Category Archives: People worth Remembering

Farewell, Lukas Podolski

I do not write about football or footballers much, but I am an avid fan of the German national team since the age of 15. That is almost half my life now! Last night was a sad night, as it was Lukas Podolski’s last international game.

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Lukas Podolski cheering after scoring his last goal in his final International Game. What a star!

Born on the 4th of June, 1985, Lukas will be 32 this year. Although he was born in Poland, he has German nationality, which allowed him to play for the German national team.  As a youth, he started off his career in Cologne. He later on joined Bayern Munich, then returned to his home town in Cologne. In 2012 he signed with Arsenal for a fee of £11,000,000. This is the club, together with Cologne in which he shined the most. Currently he is still playing with Galatasaray, a turkish football club, with a salary of around £2,500,000 each year.

He was capped by the German National team in 2004, and since then he became the third most capped player in Germany history, with 130 caps, and also the third highest goalscorer in German history, with 49 goals. In 2013, Podolski scored the fastest goal in German history; he scored after only 9 seconds in a friendly game against Ecuador.

After the Euro Cup 2016, Podolski announced his retirement from international football in order to focus on his family life. He married Monika Puchalski in 2011, and together they have a son, aged 8 (born 2008).

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I have watched Podolski’s career closely with the national team and he has been one of my favourite players. Last night’s win against England would not have happened if it wasn’t for his unbelievable winning goal. What a tribute, and a great way to finish his career with the German team!

Watch the goal here:

Watch his top 10 goals below:

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Musicians who have left us in 2016

What a year it has been – So many musicians and singers I hold close to my heart have passed away. It is, hard to believe – From this perspective, 2016 has been an awful year.

Finger crossed that I won’t have to update this list before year ends… 6 days to go.

David Bowie:

1-david-bowieAt the age of 69, David Bowie has left us after an 18 month battle with cancer. He has left this private from a lot of people, including a number of his close friends. Just before passing away, Bowie has just released his 25th studio album. Many fans have discovered a lot of hints about his illness and death in songs from his new album. It feels like he was ready to die, and let the world know what he was going through and struggling with in secret.

This particular announcement has shocked me to my core, considering that I have always had a wish to experience David Bowie in a concert. Although he was no longer younger, it never crossed my mind that my dream would never happen.

Prince:

Prince Rogers Nelson has been taken to hospital after his plane had to make an emergency landing. According to the reporters, this was due to the singer suffering from flu. Prince died in his recording studio at 57 years old; known for classic songs such as Purple Rain, Kiss and Little Red Corvette.

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Pete Burns:

Although in the last couple of years he has become more renowned due to his extreme plastic surgeries, Pete Burns, the singer of Dead or Alive has given us a music hit who everyone, young or old has heard and enjoyed; You Spin Me Round. Pete died at 57 after suffering a “massive cardiac arrest”.

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I will always remember watching a snippet from his interview on Channel 5, and he says: “The number of surgeries I’ve had is probably 300. I hope when I’m 80 and I get to heaven God doesn’t recognise me.”
Although he was so vain, and I would never dare touch up my face like this, I always thought that he has a great sense of humour!

Rick Parfitt

If you are into rock music, you would have heard of Status Quo – Rick is a guitar legend and has done the band proud. If you do not know who I am talking about, have a listen at “In the army now” or “Rockin’ All Over the World”. Although he has not been performing with the band due to his age, he will be missed sorely by the band members and fans. He was in a Spanish hospital after he fell ill from a serious infection.

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George Michael

The youngest of them all, at the age of 53, has died peacefully at his home on Christmas day. After massive success with his band WHAM!, he has managed to continue his solo career for a long time, and it is estimated that he sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

One of the people who have inspired me a lot in the past years is Jamie Oliver. I have started to follow his work mainly because to me, he is one of the top chefs; not just in Europe but worldwide. He offers tons of recipes online, and sells various books with his cuisines, targeted towards healthy food as well as not too “expensive” so that us, the plain Jane and regular Joe can afford to try it out.

Along the years, Jamie has become more than just a chef. He owns his own Franchise Restaurants “Jamie’s Italian” which are magnificent by the way! As a non UK resident, I still had the same privilege; I subscribed to the gold club, and am taking advantage of several offers and features while dining in one of his restaurants.

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Furthermore, Jamie has been campaigning to instil a healthier Britain; to educate people to eat healthier, by inspiring them to cook at home rather than buying cheap eats on a regular basis; to help the nation fight obesity, by mastering a healthier lifestyle – food-wise and exercise-wise.

Last November, Jamie Oliver introduced his own recommendations to tackle childhood obesity. He suggested a new tax on sugary drinks, fairer marketing as well as a school food plan among others.

Today, 16th March 2016, in London, the parliament has decided that within the next two years the sugary drinks tax will be implemented. This is not just a win for Jamie, but Britain as a whole. It is one of the steps to fight obesity, not just in children but adults alike.

