JOSEPH CALLEJA FATHERHOOD COMES FIRST
ISSUE 11 JUNE 2011
Exclusive! Marie Walsh: Wife, mother, fugitive
Colour Your World
Styleâ€™s Latest Home and Fashion Trends
Maltese Women on Facebook
INSTEAD OF CONQUERING AN ISLAND BY KILLING THE NATIVES, WE DECIDED TO SIMPLY BUY IT. (Besides, have you seen the price of weapons these days?)
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ISSUE 11 - JUNE 2011
10 Fatherhood Comes First
55 Industrial Evolution
23 On The Block
17 Maltese Women Exposed on Facebook
61 The Big Cat
Style celebrates the industries that have evolved time after time
Opera icon Joseph Calleja talks about life in the spotlight
Joe Said on his beloved Jaguar XK120
Should these photos have made it into the public domain?
36 The Modern Faces of Diplomacy
32 Refreshed Style
89 Papped! in Style
73 Summer Hues
Striking interior items of the season
81 Breath of Fresh Air
83 Colour Your Palate!
Scrumptious Mediterranean delicacies
Products that embrace and create space
Fashion must-haves in rainbow tones
Vibrant pieces for instant wardrobe updates
Spotted at this season’s most stylish events
31 The Summer of Colour
65 Fugitive Mom
Exclusive! Marie Walsh’s incredible escape into suburbia
Five international diplomats share their experiences
Bold colour-blocking and print clashing
45 The Face of Summer
Creating summer’s perfect make-up look
49 Smells Like Summer!
Seasonal fragrances and summer products you can’t live without
50 Editor’s Pick
The beauty products we love this season
STYLE O N
S U N DAY
Joseph Calleja and his children Clara and Xandru were photographed on location at Baia Beach Club, Armier Photography by briangrech Art Direction by Stephen Azzopardi
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‘East or west, home is best.’ – Anon I’m reminded of that saying while enjoying a candid chat with Maltese opera star Joseph Calleja. For despite his exciting life in the global fast lane (one that would be the envy of many), Joseph explains that he is never happier than when he’s back home in Malta and spending time with his two little children. In our enlightening cover interview on pg 10, he talks about the joys of fatherhood, as well as the many exciting projects in his future. Meanwhile, Style is thrilled to be the first publication, locally or internationally, to feature photos of the tenor with his daughter, Clara, and son, Xandru, both of whom are delightful. The whole team spent a very enjoyable day at Baia Beach Club in Armier creating the final results and, while Joseph was the obvious star, his children certainly stole the show and are clearly already following in daddy’s charismatic footsteps. On a completely different note, another interesting feature looks at why women – including numerous Maltese – feel comfortable exposing themselves online in ways they would likely never do in the
real world. Style goes behind the lens and tries to get into the psyche of why so many of us feel comfortable revealing so much of ourselves in cyberspace – despite the dangers. Read the story on pg 17 In other news, we are also enjoying the fact that the world suddenly feels multi-coloured. Gone are the dull hues of winter, while bright, vibrant tones are ushered in to celebrate another change in season. Of course, colour is very much a summer thing, and this issue we have injected it into so many elements of the magazine. From the friendly feel of our home shoot (pg 73) to the pop-art shades of our delicious recipes (pg 83) and dare-to-be-bold fashion (pg 23), we’re celebrating the way colour can instantly up our mood and transform us, our clothes and our homes. Finally, our other favourites are back, including our Look of the Season beauty pages (pg 45) and pictures of the recent must-attend events all over Malta (pg 89). Happy reading!
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Contributors Joseph J Abela Maria Borg Liana Dalli Krista Micallef Trigona Luisa Diacono Claire Borg Mary Grace Pisani
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“The first thing the Prince said to me was, ‘I know Malta well, in fact I was probably conceived there.’”
FatherHOOD Comes First As one of the icons of the international opera scene, Joseph Calleja is also one of Malta’s brightest stars. Here he chats openly and exclusively to Jo Caruana about life in the spotlight, touring the world, and why fatherhood always comes first.
Photography by briangrech. Art direction by Stephen Azzopardi. Shot on location at Baia Beach CLUB, ARMIER.
getting hurt, fear that something bad could Tenor Joseph Calleja needs little happen, or the fear that you won’t be a good introduction. Easily one of the most famous enough father. It’s terrifying, but at the end Maltese faces on the international circuit, of the day nothing else matters. he’s also one of the most sought-after opera “Today I find that they’re growing so stars on both sides of the Atlantic. He has fast, and it’s wonderful to watch their been achieving transnational success since relationship develop, too. I’m also always so his late teens and, with a stream of concerts impressed by how smart they are; I think lined up at venues including the New I underestimated how much children are York Metropolitan and many of Europe’s aware of, and their logic often astounds me.” premiere opera houses, Joseph’s dynamic Joseph is very central to both his children’s career shows absolutely no sign of lives and is an extremely hands on dad. slowing down. Nevertheless, he admits that it is sometimes It’s quite the opposite in fact, which is exactly why scheduling our interview proved a struggle to juggle everything perfectly. “I often choose to refuse work so that I rather challenging. After all, Joseph literally can spend more time with them, especially rushes from appointment to appointment during the summer,” he says. “I never regret in spots all over the globe, so it’s wonderful it because I love to watch them grow and to watch him relax and giggle with his two they’re happy when I’m around. Thankfully children at our chosen photo-shoot location I’m also surrounded by an incredible family in Armier. It’s a real chance to glimpse that my children are completely anchored behind the star at a man who clearly loves into, and our nanny, Rosi, is another being a father. WORDS by Jo Caruana “Unconditional love goes hand-in-hand Photography by briangrecH constant source of support for them. “I guess they know their life is a little with becoming a dad,” he smiles, glancing unusual, but it’s the only life they know. over at Clara, 7 and Xandru, 4, as they play They’re also adjusted to the fact that their on the sand. “It’s a beautiful thing to learn mother and I aren’t together and, because that, no matter what, you will love your we were never really a conventional family child through everything. The emotion to begin with, I don’t think it changed much that follows, though, is fear – fear of them
for them. There wasn’t a shock, they knew what was going on and we helped them to adapt in every way possible – which they did.” And both children are already interested in their dad’s career, and are big fans of his work. “They seem to love it! They both have musical talent, but I don’t dwell on it because I’ve seen too many children ruined by pushy parents. I believe that all children have to do to be special, is just be children. “But they definitely have a connection to the music, and they really enjoy my shows. I have so many pictures and videos of them watching intently and applauding me afterwards. Clara and Xandru are usually seated in the front row, so I look right at them and watching them gleaming back with pride always makes my eyes water a little bit. They also enjoy coming backstage. I remember when, in 2009, I was rehearsing at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, the kids were with me for the full seven weeks of rehearsals and performances. It’s wonderful having them around and being able to involve them in everything I do. They’re both great travellers; it doesn’t happen as much now that they’re
“Before my first performance at the NY Met, I remember thinking that, if I messed up, I would be doing it in quite a spectacular fashion!”
both at school, but I still try to arrange it as much as possible.” Meanwhile, it certainly seems that international travel will continue to be a major part of Joseph’s career, which has definitely been on an upward trend for the past few years. He’s booked at the NY Metropolitan Opera House until its 2016 season, as well as all of the world’s other major opera houses. Of
course, he’s also keeping his appointment with Malta for his summer concert, this time on 9 July, which will be followed by another open-air event in Tel Aviv that will be broadcast to over 700 different cinemas worldwide. Other exciting projects will take place in Korea, London, Munich, Paris and Austria, to name but a few. “I do feel very blessed to be having this incredible career. At the end of the day, it
is my art, my passion and my profession. Performing at the NY Met has definitely been a highlight so far. I’ll never forget my debut there in 2006, which was also streamed live to around 10 million people around the world. I remember thinking that, if I messed up, I would be doing it in quite a spectacular fashion! So I just went out there and sang. Nerves meant that it wasn’t perfect, but it went well, and the administration saw through any rough edges. I’ve been engaged there ever since.” Another highlight has been the recent release of his new album, The Maltese Tenor, by Decca. “The album title actually came to us over a drink, where we had been brainstorming all kinds of fancy names for it. When I suggested The Maltese Tenor, everyone round the table loved it and we pushed ahead immediately. The album is a collection of French and Italian arias, and I think it is testimony to how much I have developed vocally, artistically and as a person in general. I’m no longer a 24-year-old kid, and look forward to more artistic development, possibilities and an even wider repertoire as time goes on.” In fact, Joseph is now one of the five major tenors in the world with a recording contract. “For me it’s not about ranking or positioning, it’s about being a great singer. When I first started the media often compared me to the likes of Luciano Pavarotti or Jussi Bjorling, but I prefer to think of myself as the next Joseph Calleja! Artists such as these have such unique talents that anyone trying to emulate them will have a short career.
