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March 2013 - Issue 39

www.vida.com.mt

Peugeot ’s 2013 highlights

Beyond the General Election

A European honour and

How would you improve our political system?

the new sports coupe

- page 22

- page 18

Motoring & technology special

Driving stories Braving Malta’s roads - page 8

WIN! A forensic breakthrough

Capturing harmony

Easter recipes

Lighting design

Car Valeting Service, BEAUTY TREATMENTS, A HOT-STONE MASSAGE & MORE


editorial

This issue of VIDA’s special topics, I must admit, had me quaking in my boots. For starters, when it comes to cars, I’m vaguely able to decipher which part I have to put my key into for it to go vroom, and as far as description goes, I can’t get much further than colour and (general) size. Excluding the make, my own car, for example, is a smallish, black one. That’s as far as it goes. I’m a little better with technology. Although by no means a technophile, I do know my way around a computer, love to fiddle around with my SLR and can appreciate a shiny new gadget as much as the next person. It is for these reasons that the Motoring and Technology special scared me a little initially, though being the sort of person to love a challenge; I took it as an opportunity to educate myself. Laughing at people’s funny anecdotes of their experiences on the roads started it off on a good note, as did reading Mauro Busuttil’s touching story about his bonding experience over a modified car. Learning about all the great apps out there had me scrambling to update my Smartphone, and being a fan of CSI, I felt a stab of patriotic pride at hearing about Dr Kevin Farrugia’s achievements in the field of forensic science. Indeed, you learn something new everyday, so whether you’re an expert or a novice when it comes to motoring and technology, this issue of VIDA is packed with interesting features that are sure to catch your attention. Another topic that’s inevitably been on everyone’s lips these past weeks is the general election. David Vella’s feature provides a much-needed level view on the political goings on, staying away from specific parties and exploring six individuals’ suggestions for improving our political system – suggestions that, I feel, merit some consideration. Enjoy the issue.

Sarah Micallef

vida.com.mt Issue 39 - March 2013 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

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

Distributed by

facebook.com/VidaMag

N.B Please note that, with reference to the interview with Skimmed entitled ‘Of love and music’ published on VIDA’s February issue, the album Summer Lovers was partly sponsored by the Malta Arts Fund and the National Lotteries Good Causes Fund.

March 2013 Issue 39 vida.com.mt

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Contents Smile like you mean it!

6

My thing

7

Wacky races

8

Protecting our children from online predators

10

Solving crimes, one step at a time

12

Apps 1.0

15

Peugeot’s 2013 highlights

18

Using mobile phones while driving

19

Motoring – a la Maltaise

20

Beyond blue, green and red

22

Theatrical ‘happenings’

26

Looking at Malta, through fresh eyes

28

Street style

30

LFW AW13

32

It ‘s not your fault that weight-loss is hard!

40

Easter treats from around the world

42

How to be SMART

44

Sciatica

45

Your pregnant dog: before, during and after!

46

Maximising light in your living quarters

48

Dos and don’ts when viewing houses for sale

50

March movie madness

52

Shooting nature

54

Carmela Abela - Matricide

56

Events this month

58

Give in to your imagination

60

Anything to declare?

61

Competitions

63

Make your own car

64

26

15

46

54

30

Updates Letters Not for Profit

Malta Motorsport Federation (MMF)

Keeping it Short Marco Cremona

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letters

Your say

STAR LETTER Dear Editor, VIDA is a great magazine. I just love going through it online. I have a suggestion that I would like to share with VIDA readers, especially during the pre-election weeks. Set aside a recycling bag and fill it up with all the political propaganda including leaflets, brochures, etc you receive almost on a daily basis. Then, after the election, take this bag out on your locality’s recycling day, so at least, we would be doing our part in favour of the environment… hopefully it will spur on the political parties to plant a few trees too. Dunstan Edwards Mqabba

The little things Dear Editor, Thank you for another fab February issue. I especially loved the article about parenting, which is no easy task. It is also not an easy task to find the time to be lovers in a marriage when children require, and rightly so, so much time for themselves. Keeping the flame alive between spouses is also paramount for a healthy family. There are many little and beautiful things that can be done - all it takes is finding some time everyday for yourselves as a couple. Recently for instance, my husband and I fished out our honeymoon album and leafed through its pages. It was such a mundane thing to do and perhaps we often don’t think about it, but flicking through an album can bring such a smile to your face and lift your mood in no time at all. Photos bring past memories and emotions to the fore whilst strengthening the present. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make life beautiful! On this note, I loved the winning photo of the Capturing Romance photography competition. It only proves the point that photos (and the old tradition of flicking through an album) can be pretty magical. Keep up the good work and all the informative material that can teach everyone something. P. Zammit Paola

Political nightmare Dear Editor,

All-in-one Dear Editor, I would like to thank you for your magazine. I received VIDA via mail addressed to my boss, the chairman of a large local organization. Actually, we usually receive many such publications and I either read and keep or read and trash them, but I found something special within this magazine. It’s an ‘all-in-one’, containing health and beauty, events for the month, competitions etc. You can find all the subjects you’re looking for in VIDA. It is marvellous magazine, congratulations. Maha Mamdouh

• 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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I can’t wait for the election to be over. Everywhere I go, everyone seems to have gone politics-crazy. Every website I log on to, I am inundated with political adverts. I need to be careful which roads to take so as not to get caught up in a crowd heading to a mass meeting. Everyday when I get home from work, my letterbox is full of political propaganda, explaining in great detail who to vote for and even how and why to vote! Why must politicians address the Maltese and Gozitan people like children, warning us (in language almost as infantile as this) what naughty boys and girls the members of the opposing political party are, and how we shouldn’t lend them our toys because they will only break them? What an insult to the general public’s intelligence. Why, instead of working on concrete and well-researched proposals on how to make Malta a better place to live (and thus inspire people to vote for the right reasons), must they bicker and focus on one-upping each other above all else? If the childishness of our politicians reflects the status of our society as a whole, we are in big trouble. H. Said Mosta

Next month’s Star Letter winner will win a full car valeting service inc. interior cleaning, polish, wax and clay bar cleaning valued at €130.*

WIN!

*terms and conditions apply

Mdina Road, Attard | Tel: 2142 2154 | www.pitstopcomplex.com | E: info@pitstopmalta.com


updates Not Maltese voluntary organisations for profit

Malta Motorsport Federation

It all began… in 2006, when the government decided to back the efforts of a number of enthusiasts to establish a federation. A meeting was called by the Kunsill Malti ghalliSport and a statute drafting committee was established. The statute was finalised and the Malta Motorsport Federation was established on June 1st 2007. MMF quickly established contacts with the Maltese authorities and was recognised by the FIA. In 2009, MMF was registered as an NGO. Our missions are… to bring local motor sporting

clubs together; with a view to represent them nationally and internationally; to support, and protect our members’ interests as well as regulating any interest MMF deems fit in motor sport in accordance with the directives and decisions of the Executive Council of the Federation and of other international organizations of which MMF is a member.

Our enemies are... none in particular. However, practically 40 years since the former federation was formed, the new generation of enthusiasts have to go the extra mile to convince and explain its new strategies to others. Occasionally, MMF also suffers from armchair critics who often don’t know the facts, and this serves to make our work harder and the results more satisfactory. We have… 16 organizations affiliated within the MMF,

which are All Wheel Drive Club, Assocjazzjoni Sport Muturi u Karozzi, American Auto Club Malta, Classic Ford Malta, Island Karting Club, Island Car Club, Island Motorcycle Racing Club, Karting Club Malta, Malta Drag Racing Association, Malta Drifting Association, Malta Mini Owners Club, Old Motors Club, Minimoto Amateurs Owners Club, Porsche Club Malta, Source-R Modified Club, and the Valletta Grand Prix Foundation.

Our greatest achievements are… bringing various training courses to Malta due to our full membership affiliation with the FIA, and the agreement with the Italian Federation that recognises our licence for any event in Italy and Sicily. Our current projects include… new plans for

the development of a Road Safety and Motorsport Facility, which, supported by the FIA and various other entities, we presented to the local authorities and the three major parties in Malta in February. The facility will help to improve driving in Malta in general, and the modern training and testing facilities will increase novice drivers’ skills and serve as a training ground to blue light vehicle drivers. In addition, local motorsport enthusiasts can use the racing track during the evenings and weekends, as well as finally have a place in which to invite their foreign counterparts to race. One facility, two worlds!

T: 9949 4294 www.maltamotorsport.org

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

Keeping it short

My childhood dream was to grow taller (although being the shortest in class probably compelled me to try to excel). When I was born man was just about to land on the moon. Water is... something we take for granted. In a different place, at a different time, it is the difference between life and death. Hydrology is the study of water, which is not a sexy subject because the resource is generally underground, and therefore invisible.

MARCO CREMONA

It all started when my parents moved into a house called ‘Ilma Ċar’ in Attard when I was 10 years old (no kidding!) The best thing about my job is that I can choose the projects I want to work on. The high point in my career so far was getting nominated and shortlisted for the Stockholm Water Prize in 2012, which is the Nobel Prize equivalent for the water sector. My proudest life moment was standing on the summit of Mount Everest. My most memorable experience was delivering my pitch as a finalist at the CNBC Good Entrepreneur competition which was televised live worldwide, after I had completely messed up the dress rehearsal. The Malta Water Association is working well. I believe that in the two years we’ve been around we have managed to elevate interest in all things water to a higher level. HOTER sewage-to-potable-water process is an invention that is ahead of its time but will become state-of-the-art in the years to come. Malta’s flooding problem is political, not technical (as are all of Malta’s water problems). My ultimate wish is to see Malta as a centre of excellence in sustainable water management. I will never say never. Attitudes, opinions and experiences change and I think it is foolish not to adapt accordingly. Life is tough, but interesting and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. 2013 will be God knows! Let’s explore each and every day as it comes. I love weaving my scooter through rows of cars stuck in traffic. I hate pessimism, and pessimistic people who complain but do nothing to improve the situation they are complaining about. If I could change one thing I’d put myself in a position where I could change lots of things! The future is still to be explored. In the end, all that matters is that I sleep well at night.

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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.

Smile like you mean it!

I smiled at someone today.

Then it hit me.

And yesterday. And the day before.

‘I shall smile at strangers.’ I said. ‘And they will be proper, beaming smiles, not thin, weak little half-grins. My smiles shall be significant. They shall spread positivity and good will! I shall smile, those who receive the smiles shall smile and they too will pass it on. Soon everyone will be smiling!’ It was a quasi-religious moment of enlightenment, ruined only by someone interrupting me to ask if there were any Brussels sprouts left.

‘Hold on’ I hear you ask from the warm dampness of my office (the geyser in the bathroom next door has just started leaking) ‘what is going on here? Is Steve going all new age and wise on us? Is he about to start advocating avocado scrubs and suggest that we listen to nature imparting her wisdom in the wind? Gasp! Is he going to ask us to join a drumming circle?’ Erm. No. Although I do quite like avocado... It is just that I am, well, smiling more. It started out as a half-hearted New Year’s resolution, said in a moment of panic on January 1st, during lunch, whilst people were taking turns to let us all know about their (riveting!) pledges and promises for the next twelve months. When it came to me, I realized I had nothing. I panicked and, as I usually do in circumstances like this, said the first thing that came into my head – which thankfully was to smile more. The second thing that came into my mind was to make more corned beef sandwiches. Fortunately we were only doing one resolution per person.

I have had a few smiles gone wrong. One very muscular man asked me if I was smiling at his girlfriend. I was. Then he asked me why. But I only got as far as explaining that I wanted to spread my positivity, when he lifted me clear off the ground and threatened to remove my spleen.

‘But you already smile loads’ said Kat. And I did. And nodded and mumbled too. Especially on occasions when I realized she had been saying something I hadn’t been paying attention to, and now, she expected an answer.

Oh, and a man who’s car I bumped into told me that (and I quote) ‘if I don’t wipe that stupid smirk off my face he would wipe it off himself. With Psaila Street.’ Although this statement in itself brought up a plethora of questions for me (especially as we were nowhere near B’Kara) I decided to keep quiet and try to put on a serious face. At least until the warden got there.

‘What was that?’ I mumbled as I smiled and nodded. I hadn’t been paying much attention. I had been thinking you see, that my resolution was a bit rubbish. So I had to improve it.

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So I started smiling at strangers, and lo and behold... it worked. Strangers smiled back – most of the time.

An old woman who I smiled at hit me with an umbrella whilst pointing at my wedding ring and screaming that I was ‘a married man and should be ashamed of myself for trying to flirt’ with her.

Makes you smile though, doesn’t it?


real life

My thing Mauro Busuttil is a mechanic by profession, and enjoys modifying antique and modern cars and motorcycles in his free time. Here he talks about his favourite modification project to date.

F

or me, modifying a vehicle means making it better and faster. It's also about improving or maintaining its aesthetics – a blend of beauty and practicality. My love for modifying started from a young age. As a child, I use to help my father, who is a mechanic. I got my first job when I was eleven, holding a light above wherever my father needed to see. While he worked, I would entertain myself by observing what he was doing, and I slowly started to learn more about how cars work. This gave me a practical kind of knowledge that proved useful in modifying. I continued building on what I had learnt by studying motor vehicle electronics and mechanics – this continued to inspire my love of modifying as I was able to experienced first hand the buzz of dismantling and building different parts of a car. Once I finished my course, I wasn’t happy with just fixing cars – I wanted something more challenging and creative, and I found this in modifying. I literally started modifying anything that I thought could be tweaked, the obvious starting point being my own car. At the age of 18, speed was my number one priority but I couldn’t afford a fast car, so I bought a basic fiesta and changed the engine internals, added a turbo, intercooler and a bigger fuel pump. The satisfaction of achieving what I wanted creatively and without buying another car pushed me to take on other, more challenging projects.

My favourite project is a 1985 Ford Sierra that my father bought eight years ago. We wanted to transform it into a mighty four-wheel drive Cosworth version (basically making it the envy of very man who lived during the 1990s). It was a long overdue project and after countless Sundays of polishing, admiration and sunny Sunday rides, my father and I decided to embark on my favourite modifying project to date. Inspired by a car show we had attended, we decided that the car would be ready to go in 18 months max. We started by stripping it bare, leaving just the outer body. We then altered the chassis by creating tunnels to allow space for the drive shafts and fit the 4-wheel drive drivetrain, making sure to keep the project clean by respraying the chassis in the same colour of the body. Next we tackled the wiring and connections throughout the car. Once this was done, we cleaned, resprayed and fitted the 2.0L turbo engine and drivetrain, which made it look brand new, and refitted the interior with leather and new Cosworth bucket seats. The highlight was when we switched the engine on, and realised that everything was working perfectly. The project is dear to me because besides being a challenging learning curve in many ways, it was also one that brought my father and I closer. Watching my father beaming proudly when showcasing the car gives me huge satisfaction, and I feel that the car gave me an opportunity to show him how grateful I am that he introduced me to the world of cars, and inevitably, modifying.

