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ISSUE 76 SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

IN THIS

ISSUE...

bestbuy. your MONTHLY shopping guide distributed with The Times

BACK TO SCHOOL.

INTERVIEW.

HOME.

EATING & DRINKING.

TIPS TO BE WELL PREPARED

MEET CHIARA HYZLER

IS YOUR ROOF RAIN-READY?

FISHY DELIGHTS

Ceiling Pro International now in Malta

Not an easy task! Purchasing a second-hand vehicle nowadays is no easy task. Certainly not because the island lacks any choice in terms of car volumes but for the simple fact that few of us know what to look for in a used vehicle.

Now in Malta – the USestablished franchise Ceiling Pro International is now represented in Malta thanks to one of Malta’s elite cleaning companies, Ozosystem Ltd.

Certainly the price is on everyone’s mind as it is of course a decisive factor when you need a vehicle but there are more important issues that need to be tackled before taking a decision based only on pricing.

With this latest addition Ozosystem continues its tradition of offering efficiency and the most up to date services to its clients. This ensures that the client continues to enjoy the best services on the island.

before One example is warranties. A used vehicle will surely need some kind of repair or maintenance soon after your purchase and a documented long-term warranty will make sure you do not end up forking out thousands of euros right after you purchased a vehicle.

Although Ceiling Pro specialises in cleaning ceilings, it is also renowned for bringing stone back to its original condition. This product is most certainly one of a kind and can perform miracles in no time at all. The product is 100 per cent non acidic, thereby ensuring that the chemical will not react negatively with any stone. One of the great advantages of the product is that it just cleans the stone without opening any pores or removing any layers of the stone, thus ensuring that the stone remains authentic and undamaged. During the first few weeks CPI worked miracles and the results were amazing.

Look out for your chance t o a FANTASTIwin PAMPERINGC PACKAGE ON PG 23

After One of the first jobs entrusted to CPI was a burnt down restaurant. The walls that were burnt and blackened throughout were restored to their original condition and the owner was ecstatic.

so why not enquire how CPI can help you do just that? Call on mob: 7947 2561 or email: cpi@ozosystemmalta.com You WON’T be disappointed!

In today’s world it’s all about ‘Saving Money and Your Time’,

A documented warranty that covers your vehicle in case of a major fault, backed up by a renowned brand, is certainly your best bet towards buying a reliable vehicle. Another would be to purchase from a trusted dealer. Ask around and verify who you should buy from. The cheapest option might be a short-term gain but a long-term loss if an expensive part fails you, so shop around well and examine carefully the services you are being offered. By Mark Anthony Vella, General Manager, Ray Auto Dealer. Tel: 2146 3331; email: mark.anthony.vella@ rayautodealer.com; www.rayautodealer.com


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SEPTEMBER - A TIME FOR PREPARATION

Best Buy is the leading shopping guide distributed with The Times every month on a Wednesday.

Articles appearing in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to print, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Publishers

Content House Group Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel. Tel: +356 2132 0713 Fax: +356 2132 0714 Email: info@contenthouse.com.mt www.contenthouse.com.mt Editor Chiara Bonello Advertising Advertising Sales Executive Kathleen Pearson Advertising Sales Coordinator Lindsey Ciantar DESIGN SWITCH Design & Brand Strategy Tel: +356 2131 6770 www.switch.com.mt Printer Progress Press Ltd

NEXT ISSUE:

Whilst I’m sure many of our children would disagree with Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence, there is a ring of truth to her words. Ultimately whether we like it or not, everything does come to an end, and in this case summer is drawing to a close.

Holidays are enticing only for the first week or so. After that, it is no longer such a novelty to rise late and have little to do – Margaret Laurence

We’re in mid-September already, and if you haven’t already started gearing up for school/winter (to be read based on whether you have children or not), then it’s time

to set the ball rolling, as in just over two weeks the school van will be behind the door. On page 7 we provide some tips to make the transition as seamless as possible. With the month of September also comes cooler weather, and more frequent rainfall, so it makes sense to be prepared. On page 16 we speak to the experts for their advice on preparing our roofs for the first storms.

Insurance was once limited to cars and homes but today extends to cover so many other things such as photovoltaic panels. On page 4 we look at the variety of insurances available, and when one should consider making use of them. Enjoy this issue of Best Buy, and good luck with getting into the winter routine.

HSBC Yes 4 Students reaches out to youth in Malta and Gozo Following a busy week at the University of Malta, HSBC Malta Yes 4 Students stands are being set up at MCAST, Higher Secondary and ITS. The stands offer students a fun and friendly way of learning about HSBC financial packages designed specifically for secondary and tertiary students.

HSBC Yes 4 Students financial packages. All students who open an HSBC Yes 4 Students account before 31st October 2013 receive a 4GB USB 2.0 pen drive, while students who direct their stipends into a YES 4 account are eligible for a variety of gift options, some completely free.

HSBC Malta, in partnership with SCAN Malta, offers a vast range of gifts to complement the

Free gift options include a case for tablets, a mobile phone bluetooth headset, Sennheiser

University of Malta students gaining insight into HSBC YES 4 Students financial packages

headphones, iPod/iPhone/ iPad speakers and a laptop cooler stand. Special offers at highly discounted rates include a Dual Core 7” Android 4.1 Tablet for €95, a 500GB mini external hard drive for €30, an iPad keyboard for €70, an eBook reader for €60 and a Fuji camera (14MP/x24 Opt) for

€120. Students who apply for an account via internet will receive a USB universal battery charger for smartphones. More information from www.hsbc.com.mt/Yes2013, Customer Service on tel: 2380 2380, or any HSBC branch in Malta.

Our Children Are Obese: So who is to blame?

09.10.13

By John F Xuereb

DOn'T MISS IT

Parents are kids’ first teachers and mentors, and set life expectations either verbally or non-verbally. Parents can choose whether to feed their children healthy food, or not. Parents can decide to set expectations for their children, or not. From a very young age, children see the world

through their parents' eyes... whether positively or negatively. Children's attitudes tend to reflect their parents’. One of the biggest issues we are faced with today is obesity in our children. Kids do not play or exercise and they eat what is put on the table in front of them. Children are very much influenced by the example set

by parents; so if we want to teach children, we urgently need to educate parents on how to be positive role models, about healthy eating, the importance of feeling good, and developing confidence and esteem by maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For more information please visit www.bodiesnmotion.com


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INSURANCE.

Insure yourself Life can be a risky business. Fortunately, there are various insurance options on the market today that are aimed at covering you for any eventuality. Sarah Micallef takes a look at a few of the insurance policies available to you.