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STYLE in-DEPTH I believe that, as an artist and singer, you have to completely be yourself.” Of course, Joseph’s determination and hard work have also led to many exciting moments, offstage as well as on. “I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible people, including Clint Eastwood, Colin Powell and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. However one particular highlight came after a London performance of La Traviata in 2009, when I was invited to the Royal Box by Prince Charles and Camilla. The first thing the Prince said to me was, ‘I know Malta well, in fact I was probably conceived there’. It was hilarious, and both of them were absolutely charming.” Known to love Malta, Joseph has always been very public about his roots. “I’m proud to be Maltese and, artistically speaking, there’s a lot of really exciting work going on here at the moment.”
“Clara and Xandru are usually seated in the front row, so I look right at them and they always bring a tear to my eye.” 14
Now, aside from his international endeavours, Joseph is looking forward to the 9 July Malta concert. “We never rest on our laurels, but work together to make it a world-class event year on year. So many fantastic people are involved, and this year’s other performers, Lucio Dalla and Hayley Westenra, will be a wonderful addition to the team. “Looking forward, my main ambition is to keep singing beautifully for as long as possible, but more importantly, it is to watch my children grow and to enjoy them. I’m not about sports cars or other expensive toys things, I’m more family oriented, and look forward to hopefully having more children in the future with someone worthwhile by my side. I believe I am really looking forward to a bright future.”
Maltese Women Exposing Themselves on Facebook. Literally... Words by Jo Caruana
From lewd photos of drunk nights out to inappropriate pictures of innocent young girls, Maltese women, some married and others schoolgirls, are not hesitating to expose themselves on Facebook. The information is intimate, and the photos should only really be for personal
consumption – so why has this very private information been shared with the world? Here, Style on Sunday presents the Facebook photos that should never have been made public, and investigates why our information stops being ours the minute we press ‘send’.
These pictures, found publically on Facebook, are all of Maltese females - some mothers, some wives, others young enough to still attend primary school. Names and faces have been omitted to protect the identity of the individuals involved.
Would you show your employer intimate photos of you and your partner? Or would you want your teenage daughter to expose herself inappropriately to a stranger? Is your husband comfortable with the fact that you’re posting semi-naked pictures on Facebook? Well, after a quick search on Facebook, it becomes evident just how easy it is to happen across photos that should never really have become public domain. There are local women in sexually-explicit poses, and young girls showing off for the camera in ways that would otherwise be deemed completely inappropriate. So what’s going on? There’s no denying that the internet is a brilliant place. With a world of information at our fingertips, we are connected to the farthest flung places on earth, can be in touch with people that we may otherwise never see again, and learn everything about, well, almost anything. But just what can be learnt about YOU? And who is looking? It seems, depending on your privacy settings on sites like Facebook, MySpace and HI5, quite a lot of your life could actually be out there
in the big, wide cyberspace expanse – and they may not be the sort of things that you want people to know, or see. Across the world people have faced consequences for the photos they have uploaded. Their stories range from the bizarre to the downright terrifying. For instance, take the case of American teenager Adam Bauer, who had always prided himself on only ‘friending’ people on Facebook that he knew well. Nevertheless, he chose to ‘friend’ a girl who he found attractive – but who actually turned out to be an undercover version of the local police force. And they subsequently arrested him for underage drinking after they spotted a photo on his profile of him holding a drink. Meanwhile, other cases have been significantly more disturbing. In 2010, the UK’s Old Bailey found Paul Bristol guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Camille Mathurasingh, after he found a photo of her posing with her new boyfriend on Facebook. It is said that he stabbed her 20 times, having flown from his home in Trinidad and Tobago to her house in London just days after the photo was posted.
Facebook: The Facts What are you sharing? People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook The average user creates 90 pieces of content each month According to OFCOM’s Social Networking research, 17 per cent of adult users said they had used a social networking site to speak to someone they didn’t know The same study found that 34 per cent of 16-24 year olds willingly posted personal information, including their home address and telephone number, photos and details of their whereabouts 44 per cent of adults and 41 per cent of children had their profiles set to ‘open’ – meaning anyone could view their information at any time.
“I’m often amazed by what people put out there. I do think there is a certain level of exhibitionism going on.” – Psychotherapist Malcolm Tortell
A lot has been said about Facebook’s ability (or inability) to protect our information since it was launched in 2004. But more recently the California-based multi-national has been praised for its efforts to keep us safe online.
“Paul Bristol was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend after he found a photo of her posing with her new boyfriend on Facebook.”
Speaking to Style, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Facebook gives people the power to control exactly what they want to share and who they want to share it with. “Facebook now offers three settings that are easy to use: Friends, Friends of Friends, and Everyone, as well as granular control which means that individual pieces of information, from status updates to photos, can be targeted to, or restricted from, individual people. This helps people to control their information, and subsequently to protect what they share.”
But while these stories may seem extreme, it seems that Facebook and other social media sites are increasingly impacting our daily lives. For instance, statistics show that more and more employers are turning to the net to seek information on prospective employees. Your online reputation could be affected by everything from a status update about your boredom at work, to the wild photos of you on an office night out. Again, it all comes back to the principle that, if you’re not careful, you really do have no idea who could be peeking over your shoulder. So why would we choose to share this information in the first place? According to psychotherapist Malcolm Tortell, the internet has given us a false sense of security. “The fact that we are comfortable when we post, protected by a computer screen, makes us feel as though there is a boundary there. Thus we find ourselves saying things, or showing things, that we wouldn’t necessarily make public in the street or at work. It blends a false illusion of privacy with a lack of technical understanding of how far that
information could go. “I’m often amazed by what people put out there; it can be very personal, including delicate details of relationship or home life, or pictures of children. I do think there is a certain level of exhibitionism going on here. I have heard of some incredible cases, including someone claiming to be having a wonderful time on holiday and then being spotted picking up his children from school less than half an hour later. “Things seem different online; they offer a false sense of reality. I think it makes it more challenging to be happy, as there is a morbid fascination with what everyone else is doing. Some people really need to get off Facebook occasionally, and to keep the things they do see on there in context. “Finally, users need to take responsibility for what they put out there. If you’re going to use social media, inform yourself and keep your information safe, otherwise you’ll never know where it could end up.”
Photography – briangrech Artistic Direction – Stephen Azzopardi Styling – Mary Grace Pisani Hair – JOSEPH J ABELA at Privé Make-up – MARIA BORG using Dior, available at Franks MODEL – DANIELA@models.com.mt
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THE FACES OF MODERN DIPLOMACY Words: Jo Caruana Photography: briangrech
What is the role of diplomacy in our modern world, and how does the global political community view Malta? Style on Sunday meets five international diplomats currently posted here to find out.
