End of an Era (so to speak)

A new life starts once the previous one ends… isn’t that always how it goes.

No matter how much you try, change happens in life and life can never stay simple and constant. However change happens. It can be a change for the better or a change for the worse (sadly that does happen), or simply change! No better or worse then before.

My life, and my family has been going through a painful change for a number of years.  The main tectonic shift of change started with the passing away of my Grandmother, my Mother and my Father all within a year of each other. 3 years of relentless heartbreak which was very hard on all of us.

The turmoil continued for another 3 or so years due to disagreements between us brothers and sisters but we are finally reaching an end of that long saga.

Last Monday – 18th December 2017 – was our last official day in Iklin after which the family home is handed over to the new owners.

So it is now onwards and upwards (eventually – as when my new place in Mosta is ready I will be on the first floor). In the interim staying in a lovely little windswept town – Zurrieq (thank you so much sis! you saved me here) until Mosta is done. Yep, that’s a move within a move which can be a bit heavy but it definitely trumps (not the US ‘President’ pls) sleeping in a bus stop.

The departure from Iklin was long in the coming – a tormented process which was arduous, long and tiring. It required quite an amount of logistical coordination and also caused some friction between us all at certain points. it was also a rather dusty affair which left my hands feeling they were covered in sandpaper for at least 5 days. At this point I must thank my cousin and her man (:-) ) who jumped in to help us with storage – Thanks a million you two, fantastic help you have been.

Last Monday evening once I had completed the packing of the last few things I wanted to take out and after helping my sisters in their last minute searched through the piles of timeless flotsam and jetsam of years and years of life I decided to do a bit of a ritual. I needed to do it as, as one of my sisters commented, it was like losing our parent’s a second time over – quite hard to take and very emotional. So, starting with the upstairs apartment, which was our Grandmum’s (Nanna) house, I went and bade fare well to each room, each cranny of the house. I did the same downstairs, our parent’s house and mine for most of my life, pausing for a while in our parent’s bedroom. I then walked the garden and bade farewell to all the trees, all the plants, weeds and herbs and bushes and flowers and parasites, bade farewell to all the animal and various fauna that live there – the numerous cats and dogs that have come and gone – some buried lovingly in the lower field, some creeping in and staying for a while just to move on to pastures new and some dropping in just for a visit – cats, dogs, goats, numerous chickens, rats and mice, bats, snakes even, many different types of birds Including a majestic Eagle Owl and all the ants that felt the urge to help us eat all our food.

That has past now… Iklin stands alone on the top of Iklin Valley, empty and morose and looking very sad.
Good bye Iklin and thank you for the years of wonderful service, despite all your shortcomings, short circuits, monstrous plumbing and crumbling construction we love you and will miss you.
You stood tall and proud on top of that hill despite all the mistreatment you received from nature and human alike, almost majestic were it not for the shabby outward look (which was our fault after all). You were witness to all forms of emotion, happiness, love and success, sadness, pain and grief, anger, frustration and despair and loads of comic relief from our parent’s wonderful attitude to life.

You will be gone soon, pulled down, demolished, returned to dust but you will live long in our hearts.

Good bye Villa Gerald
Fare thee well
Here’s to a new start
A new life
A new home
An end which is also a beginning.


House Hunting

Do those two words, when put together as in the title, instill happy feelings or fear and foreboding?

I am currently in the process, albeit still in the early stages, of searching for my own place.

That’s quite late in life you may say and indeed it is but such is my situation and all the reasons that have conspired to bring me to this are not the subject of this post so I won’t bore you with the pedantry of the past.

So, house hunting I have begun. 

At first it was merely wishful thinking, which is not very helpful to be honest but at least set the grounds on what I would like, and browsing properties on estate agency websites. While this is all well and good it can also be rather challenging and misleading. There are hundreds of possibles which can all lead to confusion. So, unless you have something specific in mind and a good balance in the bank this approach will never lead to anything concrete.

However, if you don’t, having someone in the know and in the property business giving you a helping hand is a massive plus.

I have been lucky to find a chap who has the patience to listen to my confused ideas and who has the expertise to convert those ideas into something tangible.

Ideas which we spent close to two or more hours discussing at his office one early spring morning.

Since that chat we have visited some sites, mostly still on plan with construction work just starting out and one, so far, finished and lived in. The last, the lived in, is a big help in trying to envisage what those still being built would look like. 

Pouring over the architect’s plans is one thing but trying to visualise the finished product is not easy.

Five properties viewed so far with three eliminated almost immediately. Two of the first viewed are still on the cards but we are planning to view quite a few more…

In the meantime confusion abounds.