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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voxpop

Wacky races Driving is a serious and sometimes dangerous business, but it can also put a smile on your face. VIDA asks people on the street about their driving experiences – finding out the scary, irritating and downright funny situations they’ve experienced on Maltese roads.

"One time, while I was driving a couple to a hotel from the airport, I looked back to realise that they were having an intimate affair on my back seat!"

Roberta Scerri, 19 Been driving since: still learning My scariest driving experience was during a driving lesson, when a trailer truck didn’t stop at the stop sign leading onto the main road where I was driving. What annoys me about Maltese drivers is that nobody uses indicators! My message to drivers is: remember you are not alone on the road.

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Antoine Apap, 43 Been driving since: 18 My scariest driving experience was driving through a very flooded road in Burmarrad. The funniest things I’ve seen on Maltese roads were a pony inside a mini minor and a horse whose bridle was held by a man driving a motorbike. What annoys me about Maltese drivers is women drivers – they should drive a bit more carefully. My message to drivers is: driving carelessly can kill innocent people.

Catherine Bugeja, 39 Been driving since: 22 My scariest driving experience was having a truck drive into my car while I was driving. I was shocked and frightened as I was heavily pregnant. What annoys me about Maltese drivers is that no one gives way to one another. Nobody takes other drivers into consideration. My message to drivers is: abide by the road code.


voxpop

Henry Farrugia, 50 Been driving since: 18 My scariest driving experience happened just 15 days ago. While I was parked, a bus was going to run into my car head on. Luckily, the driver braked his vehicle just a few centimetres away from me. The funniest thing I’ve seen on Maltese roads happened through my work as a taxi driver. One time, while I was driving a couple to a hotel from the airport, I looked back to realise that they were having an intimate affair on my back seat! What annoys me about Maltese drivers is when they don’t drive fast in the fast lane! My message to drivers is: drive with caution and adequate speed.

Joseph Sapiano, 34 Been driving since: 18 My scariest driving experience was when, as I was driving in the rain on a main road, my car turned one full revolution, ending up facing the opposite direction. The funniest thing I’ve seen on Maltese roads is some women’s driving manoeuvres... I’ve seen really funny ones! What annoys me about Maltese drivers is those who drive slowly on the fast lane – they should be fined. My message to drivers is: apply more caution and patience.

Esther Busuttil, 37 Been driving since: 18 My scariest driving experience was when I looked into the side mirror to overtake, and while I looked ahead and switched on the indicator, a car passed me at such a high speed that I didn’t see it coming. I nearly drove into it! The funniest thing I’ve seen on Maltese roads was a sofa carried on the roof rack of a mini minor. I like to keep a camera handy in the car, as I often happen to snap unusual, funny stuff. I even posted this one on Facebook. What annoys me about driving in Malta is the simultaneous building sites or road works causing constant obstructions. My message to drivers is: follow the road code!

Stephanie Sciberras, 19 Doesn’t drive My scariest driving experience was as a passenger when, as my brother stopped to drop me off, someone hit us hard from the back. I was lucky as I had just gotten out of the car, but unfortunately my brother was injured. What annoys me about Maltese drivers is that everyone always seems to be in a hurry! My message to drivers is: apply in practice what you are taught during your driving lessons.

"The funniest things I’ve seen on Maltese roads were a pony inside a mini minor and a horse whose bridle was held by a man driving a motorbike."

Caroline Wertheim, 32 Been driving since: 18 The funniest thing I’ve seen on Maltese roads a man walking his horse on a leash, very slowly in the middle of a main road. You can imagine the traffic this caused! What annoys me about Maltese drivers is driving too fast in residential or urban roads. My message to drivers is: take pedestrians into consideration too.

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special feature

Protecting our children from online predators

T

he internet has a great deal to offer. The opportunity to learn and research any number of subjects; to communicate with family and friends across the globe; to create and maintain a business; and the ability to plan your next holiday are just a few of the options available to the internet user. Unfortunately, not everyone uses the internet appropriately. Children are at risk of having their safety compromised when their information is accessible to others interested in both online and off line contact. The anonymity of the internet is of benefit to paedophiles and provides them with an environment conducive to the exchange of child pornography, identification of children to abuse, sexual interactions with youths, and support and validation from other adults who share the same sexual preferences.

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special feature What can parents do to protect their children? • Communicate with your children about potential online dangers. • Spend time with your children online. Have them teach you about their favourite websites. • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in a child's bedroom. It is much more difficult for an offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household. • Understand, even if your child seems to be a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that they are not at fault but the victim. Such actions are always the abuser’s responsibility despite them trying to convince the child otherwise. • Instruct your children: 1. to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online; 2. to never send pictures of themselves on the internet or online service to people they do not personally know; 3. to be aware that all that is posted online can never be removed; 4. to never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name or telephone number; 5. to never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance they could be sexually explicit images; 6. to never respond to messages or postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing; 7. that whatever they are told online may or may not be true. Aġenzija Appoġġ runs a hotline service to deal with child abuse over the internet. The Hotline team within Aġenzija Appoġġ operates an online reporting system which receives reports regarding potentially harmful online activity, and of websites containing Child Indecent Material. The Hotline team also offers support and guidance to children who encounter or have encountered some form of abuse online and delivers awareness sessions to children, teachers and parents on how to use the internet safely and on how to report when faced with illegal content. To report abuse, you can either phone Supportline 179 or visit the websites www.besmartonline.org.mt or www.appogg.gov.mt, search for the red button marked REPORT ABUSE and you will be directed on how to report illegal content encountered online.

"Communicate with your children about potential online dangers"

Besmartonline! Aġenzija Appoġġ is a partner with the Besmartonline! project, which is an EU-funded project led by the Malta Communications Authority. BeSmartOnline! brings together the efforts of national stakeholders working towards the safer use of the internet by children and youths. Further information is available from www.besmartonline.org.mt. Aġenzija Appoġġ (www.appogg.gov.mt) forms part of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (www.fsws.gov.mt), which also incorporates Aġenzija Sedqa (www.sedqa.gov.mt) and Aġenzija Sapport (www.sapport.gov.mt).

Reference:

Correction: Please note that FSWS’ feature entitled ‘Finding time to Parent’, which appeared in last month’s issue was

Article provided by Foundation for Social Welfare Services

Portelli as was stated. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide

written by Charmaine Mifsud Cardona, Family Therapist/Senior Practitioner at Aġenzija Appoġġ, and not Christine

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people

Solving crimes, one step at a time Together with a team at Strathclyde University in Scotland, Dr Kevin Farrugia undertook a research project focusing on the recovery, enhancement and lifting of footwear impressions from fabric at crime scenes. This project was a breakthrough for the forensic science community. Jane Vella meets Dr Kevin Farrugia, to learn more about his work and passion for forensic science and the use of science for the benefit of the court and the law.

D

r Farrugia admits that his PhD experience and project is the research he is most proud of. “It takes a long term commitment – it tests your sanity and I asked the question ‘Why am I doing this?’ many times. But in the end, the hard work paid off,” he says. “My research topic was actually given to me, I had no choice. I was sceptical about enhancement of shoeprints as a topic and my preference would have been analysis of drugs or fire accelerants. However after a few months I started to enjoy the research topic and I got really motivated,” he explains. The forensic community has accepted that the work was robust and that the methods are valid. Being published in a scientific journal is no easy feat, as your work needs to be reviewed by other scientists before publication. “My research showed that it is possible to get suitable enhancement and recovery even from a problematic surface such as fabric.” Dr Farrugia also had the opportunity to present his findings during an FBI conference. “This was another amazing experience – it was organised by the FBI and the National Institute of Justice in the USA. I was able to meet other experts in the field, people whose names I had previously come across in journal papers.”

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The use of a reagent called luminol that reacts with blood to give off blue light. Before the application of this chemical, nothing could be seen.

"Shows like CSI make people think that forensics is glamorous. It is not – it is dirty and takes a lot of time and effort"


people Dr Farrugia’s career actually began with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Malta. After his first year, he knew he wanted to venture into forensics later on. During his final year, he began applying for a Masters degree in Forensic Science in the UK. At the time, the best university for forensic science was the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Unfortunately however, his application was not accepted, so in the meantime he applied for a oneyear traineeship through IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students with Technical Experience) of which he was a member. “I was accepted in Switzerland to work on drug research at Novartis. My experience at Novartis was an exceptional one and provided me with a strong stepping-stone to my current career. I became part of the team and we worked on developing new chemicals that might target cancer molecules,” he says. “While in Switzerland I applied to the University of Strathclyde again and was accepted. So after my year in Switzerland I moved to Scotland in September 2006 and have been here ever since,” he explains. With his Masters completed, Kevin began looking for a job. “A few months later, my supervisor at Strathclyde contacted me to ask whether I was interested in a research project, so from just intending to spend a year in Glasgow I ended up spending almost five years in total at the University of Strathclyde,” he says. “Following the PhD research in forensics I was lucky to get an academic position at the University of Abertay in Dundee. I truly enjoy teaching at the university and the research associated with it, although for research you need money and time.” I ask Dr Farrugia whether forensics is as crucial to police work as portrayed in shows like CSI. He explains that it is crucial, although the field is misrepresented on television. “Shows like CSI make people think that forensics is glamorous. It is not – it is dirty and takes a lot of time and effort,” he explains. “They portray the image that one can get results in seconds – this is not the case either.” Besides his PhD research, Dr Farrugia has also worked on a number of other research projects, in collaboration with masters or undergraduate students. “Most of these are forensics related but I am also interested in the analysis of drugs and inks.” Looking to the future, Dr Farrugia aims to continue in academia, doing as much research as he can. “I stay in contact with police forces because at the end of the day they know what problems they are faced with. In this way, I know that the research is fit for purpose and can potentially help overcome barriers.”

Using different chemicals for staining blood.

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people

Does forensic science leave him time for anything else?

“A lot of the techniques and chemicals that are used have to be safe to apply at a crime scene – for example there is no point having a really good technique that uses solvents that are flammable and toxic. This goes against health and safety for the crime scene analysts, so we try and change the solvent or come up with an alternative technique.” Does forensic science leave him time for anything else? “Forensic science is my passion and work; however I do try and keep this just at work. Once I get home I focus on other interests like football, running, and walking in the hills of Scotland.”

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technology

Apps 1.0

It seems like everyone’s tapping away at some screen or other these days. Tablet computers and smartphones are becoming a mainstay in both business and pleasure. But despite unparalleled progress in the world of operating systems, processing speed and user interfaces, the most important thing about a phone or tablet is what it can do for you. Here are a few of technophile Rachel Agius’ favourite apps that make work easier, play time more fun and life in general just that little bit more comfortable.

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technology Productivity Wunderlist 2 – A to-do list can tame even the wildest schedule. Wunderlist lets you create annotated lists of anything, from groceries to movies you want to watch. You can also share these lists and collaborate – particularly useful when you want to make sure your favourite cereal makes it into the shopping cart at the supermarket. (Available for iPhone, iPad and Android; free) Evernote – This app is the assistant you’ve always wanted. It lets you take notes, make lists, save pictures and record voice memos, all the while organising everything into a friendly and simple interface. It even syncs all your notes between devices. It’s no wonder that this app has remained at the top of the list for so long. (Available for iPhone, iPad and Android; free) Google Drive – It seems the boys at Google can do no wrong these days, despite that little altercation with Apple over Samsung phones. Still, their products are always top-notch. In fact, the entire suite of Google apps – including Mail, Chat, Youtube and Chrome – deserve a mention. Google Drive stores your documents in the Cloud, enabling you to open, edit and send documents from any internet-connected device. It also allows collaboration between different contributors, making this exceptionally useful for teamwork. (Available for iPhone, iPad and Android; free) Story tracker – Any freelancer will tell you that keeping track of commissions and deadlines can be a total headache. This handy little app (which has a free ‘lite’ version) helps to keep track of what needs doing and by when. It also keeps tabs on what work has already been paid for – a nice perk for anyone. (Available on iPhone and iPad; full version at €6.99) iStudiez – This is one app whose paid version I would definitely recommend. If you or your kids are in school, this handy little app organises your timetable, lists your tutors and their email addresses, lets you mark down due dates for assignments and even exam details. It also merges your calendar events into one simple interface so you can see where you ought to be and when. The free version limits the number of classes you can input. (Available on iPhone and iPad; full version at €2.69. An Android equivalent is Everstudent Planner.)

Utilities Remote – This app connects your iPhone and iPad to your computer (or other computers on your network) and allows you to access the iTunes library and play tracks of your choice over the computer’s speakers. This is convenient if you’re entertaining and want to set change or skip music on your playlist or to turn the kids’ sound down from the next room. Or, if you just don’t feel like leaving your seat to change track. (Available for iPhone and iPad; free) VLC Remote – VLC is one of the most versatile media players currently available. It’s compatible with a huge number of audio and video file types and has an interface anyone can operate. This app is basically the remote control. Should your computer be out of reach, simply use the app to shift between files, pause the playback, speed it up or slow it down. Simple but effective, this is another one of those apps that make something already quite easy, easier. The paid version allows you to choose files from your computer but I find the free version, which lets you access just the current playlist, convenient too. (Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android; full version at €4.49 and €2.21 respectively)

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technology Egg timer – It does what it says on the tin. Choose whether you’d like your eggs hardboiled, medium or soft and this app will show a timer, set to the appropriate time to cook them. It also offers some interesting egg recipes for the more adventurous kitchen crusader. And it has some cute graphics too. The Android store also has many equivalents. (Available for iPhone and iPad; free) Weather 2x – Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting up to open the window and see what the weather’s like. With this app, you will never be faced with that awful predicament again. Offering some excellent graphics, the option to track the weather in several cities, 5-day weather forecast and a detailed day forecast, this app is a beauty to behold and a welcome addition to the devices of the meteorologically inclined. (Available for iPhone and iPad; €0.89) Flight radar24 Pro – Waiting for a flight to come in has never been so cool. Watch as flights, depicted by tiny aeroplane icons, crisscross the globe. You can find out their destination, times of departure and arrival as well as technical information like the aircraft type, speed and altitude. Fair warning though – it will eat into your data allowance fairly quickly and doesn’t play nice with older, slower devices. A limited free version is also available. (Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android; €2.69 and €2.09 respectively) Check out the next issue for Rachel’s pick of slightly less productive (but exponentially more fun) apps for your phone or tablet.