“I was part of the team that helped to run the evacuation of almost 1,200 British, Maltese and other nationals from Libya in February and March of this year.” - Carole Johnson
Diplomacy was a second career for Carole Johnson, who spent 18 years in the private sector before joining the British High Commission in Singapore in 2004. She came to Malta in 2009 as British Deputy High Commissioner, having spent the previous two years in London and six months in Lisbon. “I first came to Malta 18 years ago, when my son, Tom, was 15 months old and I was three months pregnant with my daughter, Lucy. Back then we stayed in an old farmhouse in Siggiewi but chose another house of character when we moved here two years ago, this time in Mosta. I love the stone, the light and the wonderful views of the dome from my roof terrace. “When it came to choosing a destination, Malta’s proximity to the UK was definitely a factor, as both of my children are at school there. Beyond friends and family I don’t miss much. I actually end up taking supplies of Kinnie and galletti back to the UK as my children miss them when they are away from Malta! “My friends were envious when I landed this posting, though I don’t think they could have imagined how busy it would be! My
day usually starts around 7.30am and duties include lobbying on political issues, helping with tricky consular cases where British Nationals are in trouble, overseeing the office management and accounts. “Basically put, a deputy’s job is to run the office behind the scenes, though I work very closely with the High Commissioner on a day to day basis. There are also many evening receptions or dinners to attend, as it is here where you meet and maintain contacts, which is essential to modern diplomacy. “The last few months have been incredibly busy, starting with the mass evacuations from Libya. There is no doubt that the situation in North Africa has changed the focus of our work; I was part of the team that helped to run the evacuation of almost 1,200 British, Maltese and other nationals from Libya in February and March of this year. Malta and its authorities played a very central role in the humanitarian effort. There are many moments that stand out during the evacuations, but the first arrival of HMS Cumberland in the Grand Harbour at 4am, after a gruelling 36-hour crossing, will be etched forever in my memory. The feeling of Malta as a safe haven was overwhelming. I felt very lucky to be here.” Tudor Alexis is the Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy. This is his first diplomatic posting, although he was previously in charge of the Morocco desk in Paris, as well as the Western Sahara dossier. “A combination of things drew me to a diplomatic career. When I was 24, I opted to follow the civilian form of the military service that all males were then required to complete, and was sent to teach English on the Ivory Coast. It gave me a good glimpse of France’s diplomatic actions and, by the time I got back to France, I had lived on three continents and developed a profound interest in other people, other cultures and other languages. The prospect of representing France diplomatically became irresistible. “In a country the size of Malta, the number two at the embassy plays quite a few roles: analysing the host country’s internal situation,
its European policies, its international priorities and relations, and following up our bilateral relations. Besides this political work, I’m also in charge of press and communications, as well as security issues. Obviously, I also do a lot of what we call ‘demarches’, which means exposing our viewpoint to the Maltese authorities. As I am always explaining to my junior colleagues in Paris, my challenge is to be a Jack-of-all-trades and avoid being a master of none! “Malta was actually my first choice. As I had worked in Morocco, I wanted to remain in the Mediterranean. I wanted to get a feel for the job, and to work with Ambassador Rondeau. It was also a collective choice for my family, as we wanted our children to learn English and to grow up in a friendly, culturally-rich environment. We love life here, and are surrounded by great neighbours who we call our ‘guardian angels’. We go to Gozo often, and have made great friends here. “As a French person, I feel that it is a sign of respect to attempt to speak a bit of the national language of the place you are in, especially if you are a diplomat. My business
“I have already been given my dream posting. We will miss absolutely everything about Malta when we are posted elsewhere.” – Tudor Alexis
STYLE In-DEPtH card is in French but, on the reverse, my title and designation are in Maltese and English. It is important for me to learn as much of the language as possible, though I suspect living in the house of the Maltese poet, Annibale Preca, also has something to do with it! “Aside from friends and family, we do miss French food, as well as the typically French discussions on politics, lifestyle, philosophy and of course, central heating! We will miss absolutely everything about Malta when we are posted elsewhere. “I have already been given my dream posting, so I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years! We don’t have linear careers so it is anyone’s guess – but I do imagine it will be somewhere bigger! In the meantime, we are working to strengthen and build bridges between France and Malta across different spheres, whether that’s cultural, scientific or political.” Radhia Amel Ben Salah is a councillor and Chargé d’Affaires of Tunisia in Malta. She handles any task related to Tunisian-Maltese Diplomatic relations, as well as Tunisian residents in Malta. She previously worked for the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trained in various countries including France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. In the past she has worked on different files related to the diplomatic, economic and cultural relations between Tunisia and Asian countries. “I chose this career because there is no routine in diplomacy. It gives you wonderful opportunities to see different places and to meet people from different cultures. I was pleased to be posted here because of its proximity to Tunisia, as well as the fact that it is a member of the EU and an Englishspeaking country. “I was quite surprised by what I found here, but was very excited to discover everything about the island. I also love how quiet and safe it is. I also appreciate it more during the spring and summer than I do in the winter! “There were a few of my colleagues who laughed when I was posted here and assumed it would be one long holiday – but we are extremely busy! Especially recently, we have been very caught up with the Libya conflict and the direct impact that it has had,
especially economically. Syria and Egypt are also Mediterranean countries, and any conflict there creates instability for the whole region. “Now though, our most pressing aim is to promote trade and economic relations. When I leave Malta I hope to be posted to the UK or South Africa; both would be dream destinations for me, although I will certainly miss the security of this island. In the meantime, the one element I miss from home is my dog!” Richard Mills is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Malta. He has previously served in Paris, St Petersburg and Dublin in Europe, as well as Islamabad, Riyadh and Baghdad in the Middle East. “Even as a young student, I was intrigued by the possibility of a diplomatic career. Although I am slightly embarrassed to admit it, it is, in part I confess, because of too many viewings of old movies like ‘Indiscreet’, in which Cary Grant plays a US diplomat in Brussels, dashing off on important missions while conducting a love affair with Ingrid Bergman during visits to London. To a 15-year-old growing up in snow-bound Detroit, being a diplomat seemed like the coolest career possible! As I got older, I’d like to think my reasons became a bit more realistic. The idea of a career in which you ‘shake up your life’ every three or four years and move to a new culture with new responsibilities was very appealing, as was the opportunity to pursue a career of public service. “I am also a child of the Cold War, who believes that my own country, working with its friends and allies, defeated one of history’s most repellent tyrannies and is still, ultimately, a force for good in the world. Contributing in a very small way to the next chapter in my country’s engagement with the world seemed a worthwhile endeavour. “As the deputy chief of mission, my primary responsibility is to ensure the Ambassador’s broad policy and management directions are implemented as effectively as possible. “I was thrilled to be posted here. What I knew of Malta before arriving was similar
“I was quite surprised by what I found here, but was very excited to discover everything about the island.” - Radhia Amel Ben Salah
to what most Americans know – the historic defence during the Great Siege, the Knights, as well as a country that had heroically survived blockade and bombing during WWII. I knew Malta wasn’t a great international power, but it clearly was a great country with an impressive history, credibility on the world stage because of that history, and an exciting future as a new member of the EU. “But life here is less relaxed than I expected! The nicest part of life for a diplomat is how collegial the diplomatic corps is in Malta; perhaps because of its size there is a real closeness among most of the diplomats and a willingness to share information and ideas that is often missing in larger capitals. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials also make this a terrific place to be a diplomat – they are accessible, understand the value of working with the diplomatic corps, and are always informed on the issues whenever I engage them.
