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

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Back to being me

What a year it’s been. Most  days it has felt like a roller coaster ride on the edge of a precipice. Work can do that to you sometimes – make you feel overwhelmed and out of your depth. And with this island being so small, there’s a dearth of places that you can run away to. But it wasn’t running away that I needed to do. It was more like finding myself again. All the stress and craziness had changed a part of me that I couldn’t quite define. But I could feel it and so could those around me. I felt like there were little mice {on speed} on a wheel in my head and they kept it turning and turning until I seemed to be constantly running to a destination I could not reach. I had no patience for anything – not even for the things I loved. Stormy days (1)
But finally the mice are still (or maybe they’ve died) and, over the holidays and nine blissful days away from work, I am back to being me. I am able to blog. Thanks to my own personal Santa and his mischievous little helper elf, I have a small pile of books to read. And, perhaps most importantly, I am back to wandering with my faithful camera and the added challenge to shoot on manual. It will take practice. But I think I will get there. It has been something I’ve been wanting to learn for a long time. Stormy days (6)
As you’ve probably already heard me say, I do not make new year’s resolutions. But I think that this year I will make just one. I work in an industry where, even if you’ve been doing your job perfectly, you  may still wake up one morning and be given your marching orders. So when the working day is over and I walk out of the office door, I plan to leave it all behind. It will still be there in the morning anyway. And if it’s not, it’s not worth worrying over. Stormy days (8)
You all know that I rarely write about personal life, preferring to focus on the ethereal and the imaginary. Well, I think it’s time to break the rules a bit. Stormy days (11)
I look forward to joining you all on whatever adventures 2015 decides to take you. Through your friendship and your wonderful words and images I can visit Provence, Vietnam, Spain, Versailles, Brussels and so  many other places without even leaving my seat and I am all the richer for it. Stormy days (14)
I would like to wish you all a wonderful 2015. May you all achieve whatever your hearts are secretly yearning for.Stormy days (15)
Locations: Mtarfa, Dingli Cliffs and Ghar Lapsi ~ December 2014

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wishing you wonder and joy

I am a procrastinator. But usually there is a method to the mayhem. My brain seems to be programmed to know exactly when I need to buckle up and stop walking the thin line between just-on-time and overdue. It’s a game I play with myself. I suppose that getting things done in the nick of time gives me some type of crazy adrenaline rush.
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This year I did not even have the choice to procrastinate and do things at my own pace. I was forced to leave everything until the last minute. The past couple of days have been a blur of shopping, cleaning, wrapping and baking. Until yesterday our office/playroom looked like this.
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Not pretty, I know, but it looks much better today. All I can say is I am so thankful for online shopping because if I had to trudge through the stores with the rest of humanity, most people would still be without a gift. With the obligatory shopping taken care of and after a marathon of wrapping, it was time for some baking with the Mischief Maker. I think it was while my hands were sticky with cookie dough and I was busy dunking cookies alternately in powdered cinnamon and icing sugar that the realization hit me that this simple act of making chocolate crinkle cookies with my favourite chatter-box was making my heart burst with joy.
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In the hectic pace of last-minute chores I found comfort in the knowledge that I finally had time to indulge in family-time and in making memories. And as I lined the rather imperfectly shaped cookies on the baking sheet, I smiled broadly in the knowledge that I had stumbled onto a serendipitous moment that no amount of chaos outside it will ever erase.
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On a day when all the ‘To Do’ lists did not seem to be getting any shorter, I can truly say that none of that matters; that we take too much upon ourselves and try to achieve perfection in a very imperfect world; that we worry ourselves silly because our tree is crooked and, horror of horrors, we completely forgot to vacuum the carpets.
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But none of that matters. It never should have mattered anyway and I’ve made a promise to myself that it never will again. Christmas is about joy. It is about wonder. And it is what I wish for all of you. Wonder and Joy. The rest is just tinsel on the crooked Christmas tree.
For those of you who asked what I was studying, well, it’s rather complicated but you can find a very brief summary here.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and blessed Christmas!
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Whatever the outcome, it’s finally over.

Hello everyone. After 4 very crazy months of working, training, studying and just generally trying to keep my head above water (with much help from my family), I can finally say that my test is behind me and I can go back to doing what I love to do. Picking up my books again after 20 years was hard but giving up my personal free time, when I already seem to have so little of it, was a great deal harder. But that’s all behind me now and if this whole experience has taught me one thing it’s that, despite my scientific streak, I always was and always will be a lover of words; the more I studied indisputable scientific facts, the more I missed the dreamy world of the written word.
So, to make up for that, I have a number of books on my Christmas wish-list this year. We’ll see if ‘Santa’ will oblige. I hope so, because I’ve been very, very good. Apart from Amazon, there are two other sites I love to purchase books from: World of Books (which is a website that sells used books) and Play (where you can buy new or used books and shipping is free to any destination in Europe). I know that we are just a week away from Christmas but if you are planning on buying a book for a loved one or a friend and need some recommendations, head on over to Jeanne’s Brown Paper Book Club. I am sure you will find something that you like.
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I’ll keep it short for today as I am sure you are all busy preparing for the most wonderful day of them all. But don’t get too preoccupied with things, unleash your inner child and enjoy the magic of this beautiful season.
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Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Soon it will be all over and I will be back. Just counting down the days now. Staying away from here has been hard – harder than I could have thought possible. I’ve made a vow to  myself that if I ever pick up books to study again, it will be for my own pleasure; a subject I thoroughly enjoy.


Just wanted to let you know that I haven’t dropped off of the face of the planet. At least, not yet. Hope you are all enjoying the most wonderful of all seasons.


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