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December 2012 - Issue 36

www.vida.com.mt

Bay Music Awards 2012 Live Party like it’s the end on December 12th - page 54

A day like all others

Christmas disasters Your tales of seasonal woe

Meet the people who work on Christmas day

- page 24

- page 22

WIN! In perfect harmony

Gift guide

A devoted collector

Belle of the ball

JEWELLERY, BEAUTY TREATMENTS, A SECURITY SYSTEM & MORE


editorial

vida.com.mt

I love Christmas. There, I’ve said it. It’s my favourite holiday, and cheery Christmas songs start creeping their way into my mind much earlier than most deem it tasteful. I find Christmas cheer contagious, and feel instantly uplifted as I embarrassingly sing ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ in the car on the way to work. My modesty protected from other motorists thanks to firmly shut windows, I happily belt away, and as a result, arrive at the office in the best of spirits. It’s safe to say I love all aspects of the holiday: festive food, cuddling up indoors, carols, buying presents (more than receiving them), mulled wine, Christmas parties, decorations – well, I did say everything! Most of all though, I love how everyone (apart from a few Scrooges, some of which I have the pleasure of knowing!) seems to be a little jollier than usual, and generally more ready to offer a smile or helping hand. VIDA’s Christmas Special covers all festive bases from helping you find the perfect gift and offering tips on decorating your home to sharing readers’ Christmas disasters. We also talk to four people who have to work through the holiday, in order to make it enjoyable for others. Other highlights include an exciting list of this month's events and a trip to the Baby Jesus Museum. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive season. Enjoy the issue.

Sarah Micallef

VIDA next month – Health & beauty special

Issue 36 - December 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

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.

Distributed by

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“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.”

N.B. The editorial team would like to apologise to the Malta Map Society for the omission of the following information in last month’s Star Maps feature.

facebook.com/VidaMag


Contents T'is the season to go crazy!

14

My thing

16

Finding the perfect present

18

What Christmas?

22

Drinks, decorations and disaster!

24

A story of devotion

26

Make your home unique this Christmas

28

Pipe dreams

30

Making a statement

32

Fashion photography winners

43

December’s tragedies and triumphs

44

Roża Micallef – Jealousy was the motive

46

Malta, the island of motorsport champions

48

Ehrlichiosis and sandfly disease vs. your dog

50

Christmas at the movies

52

VIDA visits

55

Events this month

56

Give a book this Christmas

58

Once in a blue moon

59

Competitions

62

The story of the Christmas tree

64

39 28

44

22

52

59

Updates Letters Not for Profit

6 8

Lions Club Sliema

Keeping it Short Marica Mizzi

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letters

Your say

STAR LETTER

Horsing around Dear Editor, First of all, I would like to congratulate the VIDA team for the informative magazine distributed freely across the island. I would like to draw the attention of whoever is responsible of the horse cab area near the cruise liner terminal.

Dear Editor, A magazine like VIDA provides something for everyone. One can find lots of interesting information in your issues, from historical events to present day discoveries, medical and health topics and much more in relation to our lifestyle.

Some time ago, my wife and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon, which started and ended in Malta. We felt proud to be Maltese when the captain onboard the ship recommended that all tourists not miss the entrance to the magnificent Grand Harbour. In fact, upon entry into the Grand Harbour, the deck of the cruise ship was packed with tourists taking photos, and we felt it was the nicest of all the ports of call we visited.

From my point of view, one of the best subjects that every magazine like this can cover is ‘Communication, Cooperation and Respect’. Without these three, we wouldn’t be able to live together whoever and wherever we may be. By emphasising these, unwanted problems and headaches can be eliminated before they even start. I recommend you feature something about these three virtues, which go together and represent love. It should start at home, because charity begins at home, and as you go along, it will spread. Nicholas A. Aquilina

Unfortunately however, this image is being let down by the horse cab area. While I agree to having horse cabs (they are to be found in most European cities), I don’t agree with how the area is maintained. The horses themselves generate dirt through saliva, sweat and excrement, and this creates a foul smell throughout the area, which makes you have to block your nose when passing by! My suggestion to the authorities is that the area is better maintained by frequent washing so as to eliminate the smell. This will create a cleaner environment in our unique Grand Harbour. Cleaven Vella

The early bird Dear Editor,

WIN

STAR LETTER COMPETITION VIDA and Unitech are giving one lucky Star Letter writer the chance to win a full Intruder Alarm System*. The competition has run since May, 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, and the writer of this month's Star Letter is the last to enter the draw.

It always surprises me just how early Christmas decorations start appearing on the streets. I understand, to a point, the logic behind decorating shop windows as early as mid-November in order to generate sales, but is it really necessary to put streetlights up so early too? Driving to work one morning, I noticed a couple of workmen putting up a light-up Santa sleigh on a popular roundabout. My mind did a slight somersault as I thought I had lost a couple of weeks. I checked my dashboard display and it confirmed that I wasn’t crazy – it was November 5th. By the time Christmas does roll around, I’d have long been fed up of looking at them! Chris Sant

Stay safe this Christmas 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?

Share your views with the nation

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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Dear Editor, Firstly, I’d like to let you know how much I enjoy VIDA – I look forward to it every month. As a nurse, I’d like to use your magazine to appeal to everyone to put safety first this Christmas season. No one wants to spend the holidays in hospital, but with the amount of parties and events going on this time of year, the risk of accidents happening increases. I urge everyone to be responsible and consume alcohol in moderation. If you’ve had too much to drink, arrange to be driven home by someone else. By drinking and driving, you not only risk your life and that of your passengers, but the lives of others who are on the road with you. May everyone have a happy and healthy Christmas season. T. Fenech


updates Not for profit

Maltese voluntary

Lions Club Sliema

It all began… in 1974, when Lions Club Sliema was chartered. The club is one of the five Maltese clubs that form the Lions Clubs Zone Malta within the International Association of Lions Clubs. Lions Club International is the greatest service organisation in the world, and is recognised by the United Nations and the European Union. Our mission is… to adhere to Lions Club International’s motto “We serve”, by being involved in projects to help the Maltese community. Lions Club Sliema aims to achieve the Lions Clubs International mission statement: “to be the global leader in community and humanitarian service and to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions Clubs.”

We have… participated in numerous projects such as the donation of glaucoma screening equipment housed in six government health centres together with the other four Lions Clubs in Malta, the organisation of organ donation and drug awareness campaigns and the financing the restoration of frescoes dating back to the 12th century at St. Agatha Catacombs in Rabat.

Our greatest achievements are… many, and it's not possible to mention all the projects undertaken by the club since its inception. The members take great pride in contributing regularly towards initiatives originating from Lions Clubs International to help victims of international disasters. Lions Club Sliema, through its fundraising activities, has donated funds and goods to church institutions for children and senior citizens, the Community Chest Fund, Inspire and Dar tal-Providenza. The club also operates the Lions Club Sliema Arts Foundation, with the aim to support financially deserving youths to pursue their studies in the arts overseas.

Our current projects include… another major project of national importance, namely the restoration of priceless old volumes at the National Library. Through donations from various entities and firms, the club has managed to procure equipment to restore books that hitherto could not have been restored. Lions Club Sliema is proud to have embarked on this project, as besides the restoration of the books, the project is also aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of safeguarding our national heritage.

Keeping it short

My childhood dream was to travel around the world. L-Istrina drains our energy but injects a feel good factor, as we are helping people in need. It all started when the Malta Community Chest Fund took over the production of the event in 2009.

Marica Mizzi

My job as Public Relations Officer with the Malta Community Chest Fund involves using any medium and source to promote and encourage the nation's support. The best thing about my job is meeting different people with different ideas and reaching out to those in need. I first got involved with L-Istrina as a volunteer some 22 years ago. Back then it was called Milied Flimkien. My proudest moment in my career is that moment after every successful event organised by our office. My proudest life moment was becoming an aunt. The best part of helping out with L-Istrina is knowing that it can change someone’s life for the better. When I found out we had raised €2,898,492 in last year’s L-Istrina I felt extremely happy, but apprehensive about how hard we have to work to raise the same amount this year! I am a proud vegetarian. I am not perfect, but I am very loyal. I always try to smile, or at least most of the time I do! Life is “like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein. What I’m looking forward to most is what lies ahead... but I still live in the now. I love life. I hate whoever makes others (humans or animals) suffer.

W: www.lionsliema.com A: P.O. Box 62, Sliema SLM 1000 Know of a local voluntary organisation that could use the recognition? Contact the editor on editor@vida.com.mt

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If I could change one thing I would stop the killing of animals for human consumption and entertainment. The future is for those who believe in the beauty of dreams. In the end, what matters is health and happiness, together with the experiences we gather in life!


updates

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto sponsors the MGA Shield NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto has sponsored the sixth edition of the Malta Golf Association (MGA) Shield. The competition, which is one of the highlights in the Royal Malta Golf Club’s (RMGC) calendar, took place last month and was open to RMGC Members holding a valid golf handicap. The Ladies Tournament was held on Thursday November 8th whilst the Men’s Tournament took place on Saturday November 10th. The final was then held on Sunday November 11th. At the MGA Shield launch, MGA President William Beck thanked NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, the MGA Executive Council and the committee members of RMGC for their support. He explained that, “Despite its 125 years of local history, in reality the Maltese only started to enjoy the game during the last 30 years or so.” He maintained that the MGA’s ambition is to make golf a part of schools’ curriculum. On his part, Naum Janakiev, Country Manager of Nestlé Malta said that NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is proud to be the official sponsor of the MGA for 2012: “The sport of golf blends nicely with

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NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto’s concept, as golf is an immensely social game where one can chat between shots and even enjoy a coffee or two in the course of a round”. He went on to add, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the MGA for giving us the opportunity to help in the efforts of the association to improve the level of the sport in Malta.” Speaking of the history of the Shield, Mr Beck explained that the first two winners of the Shield were Tony Vella and Nigel Hall in 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2009, Jutta Klotz became the first female winner, with the last two editions being won by juniors John Micallef Straface who in 2010 was 14 years old and Quint Van Beek who won last year’s at 15. This year, Maria Woodward won the sixth edition of the Shield with net scores of 63 and 69. The overall best net aggregate score from a lady player and from a gentleman player (achieved by Maria Woodward and Stefan Borg Manduca respectively) each received NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto prizes and a memento trophy. An additional nine consolation prizes were also awarded.


updates

A 90-year-old love story I

n Italy, Perugina is synonymous with the art of Italian confectionery and a guarantee of creativity, quality and innovation. Since 1922, its best-loved product has been the Bacio – a dark chocolate and hazelnut praline wrapped in love notes inscribed with messages of affection. Romance is at the heart of the Baci legend – bacio means ‘kiss’ in Italian, while Baci refers to the plural, ‘kisses’. The most popular chocolate in Italy is now known throughout the world as a special gesture of appreciation between sweethearts, family members, and friends.

Legend has it that the world famous Bacio was created in 1922 and introduced on Valentine's Day. 90 years later, the Bacio tradition is unchanged and in celebration of Baci’s 90th anniversary, Perugina master chocolatiers have crafted this new companion for the traditional Baci. Baci Bianco boasts a creamy white chocolate coating that enrobes the traditional Baci filling of milk chocolates and hazelnuts. Choosing a Baci for your loved ones is all about saying ‘I love you’ the Italian way.

What is testicular cancer?

Did you know?

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and curable cancers, but early detection is important. The survival rate in men with earlydetected seminoma is greater than 95% but depending on how early it is detected. Cases of GCTC have a 90% chance of survival.

Testicular cancer is a cancer that develops in the male genital organs found in the scrotum. There are several types of testicular cancer, with the most common type, affecting 95% of testicular cancer patients, being germ cell testicular cancer (GCTC), which affects the cells that the body utilises in order to form sperm. This type of cancer is subdivided into seminomas and non-seminomas. Seminomas are a slow-growing form of the cancer and account for 40% of cases with GCTC. In the non-seminoma form of GCTC, the cancer grows more quickly.