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ne of the most common types of insurance is that which covers the things you own, particularly if they are expensive. This ranges from your home, car and boat to household contents such as pricey electronics. Home insurance covers a private residence in the case of fire or other damage, up to a pre-determined capped amount, and is normally required by the bank upon taking out a home loan. Contents insurance goes a step further, protecting the items within your home in case of damage or loss. After your house, your car is generally the most expensive thing you own, so insuring it against damage or theft is a no-brainer. Should your car get stolen or damaged in an

accident, your car insurer will foot the bill to repair or replace it. As with other forms of insurance, you may opt for different covers when it comes to insuring your car. You can choose between ‘comprehensive’ cover (which protects against loss, theft or damage to your vehicle, as well as accidental damage to other vehicles or property caused by you); ‘third party’ (which covers damage to another person’s vehicle or property, but not your own) and ‘third party fire and theft’ (which also covers the risk of your car being damaged by fire or stolen). Besides these, you can also insure a variety of pricey items including boats, expensive electronics and jewellery. Lately there has also been an emergence of new types of in-

surance, such as insurance for PV panels. The management from Citadel Insurance plc expands on this cover: “insurance on PV panels normally includes cover for damages arising from lightning, fire, malicious damage and storms, among other covers which may vary from one insurer to another.” At Citadel Insurance, PV systems and solar water heaters are covered under the eco home insurance policy, “which has been exclusively designed for individuals who choose to safeguard our environment by investing in one of the said systems.” Furthermore, the team explains, Citadel’s eco home insurance policy not only offers cover for such systems but also includes savings on insurance to home owners who have a solar water heater or PV system installed. On why one should consider insuring their newly installed PV panels, the management at Citadel Insurances advises, “if you want to be covered against unexpected eventualities, we suggest you insure your system as soon as you have it installed.

If you already have a buildings policy in force, in most cases you just need to inform your insurer that you have installed a PV system so you may adjust your buildings sum insured accordingly. After installing such a system, your property is worth more money and therefore this should be catered for in the sum insured. It is in fact always good practice to review the sum insured from time to time to make sure all your assets are duly protected.” Aside from covering items you own, insurance can also cover you personally. Health insurance will be a godsend should you fall ill and need expensive treatment, or are unable to work and pay your bills. Again, there are various policies available, aimed at covering private hospital and other medical bills such as critical illness insurance which provides a lump sum should you suffer from a number of serious conditions; as well as premiums that protect your income by paying a continuing percentage of your income if you suffer from prenamed illnesses; and disability insurance, which supplies a

lump sum in the event of permanent disability due to illness or accident. Taking it a step further is life insurance. Life insurance provides a lump sum of money should you pass away. In some instances, part of, or the entire sum insured may also be paid before you die in the event of a terminal illness. Other types of insurance include travel insurance (covering your belongings as well as yourself when you go on holiday) and the more recently introduced pet insurance, among others. At any rate, taking out an insurance policy is always a smart idea if you want to be covered against any eventuality – life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and being protected by insurance can help take some of the worry out of the more trying circumstances, at least financially!


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BACK TO SCHOOL.

BE READY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL TIME Every year we make the same promise... next year I’ll plan ahead, I’ll be better prepared way in advance, but every year it’s the same mad rush to get everything ready ahead of the new scholastic year. With not much time to go until the beginning of school, Best Buy provides some tips.

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s you read this, you (if you are a parent, that is) probably fall into one of two categories – those who have everything ready purchased, neatly labelled and in order for the new scholastic year or those who simply wish they did. If you fall into the latter category, fret not – by dedicating some time to getting things in order you too can be ready for the new scholastic year in no time. Firstly, if you haven’t yet purchased all your stationery needs or still need to get any parts of the uniform, make the time to buy them in the coming couple of days. This will allow you enough time to take up any hems and to label all your child’s possessions. Next up is getting your family ready for the school routine, characterised by hectic mornings, preparing packed lunches, ensuring your kids’ uniforms are always in order and helping them pack their homework and books, among several other chores. Around two weeks before school starts, it would help to get the whole family into the routine of waking up slightly earlier as you would once school has started. Similarly do away with the late nights associated with the summer months and make sure the children get to bed around the same time every night. Needless to say after months of fun – beach and barbeques with

friends – not many children are cherishing the prospect of returning to school, but you can help. Build excitement by creating a countdown calendar and plan a number of fun school-related events such as visiting the library to pick out some reading books or school stationery shopping. This will get them excited for the big day to finally arrive. It is also a good idea to get children back into the breakfast habit if it would have slackened somewhat during the summer months. Make sure they have a healthy breakfast and some fresh juice or a piece of toast, to send them off to school satisfied. Similarly try to bring some order into their mealtimes. Whilst they may have gotten used to having a late lunch or eating later in the evening, this is the time to begin to adapt. At school, lunch breaks are at stipulated times, and it is a

Top Tip

Sit and talk with your children about wh at a new school year mea ns. This will give you the chan ce to allay any fears they m ay have and to encourag e them to approach it wi th a positive frame of mind.

good idea to plan meals and snacks to accustom little ones to the rituals of the scholastic year. This is particularly important for younger children. Having been out of touch with school work during the summer, kids might be apprehensive about taking on school work anew. During the week building up to the first day help them get in the mood by reading some books with them or trying some fun mathematical puzzles. This will send them back with increased confidence in their own capabilities.

Top Tip

Brighten up your kids’ first day of scho ol by preparing their favourite breakfast and by packing something they like into their lunches – it will make them smile.

With the start of the new scholastic year starts the hectic running around, ferrying children from one extra-curricular lesson to

another, while trying to juggle all your own commitments. School functions, scout meetings and dance classes are just a few of the many obligations we have. Extra-curricular activities are important for a child’s development. Stagecoach Senior Principal Edward

Mercieca strongly believes that children nowadays are under far too much academic pressure from a very early age. “I have even heard horror stories of primary school pupils being sent to private lessons! It is essential that children Continued on page 8


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GETTING ORGANISED – HOW BEST Continued from page 7

are given the space to interact with other children in a non-school/non-academic environment, allowing them to grow creatively, spend times outdoors and be physically active. This is essential if we want our children to grow into the multi-faceted human beings that our society requires. Most extra-curricular activities require social interaction and teamwork, which give them the opportunity to develop life skills at an early age which will set

them up for the future.” “Stagecoach is an ideal option for children because it combines three activities into one session – acting, singing and dancing, exercising different areas of the child's brain with physical exercise, reading and interpreting. Use of voice in singing stimulates certain brain functions that enhance one's feel-good factor enormously, even if you cannot sing in tune, which is

not a problem at Stagecoach as anyone can join. Ultimately our aim at Stagecoach is to inspire and enrich young people through the performing arts,” Mr Mercieca explains. Back to school routine preparations, there is no better way to get organised than to create a centralised calendar for the whole family. One calendar which brings together the whole family’s commitments and

varied activities creates a one-stop shop for family time-management. Choose whatever works for you – be that a calendar with large squares which can take many appointments or a diary kept close to the telephone, where everyone jots down their personal commitments. Colour coding entries can help add an extra element of organisation. Today it is also possible for the more techsavvy among us to create a centralised calendar online. Choose the format which works for your family, but make sure to put everything down. Getting organised stretches to all the forms and paperwork which inevitably accompany

Top Tip

Find a fellow mum with whom to vent al l your fears and share your tips with – it’s not only the children who get nervous abou t the first day at school. It helpsto realise you’re no t alone in your concerns.

