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November 2012 - Issue 35

www.vida.com.mt

175 years of inspiration Caffe Cordina celebrates its anniversary

- page 21

Weddings special

Eventful I dos

What you remember most about your wedding - page 12

Does crime pay?

When minor crimes go unpunished

- page 27

WIN! Young designer

Wedding guide

Celestial maps

Latest releases

A MEAL FOR TWO, BEAUTY TREATMENTS, A SECURITY SYSTEM & MORE


editorial

vida.com.mt

Most women would admit that it is primarily a female trait to dream about one’s wedding, planning every little detail in advance, from a very young age. Whether you’ve been dreaming about it or dreading it though, your wedding day is generally up there on your list of important life events. If and when you do meet that special someone that you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, marriage is often the next step, and planning your wedding could take you through a vast range of emotions from excitement to irritation right on through to murderous rage. Whereas planning a wedding may seem, particularly to those without any sort of event planning experience, like a monumental undertaking, the trick (as with most things) is to know what you’re doing. In this month’s issue of VIDA, we do our best to clue you in on every aspect of planning your big day. Doing your homework before attempting any large task is mandatory, and our Weddings Special is ready to be your study buddy. If, on the other hand, getting married is the furthest thing from your mind, we’ve also included a number of other interesting features that we’re sure will tickle your fancy. Ever wanted to be an astronaut? Read about space psychology and star maps on page 30. Wondered what it takes to train for the LifeCycle challenge? Alex Bonnici takes you through his training regime on page 46. Other features include our regulars and a recipe for traditional treat Dead Man’s Bones. Enjoy the issue.

Issue 35 - November 2012 VIDA Magazine is a monthly lifestyle magazine distributed to households in Malta and Gozo. It aims to empower the people to lead a better, healthier and happier life. Publisher

Focused Knowledge Ltd Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe Tel: (+356) 2339 2403 Fax: (+356) 2141 9089 Editor Sarah Micallef editor@vida.com.mt Layout & Design Alexia Baldacchino Kevin Abela studio@vida.com.mt Advertising Tel: (+356) 2339 2231 sales@vida.com.mt

Sarah Micallef

VIDA next month – Christmas special

It is understood that all material supplied by agents (printed or otherwise) to promote their products is supplied with all necessary permissions for reproduction. Whilst great care and attention has been taken by the editorial team to ensure accuracy of text, advertising and other published matter, we disclaim all responsibility for any omissions and errors. The editor and publisher do not necessarily agree with views expressed in articles, adverts, letters, or other content appearing in this publication.

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vida.com.mt | Issue 35 | November 2012

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Contents My thing Saying ‘I do’ Unconventional by design Wedding survival guide Dancing for a healthier self Capturing romance Do children have rights? Above the law? Seeing stars The difference between fashion and style November’s tragedies and triumphs Serafino Zammit and Giuseppe Barbara – Two victims, one murderer Motorsport Team Malta Home improvement guide – Part two Cycling for life The good, the bad and the furry November at the movies Events this month Paying homage to Hobsbawm The perfect Sunday lunch Competitions Dead Man’s Bones

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40

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43 44 46 48 50 54 58 59 63 64

Updates Letters Not for Profit

6 8

Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit

VIDA visits D.I.Why? Keeping it Short Joe id-Dulli & Veronica Farrugia

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46


letters

Your say

STAR LETTER

Dear Editor, Firstly, I’d like to say how much I enjoy reading your magazine. It covers interesting issues and I commend its focus on leading readers to a healthier, happier lifestyle. I watch TV most days and have a comment about the latest McDonald’s ‘early morning’ advert, in which a woman who's half asleep puts milk in her washing machine, whilst another wears odd shoes. It goes on to show a guy getting into his car to drive to work, clearly half asleep. I feel that this represents a worrying and dangerous issue. I am concerned about this particular part being included within a McDonald’s ad, which is otherwise amusing. Malta's graveyards are full of people who have either caused car accidents or who are the victims of dangerous drivers. Indeed, I remember a letter you once published written by a lady driver who doesn't get into her car on a Sunday because the roads are used, particularly by younger drivers, as racetracks. I live in Bugibba and have witnessed many a young driver in their ‘souped up’ yet dilapidated old banger, driving too fast along the seafront. I have sent my comment on the matter to McDonald’s Malta via their website. Let's hope they reply. Patsy Basford-Ede

STAR LETTER COMPETITION VIDA and Unitech are giving one lucky Star Letter writer the chance to win a full Intruder Alarm System*. The competition will run for the rest of the year, with the writers of the letters chosen as a Star Letter from each issue entering a draw to win. Unitech will also be giving each letter published on the magazine a 10% discount. The overall winner will be announced on the January 2013 issue, so get writing!

For all your security needs T: 77773388 47, Cottoner Avenue, Fgura | unitech@go.net.mt *Terms and conditions apply.

• What’s your idea? • What would you recommend? • What’s bugging you? Send your letters, questions to the experts and suggestions to The Editor, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by email on yoursay@vida.com.mt

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Share your views with the nation

New discoveries Dear Editor, My wife and I visit Malta quite regularly and stay in a villa near Mellieħa, but have only recently started reading VIDA. It is a superb production, especially the historical accounts and restaurant reviews. We were so interested in the article on Sicilia Bella in the September issue that we visited it on our last trip to Gozo to enquire about the olive oil. Unfortunately they were closed, but we were still able to buy two bottles, and I must say that it is one of the best olive oils we’ve tasted, and was much appreciated by our friends in London! Many thanks to the writers of Rosie Reviews and Murder in Malta – both features are quite enthralling. John Impey

Laugh or cry? Dear Editor, Sometimes, when certain things happen, I find it difficult to decide whether to laugh or cry. I refer to situations that Alanis Morissette incorrectly called ‘ironic’ in her hit song back in the 90s. Do you laugh or cry when you finally resolve to wash your filthy car, only for a dark rain cloud to come along and ruin your good work, all in less than five minutes, making way for glorious sunshine again? How about spending an hour at the hairdresser, getting your hair styled to perfection for a special event, only to have it ruined by a single gust of humid wind the moment you step outside? The other day, I got home to find my partner, who had arrived seconds before me, laughing his head off. Our dog had ripped open the garbage bag, and there was all sorts of rubbish strewn all over the place. He turned to me and said ‘It’s either laugh or cry!’ So we laughed as we cleaned up the mess! Is it just me, or does this happen to anyone else? Mandy Galea

Faded uniforms Dear Editor, I’m writing to voice my opinion about what a disgraceful state many policemen’s uniforms are in. Not only are a good few of them ill fitting and downright shabby (admittedly, this is probably not helped by the large bellies many Maltese policemen seem to sport), many look as if they’ve been laundered to within an inch of their lives. What I’m assuming was once a rich navy blue colour, is now a faded purple in some uniforms. Can the Malta Police force not afford to replace their uniforms when they’ve reached such a state? Surely, a law enforcement officer’s image has substantial impact on how highly he is viewed by the country’s citizens? A citizen


updates Not for profit

Maltese voluntary organisations

Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU)

It all began… in 2006 when a group of five dedicated individuals with a solid background in rescue decided to form the Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU). The first months were an uphill struggle until the founding members were contacted by a dancing team called She 2s to assist with an adventure programme they were planning. Following that, queries from people who wanted to join the team began flowing in. Our mission is… to provide emergency rescue services as a backup to the Civil Protection Department in cases of national catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, and similar occurrences. EFRU is entirely run by 40 volunteers who specialise in various disciplines such as High Angle Rescue, Rope Rescue, Cliff Rescue, Fire Fighting, Land and Sea Rescue (including Rescue Diving), Urban Search and Rescue (including the only full-time Urban Search & Rescue Canine (K9) section on the island), Swift Water Rescue and First Aid. We also offer our services to commercial and charitable organisations, as well as assisting other entities through the Community Assistance Program and bygiving educational talks on Fire Awareness, Health and Safety, First Aid Awareness and Diving and Rescue Diving.

Our enemies… are mainly the struggle to make ends meet financially. The EFRU is not funded in any way by the government or otherwise. The only income is through donations in return for services offered to commercial and governmental entities. In order for the EFRU to continue offering its services, sponsorships and donations are of utmost importance and to date, the volunteers themselves are forking out all related expenses. For five years, the EFRU did not have a meeting place or storage facilities for its equipment. It was not until

We have… a strong team that is capable of assisting the Civil Protection Department in many ways. It is our aim to keep providing this solid shoulder as well as further the assistance we offer abroad. In May 2011, the EFRU signed a twinning protocol with an Italian volunteer rescue group – Edelweiss Soccorsi Speciali. The purpose of this agreement is to guarantee mutual support in case of national emergencies as well as to provide the volunteers of both rescue teams with the possibility of working on foreign soil while setting standards in certain rescue techniques.

Our greatest achievements are… many, but the ones we are most proud of are the rescue of four capsized canoeists in force six seas during the 2006 Puttinu Annual Triathlon, the rescue of the sole survivor from the St Helena Fireworks Factory explosion in June 2007; and our involvement in the ‘Libya Exodus’, when thousands fled during the thick of war in what was described as “one of the largest migration crises in modern history”.

Our current projects include… networking with similar NGOs in Europe, and continuing to expand the twinning agreement we have established with Edelweiss. Hard work is also being put in to find willing sponsors to contribute towards the maintenance and upkeep of one of the two EFRU Fire Trucks, and for the purchase of two second-hand high-roofed mess vans capable of transporting a team of eight rescuers complete with their kits.

Know of a local voluntary organisation that could use the recognition? Contact the editor on editor@vida.com.mt

vida.com.mt | Issue 35 | November 2012

Official Launch of The Xara Lodge

2011 that, thanks to the Civil Protection Department, EFRU was granted the temporary use of premises in Paola, which act as the unit’s headquarters and training school. The new struggle is now to try and secure the place for peace of mind.

W: www.efru.org T: 99497272 E: info@efru.net

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visits

Mdina Grand Prix 2012

New Look Wet & Wild Fashion Show @ The Lido

Stef Schranz, Bekki D'Agata and Sarah Micallef

Malta International Airshow 2012

AIW's Fundraising Tea for Breast Cancer @ Australian High Commissioner's Residence


column Shouting from the Hili Top

You may have seen him on stage, heard him on the radio, or laughed at his lack of colour-coordination (he’s the one walking down the street with the orange shorts and pink shirt). He is loud, hairy, controversial and… well… different! He is Steve Hili and he is writing for VIDA.

OIL

D.I.Why? I am rubbish at doing things with my hands. For goodness sake this is a family magazine! Get your mind out of the gutter and get your kicks elsewhere (tweet me the details). Anyway. The point is that I am abysmal at DIY. And everyone who knows me knows it. In fact, the process of getting something fixed in our house goes a little something like this: I discover that something is not working right. It might be a leaking pipe or a dripping air conditioning unit. At this juncture I have two options – I could either tell my wife Kat or ignore it. I usually ignore it, hoping that Kat will find out and sort it out. If she does not notice (how someone who can make out fifteen different shades of mauve can possibly not notice that a fridge door is not closing properly is beyond me, yet it happens) I then put my drama skills to good use by pretending to discover the issue when she is within hearing distance. (I once took it a bit too far and launched into ‘to be or not to be’ when the microwave short-circuited. Luckily she took no notice. She was more worried about how we were going to defrost the carrots. It is not that I am lazy or I don’t want to try. It is just that I know I will fail – because I always do! Let me give you an example by telling you a story that has become legendary within my circle of friends. I once needed to record a voice-over on the very laptop I am using to write this article. However, every time I recorded the voice I ended up getting a really annoying hum.

“Hmmm” I thought to myself, creating a two-part harmony in my room, I bet this is a connection problem. Now I had heard that dry mechanical joints sometimes cause connection problems – so I decided that the best move would be to lubricate the microphone socket. Unfortunately, I did not have anything to lubricate it with. ‘No worries’ I thought, as I morphed into an Australian repairman, ‘I can improvise.’ So I did – using the slippiest substance I could think of – vegetable oil. I put a dash of oil into the socket. But during the next take, the hum remained. So I put a bit more in, and then some more, and more, and even more. Vegetable oil was dripping out of my laptop. My desk was soaked, my wallet was stained, and my discarded shoes had started floating. Yet that irritating drone had not subsided. It was then that I discovered that if I plugged in the laptop instead of using it off the battery, the hum would magically disappear. Ahem. Whatever. Water (or oil in this case) off a duck’s back. I have grown used to my rubbish efforts being subject to scorn. (I am still getting flack for trying to help out at an old work place by painting the stairs, and doing it with roof compound instead of paint. On the positive side I don’t think the stairs have ever leaked). However despite the laughs, the giggles and screwdrivers that everyone thinks would make hilarious Christmas presents for me, every year (way too funny, I wonder how I manage to breathe) I am at peace with my lack of handy skills. Well sort of. Just don’t ask me for a 'laptop biż-żejt.'

For more Steve, tune in to the BIG Breakfast on XFM 100.2 on Monday to Friday from 06:30 onwards or follow him on Twitter @SteveHili.

November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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updates couples special

Joe id-Dulli & Veronica Farrugia Veronica

Joe

My husband is the person that has supported and encouraged me most in my career.

My wife is excellent.

We met on stage! The first time I met Joe I considered him as just a friend. Our wedding was the beginning of a marriage that I thought would only last a year, but we’ve been going strong for 31 years now! The thing I love most about Joe is his patience. The thing he loves most about me is my sincerity. Something about Joe that annoys me is his snoring, and that sometimes he can be quite messy!

We met backstage. I was 24 and she was only 16. The first time I met Veronica, I thought she was very attractive. I knew her sister first, and when I met Veronica I thought her dark features were very attractive. Our wedding was on September 19th 1981. The thing I love most about Veronica is how friendly and trustworthy she is. She really cares about others and is the type of person that never speaks about people behind their back. The thing she loves most about me is the same qualities.

The best thing about married life is friendship.

Something about Veronica that annoys me is that she cries very easily. She’s got a very big heart, so a sharp word from the children or myself makes her cry.

Presenting with Joe is very comfortable, because he always takes his work very seriously. It’s nice because I know he always does his best to put on a good show.

Something I do that annoys Veronica is snoring! And when I come home with dirt on my clothes after a day at work and sit on the sofa before taking a shower!

My proudest moment in our presenting career was when I received a phone call from the hospital’s renal unit telling us that they bought videos of our shows for the patients and nurses to watch while they are waiting for their treatment.

The best thing about married life is the trust we have in each other. We have been married for 31 years and I think the secret is trust.