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March 2013 Issue 39 vida.com.mt

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motoring

Peugeot’s 2013 highlights Peugeot 208 voted Best Car of the Year 2013 in Spain The Peugeot 208 has carried off the prestigious national title of Best Car of the Year 2013 in Spain, and adds its number to a list of winners that already includes seven Peugeot models including the ‘2 series’ models from the three previous generations (205, 206, 207). For the 41st year of the competition organised by the major daily ABC, 54 models launched in Spain in 2012 were subject to an assessment by a jury made up of 36 motoring journalists. With 137 points, the 208 won by a wide margin, ahead of the Seat Toledo (79) and Hyundai i30 (57) on the podium. The 208 concentrates Peugeot’s unique know-how in the ‘supermini’ category. Produced in France, it was launched in the European markets in spring 2012, and has continued its international deployment during the second half of 2012 and in early 2013 with sales in Russia and then the industrial and commercial launch in Brazil. Last November, the 208 had already reached the podium in the B segment in Europe, being head of its category in Holland, Portugal and Denmark, in the second position in France and the third position in Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Norway. In spring 2013, the 208 range, already having a wide range of 10 engines with particularly well controlled fuel consumption, will be expanded with two emblematic versions: the 208 GTi, which will revive the legend, and the 208 XY, with its exclusive and refined charm.

Why Peugeot 208? Stylish design, cutting-edge interior, brilliant seats, more rear legroom, super-efficient and refined engines, loads of standard kit, and a premium feel throughout. Sample driving the Peugeot 208 justifies it all, as due to its light weight it is more agile and returns more feel. Looks wise the 208 generates the latest feline expression, with a floating grille that’s bound to find favour across both genders. The rear-end treatment subscribes to the same appealing design language, with a thoroughly unique taillight assembly that differentiates the 208 from any other vehicle in the segment. Viewed from any angle, the Peugeot 208 is easy on the eye. There’s an overall softness to the design and a sculpted sophistication with the low-hanging front and rear bumpers. It is eco friendly Co2 from 88g/km, combined consumption figures from 3.8ltrs/100, and user pocket friendly too – starting from €12,800.

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New-look 2013 Peugeot RCZ sports coupe The restyled, new Peugeot RCZ, which had its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012, will soon be here. Central to the re-style of Peugeot’s popular sports coupé is a dramatic update to the vehicle’s front face, and is further reinforced by an enhanced specification and a wider choice of equipment options with new colour and trim combinations. It still retains its popular ‘Sport’ range line-up, which boasts of a generous spec list as standard. However, the new version, in addition to the new look and enhanced specification, remains very competitively priced, starting from €31,600.


motoring

Using mobile phones while driving A truck driver gets distracted when his mobile phone rings. He takes his eyes off the road but does not answer the phone. He hits a cyclist and kills him instantly.

A driver overtakes a vehicle at 90mph in heavy rain, loses control and hits a tree, dying on the spot. When the police officers check his phone, they find a text message. A driver is killed when she drives head-on into a truck whilst using her mobile phone. She had just sent a text message before losing control of her car. These accidents happened in the UK. Nevertheless, similar situations could happen in Malta. Mobile phones first appeared in Malta during the early 1990s, but were expensive and bulky. Modern mobiles are small, compact, easy to use and have become an essential part of our lives. Besides enabling people to maintain contact with family, friends and business associates, access to a mobile phone provides safety benefits by enabling us to alert breakdown or emergency services when necessary.

However, there is considerable concern over using a mobile phone while driving, as it creates a significant accident risk. A mobile phone can distract the driver, impair their control of the vehicle and reduce their alertness. A study carried out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) in conjunction with THINK! Road Safety has demonstrated that 10% of drivers had been distracted by their mobiles at the time of their crash. An analysis of a sample of police reports on crashes between 1995-1999 sought to identify the major sources of driver distraction. Using a mobile while driving topped the list of distractions, which included other sources such as ‘adjusting radio/ CD’, ‘eating and/or drinking’, and ‘passengers’ amongst others. The study suggests that the risk of being involved in a collision is four times higher when using a mobile phone. In Malta, €100 fines apply for using a handheld mobile phone while your vehicle is in motion, but isn’t your life and the life of others worth more than that?

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motoring

Motoring – a la Maltaise

On this motoring special issue, Joe Anastasi takes a break from his regular motorsport feature to give his take on the state of motoring on the Maltese islands. Fasten your seatbelts.

M

uch has been written about the state of motoring in Malta, and much will keep being written on an almost daily basis. There is of course good reason for this, so much so that I really don’t know where to start. The roads themselves are a mix of widths, surfaces, grip and general condition. Whilst attention has been given to some main roads in recent years, virtually all secondary roads have been abandoned – Dwejra Hill in Malta immediately springs to mind. However, the surface condition of roads is not the only cause of problems. It is also a question of design in general. Who in his right mind, for instance, would rebuild the main and only thoroughfare taking all the traffic from Mellieħa to Gozo with single lanes, when there was plenty of space to make it a decent two-lane dual carriageway? As for the actual road surfaces, the least said about them, the better. My work over the last 50 years has involved me indirectly in vehicle performance and handling, and it is with regret that I state that the coefficient of adhesion (in other words, grip) of Malta’s roads is the lowest in Europe, and with most roads, even below the minimum requirement. If you don’t believe me, try riding a motorcycle at anything above the pace of a tortoise on a wet road. Signage and design leave a lot to be desired too, and I don’t know whose idea it was to place pedestrian crossings right on main junctions, creating unnecessary traffic jams and posing a danger to pedestrians. The three pedestrian crossings in Mosta Square immediately spring to mind. Each of these could

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have been placed 20 meters further up the road, solving all the problems instantaneously. Internationally, over the last two or three decades, awareness towards road safety has grown tenfold. Cars are built to be a lot safer, handle better, and brake better. Seat belts are now obligatory – a very good move, as was the compulsory use of approved helmets for motorcyclists. But why is it that I keep hearing and reading that other items of safety equipment such as roll cages, full harness seat belts, and wider wheels and tyres are being shunned by the authorities? The ‘lap and diagonal’ seat belt as found in your average road car is the minimum requirement by law, internationally. A number of high performance cars are fitted with the much safer (and much more expensive) 4, 5 or 6 point full harness, yet I hear that cars that turn up for their VRT with full harness belts are failed, because they should have the less safe lap and diagonal! What's wrong with us? All racing cars are fitted with six-point belts these days – it is a compulsory requirement for Motorsport bodies worldwide because a full harness is the safest form of belt. Surely, if they are good enough for racing, they are excellent for your safety in your road car? All baby seats are fitted with full harness belts by their manufacturers, so surely they are not unsafe? Why then, are they not being encouraged if people want to feel safer by fitting them to their road cars? I have also heard arguments against the fitting of roll cages in road cars, but none of them have convinced me. A roll cage, as it’s name implies, is a strong additional structure built into the


motoring car to stop it crumpling in case of frontal, rear and side impacts and rolls. Most roll cages are manufactured with very specialised materials by expert engineering companies, and are certified by international safety institutes. One of the lame arguments I have heard against the fitting of roll cages is that in the case of a crash, the Civil Protection will have a more difficult job extracting persons from a crumpled car, to which my reply is that with a roll cage fitted, the car won’t crumple, so there won’t even be the need for the intervention of such personnel.

"why are we being told that we may not avail ourselves of tyres and wheels that will help make our travels safer?" Another argument, which makes a bit more sense, is that in the case of a rear impact, the driver can damage his head against the central roof bar of a roll cage. This would only be the case however if firstly the car seats do not conform with modern standards and don’t have headrests, and secondly the roll cage itself is not fitted with a headrest, which most homologated cages are. I remember that as far back as 1979 I was made to fit a headrest to the roll bar of my Mini when racing in Italy. Nowadays these headrests are found in both seats and roll cages. The one that really perplexes me however is talk of not allowing wheel and tyre sizes other than those fitted as original equipment by car manufacturers. My own company has been in the tyre business for well over 100 years. I have attended numerous conferences and studies on tyres and their performance, and perhaps the most fundamental principle throughout has been the fact that the grip of a car to the road is dependent on the size of the tyre patch. Dunlop, along with other reputable tyre manufacturers produce an excellent manual each year that catalogues every motorcar in production throughout the world and makes recommendations of tyre and wheel sizes suitable for each vehicle, dependent on required usage, loads, speeds, and conditions. It is like the tyre supplier’s bible, and is usually produced in conjunction with the car manufacturers and the safety institutes of numerous countries. In light of this, why are we being told that we may not avail ourselves of tyres and wheels that will help make our travels safer? I could go on for ages and bore you to death about the idiosyncrasies of local motoring, but space doesn’t permit me to write any more this month. I will therefore close on a somewhat different tack. Those that have known me throughout my 50 motoring years will immediately associate me with the Mini Cooper. Well, the big news is that I have bought another one, and am thoroughly enjoying rebuilding it in my garage most afternoons, albeit at a much slower pace these days. I can’t wait to have it back on the road!

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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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special report

Beyond blue, green and red Dreaming about a revolution... By the time you read this, Malta may, or may not, have elected a new government. By now you’ve probably already made up your mind about who’s going to get your vote, if at all. Actually, perhaps you’ve voted, or given up your chance to do so, already. Amidst the promises, accusations, proposals, manifestos, conjectures, scandals, dreams, plans, flags, mass meetings, toothpaste-advert smiles, flyers and growls, VIDA caught up with a few individuals who accepted to go beyond blue, green or red and explain how they would improve our political system. David Vella meets Professor Godfrey Baldacchino, Marie Briguglio, Dr JosAnn Cutajar, Abigail Mallia, Lino Spiteri and Mario Vella.

Marie Briguglio Dressed simply, carrying his policies, with a handful of loyal volunteers, David approached Goliath. The two-headed giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults. David said, "you come against me with billboards, TV stations and big business, but I come against you in the name of those citizens whom you have defied... it is not by force or money that we will elect. For the battle is fought for the citizens. And they will use their weapon, the vote.” As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung his policies at Goliath's head. Finding a hole in the armour, the stone sank

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into the giant's right forehead, which hit his left head, and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath's own deeds and raised them in the sunlight for the people to see. When the privileged saw that their hero was defeated, they turned and ran. So the citizen persevered and voted, and a new voice came to be in parliament. This is my main wish for our democracy right now. Marie Briguglio is an academic and a screen-writer.

"And they will use their weapon, the vote."


special report Professor Godfrey Baldacchino Nothing quite excites the Maltese like the thrill of an electoral campaign (well, a Eurovision song contest finale perhaps); to the extent that we often miss the wood for the trees, and the means for the end. The real mission of an electoral campaign is beyond itself: it is all about what happens next: for a party to secure office, and political power, and govern. So, how many of us are thinking about life after March 9th 2013? How do we want to be governed in the long term before another election looms? What is the relationship between governed and government that we aspire to? Are we resigned to experience more of the same? Here are my three inter-related proposals, controversial no doubt, just to get you thinking about a different form of relationship between our politicians and the public at large: Cut down the number of members of parliament elected from each of the 13 districts from five to three. We have 65 members of parliament for a sovereign state of just over 400,000 souls. Sometimes, we have them topped up to 69, given the quirks of our electoral system and to avoid such perverse election results as that of December 1981. With some 330,000 eligible voters, that could mean one deputy for every 4,700 voters. Do we need such a close and intimate political system? Moreover, we have had 65 deputies elected to the House since 1976; at that time, there were no local councils, so such a cohort of politicians would have been easier to justify, seeing to all sorts of constituent matters. But, since 1993, this is no longer the case: a regiment of 68 mayors plus hundreds of councillors, most of them fielding political party affiliations, have taken over local administration, crowding out political work that would have been handled before by nationally elected politicians. We don’t need 13x5=65 members of parliament anymore. 13x3=39 would suffice. Indeed, various countries with populations close to the Maltese figure also have less deputies than we currently do: such as Luxembourg (with 60), Suriname (with 50) and the Solomon Islands (with 51).

"No more Dom Mintoff or Franco Debono wild cards." Assign a political party with a majority of first count votes with extra seats so that it has at least three seats more than the opposition. The details of this arrangement can be worked out later. But the argument

is simple: no more Dom Mintoff or Franco Debono wild cards, holding parliament and the Prime Minister hostage. Sure, it makes for high political drama, feeds the media with so much to write about, and so many of us run riot with speculative gossip. But this does not become a modern parliamentary democracy. It does not become a country courting foreign investment that requires stable and efficient decision-making. We can remove this one-person primadonna drama by ensuring that any government – as long as it secures a majority of first count votes – will start with a three-seat majority, at least. (We already have the one-seat amendment to the electoral law in the constitution, invoked in 1987, 1996 and 2008; so the principle is already accepted.) Have proper by-elections whenever seats get vacated. Some would argue that enshrining a threeseat majority (as I propose above) would just make for more arrogant governments, even less accountable to the public; however it just makes it less likely for a Member of Parliament (even if a loose cannon) to have a critical impact on the process of government. This can easily be rectified by having proper by-elections when they are required. Currently, whenever a parliamentary seat is vacated in the course of a legislature, the ballot boxes from the immediately previous election are opened and a replacement declared on the basis of voter intentions then. This is quite ludicrous, when you think about it: Dr Michael Asciak was ‘re-elected’ to the House from the 8th electoral division on 5th December, 2012, following a casual election. But wait, there was no voting on that day; the process merely counted votes that had been cast on March 8th, 2008, almost five years earlier! Should not by-elections reflect the voter sentiment of the present, rather than of the past? Is not such a measure more likely to keep the government of the day sensitive to voters and on its toes? This is normal practice in other countries. Moreover, would not an open election in this way also allow an Alternattiva Demokratika candidate to stand a somewhat better chance of being elected, than with the current system? It would be up to the voters to choose, not up to what they would have chosen, in markedly different circumstances, sometimes years before. There should be nothing casual in a Maltese casual election, where a political party always gets to hold on to its seat; only the incumbent changes. This has to end. So there: three highly provocative, integrated and interrelated proposals, making for a leaner (and less expensive) Parliament, obliged to be more accountable, yet starting off with a stable mandate, not as liable to be hijacked by a theatrical ego-trip. Prof Godfrey Baldacchino is Visiting Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Board of the Centre for Labour Studies at the University of Malta; currently serving as Canada Research Chair in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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special report

Lino Spiteri

"I would also introduce a reasonable threshold to make it possible for third parties to be represented in Parliament"

Our political system has worked well over the years. However, my preference would be for Malta to be a single constituency. We use this system to elect our representatives in the European Parliament. There is no reason why it should not work for general elections. The advantages would be that parties can focus more on central issues, and it would cut down inter-party rivalries, which are intensified by the multi-constituency system that we currently use.