Top Tip

Particularly if yo ur children are still star ting school, don’t fo rget the camera – you wi ll one day wonder wher e that time went.

the new scholastic year – from applications for extra-curricular activities to papers the children bring home from school. Make sure to file everything based on its urgency, so as to avoid forgetting anything. Organisation is also important once school starts – plan the kids’ lunches in advance, lay out uniforms and your work clothes, and plan the evening meal – this will allow for more family time, a precious resource in today’s world. Keep in mind that getting organised now can save you time in the coming month – as well as making for a productive year ahead.


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Interview.

ISSUE 76 - SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

PHOTOS BY LIONEL GALEA

Acting To Make a Difference Actress and director Chiara Hyzler has just returned from a trip to Cambodia where she taught dance and drama lessons to street and orphaned children in one of the poorest parts of the world. She chats to Jo Caruana about this incredible experience, as well as her upcoming projects here in Malta.

D

ays after returning from Cambodia, Chiara Hyzler is still buzzing from the experience. Having spent two weeks working directly with orphaned and street children there, she now – more than ever – understands how the arts can change lives for the better. “It was wonderful to see the children’s faces light up as we played drama games with them, worked on a play or taught them a choreography,” she says. “They are incredibly bright and were so excited to learn something new. Their lives are so tough and many of them work long hours helping to provide for their families. Our lessons gave them the chance to relax and just be children for a little while. It was emotionally overwhelming and we’re now running a sponsorship programme here in Malta to help secure long-term funds for their care and education.” The programme was run by Drama Outreach (DO) Cambodia, which was co-founded by Chiara and actor Alan Montanaro. The duo then put together a brilliant team that travelled to Cambodia to teach a mix of dance, drama

and singing at two voluntary organisations in Phnom Penh. Back in Malta, Chiara is already looking forward to her next trip to work with more children, but she will be working on several local drama projects too. These include the upcoming production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which will be staged at the Manoel Theatre in October.

How would you describe your relationship with money? Well, sadly, we’ve decided to end things and to see other people! More seriously, I have always understood the value of money so I never spent it carelessly. I’d say the ratio of spending for my needs greatly exceeds that for my wants. I hardly treat myself to anything fancy… just my travels, which are very important to me.

What percentage of your life do you spend shopping? Very little actually; I’m not much of a shopper. My major sprees are my travels. They are what I work for and always have been. On a daily basis though, I do spend a lot on eating out and socialising. What’s a hobby you spend money on? Music. I’m a drummer, so my

drum sets have been a major expense. In their case I am prepared to pay more for a known brand because the quality is worth it. How would you describe your style? I think my friends would agree I have my own style and don’t really follow latest trends. I’m quite eccentric as a person and hate to blend in. I often go out and see people wearing similar outfits because it’s the fashion ‘trend’ of the day and it puzzles me. It was funny when colour blocking was in; it looked as though it was carnival every day! What’s the one fashion item you couldn’t live without? My boots. I’m a total boots girl and used to be known for wearing them to the beach. I only threw my old boots away a couple of years ago because I absolutely had to. They were all I wore between the ages of 13 and 17! My current pair are laceups which have battled through Africa and Cambodia. They are now of sentimental value. And I need to stress the ‘scent’ part! When you plan to shop where do you tend to go? I’m more of a shopper when I’m abroad but most of my things were bought here. I feel our choices locally are expanding so, as such, I don’t feel a need to shop too much when I’m away.


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interview. Do you collect anything? Other than hundreds of letters from my friends that I will never part with, no I don’t. Do you hoard things or regularly throw stuff out? I’m a total hoarder. I mostly keep things that are of sentimental value and ones I feel will come in handy in the future. I’m still waiting for the day when they do… I’m sure it’s going to be here any minute now! What’s the best bargain you’ve ever made? A rucksack for $14 from Cambodia. It was a total bargain considering the same thing would have been worth €70 here. I expected my clothes to drop straight through it when I travelled, but that didn’t happen so it was a bargain indeed. What is your favourite thing in your whole house? The people living in it. If you won the million euro lottery what would you buy/do with the money? After my visit to Cambodia I would definitely sponsor all of the children at the street kitchen and orphanage there. What three items would you take to your desert island? I didn’t know I had a desert island. Wow! I would take my dinghy, some pasta and my MP3 player. What’s been the best thing about summer 2013? My trip to Cambodia, definitely. It was a very special experience and one that other trips will struggle to top. The children, the people and the work we did all made this trip one of a kind. We saw the good, the bad and the ugly, and it was a complete whirlwind of emotions.

What would be your last meal? My most recent discovery – the Cambodian curry fish amok. What’s the most money you’ve spent in one go? The deposit on my car. As an actress, who would you most like to share a stage with? Leonardo di Caprio. I hate Kate Winslet for letting him drown. I’d actually like to share a stage with her and have a word. What would be three things on your ideal celebrity rider? A masseuse and two plates of pasta carbonara. What would you never buy? Drugs.

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SEPTEMBER BEST BUYS THE SUPPORT SY CHAIR The Support SY chair is one of the best selling workstation chairs in Malta, featuring lumbar support, synchrony tilting mechanism, adjustable armrests and pelvic seat.

ORIENTA Eddy L-shaped sofa in bonded leather. Available in brown, cream and latte. €550. Orienta – www.orienta.com.mt

Exclusively available at BSL Lifestyles. Tel: 2138 2601.

Ultra HD from Toshiba

Autogas is highly popular because it is a lot cheaper to buy than other fuels such as petrol and diesel, and because it is more environmentally friendly. The majority of petrol engine cars can be converted to run on Autogas. We are authorised by the Malta Resources Authority to install LPG conversions and are also resellers of AG Centrum LPG conversion kits. Besides selling the equipment, we also offer training and technical support.