My proudest life moment was having my two boys. Being a mother is the most important thing that will ever happen to a woman.

My proudest moment in our presenting career is BBQ. We’ve been doing it for 10 years now.

Something I do that annoys Joe is I’m sometimes not patient enough.

My most memorable experience with Joe is being invited to the House of Parliament in Sydney, Australia. The secret to a healthy relationship is sincerity, being friends as well as partners, and communication.

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Keeping it short

Presenting with Veronica comes very naturally. We understand each other instantly with just a wink or a nudge.

My proudest life moment is watching my children grow with mutual love and respect. My most memorable experience with Veronica is the birth of our children. The secret to a healthy relationship is trust, respect and love.

Both Life is a precious gift. Family is a place where you feel safe. Marriage is like a plant which you have to take care of every day. The best things in life are being happy with what you have and accepting who you are. If we could change one thing it would be wars and hunger. In the end we are humans and we make mistakes – we can fall but can also rise again.


real life

My thing Daphne Sims’ embroidered trousers date back to the 1950s. They have been worn by three women since then, and are still going strong. This is their story.

I

feel like I should start with a disclaimer: I am not a hoarder. I do not like clutter anywhere in the house, and when it comes to clothes I have a rule – every time I buy something new, something old must leave my wardrobe. Still, there is an exception to every rule, and my black and white trousers are it, in this case. Every time I wear them, I always get compliments, and when I tell people they’re antique, I get incredulous looks… but it’s true! The lovely black trousers with white embroidered flowers caught my grandmother's eye when she lived in Canada in the 1950s. She liked them so much that she hung onto them for years until my mother discovered them when she was in her 20s. My mother borrowed them – well you could call it borrowing – on a permanent basis. Little did she know at the time that her baby girl would discover them years later, and she would have them taken out of her wardrobe too! When I first stumbled across the trousers in my mother's wardrobe, I was about 21, and I remember thinking how lovely they were, trying them on and, having found they were a good fit, walking off with them without a second thought. I was forever borrowing things from my mother's wardrobe at the time, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.

When my mother caught me in them I was in trouble, but then she decided she quite liked the idea of them becoming third generation trousers, so explained where they had come from and that I was allowed to keep them if I handled them with care. I am not sure I believed her at the time, when she said the trendy three-quarter trousers had belonged to my grandmother, but then out came the photographic evidence – a black and white photo of my grandmother in Canada in the late 1950s wearing none other than the coveted trousers, swiftly followed by a photo of my very young looking mum in her 20s in the very same pair. Naturally, it then seemed like a great idea to take a photo of myself wearing the trousers, and we had a good laugh as we realised that either the trousers were shrinking with age or the generations were getting taller! The trousers were full-length when my grandma wore them, but a trendy three-quarter length on me. I stopped wearing the trousers after a while, partly because I feared I would wear them out and partly because some tiny part of me thought they might even make it to a fourth generation. I wrapped them up carefully and preserved them for posterity... or so I thought. Three months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby, but he's a boy so it would seem that the story of our antique trousers will stop here... unless, that is, he finds himself a slim girlfriend with a taste for vintage clothing!

Do you, or someone you know, have a treasured ‘thing’? Send us your suggestion to My Thing, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214 or by email to yoursay@vida.com.mt for a chance to showcase the item that means most to you – we’d love to hear about it!

November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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voxpop

Saying ‘I do’

vox pop

In honour of our Weddings Special this month, VIDA took to the streets to ask passers by about their weddings. The resulting story has a happy ending, but is not free from tears, stress and fears before (and in one instance, even during) the ‘I dos’!

Teresa Rossi, 68 Married for: 50 years

Elaine Meanie, 52 Married for: 30 years

Liz Holm, 46 Married for: 12 years

How would you describe your wedding? It was boring for us. Not to mention the stress and expectations. It was what was going to come after that we were looking forward to – sharing the rest of our lives together.

How would you describe your wedding? It was a really happy event – a rushed, busy and hot day in July.

How would you describe your wedding? Perfect!

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? There was nothing to remember really. We enjoyed ourselves afterwards. Looking back, would you do anything differently? We'd possibly skip the rite. It wasn’t important to us – it’s all bureaucracy.

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What was the most memorable part of your wedding? Getting our photos taken as husband and wife. Looking back, would you do anything differently? I would have taken my time and enjoyed it far more.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? We enjoyed all of it. Looking back, would you do anything differently? It was great, so there is nothing we would have done differently.


voxpop

Anna Pace Parascandolo, 43 Married for: 20 years

Criua Buffet, 30 Married for: 4 years

Joseph Dimech, 68 Married for: 40 years

How would you describe your wedding? I was excited and anxious, but mostly tired as I had made all the preparations on my own as my husband was sitting for his final exams at university.

How would you describe your wedding? It happened quite quickly. Only close friends were invited.

How would you describe your wedding? It was very hectic but we were looking forward to it. The result was a memorable experience.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? I will never forget how everyone was looking at me as I entered the church. Seeing my husband-to-be waiting for me at the altar was also quite memorable. Looking back, would you do anything differently? I think everything turned out perfectly.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? We had a destination wedding in New York, and spending the whole week there was great! Looking back, would you do anything differently? I would have probably invited some more guests and families to make it slightly bigger.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? Some of the guests’ children threw 'pastizzi' from the window of the reception hall at the guards below. We all had a laugh about it though. Looking back, would you do anything differently? We wished we could have gone for a honeymoon afterwards, but those were hard times.

Antonella Calleja, 37 Married for: 9 years

Dorothy Soulsby, 74 Married for: 43 years

Kevin McGinty, 73 Married for: 45 years

How would you describe your wedding? It felt like I was living a dream.

How would you describe your wedding? The reception was at my parents’ farm. It was a quiet affair with just 14 guests – simple and happy.

How would you describe your wedding? It was a lovely sunny Saturday morning in 1967. We had 50 guests and lots of fun.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? While we were saying our vows, the priest had to pause the ceremony, as I couldn’t say a word and was in tears for a good half an hour. Everyone present thought I was going to call it off! Looking back, would you do anything differently? Not really - I wouldn't change a thing.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? Saying our vows – it’s the part where you realise what a serious undertaking it is. It’s not just a party! Looking back, would you do anything differently? It was perfect for us.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding? The point when the wedding was over, as it was quite a relief that everything had gone smoothly. Looking back, would you do anything differently? All was fine and everyone was happy, so no.

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events

The MFCC Weddings Exhibition November 8th to 11th, 2012

T

he MFCC Weddings Exhibition is taking place between Thursday November 8th and Sunday November 11th at MFCC, Ta’ Qali. The MFCC Weddings Exhibition is the place to visit if you are about to get married – you’re sure to find everything you need to organise your ‘I Do’ day all under one roof. After the proposal comes the preparation. Everything must be perfect, but the list is endless – where do you start? The MFCC Weddings Exhibition is the solution, with over 150 exhibitors covering everything from venues, rings, wedding dresses, caterers, photographers, videographers, beauticians, souvenirs, cars and carriages, grooms’ hire attire, headdresses, lingerie, singers, bands, chimes and bagpipes, invitations, honeymoons and lots more. If you are getting married, simply visit the fair and exhaust your to-do list over one weekend. This year, lots of novel offers and surprises are on offer. Catermax, Malta’s leading top quality caterer will give discounts and a take-home wedding planner to every couple that visits their stand. To qualify for a wedding planner, ask for a quotation on the stand. Catermax will also be launching new dream venues, so make sure to visit the stand and get a glimpse of the novel items that are being prepared. You’ve also got the chance to win a honeymoon worth €4000 from the Catermax stand. MFCC services will also be promoting the wedding services segment. This includes marquee and gazebo setups for specialised weddings, as well as customised setups for special occasions and events. MFCC are specialists in creating the right ambience in a unique location, and locations can be as varied as your own private garden to a historical piazza. If you can afford to be different and have the budget to go for a top scale wedding, the specialists can also help you achieve whatever you desire. The opening hours for the Weddings Exhibition at MFCC, Ta’ Qali, between Thursday November 8th and Sunday 11th, are Thursday and Friday from 18:00 to 22:30, Saturday from 18:00 to 23:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 21:00. For more information please visit www.mfcc.com.mt.

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people

Unconventional by design H

e got his ‘big break’ almost by accident, designing a wedding dress in which hot couture met fine tailoring. He has been involved in online art and design projects, produced short films and installations, and gained further experience at the same school that taught Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Returning to Malta, or rather, Gozo, he is now the production and costume designer for Naupaca Dance Factory whilst also reading for a degree in History of Art. At just 19 years old, he knows what he wants and is ready to live out his vision. Jane Vella meets Luke Azzopardi.

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people At Naupaca Dance Factory, Luke met Adriana, a make-up artist who was to unknowingly help Luke reach a turning point in his life. “She asked me if I knew anyone at school who did evening wear, as she was planning to get married and wanted something special. I agreed to do it myself,” he explains. The experience of creating Adriana’s wedding dress, together with those of her bridesmaids, helped Luke to mature in his craft, and gain experience. “Adriana liked my ideas and designs – we just needed to find someone who would sew the dresses, someone who could understand my vision,” he says. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find someone with the same approach. No one understood the designs better than Luke himself, so he offered to sew the dresses too with some help from his mother, Carmen.

"I want to allow my clients to own a moment not an item, a piece of inspiring cultural heritage." In 2011, Luke sourced the fabrics from the UK. “Through Adriana, I found who I am. She allowed me a lot of creative freedom,” says Luke. Taking three weeks of non-stop work, his attention to detail made his final creations even finer, replacing Gozitan lace with French lace and hand beading. He even took on the bride’s shoes himself. The bridesmaids’ dresses also involved a lot of work, involving print technologies. “In fact, they wore them for the first time on the day of the wedding.” Luke says that when he saw his creations coming together, it encouraged him even more. “I even made two of the guests’ dresses. I received a lot of compliments. I felt proud to be part of it, and realised that after this, I could push myself out there.” Luke explains that he is fascinated by Japanese art, particularly the beauty in time passing, symbolised by Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. “I study and read to achieve my ends,” says Luke. He adds that he often takes fine art as his inspiration, and moves forward from there. “Ultimately, when the item is ready, I feel like I’m giving away a part of myself, it’s a process. What I do is not style, its fine art. This is why I try everything I have the opportunity to do – it informs all I do.”

"when the item is ready, I feel like I’m giving away a part of myself" One such opportunity was Luke’s time in London, as a student at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design, the alumni of which include none other than John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. “It was a good step going there, and a good step coming back. I gained what I could from the experience – and proved to myself that I could do it,” he says.

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people He does admit that being in Malta could be a temporary decision, but for the time being this is where he wants to be. Besides his university course, Luke’s role as production designer at the Naupaca Dance Factory is keeping him very busy at the moment, with work on the upcoming theatre production of The Death of Snow White: A Tragedy in Seven Days, in full swing. He explains that his concept for the costume design is gothic and medieval, versus Japanese culture. The story of Snow White is portrayed through the costumes as well, with whites, reds and blacks telling the story as much as the acting itself – the white of innocence, leading into the red of maturity and black, death and the breaking of the cycle. Luke’s future plans include a collection within a studio space rather than a shop, what he describes as ‘a zone’, possibly in Valletta. “Abroad, artists draw on their capital cities for inspiration, as culture and heritage is part of fashion – just look at New York, London, Paris,” he says. “We need to work for a new culture in our capital. In this way I have hope through V.18 – the hope that people will support artists and reach out.” “I want to create clothes that people enjoy wearing, that enhance and extend their personality. It’s not simply style; it’s a sense of pride – going beyond vanity. I believe in aesthetic beauty which is informed, not just trendy and cool – a researched concept in fashion,” says Luke. “The clothes are not just material. I want to allow my clients to own a moment not an item, a piece of inspiring cultural heritage.” www.naupacadancefactory.com | www.lukeazzopardi.tumblr.com

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special feature

Wedding survival guide Our tips to help you plan your perfect wedding

C

ongratulations on getting engaged! Now it’s time to start planning your big day. Whereas there truly is a lot to do, the trick to a happy and (relatively) stress-free wedding day is to plan everything in advance.

There are some things that should be taken care of first, such as setting a date and budget, buying the rings, and announcing the engagement. When considering a wedding date, keep work schedules, holidays and other occasions in mind to avoid a clash. Once the date has been set, the planning can start. Set a timetable for handling the various stages and stick to it. Tasks such as sending out invitations are best tackled a couple of months prior, but other duties like booking the reception venue should be handled at least a year in advance. The amount of people attending your wedding is also something to be established early on – it will determine decisions related to catering, invitations and stationery.

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Location Chances are that, aside from the lovely bride and groom, your wedding venue will make the most lasting impression on your wedding guests. For this reason, it pays off to do your homework before making a final decision. Keep your budget in mind, only considering location options that fall within it, bearing in mind too that the chosen venue will have to comfortably accommodate the number of guests you’ll be having. Another factor that could affect your choice is the time of year, particularly if you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor event. The most popular time for outdoor weddings is spring through autumn, but even so, it is wise to have a back-up plan. When it comes to booking, try to plan at least nine months in advance (and even earlier if you’re after a popular location). If there is a particular theme to your wedding, make sure your selected venue can be decorated accordingly, and last but not least, ensure the layout of the venue is suited to your needs – a square room with a central dance floor, for example, encourages more interaction between the guests, and more dancing as the night progresses.


special feature

Catering Planning your wedding reception menu not only depends on the caterers you choose but also the theme (if there is one) and style of the wedding, as well as the time of day and of course, the budget! If your wedding is on the elaborate side, the catering should match, though it’s your choice whether to go for finger food, buffet tables or a sit-down dinner. Remember to consider the time of year and stick to warmer foods in winter and fresher variants in summer. When it comes to drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) always have more than you think you’ll need – you’d be surprised how quickly your guests can get through them!

Colour scheme A colour scheme is reflected in a great many aspects of your wedding from the outfits of the bridal party (including the bride’s dress) to tableware, centerpieces, flowers and general décor. The choice is ultimately yours, and should reflect the couple’s personal style, but if we could give you one word of advice – less is more. You can choose whichever colours you prefer, but keep it classy by selecting two main colours or a number of variations on the same shade, such as dusky pinks and creams, for example. When choosing your flowers, a less expensive idea to keep in mind is the use of in-season flowers – they’ll cost less and look great too.

Photography Your wedding photos and video will serve as a lasting reminder of your special day, so it is of utmost importance to choose your photographer or videographer wisely. Besides professional photos, a fun twist can also be added by providing disposable cameras for your guests to take personalised photos throughout the reception. Be ready for some interesting snaps!

