; so much to think about.
Valletta on a Sunday (29)
November will soon be a hazy memory. A month of dying days, impossible deadlines, sweet melancholy, Downtown Abbey (yes, I have finally given in), Tommy Lee (I’m sure you’re all thinking that Downtown Abbey and Tommy Lee make a strange combination, and I agree) and soul-searching. Perhaps I have stayed in my cocoon for too long. It’s time  to spread my wings and fly. Maybe November has served its purpose after all.
Valletta on a Sunday (31)
Art Recycles Art Exhibition, Strait Street, Valletta
November 2012

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Helping Kayni

We may write in isolation but our words are rarely lost in a vacuum. Someday, someone, somewhere will read them. Someone, somewhere will stop to think about them. Something we may have written will ignite the interest of a reader thousands of miles away. Conversely, what someone else has written may touch us  in an inexplicable way; for a variety of reasons. It is the way these ‘virtual’ friendships start.
I started reading Kayni’s Corner Café a couple of years ago. Kayni talked about her travels and about her craft shop Kayni Boutique. But she also wrote about other topics: aplastic anaemia, blood transfusions, needles and pain. Sadly, none of the treatments worked for Kayni. What she needs now is a bone marrow transplant. For that to happen, her doctor needs to find a matching donor.  In an effort to raise awareness about aplastic aneamia and the need for donors, Kayni has started a new blog, Kayni’s Bone Marrow, and a Facebook page. Her appeal is for people, especially minority populations, to join the Bone Marrow Registry.
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While not everyone can qualify as a donor, what each one of us can do is spread the word via one of the social networking sites we all form part of, and also within our community. So my appeal, on behalf of Kayni (although she does not know I am writing this and has not asked me to), is to raise awareness in any way you can and encourage more people to sign up with the Bone Marrow Registry. Determining whether a prospective donor is a match to a patient is an easy and painless process: all that is required is a swab taken from the cheek. You may read the facts about bone marrow donation here and a simple explanation about the actual donation procedure here.
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We spend a lot of time writing about inconsequential things. Sometimes we need to take the time to use our gift for the benefit of others. Please feel free to share this post. It may help save a life. I will end with a quote that I first heard in the movie Schindler’s List but is, in fact, taken from the Hebrew Talmud:
“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sunset at the Great Salt Lake

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Sometimes, the best thing about a trip is not so much the trip itself but the memories we take away with us. Because, like everything else, a trip will come to an end but the memories we make will last a life-time.
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My husband’s best friend has lived in Salt lake City for the past 20 years. He knows the coolest places to visit; the best sights to see. So we got off the highway and onto a bumpy dirt road, till we came to the shores of the Great Salt Lake. We wanted to see the sunset but the sun had other plans.  It hid behind the clouds and veiled itself in the summer haze.
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So we made the most of what we had: sharing precious moments with a special friend; getting a kick out of the cheeky seagulls and capturing the fleeting light on the glass-like surface of the Great Salt Lake.
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It was such an isolated spot; could have been such a romantic spot. Clearly, others before us had thought so too.
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It was getting dark. Time to say good-bye. Time for one last photo of the Great Salt Lake.
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Location: the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah
August 2013
If you would still like to see the sunset at the Great Salt Lake, go here.


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