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STYLE In-DEPtH “Meanwhile, the events in North Africa have certainly put Malta into the international spotlight. The island’s humanitarian support to those evacuating from Libya wasn’t a surprise to anyone here who knows the Maltese people, but it certainly attracted worldwide praise, including from my own Government. Malta’s logistical, medical, and consular support for the Americans evacuated from Libya, including my diplomatic colleagues from the now closed US Embassy in Tripoli, was exceptional. Diplomatically, Malta always mattered to the US Government. “So when I look at my experience here, the only things I miss are my mom’s pecan bourbon pie at Thanksgiving and eggnog at Christmas. Otherwise Malta has offered so many new experiences – from my first festa to figolli. I will miss many things when I leave – the view from the Valletta Bastions across the Grand Harbour at night, listening to any performance while seated in the Manoel Theatre; attending pantos at Christmas time, and, most of all, the
“Contributing in a very small way to the next chapter in my country’s engagement with the world seemed a worthwhile endeavour.“ – Richard Mills
opportunity to meet inspiring and committed Maltese like the students behind ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ or Father Mintoff, whose work through the ‘Peace Lab’ is helping migrants in Malta build ties with their new country. As an Embassy, we are now looking forward to the move to our new embassy chancery building in Ta’ Qali. It is scheduled for July and will transform our ability to engage with Maltese society across the board. “As I look to my future, I really can say that I would be happy to serve anywhere else in the world. And although I never did meet Ingrid Bergman at an embassy party, something better happened – I fell in love with my wife, Leigh, who sat next to me on the visa line at my first posting in Paris 20 years ago!” Fu Zhimin is the Chinese Embassy’s Political Counsellor. He embarked on a diplomatic career 20 years ago, and was previously posted in Malta in the 1990s. He has also been posted in the UK. “I started my diplomatic career in 1991. I chose it partly because I studied at the Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, but also because I am a strong believer in traditional Chinese ‘harmony’, which values living in harmony with oneself, others and nature. I have found that personal philosophy has been enhanced by my diplomatic career because I have never felt any contradiction between my heart and my role. “Today my role requires me to assist the Ambassador in coordinating the cross-border relations between China and Malta, and to handle things in his absence when he is overseas. Today the relationship between our two countries has gone beyond the traditional political and economic, to include the cultural, educational and judicial. My typical day can vary significantly, but I must always be very aware of what is going on locally, in China and around the world. “I like the lifestyle here, though I sometimes do find the Mediterranean pace a little different. I find that Malta is a brilliant place to learn how to think big despite one’s small surroundings. My colleagues did actually tease me when they found out about my posting here, and did presume it would be one long holiday! I guess
“I find that Malta is a brilliant place to learn how to think big despite one’s small surroundings.” - Fu Zhimin
the sun and sea, the diversity of the culture, and the friendliness of the locals all confound that assumption, but the role does still have its challenges. “When I think of home there isn’t much I miss, as I suppose I have become used to this nomadic lifestyle. I will certainly miss the friendly and open-minded people of Malta when I come to leave. My four-year term will end next year, and I will have to go back to China for a number of years before moving on to my next position. Having been posted to two islands now, I would like the experience of a continental country next. “In terms of Malta-Chinese relations, we very much appreciated the tremendous support that Malta lent when it came to rescuing and transferring 5,000 Chinese nationals in Libya. Next year will see China and Malta celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. So, along with the rest of my colleagues, I am working to translate the excellent friendship that has been crafted, into more tangible partnerships between the two.”
THIS U N E M E H T WHAT’S ON 13. 15.
OE? H S E H DOES E SPORT? ES H O D R O
1. 9. 17.
24. 20. 5.
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N O T R I SH S I H T GE
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Embrace brightness with a make-up look that will leave you fresh-faced and ready to seize the day this summer! Follow our handy tips for a look that will last, despite the heat.
The Face of Summer Model: Bettina@models.com.mt; make-up: Claire Borg using the 2011 Dior collection, available at Franks; Hair: PrivĂŠ; photography: briangrech
GET THE LOOK Step 1 Get your skin in the mood by applying Skin Perfect Moisturiser as a base below your make-up, which will quickly perfect your complexion. Next, use Dior Skin Crystal Nude as a make-up base, for a sheer finish. Finally, apply a gel-to-powder foundation for the ideal, nude skin effect.
1 Step 2 To highlight cheekbones and eyelids, we used Skinflash 002, followed by nude concealer 002 under the eye area to form an even colour.
Step 4 Nevertheless, we still want to add a little drama by focusing attention on the eyes. To do this brilliantly, we used the Crayon Eyeliner 090 and Style Liner 094 in swift sweeps across each eyelid.
Step 3 Embracing the bright hues of summer, we used 5-Colour lift (642) eyeshadow, which instantly freshens the face. Its airy consistency is the perfect way to add colour without making your look too heavy.
Step 6 To enhance a glowing summer complexion, Diorskin Shimmer Powder 002 was used, while Blusher 533 sculpted the cheekbones. Finally, Lipliner 463 defined the lips, and a delightful blend of Rouge Dior 526 and Dior Addict 343 was used on the lips. As extra touches for summer perfection, Ultra Gloss 436 creates the perfect pout, and Dior Vernis 545 added a touch of warmth to perfectly manicured nails.
Step 5 Additionally, really great lashes bring the whole look together. We used 360 Lash Maximiser as a base â€“ the first revolving mascara brush that really adds volume. This was followed by the first Ultra Professional Dior mascara, which perfectly mimics the make-up artistâ€™s hands and gives flawless 360-degree volume, curl and length.
Lose 6 kilos in 10 to 15 days! Learn to take control of your eating habits! Let us teach you the pleasures of eating all the great foods without feeling guilty. Lose weight in a fast, fun and effective way!!
This course includes a variety of treatments which will help you lose inches, tone, firm, reduce cellulite and stretch marks, help circulation and reduce water retention. A weekly diet plan is given to assist with the program. Individual and group motivational talks are held during every session to help you understand how to train your mind and body to lead a healthier lifestyle.
This course includes a variety of treatments which will help you lose inches, tone and firm. A weekly diet plan is given to assist with the program. Individual and group motivational talks are held during every session to help you understand how to train your mind and body to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Slimming sessions for €185
17 Slimming sessions for €276
Slimming sessions for €165
17 Slimming sessions for €236
GIFT VOUCHERS MAY BE PURCHASED ONLINE
For a full treatment list or more information visit www.marionmizzi.com
The Palace Sliema Slimming Club 2137 0208 or Spa 2262 3421, Fgura 2189 6545 or 2167 5696
Women’s Tops from €25 Women’s Shorts from €39 Dresses from €36 Men’s Shorts from €30
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beautiful summer living  Better tan, less sun with Clarins Sun Care Milk - Lotion Spray SPF 50 +
Enjoy a better tan with less sun. With its multi-cellular protection, this lotion reinforces the skin’s natural defenses to protect from premature ageing. Exclusively distributed by von Brockdorff Imports Ltd.
 Nina L’Elixir: Eau de Parfum
Nina L’Elixir evokes the rare, luxurious essence of a love potion concentrated in an Eau de Parfum. This elegant red apple-shaped crystal bottle opens a world of everyday magic with indulgent, audacious and sensual accords. Nina L’Elixir Eau de Parfum spray bottle 80, 50, 30 ml.
 GUCCI GUILTY
Indulge yourself in the guilty pleasures of this sensual and feminine scent. Perfect for the
woman who takes risks and loves to live on the edge. Now, receive a Gucci Guilty purse spray when purchasing the Gucci Guilty Eau de Toilette (75ml). Ask in store for details. Call VJ Salomone for trade enquiries on Tel 8007 2387.
 Father’s Day Gift Sets: Rotate it!
Gift sets assert their virility with a touch of humour, drawing inspiration from technological innovations. The Paco Rabanne Black XS man: tough yet tender-hearted, his fragrance conveys his contrasting nature: a woody oriental with vibrant and enveloping notes.
 I LOVE JUST CAVALLI HIM: the fragrance
A young modern fragrance that’s brilliant and cool. The drydown reveals itself to be sweet, woody and ever-so-slightly gourmand.
Just Cavalli is distributed by X-Treme Co. Ltd and can be found at leading perfumeries.
 In The Mood For Love Pure
This new feminine fragrance from Gianfranco Ferre epitomises that intense moment, delicate sensation and irresistible urge for pure love. Gianfranco Ferre is distributed by X-Treme Co. Ltd and can be found at leading perfumeries.
 The Body Shop - HONEY BRONZE
The Body Shop’s new Honey Bronze makeup range is ideal whether you want a subtle hint of bronze, or you prefer deeper tones. So say goodbye to patchy bronzing! The Body Shop, Valletta, Plaza, Bugibba, Gozo. Tel 2149 6291/9.
Editor’s Pick  ULTRASUN
Medium 15SPF ultra lip care and protection, contains blackcurrant seed-oil to reduce inflammation and chapping. It protects your lips against the sun, wind and cold. It is a highly moisturising stick which can also be used for extremely sensitive skin areas and as a lipstick base. In case of sun exposure, apply 30-45 min before. It contains no preservatives, colourants, fragrances and parabens. For free samples from the Ultrasun range, call 2397 6000. Exclusively distributed by AM Mangion Ltd.
