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

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The other Valletta

It was a Sunday morning at the end of April - the sun shone and a cool wind blew - and I had the morning all to myself in our  miniscule capital city that is packed to the brim with a variety of photogenic subjects.


Valletta has always been a bit of an enigma to me. In my forays into its streets, I usually stick to the shops and to the upper part of the city with the extravagant, Baroque facades that have been renovated, restored and polished in anticipation of Valletta's tenure as the European Capital of Culture in 2018.


But on that breezy April morning, I left the shops, museums and grand houses behind and took my camera for a walk to another part of Valletta - the one where rust, patina and flaking paint are still the order of the day; the area that is not on the guide books but which is a photographer's paradise, albeit, in this case, a very amateur one. So there I was, pointing my lens as the oddest things (and making plenty of mistakes in the process) with just a couple of stray cats for company and an occasional like-minded individual with a passion for capturing the unusual, the unique and the remnants of countless yesterdays.


There is a languid, expectant air here - as if this part of Valletta us wondering when its turn to be primped and pampered will come. Selfishly, I wish that it will be many years from now, so that I can continue to capture the fleeting essence of a time that, here, still seems to be within reach. There is history here, for sure, but there are also stories. The everyday stories of the people who live here; have lived here for the past 450 years or so.


I dream a lot on walks like these , of what was and what could be. I listen to the whispers of ghosts and wonder what secrets lie behind padlocked doors and crumbling stonework. But I don't just dream. I wonder too. About what it must feel like to live in the heart of our capital city; to be woken up by the sound of church bells (Valletta boasts 25 churches in an area that is less than 1 square kilometre) and to peer onto the streets from behind lace curtains and shuttered windows. IMGP0200


That's all I could do on that Sunday morning: dream and wander; discover and wonder; wave a magic wand and turn the clock back just enough to peel away the layers to see … what? I am not even sure. I think that Valletta chooses who to reveal herself to and I have a feeling that she is holding back, pushing my boundaries, daring me to take that final step to get to know her better. Until then, I will continue to unveil her bit by tiny bit.


Location: Valletta, April 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Fabulous Fridays: Dolce & Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the Italian designer duo, have been delighting our senses with their sophisticated creations since 1985. Colourful, fun and feminine, it seems that their collections are not tailor-made for just the size zeros amongst us but they also keep curvier women in mind. The designers, especially Sicilan-born Domenico Dolce, derive a great deal of inspiration from the island of Sicily  - which is the reason why colour plays such an import role in their creations because, as all those who have visited Sicily know, the island is an explosion of colour. Sicily was also their inspiration for the iconic 'Sicilian Dress' which was described by author Hal Rubenstein as
" … the essence of Dolce & Gabbana, the brand's sartorial touchstone. The dress takes its cue from a slip—but it's a slip that's adorned Anna Magnani, and it's a silhouette that has graced Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren, [and so forth]. The straps fit tight to the body just as bra straps would; the neckline runs straight across but gets waylaid at least twice, once on each side to caress each breast and in the middle to meet an uplifting tuck that's giving a gentle push up. The slip doesn't just slide down, but comes in at the waist to hold the figure firmly but not too tightly and then widens to emphasise the hips, only to fall with a slight taper at the knees to guarantee that the hips will sway when the wearer walks."
What Rubenstein is describing seems to be the very essence of femininity and Dolce & Gabbana seem to have mastered this to perfection in their creations.
Of course, I'll never have enough spare thousands to purchase a Dolce & Gabbana outfit. But hey, a girl can dream can't she? So let's dream on and pretend we're on a shopping spree. These are some Dolce & Gabbana creations that I would definitely purchase:
Dolce & Gabbana winter 2016:
Because I have a thing going on for blue and white right now.

♔Dolce & Gabbana.2015♔:
Because red  is one of my happy colours.

white- Dolce & Gabbana:
Because white is timeless and elegant and looks good with a tan.

♔Dolce & Gabbana.2015♔:
Because black is black. Need I say more?

♔Dolce & Gabbana.2015♔:
Because the colour combination is so very me (I do not like the flat shoes though).

Discover the new Dolce & Gabbana Women's Carretto Daisy Collection for Summer 2016 and get inspired.:
Because sometimes you need that extra little something before you can face
another boring day at the office.
This was fun to do. I think that from time to time I will feature more of my favourite designers.
So, do you have any favourite designers and why do you like them? I would love to know.
All images via Dolce & Gabbana

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A moment, in Budapest

Buda and Pest: the hilly and the flat. I felt an unexpected affinity for the city of the  Magyars. Like Vienna, it has grand boulevards; like Prague, it has a castle on a hill looking down on the city. Reminiscent of both but completely and uniquely itself.
A moment - that is all I had - but it was enough for me to know that, one day, I will have to return. And you'd be completely forgiven for thinking that I have a fickle heart, apt to develop a huge crush on this place or on that; without rhyme or reason; without so much as a second thought as to the whys and wherefores and just heeding the voice of instinct. Perhaps it's what wanderlust does to you. It gives you a sixth sense that you just cannot ignore and creates a wanderer's soul.
I knew nothing about this city and learnt just enough to intrigue me. Budapest - who would have thought?
Budapest, May 2016
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