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special feature

Entertainment The music you choose will set the mood of your wedding and help create a festive atmosphere. There are three types of entertainers traditionally used at wedding receptions that are DJs, live music and karaoke. DJs are often the most popular choice because they’re adaptable. A good DJ will provide ample musical variety to suit everyone’s taste at your wedding, no matter how many generations are present! Hiring a band or singers can give your wedding something special, but there are drawbacks to this option too, including a limited musical selection. If going for a live performance, it’s also a good idea to ensure all necessary sound checks are made prior to your guests’ arrival. If you’re going for karaoke, chances are you already know the risks so we won’t warn you further – good luck!

Cake The crowning glory of the food at your wedding is the cake. When choosing the style, it may pay off to do so after decisions on dress and décor have been made. This way, you can make sure it will go with everything, as well as possibly provide the baker with fabric swatches or images of the dress to match any decorations on the cake itself. In terms of size, the baker will be able to point you in the right direction, but the general rule is three tiers for 50 to 100 guests and five for 200 or more. Besides looking great though, the most important thing about your cake is that is tastes nice too. It’s a good idea to attend baker’s tasting sessions before you decide, and keep in mind that the more complicated the cake (both in terms of fillings and decorations) the more expensive it’s going to be. Our final word of advice when planning your wedding is to keep the big picture in mind. It’s easy to get caught up in all the stress and hassle of wedding planning, but if you feel yourself getting too stressed out, step back, take a deep breath and remember that you should have fun too – after all, it is your special day.

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interview

175 years of Caffe Cordina

On the occasion of Caffe Cordina’s 175th anniversary this month, Sarah Micallef sits down for a cup of tea with owner Mr John Cordina. A sample of their famous pastry goes down well with a good dose of the café’s rich history.

S

tarting out as a small coffee shop in Cospicua run by John Cordina’s great grandfather, Caffe Cordina has always been a family affair, with his parents working there when it moved to Valletta during the war, and Mr Cordina himself being involved “since I was in diapers”. His wife Linda now helps run the floor, and the next generation of Cordinas, his sons Karim, Jair and Gian Luca, will take over from them. Mr Cordina believes it is the importance of tradition and strong family values that continue to make Caffe Cordina a success today. The murals that grace the walls of the café reflect its history, each representing a noteworthy event. Most recently, Mr Cordina commissioned a painting depicting children playing with stars in order to commemorate Malta’s entrance into the European Union. The mural was unveiled by President Fenech Adami, as was done with the others by the presidents in office at the time. Besides Maltese dignitaries, many foreign personalities have partonised Caffe Cordina, including Italian politicians Aldo Moro, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and Francesco Cossiga. Mr Cordina recalls a little anecdote regarding the latter, Cossiga, who was a friend of his father. “On one particular occasion, I was at the café on a quick errand, unaware that Cossiga was there. He called me over, took my arm in his, as Italians do, and said ‘I’m not coming here anymore’. When I asked why, he said it was because every time he came, we didn’t let him pay. Laughing, I replied ‘Magari!’ (an Italian expression meaning ‘if only!’) and said ‘if you don’t come here, where the hell do you want to go?’ That made him laugh!” Caffe Cordina has also hosted royalty, having organised private dinners for Prince Philip and the Queen on their visit to the island following the occasion of the Independence Ball in 1964. Royalty of the sporting variety has also visited in the form of football team Inter, and another famous face to visit the café was film director Steven Spielberg, who called in while shooting Munich. At this, Mr Cordina proceeds to show me a framed hand-written note of thanks by Spielberg himself. Still, Mr Cordina maintains that despite welcoming numerous dignitaries into his café over the years, there were times

when he was met with discrimination. “Back when we didn’t have ovens, we used to use the bakery next to the Valletta market, and I would often collect pastizzi from there personally. Time passed, and I made friends with people whose parents were involved with the Casino Maltese. When I was 16, a Carnival Ball was organised there, but I didn’t get an invite. My father asked Robbie Borg Olivier (the prime minister’s brother), who was on the council, why this was. It turned out that certain members had objected to having someone ‘who sells pastizzi’ at the party. What I find funny is that nowadays, the children of their children work in catering, selling burgers!” Despite having 82 employees today, many of Caffe Cordina’s staff has worked there for many years, creating a sense of family that Mr Cordina is proud of. “We’ve always chosen to employ people without experience who can grow with us,” he says, having sent employees to train abroad. “Someone can start out as a dishwasher and go on to become a chef.” He goes on to mention Karistu Baldacchino, who has been with him for 55 years and who he affectionately terms his ‘consigliere’. Other loyal employees he mentions are Franz, who was nicknamed ‘Franz Cordina’ because of his long stint at the café from 15 years old up until retirement; Taylor and Gejtu, who have been there since the early 70s; as well as James, Mario, Jesmond and Patricia, who have each worked at the café for over 20 years. A relatively recent addition is Cilio Bugeja, who despite only having been at Caffe Cordina for five years is a big asset, and holds the dual role of CEO and Financial Controller. Besides the staff however, Mr Cordina maintains that what he values most are the customers. “I dislike seeing bad customer service, and that’s part of the reason I stick to the same four restaurants whenever I go out. Without the customers,” he says, “there would be no Caffe Cordina.”

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sports

Dancing for a healthier self It’s not just for girls!

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or many of us, the first thing that pops into our minds when we think about dance is a bunch of slim women dressed in pink tutus and tights tiptoeing around effortlessly. Though veritable to a certain extent, this may not give us a complete picture of dance in its multitude of disciplines. For many, dance is viewed as purely artistic, but what if we were to consider the prospect of dance as a sport? Contrary to popular belief, dance in the last few decades has been recognised to possess athletic qualities comparable to the toughest Olympian. This is the case with ballroom dance. What is ballroom dance?

Isn’t dancing for girls?

Ballroom dance, more commonly known as Dancesport, is a couples dance, usually a male and a female who move together using a closed hold which incorporates Latin American and Standard disciplines. The term Dancesport was coined just after the World Dancesport Federation or WDSF formerly known as IDSF (International Dancesport Federation) gained recognition by the International Olympic Committee. In 1997, the IOC included Dancesport within the list of sports that comply with the Olympic Charter and are enlisted as future sports to be included within the Olympic games.

In the world of ballroom dance, something, or rather someone is often missing: prospective males. Men are generally taught to be tough and competitive from a tender age, and boys often shun activities that involve music because they are viewed as feminine. Boys are missing the woods for the trees in this assumption however, because ballroom dancing can benefit them in many ways:

What are the health benefits of ballroom dance? Various studies have shown that ballroom dance reduces stress, tones the entire body and improves coordination. In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine recently conducted a 21year study whereby participants aged 75 were engaged in various activities such as playing musical instruments, reading and dancing. The study found that dancing helped reduce the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease if practised at least 11 days a month. In fact, the risk of developing these conditions decreased by 63% when compared to that of persons who do not dance regularly. Physically, dancing increases blood flow to the brain and socially, it decreases the risk of stress, depression and loneliness. Furthermore, dancing requires memorising steps and working with a partner – both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health.

• It offers the opportunity to interact socially. Children are nowadays often able to handle computers and mobile phones from an early age, but for some reason the art of face-to-face communication seems to have been mislaid. • Taking lessons in ballroom dancing can be of great help to a child without siblings who attends a boys or girls school and has no natural contact with the opposite sex. Through dance, the child will not only learn to integrate, but more importantly, to integrate politely. • Most importantly, ballroom dance offers boys the opportunity to excel in something that is not restricted to specific body types. Ballroom dance allows boys to express their creativity in a safe environment, and could even be a stepping stone towards a professional competitive career. By Jean-Claude Dimech BA PGCE Chairman, Commission for Athletes, Education and Sports Promotion Malta Dancesport Association

The Malta Dancesport Association offers classes for children of all ages in collaboration with Kunsill Malti għall-Isport. For more information visit their Facebook page Malta Dancesport or log onto www.maltandacesport.org. You can also send an email on mda.campusrep@gmail.com or call 7987 2605.

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photography

Capturing romance

Photo by Anthony Vella www.anthonyvella.com Location: Ramla Bay Hotel Resort - Pier Models: Greg & Mana

by Anthony Vella

The couple who are going to be photographed should meet up with the photographer beforehand to discuss the type of images they’re after. Important points to consider at this stage are desired poses, location, date and available time-window for shooting. Bear in mind that if the chosen location can provide completely different backgrounds, it could add variety to the photo selection without having to move to another area. One important issue to consider in terms of location is whether the place you’ve chosen will allow you to work unhindered. Let’s say that you chose to shoot on a beach – does the time of year allow room to work without too many people moving around or walking into the shot? Remember that clean backgrounds mean the final photos will feature nothing to distract the viewers’ attention from the couple, which in turn ensures a stronger composition. Another point that could make or break a shoot is timing. For example, shooting romantic poses against a setting sun creates drama that will undoubtedly enhance the romantic setting. Shooting in the midday sun means harsh shadows and squinting eyes, and the final pictures may lack the magical atmosphere that an early morning or late evening shoot can have.

Capturing romance photography competition Have you been paying attention? This month’s photography competition requires you to send us your most romantic shots in which a tender moment between a couple in love is captured.

Conditions Photos do not need to have been taken with a professional camera – sometimes your phone camera can be enough. We usually need photos which are at least 2MP (approx 1600X1200 pixels). Please feel free to send in as many photos as you deem necessary, however do not send more than two photos per email. Send your entries to snap@vida.com.mt or by post to the address below by no later than January 7th and you could win the fantastic prize from Living Colours! If posting entries physically and want the prints/ CD returned please include a self-addressed envelope and post to: Photography Competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD2214.

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Once you reach the shoot location, it is a good idea to have a small chat before starting. This will help the subjects relax, enabling them to feel more comfortable when being photographed. When it comes to posing, unnatural or uncomfortable poses should be avoided as the discomfort often shows in the end result. When attempting to capture romance between a couple, it is a good idea to have them do natural things like hold hands, kiss and hold each other. The couple need not look at the camera all the time, and the photographer should attempt to capture the love between them when they look at each other. If the couple choose to kiss, eyes should be kept closed for a more intense and genuine effect. Besides the romantic poses, some couples may also enjoy a selection of fun photos in which they may run along a beach for example, or in which the groom carries the bride into the sea. A little while into the shoot the couple often begins to loosen up and feel much less camera shy, making them more willing to have some fun. Outdoor shoots are subject to the day’s weather, which may vary from time to time; however do make the best out of what nature provides. Waves, moving clouds and wind can all be used to your advantage. Wind blowing in a girl’s hair, for example, makes for a more spontaneous and lively image. The possibilities are endless on a romantic shoot. Use wide-angle lenses to capture the couple in panoramic settings, and a telephoto lens is recommended for close-up portraits of the couple. Above all, it is always important to use your imagination.

WIN!

any couples nowadays are opting for pre-wedding or post-wedding shoots, yet a romantic shoot doesn’t strictly have to be attached to a wedding. When it comes to capturing the relationship between a couple, as is the case with fashion photography, a fair amount of planning and preparation goes into obtaining great looking photos.

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Win a voucher worth €100 for a deluxe canvas print (50x100cm or 70x70cm) printed on premium quality cotton art canvas using the latest printing technology, hand-stretched over a 35mm wooden frame. Visit www.livingcolours.eu today for high quality canvas prints, photobooks, personalised cards, posters and books all featuring your own photos and messages. Also on offer are luxury personalised Holy Communion and Confirmation bookmarks and matching party invitations. Create, preview and order all products quickly and easily online and have them delivered to your door. Get started today.


special feature

Do children have rights? All human beings are equal and have rights without discrimination, whatever their nationality, sex, religion, language, or any other status. Rights are not only for adults however, they also include children. Although young and dependent on other persons, children feel the same way adults do when they are ill treated. The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly states that children have the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The four core principles of the convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services. Even though children have their own rights, we continue to hear stories about children who live in poverty or are homeless, others who suffer from various types of abuse, and some live with diseases that can easily be cured. These types of problems are not only found in countries that are still developing, but are also present in industrialised ones and even locally. The Convention of the United Nations reflects the global commitment of different countries to look after children’s rights and is obliged to take the necessary action for the children’s best interests. The children’s best interests must be given the necessary importance not only by their families but also by society as a whole. It is important that adults understand that: 1. Children are not mini-human beings with mini human rights 2. Children are vulnerable. They need more protection not less 3. No violence against children is justifiable 4. All violence against children can be prevented 5. Protecting children calls for a strategic approach 6. Children’s rights concern us all 7. Children’s rights make Europe grow Source: Seven Good Reasons for Building a Europe for and with Children – Council of Europe

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Aġenzija Appoġġ continuously works in favour of children’s rights. The Agency supports children who suffer from different types of abuse and also offers services to children who do not have families or cannot live with their parents. Children suffering from any type of abuse may call Aġenzija Appoġġ’s Supportline 179 where they can find the necessary help and support. Furthermore, persons who know about a case of child abuse may also call Supportline179 for assistance. Aġenzija Appoġġ forms part of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (www.fsws.gov.mt) which incorporatesAġenzija Sedqa

(www.aġenzija appoġġ .gov.mt) and Aġenzija

Sapport (www.sapport.gov.mt).


special report

Above the law?

When minor crimes go unpunished

J

ohn* was involved in a car accident as he was driving home from work. The two men in the other car quickly turned the incident into a cause for a fight. John was punched, and verbally threatened, before he even said a word. However, he never reported the crime. It wouldn’t change anything, he thought. They’d probably get a small fine, and be set free within days. John meets David Vella to explain that when local authorities give the impression that criminals are taken to Court but remain unpunished, they’re sending out a message that crime pays.

