January 2010 - Issue 01 www.vida.com.mt
Warden tickets Miriam Dalli meets Kenneth De Martino
In a grand place
A small book with a big story
Our baby’s death
A couple’s struggle to find answers
M PE T O C
on a budget
The big day Down Under
Cash in the attic
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vida.com.mt Issue 01 - January 2010 Vida Magazine is a monthly lifestyle magazine distributed to all households in Malta and Gozo. It aims to empower the people to lead a better, healthier and happier life.
I could use many superlatives and adjectives to describe Vida, however there is one simple word which sums up its essence - you. Vida means Life in Spanish - and life is what our magazine is all about. We aim to be there for you through thick and thin, ups and downs, life and death. Starting a new magazine during a financial crisis might be seen by some as a risky move (at the very least) however we will be here to help you out through these tough times - and will most certainly be here to celebrate with you when we’ve climbed out of it too. The issue you’re holding in your hands is a milestone - Malta’s first nationwide lifestyle magazine. Malta already has a very diverse magazine scenario, however few publications (with content) can claim to transcend religious and political beliefs, education and income. Vida does - it is delivered to every household on the Maltese islands without exception. With a wide selection of articles, Vida includes something for everybody. From motoring to fashion, food to beauty, a historical relic to this year’s World Cup - we have chosen to be exciting but down to earth, far reaching but inclusive and most of all concise and to the point. Modern life does not allow us too much free time and our editorial team, together with a talented design studio, has worked hard to bring you articles in bite-sized chunks and bursting at the seams with tid-bits of information. Additionally Vida’s shopping section covers achievable dreams - and guiding you along the way without breaking the bank - or your back. We will not only tell you how to splash out, but also how to save your hard earned cash and get the most out of every euro cent you spend. Before shooing you off to read the rest of our magazine, I’d like to remind you that we take your feedback very seriously - so much so that we’ll be handing out a reward to the writer of the star letter every month (amongst other competitions).
Richard Muscat Azzopardi
Focused Knowledge Ltd Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe Tel: (+356) 2339 2403 Fax: (+356) 2141 9089 Managing Editor Richard Muscat Azzopardi firstname.lastname@example.org News & Features Editor David Vella email@example.com Editors’ Assistant Louise Ann Buttigieg firstname.lastname@example.org Layout & Design Kevin Abela Alexia Baldacchino email@example.com Advertising Claire Camilleri - firstname.lastname@example.org Maria Pillow - email@example.com Sabrina Wingfield - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (+356) 2339 2333 email@example.com Cover photo Paulette Spagnol - Low-cost Beauty (see page 16) © RMA 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. This magazine is being published in strict compliance with the laws of Malta. Any litigation is to be handled in Malta.
Love to Hate
Africa 2010 World Cup Special
The truth behind our baby’s death
contents Grilling the wardens’ boss
The Emergency Nurse
14 Life After Cancer
30 A small book with a big story
16 Low Cost Beauty
38 Small steps – Giant leaps
18 Sales Survival Guide
22 The big day Down Under 25 Recipes • January events
• Mel Gibson
€13k - €15k road test Richard Muscat Azzopardi
42 The new prepaid credit cards Bank of Valletta
44 Cash in the Attic
Richard Muscat Azzopardi
• Only for Kids
• John Montanaro • Flying high with no fuel • The 2010 Grammy Awards.
• Spiderman and Bono hanging on a thread • BICREF
• Tsunamis and earthquakes
is truly yours
e want to make sure that Vida is truly your magazine. We want to build every next issue together with you, by featuring your ideas, voicing your opinions, and including your experiences.
Letters to the Editor
VIDA IN FEBRUARY:
The sky’s the limit here. Send us your reactions to Vida’s features, interviews, or photos. Or else write about any topic that interests you, be it a hot current issue, or an unnoticed situation that we all should learn about. And your efforts will not go unrewarded. In every issue the writer of the Star Letter will win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*.
Rediscover the safest, cheapest, simplest, and most natural way to keep fit.
Motoring: Superminis – what’s the deal? Our Africa World Cup 2010 special continues
Our contributors welcome your ideas too. Miriam Dalli and Jane Vella, two of our regulars, are waiting for your ideas. Let us know who you want them to interview – go to pages 28 and 36 for more information. All suggestions will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*! Send your letters, comments or suggestions The Editor, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working with children. What’s the teacher’s trick?
Avoiding bitter aftertastes – ‘safe’ carnival costumes And more...
Kids’ Page This page is strictly for the little ones. They too are getting the same chance of learning, having fun, and even winning prizes. Go to page 7 for more information.
ASK THE EXPERTS At Vida we try our best to help you live happier, healthier, and wealthier.
We’re giving you the chance to win many other prizes. Get in the draw to win more €100 vouchers* by participating in our competitions. And if you participate in the Mecca Toys competition, you can also win a Maxxon boat. Check out our Competitions section on page 6.
We got together a team including a lawyer, a family doctor and an architect, to answer your questions. Our team will be choosing a number of questions and answer them every month. Your question will be answered, and you will also be helping many other readers with the same difficulties. What’s more, every month, all those who send questions will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*.
Participate in our competitions by sending your replies to: Competitions, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Send your questions by post to Ask the Experts, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. mt. The first questions and answers will be featured next month!
More ways to win!
* See page 64 for more info.
Events this month
Circus: Fantasy Circus – Blata l-Bajda Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Peter Panto – MFCC, Ta’ Qali Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta Saturday 2nd Circus: Fantasy Circus – Blata l-Bajda Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Peter Panto – MFCC, Ta’ Qali Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta Sunday 3rd Circus: Fantasy Circus – Blata l-Bajda Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Peter Panto – MFCC, Ta’ Qali Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta History: In Guardia Parade – Fort St. Elmo Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta
Music: Orchestral Concert – Manoel Theatre, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta Wednesday 6th Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta
Music: Music Festival – Monoel Theatre, Valletta Theatre: Carmen - – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Friday 22nd Theatre: Women in mind – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Saturday 23rd
Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta Friday 8th
Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta
Theatre: Women in mind – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta History: Cultural tour – Villa Francia, Lija
Saturday 9th Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta Ballet: Cinderella On Ice – Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta Theatre: Der Rosenkavalier – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Sunday 10th
Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta Exhibition: Sculptures in Bronze – Heritage Malta, Valletta
Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Ballet: Cinderella On Ice – Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
Musical: Downtown Fairytown – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Theatre: Aladdin The Pantomime – Manoel Theatre, Valletta
Theatre: Women in mind – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Clubbing: Sinner DC – DJ Set by Owen Jay, Lascaris Wharf, Valletta
Tuesday 12th Music: Early Music Concert – Monoel Theatre, Valletta Fioretto Ensemble - Monoel Theatre, Valletta
Friday 29th Theatre: A view from the Bridge – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Saturday 30th Theatre: A view from the Bridge – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta Music: Malta Philarmonic Orchestra do Beethoven, MCC, Valletta Sunday 31st Theatre: A view from the Bridge – Manoel Theatre, Valletta The Sex Comedies – St. James Cavalier, Valletta
Friday 15th Music: Music Festival – Monoel Theatre, Valletta
If you would like to include your events in this page, please send an email with all the required details to email@example.com or call 2339 2403, by not later than Monday 11th January 2010.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
COMPETITIONS Complete this Sudoku game and send it to us by post or via e-mail. The correct answers will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*.
1 4 7 9 6 5 8 9 5 2 3 2 1 6
5 4 6 6 9 7 5 1 3 6 9 9 5 8
WIN MORE! Here’s another chance of winning a
€100 voucher*.Just answer the following question, send us your reply, and get in the draw to win.
In which page of Vida can you find a marsupial?
Puzzle by websudoku.com
All competition replies should reach our offices by Monday 11 January 2010. Send your entries to Competitions, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.* * See page 64 for more information on the prizes. 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.
MECCA COMPETITION Mecca Enterprises is looking for a new slogan for its toy shop. And they want your ideas. In turn, they are giving you the chance to win this Maxxon boat. Simply fill in this form, including your suggested slogan, and send it to MECCA COMPETITION, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214.
My slogan for Mecca Toys is… (Suggested slogans should be less than 10 words long) Name: ID Card Number: Address: Mobile Number: E-mail address:
Games & Competitions
Word Search Competition
Fun facts about
We’re starting a new year, you’ve probably hung a new calendar on your wall, but how much do you really know where the calendar came from?
It takes the world 365 days and six hours to go around the sun completely, which is where we get the length of a calendar year.
V M A
Q W C
P W A
N W G
A M B
P W P
Every four years we have a leap year (with an extra day in February) to make up for the hours we lose in the other three.
R M G
The 24 hours of a day is how long the world takes to turn around on itself.
R W R
B W Q
Most of our calendar is based on the system the Roman empire used 2000 years ago. March is named after Mars (the Roman god of War, not the chocolate bar!). July is named after Julius Caesar, and August after Augustus Caesar, two Roman Emperors. August originally had 30 days, however Augustus Caesar thought his month should not be inferior and stole a day from February (which was already short, at 29 days long) September, October, November, and December come from the Latin words for seven, eight, nine, and ten, because originally the Romans had ten months, from March to December.
We have hidden 13 words in the box above, if you can find them all send the box in together with your name, surname, age and contact details (address, telephone number, email address) to kids competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD2214 by not later than 11 th January 2010, and you could be the lucky winner of our a €100 voucher (see page 64 for more info).
January Thirty days has September, This might help you remember the April, June, and November. length of months: All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone, Which has twenty-eight days clear, And twenty-nine in each leap year.
February March April
May June July August
September October November December
Special hidden word: You find 52 in a year.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
NOT FOR PROFIT Maltese voluntary organisations The Biological Conservation Research Foundation
It all began...
in 1998, when a group of Maltese green volunteers felt that after working in conservation research projects it would be useful to have a non-governmental organisation (NGO) doing this work.
Our mission is... to promote conservation research,
monitoring and action; to increase local awareness of the uses and needs of Biodiversity; to bring to the fore issues related to local habitat degradation and species vulnerability; to encourage public collaboration towards a better natural environment for our children and beyond; and to assist in the management of natural environments and conservation.
Our enemies are... people who disregard nature conservation, including some VIPs. We have... enough members to operate the ongoing projects. Members do not pay, but are involved in volunteer work whenever and in whichever way they can. Our members can be... adults and youths who have a keen dedication to see our natural environment and local vulnerable species in a better condition in the future. Our greatest achievement is...
bringing forward an honest voice on what our biodiversity and habitats need, especially in the marine environment, and pushing forward the need for conservation in practice.
We are currently working on...
various projects, from documenting the beauty and needs of biodiversity to ecotourism focusing especially on the marine and coastal sector, to climate change awareness campaigns in collaboration with local and foreign entities and to promote marine life protection awareness and action.
there is great satisfaction when one works to see nature continue to evolve and support life on Earth for generations to come. More of us should find the time to give a little effort towards this, thus making Earth a better place, starting from our local environment.
