Tag Archives: childhood

Mistra Bay nature walk

One thing I struggle with in Malta is to choose where to go to enjoy a lovely nature walk. Finding a place which is not crowded proves to be difficult at the very least.

At this time of the year, Malta is at its greenest. It encourages me to go exercise, snap some photos and enjoy a picnic with loved ones or friends.

Recently my boyfriend and I have visited Mistra Bay. Previously, I have only frequented this area in my childhood for swimming and BBQ-ing. This time round, our plan was different, and I was pleasantly surprised by the nice views once you get walking along the cliffs. The shallow water is lovely to look at, the breeze is fresh and clean.

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My excitement was hardly contained when we came across what looked like an abandoned room, with a very panoramic view. Walking into it, and absorbing the scenery… Reading through the graffitti, I found a mark which said that this was a fire-station. We tried to come up with reasons why this was suitable, but seeing that there were no villages or towns close by, it hardly made any sense to have one at this location, on the very edge of the cliffs.

We stopped for tea and snacks further up, facing the breathtaking St.Paul’s islands. I have never looked at them from this angle; gorgeous none the less!

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Photos used are owned by myself. Please ask for permission if you’d like to use them.

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Flee To Florida, And Escape The Rain!

It’s dull, drizzling, and the sky is really lacking inspiration. It no longer feels as if winter is around the corner… it’s here, and it’s here to stay! But, don’t fear. Some parts of the world are never really that cold, or miserable. One of the great examples, and a great holiday location is Florida. If you’ve never been, you’re really missing out. This post will go through the State of Florida, city by city, to inspire your next big trip!

Orlando

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You’ve probably heard of Disneyland in Paris, right? Well, Orlando is home to something a little bigger; Disneyworld. It’s also home to several other large theme parks, including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. All in all, there are over a dozen theme parks in Orlando. And, some of them are the biggest in the world.

Like much of Florida, much of the Orlando area is filled with marshland and swamps. But, you’ll also find miles of white, sandy beaches to the east of the city. In areas like this, wildlife refuses to budge. This makes for a city that feels like it’s at the heart of nature, while still incorporating nightclubs and shopping into the mix.

Tampa

florida2(Image Credit)

For lovers of history and culture; look no further than Tampa. This city focuses more on intellectual pursuits than either of the others. The city has numerous zoos and aquariums, making it perfect for youngsters who don’t like rides! It also has several museums, and even plays host to the famous Busch Gardens; an African-themed amusement park.

Most of the cities nightlife and dining can be found in the Ybor City neighborhood. This area is steeped in history, having been established by Cuban and Spanish tobacco workers at the turn of the 20th Century.

Miami

florida3(Image Credit)

Miami is one of America’s hotspots for fashion and culture. For those who want to spend the nights on the town, Miami is the place for you. Much of Miami consists of art deco buildings and trendsetting diners. It truly is the best place to go to sample some of the finer things in life.

The city is famous worldwide for its beautiful white, sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean. Miami is a popular spot for surfers and other extreme water sports, adding, even more, culture to the already bustling city.

Getting yourself into a hotel in Florida is easy as pie. You have so many options available; the hardest part really is choosing. You can spend two weeks in a luxury hotel, or have a stint in vacation rentals in Florida. The world truly is your oyster. It’s best to avoid traveling to a place like this with food included in your trip. You’ll want to get out and try all of the different offerings these cities have for you.  Remember to take plenty of dollars with you, too!

All that’s left to do is get planning! Make sure that you plan well to avoid any unwanted issues on your journey. Good luck, and enjoy the trip!

Dilemmas

What do you do when there’s an awkward silence?
When you run out of things to say…?
How do you come up with another fun topic… without being too obvious?

I don’t want to talk about the weather, or what I am currently up to.
I utterly hate small talk.

Seriously, if I am up to something, I wouldn’t really be online, chatting. (Unless you are special or close enough to me, that you’d trump TV Series, my walks, my outings etc.)

But, what I hate most is, when I am thinking, “oh finally a conversation with more than just a hello, how are you and what’s up” and then the person tells me they have to go because they are bored. Wow. Seriously?
Thank you for taking your time to write that message to me before you leave. You could have come up with a better excuse.

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Thank you for making my life easier.
I know who I won’t be speaking to tomorrow.

Travelling Abroad With Kids

 

Family holidays are what memories are made of; fun in the pool, ice creams and sand castles on the beach. But taking young children on holiday requires a fair amount of planning and consideration. To keep your holiday fun-filled while keeping safe and everything running as smoothly as possible, here are a few things to bear in mind.