Testicular cancer is relatively uncommon, accounting for only 1% of all cancers affecting men. It tends to affect young males between the ages of 15 and 35, making it the most common type of cancer for men in this age group. There are also racial differences with white men having five times the risk of getting this cancer

References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002266/ http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/testicularcancer.html http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-testicle/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://tcrc.acor.org/tcexam.html Last viewed on 13th October 2012. Text Review by: Dr. Stephen Brincat

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health

than African-American men. Men who have family members who have had this cancer or who were born with undescended testis are at a greater risk of developing testicular cancer. Symptoms • Discomfort or pain in the testicle • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum • Pain in the back • Enlargement of a testicle or a change in the way it feels • Lump or swelling on either of the testicles Detection The best way to detect testicular cancer is self-examination. Examine one testicle at a time using both hands. You should be able to feel a soft lump at the top back that is tender to pressure known as the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm). Check to see if there is swelling or changes in colour and consistency of the testicle. If any of these changes are noted, see a doctor.


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.

T'is the season to go crazy! I haven’t been able to sleep for a few days. Let me point out straight away that throughout the year there have been many times when I didn’t get enough shut-eye. This, thankfully, is not due to insomnia but rather a combination of late nights (don’t judge me, I am, sometimes, rehearsing for a play) and early starts in order to delight the nation on my radio show (sort of). A night without sleep usually makes me nervous, panicky, and irritable. For the couple of days that follow, I generally become a zombie and lose my basic communication skills, proceeding to lie on the sofa, grunting and whimpering at regular intervals. (‘Just like when you are watching football’ interjects Kat. Thanks for your input love. Much appreciated. Now go away.) Anyway, what I am experiencing now is nothing like run-ofthe-mill sleeplessness (ok, I am currently rehearsing till late, going out with friends and still waking up extremely early. But that’s not the point). The sleeplessness I am experiencing at the moment does not cause anxiety or stress. Oh no, on the contrary, it is one of the best feelings in the world. It is caused by excitement and anticipation, elation and exhilaration. You see, ladies and gents, the reason that I cannot sleep at the moment is... because it’s almost Christmas! I love Christmas. I really do – in an almost maniacal way. I start feeling butterflies from mid-November, and just can’t stop grinning like an idiot (children have been known to run) for the next six weeks. From religious traditions and streetlights

to charity appeals and decorating the tree – I love it all! I have long given up trying to figure out why a grown man in his thirties becomes as excitable as a five-year old as The Big Day approaches, I just do. I also become emotional, especially, it must be said, after a Yuletide drinks session. (‘Try blubbering fool!’ Ah, still here I see darling.) The things I say during these emotional outbursts are of course true. I do think my wife is gorgeous, and I do love my friends and my family very much. And my life is wonderful. Even though I have just spilt my drink. All I am doing is reiterating the truth, getting in touch with what I truly feel. It is a beautiful thing, yet funnily enough, security guards at the bars where the festive drinkies usually happen never seem to understand. They always want to move me on, even when I offer them a cuddle. There are also the pressies of course! Now, I know that we have become a materialistic society obsessed with gifts at the expense of the true spirit of the season. I also know that it should be the thought that counts. But if that thought could be expressed in a huge present rather than a small one I would much prefer it. I know it shouldn’t be the case but... well, it is. So why deny it? And anyway you don’t want to lie when Santa’s in the process of re-checking his list, do you? Is all this a sign that I am still a self-indulgent immature fool who has a lot of growing up to do? Probably. But I am way too excited to care! Merry Christmas everybody!

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.

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real life

My thing What do two little monkeys have to do with Christmas? Daniela Vella tells the story of her family’s unique festive tradition.

G

rowing up, my family had a somewhat unique Christmas tradition. Every year, when packing away the Christmas tree and decorations at the end of the festive season, there were two special little ornaments that would not be packed away with the rest. Monkey Ċetta and Monkey Olinda would instead be tucked away within the box of the Christmas tree itself, hidden carefully within its branches. The following year, when my mother brought out the Christmas tree once more, she would hold a contest between my brother and I. We would both kneel apprehensively in front of the Christmas tree box, and on the count of three, we would excitedly scavenge around through the branches looking for the monkeys. The first one to find Monkey Ċetta (and not Monkey Olinda) would be the winner, and would receive the honour of climbing the ladder and placing the monkeys on top of the tree.

The monkeys are very similar in appearance, and sometimes, you would find Olinda instead of Ċetta, and waste precious time as the other continued to search for the right monkey. Unfortunately, more often than not my brother was the victor, and would tease me relentlessly when he won. I remember one year, annoyed that he had won again, I chased him around the house angrily and threatened to hit him with a Christmas tree branch as he held Monkey Ċetta high in the air while doing a victory lap. Nowadays, even though we’re a little bit too old for the competition, and although poor Olinda seems to have somehow lost her tail, the two little monkeys are still the crowning glory of our Christmas tree at home – and for our family, Christmas wouldn’t be quite the same without them!

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!

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special feature

Finding I the perfect present

t’s that time of year again. The time in which many of us start racking our brains about what presents to buy for our loved ones. The fear of choosing the wrong thing and being met with a tight, polite smile (or worse!) once the gift is opened is ever-present, and whereas we can’t guarantee this won’t happen, VIDA presents a few tips on how to buy the perfect Christmas gift.

When it comes to buying the perfect present, whether it’s for your partner, parent or friend, the trick is really to pay attention. If you’re familiar with the person’s tastes, there’s much more of a chance of choosing something they like. If you’re not sure of their preferences offhand, try going shopping with them on the premise of buying something for yourself. Pay attention to anything they say they like, then return to the shop on your own and buy it for them – simple! Another factor to take into consideration when selecting a present is ‘want’ versus ‘need’. Whereas it might seem like a good idea to buy your partner a microwave to keep him from starving when you have to work late (because he’s a terrible cook), the gift might not be as appreciated as, say, a rare copy of his favourite comic. The most important thing is to plan ahead. Jot down a list of everyone you need to buy presents for, along with your budget for each one. It also helps to put down a couple of basic ideas next to each name before hitting the shops – if you have a general clue of what you’re looking for, it will prevent wide-eyed bewilderment once you join the hoards of Christmas shoppers doing precisely the same thing. Lastly, if you’ve diligently paid attention to your mother’s/partner’s/best friend’s moaning but still have no clue what they want or even need, here are a few ideas to help point you in the right direction along the present buying process.

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special feature

Hobbies What does the person in question like to do? If he or she has a hobby like playing the piano, gaming, baking or anything under the sun really, chances are there are things you can buy in relation to it. An illustrated recipe book by a star chef for a baking enthusiast and the latest PS3 game for a master gamer for example, are sure to go down a treat.

Food Strictly reserved for those whose dietary habits you’re clued in on (you wouldn’t want to give anything with meat in it to a vegetarian, for example). Best bets here are generally sweets and chocolate, or anything homemade (if you’re fairly good at that sort of thing) for a special touch.

Luxury items If your budget is a bit bigger and you’re looking to impress, jewellery, watches and leather goods are a good option. As is the case with everything else, do your homework before making any choices. Once you know what the receiver’s preferences are (for example whether he or she prefers gold or silver, analogue or digital), you’ll be better equipped to get them a gift they’ll truly appreciate.

Beauty Steer clear from anything silly (well intended as it may be) like anti-wrinkle cream or cellulite treatment and opt for products like perfume, makeup and fancy bathing products. Don’t skimp on quality though – a beauty product only becomes a great gift if it’s exceptionally good (and generally can’t be found in your local supermarket).

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special feature

Getaway

Festive meatloaf with bacon

If you’re looking for something special for your parents or partner, you might want to consider a short getaway. Everyone loves a break, and when it’s unexpected, it makes it all the sweeter. Before you book any specific dates though, do check whether the receiver has any other events or limitations that would not make it possible for them to go. Giving them a holiday they can’t go on would have quite the opposite of the desired effect!

Preparation time: 45 minutes Cooking time: 90 minutes Serves: 6

by James Muscat courtesy of PRIME Meat Shops

Ingredients

· 1 kg lean minced beef · 200g lean minced pork · 200g PRIME streaky bacon · 1 egg, beaten · ½ cup breadcrumbs · ½ cup milk · 1 small onion, finely chopped · 1 small carrot, cubed · ½ cup sweet corn · 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped · 1 tsp soy sauce · ¼ tsp thyme or rosemary · ½ tsp salt and pinch of black pepper

Serving tips

Preparation

In a glass bowl, mix the minced meat, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, soy sauce, onion, carrot, sweet corn, parsley and herbs. Place a sheet of aluminum foil into a loaf tin. Remove the skin from the bacon rashers and carefully wrap the bacon around the meat mixture. Pack the meat tightly into the baking tin and add a cup of water. Cover with the foil and bake for 90 minutes.

· Ideally, the meatloaf should be cooled and left to stand overnight in the fridge. This will facilitate slicing and reduce waste. · Meat can be heated in microwave. · Meatloaf slices are a very appropriate alternative to turkey stuffing.

Clothes This one is easy to get wrong, so before hitting the shops, pay close attention to anything the person you’re buying the gift for says he or she needs. Phrases like ‘I barely have any good office shirts’ or ‘I really need to stock up on my winter wardrobe’ should point you in the right direction. Another trick, if you’re not sure about the person’s style, is to notice anything he or she picks up or remarks on when shopping. If you’re shopping for a gift for your girlfriend, there is one triedand-tested route: buy her shoes.

Personal When it comes to presents, it really is the thought that counts, so if you give a present that shows a lot of thought went into it, it’s sure to be appreciated. A personalised gift like a special photo album with photos of your family for your parents for example, shows you really care, and will always work better than a run-of-the-mill gift.

Happy shopping!

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interview

December 2012 Issue 36 vida.com.mt

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special feature

What Christmas? Most people’s Christmas day adheres to a strict formula, generally revolving around a special lunch followed by a day of family time. For some though, this is not the case. This month, VIDA meets five people who have to be at work on a day in which everyone around them has little more than turkey stuffing and opening presents on their mind.

The nurse

“we need to make an extra effort to create a nice atmosphere" Tonio Attard, 49, is a Nursing Officer at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit whose roster sometimes dictates that he has to work on Christmas day. Having worked as a nurse for 31 years, Tonio works on a shift basis and has gotten used to the fact that more often than not, he will be on duty on Christmas day. He explains that his job involves “taking care of patients who have just undergone a heart operation and are critically ill.” In terms of workload on the day, Tonio states that it is slightly lighter because no elective surgery is held, although the nurses on duty are expected to work a little harder to make the day easier for the patients: “The patients are not happy to be in hospital on Christmas day, so we need to make an extra effort to create a nice atmosphere.” Despite Christmas being synonymous with family time for Tonio, much like everyone else, he knows it is not always possible because of work. “I would prefer to spend Christmas day with my loved ones and this sometimes causes a strain, but we try to make up for it in other ways,” he explains. Having said this, Tonio believes that it all balances out in the end, maintaining, “You do miss spending this special day with the family, but on the other hand, it is very satisfying to have helped make life easier for the patients.”