Spiderman and Bono
piderman, the superhero who saved the world again and again for over 40 years in Marvel comic books, is in for his most daring mission – a Broadway musical. And if critics have their way this time he may not manage to save the day. In the coming weeks, a Broadway theatre in New York is scheduled to host the preview performances of ‘Spiderman: Turn off the Dark’, the most expensive musical ever to hit the stage. The production team includes U2’s Bono and The Edge - who composed all the music - and Julie Taymor, the celebrated director of The Lion King musical. The script includes action scenes that scare away even the most ambitious film directors – the opening scene is New York in ruins and on fire with one of the main actors hanging dangerously on Brooklyn Bridge. At least 40 stagehands will be required to handle the special effects. The theatre itself had to undergo structural changes to accommodate all the action. Spiderman is the superhero with incredible strength, agility and the power to cling to any surface. He saves the world from ruthless villains hidden behind a red and blue bodysuit. The man behind the mask is Peter Parker, a reserved press photographer who obtained his superhuman powers at the age of 15 when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. The character was first introduced in a Marvel comic book in 1962. Recently, his adventures were successfully
Can chocolate kill my cat? It is not a myth. Chocolate can really poison, and even kill, a dog or a cat. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two compounds that our pets cannot digest. Instead, they increase the animals’ heart rate, cause nausea, and can even lead to death. The effects depend on the type of chocolate (unsweetened chocolate contains more theobromine than white chocolate), the amount eaten, and the size of your pet (smaller pets are more at risk). If you suspect your pet ingested chocolate, call your vet immediately. There is no antidote to chocolate poisoning, but not all pets are affected in the same way, and vets can offer supportive treatments.
Political trouble puts Mad All those who watched DreamWorks’ blockbuster Madagascar will surely remember the cute and funky lemurs partying in the lush forests of the Indian Ocean island that bears the movie’s name.
www.bicref.org • email@example.com BICREF, PO Box 30, Hamrun
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Unfortunately, these endangered furry mammals are in trouble. A few months ago Madagascar’s president was ousted in a violent coup, leaving the country in chaos. The resulting lawlessness gave hundreds of loggers
In his own words Fancy an 18 Button Mouse? With Apple still churning out single button mice, the people behind Open Office (the free alternative to MS Office) have come up with an 18-button mouse – the OOmouse.
adapted to the screen in three blockbuster movies, with a fourth one set for a 2011 release. However, the upcoming €30 million musical’s success is in doubt. Preparations have been going on for years. To balance the books, the musical has to sell out every night for months, if not years. Fans of the original Spiderman are not making this easy - singing and dancing on a Broadway stage are simply not in Spiderman’s books, they insist. The director’s reassurance that the hero will only be singing when he is Peter Parker the press photographer and not when he puts on his spider suit, did little to change their minds.
- hanging on a thread?
Golf Mark 1 ceases production in South Africa 35 years after its inception as the Golf Mark 1 and 25 years after being re-baptised as the Citigolf, this legendary vehicle has ceased production in South Africa - the only country where it was still being built. When the Mk2 Golf went to South Africa in 1984 the Mk1 stayed in production as a cheaper alternative (just like the Renault Clio Campus recently), but proved so popular that it kept going ever since - albeit with some 'modernisations'. The original Mk1 body was only slightly modernised with some extra plastic bits, and an oddly anachronistic 'modern' interior similar to that of the Mk4 Polo. To mark the end of production, a run of 1000 cars called the Citi MK1 was built with a special set of features.
dagascar’s cutest at risk free access to the trees of the country’s previously protected forests, effectively destroying the natural habitat of lemurs and many other endangered species. The political turmoil has also led to international sanctions, leaving environmental groups such as the WWF with no money to continue their natural conservation projects, and the
lemurs with even less protection from loggers and poachers. As if there isn’t enough bad news for the lemurs, the country is also facing a drought and more and more poachers are turning their guns on the poor animals to fill their larders. WWF environmentalists are afraid some of the lemur species’ days are numbered.
In addition to the extra buttons, the mouse also includes a 16way joystick. You might be asking yourself why. There are many valid reasons. The buttons are customisable and you can set them up to activate common tasks, like making text bold or downloading emails. If you want one you’ll have to wait till February and fork out around €60, however you’ll be helping out the open source community in the process. Will it revolutionise computing or will it go down as another crazy attempt in the world of electronics? Only time will tell. Send us your feelings on yoursay@ vida.com.mt.
updates Mel Gibson says...
“You can’t live up to what people expect. Nobody can. But I guess that’s my problem, not theirs.” “I like directing much better. It’s more fun, that’s all there is to it. It’s essentially the same job, which is storytelling, but you have more control over the way you want to tell the story. It’s a high. I love it.” “I wasn’t exactly the most zealous keeper-of-the-flame, you know? I was a pretty wild boy quite frankly. Even now when I’m trying more than I was before, I still fail every day at some level, but that’s being human.” “Hollywood is a factory. You have to realise that you are working in a factory and you’re part of the mechanism. If you break down, you’ll be replaced.” “I think the Lethal Weapon movies contain my favourite performances. It sounds really crummy, I know, but although the work doesn’t look hard, it’s difficult to create effortlessly on screen.” “My biggest weakness is that I’m excessive. Fortunately for everyone concerned, I’m not as excessive as I used to be.” About the The Passion of the Christ (2004): “This movie is about faith, hope, love and forgiveness. Themes that are as important now as they were in Jesus’ time.” Asked whether The Passion of the Christ (2004) would be offensive to Jews today: “It’s not meant to. I think it’s meant to just tell the truth. I want to be as truthful as possible. But when you look at the reasons Christ came, he was crucified - he died for all mankind and he suffered for all mankind. So that, really, anyone who transgresses has to look at their own part or look at their own culpability.” On his involvement in Braveheart (1995) as actor, director and producer: “If you’re going to wear three hats, you’d better grow two more heads.”
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
KEEPING IT SHORT ...
with no fuel! If you thought that flying around the world is an incredible feat, think again. For two inventors in Switzerland, this is just not enough – they want to do it without fuel.
John Montanaro I am a husband, father, son, bro ther, employee, actor, kid and adrenaline junkie.
My family is growing – a wife and two great sons. When I’m not sleeping I’m cha nging nappies, watching TV, or at my computer. I prefer comedies because I love to laugh. I last cried when the Budget was announced. If I were a bird (or an angel) I’d fly to Maldives – heaven on earth. Politicians are human.
Love is waking up at three in the tells me “I’ll do this feed becaus morning, and my wife e you have a long day ahead of you.”
Divorce is an easy way out (unl ess cheating or beating is involved) I wish I were a woman when a traffic warden stops me. Are you a celebrity? No. How do you know that? I still pay for everything, and I live in a flat. Would you rather be a son or a father? Being a father is the greatest thing in the world and I tend to do a lot of the things that my father did with me. So they both go hand in hand. Your second son was born a few months ago: It was an overwhelming experience!
You have a chance to steal one of yours will it be Valentino Rossi two lives and make it or Keanu Reeves? Rossi, the greatest sportsman ever (the only Italian I like). You love motorcycles. Aren’t the y an unnecessary risk? Not if you know what you are doing and respect the danger that they pose.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
For the last six years, Bertrand Piccard, the psychiatrist and aeronaut who made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight, and André Borschberg, an engineer, fighter pilot and a professional airplane and helicopter pilot, have been co-ordinating the building of Solar Impulse, a solar airplane capable of taking off independently and remaining in the air day and night without requiring any fuel. “If an aircraft is able to fly day and night without fuel, propelled only by solar energy, let no one claim that it is impossible to do the same thing for vehicles, air conditioning systems, and computers,” Piccard says. “This project voices our conviction that a pioneering spirit with political vision can together change society and end our fossil fuel dependency.” The Solar Impulse has a 61-metre wingspan - twice the size of the
Who’s getting the best of the Grammys? If the number of nominations is anything to go by, then Beyoncé will be taking the 2010 Grammy Awards night by storm.
The R&B star is nominated for 10 awards, including album of the year (“I Am... Sasha Fierce”), song of the year (“Single Ladies - Put a Ring On It)” and record of the year (“Halo”). Taylor Swift, the 19-year-old country singer, got eight nods, while Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell, and Kayne West each have six nominations. Three artists, David Guetta, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, have five nominations each. Colbie Caillat, Michael Giacchino, Kings Of Leon, John Newton, RedOne, Bruce Springsteen, T-Pain, and Keith Urban came in next with four nominations. The finalists for the most prestigious out of the 109 awards, the Grammy for the best album, are Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas (The E.N.D), Lady Gaga (The Fame), Dave Matthews Band (Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King) and Taylor Swift (Fearless). Other nominees include Bon Jovi (Best Pop Performance), Pink (Best Pop Album), Britney Spears (Best Dance recording), Eric Clapton, Green Day, and AC/DC (each nominated for Best Rock Album), Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young (each nominated for the
Tsunamis and earthquakes: are you afraid?
wings of a normal passenger plane – but weighs no more than a family car. The giant wings will accommodate 12,000 photovoltaic cells – the plane’s only source of energy. The major challenge is to gather enough solar energy during eight hours of daylight flying to charge the batteries with enough power to propel the plane throughout the night. A few weeks ago, Solar Impulse managed to take off for the first time – it flew at a height of one metre for over 350 metres. During 2010 the team will be working to make the first full day and night flight. When they succeed, Solar Impulse will be one big step closer to its greatest challenge. www.solarimpulse.com
Best Solo Rock Performance), U2 and Pearl Jam (Best Rock Song), Justin Timberlake (Best Rap Collaboration), and Eminem (Best Rap Album). The winners will be announced on Sunday 31 January, during a televised show in Los Angeles. The Grammy Awards are held by The Recording Academy, an organisation of musicians dedicated to improving the quality of life for music and its makers. The first edition of the awards goes back to 1958. Kings of Leon
The 2004 devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami is still fresh in some Maltese people’s minds. One out of every 20 are in fact still very afraid – out of all the natural disasters that can hit the Islands, they feel mostly at risk of tsunamis. It may not be a lot, but no other EU state has so many residents terrified of the giant waves. Should they be so afraid? Some claim that tsunamis cannot hit Malta because we are not in an ocean. Wrong. A tidal wave can occur even in a closed sea, such as the Mediterranean Sea. In fact it did happen – in 365AD, in 1303, and more recently in 1908, when a Messina earthquake caused a tsunami which struck southern Italy and also reached Malta. Earthquakes in nearby countries can cause tidal waves that may reach Maltese shores. Submarine landslides or volcanic activity can also lead to a tsunami. Seismologist Dr Pauline Galea explains that while the natural factors leading to a tsunami remained the same, “we have to keep in mind that coastal developments and coastal land-use in Malta increased considerably in recent years, meaning that the risk of damage is now much higher.” Dr Galea heads the University of Malta’s Seismic Monitoring Unit, which records several earthquakes in the sea around the Maltese islands every month. Some are no more than 15 kilometres away from the shore. Most are too small to be felt on land. This does not mean that larger tremors are excluded. Half of Maltese residents feel threatened by the risk of earthquakes, a recent EU study revealed (Eurobarometer Nov 2009). In 1693, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Sicily damaged several buildings in Malta, including the Mdina Cathedral. A similar earthquake today may have worse consequences. “Building developments escalated dramatically in the past 50 years or so, and an earthquake similar to the one in 1693 would affect many more buildings.” The digital seismograph at Wied Dalam enables the Unit to keep a detailed record of tremors around the Maltese islands. “It helps us to identify the earthquake hazards faced by the country,” Dr Galea says. Seismologists also need the people’s experiences of any earthquakes. This is why they ask people who feel any tremors, even the smallest ones, to complete an online questionnaire. It helps them to assign an earthquake intensity value and to compare the level of ground shaking at different sites. “The people’s experiences also help us when more distant earthquakes are felt in Malta – it gives us information on how the earthquake’s vibrations travel over large distances.” www.phys.um.edu.mt/seismic
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
The truth behind our baby’s death A couple’s struggle to find answers
n Christmas Eve 2008, Ian and Nicola rushed their one-year-old son to hospital. Doctors assured them he had nothing serious, and sent them back home. Three days later the baby died. A year has passed but Ian and Nicola are still battling with the Maltese authorities to get an explanation for their baby’s death. In this interview, the distressed parents tell David Vella that they cannot give up looking for answers.