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Get Vaccinations Up To Date

You won’t always need specific vaccinations when you’re travelling abroad depending on where you’re going. However children should be vaccinated with their regular childhood immunisations. Ideally they will be vaccinated at the routine times for their age, although if you are due to travel abroad it’s likely that these will need to be done more quickly. It’s important be be aware that not all travel related vaccines are effective in infants, and in some cases they may not be recommended at all due to the risk of doing more harm than good. Making sure your child’s regular immunisations are all up to date before travelling is important, for the full list of jabs they need check out this.

 

Hire a Car

It’s no secret that young children get restless quickly. Instead of lugging them (and all of their stuff) onto public transport you might find it’s easier to hire a car. You can load everything into the boot before you leave each day, and you have much more control of getting from A to B. Most car hire companies will offer hire of children’s car seats and booster seats too, giving you one less thing to pack.

car.JPGTravelling with kids (pic 2)

 

Get The Right Visas

A huge number of countries require Visas before you’re able to enter. For example if you’re from outside the US, you’ll require an American Visa application in order to visit. Both accompanied and unaccompanied children no matter what their age require their own independant Visa. It’s quick and easy to do, most are granted online within seconds although it’s recommended that you do this seventy two hours before you’re due to fly. The same applies if you’re an American looking to leave the US, you and the children will require Visas for a large proportion of places- so make sure that’s all sorted in advance. Something to bear in mind when you’re travelling abroad with kids, as they won’t just be covered under your paperwork.

 

Plan Activities

Having a rough idea of what you want to do while you’re away (with the willingness to be flexible) can help to add some structure to the chaotic fun. Don’t try and cram in too much, instead choose a few key activities and assign them to certain days. Leave plenty of time before and after each trip or excursion to relax and rest.

 

Choose The Right Travel Insurance

In most cases you will be able to get cover through a family policy but it’s important to read through carefully, or you could end up out of pocket if you need to make a claim. You will need something with a high level of medical cover, and which includes all of the activities your children will be doing on holiday. This is why it’s worth spending time on the point above and planning some activities beforehand, so you have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Swimming, biking, outdoor games- make sure they are all included. Don’t skimp to get a cheaper premium cost, you’re much better off making sure they’re completely covered.

 

Which language do you think with?

This is a weird one, I know.

I have been, for years on end now, thinking and “talking to myself” in a foreign language. By foreign language, I mean English. Malta is a bilingual country, and in fact we start learning English at the young age of six. I always loved the language and the literature that came with it. I always carried a book with me and preferred British TV and movies over Italian (I’m mentioning Italian because all of my friends watched Italian TV when I was growing up).

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Although I love the English language, I knew that there is one barrier that I won’t be able to surpass. This is, because even though I know that my spoken and written English is better than the average Joe’s, I will never have enough practice verbally to become super fluent and master it as it was my first language.

It was in 2011, when things changed for me. Leaving Malta meant that I had to leave my mother tongue behind (to an extend). When I landed in Manchester airport, I knew that at this point,  I have to deal with people in English. I think, that this is when my head decided that I should start thinking in English. I think, this was rather beneficial (yes, I googled it):

  • Apparently, if you think in a foreign language, you are not only practicing the language itself but also learning new vocabulary. It’s almost like when you are reading a book for the very first time.
  • Another reason according to a study is that since a foreign language provides psychological distance because you need to make a bit of an effort to use it, it will affect your reasoning and decision making in the sense that they become less biased, more analytic, and more systematic.

In reality, in my daily life, unless I am speaking with my friends and colleagues, everything else is done using the English language, which means that I was very surprised that it took my brain this long to switch languages:

  • Reading news, blogs, articles
  • Google searches are conducted in English
  • Reading Books
  • Listening to music
  • Making use of laptops (or computers) and phones using an English interface
  • Watching TV, Movies and Series

Am I the only one who took this leap? Do you think in your native language or did you choose another familiar language to do so? I want to know! 🙂

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//Obviously this is targeted to users who can speak multiple languages rather than just the one.

Pixels The Movie – Review

After spending weeks debating whether I should watch Pixels the movie, I decided to give it a go. May I just say that it was the best decision I made today? ;P

Joking aside, this movie is not only hilarious, creative and fun to watch, but it made me reminisce my childhood.. The 80’s games… the gaming arcades… I used to spend hours playing pac-man and hating on the ghosts chasing it. What about Donkey Kong? I think it was the first game I played with the character Mario, and like the tradition goes, he is always up to rescuing pixilated women or princesses, in this case Pauline.

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Other video game characters and games which contributed in the movie are Galaga, Frogger, Tetris, Paperboy and Ceintipede among many more. Low and behold, Toru Iwatani; the creator of Pac-Man is also part of the movie. This is how awesome and geeky it is!!