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The barman

“a positive about working on Christmas day is the possibility of making another person’s day a bit better" Luca Galea, 20, has worked on Christmas day for the past four years. As a barman, his job involves serving drinks to punters, and since it’s normally very busy, he explains that the entire bar staff is needed on Christmas day. “To me, Christmas means being with your family,” Luca says, “but I don’t really mind being at work. I can’t say it’s just like every other day though, everything and everyone is more festive, in my opinion.” Despite not getting the chance to spend Christmas day with his family, Luca does see a positive side to being at work. “A positive about working on Christmas day is the possibility of making another person’s day a bit better. It’s true that you don’t get to spend Christmas with the people you’d want to spend it with, but personally it doesn’t affect me.”


special feature The scientist

“by providing our services to patients, we are saving lives" Anabel Abela, 31, is a Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist who works on shift basis, and is on duty on Christmas day every other year. She explains that due to the sensitive nature of her job, working on Christmas is a must. “I work at the Bacteriology Lab in Mater Dei Hospital. We culture bacteria, identify it and determine which antibiotics are suitable to treat the infection. We have to work on Christmas day to keep the bacteria from denaturing – we have to do a fresh culture every 24 hours.” Despite having to be at work, Christmas means a lot to Anabel, as it is the only day in the year in which her entire family gathers for lunch: “Christmas for me means family time, and it is one of the chances I get to spoil my loved ones with good food. We spend the whole day enjoying each other’s company, and in the evening I like to host a party for the extended family, so you can imagine what a disappointment it is if I have to work!” Still, working on Christmas is not quite the same as working on other days, Anabel says, as there is a general feeling of merriment at work. “We are allowed to go home for lunch to be with our families, but knowing that I have to return to work does spoil the fun a bit. Working on Christmas day does dampen our spirits, but I try to make the most of the situation, knowing that the next year, I will be off!” Moreover, despite disliking being away from her family on this special day, Anabel maintains that by working, she and her colleagues are celebrating the Christmas spirit of giving: “By providing our services to patients, we are saving lives, and this makes working on Christmas worthwhile.”

The receptionist

“when you work in tourism, every day is like all others" Franco Apap, 39, is a receptionist and front office cashier at a hotel. Having worked in the tourism industry for 14 years, he has gotten used to the possibility of having to work on Christmas day. “I work on a day-in day-out basis, so if I’m off on Christmas I will have to work on New Year’s day.” He explains that around Christmas and New Year, occupancy gets very high at the hotel, and that “when you work in tourism, every day is like all others. Christmas day is just like every other day, except that it’s a bit busier due to family lunches.” When asked whether he minds being at work on a day when most people are at home with their families, Franco maintains, “I don’t mind being at work on Christmas day, but I do really miss Christmas lunch with my family. When I’m working on Christmas, I look forward to my day off on New Year’s day and on the years I’m off on Christmas, I do my very best to enjoy it with my family.”

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special feature

Drinks, decorations and disaster!

F

or most, Christmas is a time of celebration, family and good cheer. But for some, it spells disaster! Throughout the last month, VIDA has asked you, our readers, to tell us about your funny Christmas disasters via our Facebook page. As promised, here are the best festive funnies.

“One Christmas, sometime in the 90s, Teresa’s parents were given a turkey which they insisted on giving us on Xmas Eve, even though we already had a turkey. After being coerced into taking it, we found out it was too big. After a few unprintable words when Turkeyzilla broke both the fridge and the oven, we found ourselves driving around late on Xmas Eve in order to donate the massive turkey to a nunnery in San Gwann... the nuns loved it, so all turned out well in the end!” - Teresa & Martin Cefai

“If you stuff the turkey whilst enthusiastically dancing to Queen’s 'Don't stop me now' with a great big hangover like I did last year, particularly when the guests are your in-laws, it might spell disaster. Miraculously, the turkey and filling turned out delicious!” - Claire Ciantar

“Everyone in my family loves setting up the Christmas tree, even our cats. One year, our naughty cat was exploring the tree decorations, which were in a plastic bag. Some noise must have spooked her though, as she shot out, unfortunately getting herself tangled in one of the bag's handles. The more the bag rustled, the faster she ran, and it took ages to catch and release her!” - Pamela Azzopardi

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special feature

Since many of my family members work on Christmas day, our big family meal is generally held on New Year’s Day at my grandparents’. Unfortunately, this means that the younger generations will often be nursing a hangover following New Year’s Eve celebrations the night before. One year, I was quite worse for wear myself, and besides forgetting to take the dessert I had prepared especially for the day, I spilled a large bottle of water all over the pretty decorated table! I spent the rest of the afternoon letting my grandmother win at cards by way of apology! - Abigail Grech

I work for a freight forwarding company, and one year around Christmas time, we had a consignment that was to arrive in Malta via a small truck. My boss sent me to the port to pick up the driver and arrange customs papers, so I went, and spent a good two hours walking up and down the port looking for the guy. Finally, I met a truck driver I knew and asked him if he had seen the truck. He said yes, and gave me the location. I went to the truck but found no one in it, and again spent about an hour waiting to see whether the driver would appear. After all this, I got a call from the office telling me that the truck driver had gone home for the Christmas holidays! I ended up getting the flu as a result of those long hours in the cold, and I spent that Christmas sneezing indoors! - Carol Anne Attard

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culture

A story of devotion by Sarah Micallef

“Every statue has a story”, says Paul Pace, owner of the Baby Jesus Museum in Birkirkara, upon my visit. “My mother still tells the story of how I was given my first Baby Jesus statue when I was just 6 years old. I was very close to my father, and when he had to go abroad for work, I was very upset and started to cry. To cheer me up, my grandmother gave me a wax statue of Baby Jesus.” He goes on to mention another statue given to him by his beloved father: “I came across a shop that was selling Baby Jesus statues, and a particular one caught my eye, but my parents couldn’t afford it. A little while later, my father won three liri playing the lotto, and he bought it for me. I still have that statue.” From then on, Paul started collecting Baby Jesus statues as a way of showing his devotion. As his collection grew, Paul began putting his Baby Jesus statues on display in his father’s garage at Christmas time, for people to enjoy. Years went by, and after a period of not putting his beloved statues on display, Paul figured it was a shame that his collection, which had by then grown to around 1,500 statues, was not open to the public, so along with his wife, he decided to set up the Baby Jesus Museum, or ‘Mużew tal-Bambini’, which was inaugurated on December 6th 2010.

"I was given my first Baby Jesus statue when I was just 6 years old" The vast collection of statues displayed within the Baby Jesus Museum are made of many different materials including wax, wood, plaster, terracotta, glass and clay, but one that Paul points out in particular comprises a very unusual element. As he shows me a sleeping Baby Jesus encased in what appears to be a perspex case, he explains that the material of the case is actually recycled from a WWII plane, and the engraved floral design on it was carved by German prisoners of war as a way of passing the time.

His favourite story however is tied to a type of Baby Jesus statue known as ‘Il-Bambin ta’ Araċeli’. The story goes that this particular statue belonged to some priests who took it along on a sea voyage. However, their boat got shipwrecked, and they lost everything that was on it – or so they thought. “As the priests swam to shore,” Paul recounts, “they found the statue of the Baby Jesus waiting for them on the beach. It was considered a miracle, and replicas of that statue began being made.” My own favourite statues within the museum are the older varieties comprising embroidered garments and decorated with ganutell, some of which dating back hundreds of years. Paul smiles as he explains that the ones with the most sentimental value to him are a pair he had made using the hair of his own two daughters for the babies’ hair. Another statue Paul and his wife hold dear is one that used to belong to San Ġorġ Preca, which was given to them after the member of the Society of Christian Doctrine that San Ġorġ had originally given it to had passed away. When asked where he gets the statues from, Paul maintains that they’re from all sorts of places. From an old radio show entitled ‘Min Ipartat U Min ibiegh’ (a show in which people advertise items they wish to sell or exchange) and auctions, to travels in various countries, Paul and his wife are always on the look out for new additions, and even receive tips from people who have seen a statue they think they might like. “We’ve most recently been to Prague,” he maintains, “and brought back another 42 statues!”

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culture

The Baby Jesus Museum is open all year round by appointment and on a fixed schedule during the Christmas period. To make an appointment, contact the Pace family on 21492111 or ilmuzewtalbambini@gmail.com.

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homes

Interior Design

Make your home unique this Christmas C

hristmas is just around the corner, and preparing your home for Christmas can be one of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Like most tasks, planning is vital, and setting a theme for this coming festive season is no different. Select a colour scheme that can run through the whole house, keeping in mind your existing furniture and furnishings. Silver, gold, green and red themes are always popular, and possibly even white. The prime element of any Christmas theme revolves around the Christmas tree. Start from there, and select the tree according to the choice of scheme you have in mind, customising it with your own individual selection of ribbons, hanging ornaments and tinsel, always working around your theme. First impressions are important, so do not overlook your front door. It is the first thing your family and friends will be faced with upon arrival, and this sets the mood. Again with your theme in mind, embellish the entrance to your home accordingly, and be unique by attempting to create some personal touches. You could choose an evergreen wreath for example, and customise it with elements that are in keeping with your choice of colour. Once inside, another great way of making your home Christmassy is by making a few changes to your existing

yearly decor. One does not need to be extravagant, but minor changes will not break the bank. Take for example replacing your existing cushion covers with some colourful or Christmas themed covers. These will no doubt add a unique touch to your existing living room, and are sure to get noticed! Consider replacing your regular candles with Christmas themed ones, or plain ones in the colour of your selected scheme. To add further atmosphere, why not add Christmas-scented incense sticks to really set the mood? Add further touches to your home by 'highlighting' areas that are taken for granted. Dress your staircase handrail up using ribbons, fabric and paper within your colour theme. Your lighting cannot be overlooked, as it plays an important role in setting the scene. One does not need to incur expenses by purchasing new light fixtures, but merely replacing bulbs fixtures in certain areas will add interest and atmosphere where and when required. We all enjoy our preferred music throughout the year, and so too at Christmas time. Bring out the Christmas CDs to create a fun and seasonal atmosphere. Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my articles within the Interior Design section of VIDA, and wish you and your families a happy and healthy Christmas.

By Jean-Marc Bianchi, Interior Designer B.A. Interior Design Studies, Rome – Italy

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jmdesign@go.net.mt


people

Pipe dreams

Back in 2008, a musician working in the architecture design industry decided to expand his love of pipe organ building and design into a career. Although a dying craft in Malta, this is not the case in countries like Germany, the UK and the US, where organ building continues to flourish in churches and theatres, as well as private residences. Jane Vella meets organ builder and designer Noel Gallo, who explains the mix of music, architecture, science and engineering. Noel Gallo at Exeter Cathedral, England

N

oel plays both the organ and the piano – an interest that developed further into the art of organ design. “I was always interested in what makes them work – after all, the sound comes from within, not just the set of display pipes that you see on the facade,” he says. He explains that whenever an organ is built, it is always custom made, according to the building it is going to be placed in. “This is because each building has its own acoustics and architectural style. In this regard, the architectural aspect comes in, as well as the phonic aspect – the scale and length of the pipes, these would all be designed especially for the place it will be put in.” A typical pipe organ can have from hundreds to thousands of pipes – why so many? Noel explains that the role of the pipes is to create the sounds of different sound tonalities at different pitches, as well as sounds of other instruments like flutes, trumpets, oboes and string instruments like violins or cellos. Each pipe produces a single pitch, with the length affecting the pitch. In fact, the length of the body represents a note. In this regard, the diameter needs to be calculated in relation to the length of the pipe and to the tone colour (sound) in which it is designed for. The pipes are divided into sets or ‘ranks’, each one having a common timbre, volume and tone colour. Each set of

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pipes is then opened by the relevant stop knob. “So when opening a set of pipes at the same time as another, you create a different sound and tonality. This is where the art of organ registration comes in, the ability to mix sounds to create the wanted effect and sound colour. Some ranks need to be opened with others – because they need a fundamental sound to have the right mixture of sounds,” he adds. A pipe organ can also have a number of keyboards, with each one representing a division of pipe ranks. Noel explains that the materials used to make organ pipes differ; in fact, you will find pipes made of wood as well as metal. “The more solid the wood, such as oak, the bolder the sound. The majority of metal pipes are made of an alloy of lead and tin. When the mixture contains more tin, the sound is brighter, and the appearance is shinier. On the other hand, when there is more percentage of lead the sound is bolder and the appearance is less shiny.”

different options and estimate how much it is going to cost,” he says. “One of the biggest challenges is the casework design – you need to create something that is within budget, but that is also eye catching – it’s about finding the exact detail that attracts attention to get a high standard appearance.” Each project is designed inside out – beginning from a concept and budget, and designing the internal layout to finding a well balanced stop list, designing the phonic structure and the casework. Noel explains that it also involves a lot of site visits and discussions on the right style and position for the organ. “What is most important, though, is that you need to make sure you fit in every single pipe needed and create a well planned access facility for future tuning and maintenance needs.”