After a day’s work, the last thing that John wanted at six in the evening was to still be stuck in a seemingly motionless traffic jam. Some obstruction further up the road left him, and hundreds of other drivers at a complete standstill. The four-carriageway road had turned into five or six haphazard lanes, with everyone pushing forward to get through. Suddenly, his car was jolted from behind. A large vehicle had hit the rear of his car. “I was about to unbuckle my seatbelt to get out and inspect the damage, when suddenly, my door was yanked open by one of two men who quickly got out of the other car. He started shouting at me, and before I could even reply, threw a punch in my face. At that moment, with cars surrounding me keeping me from driving away and two men shouting at me, accusing me of causing an accident, I just froze. I raised my hand to my eye, which was starting to hurt, and simply looked straight ahead through the windscreen. I wanted to get out of the car and respond to their threats

was to call the police. I wrote down the and accusations, but at the same time I registration plate on a piece of paper, kept thinking that if they were ready to punch me when I hadn’t even said a word, and reached out for my phone. Then, I thought, ‘what if I reported them? I’d nothing’s stopping them from hurting have to face them in Court. Right now me more, had I tried to get even with they just recognise my face and the car them. I thought of calling the police, but how was anyone going to get through the I drive. If I go to court, they’ll have my name and address. And most probably, clogged roads to come to my assistance in time? The two men kept shouting at the most they would get is a fine or a few days’ imprisonment, and then, who’s me, one from each side of my car. Then, they must have thought that someone was going to stop them from coming to get back at me, or my family?” coming to help me, as the cars behind us were beeping their horns for us to move. The "Who’s going Memories of this summer’s highly publicised case, in which man by my door punched to stop them from five men were let off with a me one more time and coming to get small fine after assaulting a threatened to kill me if I stranger in Marsascala, came didn’t drive ahead. Then back at me, or to mind. At that moment, John they went back to their my family?" understood why the victim in car.” that case had chosen to forgive his assailants, stating that he feared Stunned, John drove ahead and retribution, had he pressed charges. turned at the first corner to get away from the men driving behind him. He did Would he be ready to testify in court that manage, however, to memorise the car’s he’s not ready to forgive them, effectively make and registration number before he determining whether or not the Court got them off his tail. “My first thought

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special report could proceed with punishing the aggressors? “I was not going to be placed in a position where I’d be judge and jury over the fate of two violent men, who, in any case, would be free to seek revenge on me and my family, sooner or later.” John got out of the car to inspect the damage and found a small dent and some scratches. “Back inside, my eye was still hurting and in the sun visor mirror I could see it was getting swollen. I tore the piece of paper with the other car’s details on it and continued on my way home.” That evening, John told his family that before leaving work, he reversed his car against a wall by mistake and as he rushed out to check what happened, hit his eye against the car door. His eye healed in a few days, but his thoughts kept racing. John felt angry, ashamed, afraid and disappointed at the same time. “I felt angry at the men who assaulted me for no reason, and at the justice system, which seems ineffective in such cases. I was also angry with the people who witnessed the accident and didn’t come to my rescue, or at least, report the crime. But I cannot really blame them – even I failed to call the police. Ashamed at not fighting back – did I really choose to do nothing to avoid further consequences, or was I simply not courageous enough?” Eventually, John talked to his workplace’s psychologist, who helped him come to terms with this experience. However, he explains, not everyone would be ready to seek help. “When the media report about crimes going unpunished and about victims who seem helpless, we might feel disappointed, but don’t make much of the seriousness of the matter. When it happens to you, all those messages suddenly come flooding back to mind. What’s our country doing to ensure that we don’t send out the wrong message that victims have to suffer in silence, without seeking assistance? Why can’t police simply press charges irrespective of whether or not a victim is ready to forgive the assailants? Are we implying that our justice system is ready to ‘forgive’ certain crimes?” Dr Roberta Lepre, Director of Victim Support Malta, a Maltese voluntary organisation that offers personal and legal assistance services to victims of crime explains that, “unfortunately, the majority of cases that we come across

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remain unreported. There is the general feeling that perpetrators are not duly punished. Reporting an offence is felt to be something that would only aggravate matters and put the victim at more risk. Whilst the law provides for certain protection measures in certain cases, much more needs to be done to ensure that these are effective in practice. Victim Support Malta does not put pressure on victims to report crimes – we believe that their concerns are justified.”

"victims are placed in a position where if they choose not to forgive, they’re potentially subjecting themselves to further consequences in the future" According to Maltese legislation, police cannot press charges if the victims testify that they are ready to pardon the offenders. Actually, this possibility aims to safeguard victims, who might not wish to re-live the experience. In reality, victims are placed in a position where if they choose not to forgive, they’re potentially subjecting themselves to further consequences in the future. Dr Lepre adds that in certain crimes in which the victim 'forgives' the aggressor, it does not always automatically put an end to the proceedings. “In such cases, the law places a discretion on the Courts to continue hearing the case or otherwise. We would like to see more cases where the Courts in fact exercise this discretion and decide to continue hearing the case – it would send out a message that putting pressure on or intimidating victims does not necessarily result in getting away 'scot free'.” At the same time, the law does provide for certain measures to protect victims of crime from their aggressors. “Unfortunately, these measures are not effective in practice due to lack of adequate resources for implementation and monitoring,” the organisation’s director explains, “therefore we cannot reassure victims that they would be protected from the perpetrators.”

Victim Support Malta feels that Malta needs to dedicate more resources to protect victims of crime, regardless of how serious a crime may be. “We need more investment in the system – electronic tagging, for instance, can ensure that measures put in place by the Courts to protect victims from offenders are in fact abided by. This requires a substantial investment, but does our safety have a price tag? Other measures could be implemented to assess the risk connected with a seemingly slight offence – there are risk assessment tools which are used by the Police and other relevant professionals in other countries, through which one would be able to determine the level of risk within a particular case, and then take action accordingly. In a case where risk is high, the Police could arrest the perpetrator and prosecute within the 48-hour timeframe. Rules regulating bail need to be revised to reflect the victims' interest - so far, the focus is on offenders' rights, and we tend to forget that victims have rights too.”

* Victim’s name was changed to protect his identity.


special report

A delicate balance Dr Stefano Filletti, Criminal Lawyer and Head of the Department of Criminal Law at the University of Malta, explains the provisions of the Maltese Criminal Code about victims of crime. “The majority of offences in our Criminal Code are prosecutable ex officio, meaning that when the police, having investigated an offence, establish that an offence has actually been committed, they can proceed to prosecute the alleged offender. In these cases the prosecution does not depend on any formal complaint of the injured party simply because criminal offences affect society as a whole and the police therefore have the duty, not only to preserve public order and peace, but also to bring offenders to justice. There are however a handful of offences the prosecution of which will depend on the complaint of the injured party. For example, in the case of rape committed in a private home, given also that the victim is not a minor or a vulnerable person (in other words the victim would be a mature adult), the law offers an option to the victim to

decide whether to proceed with the prosecution. This choice is not there for the benefit of the offender, but to respect and protect the victim who might not wish to go through the judicial process on such matters. The Criminal Code offers additional protection to what are termed “vulnerable persons or witnesses” such as children. The first safeguard that the law prescribes is that in most cases offences committed on minor children are prosecutable ex officio. This would exclude pressure on children, or their legal guardians, to force them to withdraw a report. These “vulnerable witnesses” are afforded additional safeguards in trial, which our Courts apply rigorously. Whereas the rule in Maltese Courts is that a victim is to face the aggressor in Court to give his or her evidence, an exception is created for children who are allowed to testify from a separate room through CCTV systems, to spare them from any further trauma. The Courts can also ban the publication of the

names of witnesses and even of the person accused, if this is necessary to protect the identity of the victim. The balancing act to be achieved here is to protect vulnerable witnesses from full impact of judicial proceedings whilst allowing enough questioning from prosecution and defence to ensure that justice will ultimately prevail. If the witness is not considered to be a “vulnerable witness” regardless of the seriousness of the crime, he or she will have to stand in trial before the accused to give his or her evidence – witnesses’ identity cannot remain unknown to the accused. This requirement is an intrinsic element built in the trial process in Malta and is considered an essential ingredient. It is agreed that the accused has the right to know who is formulating the accusation of a crime against them. The person alleging the crime has to face the accused when giving his or her testimony, since otherwise it would be hard to ascertain whether a particular

charge is truthful or false. Finally the person accused has the right, through his lawyer, to crossexamine the witness. At all times the presiding trial or magistrate will moderate proceedings to ensure that no undue pressure is applied on witnesses. Our Courts, during trial, and the police in general do try to offer additional protection in sensitive cases, even though there is no particular set of rules, guidelines or scheme officially in place in this regard. The Criminal Code creates a legal mechanism to repress and punish crime, in an attempt to redress the imbalance and suffering caused upon society through the offence. Yet, the prosecution of a crime should not be subject to the will of the victim only. The balance is achieved in Court when the presiding judge or magistrate considers the punishment to mete out. The forgiveness of the victim is a serious consideration which the judge or magistrate will take into consideration in the punishment to award the accused following his conviction.

75 million victims In October, the European Union adopted a new directive, aimed at ensuring that all member states safeguard the rights of over 75 million citizens who fall victim to crime every year.

"witnesses’ identity cannot remain unknown to the accused"

Among other conditions, this directive requires all member states to ensure that police, prosecutors and judges are trained to treat victims respectfully, to provide victims with information about their rights, to maintain the necessary victim support services and to provide adequate protection to vulnerable witnesses. Read more: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/criminal/ victims/index_en.htm

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interview

Seeing stars

Last month, astronomy fans received a treat by way of a lecture on celestial mapping by San Francisco University Professor Emeritus Dr Nick Kanas, at St James Cavalier. Sarah Micallef talks stars with the Professor, who is renowned for his research for NASA on the psychological effects of working in space.

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s a boy, Dr Nick Kanas was “a bit of a space cadet”, watching space shows on TV and always having a keen interest in the stars. “When Sputnik was launched in 1957,” he recalls, “I went to a cliff near where I lived in Portland, Oregon, to watch it go overhead. Someone there had a telescope and let me look through it. I still remember seeing Saturn for the first time. I was struck by the beauty of it all, so that for Christmas my parents got me a little telescope.” That was when the astronomy bug bit him, and he became an amateur astronomer, which he has now been for over 50 years.

Dr Kanas explains that there are three ‘show stoppers’ on a long duration flight in space. Besides dealing with radiation hazards and physiological effects, the third show stopper that NASA focuses on is psychology. “Prolonged trip times with the same people in conditions of danger leads to stressers and interpersonal issues,” he maintains. Indeed, NASA is becoming more and more aware of these and training their astronauts for what to expect based on the results of research by Dr Kanas’ team and others. “In this way, people are learning to cope with the depression that sometimes goes with long periods of isolation through training and counter measures such as conversations with family members, to stimulate and make them happier.”

He recalls buying his first “proper” telescope after finishing school, when he joined the San Francisco Astronomers. “In those days, So what sort of psychological behaviours do astronauts experience? telescopes weren’t computerised so you had to star hop, going “Astronauts do a lot of the same things in space that we do on from a bright star to a dimmer star in the direction of what Earth. When people are stressed at work, most don’t yell at you wanted to see. I learned how to read a star chart, and I their bosses, but release frustration at home by yelling began to appreciate star atlases.” “I get to at their spouse, for example. That’s a normal reaction known as displacement. Our studies have found that Dr Kanas graduated and became a Professor of vicariously go astronauts do the same thing. When they’re under a psychiatry in the 70s, doing research on group up to space lot of pressure, astronauts can’t yell at the other people therapy and treating patients with schizophrenia with the in their team because their lives depend on them. The and other mental disorders, while simultaneously frustration is then displaced, with astronauts sometimes keeping up his amateur astronomy interest. While on astronauts.” getting irritable with people on the ground, who in turn sabbatical in London, Dr Kanas visited an exhibit on old perceive them as not really caring as much as they should.” star maps at the British Museum, which started off a new hobby – collecting celestial maps. Dr Kanas goes on to explain that missions to Mars will now provide new territory in relation to space psychology. In his book Space In the early 90s, following a call for research papers in the field, Dr Psychology and Psychiatry, together with his colleague Dietrich Kanas got NASA funding to carry out the first psychological studies Manzey, Dr Kanas writes about an experience he terms the ‘Earththat were ever done in relation to space. Having chosen to focus out-of-view phenomenon’ – a new psychological challenge that on furthering his career rather than being an astronaut himself, but will come into play on missions to Mars. Such missions are much always having been interested in space, Dr Kanas maintains that his longer than anything previously attempted, with the astronauts research meant he could get the best of both worlds, stating “I get being in space for a potentially harrowing two and a half years. “No to vicariously go up to space with the astronauts.” human being has ever experienced observing the Earth as a small, When asked how psychological research is beneficial to NASA,

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interview insignificant dot in the heavens. From the Moon, the Earth looks like a beautiful, attainable globe that you can get to in three days. We don’t know the psychological effects of being so isolated that everything you’ve ever known is just an insignificant little pale blue dot,” Dr Kanas explains. I go on to ask Dr Kanas about his interest in collecting star maps, or celestial maps, as they are also called – the topic on which his talk at St James Cavalier focused. He explains that whereas nowadays you can find a particular star, galaxy or nebula by using a computerised telescope, in his day you needed a map. He explains that throughout history, sky maps had different significances. “Very early on in China, Mesopotamia and India, there was an astrological reason to have star maps. They saw the sky as a kind of microcosm for the Earth, so certain things like ox carts and certain crafts that they were familiar with had representations in the sky. The emperors of the time were interested in stars because they believed that by following the sky, they could predict events.” There were also practical reasons for looking up at the stars however, as Dr Kanas explains. “For example in Egypt, when the star Sirius first appeared every year, it served to warn the Egyptians that they should ready their crops, as the Nile was going to flood. In this way, it opened the planting season.”

The map labelled “Monoceros, Canis Major & Minor, Navis, Lepus”, from Flamsteed’s Atlas Coelestis, published in 1729. Photo courtesy of the Nick and Carolynn Kanas Collection

century AD. From then on, star maps started being developed, even becoming useful for navigation on sea voyages. Dr Kanas points out that without them, it was difficult to tell longitude and latitude long before equipment that could tell you your coordinates was introduced.

Dr Kanas goes on to explain that besides agricultural significance, the Greeks also had a theoretical reason for looking up at the sky – in the form of a complicated geometry that enabled them to make predictions about what would be happening in the sky in the future, such as the phases of the moon. “As early as the second century BC, the Greeks had star maps that were descriptive in relation to where a particular star is located within a constellation, by means of a celestial grid system of degrees. They could place a star relatively accurately within the grid.” We know this, he explains, via the oldest celestial representation of the sky, featured on a statue of Atlas holding up a globe that was then replicated in the Farnese Atlas in the second

In an age in which computer technology has all but taken over from star maps, Dr Kanas’ own collection of star maps, he maintains, reflects a fascination not only with the stars but also with history. Referring to himself as a “history buff”, it is easy to see why documentation of the skies throughout the centuries is bound to appeal, with learning about Malta’s own rich history serving as part of the reason for his visit last month. When asked what it is about space and the stars in particular that has fascinated and continues to fascinate him, and people in general, for years, Dr Kanas asserts, “the sky has represented a lot of things to a lot of people throughout history. In modern times, the sky now represents another frontier to be explored. Mainly, the sky is like a tabula rasa that allows us to dream and speculate.”