Actors such as Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad makes this movie even more watchable. These actors are well known in the comedy genre, and with that pinch of nostalgia and nerdy vibe, it is just the cherry on the cake.

Have a look at the trailer:

Let me know your thoughts if you actually watched this 🙂

Dream Job

I have been asked the question of what is my dream job several times. When I was younger, this used to change depending on my moods, or what I was going through. I remember me wanting to be a scientist, and even a hairdresser; until I was told I had to study biology for that. I hated anything that had to do with biology and the dissection of a human or animal. One of my childhood friends had to buy a heart of a cow and cut it in half in one of the lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for steaks, but this was to me disgusting.

Then, I wanted to become a teacher because it would mean I get the summer off from work like all the students. Then I started thinking on how bored I would, and how much I despised the summer heat that this didn’t sound like such a good idea either.

Growing up, I decided to get into IT, because, I thought, this would mean, working in peace, and not get distracted constantly by customers and people with questions. A couple years later after my graduation, I can tell you that this was very untrue as stakeholders come and go on a daily basis, and I get bombarded with questions face to face, by email, by chat and what not.

No, my current job is not my dream job.drmjob

But, the more I matured, the more I realised, that IF IT IS SOMETHING I LOVE DOING, AND I’D CALL IT A DREAM… HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU CALL IT A JOB? Isn’t it more like a vacation, a hobby, or a pastime.
This got me thinking further.

Oh, I know!

My dream job would be, traveling from one place to another, photographing, and writing about it… And in turn sharing it with my readers…. Companies would pay me to do this for them, and from my end, I would enjoy one holiday after another for free.
Both of us win right? Adverts, promotion and generating buzz for your country, and traveling experiences for me.
Yes please.

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.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers: Know his Story!

It bothers me to the extend of vomiting, or in the worst case scenario, to the extend that I want to kick someone in the face, when people write about Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It seems, no news is good news for them, unless they catch him with a bottle of vodka in his hands.

Turns out the actor has been seen in London two days ago buying alcohol, while wearing what would appear as ‘normal clothes’. If they saw another person in broad daylight drinking in the street, it would have been al-right. But if it’s Jonathan, then it’s wrong. First and foremost, famous actors, are normal people like us; they can make mistakes and fall off the wagon. Secondly, the media is not helping him get any better by pointing fingers at him.

Jonathan happens to be my all-time favourite actor. He’s talented, he can sing, and he can act. His accent is to die for. But what also really amused me is what has led him into becoming who he is. I would think, most of you wouldn’t even know what he went through growing up.

BrieflyThe Story of Jonathan Rhys Meyers

I’d start by telling you, that his surname was O’Keeffe but when his parents separated, he took his mother’s maiden name. They moved from Dublin to Cork were they lived in poverty at one of the council flats. His mother Mary, drank most of her money away, and Jonathan used to steal from her dole money to make sure that he and his brother had something to eat at the end of the day. He later lived with another family, until he was spotted by a modelling agency. This is what led him to the career he’s most known for now. When he made enough money, he bought a bungalow in Cork for his mother. This is what stole my heart. No matter what he went through in his childhood, he went back to his roots; to his mother, and tried to give her a better life; to save her.

Almost 10 years ago, his adoptive father; his saviour; was convicted of abusing a homeless boy and sent to prison. Soon after his mother passed away.

I think all that has happened to him in his life, has made him what he is; his personality is extreme and compulsive. He works a lot, he trains a lot, he drinks a lot. There’s no in between, no normal for him. Just like he went from poverty to riches.

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My point is, don’t judge a person without knowing their story. Help out while you can. If I had a way to reach out to him I would, but I am just one of his many fans. A nobody.

Of childhood memories and meat

Last night, it was the first time I have ever seen a video which explains how to butcher a pig. The pig was not alive, do not worry, but the butcher explains and shows you how to best cut the pig into great pieces of meat to cook and to make sausage from.

At first, I was skeptic to watch this. Not because I am afraid of blood or disgusted. I like my meat bloody; medium to rare. The problem is, that when I was young, perhaps five years old, I saw my grandfather killing a rabbit. He had his small rabbit farm; he used to breed them, grow them up and then gives them to his family to eat. I still remember the clunk of the rabbit when it hit the wall, and the squeal which came soon after. It is the one of the first few memories I have as a child and to this day, I rarely eat rabbit. And when I do, I feel the guilt as the memories come back. But the rabbit tastes so divine, that at times it is just so hard to resist.

Those who share my love of food, I would recommend you to watch this video and start to appreciate the art of butchery and the best looking pork cuts I have ever seen.