We have Reece’s photo in every room of our home. As painful as it is to see his beautiful face without being able to hold him in our arms, the photos give us strength to carry on. We see him smiling back at us and we think that this cannot be it – he cannot have just died. We cannot accept letting go when we have so many unanswered questions.” I first met Ian and Nicola five months after Reece died. They had decided to make a public appeal to the authorities in the hope of receiving a full explanation of their son’s death. As I wrote an interview for an e-newspaper, I tried my best to convey the couple’s need to understand why their son died three days after a doctor in hospital told them that nothing was seriously wrong with him. It wasn’t just a matter of coping with the loss. Back then I too believed that media exposure would move the authorities into action.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Almost a year after Reece died, as I read Nicola’s email explaining that they are still struggling to get answers and put an end to their torment, I realised that the longer the couple remain in the dark, the more reason they have to believe that someone, somewhere, does not want them to know the truth. Even if this may not be the case. I met Nicola and Ian for the second time a few weeks ago. “Honestly some days it feels like this suffering is too much for us. That is a very scary and dark place to be,” explains Nicola, “but luckily we have each other and our families and friends who really care about us. They too question if we should continue seeking an explanation when they see how hard it is for us. In every letter we write, every phone call we make and in every interview we give, we have to relive those horrific days. Yet our families understand that for us to ever get any kind of peace back in our lives we need to get answers.”
“ We cannot accept to let go and remain without an explanation.”
“It is so hard to find words to describe the frustration of this situation,” Ian adds, “or the pain we feel, the rush of emotions, the tears, when we come across an everyday object or situation that reminds us of Reece, when we are at the supermarket and walk by products or toys we used to buy for him, or when we see other parents with their little child.” “Reece really was our whole life. We were so happy as a family. We were blessed.” On 24 December 2008 the couple took Reece to hospital as he was having difficulty breathing. He was 16 months old. In the examination room the doctor told them that this was “another case of croup” (a curable illness that is common in infants), prescribed medicines for three days, and assured them that the baby had nothing serious. On December 27, before leaving for work, Ian went to Reece’s cot to kiss him goodbye. He was not breathing. An ambulance rushed the baby to hospital but it was too late. The parents were immediately informed that a magisterial inquiry was ordered, and that Reece’s body had to undergo an autopsy. Hospital staff told them to go home and wait for a police officer to give them with more information. To date, they are still waiting for this officer to turn up. On December 29, Ian and Nicola received a phone call informing them that they could make arrangements for Reece’s funeral. The hospital certificate was very sketchy, with several incomplete sections, listing “pneumonia” (an inflammation of the lung tissues, which, if diagnosed early, can be treated with antibiotics) as the cause of death. “We were devastated. After painfully consenting to the autopsy despite knowing what our son would have to go through, we were never allowed to see the report. Has it been lost?” Nicola asks. This was the beginning of Ian and Nicola’s struggle to understand why their baby died of pneumonia when three days earlier he was diagnosed with a completely different, and much less serious, condition. They visited the hospital on several occasions however they are none the wiser. At one point a top hospital official informed them there were no records about their son in the hospital’s system. She then went on to ask them why they had not yet contacted the police, but she wouldn’t explain why they should have done so. She told them nothing about Reece’s death. Eventually, the court released a copy of the magisterial inquiry. It offered no consolation – it was inconclusive, and had incomplete or incorrect data, including basic information about the events leading to the baby’s
death. The family has now presented the case to the Ombudsman, who is investigating the matter. The couple is also in contact with European Union institutions, which informed them that they have a right to access information about their baby’s death. An EU official also advised the couple to “push your case in the local media since things in Malta go this way.” This was not an easy decision to take, Ian admits. “It is really sad and very humiliating that we should have to do this. But we are ready to do what we have to in the hope of getting an explanation there is no room for pride.” It was at this time, in May 2009, that I interviewed the couple. Later, Ian and Nicola were also invited on a current affairs television programme. “We hoped that the authorities would hear us and try to give us some kind of explanation as to how we can access information on Reece’s death, the medical reasons for it, and a complete death certificate so we can at least register his death, but our appeals seem to have fallen on deaf ears.” On the contrary, the public has been very supportive. “We discovered we are not alone in this situation. It seems that people are left to suffer in silence - what choice are you given when the We live people who are supposed to advise you, to day by day, give you the information you are entitled to praying for by law, refuse to do so?” “I don’t know how the people ignoring us manage to sleep at night. Do they know the pain they are causing us? Wouldn’t they ask the same questions if it were their son or daughter who died?”
the day when we can look at Reece’s photos and think of the lovely and happy boy he was
In spite of all the hardships, Ian and Nicola are determined not to give up. “We had to move from our home as it was too painful to be there without Reece, and we honestly don’t know what our future holds. We live day by day, praying for the day when we can look at Reece’s photos and think of the lovely and happy boy he was, and not of the many unanswered questions we are being forced to live with.” “We believe that if we can just be strong enough for as long as it takes to have our answers, the pain of death will become something we can learn to live with.”
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
iving, oving earning
by Kris Grima B.Psy; MSc(Oxon) Palliative Care Counsellor
Life after cancer
itting with a friend for her last chemotherapy was like a ritual, something to celebrate and to rejoice. Compared to the previous fifteen treatments, it was a breeze. Why? Because it was the last one. The nurse carefully slipped the needle into a vein and the cocktail of chemicals slowly flowed into her body. When the last ounce disappeared from the bag, the needle was withdrawn from her hand and our own colourful Band Aid (which we looked forward to just like the old days at school when the teacher would stick a gift star on our copy books) was placed over the punctured site, now immune to pain. We smiled and hugged one another, including the nurse who had been assisting us throughout whilst exclaiming, “it’s over. You are done with chemo.” I recall her saying that although she felt dazed from the anti-nausea medications, she felt good. We then left the treatment room for the last time. Assisting my friend meant that psychologically I experienced everything that she had – baldness, fatigue, nausea, and an emotional rollercoaster of fear, confidence, anxiety, calm and depression. Many people who lived with cancer, as well as their families are very familiar with all this. The whole experience taught me a lot about myself, my faith, my family, my priorities, the richness of friendship and the fragility of life. I remember my friend saying that she experienced a sense of rebirth, of euphoria as she was cured from cancer. On the other extreme, “I cannot avoid the fear of recurrence.” When one tries to reintegrate oneself after the experience of cancer the old age question that touches our beliefs about life and about our spirituality crops up – WHY ME? There is no escaping the human conditions of pain, loss and death. However shock, confusion and preoccupation with treatment usually keeps cancer patients from
asking this philosophical question until they reflect on their journey so far and realise just how much they suffered and lost. The question – why me - becomes a stimulus to explore individual beliefs. Yet, from a cold, practical point of view, more than one out of every three individuals is likely to develop cancer. It can be any one of us. Thus, one way of solving the ‘why me?’ dilemma is to replace the question by ‘why not me?’ Living with a history of cancer is not easy. Yet the emotions themselves are less important than how you learn to deal with them. Emotions are not an issue unless they keep you from doing the right things. Consider them messages from the body to let you know how you are doing and what you need to work on. Explore the source of your fears and find ways to tame them. Discover the source of your anger and find ways of dissipating it. Recovery after cancer is a family affair – use it to your advantage. Preserve your renewed life by focusing on realistic ways to regain strength (visualisation and meditation are excellent sources). Worrying about your past will poison your future – do not let non-existing problems distress you. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Laugh every day, look towards building a new you as opposed to re-creating the old you. Your mind affects your health - it does not control your health. Franklin Roosevelt once said, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear is a human response that is only good when it helps you to do the right thing. We cannot always choose our circumstance but we can always choose how we deal with them. Love yourself. Life is worth living.
there is nothing to fear but fear itself
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Meditation is a very effective method of dealing with daily stress, or with the traumas caused by painful experiences. Essentially, it is all about relaxing your mind.
Here are a few guidelines: • Don’t expect anything out of meditation. Instead, accept whatever it gives you. • Find a quiet place, and sit in a comfortable position • Close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing. Focus on relaxing every part of your body. • Resist your mind’s temptation to wander off to any thought that arises. Keep focusing on your breathing. • Don’t give up if your mind keeps cropping up other thoughts. This is not wrong. Just keep re-focusing your attention on your breathing – the more thoughts you put aside, the more you let go. • As you resist distracting thoughts, you will experience a sense of inner peace. Your mind is now completely relaxed – remain in this state for a while. • After meditation, you will feel refreshed and more lucid. A sense of contentment will develop within you.
Spending 10 to 15 minutes meditating everyday helps you increase mental clarity, deepen concentration, find inner guidance, unlock creativity, develop intuition, face fear, and handle strong emotions.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
health & beauty
Low-cost beauty by Marika Azzopardi
Pampering you can afford
Here are some fast tips….
hen your budget is hanging on one miserable shoestring, and you’re so busy you can’t squeeze anymore into your days, you usually ignore the need to keep up with personal pampering and just hope for the best.
Put nail polish on one hand at a time so one hand is always free to do something else.
3 4 5
Put body lotion on elbows and knees as you sit on the loo.
Pluck your eyebrows while you’re making pasta. One eyebrow done while the water boils, the other done while the pasta cooks.
Keep cuticle cream in your handbag and massage it into your fingernails while sitting in the bus.
9 10 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Massage day cream into your face while you walk downstairs.
Use light nail colours, which need less fussy application.
Keep your manicure bag next to the sofa in the living room, so you can treat your nails as you sit through the TV commercial adverts.
Ask for samples. Pharmacies and perfumeries usually have lots to give away and you can test the product on your skin rather than paying for something you’ll never use. The best time to treat yourself is when you’re feeling tired and miserable - don’t let yourself go! Try to do one little thing for yourself every day. By the end of the week you’ll be shining.
health & beauty No time and money to spare? You can still keep up a beauty regime - all it takes is a few minutes a day. Check out this list and find out how you can start off in the right direction: ‘Cleanse, tone, moisturise’ is what everybody suggests and they are right. If you can’t buy a set of three expensive bottles, there is a solution. Start off by buying a cheaper ‘all skin types’ cleanser and use it before going to bed, to remove makeup and dirt on your skin. If you use mascara, try to find a cleanser which removes this as well, so you are cleansing your whole face at one go. Use non-waterproof mascara - it is easier to remove. If you’re stuck with waterproof mascara and have nothing to remove it with, remember that good old baby oil is excellent when used sparingly on a moistened piece of cotton wool. Don’t use soap - it is too aggressive and will only dry your face. Rosewater comes cheaper. It is a very mild, natural and soothing toner. If rosewater is not available, a splash of fresh water will always do the trick.
Invest in a really good moisturiser. This will be doing the hardest work on your skin – nourishing it back to its best condition. Moisturise with day cream at least once every morning after you splash your face with clear water. Start from the neck and décolleté area (which is the upper chest area you show off when you wear open blouses or v-shaped tops), and work the cream up to your chin, cheeks, forehead, nose and lips. Movements should be gentle, moving upwards and outwards – remember we are fighting gravity which tries its best to make our skin droop and drag downwards.
stained dirty teeth. The build-up is ugly to see and bad for your teeth plus being a putoff to people around you. Nice clean teeth will add marks to your general appearance any time. Flakes in your hair are not always dandruff. You may simply need to wash your head more frequently (or better), or you may have a dry scalp. Shampoo your hair once, rinse, shampoo a second time, taking care to massage your fingers into your scalp slowly but surely. This will aid circulation and improve dry scalp, whilst releasing build-up of dead skin. Rinse very carefully. When you apply conditioner do not apply any to the scalp. Conditioner is meant to condition your hair, making it softer and tangle-free. It does not do anything for your scalp. Rinse carefully off and mop dry. Don’t attack your hair with a towel. Just winding a towel round your hair is enough to dry it naturally. At bedtime grab some olive oil - a great natural lubricant that you can find in your kitchen. A good alternative is almond oil – you can get this from a pharmacy. Apply tiny amounts of oil onto your fingertips, massage into your scalp and repeat until all the scalp is moisturised. Use an old pillowcase on your pillow and enjoy your beauty sleep. Next morning, repeat the double shampoo and conditioning routine to remove the oil. Your hair and head will start to thank you. Repeat once a month; twice if your hair is particularly dry. Place hand cream or body lotion next to your bed, together with plastic gloves which you can buy cheaply from the pharmacy. Coat your hands in cream, put on the gloves, and sleep with them on. Next morning your hands will be as soft as a baby’s bottom. For a simple pedicure, grab an old toothbrush, a nail clipper and nail polish remover. Before going in the shower, remove the old polish you applied to your toe nails last August. In the shower, soap your feet and scrub those toes with the toothbrush. Dry feet carefully, cut the nails and massage them with body lotion, hand cream or baby oil, which are all effective. Wear socks to keep your feet warm and allow the creams to work better.