I ask Noel about the process involved in the commission of an organ design. He explains that it usually involves submitting applications to tender, and of course, aiming to win the tender. He collaborates with colleagues in Germany and the UK. “You need to factor in price and style. When designing the casework, the shell of the organ, you need to offer

Photo by Noel Gallo, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Germany


people “I get the most ideas before I go to sleep, or I’ll wake up in the middle of the night,” he says. “Then I have to get up and sketch the idea, it would just be a detail but it would help me remember.” Besides organ design, Noel is also involved in restoration projects, a recent one being the restoration of the church organ in San Lawrenz, Gozo. He explains that the organ hadn’t fully functioned since the 1970s. “The restoration involved opening and dismantling it piece by piece, including 744 pipes and hundreds of valves, springs and sheep leather pieces, restoring each piece and reassembling it again,” he says. “Since it was a historic restoration, we had to restore it to its original splendour.” Noel remarks that when restoring the San Lawrenz organ, dating back to 1930, he noticed that its action mechanisms seemed to be built in a much older tradition to the times it was designed in. Following some research, he discovered that the Sicilian builder who built it would source old organs which were no longer in use and put them in other churches, which could be the case with the San Lawrenz organ.

As an organist, Noel "you need participates in concerts to create and church functions. something “The last major activity within budget I took part in was Gozo’s that is also eye first Organ Festival, where catching" I gave a lecture on how a pipe organ works, history and information on organs in Gozo. I also performed. Next year we should be holding a similar festival,” he says. Noel believes that each organ has its own character, in fact he can tell the difference between a typical English, German or Italian organ. “They all have their own character – old Italian pipes have a soft and bright sound and old English pipes tend to have a bold and well defined tone,” he says. The basic techniques in organ building have remained the same over the years. “However, I like to see the future in organ building. You can’t move forward if you don’t see the possibilities for progress within the craft.” www.ngpipeorgandesign.com.

Photo by Noel Gallo, SeSaRam, South Korea

Organ facts · The pipe organ’s origins go back to the 3rd century BC, in Ancient Greece · Organ with most pipes: Atlantic City, with over 33,000 pipes · The oldest organ in Malta can be found at St John’s Oratory in Valletta, which dates back to the 17th century

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fashion

Fashion F

Paisley Whether you love it or hate it, this divisive print is back on the scene for autumn/winter. Avoid looking like you’ve stolen your grandmother’s curtains or taken a trip down memory lane to Woodstock by pairing paisley items with chic separates in luxurious textures like silk and leather..

Making a

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Guest spot

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Alison Coates is head lecturer of Platinum Institute. Follow her at fashion.alisoncoates.com

1: River Island 2: Dorothy Perkins 3: Boohoo.com

Label we Chanel You’d have to be a hermit to not know about Chanel – the fashion house that has been synonymous with a classic elegance since its origins. The latest campaign for the Resort 2013 collection however, has made me take notice all over again. Featuring models Saskia de Brauw and Cara Delevingne, chanelling 18th century French aristocracy against a backdrop as sumptuous as the clothing itself, I’m suffering from serious sensory overload (and loving it).

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The reign of the statement shoe is far from over. This winter, shoes and boots are elaborate and exciting. Red is the colour to be seen in, but think less Wizard of Oz and more grungy rock n’ roll – buckles are heavy, and studs and spikes are abundant. Black is anything but boring, as detailing on heels and platforms shows. The equestrian theme is also popular, and with it is footwear with an English yet militaristic tone. British label Burberry presents boots falling within this theme that are as versatile and quintessential as that other Burberry classic, the raincoat.

Heels of all shapes and sizes are catered for this season – although the two extremes of chunky, boxy heels and impossibly thin stilettos are the main types seen. Metallic colours, often on just the heel, are very much on trend, and shimmering silver and gold heels are complemented with buckles and detailing in the same colour. Opulent prints, as seen on the Oscar de la Renta boots, are truly inspiring, bringing a rich Baroque influence to the season. The aim is extravagance.


fashion

Fairground

Western by Sarah Micallef

statement

Howdy partner! Western influences are everywhere this season, with detailing reminiscent of cowboy movies that makes you feel like riding into a sunsetfilled horizon. Look out for fringes, cut outs, studs and suede to perfect your western look.

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Luxurious fabrics and furs are also a favourite, with velvet in particular used not only for clothing, but also for shoes. The richness of colour provided by the velvet will work beautifully with clothing that is more detailed – here the shoes do not take centre-stage. Velvet shoes rely on their material, not their pattern in order to provide a classic, chic look. Heelless shoes offer a radical, futuristic look. This type of shoe has been around for some time (Nina Ricci’s Winter 2009 runway show included bright red representations of the style), and was made popular (albeit as a concept not as a trend to be followed) by Lady Gaga, who famously fell over in a pair of Noritaka Tatehana heelless boots at Heathrow Airport! Giuseppe Zanotti provides some new examples for the present season – complete with Swarovski crystals and harsh metal spikes.

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Shoes and ankle boots have seized all attention this winter with knee-high boots of the season rarely as daring as their shorter counterparts. The styles are classic, and could be seen as investment pieces rather than statement shoes. Luckily for our feet, it’s not all heels and towering platforms this winter. The comfy, reliable slipper has been re-invented, as seen in the artsy Yves Saint Laurent shoes. From stripes to animal print and tartan to spikes, sequins and shine, the lowly slipper has truly been metamorphosed into a true contender for style.

1: Mango 2: Dorothy Perkins 3: New Look

Celebs Bright eye shadow A great way to brighten up your days come the cooler weather of autumn is bright eye shadow. Whereas the runways have shown a large variety of colours from orange and yellow to blue and purple, celebrities seem to have selected some clear favourites – opting for electric blue, purple and green.

Ginnifer Goodwin

January Jones

Rihanna

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LUCKY STRIKE


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: Francesca Jarman, Supernovamodel.com Location: Eden Super Bowl, St Julians

Dress Frenchies Necklace Accessorize


Dress Frenchies Necklace Accessorize


Dress Miss Selfridge Ring Accessorize Shoes Mango


Dress Topshop Shoes Miss Selfridge Necklace Accessorize


Top Topshop Skirt New Look Necklace Accessorize


advertorial

A full diary for 202 Jewellery T

he new season is always a time of great anticipation and this year is no exception. The 202 Jewellery calendar is packed with events, chiefly among which are the opening of new outlets and the introduction of new product lines. Current popular brands are already forecasting the introduction of new lines in the near future, adding further impetus to the air of expectancy. In addition, 202 Jewellery is always at the forefront in the sponsorship of exclusive events as well as in its participation in fairs, namely Moda Malta, which was held on November 3rd at the new Xara Lodge, and the annual Me Am Chic fair, which ran between November 16th and 19th at the MFCC. 202 will also be sponsoring a New Year's Eve event by the name of La Soiree Chic - NYE 2012, which is to be held at Montekristo. Tickets are available from all 202 outlets and a fantastic offer of a €50 discount voucher will be given with every ticket, which can be used to purchase a Tresor Paris Diamond Watch or exclusive jewellery. Such an eclectic mix of activity is set to heighten the excitement of 202 Jewellery’s patrons, who avidly keep track of the latest ingenuities on offer by their broad range of international leading brand names. 202 Jewellery’s latest innovation is the opening of three new retail outlets. The first is a new exclusive outlet at Le Méridien St Julians Hotel and Spa, a luxury hotel located in the fashionable Balluta Bay. This newest link in their constantly expanding chain of shopping outlets is very much in keeping with the increasingly sophisticated tastes of their clientele. While enjoying the convenient proximity to the cosmopolitan town of Sliema, it lies in the hub of a uniquely historic Maltese landscape. The contemporary design of the 40-square-metre outlet, with its signature elegant white exterior matching its sister outlets’ in other parts of the island, will feature a BERING centre of excellence in the reception area.

Andrea Saliba, Otis Zammit, Raphael Tonna, Matthew James Borg, Peter Borg, Karl Camilleri & Karl Bonavia, organisers BAM! Events with members of Red Electrick outside 202 Jewellery.

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The 202 Jewellery 16 page booklet distributed at the Me Am Chic fair, between November 16th and 18th at the MFCC

Another new outlet will be opening soon at The Palace in High Street, Sliema – a stylish deluxe five-star Boutique Spa Hotel with a distinctive elegance. Last but not least is the much anticipated outlet for their Gozitan clients, which is scheduled to open this month in our sister island's capital of Victoria. The modern design of all the new retail outlets’ interior is synonymous with 202’s other outlets, displaying their typical beautiful showcases, each one dedicated to an individual brand. They are certain to provide a unique shopping experience to all their clients. 202 Jewellery’s leading brands, namely, Chamilia, Spinning Jewellery, Viventy Jewels, Christina Watches, Cede, and Tresor Paris will all be dazzling the discerning shopper in the finest of styles. Better accessibility and comfort for the customer is the vision behind these lavish shops. It was with this aim in mind that 202 Jewellery chose five-star hotels in which to launch two of its new outlets, as these locations will offer the added benefit of all-yearround accessibility, inclusive of Sundays and public holidays.

Models during the Moda Malta event held at Xara Lodge on November 3rd 2012, where 202 Jewellery was the main sponsor. Models paraded the latest collections from Chamilia Jewellery, Tresor Paris Watches and Jewellery, Viventy, Creation Milanaise and Silver Jewellery by Cede, and Christina Watches Jewellery.


advertorial

No panda eyes for Christmas! by The Smart Skin Clinic

T

he skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, which means the first signs of tiredness, dehydration and ageing start to appear there before anywhere else.

As soon as you turn 20, consider applying an adequate eye cream – although more often than not, this alone is not enough. Even if you’ve been careful to try to prevent this, the skin under the eyes might appear darker than the rest of the face, while the eyes often slowly appear to sink into a ‘hole’. The first line of defence for the majority of us is to apply concealer, which can do its bit to cover up the problem. In the world of medical aesthetics, there are treatments available which can help improve these problems. Dark under-eye circles can

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sometimes be improved by drinking more water, but if this does not suffice, certain de-pigmenting procedures exist. Needless to say, these procedures should only be carried out by well-trained doctors following a detailed consultation. One of these treatments is the injection of fillers made of hyaluronic acid through very fine needles. This clear gel is hydrophilic, meaning that it absorbs water, so that the skin under the eyes appears fuller and the eyes seem to rise out of their socket. As a result, the face appears more refreshed. There is the possibility of swelling and bruising, and good after-care advice must be strictly adhered to, but within a few minutes this treatment can change the way a person feels about the way he or she looks!


photography

Fashion photography competition winner Following the announcement of the fashion photography competition three months ago, VIDA was very pleased to receive a great deal of promising entries from both local and foreign amateur photographers. Despite being spoiled for choice, Stefan Falzon’s photo, shown here, was ultimately chosen as the winning entry. The model’s styling and position coupled with the edgy location made this shot a winner. Stefan won 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.

Capturing romance photography competition There’s still time to submit your entries for last month’s romance photography competition. For a chance to win, send your romantic shots featuring a couple in love to snap@vida.com.mt or by post to photography competition, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD2214. The deadline for this competition is January 7th, 2013.

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.