With four times as many pixels as Full HD, it's easy to upscale your Full HD content to near Ultra HD. So you can transform your existing Blu-ray movies and TV shows into a magical Ultra HD viewing experience. And make your TV a window to your world on an incredible cinemastyle screen up to 213 cm (84") in size.

Acheck Ltd, Triq Tas Sriedak, Mosta. Tel: 2143 2656; mob: 9944 1297.

Tel: 2766 3726; email: info@toshibamalta.com; www.toshibamalta.com

Koleston Colour Intense Foam

CEILINGS AND WALLS

For local trade enquiries, call VJ Salomone (Marketing) on tel: 8007 2387; www.vjsm.com.mt

Pushing boundaries with the daring new male fragrance: Hugo Red RED is a dynamic fragrance for the man who wants to unlock his daring side. This fragrance was inspired by the contrast of hot and cold metal. For local trade enquiries, call VJ Salomone Marketing on Freephone: 8007 2387.

Get cold water instantly with the Mercury EcoFresh Combi refrigerator with drink dispenser. At just €399 during this month only, you’d make the coolest bargain ever. Available from Flamingo and leading appliance shops. Tel: 2279 4205/216.

AUTOGAS

Koleston Foam is a permanent hair colorant, providing the same trusted long-lasting results as traditional colorants with perfect grey coverage that lasts up to six weeks.

Mercury EcoFresh Combi refrigerator with drink dispenser

We specialise in all types of gypsum board work including: flat ceilings, curved ceilings, bulkheads, partitions, wall lining, coving, gypsum plastering, painting, parquet and light fittings. We also specialise in the new method used for stretchable ceilings.

DEREK GARDEN CENTRE Don’t miss our offer of the week: 50 per cent discount stock clearance. Available at Derek Garden Centre, 11, Cannon Road, Qormi. Tel: 2144 9754/ 2149 3790; email: info@derekmalta.com; www.derekmalta.com

CANFORD HOME REVERSE OSMOSIS Unlimited pure mineral water at home straight from your tap. Start saving money on your drinking water by installing your own filter system that provides you with clean and pure water. The best machine in Malta for quality, durability and after sales service. A&A MIZZI Ltd. Tel: 2148 8168; www.aamizzi.com

For more information contact us on mob: 9944 9234 or send an email to info@ceilingsandwalls.com.mt

an eco friendly product

MG Interiors

ORIENTA

We specialise in both domestic and commercial projects. Contact us now for all kinds of gypsum designs: flat ceilings, wall linings, partitions, bulkheads, soundproofing, covings, rockwool sound insulations and suspended soffits (60x60). We are renowned for our quality material and competitive prices!

White table with tempered glass top and black stripe, together with 4 white chairs. €275.

Contact Michael Grech on mob: 7925 0895 or email: m.grech@live.com

Orienta – Ta’ Qali. Tel: 2144 5733. Open all day.


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eating & drinking.

WINE & DINE CHECK OUT OUR RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

L'AROMA Situated on the Sliema seafront, L’Aroma restaurant is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Malta’s shopping centre. L’Aroma prides itself in the preparation of traditional Mediterranean cuisine using recipes passed down through the generations. The menu comprises a selection of mouthwatering fresh fish, fine meat cuts and pasta dishes all at a great value for money. One of the house specialities, the traditional rabbit dish, is regarded by many locals as the best in town. Whether for a relaxed dinner or a lazy lunch L’Aroma is a great spot to sit down, unwind and watch the world go by. We offer free parking to our customers at the Piazzetta and at the CCCP Tower Super Market. L’Aroma, 17, Ghar il-Lembi Street, Sliema. Tel: 2131 7633; email: laroma.restaurant@maltanet.net

Ta’ Kris Restaurant Right in the heart of Sliema lies Ta’ Kris Restaurant and Maltese Bistro, serving wholesome home cooking at unbeatable prices. Chef patron Chris uses the freshest ingredients to create tasty Maltese dishes like Dad’s Famous Bragjoli, thick beef stew, veal escalopes and rabbit. Patrons are also spoilt for choice with the daily specials ranging from fresh fish to beef fillet and various pasta dishes. All at this price-worthy restaurant is served in the unique setting of a former bakery. Ta’ Kris is one of the best rated restaurants by the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Ta’ Kris Restaurant, 80, Fawwara Lane, Sliema. Tel: 2133 7367; mob: 9984 7713; www.takris.malta-europe.com

DAYS OF INDIA Sa Re Ga Ma authentic Indian restaurant is the official Indian restaurant for ‘Days of India’, a week of events celebrating Indian culture, traditions and Indian food, organised by the Indian and Maltese governments (see p20). Sa Re Ga Ma, Malta’s award-winning Indian restaurant, has been chosen by the Indian government as the official restaurant for the said event. Top Indian chefs will be coming over from India and will team up with Sa Re Ga Ma’s award-winning chefs to create original and innovative menus for the six days of celebration, from 1st to 6th October. Special menus will be launched for every evening, promoting popular Indian food from all regions of India. One can book a particular evening or all six nights and receive a 30 per cent discount on the total price. A one-time Indian food event not to be missed! For more information log onto our Facebook page www.facebook.com/saregamafortina or contact us on mob: 9949 2513. Sa Re Ga Ma is managed by Shamre Partnership. Definitive(ly) Good Guide award-winning restaurant and Silver Spoon award-winning restaurant (the only Indian restaurant in Malta to win a Silver Spoon award). Located on level 1, Tropical Gardens, at the Fortina Spa Resort, Sliema.

Reuben’s Drive In Restaurant The recently refurbished Reuben’s Drive In Restaurant, in the heart of Qawra, is one of the few local restaurants that places sole importance on the calibre of its dishes and service. For the past 17 years it has been ably managed by chef patron Reuben Farrugia who has over 40 years’ experience in the catering industry, many of which were spent in Australia where he ran eight successful restaurants. The restaurant’s culinary focus is on Mediterranean dishes including fresh seafood, fish, meat and pasta dishes, as well as Oriental fare and other specialities such as BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken wings, steaks and delicious onion rings, all prepared using only the best produce on the island and cooked keeping in mind the premise that simplicity brings out the natural flavours of food. If you opt for our hefty 400, 600 or 700g steak it will be like one you've never tasted and much cheaper than anywhere else on the islands. With generous portions and friendly and helpful staff, you are guaranteed satisfaction at Reuben’s Drive In Restaurant. We open seven nights a week and from the first Sunday of October we will also be open for Sunday lunch. Reuben’s Drive In, Tamar Road, Qawra. Tel: 2157 0134; Mob: 9949 6734.

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HOME.