If the system remains the same, or even if it is changed to the way I have just suggested, I would introduce tighter regulation on donations to political parties and overall election expenditure. I would also introduce a reasonable threshold to make it possible for third parties to be represented in Parliament, but in a manner that would not create instability. This means that the threshold would have to be pitched at a reasonable level. This proposal would be easier to implement if we had a single constituency. Mr Lino Spiteri is a former Minister of Finance and a leading columnist in local media.

Mario Vella I do not believe that our political system is the best option we could have. I would be much happier with proportional representation. Until we decide to opt for such a system we cannot seriously entertain talk of minority rights and progressive ideologies. However, the way I see it, the only way that the two major parties will ever bother to legislate in favour of an allinclusive electoral system is through brute force. I no longer believe such a historical change is possible through sober, civil discourse. I do not think that such changes can be brought about through a democratic process. Democracy is just a fascist's wh**e. In this case I think that the end should justify the means. That is if you really care about change in this lifetime. I am not sure myself whether I do or not. One other thing I would want is ensuring that the voter is fit to cast his vote in the first place. I don't believe that an individual who doesn't know the difference between a bucket and a spade should be allowed anywhere near a polling booth.

"I no longer believe such a historical change is possible through sober, civil discourse" Mario Vella is the lead singer of the Maltese band Brikkuni.

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special report "People who have been in power for more than ten years tend to take power for granted"

Abigail Mallia Primarily, I think the electorate must be encouraged to ponder, discuss and form judgement on the level of policies rather than simply following partisan allegiances. Having said that, it is essentially very difficult to read through the media and communication dynamics, which tend to add layers upon layers, and filters upon filters, making the way to hard solid facts practically inaccessible.

"The ones who succeed and progress are the ‘yes men’, the ones who never question"

We are mature enough as a nation to understand that journalists should declare their bias. Everyone has an opinion, perhaps not a fixed one, but we all have opinions of some sort at specific points in time. Journalists should feel comfortable declaring their bias, whilst still being professional in the way they go about acquiring information and communicating it to the public. A law regulating the financing of political parties is necessary. In such a small country it seems to be inevitable for the ‘you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours’ symptom to develop. Unfortunately, at least in my industry, Malta is far from achieving the meritocracy it deserves. I believe meritocracy is fundamental to any democratic society, as is accountability. Until people, starting from the ones governing, are made accountable, we will have to content ourselves with mediocrity. We will have to be satisfied with the idea that the ones who succeed and progress are the ‘yes men’, the ones who never question, and the ones who push forward the interest of the powerful. How can a democracy claim to be such, when people who do speak up about wrongdoings are often penalised? I think accountability and meritocracy can play a big part in creating a better political environment in Malta. Naturally, the two party system does not help. Still, even within the two party system, if individuals are held accountable, thus giving the electorate the power of not choosing the mediocre, this country would take a big step forward. Instead, so far, we are left with dismissive shrugs and raising of eyebrows, in acceptance of the status quo that is telling us this is who we are as a nation, this is what we need to accept. I categorically reject this. Abigail Mallia is a TV director and producer, and the founding director of Take 2 Entertainment.

Dr JosAnn Cutajar It is not the political system per se, but what the people do with it that counts. In Malta we need a more accountable system. People need to make their voices heard louder, and more often. In our country, social media is being used to delineate people's outrage at certain practices, such as the fact that the main road in Sliema was done and re-done a number of times in the last months. People who have been in power for more than ten years tend to take power for granted. If I had a say on the political system, I would make sure that politicians who have already made it to parliament twice are not allowed to participate in the next elections. There should also be more devolution of power. It is good that some political decisions are relayed to local councils. At the same time, party politics should be left out of local council elections. There are plenty of people who would be interested in participating in these elections, but the idea of party politics in Malta, which has become anathema for some, has kept some of the best people afraid of entering the fray. Dr JosAnn Cutajar is a senior lecturer within the Sociology Department of the University of Malta

And you? What are your proposals for a better political system in Malta? Do you agree with the comments in this feature? Send us your feedback on yoursay@vida.com.mt or post your comments on the VIDA Facebook page. We’ll feature them in our next issue.

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culture

Theatrical ‘happenings’ Photo by Astrid Pardew

Formed over 40 years ago, Dwal Ġodda theatre troupe have put up productions at a hall-cum-theatre space in Għargħur that they consider their home, as well as at the Manoel, Astra and in various towns and villages in Malta and Gozo. Ahead of their upcoming Good Friday production on March 24th, Sarah Micallef talks past, present and future with author and director Martin Gauci.

M

artin Gauci fondly looks back on how Dwal Ġodda was formed, admitting, “this may sound funny now, but way back in 1970, a group of youths in a Church centre wanted to find ways and means for boys and girls to meet freely.” Besides this endearing reason however, he maintains that the aim was always to “do something worthwhile” artistically. It started with Carmenu Aquilina being called in as the first producer. Martin explains that while the troupe’s first productions were a number of straightforward one-act plays and farces, “the yearning for more and better led us towards tackling plays by local established writers like Diacono, Chetcuti, Friggieri and Ebejer as well as translations of works by Miller, Pirandello, Wilde, De Filippo and Ayckbourn among others – these plays were penned by the members themselves.” So, I ask, what has changed since then? “The ways things are thought out, discussed and worked out. Our current ‘home-base’ is a derelict church hall which we transform – sometimes drastically – according to the needs of each production. Maturing while retaining a youthful vibe is key.” Some things however, haven’t changed at all, Martin maintains, citing “the enthusiasm and energy, the heated discussions and the sense of adventure” as components that have continued to form part of the troupe since the beginning.

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“In our Good Friday production, the whole village population, along with its extended families, is mobilised!”


culture

Martin Gauci

In terms of members, only a couple remain of the original group. Martin explains that Dwal Ġodda is currently made up of about 40 members with a core-group of 12 who have been together for about ten years. Having said this, he explains that in certain productions, up to a hundred people can be involved: “In our Good Friday production, the whole village population, along with its extended families, is mobilised!” When asked what the highlights have been in the Dwal Ġodda journey so far, Martin mentions that producing Ħitan by Ebejer on stage for the first time in Malta is high up on his list, as well as being the first group to present Ħadd Fuq Il-Bejt (by the same author) after it was produced at the Manoel. For Martin, it is a special feeling to “bring ‘classical’ plays to wider audiences, especially those who do not frequent or do not feel at home at the national and other established theatres.” Above all however, the most important thing to the members of Dwal Ġodda, according to Martin, is retaining their sincerity and humility. “The deeper you delve into this marvellous thing called theatre,” he asserts, “the more you realise how little you know and yearn to discover more. We may have achieved a lot, but as Ebejer says in Ħadd Fuq Il-Bejt, every next step is a beginning from scratch.”

Looking towards the future, Martin maintains that the troupe’s goal is to continue developing, as well as finding the balance between choosing a suitable script for them and their audiences and not being too script-oriented. In their immediate future, and next on their theatrical agenda is their Good Friday bilingual open-air production, which they produce in conjunction with the Għargħur traditional procession on Palm Sunday. Martin maintains that whereas it has been tradition for the troupe to put up this production since 1975, they innovatively change the stage-form and script from year to year. On this occasion, he explains, “liturgy, tradition and street theatre will transform the village of Għargħur into a modern day Golgotha, where various forms of art are being enacted. Traditional statues will be given the breath of life on stage, going on to interact with the audience.” Not having a traditional stage setup and making use of contemporary theatrical techniques involving audience participation, Martin explains that whereas it is difficult to attach a name to this artistic 'happening', the ultimate aim is to “help the audience in the perennial quest to reach inner truth. One has to be there, breathe in the air and feel the atmosphere... and savour what He has gone through, right up to Easter Sunday and beyond.”

Dwal Ġodda’s Good Friday production RITWAL will take place at Għargħur piazza on Sunday March 24th, 2013 at 16:30. For more information contact the troupe via email on dwalgodda@yahoo.co.uk, mobile on 7909 2624 or find 'Dwal Ġodda' on Facebook.

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interview

Looking at Malta, through fresh eyes Upon a visit to Malta as an art director for the film Judas, Russian painter Alexander Telin was struck by the island’s beauty and the harmonious way of life of its people. This inspired him to paint a series of striking paintings depicting Maltese subject matter, which he plans to exhibit next month. Sarah Micallef catches up with the artist to talk technique, achieving harmony, and just what it is about Malta that caught his attention.

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lexander has been painting since he was a boy, with his father also being an artist in his own right. When it comes to favourite artists, Alexander maintains that he has many, and every time he sees a work of art in person, as he recently did with a painting by Caravaggio, that piece appears to him like a miracle, and becomes his new favourite. Having said that, rather than note favourite artists, he cites the schools that most influence his work, namely Impressionism, Byzantine Iconography and the Renaissance.

With Angel. 120x100, oil on linen

The painter describes his work as “presenting the impossible as something that is possible”, maintaining that for him, painting is like meditation and almost even prayer. The process is triggered by witnessing a particular scene in real life, which is followed by a need to portray and capture it's perceived impossibility. Once the process has begun, it is the painting that leads him in the direction it wants him to go. “It is not just me,” he explains, “I work with the idea of the painting to bring a piece to life.” When asked what his preferred subjects are, Alexander maintains that while he likes to paint portraits and landscapes, the most important thing is harmony. In fact, many of his paintings make use of several aspects, amalgamating people with landscapes to create a harmonious scene.

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Portrait of the young lady. 50x70, oil on linen


interview

Gozo – UFO. 80x80, oil on linen

Vila Rossa. 50x70, oil on linen

When it comes to his Maltese series of paintings, Alexander explains that here, he doesn’t have to try hard to seek out an idea for a painting, stating, “An artist sometimes needs to zoom in on their surroundings to find inspiration to paint a particular scene. Coming from Russia, Malta presents a beauty that is unexpected for me. Some things I encounter in Malta are familiar and others aren’t, making them unrealistic in a sense, almost like a fantasy. I like to combine the two in my paintings.” He demonstrates this by making reference to a colourful painting depicting a scene from a village feast. It shows two feast enthusiasts hauling an angel statue off the back of a van – a scene which may appear fantastical to those unfamiliar with such aspects of Maltese culture and traditions, though possibly taken for granted by the Maltese people. According to Alexander, Malta has a specific kind of harmony and beauty that he values and attempts to tap into and celebrate through his work. He goes on to direct my attention to another, as yet unfinished painting he calls ‘Flame of Golden Bay’, in which groups of people having barbeques on the beach are depicted by means of a series of orange flame-like dots. The harmony of these families, who bring their children to the beach to enjoy one another’s company, appeals to him as aspirational. In the artist’s view, Maltese people’s way of life is exemplary, in that the country may be small and not excessively rich in terms of resources, but it’s people appear to live an enviable and harmonious life, even when compared with people in richer countries like his native Russia. On the subject of his upcoming exhibition, Alexander maintains that his paintings depicting Maltese subject matter are his way of thanking the Maltese people and Malta itself for proving such a rich source of inspiration. Moreover, he is also planning to exhibit these paintings in other countries in the future, via an international exhibition featuring the work of other artists from around the world. Trough this exhibition, he explains, he aims to display Malta’s beauty for the world to see.

An exhibition of Alexander’s Maltese series of paintings will run from April 11th to May 10th at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Merchant Street, Valletta with the support of Film Production Services Malta Ltd.

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fashion

Street Style This month’s street stylers provide a valuable lesson in layering for the cold winter months. Given our funny weather of sunshine one minute and rain the next, take a leaf out of their books to be prepared for anything!

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Jacinta Rokich, Beauty Therapist Sunglasses New Look Scarf Don't remember Jacket Tally Weijl Leggings Terranova Boots Kintai Bag Gift

Daphne Cutajar, Shop Assistant Hair accessories Claire's Accessories Cardigan BHS Top From France Skirt Miss Selfridge Tights Dorothy Perkins Boots EBay

David Balseris, Student Jacket Bershka Top Street market in Lithuania Bag & scarf Cropp Town Jeans Zara Shoes From Mosta

Anton Schembri, Technical Officer/Gas Technician Sun glasses Ray Ban Cardigan River Island Top Pull & Bear Jeans Diesel Boots Selected @ Asos

Alicia Roslichenko, English Teacher Top & coat Zara Necklace DKNY Sunglasses Tory Burch Bag Prada Jeans Siwy Boots Medea

Maria Farrugia, Shop Assistant Earrings and bag Accessorize Hair band Stradivarius Jacket Shana Jeans & boots Pull & Bear

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fashion

Fashion F

Sci-Fi Go back to the future in minimalist silhouettes and sharp, clean lines in metallics, white and iridescent colours this season. The brighter you shine, the more sci-fi you’ll look, so add a gold plated belt, clad yourself in lamé and you’re all set for a look that’s out of this world (too much? Absolutely.)

LFW O

ut of all the fashion weeks, London Fashion Week has long been the one known for its younger, edgier and more urban vibe. Last month’s edition was no different. Featuring animal prints, a punk edge and even lashings of PVC, it certainly made for a noteworthy week of fashion in Britain’s capital. Here’s a breakdown of what went on, and what you’ll most likely be wearing, whether you like it now or not, come winter 2013.

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Polo necks. The humble polo neck will be freed of its dowdy associations come winter 2013, giving you a whole new reason (other than the fact that it’s too-bloody-cold) to don one. Seen on the runways of Victoria Beckham and Mulberry and favoured by trendsetters like Alexa Chung and Pixie Lott, your neck will thank you for it.

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1: Asos 2: Topshop 3: Ted Baker

Label we Beymen Collection Up until fairly recently, I had never heard of Beymen Collection. That is, until their Spring 2013 campaign had me stand up and take notice. Playing into my soft spot for retro 50s aesthetics, I couldn’t help but love the series of pretty images taken at the 1950s outfitted Pink Motel. The clothes, as modeled by Michelle Buswell, are nice too.