Stefan Falzon

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culture

December’s tragedies and triumphs

by Martin Morana

Installation of Malta’s first power station On December 1st 1886, Malta’s Governor, Sir Arthur Lyon Fremantle, inaugurated the first electricity-generating power station. This was constructed below Crucifix Hill, Floriana. This, however, was not the first time that electricity was generated in Malta. Already in 1882, electricity was produced by a dynamo-generator to light up the Royal Opera House and St George’s Square, Valletta, on festive occasions. One must bear in mind that in the early 1880s, Thomas Edison had perfected his incandescent lamp and was also working on a power station that would supply the whole city of New York with electricity. The power station that was built in Malta was to run on coal fuel until many decades later. This technology could produce 2000 volts – enough to supply electricity only to certain areas of Valletta, Floriana and the Cottonera. Up until the end of the 19th century, most of the island’s towns and villages were to retain their old lighting systems both in the streets as well as indoors. Generally speaking, the streets were lit up by gas lamps or oil lamps in glass jars. For interior lighting, candles, oil lamps or paraffin lamps were used. It was only in 1930 that the power station replaced coal with fuel oil. Electricity in most towns and villages arrived quite late. Ħal Tarxien and Ħaż-Żebbuġ for example, had their electricity supply provided in the 1920s. Gozo, mainly Victoria and a few other localities, was to have electricity supplied in 1926. With the power station installed, the tram railway system as a new means of mechanised transport was introduced in 1905.

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The Messina earthquake and Malta At 05:30 on the morning of December 29th 1908, a great earthquake shook the city of Messina at the tip of the North Eastern side of Sicily, and Reggio, on Italy’s mainland, to the core. This and several other subsequent tremors were so powerful that the entire city was razed to the ground. The earthquake also caused a tsunami that affected certain coastal regions of Sicily and Italy’s mainland. The eathquake was also felt in Malta, but there were no reports of deaths or damage to buildings. However, it was noted that the sea around Malta had swelled to rise in certain areas by some one metre. In the port of Marsamxett, the water rushed inland and even reached and entered houses that were situated on low lying land in Msida. Immediately after the earthquake, the British authorities in Malta sent numerous Royal Navy ships from the Grand Harbour, to provide food supplies, medicines and doctors to see to the needs of the surviving poplulation of Messina and the surrounding areas. With the earthquake striking at a time when most people were asleep at home, more than half the population of the town was buried beneath the rubble. It was estimated that some 70,000 to 120,000 people had been killed in that region, and that thousands more were left homeless.


culture Malta is proclaimed a Republic On December 13th 1974, Parliament proclaimed the Maltese Islands a Republic. For the first time, Malta was to have a President instead of a Governor General, who would see to the safeguarding of the constitution. In this revised constitution, Malta was to retain all the civil rights proclaimed in the Independence Constitution of 1964. New laws that were enacted also emphasised the separation of State and Church spheres of legal power. This was indeed the time when civil marriage was introduced to Maltese citizens. The new Constitution was passed in Parliament by a majority vote of more than two thirds of parliamentary members. Republic Day is celebrated as one of Malta’s five national holidays.

Bush-Gorbachev Summit in Malta On December 2nd, 1989, the leaders who were representing the world’s two ‘super powers’ at the time, promised to bring an end to the long and tenuous Cold War. This ‘invisible’ war had persisted between the Soviet Union and the US-Western Alliance, practially since the end of the Second World War. In the Yalta Conference, (also known as the Argonaut Conference) of 1945, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill had discussed the ‘re-establishment of war-torn Europe. Each of their respective countries was to ‘protect’ and influence many of the European states for many years to come. As the years went by, this status quo had been challenged and shaken by all sides and because of this, the risk of a nuclear war was suspended like the Sword of Democles. In the 1980s, a series of talks known as summits were initiated between President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan to seek ways to bring this ‘Cold War’ to an end. The Malta Summit was held after another meeting that had been concluded in New York in December 1988. This meeting took place just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that is, at the time when East and West Germany were united, albeit not officially, into one country as before. This time around, it was decided to hold the Summit on board the Soviet ship, the Maxim Gorky which was anchored in Marsaxlokk/Birżebbuġa Bay. During the two days of the summit, the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on board the Maxim Gorky and US President George H. W. Bush on the USS Bellknap were assailed by very rough seas and North Easterly winds that persisted throughout. The outcome of the summit was that the decisions taken back in Yalta in 1945 were to be forfeited forever. In an unprecedented joint news conference, Bush declared, "we stand at the threshold of a brand new era of US-Soviet relations," and Gorbachev responded, "The world leaves one epoch of Cold War, and enters another epoch. This is just the beginning of a long road to a long-lasting peaceful period."

United Nations adopts Malta’s proposal to protect global climate On September 21st, 1988, the United Nations accepted to discuss Malta’s proposal to bring to the fore a topic which had up until then never been brought to the discussion tables. This topic was to define a new threat to mankind – climate change. It was then agreed that this proposal was to be discussed in the UN’s 43rd session. On December 6th, 1988, during the plenary meeting of the General Assembly, the United Nations discussed and unanimously voted for the Resolution 43/53 entilted: “Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Mankind.” In this resolution, it was admitted that there was emerging evidence of growth in atmospheric concentrations of ‘greenhouse’ gases that could produce global warming. This fact was acknowledged as a cause for alarm, and implied that such a state of affairs was not tenable. Greenhouse gases would lead to undesirable consequences such as

rising sea levels and melting ice caps in the poles. Another concern that was raised was that other emissions were leading to the depletion of the ozone layers, thereby exposing the earth’s surface to increased ultraviolet radiation. An international strategy was to be initiated so that the world’s climate would be given its due attention and be protected from manmade causes that were leading to its deterioration. The resolution was to formally instruct all member states of the United Nations to consider climate change as a common concern and that the United Nations was to introduce tangible remedies to counteract such degradation. The resolution was to give a kick start to a series of international fora that would eventually lead to other more tangible resolutions that were to be activated by numerous states around the globe.

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murder cases

Murder in Malta by Edward Attard

Roża Micallef –

Jealousy was the motive M

en and women have been moved to kill for many discreditable reasons, but one of these reasons can sometimes evoke sympathy. This is when the mind of the killer is consumed by passion. Such crimes would have been caused by jealousy, hatred or adultery. Shakespeare called jealousy ‘the green-eyed monster’, and most lawmen and criminologists recognise it as one of the most violent of all emotions that lead to crime. The murder of 19-year-old Roża Micallef was undoubtedly the most sensational uxoricide of the nineteenth century locally. Roża was precious to her husband, Ġużeppi, but he was too fearful of losing her. This fear was the result of jealousy. The couple, which had been married for some months, lived in a farmhouse in Magħtab. Roża’s parents had objected to this marriage, as Ġużeppi’s brother was married to Roża’s sister and the marriage was not a happy one, but Roża did not heed her parents’ warnings. Roża and her husband worked in the fields with her parents. She was a lively woman and enjoyed talking to relatives and friends, but her husband objected to this behaviour and warned her to be less talkative. Two days before the murder, she was seen waving to her uncle, Alessandro – an affectionate gesture that triggered a quarrel with Ġużeppi on the night of the murder. After sunset on Sunday October 8th 1899, Roża’s brother Teofilio heard his brother-in-law crying for help as his wife had been hit by a shot accidentally fired from his shotgun. According to Ġużeppi,

the shotgun was resting against the wall when he accidentally hit it with his foot. The firearm slid to the ground and accidentally discharged, hitting Roża in the breast. When the police arrived, Teofilio told them that some time before he heard the shot he had called on Ġużeppi to give him some money. Teofilio said that when he was at his sister’s house he was sure that something was afoot, but chose not to interfere. As regards the shot, Teofilio said that when he heard it, he thought that Ġużeppi had shot his neighbour’s dog that had been barking at the time. The post-mortem examination revealed that the shotgun had been discharged from a high position, and not from the floor as Ġużeppi had alleged. Court experts appointed to investigate confirmed that Roża did not die as a result of an accident.

Ġużeppi was charged with his wife’s murder and his trial opened on May 28th 1900. The prosecution produced witnesses who testified that the accused was very jealous of his wife, but Dr Etienne Micallef, the defence counsel, maintained that the accused was jealous because he feared that he might lose his wife and had no intention of killing her. The accused was unanimously found guilty and sentenced to death. Representatives of the Chamber of Advocates, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Council of Government petitioned the Governor Lord Grenfell to commute the sentence, but the governor refused the appeal. 20-year-old Micallef was executed on June 6th 1900 – the only man in Malta to have been hanged for uxoricide since 1800.

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

Malta's European Drag Racing champion, Manty Bugeja

Eight-year-old karting champion Jean Sammut is turning heads in UK karting

The island of motorsport champions by Joe Anastasi

M

alta has been called all sorts of things in the past. ‘The island of sunshine and roundabouts’ and ‘the island of yells, bells, and smells’ spring to mind. But doesn’t ‘the island of motorsport champions’ also have a good ring to it? What’s more, it's perfectly true.

by BRM karts for the second season in succession, and young Jean Sammut has been turning many team managers’ heads with his excellent results in UK National karting.

We also have a newly crowned 2012 Time Attack champion in Josef Calleja, who has already claimed the ‘Racing’ class championship in Sicily driving his Subaru Impreza with one round still to go. The odds are on for another Maltese competitor to win the ‘Pro’ class within the same championship at the forthcoming last round at "Maltese Racalmuto on December 16th.

Just two months ago, the motorsport fraternity in Malta celebrated what has probably been the biggest motorsport success to date, when Manty Bugeja sprinted Joe Carabott’s ‘Mr Whippy’ dragster to a European record time, as well as the European Championship crown for 2012, at the Santa Pod competitors have Raceway in England. And as though that wasn’t been excelling, despite enough, Chris Polidano in his father Kalanċ’s a lack of facilities and dragster joined him on the podium in second co-operation from the place. Gold and silver to Malta – it doesn’t get much better than that. local authorities"4848 Yet it isn’t just the drag racing discipline of motorsport that has excelled, for even on the hill climb and circuit scene, as well as the off-road scene, Maltese competitors have been excelling, despite a lack of facilities and co-operation from the local authorities. We have young ‘karters’ like Jean Sammut, Gianluca Dingli, Clayton and Jacque Mizzi winning National and International karting races regularly in Italy and the UK. Indeed, Jacque has moved up a step and is now planning a season of Clio racing in the UK with help from his father and local Renault agents Kinds. Gianluca Dingli has again been chosen as a works driver

Available from John Bull Tel: 21571025, 99448738

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Racalmuto has been a happy hunting ground for Maltese drivers for some years now. It is the nearest ‘real’ circuit we have in terms of distance, and thanks to regular sponsorship from Virtu Ferries is also reasonably affordable. The Racalmuto adventure started in 2009 when Joshua Anastasi was crowned the first Maltese circuit champion in his first year of circuit racing. Since then, championships have also come the way of Alan Curmi and David Anastasi, whilst numerous others have won, either overall or within their class, in hill climbs in Sicily in recent years. Names like current local hill climb champion Zach Zammit as well as Matthew Zammit, Johann Spiteri, Patrick Gauci, Adam Bugeja and others have featured regularly on the results pages of Italian magazines such as Autosprint and Sicilia Motori, though in Malta, it is a shame that it all still seems to go unnoticed by the local authorities.