Brush your teeth! It’s amazing how many lovely women I meet smile at me with
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
Sales Survival Guide by Sarah Micallef
Gentlemen, start your engines – it’s that time of year again: the sales! A time in which the gloves well and truly come off as women everywhere abandon roasts in the oven, screaming children hanging from ornaments and all other pressing matters; leaving a string of weary, bag-laden male counterparts (unfortunate enough to have naively agreed to the expedition) in their wake, transforming into bloodthirsty bargain-hunting machines. So, as the time is upon us, I figured a few tips on how to survive and make the most of January sales would not go amiss.
They will never fit. A trap into which many
of us fall come sale time is buying items which are not the right size. Beyond failing to try them on in the shops because of the multitude of people milling around the fitting rooms, we tend to be fooled by the absurdity of the price tag - something I call the ‘If the jeans don’t fit, I’ll lose weight’ mentality. One must always remember that the stock come sale time is there for a reason: because it hasn’t been bought yet, and sometimes this is not only due to its expense. The cut, for example, may not be flattering, and no amount of weight loss (or gain) can fix that!
Add a touch of class to your winter wardrobe by introducing a fur piece. Channel the glamour of 1930s and 40s beauties such as Joan Crawford and Martha Hyer, but please, fake it! It is a rare occasion you’ll hear such sentiments from me (I vehemently dislike all manner of plastic and silicone) but even if you aren’t an animal lover, with the multitude of beautiful faux fur pieces on the market, it simply isn’t worth it – for the animals as well as your wallet!
Don’t go there. It is a known (albeit
unexplained) fact that a reduced price tag sometimes gets the better of our good judgement, allowing us to fall victim to things we normally wouldn’t look twice at. They may be the right size and cut, but when have you been known to wear pink rouched dresses? Yeah, never.
Beware the Trend-Tickers. Beware of
items which are on the extreme side of ‘trendy’ at sales. If you shop by current trend only you won’t get as much wear out of them – whatever is ‘everywhere’ now will, I guarantee it, be ‘nowhere’ next week. My advice here is you’re best off buying basic staple items – things that are truly good value for money and that you will wear again and again. I mean really, how long did padded shoulders last first time round?
best items are snapped up in the first few days of the sale by the shop’s regulars, but one must always remember that items always get reduced further after a couple of weeks. So, if something has been reduced but you still can’t afford it, don’t fret or break the bank, be patient and you might see it for half the price in a few days time.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Monsoon Ladies, Sliema
Don’t be hasty. It is true that a lot of the
Make a Statement
Statement jewellery is all the rage this season, so if your funds disallow a completely new outfit after the Christmas spending spree, jazz up an old one with one of these beauties. Fine Costume Jewellery St. John’s Square Valletta T: 2122 7128
Tips & Tricks
To Dye For
Got an old shirt or dress that’s seen better days?
! Boot ‘em Up
Leri & Co
th em, team them wi ns tucked into th jea ur a yo ly ar ite we fin u ots are de Whether yo trusty leggings, bo ur yo , the er im ov pr or or irt fy a simple sk d, flat, com Long, short, heele n, e. pl sio ca sta oc be y ro an rd r winter wa versatile fo them effortlessly es ak m ty rie va l wonderfu toasty and dry. ing your tootsies all the while keep
Whether it’s lost some of its vivacity in the wash or you’re simply bored of it, get creative and experiment a little. Transform it with some clothes dye (widely available from most supermarkets) and you’ve got a completely new piece. You can take a leaf out of designer Celine’s book and try tie dye, or just chuck it in the washing machine for full on colour.
Soul Leri & Co
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What’s in your wardrobe
Ours is constantly overflowing, but we simply can’t resist fresh ideas from your fashion diaries! Send us your ideas, tips, questions, even photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214
T: 2702 0127
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
Model: Laura Elomaa
Hair & make-up by Charles Falzon & Charlene Falzon @ Avantgarde, Fgura T: 2180 1429
Coat - Frenchies, Bâ€™Kara T: 2144 0318 Scarf and Hat - Bemania, Mosta T: 2141 9580 Jeans - Piazza Italia, Bâ€™Kara T: 2149 6487 Shoes, Gloves & Bag - Zara, Sliema T: 2258 2900
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Photography by Jacob Sammut Carabez - Pearl Works T: 79857733
Coat - Frenchies, B’Kara T: 2144 0318 Leggings - Piazza Italia, B’Kara T: 2149 6487 Shoes - Zara, Sliema T: 2258 2900
Fur Coat - Monella Vagabonda, Hamrun T: 2124 6827 Dress - Piazza Italia, B’Kara T: 2149 6487 Necklace - Accessorize, Sliema, Valletta, Paola, Victoria T: 2131 7951 Shoes & Bag - Zara, Sliema T: 2258 2900
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
The big day J
anuary 26 is Australia’s National Day. It’s no work and no school for over 20 million Australians, including thousands of Maltese expatriates and their families. Instead it’s a day for celebrating, either in public venues or at home with friends - barbecues, cultural and sports events, ceremonies, fireworks, and much more. Vida has spoke to Australians of Maltese descent and Maltese nationals who live or have spent time in this country about their Australia experience.
Runs the most popular ‘pastizzi’ factory in Australia, ‘Gato’s Pastizzi’, and the Traditional Maltese Café, in Sydney, with his brother. As a first generation Maltese Australian, I have to firstly say that Australia means everything to me. Everyone is treated the same and equally in this country and opportunities are open to all with the fortitude to create something. I will spend Australia Day at home with my family. My mum will probably come over with some baked macaroni or rabbit stew and I will cook some meat and sausages on the barbecue. We will just sit in the back yard with a few beers and some conversation. Maltese people around Australia will all be doing the same thing on that day, cooking a barbecue, maybe preparing a Maltese dish and of course ‘pastizzi’ and maybe some ‘ravjul’. Aussies love being invited to a Maltese friend’s house because they know they will be treated to a great meal and in very good company.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Marketing Communications Manager, backpacked the east coast of Australia in 2008. “Australia is an outdoor country. People only go inside to use the toilet. And that’s only a recent development! This statement by Barry Humphries cannot be more true - Australia really is about the great outdoors... getting off the beaten track and experiencing beauty in its most natural space. The thing about the land down under is that its youth contributes to a more educated nation that keeps their magnificent landscape unspoiled and protected. White beaches, rainforests, the great reef, animals’ names you can hardly spell (cossowaries for example) - Australia really is ‘God’s Country’ I spent three months on the east coast of Australia, travelling from Sydney to Cairns on a backpacker bus with globetrotters from all over - doing things like skydiving, zorbing, white water rafting, diving and needless to say bar hopping with mates from the coast. I was on Magnetic Island on Australia Day drinking Toohey’s New in the pool all day followed by a full moon party at our hostel, X Base... singing along to Waltzing Matilda and Slim Dusty’s classics. I could write a book about what to do in Australia but here are three pieces of advice: don’t skimp or chicken out on activities, they’re worth the adrenaline and the expense, don’t bother going to a zoo - you’ll see kangaroos and koalas in more places than you think, and take lots of sunscreen!”
interview John Aquilina Leader of the House in the Legislative Assembly and Parliamentary Secretary to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Mary Cutajar Emigrated to Australia in 1965. As it is summer here, on Australia Day a lot of families get together and have family picnics at the beach. Many Australians will also wear clothing featuring the Australian flag, or its colours. Australia has been my home since I was 22. In June 1965, I joined the ‘Single Women’s Scheme’. This initiative by the Malta Curia’s Emigrants’ Commission was aimed at helping single Maltese girls migrate to Australia on their own. The large number of young men going abroad led to an imbalance in the sexes at marrying age. In 1957 there were over 9,300 more women than men between the ages of 15 and 34 years. So the Church started a migration scheme for single young women. Many people did not like this, insisting it was shameful that young girls were going abroad on their own.
“Australia Day is the anniversary of the day when the first European settlement began in Sydney. Captain Arthur Phillip landed in Sydney Cove with the ships of the First Fleet carrying convicts who were to become the first settlers. Although they were not aware of this at the time of the landing, many of these convicts and their descendants were to raise families, begin farming and business activities. In essence, they were to become the nucleus of what was to become this great nation. It was through my parents’ sacrifices that I have been given the opportunities to succeed. When they left Malta my brother and I were small boys. They knew it would be a one-way journey and that they could never look back. They made this sacrifice because they felt that Australia was where we could improve our lives, particularly through improved opportunities for education and employment.
Through this scheme we were given the chance to travel to Australia by air, which back then was too expensive for most Maltese. Most emigrants spent months to get to Australia on ocean liners. We got there in just two days. I arrived in Brisbane to find my boyfriend at the airport waiting for me. He took me to some relatives to stay there until we got married 10 days later and moved to the house where I still live today.
I received an education that has enabled me to work firstly as a high school teacher for almost ten years and subsequently as a Mayor of a major city, and eventually as a Member of Parliament for more than 28 years. During this time I have served as a Minister of the Crown for more than 11 years, including almost seven years as Minister for Education and Training. Additionally, I was the Speaker for a further four years, and presently, since 2007, I have been the Leader of the House.
A lot of things have changed in Australia since then. We now work shorter hours, have better transport, too many cars and car accidents, better household commodities, and many backyard pools. We have bigger hospitals, better education facilities, and it is easier to travel within Australia and overseas. It is not all good - there are more separations too - 53% of marriages in Australia end up in separation.
I usually celebrate Australia Day by publicly showing my gratitude and the gratitude of my family for all that Australia has meant to us. As one may expect, this often means attending and speaking at a number of public functions, including Citizenship Ceremonies, where new migrants are sworn in as Australian Citizens. There is always a substantial number of Maltese migrants who are included in this group.
Francine and Jocelyn Grech
At the end of the day we relax in the typical Aussie Francine is a training consultant with one way by enjoying a barbecue with family and friends. of Australia’s largest banks. Her sister Jocelyn has just completed a nursing course in a Melbourne university. “Australia day is a day of appreciating and enjoying the Australian way of life - beach, barbecues, beer, family and friends. We have grown up and continue to live in Australia with our parents, who migrated to Australia over 30 years ago in search of a better life. Like many people with Maltese heritage, we have had many opportunities to visit our parents’ homeland, to visit our family in Gozo and to truly appreciate Maltese culture. Living in a multicultural country like Australia means we can continue to live many Maltese traditions alongside our Australian way of life. We are proud to be Maltese-Australians.”
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
interview Natalie Gauci
Australian singer and songwriter, winner of Australian Idol 2007. Her debut album sold over 70,000 copies, reaching Platinum status. “Being of Maltese-Australian descent I have always celebrated Australia Day. So many different cultures are brought together on Australia Day. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to sing and perform to the families who come together on this special day to be proud of who they are, where they come from and where they are today. It is always a happy and fun day full of parties and festivities and I love contributing and entertaining the crowds. I feel very privileged to be Maltese Australian, any involvement I can have to keep people smiling just for the day, means the world to me!”