Dr Nick Kanas’ talk, entitled Celestial Cartography from Ancient to Modern Times, was organised by the Malta Map Society. During his visit, Dr Albert Ganado, President of the MMS, gave Dr Kanas and his wife Carolynn a personally guided tour of his famous 1571 house in Valletta and his map collection at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

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fashion

Winter florals Think florals are restricted to bright springtime blossoms? Think again! Autumn/Winter collections this year are rife with a variety of winter florals in muted shades and luxurious textures. The perfect winter floral is more baroque than floral, giving it an added drama that will see you blooming right on through the coldest months.

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Fashion F

The difference betwe A common mistake that many people make in the fashion world is a syntactical one. Fashion and style are not the same thing - they feed off each other to produce an envisioned ideal. Fashion, to begin with, is dictated by seasonal trends. You may say, for example, that burgundy is the colour of the moment, or that grunge is really fashionable right now. Whether burgundy suits your skin tone or grunge garments don’t fit your lifestyle is beside the point. Fashion is transient – trends come and go, and even though they often follow a cyclical pattern, chances are that what is fashionable now won’t be as desirable a few months down the line. Style, on the other hand, is something that a person possesses. Style is more permanent and tailor-made; it does not follow trends and therefore does not go ‘out of fashion’. Style has a lot to do with the wearer’s stance – a confidence and know-how when it comes to putting outfits together that few can emulate.

1: Topshop 2: Miss Selfridge 3: New Look

Label we Marella

Established in 1988, Italian fashion label Marella is chic and sophisticated. Offering classic pieces making use of clean lines and fine tailoring, the look achieved smacks of a modern femininity that women of today can aspire to. Marella’s 2012 Campaign features a stunning Milla Jovovich donning the brand’s latest beautiful separates and a cheeky pop of on-trend animal print.

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Once such distinctions have been made therefore, it is easy to see how style, unlike fashion, cannot be imitated. If you see someone on the street looking absolutely fabulous (as a certain dynamic duo from a favourite British sitcom are want to say), you could easily purchase those same items and put a similar outfit together. But, does that give you style? It is the confidence with which you pull it off that will determine whether you will look stylish. One could spend an inordinate amount of money on designer items and still fail to look stylish, whereas another could clothe themselves in a burlap sack and carry it off with such panache that they’ll have tongues wagging in wonder as to where it’s from. It is for these reasons that phrases like ‘who are you wearing’ bother me. The implication that wearing an


fashion

Fairground

Tweed by Sarah Micallef

Heritage trends are prevalent come the winter season, with tough luxe fabrics taking their place at the front of many wardrobes due to their comfort and texture – perfect for some added protection against the elements. Team your tweed with other interesting textures like leather and lace for maximum impact.

ween fashion and style expensive designer item means that a monstrosity of an outfit can be forgiven and even accepted and revered is maddening. Fashion trends and designer labels are to be approached with as much caution as last year’s fashion and hand-me-downs – if it doesn’t look good on you, or isn’t worn in the right way, it simply won’t do the trick.

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You can’t buy confidence, but once you have it, anything can and will look great on you. Confidence gives you more style than any designer garment ever could, and hey, if you’ve got confidence and a designer wardrobe to match – more power to you!

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1: River Island 2: Dorothy Perkins 3: Mango

Celebs Leather

Whether you prefer yours real or faux, leather looks to be a definite emerging trend this season, both on the runways of various design houses as well as among celebrity fashionistas. Leather trousers and skirts seem to be the favourites, with leather dresses and jackets also popping up everywhere on the high street for your leather fix.

Emmy Rossum

Fergie

Tamara Ecclestone

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The

Crasher Creative director: Sarah Micallef Focused Knowledge T: 2339 2403 Photography: Jacob Sammut Carabez Pearl Works, info@pearl-works.com Hair: Lara Steer, D Salon T: 2137 1245, dsalonmalta@gmail.com Makeup: Diandra Mattei using Givenchy T: 7982 8414 Model: Anna Sedelnikova, Supernovamodel.com Venue: Caffe Cordina, Valletta

Dress Topshop Shoes Miss Selfridge Necklace Accessorize


Shirt & blazer Mango Trousers New Look Bracelet Accessorize


Dress Topshop Bracelet Accessorize Hat Babettopolis


Dress New Look Shrug & shoes Miss Selfridge Necklace Accessorize


Dress Miss Selfridge Hat Babettopolis


culture

November’s tragedies and triumphs

by Martin Morana

Grand Master L’Isle Adam is welcomed in Mdina

Malta has its first autonomous parliament

The Order of St John arrived in Malta on October 26th, 1530. Barely two weeks later, Grand Master L’Isle Adam and his knights travelled from Birgu to Mdina on carriages and horses to pay homage to the town’s council (Università). When the Grand Master’s entourage reached the top of the Rabat hill, they dismounted near St Augustine’s Monastery so that the Grand Master could rest for a while.

Following the First World War, aspiring Maltese politicians had had enough of being given the cold shoulder by a long lasting Executive Council enforced onto the governing system by the British Governor. Following numerous meetings with L.S. Amery, who was the UnderSecretary of State of the British Colonies, in 1921 Malta was finally granted a new constitution with the first parliament.

Then, at a given time, the doors to Mdina opened and the Capitano della Verga, known also as il-Ħakem (the leader or administrator of the Università) exited the town gates to welcome the Grand Master of the Order of St John. The ħakem was carrying two silver keys on a soft silken pillow, which he presented to the Grand Master as a symbolic gesture that implied the town was open and ready to welcome the new masters of the Maltese islands. L’Isle Adam graciously accepted the keys, and together with the ħakem walked under a canopy along the narrow winding streets towards the Cathedral where he was welcomed by the Bishop of Malta. Following the singing of the Te Deum, the Grand Master swore that he would allow the town council to continue its functions as an autonomous entity that would govern its own requirements. Thereafter, the Grand Master was treated to a sumptious lunch as guest of the council and the giurati. As the journey back to Birgu would have proved too tiring, L’Isle Adam spent the night in Palazzo Falzon. Prior to his departure, he was showered with gifts which included cattle and a large amount of agricultural produce.

The constitution offered a diarchical arrangement of administration. This meant that a Maltese parliament was now to be elected by the population in order to deal with internal affairs, whilst the British Governor would administer matters related to foreign affairs and the military defence of the islands. The Maltese Parliament was to have a Senate of 17 members and a Legislative Assembly made up of 33 members. Prince Edward, (later to become Edward VIII), officially inaugurated the Maltese Parliament on November 1st, 1921, amidst much rejoicing. The political parties had been elected by a wide franchise (but not a universal one). The members were made up of a motley of small and modest political parties representing all spheres of Maltese society including the clergy. From then on, the previous political factions were to manifest themselves into several clearly defined political parties. These parties included the The Unione Partito Maltese led by Mons. Panzavecchia. Enrico Mizzi was to lead the Partito Nazionale Maltese, and in 1926 these two merged to form the Partito Nazzionalista. Professor Augusto Bartolo founded the Anglo-Maltese Party, but later joined Gerald Strickland’s to form the Constitutional Party. There was also the Labour Party Club headed by Sigismondo Savona. Joseph Howard of the Unione Politica Maltese became Malta’s first Prime Minister.

Following this, all L’Isle Adam’s successors paid homage to the town council of Mdina on being elected. Nevertheless, the authority of the Università, which up until 1530 used to reach all spheres of administration within the whole of Malta was vastly curtailed, as the Order intended to become a princely and autocratic state of the whole archipelago.

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Leading the politics of a tiny nation within the folds of a Crown Colony turned out to be a complicated task. Money matters related to budgets


culture were often a bone of contention. The Maltese representatives often squabbled among themselves and with their masters as to how funds should be forked out on various projects. Besides, the Maltese government was not at liberty to carry either diplomatic or commercial communication with other countries without a blessing from London. The economy of the Maltese nation did not improve over the next few years, and employment remained dependent on agriculture and the British naval presence. Emigration was the best and most immediate solution. Health matters were a priority too – at the time, Malta had one of the highest death rates among newborns. Education was another important issue, with teachers requiring more training and more schools needing to be built. In 1924, an act was passed that made education compulsory to all children below 14 years of age. Perhaps the hottest issue however, was the language problem. The two major parties contested their preferences as to whether Italian or English were to be allocated more prominence. Matters came to a head when in 1933, the Nationalist Party, then in government, decided to spend a large amount of the funds available to invest in the teaching of the Italian language in schools. At that time, any sympathy towards the Italian culture was regarded with suspicion by the British, given that Mussolini’s fascist government wanted Malta to be part of its domain. It was then that the Governor took matters into his hands and dissolved parliament. It was only after World War II that a new constitution was introduced to replace the first one that had been established in 1921, and in so doing, re-establishing another autonomous government.

Joseph Howard

Courtesy DOI Photo Archives

The Egyptair hijack At 19:35 on November 23rd, 1985, minutes after an Egyptair Boeing airliner took off from Athens, three Palestinian members of Abu Nidal hijacked it. On board were 85 passengers and six crew. As a reaction to this initial stage of the hijack, a security officer, planted among the passengers, shot and killed one of the hijackers. The remaining two demanded to be taken to Libya or Tunisia but these countries refused the plane landing. The hijackers then demanded to be flown to nearby Malta instead. The authorities in Malta initially refused landing, but with the depletion of fuel and with one person killed and three others wounded, the situation on the plane was becoming precarious. The Maltese authorities reluctantly allowed the plane to land at Luqa Airport at 21:30. The hijackers demanded that the plane be refuelled in order to fly off to another destination. A long stand-off which was to last for more than 24 hours between the hijackers and the Maltese authorities ensued.

attack, the hijackers let off hand grenades inside the plane, which was immediately set ablaze, and due to the thick smoke, many of the trapped passengers died asphixiated. The carnage that ensued resulted in the death of a total of 56 people. During this attack, one of the hijackers was killed, while another, Ali Resaq, was arrested. He was subsequently put on trial and sentenced to a 25 year prison term in a Maltese jail. Resaq served just eight years before being released through a series of State pardons. He travelled to Nigeria where he was eventually recaptured by American agents and extradited to the United States, where he was given a lifelong prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

The Maltese Prime Minster at the time, Dr Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, established communication with the air pirates in order to start bargaining for the safety and freedom of the passengers. After a while, two injured flight attendants and 11 passengers were allowed to leave the plane. But then, the two hijackers threatened to start killing one passenger every 10 minutes if their demands were not met. Five passengers were eventually shot, one after the other, execution style. Two of these victims died. The Maltese authorities consulted other governments to seek the intervention of an experienced commando force in case a rescue operation was to be implemented. The unit chosen was the Egyptian special deployment force, led by their four American trainers. The agreed plan was to enter the plane dressed up as food caterers with food purportedly meant for both hijackers and hostages. In the early hours of November 25th, the Egyptian commando unit set its covert rescue operation in motion and stormed the plane. The commandos detonated explosive devices both near the passenger door and the luggage compartment. As a reaction to this surprise

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murder cases

Murder in Malta by Edward Attard

Serafino Zammit and Giuseppe Barbara – Two victims, one murderer T

he second police murder in 1860 was that of Serafino Zammit who was killed on May 11th. At 04:00 Zammit left Żejtun police station to walk to the nearby village of Għaxaq. In one of the streets of Żejtun the constable noticed 54-year-old Angelo Farrugia, an ex-convict, carrying a sack which appeared to contain agricultural produce. His movements appeared suspicious and, mindful of his duties, Zammit challenged him to stop. Farrugia paid no notice and continued on his way to his home at Għaxaq, followed by the constable. When Farrugia entered his home, the constable shouted out at him, ‘Put everything back in the sack and follow me.’ Farrugia, however, replied, ‘Hold your tongue; don’t make a noise.’ Suddenly the constable was heard shouting for help, his voice smothered by the sound of violent blows. Although no one dared to enter Farrugia’s house, word was sent to Għaxaq police station that something serious had happened. The village constable soon arrived outside Farrugia’s residence and found the door locked from inside and just in time to see Farrugia escaping over a low wall. The policeman, assisted by some men, forced open the door only to find Zammit lying in a pool of blood in the yard. His head had been smashed and his body was half inserted into a sack. It appeared that the murderer had been disturbed just as he was preparing to carry the corpse away in order to hide it. Nearby was a bloodstained rough wooden bar, used to secure the door, which had been evidently used to commit the crime.

Farrugia was eventually captured at Marsaxlokk and his capture was gleefully welcomed by the members of the force. His trial was held on June 12th 1860 and the guilty verdict was unanimous. He was condemned to death and his execution was held at 07:00 on June 16th in the open area outside Corradino prison. Twenty-two years earlier, Farrugia had escaped the gallows after he had been found guilty of murdering Giuseppe Barbara. In 1838, when he was 32, Farrugia had twice been caught stealing from Barbara’s fields. On April 3rd 1838 the two men came to blows and Farrugia stabbed Barbara with a knife and threw him into a well in a field in the locality known as Ta’ Tablin, limits of Żejtun. The two men had been seen in the area by Benigno Farrugia, a friend

of Barbara’s, who told the police that he saw Barbara pursuing Farrugia, who was carrying a sackful of vegetables. Barbara’s body was found the following day by a search party was organised by the police. During a trial held on May 25th 1838, the jurors had found him guilty of having caused the death of Barbara but excluded criminal intent, and considered the crime to have been provoked by the victim’s imprudence, who had pursued the accused when he was caught stealing. Farrugia was condemned to hard labour for life with two chains, one on each leg. When H.R.H. Prince Albert visited Malta in 1858, an amnesty was granted in his honour. Farrugia was one who benefited from this amnesty and returned to his native village of Żejtun.

VIDA would like to thank the author of Murder in Malta Edward Attard as well as the book’s publishers Book Distributors Ltd of San Ġwann. BDL Books is giving VIDA readers a special 50% discount on Murder in Malta. Simply visit www.bdlbooks.com and enter the coupon code 'VIDA' while checking out to receive your discount.

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motoring

Motorsport Team Malta started collecting the silverware at Cesaro in 2009.

One of the Time attack events at Racalmuto.