READY YOUR ROOF FOR THE RAIN Some of us are longing for those long rainy nights in, curled up with a warm drink while watching a good movie. But before that it would be wise to take some steps to prepare your home for the winter months. After all, a leaking roof doesn’t really augur well for a fun night in, does it? Chiara Bonello speaks to those in the know.

T

he start of winter brings with it a great deal of change and preparation – swapping wardrobes and bringing out the warm, fleecy jumpers, altering our diet somewhat to include soups and heartier dishes, and preparing our home for the colder weather.

Top Tip

From making sure the heaters are fully functional to bringing the carpets out of the cupboards, there is plenty to do around the home, but one aspect which must not be forgotten is to survey the state of our roofs.

September is th e ideal time of ye ar to waterproof your roof.

to host barbeques and parties, and in these cases an even tougher waterproofing product is required.”

There are various options when it comes to preparing our roofs for the winter rain but look around and study all the possibilities before choosing what is best for you.

not an easy task, as many may know.

Engineer Patrick Spiteri Staines from T4B Services Ltd explains that finding long lasting waterproofing for roofs in Malta is

“We have flat roofs typically constructed of concrete covered with a screed topped with cement

(kontrabejt). Roofs are used for a variety of reasons and therefore any type of waterproofing needs to allow for people to walk on them even if just to hang the clothes. In some cases roofs are used

He points out that roofs are exposed to high temperatures in summer, causing the concrete to expand and resulting in cracks, not only on the roof surface but especially in junctions with the parapet walls. Cracks also manifest themselves on the exterior of the parapet walls due to this expansion.

These cracks allow water to enter in the winter months, especially during storms with high winds and when large volumes of rain fall in a short period. The importance of waterproofing roofs and external walls is paramount for most Maltese home owners. Ahead of winter you should make sure to clean your roof and inspect it thoroughly for cracks, he suggests. Any cracks found should be fixed. He recommends using the Buffa repair kit, consisting of Copercem Flex 2C (a flexible 2 component cement compound) in pails of 4kg and 16kg for repairing of cracks. For wide cracks, expansion joints and cracks which open up every year, it is recommended to use Buffa Giunto (rubber strip) together with the BUFFA Copercem Flex 2C. Buffa Copercem Flex 2C, he asserts, is a flexible waterproofing system which is ideally suited to the Maltese environment. The product consists of a two-component system, namely a powder compound based on cement with selected inerts and resins, together with a liquid consisting of synthetic polymers in a solvent solution. When mixed together in the recommended ratio (1:3) they form a paste that can be applied by trowel or brush onto both horizontal and vertical surfaces.


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HOME.

With very high adhesion to concrete, cement tiles, stone, metal, wood and even ceramic tiles and traditional deffun, it is flexible, elastic and after setting creates a flexible homogeneous membrane that is completely waterproof. Its application, he continues, is simple and can be done by most do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Liquid membrane is another popular waterproofing product.

Summit Imports Ltd Managing Director Matthew Sammut explains that the company offers various forms of liquid membrane, some of which also double up as insulators (such as the acrylic-based Elasticool). Advantages of these liquid membranes, he says, include the fact that they offer complete coverage, without any joints where problems can arise. Furthermore they

penetrate the concrete and are not simply ‘stuck on’, and in most cases they can be applied without the help of professionals, as they are very easy to use. Mr Sammut explains that the best time of year to waterproof your roof is right around this time, in September, as the weather is not too hot and it has not rained too much yet. He points out that most materials

cannot be applied when the temperature of the surface is over 30oC and that it is fine to waterproof your roof following the first few rainfalls.

resulting in costly damage. Moreover leakages can cause mould and damage to furniture and personal items such as clothes and shoes.

Waterproofing roofs is a pretty good investment as repairing roof and wall leakages costs considerably more than applying waterproofing solutions. He points out that roof leaks may cause the wire mesh to get wet and to expand,

Protecting our roofs from the winter rain offers multiple benefits, such as stopping leaks and preventing new ones, but most of all it gives the peace of mind needed to enjoy winter to the full.


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HOME.

Buying your first home Sarah Micallef provides some tips on how to get it right the first time round.

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uying a property is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so before diving in, it pays to do your homework and know what to expect. Don’t get carried away by thoughts of a huge garden or lavish home before knowing the facts, and finding out what you realistically can achieve. Equip yourself with research and a few knowledgeable advisers, and you’re sure to find the perfect property to fit your needs. Before beginning your search, start off by asking yourself a few questions to figure out what sort of property you’re truly after. Questions you should run through include where would you prefer to live? What type of property would you like? What size will suit your needs? Are you after a modern or traditional character home? How much can you afford and how will you pay for it?

SET YOUR BUDGET When setting your budget, begin by taking a good look at your average monthly cash flow and what you're spending your money on. With this in mind, discuss what you can afford with your bank manager – unless you’ve got stacks of cash ready and waiting in your bank account, that is! Besides the property price range to consider, you can also get an idea of how much money you need to have saved up beforehand – not just for the deposit, but for other expenses like notarial fees, stamp duty, loan processing fees, life insurance and home insurance. When discussing loan options, remember that the bank’s limits are there to protect you too, so it pays to be honest and upfront with all financial commitments you have. Think about your long-term plan and shop around – it’s a good idea to look

into all the options available to you, as different banks give different terms or interest rates which may be more suited to your needs. NEED OR WANT? Budget in hand, it’s time to create a checklist of your needs and wants, keeping in mind the most important elements that you absolutely need and other features that you like, but could do without. Besides the type of property you’re after, keep preferred layout, number of bedrooms and floorspace in mind, as well as whether size or location is more important to you – both could affect price dramatically, and you may have to choose one over the other. Once you’re set about what you’re looking for, you can start your search – either going it alone or enlisting the help of an agent. Gleason Bezzina, director of Bezz Real Estate believes that, particularly if you are a first time buyer and unfamiliar with the property market, it is useful to speak to an estate agent to guide you. She explains, “the real estate market offers an excellent selection of properties, both on plan and finished. However, given the clients’ priorities together with the budget in mind, the agent will screen and prepare a number of options for them to

view. An agent may have a lot of properties on its database, but the most important thing is matching the best property with the clients’ given criteria.” When it’s time to start visiting properties, be wary of how many places you see at one go. According to Gleason, “a client should not see more than four properties a day. Viewing a lot of properties in one day will lead to confusion and ultimately lengthen the decision-making process.” Once there, remember to pay attention to all the property’s features, and don’t ignore any negative aspects

that might seem workable now, but might come back to haunt you in the long run. Upon finding a property you like, enlist the help of a professional to make sure all is well with the place structurally, as well as visually. Finally, before making any big decisions, you can also entrust the help of friends or family who have been through this experience for advice – but remember, this is the place you will ultimately be living and spending your time in, so your opinion is the most important of all!

