Category Archives: Events

Save Some Bucks This Christmas By Getting These Things Ready Now

We all know that Christmas has the potential to be an extremely expensive time of year. After all, there is a lot that you need to buy for it! From food and presents to decorations and greeting cards. But you don’t have to let the festive season be a drain on your bank account. In fact, if you start preparing now, you will find that you could end up saving a few books. That’s all because you’ll be buying out of season. We’re now in the run-up to Halloween and Thanksgiving. Stores are now focusing on selling all their Halloween and Thanksgiving products; you will find that Christmas stuff is still quite cheap.

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So what should you focus on getting ready now before the season starts? Here are some of my best ideas.

Christmas Presents

Ideally, you should look for Christmas presents for your friends and family all year round. There is no point waiting until December to do all your Christmas shopping. The stores will hike up their prices then so that they can make some extra cash before the holidays. So if you see something that you think might be suitable for a relative earlier on in the year, buy it! It doesn’t matter that you will have to wait a few months to give it to them. Just keep it in a cupboard or drawer where the recipient won’t be able to find it. If you do leave your Christmas shopping till later on in the year, it might be worth doing it online. Generally speaking, online shopping is a lot cheaper than going to a store. Looking for the perfect gift for your mom? You’ll be able to find unique gifts for her from Cuckooland.com.

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Food And Drink

Now is the best time to start thinking about the feast you will be having on Christmas day! If you have a big freezer, you will be able to buy quite a bit of the fresh food now and freeze it. Even your turkey! Try and buy your turkey within the next few weeks. Otherwise, you could end up paying quite a bit for it once we are into Thanksgiving season. Don’t worry that the one you buy now isn’t specifically a Christmas turkey. The only difference between a Christmas one and the ones you can buy all year is the packaging! And why pay more for a turkey that is covered in a festive wrapper? Buy all the dried and tinned foods that you need now as well. These will keep in your store cupboard. However, you can’t buy your fresh fruit and vegetables too far in advance. You will have to wait and get them a week or so before the big day.

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Greetings Cards

Most stores that sell greeting cards will have some Christmas cards on sale all year round. You probably haven’t noticed this before because you haven’t looked hard enough! As they aren’t in demand outside of December, they won’t be placed in a noticeable place. So next time you go shopping, have a long, hard look for the Christmas cards. If you buy them now, you will make a significant saving. One thing to bear in mind, though, is that there might not be a great selection just yet. If you don’t like what you see and want to wait till there is more choice, there is another way of saving some cash. You just need to buy in bulk in December. Sure, you will have more cards than you need, but they will last you for a couple more years!

Christmas Decorations

There may not be many decorations in the stores just yet. However, you might start to see some in large supermarkets such as Walmart. The supermarkets tend to display a small portion of their stock during fall to start selling as soon as possible. If you look now, you might notice that there are a couple of discounts and deals advertised. Buy them now before all those savings disappear in December! But, do you want to know the best way to make a huge saving on your Christmas decorations? You can make your own! This isn’t as difficult as it may sound. You will find plenty of guides and how-tos online on sites such as goodhousekeeping.com. There is, of course, another way to save some bucks on your Christmas decorations. And that is just to recycle them and use the same ones every year. If you do this, it is a good idea to check yours now to make sure they are still in good condition. If they aren’t, you then have plenty of time to make or buy some new ones. That way, there is no chance of the kids getting upset when they find all their Christmas decorations are broken!

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Plan Christmas Parties

You will no doubt be having an office party with work at Christmas. And many families and groups of friends also enjoy meals together in restaurants over the festive period. If you are planning any big celebrations such as these, it is a good idea to get everything booked now. The earlier, the better! That is because many restaurants and function rooms offer early bird deals. It’s just like the saying, the early bird catches the worm. Wait too long, and you will end up paying full price. However, book now and you could find that you can take advantage of deals and price cuts.

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Clothes

Are you looking for the perfect outfit to wear to all your Christmas parties? Maybe you want a cute dress for Christmas day? Now is the time to buy your festive wardrobe! It’s true that more glitzy stuff will come into the stores in November. However, this can be quite expensive. It’s a good idea to buy something from fashion stores’ fall and winter collections that are out now. You can always add some sparkle with some cool accessories!

Dreading an expensive Christmas? Not this year!

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Chester Christmas Market 2015

During my latest travel to the UK, between the 19th and 24th of November, we came across the Christmas Market by chance. It was a lovely surprise as Christmas Markets have always been a pleasant memory of mine, of the time when I lived in Stoke-on-Trent and went to Birmingham year on year for this particular event.

When we made it to the Christmas Market, the place was already buzzing with people looking and buying items. The decorations and a sense of happiness from the people, really put me into the Christmas vibe. More so because the day was rather cold (it even snowed in the evening!). Cheese with cranberry bits and the cheeky mulled wine helped in all this too.