Left Malta in 1966. Moved to Brisbane, Australia, after living in South Africa for 37 years. Australia Day means a lot to us, for three main reasons. First, it is my mum’s birthday. Second, it is the day we became Australian citizens a few years ago and finally, we celebrate all that Australia is, which is heaps. Australia is a very well kept secret, it is amazing how little people know about it. Our home has a jetty attached which allows us to keep a boat here allowing us access to the bay at the drop of a hat. We have dolphins visiting very often as well as manta rays and lots of other lovely marine creatures. All this and we are right next to Brisbane and Gold Coast, Australia’s third and fifth largest cities. We love this country for its friendly people, low crime rates and minimal government corruption, great public amenities, a world leading social assistance safety net, and because Australians care a lot for their environment. Political changes are proposed and implemented immediately, and we have good roads, and good infrastructure - you can really see your tax-dollars working for you.
Yakof Azzopardi and Janet Silvio
Travelled to Australia for a work experience, and returned soon after. Australia. A land of extremes , contradictions, flies, expensive accommodation, great steak, kangaroos, heat, tractors, hay bailing, hard work, snakes, good pay, friendly Maltese circle, grasshoppers, campervans, what else can we say? The country rings its own bells. We lived for a month in Sydney till we could afford it, attended a farming course, worked in a farm, bailed hay in a hay patch twenty times the size of Malta, ate some flies along the way, and travelled in a campervan through great scenery and unreliable weather. “An experience,” that is our Australia.
A controversial day…
Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip’s fleet in Sydney, on January 26, 1788. This landing established the first European colony in this vast, still mostly unpopulated, country. The first British settlement marks the beginning of modern Australia. Some call it Foundation Day. But is it really the anniversary of Australia’s first civilisation? Surely not. When Captain Phillip landed in Sydney, he found an Aboriginal population of between 300,000 and one million and they had been living in this land for over 35,000 years. The Aboriginal communities had no political leaders and no rigid administrative systems. They lived in around 500 tribes, each with its own territory, language, art, values, and traditions. When the scarce water and food sources dried up, they moved to another place. They lived in spiritual harmony with the land. The colonisation of Australia changed everything. The British settlers invaded the Aboriginal territories, bringing in Western illnesses to which the natives were not accustomed. Thousands perished. The settlers were not friendly invaders – over 20,000 Aborigines were killed in land conflicts. Australia’s new authorities reflected the settlers’ hostility. For decades, killing an Aboriginal person was not even considered a crime. No wonder that many of the 50,000 Aboriginal people today (about 2% of the country’s 20 million population) consider 26 January as a Day of Mourning. The recognition of these past mistakes gave Australia Day a new focus. It is now a celebration of the country’s multiculturalism, involving all of the country’s ethnic, racial, and religious communities.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
eating & drinking
Brought to you by Diamond Walnuts
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)
Ingredients (Serves 6 to 8)
½ head each romaine and red leaf lettuce, torn in pieces and chilled 1 tomato, cut into wedges 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber 1 cup croutons 1 cup shelled Diamond Walnuts 1 cup crumbled feta cheese ½ cup Greek olives Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups Diamond walnuts ½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs ¼ cup dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon minced lemon zest ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme 1, 10-inch pastry tart shell, unbaked 700 grammes apples, peeled and in ¼-inch thick slices ½ cup lemon juice ¼ cup sugar 60 grams butter ½ cup strained apricot preserves for glazing, optional
Athena Dressing • ½ cup olive oil • ¼ cup red wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard • ½ teaspoon oregano • 1 clove garlic, minced
Directions • Combine all salad ingredients except salt and pepper. • Combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. • Pour dressing over salad; add salt and pepper to taste. • Toss well; serve immediately.
Directions • Preheat oven to 175°celsius (350°Fahrenheit) • Spread walnuts on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, (7 to 10 minutes) • Let them cool and chop them coarsely. • In a medium bowl, combine chopped walnuts, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and thyme. • Sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the unbaked pastry tart shell. • In a bowl, combine sliced apples and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Arrange over the nuts and breadcrumbs. • Dribble with any remaining lemon juice. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Dot with butter. • Bake in the lower third of the oven for 40 minutes or until the apples and crust are golden brown. • Let cool, on a wire rack and serve slightly warm.
alnuts are full of healthy benefits: they are a great source of protein and fibre and contain significant amounts of thiamin, vitamin B6, folacin and vitamin E. Other mineral value comes from iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. In addition, they are rich sources of anti-oxidants and their high percentage of omega-3 helps make Diamond walnuts “heart-friendly.”
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
eating & drinking
naughty boys I MONELLI Rating:
63A, Wilga Street Paceville Tel: 21 360 036
The editor of this brand new magazine has already done all the introductions in the opening section but that doesn’t stop me from welcoming you all to this section. As long as I manage to keep myself in the editor’s good books, we’ll be zipping all around the islands in search of good food, wine and service. Those three are in no particular order as, I am sure you will likely agree, they are equally important factors that contribute to an enjoyable meal. What good is a lovely plate of pasta if you’re going to be scowled at by a grumpy waiter? How can you enjoy your favourite wine if accompanied by an overcooked steak? Other factors come into play and we’ll explore these together, too. The atmosphere in a restaurant, ease of access, convenient parking, and a comfortable dining area all come into play. Rating a dining experience is a rather personal matter but this won’t stop me from expressing my opinion. At the same time, I’ll do all I can to state my preferences to make sure that what I’m rating is the ability of a restaurant to meet my expectations. After all, a good meal reflects the ability of a restaurateur to fulfill his or her promises. If the menu boasts ‘the best risotto in town’ I’d be disappointed to be served anything less than that. The reputation for an excellent pizza at ‘I Monelli’ in Paceville had been buzzing around the circle of appassionati. So, in the company of the editor and our respective better halves, off we went to match a meal with the myth. Parking in Paceville during the week is much easier than the weekend nightmare so we picked a chilly Tuesday evening to sample their fares. The restaurant itself wins points even before we’re seated. It has been done up in a tastefully modern combination of white, lacquered surfaces, teak, glass and steel. The stark, straight lines are wonderfully muted by the addition of oddball light fittings that look like they’ve been pulled straight out of a Ross Lovegrove monograph – blobs of polished steel suspended from steel cable that look almost organic in their spheroid beauty. We’re greeted by a friendly and bubbly young man who speaks to us in Italian and translates himself to English almost instantly. He has that hard-to-achieve balance between appearing hurried and efficient so he is never longer than 30 seconds at table but doesn’t appear rude when he takes off like a bullet from a Beretta.
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We order pizza from their extensive menu, a very difficult choice for everyone when all the pizza descriptions sound absolutely sumptuous. The pizzas are treated to an open wood fire that is in full view and take a matter of minutes to be served. My Boscaiola was simply perfect, with a thin, dry base, fresh porcini mushrooms, pancetta and provolone. The balance that these ingredients achieve goes beyond all expectations. Around me three pizzas are being devoured in silence. Here I show my commitment to you, dear readers, and taste every one so that I can report faithfully. I won’t, however, go into the details of each one because, like an over-revealing movie review, I will only spoil the surprise without really sharing the flavour. All I will do is assure you that in every case the ingredients are genuine and fresh, the base thin and dry without being hard to handle, and the combination of toppings on the right side of imaginative. The names are quite evocative, too, a detail that while often overlooked does have an important bearing on our expectations. My companions had ordered the ‘Monti Iblei’, Ortolana, and Vesuvio (only for the brave), all painting vivid pictures before our order has had time to make it to the kitchen. The pizzas were made quick work of, dispatched to gastro-heaven in a shorter time than they had taken to be served (not more than five minutes), and we had just enough room to taste the desserts. We tried the tiramisu with forest fruit, not a favourite of mine so I’ll decline from appraising, an excellent panna cotta al caffe, and the dish that would inspire a modern-day version of Dante’s gluttony circle in hell. This circle would be called Scugnizzi Nutella. Misleading as the name might be, these are actually pop-corn sized balls of dough that have been fried and coated in nutella, a deadly and addictive combination. We chased these with Averna and Limoncello and summoned our souls back from the underworld before we packed them off to bed. At €65 for the four of us this isn’t your typical pizza take-out price but then it isn’t a lot to pay for an enjoyable evening. After all, we were treated to a lovely looking restaurant and more than acceptable service. Is it worth the ordeal of parking in Paceville? I’d just pick a weeknight and pop by the next time you’re up for a pizza. I can think of one or two other places on the Island that compare but there are more plus points stacked for I Monelli than either of the others.
eating & drinking
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
One person you wish you’ll never need
t any one point in our lives we might need the help of this person. In fact, everyday, hundreds of people are helped by these kind souls who have dedicated themselves to helping those in life threatening situations. All about being focused, staying calm, and fast thinking, the life of an emergency nurse is not easy, and is definitely not for everyone. Jane Vella meets Trevor Abela Fiorentino, who has been an emergency nurse for the past six years.
ask Trevor how he manages to separate his work life and the situations he sees on a daily basis from his personal life. “You have to, otherwise it will break you down,” he says. “We were once told, you have to leave your personal problems at the gate when you get to work, and leave your work problems at the gate on your way out again.” Trevor says that with time it comes naturally, but admits that it’s not always easy. “General nursing is more stable, and usually more positive than emergency, which is more unpredictable,” he adds. The main difference between an emergency nurse and a general one is their train of thought. “It becomes part of your mentality. You have to be flexible, learn to prioritise in a difficult situation, and focus,” he explains, adding that nursing students sometimes find it difficult to understand that in an emergency situation, it isn’t the medication that always comes first. The top priority is clearing the airways and making sure a person is comfortable. “Immediate care is about preserving life during a life threatening situation,” says Trevor. He explains that this medicine is more advanced than general nursing. In Malta, ambulances are nurse-led, as opposed to many other countries where they are paramedic-led. Trevor states that although a nurse and a paramedic are different, their jobs run in parallel. “It’s not a case of different levels,” he adds.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
It’s no news that the Emergency Department is always going full speed. Trevor says that the department sees hundreds of cases a day, with plenty of ambulance calls being made, half of which need a nurse, the other half being transport cases. Trevor believes that the abuse of the service is more a case of lack of education and awareness than of abuse. “People genuinely don’t understand why a doctor doesn’t come with the ambulance. They don’t understand the point of the ambulance,” he says. Trevor says that even though the sector lacks resources, they have learnt to work with less and still manage to get much more done with what they have. “However, we need to utilise what we have more effectively.” Emergency nursing can often involve difficult and sometimes frightening situations. “You have to remember to focus and not panic,” he says. Trevor describes a colleague’s recent experience where a young child had stopped breathing and the lift taking them down to the ambulance got stuck. “There’s no time to think, you either know it, or you don’t.” Trevor is also the chairperson of MENA, the Malta Emergency Nurses Association. Established in 2004 by two emergency nurses, today MENA boasts 62 members, out of 86 emergency nurses
When is it an emergency?
When to call an ambulance
Warning signs of a medical emergency:
When should you call an ambulance instead of driving to the emergency department?
