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

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Happiness is …

This was one of the few resolutions I made for 2015 and one which I am happily keeping. Last year I read all of 4 books (despicable, I know). I’ve recently finished my seventh book since January and I plan to keep at it. My favourite so far is ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon followed closely by ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes.
Ruska by Apocalyptica
I have never seen cellos played like these guys play them and this haunting melody is absolutely beautiful. Ruska is Finnish for the colours of autumn and yes, I know we’re in a completely different season, but then I’ve always said that I’m a bundle of contradictions. I can’t seem to embed the video but you can go here to hear Ruska.
Shooting photos in manual mode
I find it challenging, and I make lots of mistakes, but there’s a certain freedom in allowing yourself to take full control of of all the little knobs and buttons. There’s a lot to learn and I am just taking baby steps forward, but once I was brave enough to get off of Auto mode I started to find Manual Mode rather addictive.
Annual Parade 059
Naturally, it’s good to have some help along the way. I found the following two books very  useful:

There are also some wonderful online resources such as Digital Photography School and Discover Digital Photography.
Eating figolli
These traditional Easter treats that my mum lovingly makes every year (with some help from a Mischievous Someone) are a dieter’s nightmare. They consist of a layer of sweet almond paste sandwiched between two layers of sweet pastry that has been cut into shapes such as fish, lambs, rabbits, hearts, butterflies … and covered in a  layer of chocolate or sugar frosting and decorated with icing sugar. They are sinful but truly worth Every. Single. Calorie.
The flowers of the garigue
Although mistakenly thought of as barren stretches of land, the garigue supports a wide variety of shrubs and aromatic herbs. To appreciate the wild beauty of the garigue you have to get down on your knees (literally) and look very closely at the pockets of fertile soil in between the coral-like protuberances of coralline limestone.
Congreve Memorial and Wied iz-Zurrieq (77)-001
You can read more about Malta’s garigue here.
Washi tape
One of my secret indulgences. Thankfully it can be purchased quite cheaply from EBay or Etsy and the cute designs make my journal look pretty. The best thing about it is that it’s acid-free which makes it perfectly safe to use on photographs or craft projects.
What’s not to love about strawberries? Just looking at them makes me smile – their colour, their shape (they remind me of pixie’s hats), their texture, their sweetness.
Mdina Ditch 002
Everything about them is perfect: they are packed with essential nutrients and are low in calories (only 33 per 100g) – which comes in handy when you’re indulging in figolli. Of course, you can disregard all the benefits and use them in a decadent dessert. Like this Strawberry Shortcake Cake I made recently. 
Dessert (1)
These wild-flowers do not grow in the garigue but by the wayside or in fields, among the wheat, and as soon as they start to life their somnolent faces towards the sun, it’s a sure sign that spring has reached its zenith and all the beauty around us will swiftly fade away. But right now they are blooming, and they are beautiful.
Poppies (1)


  1. I am crazy about washi tapes as well. I think with grad school done, I can finally pick up more books to read for leisure. I don't like reading textbooks that much :(.

  2. I thought Me Before You was good, too, Loree.

    And what *is* not to love about strawberries!?

  3. Dear Loree- your list of happiness suits me too. Loved the music too. Had never heard of them before. Very beautiful. Your mom's delicacy sounds fabulous. Thanks for sharing what makes you happy. Have a wonderful day.

  4. Nothing but beauty here friend - and let's face it, that is exactly what we all need so thank you!

  5. HAPPY HAPPY MAY DAY although yours is about over!A lovely list of HAPPINESS...................

  6. I like your list and am impressed by how many books you have read this year!

  7. I love all your choices but am sad to have to say that strawberries aren't high on my list anymore. They have been so dabbled with for years now that they are tasteless and only keep for a few hours. Give me back my grandmother's strawberries!!!

  8. I didn't have to make resolutions for reading ! I am a book eater ! The strawberries make my mouth water !


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