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Pink. Whereas winter is most commonly associated with darker colours, a number of collections at LFW featured an unexpected one – pink! Not being limited to just one shade though, you can opt for bright pink à la John Rocha or a more muted, dusky tone, as was the case with Topshop and Roksanda Ilincic.

Victoria Becham

Gold plating. Polished metal is set to be big come winter 2013, if LFW’s runway


fashion

Fairground

Stripes by Sarah Micallef

AW13 collections are anything to go by. My personal favourite is the gold plated belt as seen at Burberry that, thankfully, is available in cheaper versions on the high street, but I wouldn’t say no to a goldplated bag either, just saying.

You can’t get any more classic than stripes – they’re right up there with a crisp white shirt and your faithful little black dress. This season’s no different, with stripes featuring everywhere from clothing to accessories. Why don’t you try mixing horizontal and vertical stripes for a fresh take?

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90s. Having slowly been preparing for its fashion moment, the 90s revival came to a head with Rihanna’s collection for River Island at LFW. Featuring simple cuts on bodysuits, crop tops and thigh high splits, it’s essentially a pared down version of Rihanna’s own wardrobe, but one that fits very well into the mood of winter 2013. Wearable punk. Punk seems to have grown up thanks to collections such as that of Preen. Comprising of a colour palette of little more than red, black and white, the slick silhouettes paired with edgier, zippered pieces are what the majority of us can only hope to be sporting next winter.

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PVC. Shiny textures like PVC and latex don’t walk the runway often, but when they do, as they did for Meadham Kerchoff and Burberry at LFW, it heralds something special. High-shine panels and tailored pieces elevate the texture from fetish to sophisticated in one fell swoop come winter 2013. Burberry Prorsum

1: Asos 2: Miss Selfridge 3: Boohoo

Celebs Chequerboard It seems like the celebs have really taken notice of Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2013 collection, which was featured in the Label we Love section last month. Indeed, it would appear that I’m not to only one to be bowled over by the prominent chequerboard print within the collection, with the likes of Jessica Alba and Kristen Dunst among others all championing their favourite pieces. Jessica Alba

Kerry Washington

Kristen Dunst

Elettra Rosselini Wiedmann

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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: Brenda Casha at Supernovamodel.com Location: Michael Attard Ltd Showroom, Attard

Dress & shoes Miss Selfridge Bracelet Mango


Top New Look Trousers Miss Selfridge Shoes Topshop Necklace & bangles Mango


Blazer Topshop Dress & shoes Dorothy Perkins Necklace New Look


Dress Mango Shoes Dorothy Perkins Bangle Mango


Playsuit Topshop Shoes Mango Necklace Accessorize


health

It’s not your fault that weight-loss is hard!

by Richard Geres

In the fitness industry, we often joke that clients are looking for ‘a magic pill.’ But here’s the real joke: even if such a pill existed, clients wouldn’t actually take it.

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ompliance – people doing what they know they should – is a critical problem in the fitness industry, but pharmaceutical companies and doctors are gnashing their teeth too. You see, medical patients aren’t taking their pills either. When prescribed life-saving cancer, heart disease, and diabetes medications, patients take them a shockingly low 55% of the time. If almost half of people can’t spare ten seconds to pop a pill, how in heaven’s name can we expect them to eat right and exercise? Again, as nutritional and fitness professionals, we can’t help but wonder: What’s wrong with them? Why are people so… illogical? What can we do to help them stick to the rules we know can change their lives?

Are people really illogical? Most of us assume that people base decisions on the rational deliberations of the logical left-brain, our ‘inner grown-up’. However, behaviour research – including neurological imaging data – suggests otherwise. What really drives most of our decision making (whether we’re willing to admit it or not) is our emotional, empathetic, image-oriented right brain. People’s puzzlingly contradictory behaviour also reflects competing life priorities and brain circuits. They’re usually not aware of these internal conflicts, so it’s hard for them to even explain why they would sign up for a gym membership and then

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never show up. Or vow to eat better at 09:00 but end up eating chocolates at 21:00 on the same day. One of the reasons for this contradictory behaviour is the internal battle between the logical sections of our brain, such as the orbital-medial prefrontal cortex, or the OMPFC, and the reptilian or early mammalian components which control things like breathing, heart rate, fluid balance, mating and social behaviour, and our sensory and motor components (which help us see, hear, taste, smell, stay upright, and play tennis). In this battle, the primeval part always wins over logic. In essence, the ‘smart human brain’ contributes much less than we think.

Survival, threat and fitness These ‘reptilian’ and ‘early mammalian’ brain parts are dedicated to our survival. They want to feed us, keep us happy, keep us safe, and make us feel as good as possible. Despite this, dieting or embarking on a new fitness plan in the 21st century means purposely enduring discomfort, restricting activities and foods that soothe us (or give us a ‘high’), or adding more demands or stimulation to an already busy schedule. Why would anyone eat less and go to a gym with bright lights, loud music, and unfamiliar equipment, in order to expend excess energy?


health To the primal brain, these things are a threat. Threats require defence – such as running away or playing dead. In other words, bailing on a gym membership, “flaking out” on a meal plan, being lazy, or “forgetting” to plan a healthy dinner. So, trying to get someone to purposely endure restriction, social awkwardness, or discomfort goes against everything our brains evolved to do. It’s like trying to run new software on an old – very, very old – computer.

What about willpower? Finally, some evidence suggests that willpower – or the conscious control of unwanted impulses – may actually use up much of the brain’s fuel resources. Functional MRI studies that look at glucose utilisation in the brain seem to show that self-governance is energetically costly. The ability to discipline ourselves is like a bank account that gets depleted pretty quickly – especially if we’re making constant withdrawals without willpower-boosting deposits (such as enjoyment).

control and self-efficacy, they’re more likely to feel (and exert) willpower. In the end, you don’t need to be a neuroscientist to understand all of this; just remember three things: • In neurological terms, we’re wired for safety, comfort, energy conservation and ultimately, survival. • For most clients, working out and changing eating habits contravene those goals. • When humans perceive a threat (real or imagined), defence mechanisms kick in. Next month, I will discuss ways and means to develop strategies for lasting habitual change.

However, there’s some good news here too. Other studies on willpower also suggest that willpower strength also depends on beliefs about willpower. If clients believe in their own selfRichard Geres is an internationally-certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist focused on weight-loss and functional fitness. He can be contacted for seminars and individual consultations through his website: www.richardgeres.com Turn to page 63 for a chance to win a Hot-Stone massage courtesy of Richard Geres and the Apollo Spa at the Corinthia Hotel!

Spinning Jewelry – A combination for every occasion

S

ince its launch of the first combination rings in 2003, things have really taken off for Spinning Jewelry. Today, Spinning Jewelry is proud to be a key player in the international market for designer combination jewellery, but the focus is still the same: the individual woman and her very own personal jewellery. Unika Design was founded in 1985 by Hans Henrik Nygaard in humble surroundings in a basement in Aarhus. He wanted to create genuine jewellery for all types of fashion-conscious women – jewellery with an edge, personality and a touch of humour, and at a reasonable price, but without compromising on high quality. Spinning Jewelry has become a market leader at a record-breaking pace within the concept of ‘combination jewellery’.

very own jewellery to match a specific mood, occasion or outfit. At Spinning Jewelry, we underpin the design philosophy of personal jewellery with a full-scale jewellery concept comprising rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, all in an exclusive, but reasonably priced, universe of sterling silver, gold, pearls, diamonds and semi-precious stones. The high standards and good quality of materials guarantees that Spinning Jewelry is a great nickel free choice. The ring concept – which Spinning Jewelry was the first to introduce in the international market for combination jewellery – forms the foundation of the current collection that comprises more than 100 individual designs.

As the name suggests, Spinning Jewelry actively involves the enduser in the design process, allowing her to combine and create her Spinning Jewelry is exclusively represented by 202 Jewellery, Valletta, Sliema, Fgura, Victoria (Gozo), The Palace (Sliema) and Le Meridien (St Julians).

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eating & drinking

Easter treats from around the world With Easter just a few short weeks away, we’re already thinking of our tummies. VIDA takes a trip around the world to bring you a couple of traditional Easter treats from different countries. If you’re fed up of figolli, or just want to try something new this year, why not have a go at these?

Easter Bread

This interesting looking bread is a traditional Easter treat in Italy and Greece, as well as in many Eastern European countries.

via Bon Appétit

Ingredients

Preparation

• 9 large eggs • 2/3 cup whole milk • 5 tbsp sugar, divided • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast • 2¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 1 tsp salt • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces, room temperature, plus ½ tablespoon, melted

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave without boiling it. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 tbsp sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs and whisk until smooth. Combine remaining 4 tbsp sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add ½ cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes. Place 5 or 6 eggs in a medium pot. Pour in cold water to cover by 1" and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover pot, and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to a medium bowl of ice water; let cool completely.

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Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 16"long rope with tapered ends. Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet. Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure. Tuck eggs between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45-50 minutes. Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 190°C. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tsp warm water in a small bowl. Brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.


eating & drinking

Hot cross buns

These spiced, sticky glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses are a traditional British Easter treat.

via BBC GoodFood

Ingredients For the buns • 625g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting • 1 tsp salt • 2 tsp ground mixed spice • 45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing • 85g sugar • 1 lemon, zest only • 1½ tsp fast-action yeast • 1 free-range egg • 275ml tepid milk • 125g mixed dried fruit

Preparation For the topping • 2 tbsp plain flour • Vegetable oil, for greasing • 1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, and then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast. Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.

Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.

Preheat the oven to 240°C. Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water. When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.

Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale goldenbrown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, and set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball,

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health

How to be SMART

Now that the New Year has rolled in quite nicely, the majority of New Year’s resolutions have most likely gone out the window. This makes us wonder why we make such resolutions in the first place! Here is some SMART advice that can be applied to any resolution, but specifically aimed towards exercise. All of us have uttered promises like "I must get fitter", "I must lose weight" or "I must stop smoking" for the umpteenth time. Yet after a few days, or possibly weeks, we resort back to our normal routine.

The best option is to draw up SMART plans for a long term goal, for example six months down the line, but along the way, set different SMART plans on a monthly or weekly basis that will eventually lead to the final goal.

Your doctor may also have advised you on the same lines, but you have no idea how to go about it, besides not having the time or financial means to seek professional advice. Many times, the failure is from the word go, as the statements above do not have a proper plan to them, hence being doomed from the outset.

Remember that small steps are the best way to reach your target. When you climb a mountain, you do so step by step. Looking at the high mountain from a distance, taking it in all at once, makes the task seem too arduous!

So, what is your plan B? You get SMART! S – Specific: Set specific goals. Rather than "I want to get fit", set targets such as "I want to be able to walk for one hour" M – Measurable: The goal must be measured, such as to walk for one hour, or to walk for 10km. A – Achievable: If you have been relatively inactive for a while, do not set yourself high, unrealistic goals. Choose smaller, achievable ones. R – Realistic: Do not lie to yourself, as you will only let yourself down. Do not try to aim for impossible goals. T – Timely: Set a time limit within which you aim to achieve your goal, for example one month.

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An example of a reasonable goal could look like this: “I am currently able to jog five minutes without stopping, but I can walk for an hour continuously. I wish to be able to jog for an hour continuously in six months’ time.” Here, the person in question is motivated and has set a specific and measurable goal – to run for one hour continuously. This is an achievable, realistic target, with a set time frame. It will also be helpful to put smaller goals in between, for example: - To be able to alternate five minutes of jogging and 10 minutes of walking for an hour by the end of the first month. - To be able to complete a 30-minute jog at t he end of three months. Once the final goal is achieved, new SMART goals can be written up for the next target!

by Dr Danica Bonello Spiteri MD MRCP (UK) MSc (Sports & Exercise Med, Bath) Specialist Registrar in Sports & Exercise Medicine, Leeds, UK


Sciatica

health

S

ciatica is pain arising from a compressed or irritated sciatic nerve. This large nerve runs from the lower back, through the buttock region, and all the way down the back of the leg, ending at the foot. What causes sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is spinal disc herniation (slipped disc). The vertebrae in the spine are cushioned by intervertebral discs, which are tough and fibrous on the outside, but contain a gel-like substance on the inside. The gel inside can protrude outwards between the vertebrae pressing against the sciatic nerve, causing pain. Sciatica may also be caused by spinal stenosis – the narrowing of the passage of the sciatic nerve by arthritis, excessive thickening of ligaments or intervertebral disc prolapse. What are the symptoms of sciatica? • changes in sensation • numbness • tingling and burning • radiating pain from the lower back, along the buttocks, into one or both legs, down to the calf. Pain may worsen during coughing, sneezing or laughing and certain movement of the spine. How can sciatica be prevented? Weight control – extra weight adds pressure to your back. Good posture – balance your weight between left and right, and always keep your back and neck straight. Sit upright with your back supported, and use a footstool whenever possible. Exercise – walking and swimming both prevent and reduce back pain.

Did you know? • Onset of sciatica is related to age. It is rarely seen before the age of 20, peaking between the ages of 50-60. • Smoking has been linked with sciatica – tobacco disturbs the metabolic balance of intervertebral discs and coughing increases pressure between them.

References: Stafford, M.A., Peng, P., & Hill, D.A. (2007). Sciatica: a review of history, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and the role of epidural steroid injection in management. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 99(4), 461-473 http://www.webmd.boots.com/pain-management/guide/sciatica-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment (Accessed on 27-11-12) www.nhs.uk/conditions/sciatica/ (Accessed on 28-11-12) http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/ sciatica_sciatic_nerve_pain/ (Accessed on 28-11-12)

Text reviewed by: Mr Antoine Zrinzo

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pets

Your pregnant dog Before, during and after! By Dr Trevor Zammit, DVM, Chief Veterinary Surgeon at ト各ntru San Franト。isk Animal Hospital in Ta' Qali.