The little things Some little things can make a big difference when it comes to property. Tick one or more of these boxes for added value! Airspace If a property has its own airspace it is more valuable, as airspace makes room for further development in the future. Natural light Not only does a well-lit property look great and lift your spirits, it also saves on electricity bills. Outdoor space Whether it’s a small terrace or a lovely back yard, an outdoor space in which to entertain or simply wind down after a long day adds value to a property.


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TAKE NOTE.

Furnish your home at Distinct Homes

‘Days of India’ – Explore India in Malta arts, one-of-a-kind cuisine, or if you would just like to find out more about this unique, magical India, the ‘Days of India’ will enrich both your senses and your knowledge.

The High Commission of India, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malta and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, is proud to present ‘Days of India’; a cultural celebration from 1st to 6th October 2013. Around the islands of Malta and Gozo, immerse yourself

in a taste of the Indian culture by savouring classical street foods, seeing traditional dances, discovering hand-made crafts and experiencing sensational Bollywood movies. A photo exhibition will also be set up, as tribute to one of India’s most pioneering leaders – Mahatma Gandhi. Whether fond of the

‘Days of India’ are being supported by Fortina Hotel, Sa Re Ga Ma Indian Restaurant, Ministry of Gozo, Grand Hotel Excelsior, St James Cavalier, Tata Motors, Bay Street, Ministry of Tourism, Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Aurobindo Pharma (Malta) Ltd, Garden of Knowledge Malta Association and Government of India, Tourist Office. For further details and programme visit the Facebook page of the Hon. Consulate of India, Malta, or contact the Hon. Consul directly on mob: 7979 8081 or email: info@india.org.mt

If there is one place where everything should be perfect, then it’s your home. Your home is the space where you can enjoy leisure time with family and friends, or simply spend time alone, where you can be yourself, surrounded by the things you love the most. And where your creativity is given free reign: in thinking, working, decorating, furnishing… For you there is Distinct Homes. Distinct Homes is Gozo’s leading home furnishing supplier, offering a unique selection of kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, tables, chairs, internal doors, so-

fas, domestic appliances, garden furniture, floor tiles, bathroom tiles and accessories, and now also photovoltaic systems. And all of this in good quality and at the best price. Delivery to Malta and Gozo is free of charge. Installation is also free. Ordering cannot be simpler: visit the Distinct Homes showroom in Victoria, Gozo or their website distincthomes.com.mt. Distinct Homes, Forestals Showroom, Pope John Paul II Street, Victoria, Gozo. Tel: 2155 1234; distincthomes.com.mt


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ISSUE 76 - September 11, 2013

PHOTOS BY LIONEL GALEA

Stress on the rise?

Stress is the word on everyone’s lips – from young students to working adults, no one is immune. Best Buy takes to the streets of Sliema to talk stress, its sources and remedies with the man in the street.

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vox pop.

LAST MONTH'S

WINNING

Lisianne Seychell, Qormi

Nicole Borg, Mosta

Would you say you are currently stressed? I was this morning, as I had an exam, but not anymore.

Would you say you are currently stressed? Not at the moment. What are your major causes of stress? Exams, definitely!

What are your major causes of stress? Exams and general worries, I’d say.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? I listen to music or go for a walk.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? I put myself through a whole process to calm down.

LETTER Last month we asked you to write in and be the first to tell us whether the WAHL Lithium Ion All In One Trimmer is made in China, the USA or Europe, in order to win this useful trimmer, kindly provided by V&F Portelli & Sons Ltd. The first correct answer was from Steve Crane, who replied that it is made in the USA.

Stephanie Rea, Swatar

Andre Muscat, St Julians

Would you say you are currently stressed? Medium I’d say.

Would you say you are currently stressed? No. I’m relaxed.

What are your major causes of stress? Bills!

What are your major causes of stress? Nothing much.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? I keep busy, as I find that to be the best medicine.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? I train myself not to get stressed. I do yoga daily and have been doing so for 30 years, and I feel stress bounces off me.

Emese Lorincz, Hungary

Josiah Mori, USA

Would you say you are currently stressed? A bit – as I’m trying to get my phone contract sorted.

Would you say you are currently stressed? Nope.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? A good workout.

How do you relax when it all gets too much? I just try to calm myself down.

WRITE IN & WIN Carisma Spa and Wellness invites the first person to write in to feel the experience of an authentic Hammam and to

enjoy the following package at the Intercontinental Malta St Julian’s or Seashells Resort at Suncrest, Qawra: • Traditional Turkish Exfoliating Bath • Traditional Turkish Bath Foam Massage • Hair Shampooing • Detox Tea

V&F Portelli & Sons Ltd, Portelli Building, Notabile Road, Mriehel. Tel: 2149 3621; email: info@vfportelli.com. www.vfportelli.com

What are your major causes of stress? Work.

What are your major causes of stress? Small things.

This month we invite you to write in and tell us why you or a nominee deserve to win a fantastic pampering package, worth €75, kindly provided by Carisma Spa & Wellness.

He won a WAHL Lithium Iron All In One Trimmer, worth €90, kindly provided by V&F Portelli & Sons Ltd, exclusive agents for WAHL products in Malta.

www.carismaspa.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Carisma-Spa/375775105843811#!/

Send your contribution and contact details (address and telephone number) by not later than Wednesday 25th September. Write to: Best Buy Competition, Content House Ltd, Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel QRM3000 or email info@contenthouse.com.mt.


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eating & Drinking.

ISSUE 76 - SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

PHOTOS BY lionel galea

FEAST ON FISH As the summer begins to fade into the background and we begin to think of wintry soups and roasts, why not enjoy one last summer feast and try some of the delicious fish dishes prepared by Chef Aaron Degabriele of Aaron’s Kitchen?

STEAMED SCOTTISH MUSSELS In Bloody Mary sauce INGREDIENTS 500g fresh Scottish mussels 2 cloves garlic 200ml tomato juice 1 celery stick 1 tsp creamed horseradish Worcestershire sauce Fresh chilli Olive oil 1/2 tsp sugar 2 tots vodka METHOD 1. Remove the beards from the mussels, scrub their shells and wash in cold running water. Discard any open mussels.

2. Then whizz the remaining ingredients in a food processor to make the Bloody Mary sauce. 3. Place the mussels in a double-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Pour the sauce over the mussels, cover with the lid and cook over a moderate fire until the sauce is bubbling and the mussels are open. 4. Serve while still hot, with toasted crusty bread.