Made from the Cassia plant, the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Collection is designed to help transform hair’s health, so a woman’s true potential shines through. For local trade enquiries, call VJ Salomone (Marketing) on tel: 8007 2387.
 New Body Butter Duo - two levels of moisture for every bit of you
Make the most of this great summer offer: purchase one Dry Shampoo (150g) and receive one mini Membraine Gas (40g) for free!
The Body Shop launches the ultimate beauty industry ‘one pot wonder’! Apply the rich infusion on areas such as elbows, knees and legs, and use the normal skin formula on the rest of your body, for up to 24-hours of moisturisation. The Body Shop, Valletta, Plaza, Bugibba, Gozo. Tel 2149 6291/9.
Keep your hair looking great with this fab summer offer – buy one Membraine Gas (150g) you get one mini Dry Shampoo (35g) for free!
Vaniglia Bianca by Nature’s introduces its hair and body oil - a refreshing dry oil treatment ideal for the summer months, and with a delicate fragrance of vanilla.
 BeAUTY NECTAR
These treatments include a Detoxifying Bath & Shower Gel, Renewing Body Mousse and Renewing Face cream. Treatments are to be applied for 30 days, and to be repeated 2-3 times a year.
 Pantene Pro–V Nature Fusion
Rich in plumping hyalauronic acid, Environ ionzyme focus hydrating serum, is brilliant for reducing fine lines and signs of ageing. When purchasing Environ ionzyme focus hydrating serum for €84.52 you will receive Focus cit worth €37.60 for free.
 Olay Regenerist
Olay Regenerist approaches anti-ageing cell by cell and is designed to visibly firm areas such as the eye area, the jaw-line and the neck, to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to restore elasticity and suppleness. The Olay Regenerist 3 Point Treatment Cream and the Olay Regenerist 3 Point Treatment Serum are available from leading pharmacies, perfumeries and supermarkets in Malta.
VALLETTA | SLIEMA | BUGIBBA | GOZO
HAIRDRESSING THE STR AND - SLI EM A
TEL : 21 33 69 62 / 79 32 44 44
Award-Winning Hair Success Their class, style and skills have put them a cut above, and they stop at nothing to ensure their clients look and feel fantastic. Here, Style on Sunday chats to the award-winning team behind Privé Hairdressing.
Education is an important part of what the Privé team offers their clients. Here are their tips for great summer hair: •
Instead of gelling your hair, use a conditioning treatment and apply hairspray on top. This gives a much better finish.
If you have very curly hair, always use a leave-in conditioner.
As the temperature soars, invest in sun-care protection for your hair, just as you would for your skin.
Always plait your hair before you swim, to protect it.
Use products made from keratin such as GK. This is a substance naturally found in your hair, and which can help to rebuild and protect it.
It’s impossible to miss the Privé Hair Salon when you drive along the Sliema Front. Imposing and inviting, it provides a chic rest stop for pampering and style that has been lovingly crafted by founders, Joseph Abela and Marielle Calleja. “Both Marielle and I trained overseas and have over 27 years’ experience between us,” explains Joseph, who began his career at 19. “Both of us had a natural flair for the industry and we progressed up the ladder quite quickly, embracing every learning opportunity that presented itself along the way.” The duo met working in the same salon, where they were both directors. “We worked together every day and, after seven years by each others’ side, knew that we were a ‘hairdressing item’!” smiles Marielle. “People constantly asked for our amalgamated services of cuts and colour, and we realised we had something special to offer our clients. So, three years ago, we decided to forge ahead with our vision of hairdressing, which is when we decided to launch Privé.” The duo and their team have since made a name for
themselves, so much so that they recently won the coveted Best Fashion Hairstylist Award at the Malta Fashion Awards. “That evening we held a hairshow-with-a-difference, with a theme of Fashion Meets Fetish,” says Marielle. “It was an honour to win the award, and it’s now sitting on our reception desk for all to see; after all, we want our clients to be proud to come to Privé. “As a result, the salon is very contemporary and stylish, and we regularly refurbish it to ensure it says stateof-the-art, with an unbeatable range of services and products.” In fact, Privé Hairdressing has always been supported by Angel Haircare, products that help you to look after your hair while also reflecting your personality and lifestyle. Meanwhile, their team is now made up of eight hair professionals, including three stylists, two technicians and three assistants, as well as an experienced nail technician. “Today we look around and are so happy with what we have achieved,” adds Joseph. “We are lucky to love what we do, and to be able to do it with passion.”
Olay Regenerist 3 point treatment serum and day cream Our most concentrated range for firmer looking skin in just 5 days on face, jaw line and neck.
Olay Regenerist 3 point treatment cream Long-lasting hydration power for firmer looking skin around the eyes, jaw line and neck.
“The average tourist walks past it, barely giving it a second look, but experts quickly distinguish it as a museum piece.”
New! Olay Regenerist 3 point treatment serum Olay’s most concentrated serum for up to 57% firmer looking skin on face, jaw line and Neck in just 5 days.
Trade Enquiries VJ Salomone (Marketing) tel: 8007 2387
INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION In the always-evolving consumerist world, trends and preferences can be hard to pin down – and yet there’s always something new and exciting to reel us in. Here, Krista Micallef Trigona meets three business owners to discover how their very different sectors have reinvented themselves time after time. Photography by briangrech
Jean Therapy Jeans went from taboo to trend must-have in a matter of decades. Here The Warehouse Group’s Leonard Cassar charts the denim fairy-tale. “Many may be surprised to learn that jeans were not always made of denim. The first jeans in the world can be traced back some 500 years, in Genoa. Their material, a course cotton wool or linen blend, was made into trousers by Genovese sailors. The history of denim is slightly shorter and takes us back to late 16th century France, where a fabric known as ‘serge de Nimes’ (twill from Nimes) was very popular. The material was
made from a blend of silk and wool. Since then, both fabrics continued to grow in popularity. “But the modern history of jeans made from denim, boils down to Loeb (Levi) Strauss. He and his partner Jacob Davis gave birth to the blue jeans we know today 138 years ago. Their ‘waist overalls’ made out of denim and cotton duck were a major hit during the 1920s. By the time the ‘50s came along, the popularity of denim jeans boomed, as big names in the film and music industries such as James Dean and Marlon Brando set the stage for jeans to become a must have accessory. “Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, jeans were embraced by the
STYLE LIVING hippy movement and a variety of styles were the craze – hip-huggers, bell-bottoms, baggies and elephant ears. The denim story was not always rosy though as, in the ‘90s, denim fell out of favour for a while, as the new generation turned to other fabrics. Nevertheless, today it’s back with a vengeance in all forms of washes, finishes, embellishments, destroyed styles and more. “But perhaps the one thing that hasn’t changed about jeans is the comfort and versatility that they provide. Both Levi’s and Diesel really boost character, style and attitude in a person, they last for years, offer good value for money and can easily be dressed up or down; I believe this is what the Maltese see in the brands! “Personally, of course, I have always loved clothing and fashion. But jeans are my pride and joy, which is what enticed me into the industry in the first place. Good quality attracts me, and has always been at the core of my business. I opened my first store in Valletta back in the early ‘80s, selling the very best of branded jeans. “It wasn’t long before denim took over my wardrobe. My very first pair were skinny but, by the time the ‘70s rolled around, I was taken in by flares. My denim passion has never waivered since, in fact I’d give up just about any other item of clothing, but not my jeans! I now have a variety of styles which have accumulated over the decades. Today jeans are certainly that must-have commodity; in my opinion, no wardrobe is complete without at least five pairs of jeans in different styles and colours”.