I

t is a happy time in a dog's life and an exciting one for its owners when their pet is expecting. When planning to breed your dog, primary care is to be engaged in. Good medical practice recommends the administering of deworming medications together with their yearly vaccination prior to mating. One also needs to be fairly acquainted with what to expect and how to handle this stage of a dog's life, which lasts an average of 62 days of gestation followed by a lactation period of at least six weeks. During the pregnancy The three main factors that an owner needs to bear in mind during the pregnancy of their dog are:

Diet and exercise: Confirming the pregnancy can be done by means of a noninvasive and reliable ultrasound after the 21st day of breeding. As for the size of the litter, this can be confirmed by an x-ray after the 45th day, as the formation of the foetal skeleton can be seen only after this date. Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, the expectant mother should be given good quality puppy food. This change in diet should occur one month into her pregnancy, enabling the dog to get all the extra calories, vitamins and minerals she needs. An unbalanced diet might cause the onset of hypocalcemia, that is, the reduction of calcium in the blood. This serious condition can easily be recognised as the lactating dog starts showing signs of severe muscular tremors and spasms. The pregnant mother should continue her regular walks and engage in her favourite exercise in order to keep obesity at bay. This will also ensure the dog will have less complications throughout the pregnancy and during the delivery.

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" It is normal for the dog to have a break of about 30 to 60 minutes between each puppy delivery"


pets The physical changes: Some external changes will be visible, such as weight gain, softer mammary glands and a fuller belly. The rectal temperature of the dog should be taken on a daily basis during the last week of the pregnancy in order to be able to tell when the delivery is to be expected. The preparations: Depending on whether it is a first delivery, whether the dog is a small breed and whether the litter consists of one or more puppies, the owner himself or herself may decide to attend to the delivery or seek professional help. Whatever the case may be, one always needs to prepare a basket big enough for the dog and her litter. It should be lined with old clean blankets and towels and kept in a quiet room away from any drafts and distraction. The dog should be introduced to her basket a week before the expected delivery. The delivery When the rectal temperature of the dog falls a few degrees below 38°C, the dog is expected to go into labour within 24 hours. The dog will experience some contractions and the cervix will dilate in preparation for the birth. It is normal for the dog to refuse to eat and show signs of restlessness, while in some cases shivering and panting may also be noticed. This first stage of labour may last anything between 6 to 12 hours. The second and third stages of labour result in the puppies being born, after the dog has been actively straining for about 10 to 20 minutes. It is normal for the dog to have a break of about 30 to 60 minutes between each puppy delivery. Should no other puppy appear after an hour, the vet will need to be consulted, as a medical or surgical intervention might be required. This only applies in cases where a litter of more than one puppy was confirmed. Toy breed dogs might require a caesarean section whilst large breed dogs with big litters may benefit from medical assistance to promote contraction of the uterus, as they may get tired half way through the delivery.

and if the mother is not producing enough milk to feed the whole litter, the puppies must be bottle-fed a good brand of puppy milk preparation. The weaning period starts when the puppies are about four weeks old and lasts for at least two weeks. Puppies must not be removed from their mother before they are at least six weeks old. During this two-week period the puppies will start nibbling on the food that is provided to the mother, and by six weeks of age they should be able to fend for themselves on this puppy food. As the puppies grow, attention must also be paid to the dog's mammary glands for any hardness or pain that may indicate complications – in which case the vet might have to be consulted. It is normal for the mother to produce a reddish brown to bright green odourless discharge for a number of days after giving birth. The puppies should ideally be weighed daily and, except for the first and second day, they should record a weight gain. Usually, the mother will help the young with excretion but the pet owner can also be of assistance, especially in the case of a big litter or when the mother is not around, by massaging the tummy, the anal and urinary area for efficient elimination of waste. A final word of warning Before mating your dog you must realise that you will be embarking on a commitment that will last for more than 100 days. Additionally, there is the responsibility of finding loving homes for the puppies. Above all however, it could be an educational journey for children of all ages that could teach them their first lesson in childbirth and introduce them to the greater responsibilities they will encounter as adults. Finally, having puppies is a wonderful hands-on experience for the whole family.

A puppy is expelled inside a clear amniotic sac, which needs to be ruptured by the mother or by the person assisting the delivery within a couple of minutes in order for the newborn to be able to breathe. The assistant will also have to tie the umbilical chord with a string before cutting it off from the placenta. In addition, each puppy will need to be cleaned and gently rubbed in order to stimulate respiration – this can be done with a clean soft towel. Since puppies cannot regulate their own body temperature during the first two weeks of their life, they must be kept warm using a hot water bottle or heating pad. Both must be covered with a towel to avoid burning the newborn puppies. Once the puppies are born At this stage, you as the owner of the proud mother and her new litter, will need to familiarise yourself with certain changes that need to be made in order to accommodate the new family members. Most importantly, the diet, for the mother and puppies alike, needs to be taken into consideration. The puppies must all get their first meal from the mother, which is known as colostrum and is rich in antibodies to protect them from disease. The mother must be kept on a reputable brand of puppy food for at least six weeks following the birth. The puppies need to feed every two hours

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homes

Interior Design

Maximising light in your living quarters L

ight has the power to enrich the perception of our surroundings. Indeed, our extensive vocabulary for describing light ref lects the variety of effects it can achieve. We define a soft light variously as hazy, shimmering or possessing a f lame-like effect. Bright light can be dazzling or brilliant, sparkling or radiant. Its colour can be described as warm or cool and very often we assign intensity to colour. The forms that light can take are equally diverse, from moonbeams and halos to rays and streams. It is this sheer diversity of light in the outside world which, when brought inside, can transform our interiors, revitalising and animating our living spaces and creating homes that are pleasurable, comfortable and most of all welcoming. Decorative finishes can also be light enhancing. Pale surfaces and colours are reflective, while dark materials absorb light. By this measure, daylight flooding onto light coloured and highly reflective tiles will reflect back up to the ceiling and give a sense of height and space. Conversely, black slate

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will reflect little light, making the room appear darker and the ceiling lower. One or two key objects such as lacquer ware and silk cushions will also help to catch the light while the judicious positioning of mirror glass, perhaps used full height in alcoves, will throw natural light into the darkest of corners. Even reflective surfaces outside can bounce light back inside. By selecting the right materials, living spaces can truly be maximised with light. It is fascinating how artificial lighting can determine how our home looks and feels and establish the dimensions we visually relate to a space. Artificial lighting is built up in layers. The first step is to determine the amount of natural daylight and sunlight that the space takes in a day, as well as the window orientation and its proposed colour scheme. When all is taken into account, layers of lighting start being built up. Usually, general lighting takes the first basic step, followed by amenity lighting, task lighting, feature lighting and mood lighting. With all the open


homes

plan areas we’re seeing at the moment however, all five layers are sometimes interconnected, not only through a sound dimming system but also often through surfaces. An expanse of cupboard doors lends itself to wall washing for example, which can provide general light in a kitchen by using the wall as a reflector. It can be equally effective in a bedroom with fitted wardrobe doors. When arranged on a separate switch, wall washing can also act as atmospheric feature lighting. Up lighters provide a soft, general light that is flattering to dinner guests, while also helping to add height to a space. Up lighting at its best would be flattering an object d'art as its main purpose, while its spill light is taken by the ceiling. Used wisely, a single set of lighting can have a double function. For example, as daylight fades casting a blue hue, supplementary kitchen lighting is provided by localised under cabinet task lights, essential in order to avoid working in one’s own shadow. At night they also help to provide mood lighting. Task lighting a counter can be as appropriate for a vanity unit in a bathroom as it is for a kitchen work surface. Used above a basin, task lighting gives glamour and sparkle to a marble surface and chrome fittings but is useless for facial lighting, as shadows are accentuated. By introducing side lighting either from decorative fixtures or reflected light, unflattering downward light is counteracted.

In bathrooms, an option for mirror lighting is to use indirect light behind the mirror itself. This creates the effect of a “frame of light” which, when reflecting off a white surface background, produces a flattering facial light. In a living room, an alternative to lamps is under shelf lighting, concealed for example by a cantilevered shelf to create a floating effect. Lighting underneath furniture gives added depth and an illusion of increased surface area. The thought of lighting underneath the bathroom basin may sound strange but works very well. Last but not least are the finishing touches. After the lighting layers have been built up and the installation is finely working, the lighting designer turns focus on decorative light fixtures, which play an important part of the whole decorative attire. They can provide light at any height from overhead to low level. Lanterns should always be used with dimmers and never at full strength, as the light needs to be softened. The use of clear lamps rather than frosted ones will add sparkle. Shaded sources, such as table lamps and standard lamps, look better with frosted lamps as they are used with soft, flattering, general light. In addition, if you use a clear lamp ‘bulb’ with a shaded lamp you will see the shadow of the shade carrier on the ceiling, so again a frosted lamp is preferable. Always keep in mind that each interior requires a different look, so select the appropriate fixture in each!

Olivia Ann Calleja is a lighting and interior designer who has worked on numerous projects locally, handling lighting and interior design services for residential and commercial units. She studied Lighting Design at University College in London and at the Institute of Lighting Engineers in Birmingham, and Interior Design at KLC School of Design in Chelsea.

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homes

Dos and don’ts when viewing houses for sale If you’ve ever tried to sell a house, you’ve probably had some issues with potential buyers who came to view it. Even in a buyers' market, there are several lines that shouldn't be crossed by people viewing a property for sale. Homeowners who are interested in selling their home may have had experiences where potential buyers brought dirt and debris in from outside, dirtying carpets and floors. Other negative experiences during home viewings include potential buyers freely opening doors and cupboards without asking, or worse still, leaving them open when they are ready. There is also the experience, though rare, of owners finding things missing after people came over to view the house. During a viewing, buyers must always remember that they are entering a private home, and they must be respectful. The first thing they must ensure in this regard is being on time for the viewing. People do not like to wait, and tardiness gives a negative impression. Ideally, when first viewing a house, you should just take along your partner or a friend. For a second viewing it is acceptable to bring somebody else, but in general, you should try to avoid having a lot of people along for viewings. During the viewing, a potential buyer should mention to the owner what is good and likeable about the house, and be thankful for the time. The worst thing you can do is say negative things about the house in front of the owners – they are probably very proud of their property the way it is.

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It may also be considered rude for a buyer to take a tape measure and a camera to a first viewing. Once an offer has been made and accepted, a buyer can then start measuring to see if the furniture fits – in fact, such behaviour may serve to prove to the vendor that the buyer is serious about buying the property. Another thing to be cautious about is making very low offers – these can be offensive, unless handled in the appropriate way. One must always back up a low offer by saying that it's at the top of their respective budget. Another good piece of advice for potential buyers is not to look scruffy when viewing houses, though conversely, if you look too smart, the vendor might assume you have loads of money! In addition, leaving children and babies at home is a good idea for the first viewing too, as they can turn the house into a playground. Finally, when viewing a house you must look interested, as if you fail to do so and intend to go for a second viewing; you’ll likely encounter a much cooler reception from the vendor on your return!

By Aidan Xuereb Dip.Mgt, MBA (Sion), MM General Manager, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Malta


cinema

March movie madness

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

by Mark Camilleri

Film of the month

Oz the Great and Powerful

March is usually a very slow month for new releases, since Oscar fever takes over the world of cinema, and the big releases of last year enjoy a brief renaissance in cinemas depending on whether they win some big awards or not. Thankfully, this year, we have at least one potentially huge film to look forward to this month. I was never a huge fan of the classic Wizard of Oz film. Maybe it’s because I find Judy Garland irritating as Dorothy, or maybe I watched it at the wrong age, but something never quite clicked. There’s no denying, however, that the whole Oz story, concept and mythology is quite fascinating, with that film being just one of the offshoots. So sure enough I loved Wicked (the stage musical which gives the witches’ backstory) and even the theatre version of The Wizard of Oz. There’s magic, there’s homesickness, there’s little folk, and there are of course flying monkey baddies. Plus the yellow

brick road, the intensely green Emerald City, and at the end of it, the Wizard, who may or may not be a complete fraud. What’s not to like? This film is a prequel, giving the wizard’s history – who he is, how he ended up in Oz, what exactly he is capable of, and maybe why he’s fond of green. So, many of the familiar elements will be there, but otherwise it’s a completely original story. The trailers, posters and other promotional material have all gone to great lengths to show the opulent colour and design of the film, and the way Oz has been recreated looks quite stunning. Disney, which is the powerhouse behind the project, has not too subtly depicted the film as very similar to Alice in Wonderland, which was their behemoth box-office smash from a couple of years ago, and which also had a visionary director recreating a magical world.

Movie 43 I have no idea why there are so many big names in this film. I’m hoping there’s some surprise in store, but so far it just looks like tonnes of A-class talent was somehow convinced to appear in a film that stoops to ‘Scary Movie’ levels of humour, and unprecedented levels of bad taste. There must be a catch. Which is probably why I for one will end up watching it – hoping against hope that there’s some twisted brilliance in there, and that the horrendous trailer was all part of the plan. I’m not, however, optimistic.

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That was Tim Burton, and this time it is Sam Raimi, who used to specialise in horror before he gave us a wonderful rebirth of the Spider-man franchise. The coveted role of the wizard was landed by James Franco (127 Hours, Spider-man) and the film features three seductive witches of varying intent – Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) and Rachel Weisz (Agora). Zach Braff (Scrubs) and regular, hilarious Sam Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) also feature. In another move possibly intended to reproduce Alice in Wonderland’s huge success, regular Tim Burton and Sam Raimi composer Danny Elfman was handed the music duties. If all the film’s expectations are met, and if Elfman conjures up a theme even half as glorious as the one he created for Alice, this trip to Oz will definitely be one to remember.

Broken City This thriller’s premise sounds like average afternoon TV fare, but hopefully it will be elevated by the noteworthy cast. Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) stars as a cop gone slightly wrong, who is hired by the city mayor (Russell Crowe, Gladiator) to investigate his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago), whom he suspects of having an affair. Jeffrey Wright (Syriana), Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) and Kyle Chandler (Super 8) have supporting roles, and the film is directed by half of the Hughes brothers, who last gave us The Book of Eli a few years ago.


cinema Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Hansel and Gretel (“Hansel? Haansel?”) is one of those Grimm fairy tales that, when you think about it, is quite intense stuff. The whole ‘house made of candy’ is trippy enough as it is, but don’t forget that the climax of the story revolves around whether the children or the witch are going to end up roasted alive in the oven. And then parents worry that a bit of gunfire on TV is what’s going to warp their children’s minds. Anyway, like numerous similar films in the last few years, this is a live action, stylised film loosely based on a popular fairy tale, with two Bond girls and the new Bourne in the main roles. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) and Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Avengers) are the titular siblings, and Famke Janssen (Goldeneye) is the mother of all nasty witches. I doubt this will be more entertaining than the Looney Tunes version.