Lampuki-Melanzane Parmiggiana …with parmesan fondue INGREDIENTS 2 fresh lampuki, filleted For the parmiggiana 6 slices aubergine, peeled (5mm thick) 2 large ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped) 2 cloves garlic 100g black olives Fresh basil 1 ball fresh mozzarella Flour for dusting Olive oil Fresh seasoning 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese For the fondue 100g parmesan cheese 200ml fresh cream

Aaron’s Kitchen Chef patron, Aaron Degabriele, resident chef of Malta’s no1 TV cooking programme, ‘Aroma Kitchen’, brings more than 20 years’ experience right in the heart of the capital city, Valletta. A newly designed à la carte menu is being served, prepared with the freshest ingredients on the market. Dining at the restaurant is a Mediterranean gastronomic experience with a special focus on Maltese and Italian cuisines. We take the pride in serving a variety of daily specialties, which include fresh fish and shellfish, pasta and grills. A list of home-made desserts, that are changed regularly, is hand-written on our black boards. Highly rated on Trip Advisor. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Sundays and public holidays lunches only. Reservations are highly recommended. Tel: 2123 0636; mob: 9945 8356; email: aarondegabriele@yahoo.com

METHOD For the parmesan fondue 1. Warm the cream in a double-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated parmesan cheese. Allow to thicken slightly, then set aside.

basil. Season and remove from the heat. 4. Next cut the fish fillets in half, dip in seasoned flour and cook until golden on both sides in a frying pan with a few drops of olive oil.

2. Remove from water, pat dry and dip in seasoned flour before shallow-frying them in hot olive oil until golden.

5. Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil and place a slice of fish at the bottom of the tray. Top with the tomatoes mixture, fresh basil leaves, aubergines, sliced mozzarella and grated parmesan. Repeat this process with another layer of fish and toppings.

3. Now quickly sauté the garlic, together with the chopped tomatoes, pitted and chopped olives, and

6. Bake in a hot oven for approx 15 minutes. Serve drizzled with the parmesan fondue.

For the parmiggiana 1. Soak the peeled and sliced aubergines for 10 minutes in cold water.


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eating & Drinking.

BAKED CHOCOLATE & BAILEY’S CHEESECAKE INGREDIENTS 600g cream cheese 250ml natural yoghurt 1 vanilla pod 150g melted dark chocolate 2 eggs 175g sugar 1 tbsp flour 2 tots Baileys liquor 200g shortbread biscuits 50g butter, melted

METHOD 1. Prepare the biscuit base for your cheesecake. Start by crushing the biscuits and mixing with the melted butter. Press the mixture into a greased and lined springbottomed 18cm cake tin. 2. Put the remaining ingredients into a food processor and whizz until a smooth mixture is obtained. Pour over the biscuit base and bake at 175°C for approx 30 minutes. 3. Allow to cool completely before serving. You may serve with berries and ice-cream.

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TECHNOLOGY.

Technology Round Up: What You Need To Know Technology changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep up, especially when you want to purchase the latest, best-value item. Here Jo Caruana offers hints and tips on what to look out for when buying a laptop, notebook or tablet.

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f you’re anything less than a ‘techie’, then the idea of choosing from among the myriad laptops, notebooks and tablets to select the right one for you may fill you with dread. Year on year, technology continues to develop and 2013 is upping the ante on voice recognition, faster-thanever operating systems and integrated cloud solutions. But what exactly does all of that mean? And do you need to know about it when making your purchase? In short, not really. But there are some very important factors to consider when making your next technological selection. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO USE IT FOR? This may seem like a pretty obvious question, but your answer will definitely dictate your choice of laptop or tablet. Will you be making presentations to colleagues? Do you need it to travel? Will you be watching HD movies or chatting with friends over web-cam? With prices starting from around €400 for a basic laptop model, you may just require the simple things – such as word-processing and internet browsing. On the other hand, for more complicated tasks such as movie editing or the use of design programmes, you will be much better off with

a pricier model, possibly one in the region of €1,000. RUNNING TIME Again, the things you’re hoping to use your laptop for will dictate how much you need to worry about battery life. If you plan to keep it at home and can, largely, connect it to a socket, then battery life is not very critical. Alternatively, if you need it for business meetings and to survive long-haul flights without a top-up, then you may even want a model with double battery life. High-end models will give you up to eight hours, and you should always consider a laptop with removable batteries that can be changed if needed. SIZE & WEIGHT If you’ve got an older laptop at the moment, then you know how heavy they can be. These days, though, laptops – and even more so tablets – are extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. Lighter laptops will be more expensive, especially if they’re in the region of 1kg, while most will weigh between 2.5 and 3kg for a 15-inch screen. Of course you could always opt for a smaller screen if you want to keep weight down while still keeping prices affordable. PROCESSING POWER A computer’s processor

determines how fast it runs programmes, as well as how efficiently it can multi-task and get the job done. These days you could consider a machine with quad-core chips, which deliver a really powerful performance, or the less-pricey dual-core processors that are still strong enough to play HD videos and run system-intensive programmes and games. If you are an avid game-player though, you may want to consider a machine with a dedicated graphic chip to really boost your gaming experience. STORAGE OPTIONS Remember the floppy disk? Well, there’s no place for one of those in today’s computers! Instead you need to consider your machine’s Random Access Memory (RAM), hard drive space (around 128GB of storage is ideal, unless you’re going to be storing mass amounts) and your connection to an internet cloud for the safe, easy backup of all of your files. Do bear in mind that the thinner and lighter your laptop, the less likely it is to offer huge volumes of storage space. DO YOU STILL NEED A CD DRIVE? Years ago you might have done everything from input software to watch movies via your CD drive, but now it is increasingly

obsolete, with fewer and fewer brands including it in their latest models. Cloud storage has largely taken over, and computers without a CD drive are now, usually, lower in price. Just be sure to choose a device with enough ports (such as USB ports), so that you can use an external drive if needs be. BE SECURE When you think about it, the amount of personal (and business) information that we keep on our laptops – photographs, accounts and private emails to name but a few – is pretty terrifying. For that reason, there has been quite a jump in the desire for better security options when it comes to laptops. These days high-end machines include fingerprint scanners and eye

recognition tools, as well as other external features (such as security cables) to attach to your device to desks or tables to make it that little bit less vulnerable. WHERE TO BUY Your final purchase choice will obviously come down to the brand itself, and the best place for you to buy it. Before launching into anything do your research – read reviews online and visit local stores to discuss current offers. While you could choose to buy a laptop or tablet online, always be up-to-speed on the details of the guarantee and what would happen if you needed to return the item. Once all those questions are sorted in your mind, go ahead and enjoy your new purchase!