Motorsport Team Malta by Joe Anastasi

M

otorsport is one of the two most popular forms of sport practised by the Maltese. I say practised by the Maltese, and not practised in Malta because here in our beautiful island of yells, bells, and smells, we motorsport enthusiasts have been completely ignored by the authorities, despite our constant successes locally and abroad. The alternative is to take a ferry across to nearby Sicily, where the opposite is the case. There, just a 100 kilometres north, one finds a glut of motorsport on safe circuits, kart tracks and hill climbs. I myself started hill climbing there in 1978, thanks to an invitation by my late friend Alfio Vitale. The bug bit immediately and I was to compete successfully there on a regular basis with my Group 5 Mini Cooper for the next five years. Having had to stop physical participation due to a combination of old age and doctors’ orders, another chance meeting with an Italian in 2007 gave me the opportunity to pass on some of my knowledge and experience to our frustrated younger drivers, and this is what I have been doing regularly since. Motorsport Team Malta was formed in 2007, giving Maltese enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their hobby at international events, and in relative safety. The team’s first foray in Sicily was the hill climb at Cesaro in August 2008. On paper it looked like a baptism of fire with three Italian champions competing, but by late Sunday afternoon, two Maltese drivers, Zach Zammit and Joshua Anastasi, were standing proudly on the two top steps of the podium, having finished first and second respectively, with Italian champion Scaramozzino a disappointed third. The result was beyond all expectations, and encouraged me to do it again.

Available from John Bull Tel: 21571025, 99448738

Since that August day, the team has visited Sicily on a regular basis, supporting the Campionato Siciliano di Velocita in Pista at Racalmuto on every race meeting since 2009 and winning regularly. This year has been somewhat leaner, with only Johann Spiteri competing regularly, however, despite the strong opposition in his class he has won two of three races and presently leads the championship in his class. As this article goes to print, Motorsport Team Malta is returning to Racalmuto with a record 13 cars participating in the fifth and penultimate round of the 2012 Campionato Siciliano di Velocita in Pista, and over 30 cars entered for the fifth round of the Time Attack championship at the same venue just one week later. Spearheading the 13 car circuit championship entry list will be newly crowned ICC hill climb champion Zach Zammit, with cousin Matthew and uncles John and Alex also competing. Racalmuto regulars Joshua Anastasi, Patrick Gauci, Fabio Baldacchino, Alan Curmi, Jason Muscat and Johann Spiteri will also be competing, as will newcomers David Galea, Angelo Scuderi and James Dunford. The following weekend’s time Attack event will also be predominantly Maltese, with Josef Calleja and Rodrick Borg hoping to retain their class leads with their Subaru Impresas, other regulars hoping to improve on their previous performances, and plenty of first timers out to find out what it’s like to be let loose on a safe 2.7 kilometre circuit. Malta should be attracting sports tourism given this participation, yet Maltese motorsport enthusiasts have no alternative but to travel to Sicily to get their kicks instead. To me, it just doesn’t add up.

Joe Anastasi started competing in local Motorsport in 1964 with a Mini Cooper S. Apart from participating in and winning a number of local championships, Joe also took part in numerous races in Sicily, including the famous Targa Florio, winning on seven occasions. Now retired, Joe helps Malta's young drivers to compete in Motorsport events in Sicily, where they have been very successful.

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homes Home improvement guide Part 2

The little things that make a difference – from an estate agent’s point of view by Aidan Xuereb

General Manger, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Malta

Following on from last issue’s feature, this month I’ll be looking at how small improvements within each room of your house can make a big difference in helping you sell your property.

T

he living area is the most important room to a potential buyer when assessing a home. Indeed, buyers search for elegant rooms with which they can impress their friends and family. Use mirrors whenever possible to increase the perception of size. A fireplace is a feature that commands attention, so if you have one make sure it is clean, and if showing prospective buyers around in winter you should consider lighting it for a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.

countertops or similar damages should be repaired or replaced. Painting the kitchen walls would also be a good investment.

Give any carpets floor mats and any fixtures and fittings a good cleaning. Use lemon oil on wooden furniture to give it a bright look and a pleasant aroma at the same time. The use of fresh flowers and plants may also help decorate the environment.

The bathroom is a part of the house that has gone from just being a utility to becoming an attractive area. There are many ways to create interest within your bathroom. Place a pot of fresh flowers on the dresser. Replace old toilet seats and old fixtures for more modern ones and give the old bathtub a good polish. Place all personal items outside the view of your potential clients. Cool the environment with lemon-scented products, and ensure only fresh towels and new shower curtains are displayed.

You might have to make some improvements to the kitchen before getting potential buyers to see it. Having said that, you can easily improve the look of your kitchen without spending a lot of money. Firstly, make sure it is clean and smells fresh. If your appliances are old, consider getting them painted in new fresher colours. This will make your appliances appear newer, whilst only costing a fraction of what it would to replace them. You could also give new life to cabinets and other accessories if they are looking old by getting a professional to replace the doors or handles. Organise the cabinets to show all the space available in the kitchen. Remove all kitchen utensils and small appliances from the counters to create a neater image. Cracked

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Make sure bedrooms are completely clean – any carpets and rugs as well as the windows should be clean and the air should smell fresh. Bedrooms should also be well lit. Lastly, a ceiling fan can be an attractive and practical detail in any bedroom, unless you have air conditioning installed.

The roof is another important part of the house. A wellmaintained roof will say a lot about the property's general condition, so repairing joints and cracked parts wherever necessary is of vital importance. Any gutters must be clean from debris and any other obstruction. A shabby or untidy basement and garage can also cause a


homes

negative impact when selling a house. Make sure your basement is clean and organised. Are there any signs of the presence of insects or rodents? Get a professional pest controller to take care of such issues should they crop up, before you have people over. Ensure that all lights are in working order and that they are switched on during viewings. Clean any existing oil stains from your car and consider installing an automatic door opener for the garage door if you do not have one. Hang or remove any tools and loose items, and possibly hold a garage sale to dispose of items you may no longer need and which may distract a potential buyer. Properties with driveways have their own set of issues. More often than not, they tend to have some cracked tiles and possibly some car oil drippings. If your driveway is dirty or in a poor condition, consider cleaning or repairing it. Cars should also be clean in order to give a better impression of the owners as well as

the house they're trying to sell. If you think your car could cause a negative effect, park at the end of the street. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is clean and in good condition. Repair or replace any broken tiles in the pool itself or on the surrounding deck. The deck area around the pool should be clean and free from cracks. Change any old pool accessories that are broken or worn out. Remember, paying attention to detail and understanding the importance of the visual impact of your house can greatly increase the possibility of selling your property quickly and at a good price.

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sports

Q&A

Cycling for life Alex Bonnici is one of 45 cyclists participating in this year’s 2012 Betfair LifeCycle Challenge to create awareness and generate support for patients suffering from renal disease. This year will see the cyclists ride for an average of 2,000km from Brisbane to Melbourne in Australia. Who is Alex Bonnici? “I am 37 years old, married to Victoria and father to our 20-month-old daughter. I work in the printing industry and enjoy practising all sorts of sports. From an early age I enjoyed cycling as it gives me the freedom to travel free of pollution and admire nature without spoiling it, as well as keeping myself fit.” Why are you doing the Challenge; what motivates you to do this again and again? “This year's LifeCycle is my third after a break of eight years. Once I completed my first challenge it became like an addiction, and it made me want to challenge myself further. I wish I could participate every year, but due to other life commitments it is not always possible as it is quite time consuming. There are always moments in which I question why I am punishing myself and training in the summer heat instead of spending more time with my family, but then I think of the cause and realise that my pain is nothing compared to that of renal patients.”

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sports How do you keep your focus when you train? “It’s not easy to keep your focus on training. Personal commitments do not always permit sticking to a regular training schedule. However, I do my best to achieve the best performance possible and discipline myself to keep pushing even in extremely difficult situations. This is not just a physical challenge – mental stamina plays a big role too. Training with a buddy eases my mind off the pressure of the whole schedule.” How does your family feel about all this? “I am very fortunate that my wife supported my decision from the very beginning. I know it’s hard on her taking care of our daughter by herself, and while I’m training we hardly meet except for a couple of hours each day. Apart from training long hours throughout the week, each cyclist has to collect donations and find companies and entities that are willing to sponsor the event. Cycling can be an expensive sport, and since all personal expenses are down to us, we have to allocate a budget for the event in advance. Besides that, most of my optional vacation leave is booked for the actual challenge, which leaves me with very limited days off this year.“ What is your training routine like? How are you preparing for the challenge? “If I do not have any other appointments or meetings related to the LifeCycle Challenge after work, irrespective of what time it is, I hop on my bicycle and literally cycle around Malta. During the weekend, I may cycle up to 160 to 180km, starting as early as 04:00. It is very important to prepare oneself both physically and mentally, as each cyclist will be doing intensive exercise, sometimes burning up to nearly 6,000 calories per day within the actual challenge. Special attention should be paid to our nutrition and supplements therefore, to prevent any injuries as much as possible. We get provided with nutrition guidelines and daily training distances from the day we apply. The hours grow more intense as the departure date gets nearer but the last two weeks are dedicated to much shorter distances in order to refresh our bodies in preparation for the actual challenge."

Support Alex The Milk is Good Naturally campaign has launched a Facebook application to help support Alex Bonnici in this year’s challenge. For every Like, a glass will be filled with milk and the Milk Is Good Naturally campaign will donate to Lifecycle Challenge 2012. To support Alex Bonnici in his challenge visit www.facebook.com/milkisgoodnaturally/ app_139442302866060. This year, the Betfair Lifecycle Challenge will seek to collect funds for a Plasma Electroforated machine for renal patients and the possibility of setting up a unit with the Hospice Movement to help renal patients and their kidney donors with any financial hardship they may face. Donations to the Betfair Lifecycle Challenge 2012 can be made by sending an SMS to 5061 7370 (€2.33), 5061 8920 (€6.99), 5061 9229 (€11.65), or on landlines 5160 2020 (€10), 5170 2005 (€15), 51802006 (€25) or on www.bmycharity.com/ lc2012alexbonnici where anyone donating can also leave messages, add comments and give feedback to Alex Bonnici.

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pets

Q&A

The good, the bad and the furry

Ċentru San Franġisk Animal Hospital two years on Photo by Chris Azzopardi

Dr Trevor Zammit, a renowned Maltese vet with 30 years of experience in the veterinary medical field, runs Ċentru San Franġisk Animal Hospital in Ta’ Qali. On the occasion of the second anniversary of the opening of this centre, VIDA catches up with Dr Trevor to find out how his dream to set up an animal hospital in Malta materialised. How did Ċentru San Franġisk Animal Hospital come about? How did it all start for you? The general public had, for a number of years, been expressing the need to fill a gap in the provision of private veterinary services in Malta, that is, that there should be an animal hospital providing an uninterrupted 24/7 veterinary medical service. Simultaneously, the Government deemed it fit to upgrade the animal welfare provisions in Malta. Ċentru San Franġisk Animal Hospital was thus launched with the aim of achieving both goals. Why had you expressed interest in running this new centre? What did you hope to achieve, and do you think you have now achieved it? I truly believed that Malta needed a fully equipped, state-ofthe art veterinary hospital to offer an all-encompassing veterinary medical and hospitalisation service. After having worked in animal hospitals around the world, including the renowned Animal Hospital Centre in New York as well as The Colorado State University Animal Hospital, I felt that I could rise to this challenge. One of the benefits offered in my proposal was free medical services and hospitalisation to stray animals picked up by the Animal Welfare Department. Strays housed at Għammieri that require medical care are also tended to free of charge – the expenses in providing these services cost me between €16,000 to €20,000 per month, which is money saved by the Department and the taxpayer. You mentioned animal welfare and the Department of Animal Welfare, which falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs. When it comes to treating strays, are there any particular guidelines you follow? Yes, we do have guidelines that are set by the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs in order to follow a protocol that helps to enhance animal welfare provisions

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in Malta. For instance, when stray cats and dogs are brought in by Animal Welfare Officers, the vet on duty examines them and a diagnosis is made. Since on admission the legal guardian of these animals is the Animal Welfare Department, my staff always refers to them for guidance on how to proceed. You have gone from having six employees in the beginning to having 30 now. What specialisations does your team cover? Out of San Franġisk Animal Hospital’s 30 staff members, 10 are veterinarians. There are three to four vets on duty during the busiest periods of the day and night, with an additional vet and nurse that are on call 24/7. Veterinary assistants support the veterinarians, and the administration staff in turn supports the medical team. The services we offer include 24/7 hospitalisation, emergency and critical care treatment, dentistry, endoscopy, orthopedic surgeries, ophthalmic surgeries, neutering and diagnostic services which include X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, urine tests and cytology. With the services that Ċentru San Franġisk offers, we complement private clinics that do not run their operations round the clock by supporting pets that require emergency treatment and whose owners usually attend different clinics. We also offer pet owners educational talks on how to care for their pets as well as delivering talks to children. About 20 schools brought their children over for a visit during the last scholastic year. What is the most rewarding part of your job? My work is not simply a job but a way of life – it is all encompassing. Throughout the last two years, I have come to realise that running a hospital is completely different to running a small clinic. Apart from the


pets responsibilities towards the private patients and their owners, my responsibilities are now extended to a multitude of welfare patients, employees and the holistic running of the organisation. However, when we admit a critical case and manage to save the life of that particular dog or cat, it feels wonderful – certainly the best part of daily life at the hospital.

"We see about 80 to 100 animals daily and about 10% of them are strays." How many animals do you see, on average, every day? We see about 80 to 100 animals daily and about 10% of them are strays. This has helped to put Ċentru San Franġisk in the international arena and resulted in numerous graduates and students of veterinary medicine requesting an internship here. Due to the varied and numerous cases encountered on a daily basis, international students want to train with us so as to expand their expertise. We encourage this and would also like to see Maltese veterinary graduates who have returned from their studies abroad spending time as interns at Ċentru San Franġisk. What are your thoughts on the stray situation in Malta, and is there anything you would like to see changed or improved in relation to strays? I believe that education works miracles. Once people are made aware of the suffering of abandoned animals, I am sure we will curb the problem. Children should be educated from a

young age about the level of commitment required when adopting a cat or dog. It is for this reason that we introduced educational visits by school children. We aim to teach our young ones about their duties and responsibilities towards our furry friends! What are your current plans for the future in relation to San Franġisk? We’ve achieved a lot in the past two years. We have reached a level of professionalism that we would like to consolidate by further investing in the latest technologies and dedicated vets who are specialised in their fields, in order to render the best possible veterinary medical treatment in Malta – one that compares favourably with any other veterinary hospital in the EU. In addition, we are investing in our team members’ education by conducting in-house seminars, participating in online educational conferences, introducing local and foreign authorities that give lectures in their area of expertise, and by ensuring that any staff member showing an interest in following a particular area of study is supported financially. In the future, I would also like to extend our services to neurosurgery, arthroscopy and stem cell therapy – areas of veterinary medicine that are only recently being explored by the pioneers in this field. Ċentru San Franġisk is a dream come true for me. I would like to wholeheartedly thank my team members and congratulate them on the perseverance, love and dedication they show to all the animals we look after. I would also like to thank the public who have shown faith in me and have helped and supported my team and I during the setting up of this flagship, of which Malta should be proud.