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion)
Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
Bleeding that won’t stop
Severe or persistent vomiting
Coughing up or vomiting blood
Suicidal or homicidal feelings
Ask yourself the following questions: • Is the victim’s condition life-threatening? • Could the victim’s condition worsen and become lifethreatening on the way to the hospital? • Could moving the victim cause further injury? • Does the victim need the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians? • Would distance or traffic conditions cause a harmful delay in getting the victim to the hospital? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, or if you are unsure, it’s best to call 112 and ask for an ambulance.
working in Malta. MENA’s original aim was the sharing of ideas, an organisation where emergency nurses could meet up, debate, and discuss their common needs. “Today, MENA is much more,” says Trevor. “We have study mornings, where we invite expert speakers to talk to our members. We make sure that the speakers are really in touch with the subject. These events are interactive and more discussion-based,” adds Trevor. MENA also holds training camps, which focus on a particular subject, and require a great deal of planning, since practical scenarios are created for participants to re-enact and decide on the best way to act in that particular medical emergency. “There’s a demand for more education. It’s very satisfying when you organise a seminar for 20, and 40 nurses show up,” he states. Besides this, MENA is definitely keeping busy with future plans. One initiative is the Library, which is currently being put together for the benefit of the emergency nurse community. MENA has also created an electronic journal, where members are encouraged to submit articles pertaining to their area of expertise. “The most exciting project though is the idea we have come up with to create a Federation of Emergency Nursing,” says Trevor. He explains that so far nine countries, including Italy and the UK have already agreed to help. Through MENA’s affiliations with ENAs in these countries, they are building their contacts to get closer to their aim.
Trevor tells me that besides MENA, the little time he has left is spent as a band member of The Miracle. “The original band members have been together since I was 12 years old,” he explains. Coincidentally, they are also all nurses. “We started small, playing at churches and the youth centre,” he says. Their turning point was when they started playing songs from Queen’s repertoire. Since then they’ve played at festivals and other events, continuing to make Freddy Mercury proud. Trevor admits that being an emergency nurse is exhausting and stressful. So would he choose to do something else if he could? “You either love it or you hate it, there’s no middle road,” he says. “I would never leave what I do. One good thing, however small, like a thank you from a patient, will make you say it’s all worth it. That’s what nursing is, helping those who need it.”
We can all plead guilty to leaf ing through magazines and catching up on the gossip about our favourite celebrities. But what about those interesting individuals out there who never get their share of the lime light? From the specialist to the truck driver, from the shop own er Vella will be out there to meet them to the secretar y, Jane like to introduce to the nation thro . Is there anyone you’d ugh this section? Send us your suggestions to yoursay@vi da.com.mt and get in the draw to win €100.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
A Small Book with a Big Story
The story of a
285-year-old learning game The National Library of Malta, or the Biblioteca, as it is also known, is a veritable treasure trove. Amongst the very rare books that one can find is the Giouco D’Arme Dei Sovrani e Degli Stati D’Europa. Joyce Guillaumier finds out that this 285-year-old publication discovered by the library’s staff a few years ago is more than just an old book.
t is small - not more than 12 centimetres long – even if it includes 312 pages. It is not a book to read – the Giouco d’Arme is a book to play with. It features a heraldic card game involving the European States existing in the 17th and 18th century. It was penned by the Jesuit priest Claude-Oronce Fine de Brianville, in 1659. The original was in French, but the copy at the National library is an Italian translation by Bernardo Giustiniano published in Naples in 1725 by Paolo Petrini.
had become popular even away from heraldry classes.
This copy was specifically dedicated to the ‘Eminentissimo Principe D. Antonio Manöel E Villena G. M. della Religion Gerosolmitana’, the grandmaster who ruled Malta between 1722 and 1736. It even features his coat of arms in the opening pages.
It mentions “la Citta Valletta”, “la Citta Vecchia” (the Old City – Mdina), and “il Borgo” (Birgu/Vittoriosa). It also refers to Isla (Senglea) as “la terra di San Michele detta altrimente l’Isola di Sengle dal nome del Gran Maestro che la ristauro’”. Isla was then known as “la terra di San Michele” in reference to Fort St Michael, the first fortification built in this area. The book also explains that it was also referred to as “l’Isola di Sengle”, in honour of the city’s founder Grand Master Claude de la Sengle. Interestingly, it was still referred to as an “isola” (island), in spite of the fact that the Knights had already turned it into a peninsula through a landbridge. The book also refers to Gozo – “L’isola del Gozzo e’ a ponente di quella di Malta. [The island of Gozo is at the west of Malta]”
The teaching of heraldry was considered to be very important at the time. Two Jesuit monks devised this book of cards to teach all necessary knowledge about emblematic symbols to the young students in their schools. It is in fact considered to be one of the world’s first books designed as a learning game. The players had to answer correctly all the questions regarding the particular state before continuing with the game. The copy found at the National Library is also important because it contains not only the fifty-two playing cards but also all the rules of the game, thus making it an indispensible, compact and handy book to carry around. Considering that this book formed part of the Order’s collection at the National Library and that it was specifically dedicated to Grandmaster Vilhena, most probably this learning game
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Each of the cards carried historical and geographical information about the states. Malta was represented on the Three of Clubs. The few pages referring to the Island (pages 60 to 64) gave information about important coats-of-arms in Malta, its geographical position and dimensions, the then-known towns and cities, and its history in relation to the Order of the Knights.
On the occasion of Malta’s entry into the European Union in 2004, the idea of a fitting memento of the occasion was being mooted. Considering the rarity of the book, it was decided to publish a facsimile of the Giuoco d’Arme to coincide with this milestone in Malta’s history. In fact the copy of this book became the first in a series of facsimiles
The Biblioteca This elegant building in the heart of Valletta, the last major undertaking by the Knights Of St John in Malta, came into being in 1776 when the Chapter General of the Order, then under the leadership of Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan, decreed its foundation. The main collections, which were to form the backbone of this new National Library, were the rich legacy of books left by Fra Louis Guerin de Tencin, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order who had died in 1766. Also the collection of Cardinal Joaquin Portocarrero, which de Tencin himself had bought when the Cardinal died in 1760. The combined and unique collection, consisting of some very rare books and manuscripts, and others with elaborate and extremely expensive bindings was to be placed in the new building which de Rohan approved and sanctioned to the designs of Stefano Ittar, a Polish-born architect, then living in Italy. The impressive building was finished by 1796, just two years before the Order was expelled from the Island after ceding Malta to the French. By that date, the book collection had not yet been transferred from its old cramped resting place where it had been stored since de Tencin’s death in 1766. It was only in 1812, during the British rule, that the Biblioteca was officially inaugurated and the books were finally transferred in its halls. In 1925 the National Library acquired its ‘legal deposit’ status by an Act of Parliament and a few years later it was given the title of The Royal Library of Malta. A very important occurrence in the history of the Biblioteca took place in 1938 when it acquired the complete Archives of the Order of St John, making it the most important focus for scholars wishing to delve into the Order’s history. Over the years the National Library of Malta has become the foremost research and reference library on the Island, offering researchers a unique opportunity to study Maltese history.
of rare books to be published by the National Library of Malta in conjunction with the Ministry of Education. Many artists and craftsmen were involved and they lent their full support in the reproduction of the book. Foremost was Philip Borg, then Director of the National Library, and his staff, as well as a group of scholars, restorers, binders and printers who together produced every hand-bound copy with much dedication, love and justifiable pride. Next time you are in Valletta, do make your way to the splendid building in Piazza Regina and visit the Biblioteca, where this book and other treasures can be admired. You will be surprised by the rich collection housed in its halls.
The author would like to thank Ms Maroma Camilleri, Senior Assistant Librarian, and all staff at the National Library for their invaluable help and support in preparing this feature.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
Total Peace of mind for all your
Air, Road & Sea transport needs.
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africa 2010 special
or once the legend may be true – come next July we’re set to find football gold at the end of the rainbow. The countdown for this summer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, has started. It is by far the greatest sport event in the calendar, bringing together millions of people from all over the globe, regardless of their love for the game. It will be a special edition – the first World Cup Finals to be held in the African continent. In the run up to this long-awaited event, Vida will be bringing you closer to the land where all the action will take place. In this first of a six-part series, we asked two Maltese emigrants in Cape Town and in Pietermaritzburg, to give us a taste of life in South Africa.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
africa 2010 special
Life in South Africa Population: 49 million
I was born in Malta but soon after my seventh birthday my family emigrated to sunny South Africa. We had a most wonderful childhood in the exciting big city of Johannesburg. My brothers, sister, and I all grew up and went our separate ways. I decided to move down to the coast as it reminded me of my homeland and its beautiful beaches. After living in Durban for a few years I met my husband, Rupert. We then moved inland to a small Victorian city called Pietermaritzburg. It is set amidst forested hills and the rolling countryside of the Natal-Midlands. Here with our four children Jeremy, (20 and currently studying in Cape Town) Jonathan, Sarah and Duncan (18-yearold triplets in their final year of high school), we have made many wonderful memories. There is not enough time in one’s life to truly experience it all. From gaming in the Kruger National Park, where you can come across real wild animals such as lions, elephants and more, to snorkelling in the Indian Ocean, South Africa has more than enough activities to entertain the whole family. It is a most beautiful country celebrating a variety of languages, cultures, landscapes and different food delights. As every country does, we do have our problems in South Africa. Crime and AIDS are big problems here, however we still have a wonderful lifestyle. South Africa is now my home, where my family and I share our special moments together. But Malta will always have a place in my heart. We love visiting our family back home when we come for a holiday. I hope to see more of the Maltese community here in the near future. It is most definitely a place for all to visit and enjoy for a holiday. We are looking forward to our family visiting over for the World Cup in July.
“The people of Africa learnt the lesson of patience and endurance in their long struggle for freedom. May the reward brought by the FIFA World Cup prove that the long wait for its arrival on African soil has been worth it... Ke Nako! It’s time.”
Area: 1,219, 912 kilometres squared
Government: A Republic with
the President acting as both Head of State and Head of Government. The Cabinet of Ministers is formed of Members of Parliament.
Language:11 official languages, English is used in road signs, and official documents. Capital Cities: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein Time: GMT +2. World Cup Games expected to start at 1930hrs and 2130hrs Malta time.
Major challenges: HIV/AIDS, Poverty, Crime.
“As soon as I landed here in Cape Town [2 December 2009], I noticed changes in the roads, as well as new hotels and it seemed as though the people’s excitement was tangible. There’s no better feeling than that.” DAVID BECKHAM
“I love football. There is something about this sport that is part of our culture, it is part of who we are as South Africans.”It’s time.” CHARLIZE THERON
“Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. In Africa, soccer enjoys great popularity and has a particular place in the hearts of people.”
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
africa 2010 special
Josette Maeyer You haven’t made all your dreams come true if you haven’t yet visited Cape Town. It is truly one beautiful place and still very affordable to enjoy and visit.
want to spend less on good quality clothing there is an abundance of famous brands’ factory shops, flea markets and casual traders.
My parents left Malta and moved to this city when I was still very young. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and scenic cities in the world - on arrival you will have to cable up Table Mountain. At the top you can enjoy the most breathtaking views of the city. There are more different species of flowers and plants on Table Mountain alone than in the entire United Kingdom.
The enthusiastic nature lovers can take on many hiking trails along a number of the wonderful forests and nature reserves. At the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, you can enjoy fantastic concerts at the open-air amphitheatre in summer, and in a cosy restaurant warmed by a larger than life log fire in winter.
For the avid wine lovers there is an abundance of wine estates, each boasting luscious vineyards and international award winning wines. A good suggestion is to hire a driver, as after a handful of wine tasting at some of these estates your driving may not be so trustworthy anymore! Elaborate and up to world class shopping centres will certainly have any shopaholic gasping. For those who
The sporting fanatics can enjoy a round of golf on some of the world popular courses. Or catch a wave at Muizenberg beach, kite flying at Blouberg, cycle up Chapmans Peak or run along the famous 2 Oceans Marathon Trail. The nightlife changes the face of Cape Town as it becomes electric with activities and people young and old flock to clubs, restaurants or just a stroll at the Waterfront.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
Love to Hate
Grilling the wardens’ boss
Local wardens and speed cameras are definitely not drivers’ best friends. Getting a ticket for speeding, for driving improperly, or for careless parking is simply annoying, even when you know you really deserve it. Miriam Dalli faces Kenneth De Martino with the questions we angrily ask as we pay those dreaded traffic fines.