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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pets

Ehrlichiosis and Sandfly disease vs. your dog I

would very willingly bet that all dog owners in Malta know something about Sandfly disease. Unfortunately, they are often not as familiar with the disease known as Ehrlichiosis, which is just as common and just as debilitating if not treated on time. A little knowledge in this field will serve dog owners well and will definitely help to reduce the further spreading of this disease in Malta. Last October marked the second anniversary since San Frangisk Animal Hospital in Ta’ Qali opened its doors to give a service to the general public and to help stray dogs and cats picked up by the Animal Welfare Department. Statistics gathered during the past two years show that the occurrence of Ehrlichiosis in dogs in Malta is just as common as that of Sandfly disease. To illustrate this fact, our statistics show that out of the 587 stray dogs tested between 2010 and 2012 at Centru San Frangisk Animal Hospital, 27% were diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis, whilst another 21% were diagnosed with Sandfly disease. Ehrlichiosis bears the name of its discoverer, Dr Paul Ehrlich, a Prussian doctor who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908 for his great achievements in Immunology. Leishmania donovani, the organism causing Sandfly disease and Ehrlichia canis, the organism that causes Ehrlichiosis, are both spread by vectors. Sandfly disease in the Mediterranean basin is spread by the Phlebotomus sand fly, while the brown dog tick known as Rhipicephalus sanguineus spreads Ehrlichia. After the Ehrlichia canis organism is injected into the dog’s body by the tick, it attacks various types of cells that are in the blood, and if left untreated, will also attack other major organs within the dog’s body like the liver, kidney, spleen and bone marrow. This line of attack is very similar to that exhibited by Leishmania donovani, the organism causing Sandfly disease. For this reason, clinical signs of these diseases are very similar, mainly a general malaise, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, bleeding wounds on the skin, bleeding from the nose and neurological signs such as loss of balance and tilting of the head. A drop of blood is ample to distinguish which of the two diseases is causing the debilitating clinical signs. Blood tests give a result in just 10 minutes, and nowadays we can also check for both Leishmania and Ehrlichia at the same time, as the tests are combined. Once dog owners know that ticks can spread Ehrlichia, they can better prevent this disease. Ticks are more visible on their dog then the Phlebotomus fly, which is barely visible to the naked eye and is on the dog for only a few minutes. Ehrlichiosis is generally curable if diagnosed and treated early – that is before it spreads to the major organs. On the other hand, Sandfly disease is not so easily curable. Whereas nowadays Sandfly disease may be avoided and prevented by vaccinating your dog, there are no vaccines available against Ehrlichia. However, other products exist which can successfully prevent ticks crawling onto your dog, such as the correct applications of ‘spot on’ flea and tick repellents which must be applied on a monthly basis.

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Points to remember Ehrlichia Disease

Sandfly Disease

Sometimes deadly

Frequently deadly

Dog owners are not so aware of this disease

Dog owners are very much aware

Spread by ticks Very prevalent

Spread by Sandfly Very prevalent

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Clinical signs similar to Sandfly disease

Clinical signs similar to Ehrlichia disease

Reliable detection by blood tests

Reliable detection by blood tests

Treatment

Treatment

Prevention

Prevention

Flea and tick spot on products

Sandfly collar

Curable in early stages

No vaccination

Rarely Curable

Yearly vaccination

By Dr Trevor Zammit, DVM, Chief Veterinary Surgeon at Ċentru San Franġisk Animal Hospital in Ta' Qali.


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

Film of the month

Christmas at the movies

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It’s finally here. When the The Lord of the Rings trilogy came to a resounding conclusion back in 2003, the general feeling was that there had never been a more satisfying and well-made trilogy of films in memory, and that there weren’t many other books out there that could be adapted and reach such heights. The trilogy also managed the tricky task of pleasing both obsessive fans of the source material and the general filmgoing public, and there was hardly any aspect of the whole production that was not standard-setting and flawless. So, inevitably, the end of the trilogy also brought with it a certain feeling of sadness, like that empty feeling you get after a great holiday. Is that it? Do we go back to normal mediocrity now? Possibly, but it was inevitable that the ‘other’ great Tolkien story would also get the big screen treatment, despite it being a shorter, less epic and more childish tale. But hey, it’s got hobbits in it, and Gandalf, and even Gollum, so why not at least try. Things got delayed, and there was even a point when Peter Jackson, the director and driving force behind the initial trilogy, took a backseat role and handed the project to others. Common sense eventually prevailed, and sure enough we are now getting this prequel part of the tale with the same cast and crew that fared so excellently a decade ago.

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by Mark Camilleri

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Not all the cast needed to return, of course, but it was paramount that Ian McKellen reprises his Gandalf role, since he had inhabited those grey and white cloaks with uncanny precision and he truly became Gandalf on screen. Less evident but equally talented was Andy Serkis as Gollum, in that groundbreaking marriage of visual effects and character acting, which resulted in a CGI character that has yet to be matched. He’s back, of course, for the expansion of the infamous ‘riddles in the dark’ scene that got a brief mention in The Lord of the Rings but occurs in detail during the events of The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins is also back, since this is of course his story and not Frodo’s, but although Ian Holm does reprise his role, a younger Bilbo was needed for most of the plot, so the main new casting choice was the delightful Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, Sherlock) as the titular hafling. Accompanying him on his first adventure are thirteen dwarves, portrayed by interesting-looking but lesser-known actors who all seem to share a fine, manly singing voice. In a nutshell, the plot involves Bilbo accompanying the dwarves, hesitantly, on a quest to reclaim their ancestors’ gold from the hoard of the deadly dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch

– Sherlock, Atonement). Trolls, elves, shape shifters and unusual towns stand in their way, not to mention the pitch-black depths in which Gollum is fiddling with his precious ring. The adaptation was originally planned as two films, but earlier this year a not-toounexpected announcement was made that it will be a trilogy. I hope Peter Jackson has tonnes of great material, and I guess after his previous films we can rest easy in the knowledge that he knows what he’s doing. Let’s just hope it was a mostly artistic and not mostly financial decision. In the previous trilogy it was remarkable how he managed to end each film wonderfully, despite not strictly adhering to the book endings. Here it’s just one book with no immediately obvious satisfying endings mid-way, so that’s at least one surprise those who love the book can look forward to. At the end of the day, watching more of those characters, in more of those locations, with more of Tolkien’s dialogue, to the sound of more of Howard Shore’s music is better than we can hope for with most other film releases nowadays, so even if it fails to reach the lofty standards of its predecessor, this is still the undisputed highlight of this festive season.


cinema Life of Pi With Cloud Atlas and Midnight’s Children making it to the big screen in 2012, the list of truly ‘unfilmable’ books grows shorter. Here’s another one. The philosophical and quite unique novel from 2001 gets a gorgeous big screen revival, at the hands of celebrated director Ang Lee. One can only imagine the logistical implications of filming a tale in which the main character, a 16-year-old boy from India, survives a shipwreck and lives for more than half a year on a rescue boat with a fully grown tiger. As if the shipwreck wasn’t enough to ruin his day. Things go surprisingly well, however, and the life-changing journey will hopefully flourish as well on screen as it did on the page. Ang Lee is no stranger to making stunning looking films (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain), but based on this film’s trailers, we’re in for a whole new level of visual awe. It’s exciting to have Lee back in the limelight after a few years of lying low, and this seems to be one film that will appeal to all sorts of cinemagoers.

The Man with the Iron Fists Mostly famous for his musician role in the WuTang Clan, not-so-easilypronounced RZA has also branched out into cinema, including collaborating with Quentin Tarantino on Kill Bill. He also has a number of acting credits to his name, and this is his first starring role, besides being a film conceived, directed and produced by him. He pours his lifelong love of martial arts into it, and he managed to attract Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu to the cast. If you love martial arts and hip-hop music, this just might be your nirvana. If you’re more the Downton Abbey type though, this might not be your cup of tea.

Jack Reacher Tom Cruise’s post-Tropic Thunder renaissance continues, and just in case the Mission: Impossible franchise loses popularity, he has now landed another role as a modern day action hero, with franchise potential. Jack Reacher is a rather unorthodox but highly effective crime fighter, who uses his past military skills rather than donning any fancy costumes, and is quite good with his hands too. This film is an adaptation of just one of the series of novels about the character, and it’s adapted by Christopher McQuarrie, who will always be ‘the genius who wrote The Usual Suspects’. If you liked Angelina Jolie’s Salt from a couple of years ago, this should work as the male equivalent.

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger Purely festive films are in slightly short supply this year, and usually November would have already brought a huge Christmas film with it. So this one, despite being a lower-key British comedy, might end up being a popular attraction for those visiting the cinema in full holiday mode. It’s not a sequel to the nativity story (of course), but rather a sequel to the comedy from 2009 starring Martin Freeman. He couldn't return to this one, for obvious Hobbit-y reasons, so David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) provides some big name clout as a schoolteacher desperately preparing for the Christmas concert.

Gambit Gambit was a 1966 con film, and this remake gets a script rewrite by the incredibly talented Coen brothers (The Big Lebowksi, No Country for Old Men). Colin Firth stars as an art dealer who tries to fool his annoying boss (Alan Rickman – Love Actually, Harry Potter) into buying a fake masterpiece. Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary) and Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, Julie & Julia) also star, and with a cast like that, this should hopefully be a fun and frivolous romp.

Past perfect

Home movie gems from the past few decades that may need some dusting but never get old.

The Remains of the Day (1993) Before Downton Abbey and Gosford Park, there was another understated but meticulous treasure that showed the world of servitude and dedication to one’s household in all its souldestroying detail. A couple of years after he first terrorised the world as Hannibal Lecter, Anthony Hopkins gave a completely different but no less amazing performance as a butler who realises that his loyalties and priorities might have been misplaced. Emma Thompson is sublime as his co-star, but it is Hopkins who commands our attention and subtly makes our blood boil. There’s no action, there’s no overstated melodrama, but with the smallest of his gestures one realises the enormity of what has happened in his life. This is not one to watch if you’re feeling sleepy or are in danger of being interrupted. It’s one to savour with your eyes and ears wide open.

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events

Bay Music Awards 2012 Party like it’s the end!

Photo by bencamille.com

89.7 Bay’s ninth edition of the Bay Music Awards is set to take place at the Bay Arena on Wednesday, December 12th. The tagline ‘Party Like it’s the End’ highlights not only the fact that the event will be taking place on the eve of a public holiday, but also the energy anticipated at this year’s event, which for the very first time, will feature live performances including seven bands and live vocals for the solo artists. During the official launch of the awards last month, Kevin De Cesare, Director of Eden Leisure Group promised an even better show than last year, stating “This time we are really stepping it up, by having the BMAs Live, for the first time.” With this year’s event promising to be the most memorable yet, 89.7 Bay guarantees an array of surprises on the night, as the brunch to lunch host Ben Glover, Bay Breakfast host Dorian Cassar and the entertaining drive time host Nathan D take to the stage as your presenters.

Viewers' Choice

Each category has a unique SMS number. To vote, listeners are required to send the artist/band name to the specified number via SMS. Voting will commence on Friday, October 26th, and will close on Wednesday, December 5th. There is a strict limit of three votes per category from each mobile number. All nominees and numbers are presented below: Voters will stand a chance of winning a weekend break for two at the magnificent 5-star InterContinental Malta, along with a meal for two at the elegant Asian fusion restaurant Eastern Breeze. The Bay Music Awards will be aired on ONE TV for the first time on Monday, December 19th at 20:30, with a repeat show taking place on Christmas day at 15:00. Voting for the Viewer’s Choice Award will also open during the first screening of the BMAs, and will officially close at midnight on December 26th.

SMS Number to vote: 50 615 300 Best Newcomer 1.Planet Seed 2. Lost Emotion 3. Cryptic Street 4. Dimal

SMS Number to vote:

50 15 301

Best Dance Tune or Remix

Best Band

Best Solo Artist

Best Song

1. JJoy ft. Kel Stelfox 'Love Hangover' 2. Ruby ft. Laura Jae - 'Defenceless' 3. Carlo Gerada ft. Jan Cortez - 'My World' 4. Stevy Vee & Ross Paterson ft. Glen - 'Louder' 5. Corina - 'Battle of Wills'

1. Red Electrick 2. Scar 3. Saving Alexis 4. Three Stops to China 5. Dolls for Idols

1. Ira Losco 2. Brooke 3. Christabelle 4. Muxu 5. Kurt Calleja

1. Ira Losco - 'What I'd Give' 2. Red Electrick - 'Paul' 3. Carlo Gerada ft. Jan Cortez - 'My World' 4. Scar - White Lie'

SMS Number to vote:

SMS Number to vote:

SMS Number to vote:

SMS Number to vote:

50 615 302

50 615 303

50 615 304

50 615 305

Regular event tickets will be sold for €10; premium, front section ‘screamer’ tickets at €15; and a limited number of VIP tickets are available at €30 each – including an open bar and canapés. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.bay.com.mt/bmas.html The 2012 Bay Music Awards are sponsored by Coca Cola.