Aimless wanderings after work always end up here

When unsure of what to do or where to go…

And to top that off a stomach that groans after a long day at work…

I always seem to find myself gravitating to the same place.

Strangely enough though I never actually go directly, always trying to talk myself out of it despite the fact that I enjoy the place no end every time I go.

So, subconsciously or not, I devise a walking route around the area that takes me past the establishment a number of times until I would have built up my appetite or worn out my shoes.

And then, suddenly as if an afterthought, I charge in and take up my favorite spot, that is just in front of the chef’s counter, where I can watch the guy create his culinary art.

I always seem to go for the same fair, some nigiri and a few pieces of sashimi. However lately I tried the kimchi – which, although spicey enough to pop your guts and clear that nasal congestion that you weren’t suffering from, is surprisingly good – washed down with some Soju and miso soup.

The chef hands the dishes directly to me which adds a touch of familiarity which is rather pleasant.

I always leave the place well served, well filled and well satisfied, albeit a touch more out of pocket then I can really afford.

Mind you, it is money well spent.

I refer to, by the way, the Korean/Japanese restaurant in Paceville by the name of Club Sushi.

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Angry Diamonds

Easy isn’t it

Just say yes

And you’re done!

From there on you’re helpless

What seems good for one

Is very bad for some.



Though you cannot see them

There are vultures out there

listen to me I say

Stay on your guard and be aware

Don’t be taken in by the play

Keep them all at bay.



And remember this

Never let your guard down

It is easy to be distracted

The truth not always shown

A play of deceit enacted

And soon your shield is retracted.




Hidden away no more

Fonts of sadness escape

Aimless and sore

mist over the mind’s landscape

No longer protected by a drape.



Only one cure

Only one way to forget

To put aside and calm your mind

Move on, out of the net

By the seas and caressing wind

Angry Diamonds left behind.



Feb 2017

Bronzes of Valletta Part 1: Monument to a wartime leader

Very interesting post.
looking forward to future instalments of ‘Bronzes of Valletta’.

The Malta Photoblog

_DRA0407_tonemapped pixlr signed

Bronzes of Valletta Part 1: Monument to a wartime leader

There is a relatively inconspicuous corner in Valletta’s Upper Barrakka Gardens which houses a simple but artistic monument.  The monument consists of a plain white marble column on which stands a beautifully rendered bust of Sir Winston Churchill, wartime Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War.

Churchill had a long relationship with Malta, the island he was to describe as “the unsinkable aircraft carrier” for its unwavering defence against the Axis onslaught during the siege of 1941-43.  In fact he visited the island on no less than six separate occasions over a forty year period which covered both World Wars.  His first visit was in 1907 as a junior minister in the British government and his last two visits took place when the Second World War was still ongoing in 1943 and 1945 respectively.  In his…

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Lawful Hunters indeed


Maltese Hunter in Argentina “showing off” his catch.

Maltese hunters arrested in Argentina

The Spring Hunting Referendum is done and dusted and we all know how close the result was, yet unfortunately it went the hunter’s way.

This post is not going to analyse that result nor is it a comment on the referendum itself. However it is a comment on the reaction of the Hunting lobby itself after the result was known.

They all claimed that justice has won, that it was the correct and fair result… because – listen up here – because the hunters are not a criminal lot, they are not law breakers and they DO care for the environment.


So now we here that some three Maltese Hunters were arrested in Argentina when it was found that they had a number of birds stuffed into their luggage on their way out of the country. These birds being of one or more protected species. The report also quotes that the hunters formed part of a larger group which, it seems, got away undetected. So it is uncertain how many protected birds were actually killed during this hunt.

Lawful, environmentally aware hunters indeed!

But… they claimed, during the build up to the referendum, that this was their right, their bread and butter, what provided their family food to put on their plate – woe is them if they were to lose this necessity of theirs.

Basically they claimed that their choice of hobby was their right – regardless of the consequences and barbarity of it all.

So, if these woe begotten poor hunters relied on hunting for sustenance tell me please – How on earth do they afford to organise a trip all the way to Argentina, pay for the guides to lead them and for all the accommodation and transport costs such an expedition would entail?

And really… how many birds are there in that image above? Do they just eat bird flesh?

What a load of hogwash!

Marlene Farrugia rebels over university on ODZ land, fires warning – timesofmalta.com

Marlene Farrugia rebels over university on ODZ land, fires warning – timesofmalta.com.

Long term Chaos for short term gain

Long term Chaos for short term gain

Deceitful comparisons

Deceitful comparisons

Well said Marlene. We need more MP’s with your level of loyalty, honesty & integrity if Malta is to move away from the current cesspit of corruption.

yet you are wasting your talents while on the Labour Ticket. Move on please and find a outfit that better reflects your policies.