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This year, the Chester Christmas Market will last a week extra – In fact it will be open 7 days a week, from 10am to 6pm for just over a month. So make sure you make your way there any day between the 19th of November and 20th of December for some fantastic gifts, ranging from home-made stuff, to food and high-end items.

More information can be obtained by reading here and here.

Remember, Remember

…The 5th of November!!

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For those who are not in the know, the 5th of November is the night we celebrate Guy Fawkes.

But… Who was Guy Fawkes?
Imagine England in the 1600s.. Still under shock and divided between Catholics and Protestants; of course this goes way back since the reign of King Henry VIII. Four kings later, religion did not change and the pressure was still undergoing. The story of Guy Fawkes happened two years after James I was crowned as king. In fact, Fawkes was one of the main members of The Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A group of Catholics have attempted to bomb, or rather blow up the House of Parliament and kill the king. The idea was to protest against the rule of a Protestant King. Guy was the chosen one, the one to light the fuse on D DAY. Because of this reason, he got a lot of attention regarding the conspiracy story; and also a day named after him.

If the story sounds familiar to you… It is probably because you have watched the film V for Vendetta.
Join me tonight and make it a yearly habit; Join me by watching this. Lets remember this night of treason, together.

So, what are we celebrating on this day?
I would dare say, that for the Brits, this day is Thanksgiving Day. The tradition itself started on the same day and year that the Gunpowder Plot had the failed coup. It started as a joyful celebration of Londoners, relieved that their King was saved. This was done by the means of a bonfire.
As time went by, the celebration became more elaborate. Preparations for the Bonfire Night did not include just the bonfire, but also fireworks. Before this day, some would also dare making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, the Pope and some even of politicians. Guy’s dummy is placed on top of the bonfire, and once it is alight, people would throw into the fire the other dummies. Fireworks display fills the sky all over Britain, and some would also light their own fireworks from their home garden.

Bonfire Night is not just celebrated in Britain, as the tradition itself crossed oceans all over and has become popular in a lot of the British colonies along the years. Canada and New Zealand for instance still celebrate it.

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When I lived in England, I was very keen about this Day. I even got my own mask. X

Qormi Air-Raid War Shelters

Casal Fornaro is an event that happens in my home town Qormi, on a yearly basis. This is a festival which celebrates bread, and how it represented the town through the years, even during wars. During the time when the island was under attack, bread was made out of rice and tasted horrible, but at least it ensured that the citizens had something to eat. Nowadays the city of Qormi is still renowned for bread and together, we celebrate an event full of bread, pastries and culture.

On this day, the two local war shelters are open for the public, and to me, these deserve a visit every year.

In one of the shelters there is a re-enactment from World War 2, explaining the situation of the poor and the politicians. Then you are allowed to roam around the shelter and imagine for yourself what life was like during that time. The re-enactment happens in Maltese which is a disadvantage for any tourists visiting, however one can still visually appreciate the surroundings.

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In the second war shelter, there is a bread exhibition sponsored by the leading bakery ‘MayPole’ – One can find fancy bread available in the shelter just for viewing as can be seen in the images below.

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One is able to buy similar bread through the many stalls in the festival as well as from their bakery any other day of the year.

Doctor Who Experience

It has been an awful long time since I wrote something on here… and I am blaming life and lack of inspiration on this. I have been finding it extremely difficult to find time to focus and write something interesting. More so, because in my free time I try to relax a bit, edit a few photos from my holidays in June and July or watch TV Series.

So, I thought, I should review one of the places I have been to while in Cardiff. Let’s start with the Doctor Who Experience… because, why the hell not? 🙂

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We made our way to the Doctor Who Experience on the first day of the holiday. Actually, it was oudw1r first activity after we checked into our hotel. We were staying in Cardiff Bay, so you would think that it was straightforward to locate the BBC venue. Truth be told, we were slightly distracted with the amazing views of the bay and the surrounding, and it took us longer than expected to get there.

But once we did, I had a huge grin on my face. I couldn’t believe I have finally made it… It has been five years since I made up my mind that I should visit this place! We had already purchased our tickets online, so we simply waited for our time-slot and off we went in. The first half of the experience was very interactive and fun. It was the best part of it, in my opinion, however we were not allowed to take photos or videos as not to spoil this for other visitors. Granted, it made sense… but I wish I have captured that moment when I walked in the Weeping Angel’s cemetery or when I flew the Tardis.