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cinema www.MarksMovieMarks.com – Release dates are subject to change. All films released locally by KRS Film Distributors Ltd.

November at the movies by Mark Camilleri

Film of the month

Argo

Based on the track records of those involved and initial reviews, this looks like it will be one of the main films we’ll be hearing about come Oscar time. More importantly though, it’s a high profile adaptation of a fascinating true story. Back in the late seventies, there was a hostage crisis in good old Iran, during the course of which six American diplomats in their late 20s and early 30s were successfully rescued. But rather than politicians sitting around a boardroom table, this rescue involved the Canadian government lending a hand and working with the CIA to create a fake film company and purported production of a film named Argo. This was to act as an elaborate cover for getting the diplomats to safety under false identities, so not your average day in foreign affairs. This is the third film directed by Ben Affleck after his brilliant Gone Baby Gone and The

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Town. He starred in the latter, and he again takes on the main role here as a CIA identity expert. He also produces, along with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, who together have already given us a few gems, including another period political thriller Good Night and Good Luck. The cast also includes John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, The Artist), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Edward Scissorhands) and Bryan Cranston (star of TV hit Breaking Bad). So it seems like the good story is a given, and with these kinds of actors on board it should be a welltold one. Plus everyone loves a bit of international espionage, and the period setting should add an extra layer of class. Let’s hope this is as good as Munich, although if all turns out well, there should be a much lower body count.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Another saga comes to an end, and just like Harry Potter this one opted to split the last installment into two films, so as to allow more time for details (and to milk the box-office for all it’s worth). In terms of critical acclaim, this saga hasn’t exactly triumphed, but there’s no denying that it has amassed an army of screaming fans, and it’s pretty obvious that they will all flock to see this one as soon as it lands. I won’t bother you with fine plot details because they’re quite complex, as with most fantasy tales, and those who will be watching this have seen the previous films and/or read the books. Suffice to say that the three main characters are all very much on board, and the heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now a vampire. The rosy love-bubble of the main couple and their adoring fans was burst during the past summer due to off-screen drama, with Stewart admitting to being unfaithful. Still, I doubt this will dent the box-office performance – if anything it was even more publicity. They may call her ‘trampire’ all they want, but my guess is they’ll still want to see Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner finish off the saga with a flourish.


cinema Rise of the Guardians This looks like the clear winner for children this month, and may even carry through until the festive season. The animation team at Dreamworks, who have brilliant films such as How to Train Your Dragon to their name, have turned their attention to children’s author William Joyce, who also has experience in film and animation. He is working on a series of books about the Guardians of Childhood – an Avengers-like gathering of famous names including Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Sandman (who takes care of dreams) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine). They all team up to protect children when Pitch (the nightmare king, voiced by Jude Law) threatens to take over the world. So there’s a fair bit of magic and wonder involved, which allows the animation teams to run riot. This should be fun, but even more so if you’re still at that wonderful age where you believe.

Lawless Director John Hillcoat’s last major release was the achingly beautiful and appropriately sombre The Road, which also had a fitting score co-composed by Nick Cave, the musician with multiple talents. It turns out one of those talents is screenwriting, and here he has adapted a novel about prohibition-era Virginia, USA, focusing on three brothers who run a highly illegal and dangerous alcohol distribution business. As usual, the prohibition backdrop provides a perfect setting for gangster wars and depression-time drama, and the various big names on either side of the law this time around include Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Guy Pearce (Memento), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life).

The Big Wedding Yes, it's yet another wedding film. Some are funny, joyous and warm, while others tend to be a big mess hoping to hide their flaws under the matrimonial craziness. It’s hard to tell where this will go, although with all the veterans on board and Robert De Niro acting funny, it does threaten to feel like another Meet the Parents sequel. He plays a father whose adoptive son is getting married, and whose ex-wife (Diane Keaton) has turned up for the festivities. For religious reasons (overseen by Robin Williams in a white collar), the estranged couple have to pretend all is still rosy in their marriage, for the benefit of the groom’s biological mother. This doesn’t sit too well with the father’s new partner (Susan Sarandon), and we can safely predict the wedding might have a few hitches. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia), Topher Grace (Spiderman 3) and Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) also star.

Silent Hill: Revelation Back in 2006, the video game Silent Hill was adapted into a film, which focused on the horror aspect of the game and was not hugely successful upon release. That hasn’t deterred the progression of the franchise, and this new attempt is an adaptation of the third video game in the series. While quite a niche market, it does have the broad appeal of Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) on board, as well as the recognisable face of Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange). It’s also great to see Carrie-Anne Moss’ (The Matrix) name pop up again. Not one for the faint of heart.

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sports

Taking a swing at golf I

n order to celebrate NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto's sponsorship of the Malta Golf Association (MGA) for 2012, and following the MGA Generation Cup in June, last month Nestle Malta organised a competition among NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Club members. The winners of the competition won a Golf Tour with a professional trainer. Sarah Micallef catches up with the winners following the Tour, finds out about the game from MGA president William Beck and instructor Henning, and even manages to swing a club or two herself.

Henning starts off with a brief description of what golf entails, though seeing as it’s considered the second most difficult sport in the world after pole-vaulting, it’s harder than it sounds. “There are 18 holes in a professional golf course, and professional players have three shots for shorter holes, four shots for medium-long holes, and five shots for the very long holes. For amateur golfers however there’s no real limit, other than personal frustration and motivation limits! The idea is to get the ball from point A to point B, but the technique is quite difficult.”

President of the MGA William Beck goes on to explain that the Royal Malta Golf Club will be celebrating its 125th anniversary next year. He educates me on the history of the club, maintaining that it all started with a British Lieutenant-General Sir Henry D’Oyley Torrens, who came to Malta in 1888. “Within six weeks of his arrival he had formed a golf committee. The club was founded and golf began to be played in the ditches formed by the exterior fortifications of Valletta. The greens were made out of sand and oil, and the course consisted of nine holes.” Despite being introduced in 1888 however, it was not until the late 1970s that the game started being played by the Maltese. Before that, he asserts, it was practically exclusive to British forces high-ranking personnel.

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The Golf Tour Session took place on Sunday September 16th, with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto winners Melvin Pellicano, Ann Marie Cefai and Audrey Azzopardi meeting instructor Henning at the RMGC Club House for their initiation into the world of golf. Henning explains that the Tour happened partly on the driving range, moving on to the practice green. “After practising, we played hole 13. Despite initially thinking it was a little early to take them onto the course, they did wonderfully. They didn’t dig out the course... we still have a hole 13!” Despite never having played golf before, the winners enjoyed the experience. Melvin, who is considering taking a training course following the Tour, describes it as “thrilling... the trainer made us all feel very welcome and not stupid for not knowing where to start!” Audrey echoes his sentiment, “even though I was making quite a mess of it I really enjoyed myself. I learnt a lot and now I admire people who play it at a professional level – they make it seem easy when it’s quite tough.” Ann Marie agrees, stating, “I never imagined that golf could be so difficult, as on TV it looks so easy. Still, the Golf Tour was great fun, thanks to our professional trainer.” With the Golf Tour a resounding success, I cannot help but to ask William about the perceived exclusivity of the game – can anyone really play golf? “I believe that through the work that the MGA, the RMGC and the PGA of Malta are doing, the idea that golf is an elite and expensive sport is slowly being broken down,” William asserts. “There are no age limits in golf – you

can play it from when you’re very young, right up until old age. Besides that, the environment is beautiful. Golf courses are some of the most beautiful places there are – you’re surrounded by trees, and abroad even mountains and lakes.” Besides the beautiful surroundings, playing golf is also good for you, Henning maintains. “It looks slow, but golf is actually a great way to keep fit. The average heart rate of a golfer walking reasonably fast for about four hours in a game is 130. That, at any age group, is good training!” When asked what advice they’d give anyone who is potentially interested in playing golf, William and Henning answered in unison: “start!” The club offers three-month induction courses for which equipment is provided, allowing participants to familiarise themselves with the game without buying their own. The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto winners all seem to agree, with Audrey stating “to all those who watch golf on TV and have ever wondered what it would be like to play, I really suggest going down to Marsa and giving it a shot!” MGA Shield preparations underway

The sixth edition of the MGA Shield in which 150 to 200 golfers will participate will be held between November 8th and 11th. VIDA will be covering the much-awaited event in the next issue. For photos and news visit the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto facebook page.


calendar

25th European Film Awards Ceremony MCC - Valletta December 1st

With this year’s final nomination having been announced at the International Short Film Festival in Drama (Greece), the list of nominated short films is now complete. The short film initiative is organised by the European Film Academy in co-operation with a series of film festivals throughout Europe. At each of these festivals, an independent jury presents one of the European short films in competition with a nomination in the short film category of the European Film Awards.

Theatre

Sports

Culture & History

Saturday 3rd Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Parish Church - Żurrieq - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Sunday 4th Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Parish Church - Żurrieq - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209

The nominees will be presented to the over 2,700 members of the European Film Academy and it is they who will elect the overall winner: the European Film Academy Short Film 2012 which will be presented at the 25th European Film Awards Ceremony.

Tuesday 6th Feast of St Leonard - Ħal Kirkop Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Wednesday 7th Malta Book Fair - MCC - Valletta 09:00 to 22:00 - T: 2124 3840/3

44th EUCAN Conference - The Presidential Palace - Valletta - 19:00 - T: 2340 2935

Helen Mirren

Thursday 8th

Charms An exhibition with paintings by Selina Scerri and a collaboration on filigree art with Kevin Attard

Exhibitions in November

Christine X Art, Gallery, Sliema. Dates: till November 14th Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 19:00 www.christinexart.com

Silence is Golden Exhibition of ceramics and paintings by Neville Ferry

Auberge d’Italie, Merchant Street, Valletta Dates: From November 12th till December 7th Opening Times: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 17:30, Saturday 09:00 - 17:30pm and Sunday 09:00 - 12:45 E: rosemary_ferry@hotmail.co.uk

Blood saves lives. Blood Donation Centre

in Guardamangia opens 7 days a week from 8am till 6pm.

www.blood.gov.mt

T: 2206 6209 | M: 7930 7307

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Weddings Exhibition - MFCC - Ta' Qali - E: info@mfcc.com.mt Malta Book Fair - MCC - Valletta 09:00 to 22:00 - T: 21 243 840/3

God of Carnage - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 19:30 - E: info@sjcav.org Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 44th EUCAN Conference - Old University - Valletta - 08:00 T: 2340 2935 Friday 9th Weddings Exhibition - MFCC - Ta' Qali - E: info@mfcc.com.mt Malta Book Fair - MCC - Valletta 09:00 to 22:00 - T: 21 243 840/3

Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt World Salsa Festival Meeting Malta - Corinthia San Ġorġ - St Julians - 10:00 E: info@maltasalsacongress.com God of Carnage - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 19:30 - E: info@sjcav.org Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 44th EUCAN Conference - Old University - Valletta - 09:00 T: 2340 2935

Clubbing

Music

Saturday 10th Weddings Exhibition - MFCC - Ta' Qali - E: info@mfcc.com.mt Malta Book Fair - MCC - Valletta 09:00 to 22:00 - T: 21 243 840/3

The Tempest - St James Cavalier Valletta - 19:00 - E: info@sjcav.org

Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt World Salsa Festival Meeting Malta - Corinthia San Ġorġ - St Julians - 10:00 E: info@maltasalsacongress.com God of Carnage - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 19:30 - E: info@sjcav.org Sunday 11th Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Savio College - Dingli - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Weddings Exhibition - MFCC - Ta' Qali - E: info@mfcc.com.mt Malta Book Fair - MCC - Valletta 09:00 till 22:00 - T: 21 243 840/3

Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt World Salsa Festival Meeting Malta - Corinthia San Ġorġ - St Julians - 10:00 E: info@maltasalsacongress.com Run51 - Ċirkewwa - 09:00 E: ladybirdfoundation.org Tuesday 13th Chamber Music - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Thursday 15th Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 Friday 16th Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949

Me Am Chic - MFCC - Ta’ Qali - 18:00 - www.mfcc.com.mt


calendar

November

this month Fund Raising

Blood Drive

Kids & Family

Saturday 17th Feast of St Martin - Baħrija T: 2145 4108 The Tempest - St James Cavalier Valletta - 18:30 - E: info@sjcav.org

Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt A Night with Alan Bates - City Theatre - Valletta E: info@zoo.com.mt

World Children's Day Activities - Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Archeology Park - T: 2395 4239 Me Am Chic - MFCC - Ta’ Qali - 18:00 - www.mfcc.com.mt Sunday 18th Feast of St John of the Cross - Ta' Xbiex - T: 2131 7001

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Parish Church - Żebbuġ T: 2206 6209

Malta Open Dance Spectacular University Sports Complex - 19:00 - T: 2123 2515

Bla Kondixin - MFCC - Ta' Qali 20:00 - E: blakondixin.com Sunday 25th

Feast of St Catherine - Żejtun T: 2169 4563

Feast of St Catherine - Żurrieq T: 2164 2010

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Salesian Complex - Sliema 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Malta Open Dance Spectacular University Sports Complex - 19:00 - T: 2123 2515 Bla Kondixin - MFCC - Ta' Qali 15:00 - E: blakondixin.com

Me Am Chic - MFCC - Ta’ Qali - 10:00 - www.mfcc.com.mt

Thursday 29th

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Thursday 22nd Spotlight On Andre' Paul Haber Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 21:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 Friday 23rd Bla Kondixin - MFCC - Ta' Qali 20:00 - E: blakondixin.com

Jimi Hendrix Experience - VGen - Paceville - 21:00 www.vgenmalta.com

Others

Saturday 24th

Tuesday 27th

World Children's Day

Fairs

Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Gwanni II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949

Legally Blonde - Manoel Theatre Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

Tuesday 20th

2012

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 Friday 30th Feast of St Andrew - Ħal Luqa T: 2180 9310

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Concert - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt AFM Military Band Display and Changing of the Guard - 10:15 Presidential Palace - Valletta E: hq.afm@gov.mt

Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Bla Kondixin - MFCC - Ta' Qali 20:00 E: blakondixin.com

The VIDA team does its utmost to publish the most updated information in these pages. We can not, however, take any responsibility for details omitted or changed by third parties after going to print.

To include your events in this page email all details to events@vida.com.mt or call 2339 2236 by November 12th.