Not just a businessman Kenneth De Martino is the mastermind behind many companies that fall under the KDM Group of Companies. But away from his business life, Kenneth De Martino invests time and energy into the Scouts Movement, which gave him the entrepreneurial skills he has today. As from June 2009 Kenneth De Martino is Malta’s Chief Scout Leader. Having developed his abilities with the scouts as from 1968, when he was still eight years old, Kenneth De Martino worked in all the different sections of the movement. In his four-year term as Chief Scout Leader, he aims to introduce changes that will attract more youths to the Scout movement. Kenneth De Martino believes that being a scout helps individuals build their character and learn self-discipline, a value which shaped him into the person he is today.
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ost insist that warden tickets are just another way of milking our pockets. But is it so, or is this simply a perception? I meet Kenneth De Martino, the man who set up The Guard and Warden Service House Ltd, the company that provides the majority of traffic warden services to local councils in Malta.
a good friend of mine, but he’s not my cousin. And my wife and his wife are not sisters either as was implied in a number of newspapers.” Mr De Martino said that the only truth is that the local councils who signed up his company as a service provider made this decision through a unanimous vote, irrelevant of their political leaning.
I am greeted by a businessman who immediately makes it clear he is ready to speak his mind about the good, the bad and the ugly of the local enforcement system in Malta.
Mr De Martino believes that he had a cutting edge over his competitors because he equipped himself with all the necessary equipment and personnel before he tendered his bid. “There were 24 wardens who were just licensed and I employed them and there were about 30 hand held computers on the market and I bought them. I purchased second hand cars and I started operating the system prior to any tender being issued so that as a company we had road experience.”
Kenneth De Martino was a local councillor in Msida when the government issued a circular announcing its interest in introducing a local enforcement system. “I was instantly interested,” he affirms, “at that time I assumed that local enforcement was about installing discipline in whatever happens in a local community. I didn’t realise it would be so focused on traffic.” Since he was successful in the tendering process of eight out of the 10 local council districts, many accused Mr De Martino of knowing beforehand that he was going to bag these contracts. His reply is immediate, “the tender process was not adjudicated by the central government. So for such an allegation to be true, I should have had hundreds of friends in each of the districts trying to give me a helping hand.” He argues that “people were making a lot of speed cameras are insinuations. Some said that Minister not money- Austin Gatt is my spinners cousin, which is a complete lie. He’s
So how could it be he did not know that he was going to win the contracts? Why did he invest in a system when he was not yet sure he was going to earn anything out of it? “I am a strong believer in the system and I put my money where my mouth is. I always played fairly, and the local councils are highly satisfied with the consistently high level service they receive,” he promptly replies. Many believe that local wardens are simply heartless beings ready to pounce on us with their lethal ticket-printing gizmos as soon as we err. And that may be an understatement, compared to the words some people use to describe them. “I admit that local wardens are still being criticised everyday,” Mr De
Martino admits. “Our first five years in the business were a learning curve for everyone, for the local wardens, the agency and for the local councils themselves too. Today our wardens are better equipped. They learnt how to deal better with citizens, how to communicate better and how to make better use of common sense in different situations.”
the Malta Transport Authority in the three years preceding April 2009, speed cameras cashed in over €5.1 million in fines. Newspaper columnists and people in the street alike claimed that private contractors managing this system, including Mr De Martino’s company, are earning millions in revenue for providing their services.
Under the new reform that government has just announced, the number of wardens on the beat is expected to double. Will this mean that drivers will be getting twice as many fines? “Definitely not,” Mr De Martino explains, “when we called on government to tackle the problems within the current system we emphasised the shortage of wardens in the streets. This was placing the wardens available in a difficult situation, as enforcement was taking up all their time, leaving them with no space for their other crucial role – education and customer care. Doubling the number of wardens will thus give each of them more time to educating people and helping drivers, pedestrians and other persons.”
“I totally disagree,” he insists. “If you are telling me that speed cameras are money making machines, then I would admit that they make good money in the first three months after they are installed. Yet, once drivers get used to their locations, that income dries up. the number Thus the fines of the first three months of wardens is will have to make expected to double. up for the expenses Will this mean of the full fivetwice as many year term of each camera’s contract, fines? including all the back Name: Kenneth De Martino office work and mainteBirthplace: Sliema nance required to keep it running. Age: 49 So no, speed cameras are not moneyFeels like: 25 spinners. Actually I dare say they Star sign: Cancer are one of the few systems that are Current job: CEO KDM Group of Companies extremely effective in keeping people Facebook or Twitter: Facebook from speeding.” Favourite Colour: Red Summer or Winter: Winter I leave Mr De Martino’s office in Motto: “Be Prepared.” Msida, and drive back home, keeping my eyes open for any warden or Loved by: My Wife speed cameras that I may encounter Hated by: My competitors along the way whilst asking There are some people we just love myself if this enforcement to hate. In this system is really worth its salt. series of interviews, Vida journalist Miriam Dalli will be Or is it just another tax? Will facing these men and women to find out whe ther they really deserve to be hated or if the the new reform change the y’re simply being misunderstood. Who do you love people’s negative perception to hate? Who do you want Miriam to interview? Send of the system? We’ll have to us your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and get in wait and see. the dra
The proposed reform provides for extensive training to boost the wardens’ educational role. “It will also improve wardens’ working conditions as they will have less pressure to issue tickets and more time for customer care. Consequentially, more persons will be encouraged to take up this career.” I turn my attention to another contentious issue - speed cameras. They too are provided to local councils and to the government by Mr De Martino’s company. According to
Some said that Minister Austin Gatt is my cousin, which is a complete lie.
w to win €100.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
SMALL STEPS Citroen C2
€13,000-€15,000 City Cars
GIANT LEAPS Every car buyer has a budget but might not necessarily know which way to look. In Vida’s first car comparison Richard Muscat Azzopardi tried out city cars which cost between €13,000 and €15,000.
hanging habits and a general increase in the volume of traffic all over the world meant that people do not only buy a small car because they can’t afford a big one, but also for other practical reasons. With the introduction of the Smart City-Coupe in 1998, Mercedes changed the trend completely by creating the first truly premium micro car. Buyers of the smallest car on the market were not people who had just got their licence or pensioners, but mid level executives and yuppies - traditionally big car buyers. Twelve years on the trend has picked up really strongly and we have a variety of premium city cars which put form firmly over function. From Italy to France and all the way to the land of the samurai, we tried out four of the most popular micro-city cars on the market. The manufacturers all took a different approach to the solution - which is why, even though they are technically competitors, each one of this group will appeal to a distinct market. They are all small and built mainly for two people - rear passengers are always an afterthought.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
s the shortest of the cars on test (by over 50cm), the iQ brings something very different to the table. Closer in length to the two seater Smart, it still manages to fit four seats into a very tight space by sacrificing the boot completely - no road trips for four in this unless you only carry a toothbrush (and share). With its muzzle-nosed front and boxy rear end, the iQ takes a while to grow on you from the outside, however its interior is built to impress. High quality plastics and fabrics are complemented by nine airbags and all bells and whistles available as of the entry level model.
The Swift’s interior is well designed and comfortable, and being the longest car here it is also the most spacious one in the group (even though you won’t fit in the same parking spaces as the iQ). The rear seats are the only ones I wouldn’t mind spending a couple of hours in and the boot is large enough to take a good shopping spree without sacrificing the rear seats. With the largest engine in the group, the Swift does not hide its intentions - it is built to thrill. Its handling is direct and the suspension absorbs potholes painlessly and with minimum roll. If you’re looking for the fun factor of a baby vehicle mated to the practicality of a slightly larger platform this is the way to go.
oming in at the bottom of the range of our price comparison, the C2 offers a low cost alternative to the funky micro-city car concept. While not going the no-frills way of its tiny sibling (the C1), this Citroen gives a feeling of a much larger car, but includes all the bits and bobs you’d expect in a choice which shows you meant to buy a small car because you wanted one. Even though its 1.1 litre engine will not propel the earth into a reverse spin every time you accelerate, it is still quite fun to drive. It handles bumps well and feels glued to the ground. It feels urgent between gears and will not mind being tossed around corners. If you want a small car which will not attract unnecessary attention but still give you all the pleasure and practicality you’d expect in a larger car I would definitely consider the C2. With the model being close to a replacement you’re also lucky to be bagging a brilliant deal on it at this price.
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
On the road it feels tight and composed, it handled the copious bumps provided for our test by the government brilliantly and the tiny engine was eager to deliver at all times - albeit slightly noisily. Living in a country like Malta I feel that the iQ really ticks all the boxes - short, agile, nippy and beautifully finished - truly an intelligent choice.
f we look at the 5-door version of the Swift it would fit firmly in the supermini category together with the Polo, Ibiza and Clio, however if we’re looking at stylish city cars, the omission of the 3-door Swift would be a crime.
he Fiat 500 wears its heart firmly on its sleeves. With Italophiles and fashionistas firmly in its sights, it is all about form over function. It looks cuter than Puss-in-boots in Shrek and immediately evokes a nostalgia for the good old seventies none of its buyers probably remember. Its interior is similarly well doted - it looks and feels good and is finished lavishly. Even the most basic version is decently equipped, even though the retro-fitted stereo does look slightly disappointing and I would personally opt for the higher trim level to get the built-in unit. The rear seats are only there for short trips (and passengers), however you do get a decently sized boot (for the category). Whereas the 500 would probably win this group hands down on style, it is somewhat lacking in driver involvement on the road. It is not a bad car to drive, by any stretch of the imagination, however you feel detached from the surface you’re driving on - as if playing a video game. Having said that, most people buy cars simply to get them from A to B - if that is what you’re after, you can’t bag yourself a cuter ride.
motoring Fiat 500 Pop
Special Winter OfferS
1.2l 8v Petrol
1.3l 16v Petrol
1.0l VVT-i Petrol
On all the prOtOn range
Emissions (CO2) Price
Other Options The cars we tested are not the only ones which fit the bill, however due to availability constraints we were not able to test the following vehicles you can also consider:
New Ford Ka
Any successor to the original Ka had a very tough task ahead of it. Built on the platform of the Fiat 500, the new one lost all its hard edges and gained a bit of height, but is still quite an attractive proposition. Until we try it out you can rely on our combo rating.
€12,999 gen-2 persona €15,000
As the car which started off the micro craze, it is still the class leader if all you ever need are two seats. The fortwo is still the shortest car around and offers a premium solution to the space problem.
€13,999 Satria neo €15,500
€14,499 engineered by lotus
Aston Martin’s Cygnet
extraS included in priceS:
If these cars are not enough to convince you that there is a market for premium city cars, Aston Martin is coming out with its own version – the Cygnet. In an unexpected move, the British supercar maker will be building its very own supermini based on the Toyota iQ platform but sell it for around twice the price (it is expected to sell for €25K-30K). Initially the firm will only sell it to existing Aston Martin owners, but if it wants to get its average CO2 emissions down it is going to have to sell quite a few Cygnets to make up for its high emission supercars.
• Power Steering • remote Central loCking • alarm • CD Player
Vida Combo Rating: Instead of simply relying on the opinions of one author, or one country, the Vida rating is the average of scores given to a car by 5 leading magazines from around Europe - one each from Spain, Italy, France, Germany & the UK.