The Sweetest Thing Famously known as Camilleri tal-Helu, the sweetest group on the island has been around since 1843. Group director Charles Camilleri explains why life really is sweet and how C.Camilleri & Sons has made it even sweeter... “As our business went from generation to generation, my greatgrandfather passed on one essential factor to each successor: a passion for sweets. That sugary taste is something I could never resist. Ironically smoking was easy for me to give up... but to stop eating sweets is impossible! “As my father put it, we were born on a sack of sugar. Sweets always took centre stage in my life. I recall my family and I gathering around the dining table after lunch when we were young, testing out the sweet samples that my father brought home. We would give our opinions on flavour, what we would change and how much we thought they would sell for, and whoever came closest to the correct price would win a special treat (€0.03)! “Over the years, the Group has made a couple of changes with regards to the sweets we make and sell. Back in my father’s day, marshmallows, chocolate mice, coconut macaroons and sugared almonds were popular treats but they no longer fly off the shelves today. “Our business has obviously witnessed many major events. I have particularly fond memories of my father relating stories about WWII. On one occasion during a bombing raid on Merchants Street, the
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Opening Night Strada
Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
Food and Wine Festival
Dir: Brian Schembri Music by: Tchaikovsky, Camilleri and Stravinsky
South and Strait Streets – Valletta
Esplanade & Garden, Heritage Malta, Bighi – Kalkara
Mediterranean Conference Centre – Valletta
Friday 1 July 2011
€25, €20, con. €15
Barbarossa A Modern DanceDrama in 2 acts State opera & ballet of Turkey
Argotti Gardens – Floriana
Tuesday 12 July and Wednesday 13 July 2011
€15, con. €10
Friday 1 July till Sunday 3 July 2011
€15, con. €10
Solo Cello Suite 1, 3, and 5 Santu Wistin Church – Valletta
Sunday 17 July 2011
Tickets available online at www.maltaticket.com or from the following outlets in Malta & Gozo: Agenda Bookshops, Exotique, Mdina Kiosk, Bookends & Newskiosk.
Dir: Daniel Cauchi
Argotti Gardens – Floriana Tuesday 5 July and Wednesday 6 July 2011
€15, con. €10 (admittance 14 years and over)
Argotti Gardens – Floriana
Thursday 7 July 2011
€15, con. €10
21.00 & 22.30
Enrico Dindo Plays Bach WHERE
Big Band Brothers
Saturday 2 July till Monday 4 July 2011
mavin khoo Dance
Welcoming the End of the World Laboratorio di Castaldo
Stomping La Luna
Kronos Quartet Argotti Gardens – Floriana
Monday 18 July 2011
Auberge d’Italie – Valletta
Sunday 10 July and Monday 11 July 2011
Tuesday 12 July till Thursday 14 July 2011
For info and booking send e-mail to email@example.com
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
Dir: Wayne Marshall Music by: Ravel and Orff
Argotti Gardens – Floriana
MITP Theatre – Valletta
Conducted by Domenico Castaldo MITP Theatre – Valletta
Around the World With Kronos
Workshop on Actor Training
Tuesday 19 July and Wednesday 20 July 2011
Wednesday 20 July and Thursday 21 July 2011
€20, con. €15
€20, con. €15 For more information log on to: www.maltaartsfestival.org
Mediterranean Conference Centre – Valletta
Saturday 23 July 2011
€25, €20, con. €15 Please note: Concession: for students and senior citizens upon presentation of relevant identification to be presented at the door. Free entrance for 12 year olds and under upon presentation of ticket. Tickets for free events to be collected from MCCA. Time of event is 21:00 unless otherwise stated.
façade of the shop was blown off and all and sundry had an abundant selection of sweets to choose from, completely free! To avoid this ever happening again, he placed hoarding around the store and, after every raid, he would reinstall it again and again. “Another memorable and difficult moment came a number of decades later, when importation restrictions were enforced. It was tough as we were only permitted to sell local produce. “Yes, things have certainly changed over the years – but Maltese shopping habits have not. The Maltese have always had a sweet tooth and they love all sorts of sweet varieties, whether that’s biscuits, pastries, cakes, weigh-out sweets or chocolates! I guess the world’s sweetest things simply cannot be resisted!” The Pleasures of Fine Wine Having established his business in 1992, leading Bordeaux ‘enprimeur’ wine merchant Philippe Martinet knows a thing or two about fine wine. He distributes a wide range of vintages from French wine regions, as well as from many other estates in Europe. “My love of fine wine takes me back to my childhood – I grew up in France and, there, enjoying a bottle of wine over dinner has always been customary. Over the years, I became more passionate about it and decided to make it my profession. I became a wine merchant when I was 30, and haven’t looked back since. “The enjoyment of fine wine continues to be a growing trend in Malta. Up until the late ‘60s, top-notch wine merchants, Saccone and Speed, were perceived to be the biggest distributors on the island, but once the importation restrictions came into place during the second
half of the 20th century, fine wine became rather dormant. The wine industry only picked up again once the ‘90s rolled around. It was then that Bordeaux ‘en-primeur’ was introduced to the islands, allowing Maltese consumers to order good quality bottles of wine two years in advance. This also set the stage for investment in luxurious wine. “Since, it seems that the Maltese have become more knowledgeable on the topic. It has been a constant evolution, picking up more since Malta made it into the European Union, and once the Euro was introduced. Nowadays, wine has become extremely trendy – which is also evident in the number of wine bars across the islands. There is now more choice out there, in all price ranges, allowing the Maltese to experiment more. “It may also come as a surprise to learn that there are Maltese consumers who today spend thousands of euro on wine. Perhaps for every hundred people, there are around five to six who enjoy high quality wine. There are also many who buy good vintage bottles simply for investment purposes, storing them in a cellar, and eventually reselling them 10 or 20 years down the line. “It is hard to pinpoint one of my favourite vintages as, year after year, my preferences change. However, my favourite region is Burgundy; it is a mosaic of a terroir. What I enjoy most about wines from this region is that you never know what to expect – they are always different. Evidently, drinking top vintage wines is a real pleasure and, without a doubt, an experience in itself. It takes an acquired taste to enjoy a good vintage bottle of wine, and is only worth sharing with people who understand and have a background knowledge of what they are drinking.”
THE BIG CAT
Cruising the road in style is a passion for Mdina Glass top dog Joe Said. Here he tells Krista Micallef Trigona about his fondness for the Jaguar brand, particularly the XK120 model.
Joe Said’s passion for Jaguars is immediately obvious upon entering his office, as his walls are adorned with references to the brand. “The first Jaguar to catch my attention was the Mark 2,” Joe begins. “It belonged to my neighbour and, as a young boy, I would spend my days sitting on the pavement, admiring its beauty. I knew that, one day, I simply had to own one.” Fast forward a number of decades and Joe’s childhood dreams have more than come true. He now owns 10 different Jaguars, the oldest being the SS1, 1935 model. You would think that owning 10 cars would be quite a handful, but Joe insists that he finds ample time to use all of his beloved Jags and hates the thought of keeping them locked up in a garage. He maintains that, “though a Jaguar is a nice car to look at, it is a lot better to drive.”