November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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events

ŻiguŻajg

International Arts Festival for Children and Young People

Scenes from ‘Crazy Hair’ (left) and ‘Frog Prince’(right), two of the 25 productions being presented as part of the ŻiguŻajg Festival.

B

etween November 19th and 25th 2012, Valletta will feature the second edition of the ŻiguŻajg International Arts festival for Children and Young People. This year, the festival, which is once again being organised by St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, is celebrating its first birthday. Everyone is invited to ŻiguŻajg’s ‘quċċija’, during which the capital city will once again be transformed into a haven for the arts. Music, storytelling, animation, film, dance and theatre are just some of the exciting ingredients of a festival designed to capture the imagination of children and young people.

has been tailored for schoolchildren to attend performances in the morning, while all shows will also be taking place in the evenings throughout the week of the event, including in the weekend.

The festival programme boasts a rich variety of Maltese and international productions designed for young audiences, including specially commissioned works, which will make for an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. According to festival director Toni Attard, “Ż igu Ż ajg is proposing no less than 24 productions, brought to us by some of the best in the Maltese arts scene, as well as performers from Australia, the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Holland and Portugal”.

Ż igu Ż ajg venues include St James Cavalier, the Auberge de Castille, the National Library, the Manoel Theatre, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Mediterranean Conference Centre and the MITP. St George’s Square will host Frulli Frilli, a walkthrough experience inspired by the popular Maltese book Il-każ kważi kollu tal-aħwa De Molizz. A celebratory puppet parade will animate Republic Street on the last day of the festival, bringing together youth groups, professional dancers and musicians to creatively mark Valletta’s title of European Capital of Culture in 2018.

In a drive for enhanced accessibility for patrons attending performances during the festival, the Ż igu Ż ajg Arts Festival this year also features an inclusive platform, including a selection of performances in sign language. “We aim to achieve, yet again, an enriching, diverse and enjoyable festival experience for all”, says Toni Attard. The festival programme

“We aim to achieve, yet again, an enriching, diverse and enjoyable festival experience for all.”

Ż igu Ż ajg will also be introducing a Fringe Festival between November 16th and 18th, which will be a platform for young bands, ensembles, theatre groups and artists eager to present their work to young audiences.

Tickets to the ŻiguŻajg Festival are free of charge but subject to booking via the festival website at

www.ziguzajg.org. Tickets can be collected from St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Castille Square, Valletta.

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books

News from bookland

Have you penciled the Malta Book Fair into your dairy? The annual Malta Book Fair will be held between November 7th and 11th 2012 at the historical Mediterranean Conference Centre. The Malta Book Fair is a very popular event that attracts over 20,000 people each year. Besides all the bookstalls, the Book Fair is the perfect setting for cultural activities, through which publishers take the opportunity to launch their new titles; often still hot off the presses.

Paying homage to Hobsbawm

Last month, the world of writers lost an eminent contributor: historian Eric Hobsbawm. According to The Guardian, “Hobsbawm's four-volume history of the 19th and 20th centuries, spanning European history from the French revolution to the fall of the USSR, is acknowledged as among the defining works on the period.”

Maltese must reads Operation Pedestal – The Story of the Santa Marija Convoy John A. Mizzi, Midsea Books

In his 80s he reflected, “Anybody who saw Hitler's rise happen first hand could not have helped but be shaped by it, politically. That boy is still somewhere inside me, always will be.”

In 1942, an epic naval operation was mounted in order to relieve Malta from the onslaught of attacks by Axis forces. This operation was codenamed 'Pedestal', or 'il-Convoy ta' Santa Marija' as it is better known in Malta and Gozo. The Santa Marija Convoy is undoubtedly a landmark event in the history of the Maltese Islands, and it is fitting that those who paid the ultimate price in this operation be commemorated in a Roll of Honour, which is reproduced in this book. John A. Mizzi, an expert about WWII, writes about this important chapter in Maltese history.

In 1933, with Hitler's grip on power tightening, Hosbawm went to London. After gaining a PhD from Cambridge, he published his first book in 1948.

Pyrotechnic Malta

Hosbawn was a Marxist historian who penned more than 30 books throughout his literary career. Hitler was a constant theme in his analysis. His British father and Austrian mother moved to Vienna when he was two, going on to move to Berlin. At the age of 14, he joined the Communist Party after being orphaned.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said Professor Hobsbawm was “an extraordinary historian, a man passionate about his politics and a great friend of his family.” Hobsbawm kept working right up until the end of his life – his latest book How To Change the World appeared last year. (Sources: The Guardian, BBC News)

The books page in VIDA is coordinated by the National Book Council. Check out this page for information from the world of books and reading! www.ktieb.org.mt

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vida.com.mt | Issue 35 | November 2012

Godfrey Farrugia, Self Published

This book seeks to explain, by means of a rich historical account, how fireworks came to be inseparable from cultural occasions and celebrations, particularly religious village feasts in Malta and Gozo. It is a competitive spirit that spurs one village to outdo the other in celebration of their patron saint's feast, not least in the quality of their fireworks displays, that has fuelled the development of today's unequalled pyrotechnic art which is nowadays the envy of foreign pyrotechnicians. It is the objective of this book to promote Malta's traditional and artistic pyrotechnical prowess by merging the past and the present as part of a national socio-cultural identity, without losing sight of the international perspective.


eating & drinking

Harruba Restaurant at Intercontinental

The perfect Sunday lunch I have a bit of a routine on Sundays. Boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, a flick through the papers with a second cup of tea while still in my pyjamas, slipping on jeans and comfy shoes for a trek around one of the Sunday markets or garden centres and then on to Bay Street to get myself a treat. I am usually drawn into M&S, where I pick up one of their Jalfrezis or just some nibbly bits for the evening, a mooch around the stores which sometimes results in only a lipstick or a book, and sometimes a full blown outfit. This week, having done collateral damage to my credit card at the outlet village near Enna in Sicily last weekend, it's just a pot of nail polish for me. No, no, don't feel sorry for me! I had been invited for Sunday lunch with a friend to Ħarruba at the Intercontinental, and so I felt that would be treat enough.
The old adage 'too many cooks spoil the broth' is certainly not true in this case. To be fair, the last time I saw this number of chefs was at catering school, but the dishes they turned out didn't look like anything I ever made. To be honest, I did a bit of a double take when I arrived, thinking I had gone to the wrong place. I mean, hotel buffet lunches are supposed to be, well, they aren't supposed to be like this. There was a vast selection of antipasti, which having sashayed my way for a look at all on offer, I ate like a supermodel

Ambience

Service

St George’s Bay, St Julian's

from, a centre table with Another brilliant idea, and I know I beautiful looking and could get kneecapped for this, but sounding dishes with they have a children’s entertainer "you choose your ingredients like and even better, at a point in pasta and the foie gras, bacon the meal, all the munchkins jelly and a myriad are invited off to bake muffins ingredients you of mousses. I was with one of the many chefs. want to make the still pretty ladylike Interconti – genius idea, sauce with" at this point. The especially for those of us who soup counter didn’t like children at the age of 12 and tempt me – but that was upward. Guessing it would be quite only because it was next to a popular for the parents too. pasta bar, where you choose your pasta After the pasta, I could have chosen from and the ingredients you want to make a number of other options – the pot pies the sauce with and a few minutes later, it almost got me and my pastry addiction, is dished up. I was like a kid in a candy the kebab wasn’t quite my thing for a store – should I have penne with prawns Sunday lunch, and whereas I should have with a few mussels and pungent fresh gone for sushi from the Eastern Breeze fennel, or mushroom tortelloni with sage bar where a few of their fusion dishes are mascarpone cheese, oven-dried cherry also available, I feel that Sunday lunch tomatoes and fresh rucola or perhaps the is meant for a roast. Roast beef was on baked cannelloni stuffed with veal and the menu this week, beautifully pink spinach? and with a rich jus, roasted potatoes and I regretted my decision as soon as I had a medley of vegetables was my main. It made it. How I hadn’t noticed before I should have been my last course, but just don’t know, but on the back wall, I think someone there must have read or should I say along the length of my column. There was a cheese table. I the back wall, was the dessert (which literally could only nibble at it – the only I’ll come back to – physically and complaint I have is that there could have metaphorically).
The pasta was divine. I been some plain biscuits (or maybe I just don’t like fussy eaters, but when it comes didn’t see them) but otherwise, there to pasta, I am one. I like a particular were the international favourites. And texture, I don’t like certain combinations, just to be polite, I had a potted Guinness and I’m a bit fussy when it comes to meat and Baileys mousse and a spoonful of with it too, so this is a brilliant idea. lemon meringue pie.

Décor

Food

Value

November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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advertorial

BOV Piggy Bank Campaign

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he Senior Manager at Bank of Valletta responsible for cash management, Joe Baldacchino, describes the BOV Piggy Bank Campaign as a headache, and that is probably an understatement. In mid-December, teams of soldiers and volunteers will start collecting piggy banks from every classroom within the 200 schools taking part in this year’s BOV Piggy Bank Campaign, in aid of L-Istrina mill-Qalb 2012. The money – a mixture of the eight different types of coins as well as notes – has to be painstakingly sorted and counted. When you consider that around €61,000 was collected last year, you begin to grasp an idea of the logistics involved in such an undertaking. One (and at times two) members of the bank’s staff spent a mind-numbing nine full working days counting up all the money as it was delivered to Bank of Valletta’s head office in Sta Venera last year. “We ended up with over 300 bags of money! In one way or another, everyone in my team gets involved. It is painstaking and tedious work but it is wonderful to see the figures emerge and realise what a great contribution this is towards L-Istrina,” Mr Baldacchino said with pride.

Mr Baldacchino has supervised the counting for seven years out of the nine that BOV has sponsored the Piggy Bank Campaign, and like many others at the Bank he is well aware of the work it involves, which starts with the cleaning and checking of the 5,000 piggy banks prior to their distribution to the schools, all the way to the climax of the event – the presentation of the cheque to President George Abela on Boxing Day. The distribution of the Piggy Banks to schools started on October 17th, and the campaign will continue until midDecember. First Lady Margeret Abela will be visiting a number of schools when the piggy banks are being collected. Bank of Valletta supports L-Istrina mill-Qalb 2012 as part of its extensive Community Relations Programme, one of the largest on the island. Apart from the BOV Piggy Bank Campaign, the bank also supports Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina and Tisjir mill-Qalb, as well as encouraging its staff to take part in the President’s Fun Run by contributing half the registration fee. Last year, around 500 bank employees walked or ran in the event. This year, Bank of Valletta has pledged to match the amount collected from the BOV Piggy Bank Campaign.

Issued by Bank of Valletta, 58, Zachary Street, Valletta VLT1130 – Malta.

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advertorial

The importance of regular dental examinations Whereas many of us go for regular check-ups for various conditions, as well as regular smear tests and mammograms for women and blood pressure and cholesterol testing as we grow older, a good number of us still do not see the importance of regular dental examinations. A dental exam has various aims including: 1. Oral hygiene – normally the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and identify gum inflammation or bone loss. 2. Evaluation of risk of tooth decay – including a possible dental x-ray. 3. Evaluation of any other abnormalities – any other oral health problems can be identified including mouth cancer. 4. Education – your diet and oral hygiene habits can be discussed and proper brushing or flossing techniques can be demonstrated. According to the Mayo clinic, six monthly dental examination appointments are the best way to treat problems early and avoid them becoming very difficult to control or treat. This is your opportunity to ask questions about your dental health and even enquire about the effects of any medication you may be taking or the consequences of tooth loss and possible alternatives. Dental insurance and dental plans available on the market today can give us the confidence to visit the dentist regularly without the fear of overly costly treatment. As well as cover for regular visits and x-rays, these plans cover most of the costs of any restorative treatment including fillings, root treatments, crowns and bridges and even emergency treatment when abroad as well as mouth cancer treatment.

With Denplan, you get treatment when you need it not just when you can afford it! Find a Denplan dentist today t: 21 322 600 e: denplan@atlas.com.mt w: atlas.com.mt/denplan Atlas Healthcare Insurance Agency Limited is authorised by the MFSA to act as agents for AXA PPP healthcare limited who provide the insurance cover. Denplan Limited provides the support and expertise to administer Denplan Care.

November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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Games & Competitions

WIN! All competition replies should reach our offices by Monday November 12th. Send them to Competitions, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by email on win@vida.com.mt. By sending in an entry to any of VIDA magazine’s competitions, you are giving Focused Knowledge Ltd and carefully selected partners permission to store and use your contact details.

Meal for two

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Saregama offers authentic Indian cuisine from ______ regions.

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November 2012 | Issue 35 | vida.com.mt

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only for kids

Dead Man’s Bones There’s no tastier way of celebrating All Saints Day on November 1st than by making the traditional Maltese pastries known as Dead Man’s Bones. Have you ever tried these? There are many ways to make these pastries, and most recipes are passed down from generation to generation, but here’s one recipe for you to try out that’s scarily great!

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and shape the cookies into simple bone forms. Bake in a preheated oven at about 190° C for 20 to 25 minutes, until the Dead Man’s Bones are nicely browned and have expanded in size.

Ingredients:

Start slowly adding the water to the icing sugar, stirring as you go. The icing should cover the back of a metal spoon and not run off at the perfect consistency. Decorate the pastries with the icing, and even top with vermicelli, if you like!

• 4 egg whites • 1 tsp vanilla (or almond) essence • 300g ground almonds • 300g caster sugar • 250g icing sugar • 2/3 tbsp water

Allow to cool for a few hours (or even overnight if your prefer).

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Pastries All Saints Bones Eggs Sugar Almonds Icing Vanilla Baking Essence Find 10 things related to baking Dead Man’s Bones in the grid and send us the solution by post. The correct answers will enter a draw to win the Nesquik Hamper.

Last month we also asked you to draw or take photos of your extracurricular activity of choice. Here are some of your entries:

Directions: Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until very stiff and their size has increased considerably. Fold the sugar, almonds and vanilla essence into the mixture to get a thick, grainy dough that sticks together.

Courtney Magri

Nigel Borg Pullicino

Maria Estelle Cutajar Paris

WIN!

Another chance to win!

Win a hamper made up of Nesquik products!

Send us a drawing or photo of your Dead Man’s Bones or a picture related to All Saint’s Day to be in with another chance of winning the hamper made up of Nesquik products!

Francesco Buhagiar, 9, is the winner of last month’s competition. He wins a hamper made up of Nesquik products.

Send your entries, together with your name, surname, age and contact details (address, telephone number, email address), to: Kids Competition, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214 by no later than Monday November 12th 64

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Vida Magazine November 2012 - Issue 35