The Croods This looks like the best bet for kids over the Easter break. I admit to never having heard of Chris Sanders, but a quick look at his filmography is enough to add reasonably high expectations to his upcoming projects. The man not only directed the wonderful How To Train Your Dragon, but back in the 90s heydey of Disney he was contributing his writing and other talents to cemented classics like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. This new project, which he co-wrote and co-directed, is an animated film set in caveman times, with a family of cavemen (cavepersons?) forced to leave their home and set off to find new pastures, whilst feeling threatened by change and inventions. It stars the vocal talents of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Catherine Keener. Part of the original story was apparently John Cleese’s idea, which can never be a bad thing.

To The Wonder Terrence Malick is hard to recommend. If you love his films, you probably really love them. But depending on your mood and the setting, there’s also a good chance you’ll hate them. The Tree of Life was beautiful from start to finish, but I could see why the overall film left many bored and cold. This looks like it will adopt a similar tone and pace, although it claims to tackle the more accessible and identifiable topic of romance and love. Ben Affleck, who by the time you read this will hopefully have ended his Argo tsunami with a Best Picture Oscar for his cabinet, stars alongside Rachel McAdams (The Notebook), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall).

Jack the Giant Slayer Yup, another fairy tale. Fee fi fo fum, etc., but of course this is the supercharged version for the big screen. I have higher hopes for this one though, compared to all the other fairy tale films of recent years, mostly because it’s directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men), but also because he roped in Christopher McQuarrie (also of The Usual Suspects fame) to polish up the script. The film stars Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man) as Jack, who finds his way in the world of giants, and of course has a princess to rescue. Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Ian McShane (Sexy Beast) and the inimitable Bill Nighy (Love Actually) also star.

So Undercover Teenage girl alert. Miley Cyrus stars as a high school dropout who dabbles in small-time private investigation with her father. But she is approached by the FBI (of course) and asked to infiltrate a university campus to help them solve a case (as one does). For Miley Cyrus’ army of fans (unless they’ve outgrown her, of course), this should be pretty straightforward.

Past perfect

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

E.T the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Believe it or not, there are men and women walking amongst us who haven’t seen this yet. I found one recently, but the situation was remedied within a few days. Whether watching it now, as an adult, can have the same immense impact as it had on my generation back in the 80s is debatable, but nostalgia or not, it’s hard to deny that this is a technically marvellous and emotionally splendid film. I grew up watching it, and feeling incredibly cool on my bike as a result, and I rediscovered some of that magic when I took my younger sister to the cinema to watch it when re-released in 2002. Since then I’ve caught it a few times on TV, and occasionally get the urge to watch the DVD. There’s always new lines or scenes to appreciate fully, and laugh-out-loud moments that never grow old. And then, as things come to a boil, there’s possibly the best fifteen minutes of film music ever composed, and one of the all-time best examples of the perfect marriage between what you see and what you hear. The escape, the chase, and the goodbye that will leave you in bits.

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photography

Capturing the beauty of nature by Alexia Baldacchino www.facebook.com/alexia.disinn

Subjects within nature are among the most difficult to photograph – birds and fast moving creatures will rarely pose long enough to get a sharp image. Because of this difficulty however, it’s always gratifying to get spot-on nature photographs with some (read: lots of) luck and patience. In order to stand a decent chance, the following steps and suggestions might be helpful. Choose a day and location. It’s a good idea to opt for a weekday if you can, as families often frequent our limited local ‘wilderness’ during the weekends, which will make your task harder. Study the location of your choice. Ensure that the lighting conditions and backdrops are ideal (that is, free of scrapped washing machines and other distracting objects!) Silence please! Once you’ve chosen a spot, keep as quiet as possible and turn off all of your camera’s sounds – birds and other creatures are easily spooked. Prepare your camera. Use a long zoom lens and stay as far away from the spot you’re shooting as possible. Be sure you have the camera secured, preferably using a tripod. When this is not possible, you can brace yourself against a tree to keep the camera steady. You can also turn on your camera’s optical image stabilisation feature if it is equipped with one, in order to avoid camera shake, which can be a significant problem when using a long zoom lens.

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photography Determine the shutter speed and aperture in readiness for your subject - the last thing you want to be doing when the subject appears is adjusting the shooting settings. Work with the aperture wide open to throw a busy background beyond depth-of-field. Exposure and focus need to be set according to the location. Set up. You may want to consider using bait to attract your subject to a particular area where you are able to exercise a degree of control over lighting and backdrop. Be patient. Don’t worry if you miss the subject the first time and fail to get a photo – chances are that it will return... if you’re patient.

non-metallic surfaces which can cause distracting highlights, thus ensuring you get more detail in key parts of your images. For pictures of local flora, try using a macro lens or experiment with the macro setting on your DSLR (the flower icon). Some standard zooms have a macro facility, which can focus as close as 20cm away from the subject. You will probably find depth-of-field is limited at such close range, so for the sharpest results it might be easier to switch to manual focus and rock to and fro until the subject becomes pin sharp in the viewfinder. And lastly remember; with nature always expect the unexpected!

Additional tips and tricks Using a polarising filter will give the colours within your photograph a subtle boost. The foliage will appear lusher and the browns of the ground will be enhanced. Polarisers also work to reduce glare from

Nature photography competition Conditions Have you been paying attention? This month’s photography competition requires you to implement the techniques highlighted in the above lesson to produce a photo that presents an interesting reflection of nature. Photos do not need to have been taken with a professional camera – sometimes your phone camera can be enough. We usually need photos which are at least 2MP (approx 1600X1200 pixels). Please feel free to send in as

many photos as you deem necessary, however do not send more than two photos per email. Send your entries to snap@vida.com.mt or by post to the address below by no later than May 20th and you could win the fantastic prize from Palmyra! If posting entries physically and want the prints/CD returned please include a self-addressed envelope and post to: Photography Competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD2214.

WIN!

The winner of the photography competition gets 2 large 45cm x 33cm prints of their favourite photo in a high gloss finish provided by

Palmyra Building, Naxxar Road, Birkirkara BKR 9046 T: 21497 335 | 2148 2734

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murder cases

Murder in Malta by Edward Attard

Carmela Abela – Matricide O

ne thing that a mother fervently hopes will never happen is that her son or daughter, on whom she has lavished such love and attention, could one day turn against, and even kill her. Matricide is rare in Malta. Indeed, the killing of Carmela Abela is the only wilful matricide to take place since 1800. The 59-year-old widow who lived in Żejtun had had a number of disputes with her son, Nazareno, a 24-four-yearold bachelor who was always asking for money. At times, his mother met these requests, but Nazareno ignored his mother’s warnings not to squander all his money on alcohol. Nazareno was a stone-dresser and went to work in France and Tunisia for a period of time. When he returned to Malta he seemed to have changed, but the rows with his mother persisted, especially when she told him that she intended to sell a house she had inherited from his father. Nazareno objected and argued that she had no right to touch his father’s inheritance. When he threatened his mother about the consequences if she went on with the sale, she reported the matter to the police who warned Nazareno about his unruly behaviour and bound him not to molest his mother. On October 11th 1926, Nazareno left home early in the morning and proceeded to Pietà, where he had been working during the weeks prior. He returned home at about 17:30 when his mother was alone in the house, and some time later he was seen leaving by the back door. At about 19:30, when Nazareno’s brother Angelo returned home, he found the door locked from the inside, though it was unusual for his mother to lock the door or

to leave the house at that time of day. When the knocks proved futile, Angelo forced the door open only to find his mother lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Her head had been smashed by a hard object which, it later transpired, was a hatchet. The police immediately suspected Nazareno of the shocking crime. Arrested and charged with his mother’s murder, his trial opened on January 18th 1927, but when the jurors were ready to give their verdict, the defence counsel, Dr Antonio Caruana, afraid of a unanimous guilty verdict, surprised the court when he raised the plea of insanity. An exhaustive discussion as to whether the point could be raised at that final stage of the proceedings, an exhaustive discussion began. Finally the court rejected the plea on the grounds that it had been advanced too late.

The warrant for the carrying out of the capital punishment was signed by Governor Sir Walter Congreve and the date of the execution fixed.

The trial continued, the jury returned with a unanimous guilty verdict and Nazareno Abela was sentenced to death.

At the last moment however, Dr Alberto Magri, briefed by the brother of the condemned man, put forward a fresh request and asked by writ of summons that the sentence be postponed to the following day. In his request, Dr Magri stated that Abela was insane at the time of the crime, but the court said that, having delivered the sentence, it was no longer competent to deal with the case and only the governor could decide the fate of the condemned man by exercising the royal prerogative.

After passing judgement, the court submitted a written report to the governor as prescribed by the criminal code. Moreover, Mr Justice Arturo Mercieca, who presided the court, together with the two other judges, Dr Giuseppe Agius and Dr Robert Ganado, were called upon to provide an explanation to the executive council. There was also a discussion on a petition for the commutation of the death penalty, a petition which was not entertained.

Nazareno Abela was executed on February 1st 1927. During the days preceding his execution, he requested some holy pictures, which he later distributed to those who went to see him. To the chief warder Antonio Sanches, he wrote: ‘I, the undersigned, give this picture to Chief Warder Antonio Sanchez, in my remembrance and promise him that I will pray for him and his family while in heaven.’ Abela died in courage and resignation.

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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events

visits Sarah Young Rebrand Launch Party @ The Palace

1

2 1. Dorianne Zara, Cavalieri's Claire Sammut, Hera Cruises' Nicky Cassar & Cavalieri's James Cassar 2. Nicole Bulawa, Rachel Pisani, Sarah Young, Lisa Galea

Fashion Week Trade Launch @ Hotel Cavalieri

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Wjcon Malta Launch

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2

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1. Adrian Mizzi 2. Graziella Fenech, Sarah Micallef, Daniel Azzopardi & Carlton Agius

1. The Wjcon Team 2. Wjcon makeup artist doing Sarah Micallef's makeup

Joseph Calleja starts 2013 on a harmonious note at London’s Royal Festival Hall

M

altese tenor and operatic star Joseph Calleja started 2013 on a harmonious note, by making his long awaited Royal Festival Hall concert debut with a popular selection of his favourite arias along with his own special tribute to Mario Lanza on January 11th. Following his greatly well received interpretation of the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Bavarian State Opera, Joseph Calleja kicked off his European concert tour by making his debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Along with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Andrew Greenwood, he performed a program featuring selections from his latest album for Decca, Be My Love: A Tribute to Mario Lanza. The critics had great things to say about the performance, writing that it “hits you in a way that bypasses the brain and goes straight to the hairs on the back of your neck” (The Times UK), while “the two arias from Tosca flowed with great naturalness, and he brought the house down with sterling renditions of wellknown pieces from Cavalleria Rusticana and Fedora” (The Guardian). The tour continued in Pamplona, with concerts in Paris (January 18th), Munich (January 21st), Prague (January 24th), Vienna (January 28th), Amsterdam (January 31st), and Baden-Baden (February 3rd) following that.

Photo by Simon Fowler Photography

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calendar

Exhibitions in March

Artistic exhibition featuring our Lord’s Last Supper

Events

Saint Mary Band Club - Dingli

Dates & Times: March 22nd to 31st, Friday 22nd 19:00 - 21:00, Saturday 23rd 09:30 – 12:00, Sunday 24th 09:30 – 13:00, Wednesday 27th 18:00 – 21:00, Maundy Thursday 18:00 – 23:00, Good Friday: 08:30 - 13:00, Easter Saturday: 09:30 – 12:00, Easter Sunday: 09:00 - 12:00 On Maundy Thursday, there will be a spectacle of the annual “fjakkolata” at Frenc Abela Square in front of the society’s premises. M: 7931 0597

Exhibition Of Artistic Works Related To Good Friday And Live Re-Enactment Of The Last Supper

Immaculate Conception Parish Hall - Ħamrun Dates & Times (Last supper re-enactment): Sunday 24th (Palm Sunday) 10:30, Thursday 28th (Maundy Thursday) 21:00, Friday 29th (Good Friday) 09:15 - 10:30 - 11:45 Dates & Times (Exhibition): Weekdays : 17:30 – 20:00, Saturday and Sunday: 09:00 – 12:30pm & 17:30 – 20:00, Thursday 28th (Maundy Thursday): 17:30 – 23:00, Friday 29th (Good Friday): 08:30 – 12:30 Facebook: www.facebook.com/cenakluhajhamrun

FORCES – an exhibition of ceramic works by George Muscat St James Cavalier – Valletta March 9th – April 7th A ceramist for the past 25 years, George Muscat has devoted his life to his art by teaching his craft full time, exhibiting locally and abroad, holding evening classes, producing educational tutorials for local TV stations and founding the Malta Raku Association in 2011. The Good Causes Fund is part sponsoring this exhibition as well as a companion catalogue and educational DVD about the art of ceramics entitled 8 Alternative Firings, which will be distributed during the official opening as well as in local schools and libraries. www.gmuscat.com

In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif Manoel Theatre – Valletta

March 22nd, 23rd and 24th – 20:00 What does it mean to be a Maltese woman in 2013? What happens when six Maltese women meet in secret in an abandoned chapel and concoct a terrifying plan to take matters into their own hands? Clare Azzopardi’s In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif, under the direction of Marcelle Theuma is a theatrical experience the likes of which has never been seen on a Maltese stage – it is modern theatre at its most raw, savage, hilarious, shocking level.