Still, can he pick a favourite? “Yes, the XK120, 1948 model,” he smiles. He purchased this car quite impulsively. “I was on a flight to England and, to kill time, I was browsing through a magazine. There I happened across this model, which was up for sale. As soon as I landed I called the owner and fixed an appointment to see it, and in that instant, I knew I wanted it. We agreed on a price and I bought it on the spot.” As we get talking, it is clear that Joe is not simply passionate about the XK120, but very knowledgeable too. “The car was first released in Britain immediately after the war,” he says. “It was showcased at a time when Britain was in tremendous austerity, a time when the country lacked a lot of essentials including food, fuel and clothing,
STYLE LIVING but nevertheless, it was an instant success.” But what makes the XK120 stand out most? Simply put, it boils down to everything that the car offers. “It is an open-top sports car with a racing car performance. The XK120 can reach speeds of 120mph, a great achievement at the time, and it also has a straight-six engine. The exterior of the car is black, although if given the choice upon purchasing it, I would have opted for silver, and its interiors are made of leather,” he explains. However, one of the elements that really keeps eyes locked onto it, is its shape. “It is unlike any other car and can be summed up in just one word... suave.” The XK120 is literally carved to perfection; its curves very much resemble that of the magnificent animal. I was also surprised to learn that this car has a rather nifty feature, which you no longer find in cars nowadays. “It has no handles, and no automatic key to open the doors,” Joe tells me. As I ponder on this, I wonder: how does he get into the car? With a smile on his face, he says that “I have to stick my hand in through the hood and open the car from a latch inside – it is a little complicated at first but I got used to it over time.” There’s no doubt that this car must attract a lot of attention on the roads. “Many people do admire her; you can immediately see it in their
eyes and the expression on their faces. It is also a rare sight to see in Malta as, currently, there are only three on the road. Five years ago there were none,” Joe divulges. Indeed, seeing this car on the road must be quite a sight, but could you imagine seeing a whole parade of Jaguars passing by? “As a member of the Malta Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, every Sunday morning a group of us meet and we go for a ride, stopping for a drink somewhere,” he adds. “Another enjoyable experience that we share amongst the members is the trips that we often take together. Just recently, for example, we went to Sicily. The weather was lovely and it was great to cruise for four hours at a go. I travelled a total of 1,600 miles with my XK120,” he reminisces. However, Joe did run into one mishap on the trip. “At one point, my car’s temperature was a little on the high end so, to solve the problem, we had to remove the thermos. It wasn’t great news, but things like that are expected when you are travelling at long distances at high speeds of 120mph.” So while this car may not have power steering or an efficient gearbox, there’s no doubting the pleasure that owning a vintage such as this gives. “A Jaguar, especially a vintage model, is a real joy to drive. And although I have a fairly good collection at the moment, in the future I would still like to own a few more – as long as they are from the Jaguar brand!” Joe concludes.
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She was a teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time – but a mistake saw her sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Thirty years later, ex-fugitive Marie Walsh chats candidly to Jo Caruana about how the past came back to haunt her, as well as about her book, Fugitive Mom.
Photo: Rene Rossignaud
Left & below: Susan Lefevre in her younger years.
There are some stories that instantly grasp your attention and won’t let go. Marie Walsh’s is one of them. Also known as Susan LeFevre, she was sent to a US prison at 19 on a minor drug offense, and sentenced to 10 years behind bars, even though she’d been promised probation. So she escaped over a 20-foot high fence and built a new life – changing her name and spending the next 32 years living the life she’d always planned. Not even her husband knew who she really was, until, one day, the police literally turned up on her doorstep and she was ushered back into Michigan’s notoriously cruel penitentiary system. Here, she shares her story, and explains the price one pays in trying to escape the past and the lessons to be learned by confronting it.
Mum On The Run
Above: Susan on her graduation day; below: Grandfather Albert (centre standing) with his basketball team.
Marie, it’s been over three decades since you were sent to prison. Should that ever have happened? The prison industry is worth a lot of money in the United States, and there’s a reason for that. I don’t believe that any young person should be in prison unless they are a threat to others – and I certainly wasn’t. I just got caught up in a situation and had made some wrong choices. In hindsight the intervention was actually very fortuitous in my life as it was a violent wake up call. But if I’d stayed in prison I think it would have been a very different story; I would have been corrupted more and more. There isn’t enough rehabilitation in prisons now, and there certainly wasn’t much back then. Often it teaches you how to be a criminal as opposed to putting you back on the right path. I believe that escaping saved my life. What was life in prison like for such a young girl? It was completely overwhelming. I had led a very sheltered life – I had gone to a private school and lived in a comfortable home.
I was devastated to find myself there, and it felt so dangerous. Back then it was also well known that the guards raped many of the girls and I was even made to squat naked in my jail cell. It was accepted that they could do whatever they wanted with us. When did you start planning your escape, and how difficult was it? I was in a medium security prison with barbed wire around the perimeter. However, on one of my grandfather’s visits, he told me that a maximum security prison was being built and that we would soon be moved there. That’s when I knew I had to get out. In the end it was actually my grandfather who helped me escape. He was an incredibly upstanding citizen, but he felt I’d been treated unfairly and couldn’t bear to see me in there any longer. We worked out that the guards didn’t watch us inmates so intently at daybreak as opposed to in the evenings, so that’s when I made my getaway. I threw a jacket over the wires, climbed over the fence and found my grandfather waiting for me in the woods. I’ll never forget how
out of breath I was as I ran to freedom, while helicopters circled overhead looking for me. How easy was it to fabricate a new life? I didn’t want to buy an illegal identity card – aside from taking a few recreational drugs, I hadn’t broken the law before I was in prison, and I wasn’t about to start now! So I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles and asked for a new license – it was as easy as that! But things were easier back then; I don’t think it would work the same way today at all. Did you actively try to change yourself, or do you think you remained largely the same? I was always changing my look back then, so there was nothing new there! But more than that, I wanted to be different in my character, and to improve my way of life. When I moved to the West Coast, it felt light years away, and I simply changed jobs and homes naturally so I felt pretty safe. Having said that, I did let my story slip to a flatmate over a glass of wine one evening, and then I had to move!
Above: Susan and her family in 1955; right: Susan on her wedding day to Alan.
“Back then it was also well known that the guards raped many of the girls and I was even made to squat naked in my jail cell.” 66
Above: The Walsh family in 2000; left: Susan (far right) with family in 1974.
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“In the end it was actually my grandfather who helped me escape.”
Above: The family in 2008; Left: Susan’s three children, Alan, Katie and Maureen. Left: Susan in 2008; Above: Her son Alan in 2006.
Did you ever think of escaping to a small island, like Malta? I did travel quite a bit, and I knew that a move to a faraway place made sense. But I wanted to be close to my parents, who both knew where I was. My mother and I had reconciled our differences after my troubled teen years and was now ill, so I wanted to be there for her. Nevertheless, Malta sounds great and I would love to visit! As life went on, did you try to forget your past? You never forget. It was always on my mind. I knew I couldn’t make mistakes that could get me found, like getting a speeding or parking ticket. I was constantly aware, but I tried not to let it worry me. I went on to marry Alan Walsh and together we raised a wonderful family of two daughters and a son. They didn’t know about my past, but I didn’t feel as though I was lying to them either. My new life was the life I was meant to lead. You were arrested outside your home while you were gardening. How did your family take it? One of my daughters was at home when the police arrived, and she was incredibly disturbed
by it all. It was very traumatic for her to see them taking me away for something that she knew nothing about. I then called my husband, which was very hard. It’s been tough for my whole family, and they don’t understand why we had to go through this. I don’t think they trust the world as much as they used to. As for me, I was tried again and, this time, could have faced more than 15 years in jail. Thankfully I was released after a hellish 13 months behind bars. How did everyone else react when they discovered the truth? There are a few family members who haven’t reached out, but on the whole I really couldn’t wish for better friends or neighbours. I think a lot of people realise how easily it could have been them. I did have a bad experience on the Oprah Show though; she implied that I had gotten away with something, and put me on trial all over again. It was awful as my children were sitting just a few feet away. But no one who has read my book has come away unconvinced – the evidence is all on my side. I have no reason to lie about anything now, so
“I think a lot of people realise how easily it could have been them.”
I choose to fight for all the other women out there who have been wrongfully imprisoned – some for decades of their lives. Can you finally rest easy now? I’d like to say that I feel fabulous, but I’m now plagued by thoughts of women who are erroneously sent behind bars. Often they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time – they’re in a car with someone going to sell drugs, or they lash out at a violent partner, but statistics have shown they would never break the law again. Prison is not the answer for these women, and it is now my goal to help them. What would be your message to the Maltese following your ordeal? I’m not going to be a big advocate against the drug world, but we really must educate our young people about useful defences against the temptations of drugs. Also, I’m not very aware of the prison system in Malta, but rehabilitation programmes should be available at every stage. Now that you’re free, will you be visiting Malta? I’d love to! I’ve heard so much about it; it’s now top of my list.
Visit fugitivemom.com to donate to Marie’s charity that aims to help women wrongly sentenced to prison, or to buy her book Fugitive Mom.