I personally think, that such tax should be present in all the world. MALTA are you listening? If fast food and soft drinks weren’t so cheap, one would think twice buying these products.

Lets fight the ticking time bomb that is obesity, together!

 

Read about Jamie’s campaigns here
Join the Revolution here

Inspired by Van Gogh

So today, I spent some time looking at Van Gogh’s paintings; something I do from time to time. Afterwards, I have done something I have not done in years. Don’t fret – nothing wrong ;P

I painted something! Inspired by Starry Night, by Van Gogh.

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I know this is not of a high standard and nothing compared to his work, but him being my favourite artist of all time, I thought it was about time I do this 🙂

The world will NEVER forget

I have tried, to write something on what has happened this Friday in Paris, and what has happened on Thursday in Beirut, but I have realised that no words of mine would be enough.

Until, today I stumbled on the words of Isobel Bowdery, a 22-year-old who was at the rock concert in Bataclan in Paris. Here, is what she had to say, after the ordeal she had to endure, with other hundreds of people, of which some did not make it out alive;

“you never think it will happen to you. It was just a friday night at a rock show. the atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. and then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naiively believed it was all part of the show. It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right infront of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. in an instant. Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are suppose to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circuling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticoulsy aimed at shot people around the standing area i was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn’t feel real. i expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare. But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy i loved was dead, to the injured man who i had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so i wouldnt have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better. to never let this happen again. but most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didnt get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through. I am so sorry. There’s nothing that will fix the pain. I feel priviledged to be there for their last breaths. And truly beliving that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved. As i lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those i love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep belieivng in the good in people. to not let those men win. Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. to live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil. RIP angels. You will never be forgotten.”

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No words were edited. Sharing them here is out of respect and a way to remember what has happened… As yet again, this is a tragedy which the whole of Europe and the rest of the world will not forget.

RIP to the lives lost.

Inspirational BlogPost: Meet Otu, a guy of many talents

Sometimes, there is no better way in getting inspiration than watching a couple of YouTube videos to help you feel better, man up and keep moving forward in life.

Today, I will share with you the person who made me smile yesterday, and who has made me realise that I should keep persisting in getting what I want, and make my dreams come true.

 Meet Otu, a guy of many talents
Credit: Youtube/ Otu Channel

The name is Olli Suurmunne from Finland. He owns his own YouTube channel by the name ‘Otu Channel’. This guy has a disability; He was born with a deformed left hand.. yet he is able to do more than an average person does or achieves in a lifetime.

Why?

Because he never saw his defected hand as an obstacle. He works hard, and he has positive results.

He can play the keyboard, guitar, he sings, solves the rubic’s cube in under a minute… he makes amazing digital artwork… He designs, composes and makes games.

Without further ado, this video is what made my heart pounding, what inspired me:

And this is a fun video of the guy singing and impersonating various well known singers:

One of his bands, where he does guitars, vocals (clean, throat singing):


Ending this blog post with Otu’s own words: “Keep your head high and keep chasing those dreams of yours because I’m sure as hell, will be chasing mine.”

More info on his blog: Olli Suurmunne

524 years ago, King Henry VIII was born

Wishing, a very happy birthday to King Henry VIII; my favourite king from all British history. My fascination about this king started when I was around 8 years, and I was assigned a project at school about this king. Back in those days, we did not have internet available, so we had to go to the library to look up information. During this I learned so much about the king and how much he achieved, and to this date the Tudor age is my favourite era. On the 28th of June, 1491 Henry was born, and at the age of 18, he was declared the king. If his older brother did not die, he would have never become a king, or at least not at a such young age.

There are three things that you need to know about this king:

  1. tudorsHe broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in order to establish the Church of England – all for one purpose; to get his first divorce.
  2. He remodeled the government, adored art and architecture and encouraged modern politics
  3. He  had six wives, two of which have been executed in the Tower of London:
  • He has married Katherine of Aragon, as Spanish princes and they were married for 18 years. He had to introduce divorce in England in order to be able to divorce her. His reason for this is because Katherine was pregnant six times but never has managed to give him a male heir. Only one of her babies survived, a daughter; Princess Mary. At her death bed, she wrote a letter to Henry VIII telling him that throughout her life she has no eyes for anyone but him. She was the most devoted wife he has ever had.
  • Ann Boleyn was his second wife, and their relationship lasted 3 years. She has given him another Princess by the name Elisabeth. Ann Boleyn was not very well accepted as a queen and had a lot of trouble at court. Right after a miscarriage, she was arrested and executed at the Tower of London for adultery and incest.
  • The only wife who has managed to give him a male heir was Jane Seymour. King Henry VIII was very happy and in love, as he felt that his mission was fulfilled, however when his son Edward was one year old, his wife died on him.
  • Henry has first saw his new wife on a painting by Hans Hoblein. He married Anne of Cleves and soon after he found her to be unattractive. To this, he started pursuing on of her maids of honour Catherine Howard. Anne and Henry annulled their marriage after six months, but they both remained friends. In fact, he commanded that she should be treated as the King’s sister.
  • Three weeks after his annulment, he married Catherine Howard, who was still almost in her teenage years. As such, there were rumours going on about her infidelity, about her past and ongoing love affairs. Henry was enraged about this and had her arrested at Hampton Court Palace and later beheaded at the Tower of London.
  • Kateryn Parr was Henry’s last wife. She evidently loved another (Thomas Seymour) however she could not refuse the king’s proposal. She was known for her devotion and intelligence, and she stayed with Henry until his very last breath. She did marry Thomas in the end, but irony had it that she died 15 months later, after giving birth to their daughter.