Booking is open. www.teatrumanoel.com.mt

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Theatre

Sports

Culture & History

Monday 4th Toi Toi 022 - Manoel Theatre Valletta - 12:00 & 13:15 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Mid-Dinja tat-Teatru - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Tuesday 5th Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Thursday 7th Spotlight Concert 'The Grand Tour of Europe' - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 Friday 8th Blood Brothers - Teatru Salesjan Triq Ġuze Howard - Sliema - 19:30 - www.teatrusalesjan.com

Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Saturday 9th General and Local Council Elections 2013 - All Localities Met Opera - Maria Stuarda,Gaetano Donizetti - St James Cavalier Valletta - 19:00 - E: info@sjcav.org 2013 Malta Open International Karate Championships - Don Ġwann Bosco Sport Complex Dingli - 09:00 - E: sksm@maltanet. net Blood Brothers - Teatru Salesjan Triq Ġuze Howard - Sliema - 19:30 - www.teatrusalesjan.com Sunday 10th Feast of St Gregory - Kerċem - Gozo - T: 2155 1355 Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Cornerstone Shopping Complex - Mosta - 08:30 to 13:00 T: 2206 6209

Toi Toi 325 - Manoel Theatre Valletta - 10:30 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Blood Brothers - Teatru Salesjan Triq Ġuze Howard - Sliema - 19:30 - www.teatrusalesjan.com

Car Boot Sale - De La Salle College Cottonera - 07:00 till 11:30 Tuesday 12th Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578

Clubbing

Music

Thursday 14th Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 12:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522 Friday 15th Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 12:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Saturday 16th Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 12:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Met Opera 2012-13 - Francesca Da Rimini, Riccardo Zandonai - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 17:00 E: info@sjcav.org Sunday 17th Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Salesian Brigade - Sliema - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209

Cosmic Toi Toi 628 - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 10:30 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 12:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Alarme - Vittoriosa (Birgu) - 11:00 E: birgu.lc@gov.mt Birdwatching at Majjistral Park Limits of Għajn Tuffieħa - 09:30 E: walks@majjistral.org

Car Boot Sale - De La Salle College Cottonera - 07:00 till 11:30 Easter Egg Hunt - The Funny Farm Horse Rescue Association - Bidnija11:00 - 17:00 E: the.funny.farm.malta@gmail.com Tuesday 19th Feast of St Joseph the Worker Public Holiday and Village Feast in Rabat - T: 2145 1405

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Main Road Opposite St Theresa Collage - Mrieħel - 08:30 to 13:00 T: 2206 6209

The King's Own Philharmonic Band - Feast of St Joseph - Rabat - Malta 17:30 - M: 7922 4758

The VIDA team does its utmost to publish the most updated information in these pages. We cannot, 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 March 18th.


calendar

March

this month Fund Raising

Blood Drive

Kids & Family

Line Dancing - Mġarr Parish - Mġarr - 19:00 - T: 2157 2578 Wednesday 20th

Music for Passiontide - Robert Sammut Hall - Floriana - 19:30 www.maltaorchestra.com

Holy Week Pageant - Various locations within Dingli - 10:00 T: 7931 0597

Car Boot Sale - De La Salle College Cottonera - 07:00 till 11:30

Line Dancing - Sala Parrokjali San Ġużepp Ħaddiem - Birkirkara 19:00 - T: 2141 5522

Monday 25th Feast of The Annunciation - Victoria - Gozo - T: 2155 4101

NTLive presents People - St James Cavalier - Valletta - 20:00 E: info@sjcav.org

Tuesday 26th Malta vs Italy World Cup qualifying football match - National Stadium Ta' Qali - 17:00 - E: info@mfa.com.mt

Friday 22nd Feast of Jesus of Nazareth - Sliema - T: 2131 6191

Concert with Carlos Bonell Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows Traditional Procession in various Parishes

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

Met Opera: Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi - St James Cavalier - Valletta 19:00 - E: info@sjcav.org

Thursday 28th

In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt Line Dancing - Parish Centre Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II - Attard - 19:30 T: 2143 4949 Saturday 23rd In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Next to Holy Family Chapel - Naxxar (Sagħjtar Area) - 08:30 to 13:00 T: 2206 6209

Others

MDRA for Charity Car Show 2013 - Hal Far Race Track - 09:00 www.classicfordmalta.com

Thursday 21st

Palm Sunday - Religious Feast in various Parishes

Fairs

In-Nisa Maltin Jafu Kif - Manoel Theatre - Valletta - 20:00 E: bookings@teatrumanoel.com.mt

Music for Passiontide - Robert Sammut Hall - Floriana - 19:30 www.maltaorchestra.com

Sunday 24th

2013

Maundy Thursday Friday 29th Good Friday - Public holiday and religious events in various Parishes

Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Close to St Gregory Chapel - Żejtun 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Sunday 31st Easter Sunday - Various Parishes Fredom Day - Public Holiday Blood Donation Mobile Unit - Close to St James Chapel - Xgħajra - 08:30 to 13:00 - T: 2206 6209 Freedom Day Regatta - Grand Harbour

Blood Donation Centre in Guardamangia opens 7 days a week from 08:00 till 18:00.

Blood saves lives.

More information may be obtained from: www.blood.gov.mt E: nbts@gov.mt T: 220 66 209 M: 79 307 307

March 2013 Issue 39 vida.com.mt

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books

Give in to your imagination

Maltese must reads The Emergence of a Maltese Teacher Corps George Cassar,

Self Published

A poster by Ġorġ Mallia, exploding with colour and featuring fantasy figures leaping out of a book as a reader looks on, wideeyed with shocked awe, really defines the aphorism "Give in to your imagination – go to a library". The library has forever been the repository of all things fun and fruitful to be found in books. It is where you can let go of the reigns of your imagination and give in to that wonderful feeling of losing yourself in worlds created by some of the greatest authors. It is true that in this day and age of being able to carry a whole library of books on a single e-book or tablet, the old fascination with libraries seems to be dwindling somewhat, but libraries have grown to meet the challenge and become meeting places, in which activities related to all that books are and can be are held. What’s more, the very social nature of the place, in which one meets like-minded people who are book lovers too, and the atmosphere that so many books in one place can create are elements that no e-book can ever replace, very much in the same way that watching a movie on a Smartphone can never compete with the experience of watching it at the cinema. Giving in to your imagination and visiting a library move you and your mind in ways that very few other things do.

News from bookland Arts library The Malta Council for Culture and The Arts has embarked on a process of building an arts library that would house journals, periodicals, catalogues, books and miscellaneous publications related to all art forms.

This book does not look at the teachers’ drive towards their aspirations solely through a historical or chronological recounting of the stages leading to 1919. The teachers’ occupation is examined through an analysis of the conditions of work, the methods of recruitment, appointment and classification, teacher training and the development of salaries, all of which help the reader to develop a clearer picture of what teachers went through during their daily work within schools. It may also be surprising to note that certain problems concerning teachers evident in the past are still with us, to some extent or other, even today. The study also entails a detailed enquiry of 19th and early 20th century educational thought about the teachers’ role and duties in schools. It is revealing how adjourned Maltese thinkers were with regards to the scope and objectives of education in general and the function of the teacher in particular.

Times Picture Annual 2012 Darrin Zammit Lupi,

Allied Publications A pick of the best photos shot for The Times and The Sunday Times, taken by Jason Borg, Matthew Mirabelli, Chris Sant Fournier and Darren Zammit Lupi over the year between November 11, 2011 and November 10, 2012. It also carries a good selection of pictures taken by freelance, Reuters and AFP photographers. The picture annual, the seventh in the series published by Allied Publications, is a pictorial synopsis of life during the year.

If you're interested in contributing works for inclusion in this library, please write to us at info@maltaculture.com or phone us on 2124 5168.

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

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eating & drinking

Anything to declare? B

ecause the sun is shining, even though the air is still a little chilly, my friends from overseas have come out of hibernation. The seemingly endless streams of visiting friends want to eat al fresco, but it sometimes gets difficult to choose a place that has a decent view and decent food, especially if you want to add in the easy parking factor.

row of cafes and restaurants has been extended, and we chose to try out the newest one, Cargo.

One of my favourite areas of the island is Birgu – it's pretty, traditional, there's a choice of waterfront eateries, and the view is spectacular! The multitude of masts in the yacht marina still enables a view of Valletta, which is certainly better than having the view of Birgu blocked by a cruise liner from the other side. In a few weeks, we’ll start to see the seaplane taking off and landing, and visiting yacht owners will be driving up to their floating holiday homes where their super yacht crews, in their perfectly coordinated uniforms, have been babysitting the boats and adding colour to the row of restaurants that started here almost 10 years ago.

Menus arrived, with wine, cocktails and food varieties, and the three got a bit confusing. They do have a good wine list for such a short food list, though I did want to choose more than one dish, so take it from me – there is a good, if limited choice.

The hotel looks almost finished, shops are popping up, the ample parking area by Fort St Angelo is busy. Grown men are rendered speechless by the bow of a gazillionaire’s boat – you can almost see them drift off into their own fantasy. The

Ambience

Service

The decor is different to anything I have seen locally – painted, stained, stamped and 'graffitied' floorboards with club chairs and high tables and booths. We sat outside, as the interior is just a little too moody for such a beautiful day.

I had a caipirinha while my friend opted for white wine. As for food, I finally chose to have the steak ciabatta with onions and fried egg, and my friend a steak and Gorgonzola wrap. Mine looked and tasted good, but the steak was a minute steak and rather gristly. Whilst not an expensive dish, I would have rather paid more and had a better piece of meat. The ciabatta was toasted and the egg and onions gave the sandwich the moistness it needed. I should have asked for ketchup. The wrap was skinny, and whereas you

Décor

Food

Cargo, Birgu Waterfront M: 9997 7666

would expect minute steak to be used, the whole dish was a bit on the under nourishing side. The service was good, friendly but not overly so, swift and yet we didn't feel like we were taking up valuable space, so somehow, that made up for the shortfall in the steak department. We should have said something, but didn't. They should have specified, but didn't. The lady at the next table had seafood pasta, and if I were you, I'd go for that. Giant prawns covered the mound of linguine, which looked like it was full of flavour. The burgers at the table at the back were huge and I liked their presentation; skewered like a totem pole with onion rings atop. Despite everything, we did clean our plates, except for the silly salad garnish that places insist on putting on your plate – inedible bits of cabbage, a couple of leaves and the ubiquitous tomato. I'd really rather a pot of sauce, shredded herbs or even a decorative tomato. Another drink each finished off the meal, which came to just under €35, and we decided to take a walk down to the fort before departing this harbour haven for our next destination. I would go again, as it definitely beats its vegetarian neighbour for service and pricing.

Value

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advertorial

Nestlé breakfast cereals meet their nutrition commitment

Nestlé is responding to mums’ request for more nutritious breakfast options for kids. A recent study of over 23,000 online conversations across five European countries reveals that many mums are confused about how much sugar is found in kids’ cereals compared to sweets, cakes and biscuits. Nestlé breakfast cereals have 9g or less sugar per serving as part of the recently announced nutrition commitment. All recipes are also made with more whole grain than any other ingredient, are a good source of calcium, and contain 135mg sodium or less per serving. Most importantly, they have a delicious taste that kids love, ensuring that both mums and kids are happy at breakfast time.

Property Iklin – 120 sqm elevated ground floor maisonette, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, open plan, backyard, box room, semi basement 3 car garage €208,000 Call 9921 7128 Iklin – Terraced house in a nice area, 4 bedrooms, open plan, 2 bathrooms, large terrace, 3 balconies, backyard, interconnecting street level 4 car garage €370,000 Call 9921 7128 Birkirkara – Bargain maisonette, 2 double bedrooms with internal and back yards €116,500 Call 9958 5767 Attard – Large 164sqm 3 bedroom ground floor maisonette, internal and backyards - €155,000 - Call 9958 5767 Mosta – Maisonette, formal sitting/dining, separate kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, good sized front yard, backyard, optional garage €150,000 Call 7928 1187 Lija – Furnished ground floor apartment, 3 double

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bedrooms, open plan, 2 bathrooms, internal and back yards, washroom, part of roof €168,000 Call 7928 1187 Attard – Large 175sqm finished apartment, open views, optional garage. €148,000 Call 7725 3502 Mosta – Bargain 150sqm 3 bedroom second floor apartment, small block, optional garage €124,500 Call 7725 3502 Zabbar – Semi-finished first floor apartment, 3 double bedrooms, open plan, bathroom, ensuite - €85,000 Call 7943 3883 Attard – Semi-finished first floor apartment, 2 double bedrooms, open plan, bathroom, box room – €103,000 – Call 794 3388

Services

Models wanted – Male and female models between the ages of 18 and 25 wanted for advertising and fashion magazine shoots. Send recent photos (close up and full body shot) to fashion@vida.com.mt.

To book your advert you can: · Send the details and photos you wish to include in the advert, together with a cheque payable to ‘Focused Knowledge Ltd’, by post to: CLASSIFIEDS, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214. · Send the advertdetails and photos by email followed by a cheque send by post to the same postal address above. classifieds@vida.com.mt · Visit our offices at Pitkali Road, Attard, and ask for our Sales Team to book your advert and pay in cash or by by cheque.

All bookings and payments must reach our offices by no later than March 18th 2013. Bookings that reach our offices after this date will be published in the following issue.

BOOK NOW

2339 2236


Games & Competitions

All competition replies should reach our offices by Wednesday, March 18th. 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

February’s solutions

WIN!

Christopher Paolini is the author of which fantasy series? A. The Inheritance Cycle. B. Twilight Saga. C. Dragon Age Trilogy.

Winners! The Nail Lounge: Sonya Micallef - Birguma Agenda Book Shop: Elizabeth Brisley - Hamrun Richard Geres Personal Training: Antoine Dalli - Attard Pierre Lannnier, Star letter : Dunstan Edwards - Mqabba

Name: Address: Contact Number:

In terms of perseverance, which part of our brain is stronger – the rational, logical part or the emotional, primeval part?

WIN!

A.      The rational, logical part

Hot-Stone massage worth €65, courtesy of

B.      The emotional, primeval part

Name: Address: Contact Number:

Apollo Spa, Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay

6 8 years experience & VTCT Qualifications      

WIN!

GEL / Acrylic Refill for nail extensions worth €24! The Nail Lounge: Triq San Silvestru, Mosta M: 9921 4351 us on facebook: www.facebook.com/nailsbycherisse Name: Address: Contact Number:

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only for kids L

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Love getting creative? Why not make your very own toy car, decorated exactly the way you want it? You can even use it to transport your favourite toys around the house.

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Cut a narrow rectangle out of a paper plate and paint it grey or black. This will be your car’s bumper, so glue it under the headlights.

Now it’s time to add decorations, and you can let your creativity run wild. Paint a stripe down the middle or use stickers to make your car really stand out – the choice is yours!

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Another chance to win!

Send us a drawing of your favourite car or a photo of the car you made to be in with another chance of winning the hamper made up of Nesquik products!

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Car Bumper Wheels Headlights Driver Seat License plate Tyres Doors Windscreen

Demetria Bugeja, 7, is the winner of last month’s competition.

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 March 18th.

vida.com.mt Issue 39 March 2013

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

Win a hamper made up of Nesquik products!

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Cut another small rectangle out of a paper plate for your license plate. Leave the background white and paint on whatever you’d like your license plate to say. You can even write your name. Glue it to the back of the car.

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Cut two small circles out of a paper plate and paint them yellow – these will be your car’s headlights, so glue them to the front of the box where the headlights should be.

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Paint the shoebox in your favourite colour. You can add other decorations later on, when the paint has dried.

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Vida Magazine March 2013 - Issue 39  

Vida Magazine March 2013 - Issue 39

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