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Summer Hues at Home Add a touch of class and colour with our beautiful selection of some of the most striking interior items of the season. Styling by designer and artist Luisa Diacono Photography by briangrech
Living Loud Somehow, we always associate colour with summer, and this season colour is back and louder than ever. When it comes to mixing hues, the unwritten rule is to start with a neutral base and add colour to that, but this summer is all about mixing bright tones together â€“ the more the better! Chair - 240; towels - One Two One Interiors
MIX & MATCH The secret to mixing and combining colours and getting it right, is creating a balance of shades and tones, as well as consistent continuity. When combining very bold block colours together, a shade or tone of that same hue is what helps soften and merge the composition together. When using colour, it is also important to craft a sense of continuity, by accentuating colours in some other area in the room, either through cushions, a vase or a painted wall.
Vases, cushions, umbrellas, salad bowls - Hometrends; mosaic candle holders, lime green and turquoise runners - One Two One Interiors
Express yourself! With so many home decorating items available on the market, it may be difficult to decide just what your favourite style is. At One Two One, we will help you focus on your likes and dislikes to ultimately achieve a home that expresses your own unique taste.
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FIGHT THE FEAR People sometimes fear colour as they worry they may tire of it quickly. This is reality, of course, as nothing is more soothing and timeless than neutrals, however you can feel free to have fun this summer by adding colour without spending a fortune and having to start from scratch. Efforts such as painting a feature wall, scattering cushions or adding bright vases, lamps, planters and other accessories, make all the difference â€“ and they can easily be replaced when itâ€™s time for a change. All of these brilliantly add a splash of colour to a neutral palette. Chair and foot stool - 240; cushions - One Two One Interiors
Patterned vs Plain Patterns are also big this season â€“ florals in particular. A touch of pattern can be added through scatter cushions and combining different patterns such as floral print, stripes and checks. To get it right ensure continuity in colour, as well by adding one or two plain cushions for contrast and balance.
Deck chairs and cushions - Hometrends
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Made-to-measure children’s bedrooms are now available in a wide range of colours and finishes by Giessegi Italia. Plus, make the most of the B4 special offer and get a free Samsung LED 32-inch TV when you purchase a main or spare. Terms and conditions apply. B4 Group Fgura Tel 2180 1092 | Mosta Tel 2143 2003. www.B4.com.mt
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Large, practical and elegant high-quality plastic Ikon pots produced with special, non-toxic and recyclable resin, with guaranteed resistance to inclement weather, breakage and ultraviolet rays. Piscopo Gardens, Tony Camilleri Street, Burmarrad. Tel 2158 3755 and within car park of Pavi Shopping Complex, Qormi. Tel 2158 3013, www.piscopogardens.com
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Fir wood clip-on tiles at €43.89p/sqm and in stock now. HomeTrends, Industrial Estate, San Gwann. Open Mon-Fri 9am to 7pm, and Sat 9am to 5pm. www.hometrends.com.mt
PE rattan corner sofa available in black or brown rattan. €850. Available from stock. HomeTrends, Industrial Estate, San Gwann. Open Mon-Fri 9am to 7pm, and Sat 9am to 5pm. www.hometrends.com.mt
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Colour Your Palate! From scrumptious seafood to delicious home-made ice-cream, summer food is as much about colour as it is fantastic flavours. Food by Chef Giuseppe Puccarelli, at Paranga. Props by Zara Home Photography by briangrech Art direction by Stephen Azzopardi
Gnocchi Al Nero di Seppia e Vongole Serves 1 Ingredients: 150gr gnocchi; 1tbsp squid black squid ink; 1tbsp tomato sauce; 80g fresh vongole; white wine; olive oil; parsley Preparation: In a pan, on a low heat, sauté the vongole in olive oil, adding the white wine after a couple of minutes. Cook until the vongole open up. Boil some salted water and cook the gnocchi until tender. When ready, add the gnocchi to the vongole and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix in the squid ink with a touch of tomato sauce and reheat. Then plate it as in the picture and garnish with parsley.
Scampi Alla Catalana Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 langoustines; 1 tomato; 1 shallot; extra virgin olive oil; 5gr capers; 5gr black olives; basil leaves Preparation: Cook the langoustines in boiling, salted water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tomato into four quarters, remove the seeds and cube the flesh. Finely chop the shallot, add capers, olives and tomato pieces, crafting a flavoursome Mediterranean salad. Add oil, salt, pepper and basil. Mix it all together and plate it, topping it with the bright pink langoustines.
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Bitter Chocolate Crunch Mousse with a Light Ginger Froth and Coconut Ice-cream Serves 1 Preparation: For the chocolate mousse: Pour the cream into a pan and heat, melt the chocolate into the cream and allow to cool.
Ingredients: Bitter Chocolate Mousse and Paté a Bombe: 100g fresh cream; 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa); 12 egg yolks; 20g caster sugar; 100g unsweetened cream Crunch Base: 10g Paillettes D’or biscuits; 10g pralines; 5g coffee granules; 20g unsalted butter Ginger Froth: 75g fresh cream; 175g fresh semi-skimmed milk; 35g caster sugar; 15g fresh ginger, grated; ¾ gelatine leaf Coconut Jelly: 50ml coconut milk; 20ml coconut jelly; ⅓ vanilla pod; 2 gelatine leaves
To make the paté: Over a low heat, dissolve the sugar in some water in a heavy based saucepan. Increase the heat and bring it to the boil until it resembles a syrup in texture. Whisk the egg yolks until creamy. Meanwhile, boil the syrup until it reaches 120˚C. Gently fold the syrup into the yolks. Whip the cream to a soft peak and fold into the yolks together with the chocolate. For the ginger froth: Add the cream, milk and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the grated ginger into the mix, allowing infusion for about five minutes. Soak the gelatine leaf in cold water and drain. Add this to the mixture. With an electric blender, whisk the mixture until it is fluffy and foamy, and allow to chill for about one hour. For the crunch base: Add the praline, butter and coffee to a bain-marie until melted. Once melted, add the Paillettes D’or biscuits to the mixture and whisk altogether. Pour the mixture onto a silicone sheet of paper and cover with a second sheet, before rolling out with a rolling pin to obtain a smooth texture. Use a round cutter to cut the biscuit to fit as the base of the cylinder for the paté a bombe, which you can then add on top of the crunch. For the coconut jelly: Pour the coconut milk, vanilla pod and the jelly into a pot and bring to the boil. Soak the gelatin, drain it and add it to the mixture. Mix vigorously until the gelatine has melted. Place onto a baking tray and allow to chill for two hours.
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PAPPED! IN STYLE
Franks Summer Celebration
Photos: JJ Chircop
Claire Borg (Dior make-up artist), Fallon Grech Blackman; Shakyra Dalli, Pamela Aitchison, Marthese Abela, Donald Dalli, Dorianne Gatt, Liana Dalli, John Micallef; Marthese Abela, Claire Abela, Andrew Abela, Lauro Abela; models at the event
THE MALTA national FASHION AWARDS 2011
Nadya Valeva President European Fashion Council, Jo Caruana; Francesca Caruana, Valentina Rossi, Azzopardi Schellmann Sisters; Steve Muliett, Wil Camilleri, Valentina Lupo, Bernard Polidano, Natasha Polidano, Kris Micallef and other guests; Tiffany Pisani, Julien MacDonald, Adrian J. Mizzi
The opening of PAUL & SHARK’s flagship store at pjazza tigné, TiGné Point Christian Spiteri, Michael Bonello; Moira Delia, Claire Agius Ordway, Charles Borg; Stephanie Spiteri, Noelene Miggiani, Yvonne Desira Buttigieg, Marisa Grima
FASHION SHOW AT PALAZZO PARISIO
Kris Micallef, Leonardo Lopez, Cosmo Touche-Arends; Felicity Demajo, Matthew Attard Navarro; Daniel Borg, Joseph Agius, Michael Tanti, Keith Farrugia
Olay Fashion Tea Party at Palazzo Parisio
Above: Claire Bezzina, Andre Mifsud, Rachel Said, Cyana Seychell; Below: Tommy Diacono, Marina Guryusheva, Natalie Muschamp, Matthew Buff
Published on Jun 11, 2011
Style on Sunday is a quarterly publication distributed with the Sunday Times. Produced by Brian Grech and Stephen Azzopardi at Design Establ...