Prince Edward VI has become king at the age of 9 when Henry VIII passed away. Edward did die from a terminal illness at the age of 15. Upon which, the reign of his half sister Mary started. If you are interested in watching a TV Series about the life on Henry and his wives, I recommend the series by the name of ‘Tudors’.

My confession…

A lot of people, think it is a bit strange for me to support the German National Football team, rather than any other team which is much more popular over here in Malta; namely England and Italy. I do not know how many times I had to answer why I am a supporter of the German team….

Today, I will write it on my blog, and for a reason.
Today, it is his birthday. 

Back in 2002, while I was watching one of the World Cups that I Fußball WM Deutschland - Südkoreaactually vividly remember, I have spotted this really amazing goalkeeper. He conceded only one goal in the course of the cup until the final, in which the German team lost against Brazil with the score of 2-0. I was impressed by his skills and precision, and this is when football made sense to me. This is when I chose my team. I am writing about the one and only… Oliver Kahn.

Today, he is 45 years old.

Among the honours and awards along the years:

  • He was voted the Best player and Goalkeeper during the 2002 World Cup which is in my opinion very well deserved.
  • He has also been given the title for the World Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999, 2001 and 2002.
  • Others worth mentioning are four consecutive years (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) as UEFA Club Football Awards: Best Goal-keeper
  • Gaining third place in 2001 and 2002 in the Ballon d’Or.

In remembrance:

Tribute to Christopher Lee

I do not go ape-shit crazy over every famous legend, that passes away… But, Christopher Lee deserves a mention.

christopher leeWho is Christopher Lee?
– He is one of a kind.
He was born in 1922, in England and has died due to heart failure at the age of 93.
– He has been given credit for 281 acting jobs (movies and series).
– Out of all these films around 90% of the time he acted as a villain.
– He participated during World War II, where he served his country in the Royal Air Force and in British Intelligence.
– He is a very tall man; 1.96m.
– One of his movies is still to be released next year.

What is he mostly known for?
– Christopher Lee, is Saruman in Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit.
– Christopher Lee has portrayed three different characters in the Sherlock Holmes Series: Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft – Holmes and Sir Henry Baskerville.
– Christopher Lee has been Dracula several times.
– Christopher Lee is the voice of Count Dooku in Star Wars.
– Christopher Lee is also a singer and he has released his last mini-album at the age of 92.

Memories I will treasure forever:

From the Hobbit: The Battle of 5 Armies
Saruman: “Leave Sauron to me”



Christopher Lee singing “My Way”. Elvis’ cover version turned into heavy metal

Farewell to Someone who I used to know

This weekend, while I was browsing through local online newspapers, I came across an article about a missing young lady with the name of Ruth Attard. Later on, I learned that she is from my home town Hal Qormi, and that she is the same age as me. When her body was discovered in Ghar Lapsi, my childhood friends started getting in contact with me over Facebook and on a group we are all part of.

Turns out that Ruth Attard went to school with me both at primary school and secondary school. She was a year younger than me, but a very sweet looking and well behaved girl. She always carried a smile on her face and was ever so cheerful. We were all trying to remember instances from our childhood where we met her; How she was in Mr. Saliba’s class and how she was Snow White during one of the yearly school plays; How she was so devoted to gym and how often we glimpsed her at the gymnasium during the school breaks.. climbing up ropes, doing somersaults. But none of us stayed in contact with her when we finished school. We never spoke again, we only remember her beautiful face. 5498932469_fd0886c60d_zIt comes to us as a shock, that Ruth is no longer with us. Even more so, because we wouldn’t have ever expected something like this to happen to her, or any one of us.

We are so young, we still have all our life before us. Truth is, we take these things for granted.  We should be thankful to be alive, thankful that we are happy… Glad that we are strong, and surrounded with people who love us, appreciate us and are there for us. That because of all of this, we won’t break apart from ourselves or one another…

While we keep Ruth and her family in our thoughts and prayers, let’s learn something from this. Let’s be more thoughtful about those around us; forgive and move on. Love not hate. Teach not shout. Let’s all communicate with one another. Let’s be in contact while we can… Let’s not forget one another… Farewell to Someone who I used to know… May you rest in peace, dear Ruth.

Funeral is tomorrow 10th June at 14:30 at Saint Sebastian Church, Qormi.