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events

visits

The Death of Snow White Launch @ MFCC

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1

2

1: Gayle Zerafa Cutajar, Lara Boffa, Daniel Azzopardi & Sarah Micallef (Photo by Kris Micallef)

Boux Avenue Launch @ The Plaza

1

2 1: MWG Directors with Richard Aquilina. Franchise Director for Boux Avenue Ben Arpa, Solange Arpa, Judith & Christopher Contaldo 2: Judith Contaldo, Georgia Henderson, Maria Azzopardi, Caroline Lyttleton & Solange Arpa

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calendar

Grand Culinary and Crafts Christmas Festival 2012

December 7th, 8th, 9th – MFCC – Ta’ Qali The Grand Culinary and Crafts Christmas festival will be a true feast for the senses, showcasing an extensive collection of culinary delights and crafts products from the Majjistral territory. Combining art, live music, a rich blend of local delicacies and irresistible culinary dishes, the Majjistral Action Group Foundation (MAGF) is set to deliver an unparalleled festival experience. MAGF knows that this festival can provide a significant social and economic benefit to our local community, its artists, voluntary organisations, local businesses, farmers, craftspersons and agroalimentary producers. With something for everyone, the festival is set to be fun for the whole family, and what’s more, entrance is free!

Events Theatre

Sports

Culture & History

Tuesday 4th

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578

Wednesday 5th

Internationally Acclaimed Soprano Emma Kirkby - St Paul's Anglican Cathedral - Valletta - 20:00 T: 2122 5714

Opening times: Friday, December 7th between 17:00 and 22:00 Saturday, December 8th between 10:00 and 22:00 Sunday, December 9th between 10:00 and 21:00

A Christmas Concert at the Palazzo - Sala Grande - Palazzo de Piro Mdina - 20:00 E: events@xarapalace.com.mt Thursday 6th

Violin & Piano Recital - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Feast of St Nicholas - Siġġiewi T: 2146 0827

Friday 7th

The Death of Snow White - MCC Valletta - 20:00 - www.mcc.com.mt

Go Teatru Unplugged 15 - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt The Classical Ensemble St Catherine's Church - Valletta 13:00 - www.maltaartevents.com

Christmas Exhibition

Christine X Art Gallery - Sliema. Dates: until December 31 Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 19:00 www.christinexart.com

Exhibitions in December

Cribs Exhibition

Auberge d’Italie - Merchant Street - Valletta Dates: From December 17th till January 6th 2013 Opening Times: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 17:30, Saturday 09:00 - 17:30 and Sunday 09:00 -12:45 E: info@mta.com.mt

Wizard Of Oz

MFCC - Ta’ Qali Dates: December 22nd till January 6th Show Times: December 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th - 20:00 December 29th & 30th - 15:00 & 20:00 January 2nd, 3rd, 4th 2013 - 20:00 January 5th & 6th 2013 - 15:00 & 20:00 T: 7979 6232

The Curse Of Snow White

Manoel Theatre - Valletta Dates: From December 26th until January 6th 2013 Opening Times: December 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th - 15:00 & 20:00 January 2nd, 3rd, 4th - 19:30 January 5th, 6th - 15:00 & 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

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Pantomimes

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

17th Annual MCBA Birdshow - St Vincent De Paul Residence - Marsa - 17:30 to 21:00 www.mcbamalta.com Saturday 8th

Blood Donation Mobile Unit Merchant Street - Close to Auberge De Castille - Valletta - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209

Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Cospicua - T: 2182 8413 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Ħamrun - T: 2123 2643 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Ibraġġ - T: 2137 0196 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Victoria - Gozo - T: 2155 6089 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Qala - Gozo - T: 2155 1355 Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Baħrija - Wied Gerżuma T: 2145 4108

Clubbing

Music

Go Teatru Unplugged 15 - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Un Ballo in Maschera - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 19:00 E: info@sjcav.org

Malta Comic Con 2012 - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 10:00 www.maltacomic-con.com

An Evening with Simon Schembri - Palazzo de Piro - Mdina - 20:00 E: events@xarapalace.com.mt 17th Annual MCBA Birdshow - St.Vincent De Paul Residence Marsa - 08:00 - 20:00 www.mcbamalta.com Sunday 9th

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - In front of St Francis Parish Church Qawra - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 The Death of Snow White - MCC Valletta - 19:30 - www.mcc.com.mt

Go Teatru Unplugged 15 - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Malta Comic Con 2012 - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 10:00 www.maltacomic-con.com

17th Annual MCBA Birdshow - St Vincent De Paul Residence - Marsa - 08:00 to 18:00 www.mcbamalta.com Monday 10th

Feast of Our Lady of Loreto Għajnsielem - Gozo - T: 2155 3710

Tuesday 11th

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578

Wednesday12th

Spotlight On - Manoel Theatre Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Final Year Dance Tour - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Bay Music Awards - Bay Arena 21:00 - www.bay.com.mt

Thursday 13th

Republic Day - National Holiday


calendar

this month Fund Raising

Blood Drive

Kids & Family

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to St George Preca Parish Church Swatar - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Feast of St Lucy - Mtarfa T: 2145 1045

Concert of Christmas Music - Parish Church - Siggiewi - 19:30 www.thenewchoralsingers.com Friday 14th

Baroque Concert Series - A Baroque Christmas - Robert Sammut Hall Floriana - 19:30 - T: 2122 3200 Carols by Candlelight - St Augustine’s Monastery - Victoria Gozo - 19:30 - www.scjchoir.com

Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Saturday 15th

Aida - St James Cavalier - Valletta 18:00 - E: info@sjcav.org Baroque Concert Series - A Baroque Christmas - Robert Sammut Hall Floriana - 21:00 - T: 2122 3200

Carols by Candlelight St Augustine’s Monastery - Victoria Gozo - 19:30 - www.scjchoir.com Sunday 16th

Feast of St Lucy - Ta' Kerċem - Gozo - T: 2155 1355 Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to St Bartholomew Parish Church - Għargħur - 08:30 to 13:00 T: 2206 6209 Grand International Cat Show - Radisson Blu Resort - St Julians www.maltacatshows.com

Santa’s Grotto - The Funny Farm Horse Rescue Association - Bidnija - 11:00 - 16:00 E: the.funny.farm.malta@gmail.com Tuesday 18th

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578

Wednesday 19th

Concert of Christmas Music - Parish Church - Siġġiewi - 19:30 www.thenewchoralsingers.com

Friday 21st

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

Fairs

December

2012

Nestlé celebrates the introduction of Maggi® products in Malta

Others

Saturday 22nd

The Christmas Concerts by Animae Gospel Choir - Church of Our Lady of Good Councel - Paceville www.entertainment.com.mt

Sunday 23rd

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - In Front of St Joseph Parish Church Kalkara - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 The Christmas Concerts by Animae Gospel Choir - Good Shepherd Chapel (Taċ-Ċawla) - Victoria - Gozo - www.entertainment.com.mt The 2012 Urban Jungle Mdina to Spinola - Traditional Xmas Road Race - Mdina - 08:00 E: info@maltamarathon.com

Tuesday 25th

Christmas Day

Wednesday 26th Boxing Day

L-Istrina - Live on all local TV Stations www.mccf.org.mt Friday 28th

The Classical Ensemble - St Catherine's Church - Valletta - 13:00 - www.maltaartevents.com

N

estlé Malta is celebrating the introduction of a new range of Maggi® products in Malta by transforming a yellow cab into a hot-meals-on wheels service for journalists. Maggi® brand teamed up with TV’s Aroma Kitchen resident chef Manuel Xuereb to prepare meals that were delivered at a number of newsrooms around Malta after journalists were asked to order their lunch through a digital menu. At the drop of a hat, Chef Manuel Xuereb had to prepare and cook mouthwatering main meals for journalists using Maggi® products and selected ingredients. Desserts from his newly launched Aroma Book 2 were also served. For over a century, Maggi® has been a widely respected brand for top quality products that enhance fresh inspirations for daily family meals. These are fast and easy to prepare at affordable prices from the local supermarkets and grocery and butcher shops. Find out more about the latest Maggi® products in Malta on facebook.com/MaggiMalta.

Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Saturday 29th

A Viennece Night - Christmas Gala - MCC - Valletta - 19:30 www.maltaartevents.com

Sunday 30th

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - In Front of St Dominic’s Church - Rabat - Malta - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209

Monday 31st

New years eve La Soirée Chic - Renaissance Club - Monte Kristo Estates - Siġġiewi -21:00 - M: 9911 3113

SNUG - The Villa Malta - St Julians - 21:00 www.facebook.com/thevillamalta

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 December 10th.

December 2012 Issue 36 vida.com.mt

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books

Give a book this Christmas

Maltese must reads Leħen tal-Fuħħar

Walid Nabhan, Klabb Kotba Maltin

Leħen tal-Fuħħar is a collection of novels covering various topics of social life written from different magnitudes. Linguistically there is a different scenario in each story. Thematically the man is the hot topic throughout. The majority of the novels are set in Malta or have a direct connection to it. The works are at times cynical and at others shocking.

Is-Sriep Reġgħu Saru Velenużi Alex Vella Gera, Merlin Publishers

There are a thousand reasons why a book makes the ideal present for Christmas, but there really is no need to print them here. Who would need a reason to give a book in the first place? Books are fun. This is the first and foremost reason why so many people worldwide love them. This is why libraries are places that many people visit every chance they get. Well... ok, maybe not so much in Malta, but definitely in most European countries. Even in Malta though, the library in Floriana is never empty – there are always book lovers browsing and getting lost in the colours and fantasies that books provide. Books are anything but dead. Yes, they may take different forms these days, and are not just made of printed paper, but they are still books. They can change lives and make worlds better, or at least, they can make your world feel better. Christmas is the ideal time to pass on your feelings about books. Help change lives this December. Give books.

News from bookland • Cambridge University Press and developer Agant have teamed up to launch two iPad apps providing an interactive spin on two of Shakespeare's most famous plays: Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Both apps include the full texts of the plays, along with audio performances, photographs of professional productions, glossary definitions, plot summaries, notes and articles by experts. • Javier Marias has recently rejected a Spanish national narrative prize for his novel The Infatuations because, he maintains, of a lifelong aversion to receiving public money. • Penguin, the most famous name in British publishing, has merged with Germanowned Random House.

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Alex Vella Gera’s name returns to the bookshelves with this explosive new novel that is already being considered his best to date. It sets off in the mid-eighties, where a group of hotheads is plotting the assassination of Dom Mintoff. The story then moves into present-day Malta, where the assassin's son – now an adult working in Brussels as a translator – is still coming to terms with his father's unexplained disappearance. A novel to savour, devour and excite.

Tqasqis

Trevor Żahra, Merlin Publishers

A new book by Trevor Żahra is always a great new occasion, and even more so when it's a children's book that tackles that most difficult of genres – poetry – in a way unique to Żahra. Poetry suddenly becomes fun, humorous, and accessible. The book title refers to Żahra's innovative illustration style for this book: cutouts and playing with light and shadow. A book for every child's collection.

Ħadd ma jista’ jsaltan... jew jieħu tron li mhux tiegħu Trevor Żahra, Merlin Publishers

This is the third and final book in Trevor Żahra’s trilogy, The History of Kartaksan. The story brings Granċella back into the picture (from the first book). Now eight years have passed, and Granċella has managed to bring peace and prosperity into Kartaksan. But her troubles are not over yet. This third book is packed with word play, satire and humour that at times makes you laugh out loud. It’s a children’s book that adults will also enjoy.