Some photos taken outside and around the museum:

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I would definitely return here eventually and would recommend it to all Whovians out there! 🙂

Of HayFever and Fun

This weekend was not an eventful weekend, mostly cos I had a lot of my plans cancelled due to a losing battle against my nose aka hayfever.
I started off Friday feeling miserably sick  so decided I should stay in. I spent my Friday swallowing pills and gutted that I had to miss an event happening at Razzett l-ahmar. When I woke up Saturday morning I felt almost as good as new. The plan was to go to Valletta with my mum to pick up our passports. Turns out we got delayed and found the passport office closed. I would have never guessed that they’d close at 11am on Saturday! We arrived only a few minutes late and we were devastated. I guess I know what I will be doing next Saturday morning!!
In the evening me and two friends went out to Coconut/Remedy which is the only alternative and metal pub still standing in Paceville. There was a live event of Martyrium and afterwards a goth/ebm event.
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The gig itself was awesome. I was very impressed with their new material and some of their cover versions, mainly Dimmu Borgir. The party afterwards was a let down as no one would dance and most people vanished straight after the live music was over.
But our night was not over… We went downstairs and enjoyed 80s music and Rammstein music for the rest of the night. It’s my favourite music style anyway so I was not really gutted about the ebm party.
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On Sunday, my hayfever decided to take over again so I spent my day being lazy. I watched the most awaited first episode of the new season for Orphan Black and then straight after I watched ‘Secrets and LIes’ – a series which I recently discovered.

The sun has set on… Rock the South Malta

Attending a festival such as Rock the South, makes me realise how much talent there is in such a small island, and how unfortunate it is that most of these bands will not make it far because of lack of proper marketing and how difficult it is both money-wise as well as luck-wise to get recognised and heard by music labels; Let alone being chosen to tour within Europe and further away.

It’s very hard to chose and pick my favourite bands that participated within these 4 amazing days, but my favourite picks are:

1. For Strings Inn – My top favourites from the whole 45+ bands. I have followed these guys since 2009 or 2010 and they have come a long way. The vocals has improved so much and the music is not repetitive whatsoever. These guys rock my socks.

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2. Massacre House Party – Loved their music videos but never seen them live until this festival. Must say they do not disappoint and sure know how to party and get the crowd going! Won’t be the last time seeing these guys.

3. Brodu – Seen them live twice in a month; varied music, sometimes serious, sometimes almost funny. What about the jokes? All the guys are hilarious, especially the drummer!

4. Cosmic Erotic – Mentioned them once, but will mention them again. Just amazing, with the right promotion this band could make it far.

5. Sempliciment tat-Triq – A pleasant surprise for someone like me who’s not a big fan of hiphop and rap. That French guy did certainly give them the edge!

Honourable mention goes to… The Silent Disco! I have never experienced this before in my life, and I most certainly wish that events like this will happen again, possibly with a bigger spectrum of music genres.

One of my huge disappointments during this festival, apart from the fact that it had to end sometime, is that Cable 35 cancelled their participation pretty much at the last minute (on the day) and left their fans baffled. No words can be said when I looked at people’s faces… I am not their biggest fan but I can say that it also killed some of my buzz that night.

One other mistake I made from my end is taking my camera without an SD Card. Yes, I was really pissed at myself, but these things happen I guess…

I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the organisers of this festival as well as Zion for hosting it. I look forward for a bigger and better one next year! For now we can only dream and hope… But the count down has already begun!

Rock the South Malta: Day 1 Review

Bands start quite early which means that I had to unfortunately miss the first three bands, and this was not out of choice. For us people who work office hours, it is a bit tough to make it to the fest at 6:40PM. One has to go home, have a bath or quick shower, rest a bit from a busy working day and have some quick dinner. I had to add a 30mins drive to that, which make me arrive at St Thomas Bay at around 8:15PM.

This was my first time at this festival, and also the first time at St Thomas Bay and Zion itself. I expected the outside area to be bigger, and perhaps I can blame this on the map I found online. I thought that the distance between the two stages was more than you 20 seconds walk 😉 But I am not complaining! Especially considering that no bands were playing at the same time, so there was no sound interference, and one could watch all bands if they wanted to.

The only suggestion I would make at this point is about the 20150410_105003wristbands. I have bought a 4 day ticket, and I have a green paper-made wrist band. I already know it will be a challenge for it to survive 4 days on my arm! I think that at least for those who are attending the 4 days, we should have been given a plastic/rubber wristband which is more durable and can be removed while we are at work, having a shower or doing chores.

With regards to the bands, I think all have been amazing in their own style, but I would like to give a special shout out to The Cosmic Erotic, which were the biggest surprise to me. I loved the music and all of the songs they performed. Yews was also awesome especially during her first part of her performance. Keep it up girl, and I hope to see you live again sometime soon. Violent Violets never disappoint with their metal guitar riffs.

Photos will be added during the weekend as I’d rather get ready for day 2 now 😉

Siggiewi World War Shelters

So, I have been slightly quiet the last few days, but I guess I needed some me time, as I have been very busy with work. I have made two new friends over the weekend, which was great too.

On Sunday, the Siggiewi World War Shelters opened for the very first time. There were a lot of people so it was difficult to get a lot of pictures. But this will give you a brief idea. For those who have been to Siggiewi, these shelters are right under the main piazza, so they are pretty massive. I used to think that the ones in Qormi are quite big, but it’s nothing compared to these shelters; corridors upon corridors, with small rooms which the families themselves dug to have their own private space.

Great work done by the Siggiewi Local Council who opened this for the public.

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