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HOME.

BATHROOM BLISS Long hot baths and pampering treatments are simply much more fitting in the cold winter months, but the cold weather can make us less than keen to get anywhere near the bathroom. Chiara Bonello looks into some ideas for making the bathroom cosier and more inviting IN PREPARATION FOR winter.

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athrooms are no longer as utilitarian as they once were, and in fact have become a central part of the home; a ‘retreat’ where we escape the stresses of everyday life, and bathroom trends have adapted to reflect that. Bathrooms have become most luxurious – spacious, decorated in rich shades, with underfloor heating, adorned with bold accessories and sumptuously soft towels – in short, truly a space to escape to. Whether you are doing up your bathroom for the first time or simply would like to make it a generally cosier space, there are measures you can take. Reports of ever colder winters are making the rounds, making it more important than ever to prep your bathroom for winter, to spare you from those uncomfortably cold mornings. A good first step is to check the windows for draughts – run your

hand round the edges – you don’t have to be able to see a gap for it to be there. Fill the gaps with silicone sealing or replace the seal with new rubber if the problem is more severe. Make sure you have adequate heating; installing a heated towel rail is a good idea. Besides heating the room, this also makes sure your towels are warm and dry, according to A. Falzon Energy Projects Ltd director Anthony Falzon. “We highly recommend electric heated towel rails – which come in various styles and prices. Unlike radiators, they can also serve a decorative purpose. Furthermore they have the added bonus of being more resistant to the humidity found in bathrooms,” he adds. Experts also agree that underfloor heating is a good option – especially if you don’t have the space for a radiator – and if you set it on a timer it means you’ll

never have to walk across a freezing cold floor at 7am again. According to a spokesperson for Titan International Ltd this is the best heating option, as your feet are warm, so your body is happy. He adds that the company’s range of heating solutions also includes heated mirrors by Ebeco – these mirrors reach room temperature, thereby avoiding the dreaded steamed-up effect. He points out that as underfloor heating is not installed under the entire area of your bathroom, but only under exposed areas not covered by sanitary ware, where necessary, a plan of where the bath/shower and other items are going to be placed, should be provided beforehand. Mr Falzon of A. Falzon Energy Projects Ltd adds that another advantage of having underfloor (or central) heating is that whether this works with gas or a combination of solar energy and fossil fuels, you will have hot water at no extra cost. On the subject of underfloor heating we also sought the advice of Peter Schulte, director of HPS Trading Ltd, which distributes the German product ThermoNetz. “Installed by a professional company, underfloor heating can be used as a full heater and can be used in bathrooms only, or in the whole house. It helps to

drastically reduce humidity and additional heaters or ACs are no longer necessary,” he explains. “Our product provides heat from the floor at a comfortably warm temperature of around 23-25oC, with 150 Watt/sqm. In this case, I would recommend a minimum floor space of 2sqm, keeping in mind that underfloor heating will not be laid under the bath/shower, etc.” The customised underfloor heating mesh is laid directly on top of the torba level, and tiling can be done in the approved Maltese way. For rooms at ground floor level or base-

ments, a thermal insulation is recommended, he continues. For those who have already finalised their bathroom, all is not lost. As the spokesperson for Titan International Ltd explains, one can opt for installing underfloor heating on top of the existing tiles, and re-tiling over the underfloor heating. Mr Schulte explains that his company offers two systems: “one which you can lay direct on the torba or a special 3mm Teflon cable, which is glued to the existing floor. The tiler can then go ahead with laying new tiles.”


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CONSUMER RIGHTS.

Buying an extended guarantee? Sometimes when making a big purchase, we are told of the possibility of purchasing an extended guarantee, but are not quite sure what this means. Odette Vella, Senior Information Officer at the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, explains.

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hen, as consumers, we decide to purchase certain types of goods, such as a washing machine, fridge or computer, the seller may try to sell an extended commercial guarantee, to ensure that our purchase is protected for a longer period of time. Such a guarantee is called ‘extended’ because it applies over and above the standard guarantee issued by the manufacturer or seller. An extended guarantee should in fact come into force once the standard guarantee has expired. If, for instance, we are offered a two year extended guarantee and the standard guarantee is applicable for three years, then we would have a five year commercial guarantee, at an extra cost. Before deciding to buy such a guarantee we should go through the terms and conditions, to see what is or isn’t covered. If, for instance, there is a long list of parts that are not covered by the extended guarantee, it would be wise to think twice before making such a purchase. An advantageous extended guarantee may, for instance, cover accidental damage or misuse, as well as

problems related to wear and tear. In such cases buying an extended guarantee may give us peace of mind in case the product breaks down. We should also check whether the extra guarantee offers new for old or only repair. If it offers only repair, then we should double check that both labour and parts are included. While considering whether or not to buy such a guarantee, we should remember that if we decide not to pay more for what we are buying, we are still protected if the product turns out to be defective or not in conformity with the contract of sale. The very basic protection we are guaranteed is those legal rights granted through the Consumer Affairs Act. These rights cover the product for two years from the date of delivery. We can opt for free of charge repair or a replacement if the product bought turns out to be defective or not fit for the purpose for which it was purchased. When neither repair nor a replacement are possible, or these options are an inconvenience for the consumer, then we may claim part or full refund of the money paid.

These are our legal consumer rights and any other guarantee given to us by sellers does not replace or take precedence over our statutory rights. Sellers and manufacturers may add on to these legal rights by offering commercial guarantees that provide us with additional benefits. Hence, before deciding to splash out on an extended

guarantee we should be aware of our legal rights and we should also shop around and compare the standard commercial guarantees of different brands and outlets. We should read the terms and conditions of different guarantees, as these usually vary according to the type of product and the cost. Usually, the more expensive the product is the longer the guarantee. It is important

to point out that these free of charge guarantees are given out voluntarily by sellers, as there is no legal obligation for shops or suppliers to provide them. However, if a seller issues a commercial guarantee, then he is legally bound to honour it. Whether or not we decide to buy an extended guarantee we should never forget that such a purchase is optional and the seller should not pressure us into spending more money. Regardless of the decision we take, the law always protects us for the first two years and no one can take away or diminish this protection. This article is intended for information purposes only. Any legal claim or action taken in the event of a dispute should be based solely on the legal texts concerned. For further information one can contact the Office for Consumer Affairs on Freephone 8007 4400 or tel: 2395 2000. Odette Vella Senior Information Officer Office for Consumer Affairs Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority


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Best Buy September 2013 Issue  

The Leading Shopping Guide Distributed with The Times

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