Sekonda qabel tqum/A second before waking Claudia Gauci, Edizzjoni Skarta

In this collection, Claudia Gauci ventures on an intimate journey, unveiling and discovering tiny bits of the universe happening inside her. Each discovery leaves her changed, at times shattered. Whatever the price, the journey is cathartic, subversive and inevitable. Claudia Gauci is a freelance translator/proofreader. 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


eating & drinking

Tmun Triq Martinu Garces Mgarr, Gozo

Once in a blue moon A

friend recently asked why I spend so much time in Gozo. This friend, I figured, hadn't been for a while.

up to catch the noon(ish) ferry, which meant we were seated at the 'new' Tmun by 13:00. The owner looks scarily like Charles Bronson, and has his demeanour too. Not a smiley chap but very efficient, and we complain about those owners who are too friendly right?

There is something about the place, a calm beauty that we don't recognise as our own – an innocence. I look forward to the simple things like a walk, which We took a seat inside as the tables were I never find time to fit into my oh-sobooked or occupied already on the spill busy schedule, a trip to Arkadia, as if I over terrace. I liked the fact you could were a teenager with pocket money on see into the kitchen, even though the a Saturday morning, buying youth of a chef made me feel every trinkets and a present year of my age this weekend was for home which I feel "The tartness celebrating. guilty for not missing, of the berries and a drive around the We had just fancied a plate of the softness of countryside stopping pasta, and my partner stuck the port made at roadside vendors, to his guns and had fettuccine (a thing I only do with prawns and zucchini, every mouthful in Malta when I which he somewhat regretted. very palatable realise I have forgotten He said it was 'fine' and we indeed." something in my grocery all know that means it wasn’t. I shopping) to pick up jars was swayed by the choices of meat, of Gozitan kunserva, capers or feeling mildly hungover from the evening sundried tomatoes... before and thus needing something substantial that would 'stick to my ribs' as From the second you are off the ferry, my best friend would put it. you can find a handful of good eateries. Having a diary that revolves around I was torn between a steak and the duck, mealtimes like mine means that my but list a dish comprising of berries and logistics and wardrobe have to be I'm in. Crispy female duck (which is carefully planned out. Having done the always better than drake) with berry and Saturday morning chores, we headed port reduction... sold.

Ambience

Service

Décor

Food

Both dishes arrived after we had nibbled at some bread accompanied by terrible olive oil that, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, was disguised in a ceramic bottle. Thankfully, the local pitted olives were a delight. The duck was beautifully presented, with a swathe of sauce (seemingly impossible to recreate at home) with berries that were evident mounds of flavour – perfect with the crispy-on-the-outside, pinkon-the-inside duck. The meat had been sliced and fanned, and was slightly over salty on the crust, but a dunk in the sauce soon addressed that. The tartness of the berries and the softness of the port made every mouthful very palatable indeed. Chunky fresh vegetables that were simply steamed and crunchy oven potatoes with a smattering of cumin arrived too, and were suitably demolished. The vegetables I can take full credit for. My partner had to finish my duck – there were a couple of slices too many for me, which meant he did leave the place with a better impression. I liked my food, and if I had time to waste and a belly to fill, I would eat there again, but its not somewhere I'd book a party, as the atmosphere was a bit flat and even slightly soporific.

Value

December 2012 Issue 36 vida.com.mt

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advertorial

Instilling a green culture

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ank of Valletta has long supported environmental issues through sponsorship of non-governmental organisations, but it would make no sense to do so unless the bank was simultaneously doing all it could to reduce its own impact. Bank of Valletta is fully aware of the importance of minimising the effects of its operations and services on the environment. Reducing its carbon footprint is a key issue which the bank has already embraced, and a ‘Green Manager’ was appointed last year to coordinate and drive all the initiatives and projects forward. This led to a number of achievements. Bank of Valletta has already greatly reduced its water and energy consumption, and is gradually reducing and recycling its waste. When it comes to the environment, one of the biggest barriers is making people believe that they can make a difference. The way to overcome this is through constant education and awareness campaigns, yet when considering a company with over 1,500 employees,

dozens of branches and hundreds of thousands of customers, getting the message across needs more than one voice. This is why Bank of Valletta has set up a pool of Green Leaders who will serve as the bank’s ambassadors for its green culture. These 60 people, drawn from across the organisation, were recently brought together at the Bird Park in Salina, where they discussed the bank’s targets – and how to reach them. There is a lot to be done at an individual level. For example, the bank can provide recycling services, but it is then up to each and every employee to make the effort to separate their waste. And while the bank has installed lighting and taps which turn off automatically to reduce waste, it is up to individuals to turn off their electronic equipment. The Green Leaders will not only try to motivate the people in their own departments directly, but will also organise activities such as tree planting, clean-ups and lectures, which will reinforce the Bank’s message about why we all need to go green.

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

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advertorial

Weight loss through strength training by Health Pit Operations Ltd

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eight training is essential to help you lose weight and most importantly, keep it off. One need not lift a large amount of weights to make a difference; rather, all that is often needed is a weight bearing exercise. What you have to focus on is engaging in strength muscle training while losing body fat through a controlled diet and not through starvation. By doing this, you will be able to maintain the muscle mass that you already have underneath your body fat while losing fat – the result being a greater proportion of lean body mass to body fat which leads to a slimmer body with no muscle loss incurred. Managing to get rid of body fat in this manner will enhance muscle definition in males, while females should not be scared to perform such training, as it is a misconception that lifting a few weights will turn them into body builders. Women with excess fat should keep in mind that part of this fat is stored within the muscle and not only in tissues, which makes the muscle look bigger. Starting to lose fat with strength training will result in making the fat within the muscle disappear. Therefore, even if your muscle begins to grow, you have to keep in mind that it is now taking the space that was once taken by fat. Moreover, keep in mind that it is very difficult for women to get very bulky muscles, unless they practise strength training very often and over a long period of time.

December 2012 Issue 36 vida.com.mt

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competitions

All competition replies should reach our offices by Monday December 10th. 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.

WIN MORE www.facebook.com/VidaMag

November ’s solutions

WIN! Simon Scarrow also writes a series for young adults. Can you name the first book in the series?

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Name: Address: Contact Number:

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Winners! Lux-it: Speranza Grech, Qormi The Fish Lounge: Sandra Sharples Audrianne Magro, Żabbar Marcelina Arabucka, Swieqi Rachel Agius, Attard Jennifer Cefai, San Ġwann Cristina Micallef, Attard Sa Re Ga Ma: Josianne Galea, Mosta Essence: Donna Micallef, Xgħajra Pierre Lannier Noel Pace, Żebbug Star letter: Nicholas A. Aquilina

What does the name Accurist stand for?

WIN!

Name: Address: Contact Number:

Trade enquiries: MaxiQuartz Spl 325, Zabbar Road, Fgura T: 2180 6661 – 7920 7632

Tisjir mill-qalb Eliseo Fenech Dorothy Galea Katherine Desira Muscat Sandro Bonanno Anthony Briffa Elizabeth Grech

8 years experience & VTCT Qualifications        

WIN!

Win Full Set acrylic/gel nails worth €42! The Nail Lounge: Triq San Silvestru, Mosta T: 2721 4351 M: 9921 4351 Name: Address: Contact Number:

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1 winner will win this Accurist watch with Swarovski Crystals & necklace worth €150

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advertorial This Christmas, Ta' Marija Restaurant have many surprises in store, including entertainment by our vesatile resident DJs, the popular and lively shows from J Anvil, as well as our serenading & charming duo mandolin & guitar players. Ta' Marija caters for staff parties, with a vast array of exciting menus to choose from, including our very popular Buffet with Rib Eye Carvery and a selection of Christmas Party menus from only €20.50 per person.

T. 21434444 | www.tamarija.com

For how many years has Ta’ Marija been awarded Best Maltese Food Restaurant from the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants?

WIN! €50

voucher!

Answer:

Name: Address: Contact Number:

A picture of Malta's social history The title of Ara X’Int Tgħid, when translated into English, sounds like a challenge. The author is challenging readers to check up on their knowledge about the history and background of different aspects related to the Maltese traditional way of life. The descriptions of each paragraphed subject are full of rich anecdotes and nuances of the Maltese language. By naming the book ‘Watch what you are saying!’ in Maltese, author Martin Morana is throwing down the gauntlet at the inqusitive readers, daring them to read through the array of subjects presented. These words cover a series of subjects that when woven together, form part of a very colourful and intricate picture of Malta’s social history that runs through some 7,000 years. The book contains descriptions of historic terms, military terms, liturgical words, toponyms of towns and villages and so on. Numerous descriptions on proverbs and idioms are also designed to assess the reader’s repertoire of such sayings. Ara X’Int Tgħid is full of colourful photos that help explain the meanings of some 350 subjects out of the 1,180 subjects presented in the 256 page book.

Now also open in Birzebbugia T:21421976 T: 21226020-3 1 HOUR SERVICE FRAMES FROM

€ 27.95

SUNGLASSES: POLARCEBE DAYSOFT UV: ONE DAY DISPOSABLE

Stressful work doesn't have to mean stressful eyes!

Puer Natus Est Grand Christmas concert

On Friday December 28th at 19:00, a grand Christmas concert by the Voci Angeliche Choir of Xagħra, under the direction of Mro Dr John Galea is being held at the Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady in Xagħra, Gozo. This annual event, organised by the Xagħra Local Council, is in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. The Voci Angeliche Choir, the official Parish Choir of the Xagħra Basilica, was established in 1984 and is made up of female singers, aged between eight and 40. The Choir sings during the main liturgical celebrations at the Xagħra Basilica and also performs at weddings, baptisms, funerals and cultural events. The choir is trained by the highly dedicated choir leader Grace Vella. Apart from traditional Maltese carols such as ‘O Ġesu Ċkejken Bambin’, this Christmas Concert will include some world famous carols such as the Carol of the Bells and In Dulci Jubilo. Voci Angeliche Choir will touch the souls of all those present with their angelic voices and will leave those present with a Christmas ‘boost’. Puer Natus Est concert is being held under the auspicious patronage of his H.E. the President of Malta, Dr George Abela. During the soiree’, a collection will be held in aid of the Community Chest Fund. Entrance is free. For more information please contact the Xagħra Local Council on 21563737 or visit www.xagħra.com

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only for kids

The story of the Christmas tree

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In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year, falling on December 21st or 22nd is called the winter solstice. Ancient people including the Egyptians, Romans, Druids and Vikings had different beliefs in connection with the solstice, but the majority celebrated by using evergreen boughs, which symbolised everlasting life. The decorated Christmas tree tradition we know today began in Germany in the 16th century. Devout Christians started to bring decorated trees into their homes, and it is said that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, was the first to add light to the tree via candles. German settlers went on to spread the tradition to America in the mid 19th century, although Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans

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By the 1890s, the Christmas tree was becoming increasingly popular in the US and throughout Europe, with variations of trees reaching from about four feet in height to much larger. The early 20th century saw a variety of Christmas tree decorations from homemade ornaments favoured by Americans to apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies preferred by Europeans. With the invention of electricity came Christmas lights, and the Christmas tree’s position as a holiday symbol was soon sealed.

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as late as the 1840s. In 1846, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were depicted in the Illustrated London News standing around a Christmas tree with their children. Queen Victoria was very influential and well liked during her reign, and as a result having a Christmas tree soon became the fashionable thing to do, both in Britain and America.

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Tree Evergreen Christmas Decorations Ornaments Solstice Lights Fruit Tradition Germany

Find 10 things related to Christmas trees in the grid and send us the solution by post. The correct answers will enter a draw to win the Nesquik Hamper.

Another chance to win!

Send us a drawing or photo of your Christmas tree to be in with another chance of winning the 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 December 10th.

Etienne Fenech, 8, is the winner of last month’s competition. He wins a hamper made up of Nesquik products.

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Vida Magazine December 2012 - Issue 36