• Parking SenSorS • airConDitioner • eleCtriC winDowS • aBS & eBD • twin airBagS
Focus Building Mdina Rd, Attard
+356 2339 3100 January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
BOV MasterCard Prepaid Cards Launched No one enjoys going around the shops with a wallet full of cash. Lose it, and you have no chance of getting your money back. With a credit card you can avoid this risk. However, not everyone always affords to have one. As more and more shopping goes online, card payments are increasingly becoming a necessity – but you can’t always trust every website with your credit card details, especially if you have one with a considerable credit limit. This is where the BOV MasterCard Prepaid Cards come in. The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Cards are globally accepted at all retail outlets displaying the MasterCard logo. Furthermore, these cards can be used to purchase goods and services on the Internet with the added benefits of confidentiality and security. The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Cards are quick and easy to use and more flexible than gift vouchers that are only redeemable at specific retail outlets. They are multi-purpose and can be used to effect payment in various instances as follows:
Prepaid Gift Card
This Card is the perfect gift for friends and family of all ages – you can purchase the card on its own or opt to purchase the gift packaging thus rendering the prepaid card the perfect gift for any occasion.
Internet Payment Card
You may use the BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card to effect purchases over the Internet or to settle payment for mail orders.
The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card is an easy and safe way of carrying money with you when travelling abroad.
Prepaid General Purpose Card
The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card is also a multipurpose card that can be used just like a debit card. The cards can be used for purchases of goods and/or services including online payments.
Anyone over eighteen years of age can apply for the BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card. The card can be purchased instantly and easily from any BOV branch. The prepaid card is also available to individuals who do not have a bank account and who do not qualify for a credit card.
Spending with a prepaid card is limited to the value of the card purchased.
The prepaid cards are more versatile than a voucher and thus are ideal as a gift and also as an alternative means of payment.
The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card is a safe mechanism in order to effect online or mail order purchases, as the maximum amount that may be withdrawn from the card is limited to the denomination value of the card.
PURCHASE A BOV MASTERCARD PREPAID CARD:
The cards are available in three denominations - €50, €75 and €100. Simply call at any BOV branch and ask for your preferred denomination. If the card is being acquired as a gift, you may also purchase our special gift packaging, which is available at a nominal fee.
USING A PREPAID CARD IS EASY
When effecting a purchase from a retail outlet, present your BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card to the cashier, who will swipe it through the EPOS machine. You will then be asked to sign a payment voucher, following which you will be given your receipt. That’s all there is to it!
CHECKING YOUR CARD BALANCE
To check your card balance, simply insert your BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card into any BOV ATM and the balance will be displayed on screen. Alternatively you can call our Customer Services Centre on 21 234 821 and quote your card number to receive your card balance.
Terms and conditions apply. Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Zachary Street, Valletta, VLT1130. 42
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
3 bedroom ( 1 ensuite), main bathroom, open plan kitchen/living/dining overlooking balcony â‚Ź135,000
In Misrah Kola, Attard. Highly finished - Call owner - 9930 0527
2 bedroom (1 ensuite), main bathroom, open plan kitchen/living/dining overlooking balcony â‚Ź110,000
Prices starting from:
Cash in the attic?
ome owners might be feeling the credit crunch more than anyone else at the moment - every last cent of the home loan must still be paid however, if you want to sell your house you will probably be looking at current prices and wondering whether it is the right time to be cashing in on your investment. Others might have a much larger house than they need now that the fledglings have flown away from the nest. Richard Muscat Azzopardi brings you some bright commercial ideas...
Offer areas for storage
As households get smaller and our storage requirements are increasing you might consider offering any extra space you have out for rent as storage. Ideally try and set defined periods where clients can deposit and collect their belongings so that you are always home then. Make sure you know what is being stored, you don’t want anything alive (or dead), illegal or dangerous held on your property.
Open a small business
A spare room might be enough for you to start a small business. No matter what you can do, you will probably find someone to pay you for it - be it sewing or carving, dedicate some space to it, build the right atmosphere and be strict with yourself. You could be generating a decent stream of income from something which was previously a “waste of time” and space.
Rent your garage
If you don’t really need it you can rent your garage to someone in the
vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
neighbourhood - see that you know who will be using it and make it clear that you won’t be tolerating any noisy work though. Also seal off any doors which might lead into the house if they’re interconnected.
Make it a film set
anything from a studio apartment to a maisonette or penthouse. If you have a large garden you can also sell off part of it. Keep in mind that if you get any permits in advance you will increase the value of the area you’re selling.
There are hundreds of photographers on the island - and they are all looking for new locations. Whether you have a distinctive feature at home or whether you can simply offer them some privacy, they will probably be prepared to pay a small amount to rent a room or two for the day. If you’re confident enough you could also get in contact with some TV production houses to offer them your house as a set - this will generate even more cash.
Rent your driveway
Sell or rent part of it
Sell and buy smaller or rent
Some older homes in towns and villages have areas which can easily be cut off from the rest of the house. As long as you can satisfy the basic requirements (a separate door, a bathroom) you can sell or rent
If you live in a busy area you might be able to find a business which is desperate for parking nearby. You can offer your driveway or garage space (as long as it is close and easily accessible) - probably you’ll be at work during their opening hours anyway. Create a simple flyer and post it to businesses you think might be interested - you can probably only charge a small amount, but it always helps. The last resort - cash in on the value of your property by selling it off use the money you get either to buy somewhere smaller or else rent somewhere until you can afford to buy again (if you are inclined to do so).
money matters BECOME A LANDLORD
An unused room in the house can be turned into a steady stream of cash if you sub-let it to someone. This is only really feasible before (or after) you have a family because the commitment is significant. Finding a friend or a relative makes the process easier, however with the influx of foreign workers and students, finding someone who needs long term lodging is becoming easier. You can also rent the whole place out and move back in with the parents. They will surely love it and if you’re lucky you might even start getting your laundry done for free again!
Redevelop your house
An ideal way to cut expenses and make your house more affordable. If moving out you can usually pay off the whole loan repayment with the rental fees. In addition to losing most of your privacy and personal time, the biggest risk is that you won’t know your lessee before letting them into the house. You might end up with someone with different habits and sleep patterns - which can be very disruptive. There are many options - you can start off by advertising it on bulletin boards online, maybe even in ones where you can find someone who shares a common interest if you intend to share the place. You can also advertise it with a real estate agent or in Vida’s own classified section!
If you have (or can borrow) the money for the project, own your own airspace, have permits, and can find a place to live in while you’re working on it, this is one of the most attractive propositions. In some cases you can simply add an extra floor which you can sell, while in others you might have to demolish the current building and build a set of units from scratch. If you plan it out well enough you will have a better house to live in and another apartment or two. You can either rent or sell the extra units you manage to add on, both of which will give you extra income. You have to deal with the complicated process of getting permits, planning, building and, worst of all, selling. In the current economic climate it might not the ideal time to undertake such a project either, since the market for smaller units is relatively saturated. If you have a house and own the airspace start by asking your architect about the availability of permits in your area. Also get quotes and valuations of the property once it is built and finished - you certainly don’t want to go through all this trouble to end up losing money.
Capitalise on your home’s value
If you have paid off your home loan and wish to make a major purchase or start off a business you can put your house up as collateral. Banks will recognise the value of your house and let you free up a large percentage of its value in the form of a loan - be it to buy a boat or to finally start off your dream business. If you have been a diligent saver all your life and now own a house, there is no way of enjoying the investment unless you are prepared to sell it - which isn’t an ideal option. Getting a loanbecomes the best way to finance your dream. If things go pear shaped the stakes are high because you might lose your house. Never take this option lightly and don’t overstretch yourself with the repayment terms. You don’t have much of a choice really - identify what you want the cash for, discuss it with your bank manager, and hope for the best.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt
BOV MasterCard Prepaid Cards
the new, versatile gift card with global acceptance The BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card is the perfect gift for any occasion â€Śbut thatâ€™s not all! Available from any BOV branch to anyone who is 18 years and over, a BOV MasterCard Prepaid Card provides you with versatility, convenience and ease of use while: - shopping over the Internet - settling bills online - paying for goods and services worldwide
Buy one now from any BOV branch.
Terms and conditions apply. Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Zachary Street, Valletta VLT 1130 - Malta
In this section
48 - BUYING GUIDE Hot stuff
Choosing the best fireplace to warm up your home.
51 - TECH & GADGETS Printers
Is it just a matter of ink on paper?
53 - WORK AND TRAINING Time for change?
Sometimes a new job is the only solution
54 - DIY
Save money - do it yourself
Get your costume ready
58 - HOMES & FURNITURE
Spice it up
60 - GARDENING
If Vida Magazine were London, you would now be walking in Oxford Street.
Make it a home sweeter home
Growing broad beans
Easier than you may think
Is what you’re looking for out there?
Welcome to the shopping pages. This section gives you the latest information on the hottest deals on the market, and the latest products and services on sale. It’s not just a matter of what the shops are pushing to sell. We established a pool of experts from various sectors to obtain the best advice on what you should consider before hitting the shops. Check them out and let us know what you think. What else do you wish us to include? What more do you wish to know? And what’s your shopping advice? Send your ideas and experiences to email@example.com.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 47
Choosing a Fireplace
ur mild climate means that fireplaces were never considered an essential feature in a home. For years, only palatial homes in the cities featured large wood-burning fireplaces. Others built fireplaces in their living rooms simply as a decorative feature. Rising electricity tariffs may fast be changing this. As they transfer energy-hungry electric heaters to the remotest shelf of the garage, many homeowners are considering more-efficient heating solutions, including fireplaces. Electric fireplace
Buy one and get a second, possibly third, job to pay the electricity bill. Unless of course you buy one that is energy efficient, which can cost a fortune. Modern ones have a realistic wood-burning glow – you wouldn’t recognise the difference from a real fire until you’re close. Its big plus is that it gives you all the heat you need effortlessly, at the press of a button.
This is the real thing. It is the only option that looks, sounds, feels, and smells like a real fire in your living room. But it is impossible to have if you can’t have a chimney from your living room to the roof. It will add value to your home but it will also take much more of your time and money. Setting up the fire and keeping it burning takes time. And when the fire’s out, there’s cleaning and maintenance to attend to. Unless you want to burn the house down make sure your chimney is regularly and properly cleaned.
Gas fireplaces The flame is real, even if there are no logs, and no cleaning of ashes, involved.
Ethanol fireplaces The most flexible option. This fireplace uses ethanol, a safe, smokeless and odourless fuel. You do not require a chimney or a gas supply. Place the fireplace virtually anywhere, even in the middle of a room, or in a bathroom. You can even get a portable one and move it wherever you wish. If you’re short of space replace your coffee table or side dresser with one that includes a built-in ethanol fireplace.
Vented fireplaces require ventilation. This needs not be a chimney going up to the roof a pipe through the wall to an outside shaft or yard is enough. Vent-free fireplaces do not even require this vent. Since no heat escapes outside, they heat up a room quicker, and with less fuel. The downside is that it consumes the air in the room and can lead to an unhealthy drop in oxygen levels in places with little or no ventilation. To avoid this make sure you buy a model equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor, which automatically switches off the fireplace when oxygen levels drop.
Stoves These fire boxes can fit snugly in a smaller living room. Modern ones require little cleaning and can be much more efficient than open fireplaces. You still need a chimney. And you need a place where to store wood. Remember it is a metal freestanding object that gets very, very hot – avoid children running around when it’s on. The traditional black cast-iron models are still very popular, but you can also find a variety of steel models to blend in with modern interiors. Stoves come in different sizes – getting one that is bigger than what your room needs means it will burn slower and produce more creosote, a dangerous by-product of burning wood which can cause chimney fires.
48 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Burning Questions: • What fireplace matches your home décor? • Do you want a heat source or a decorative item? • What fireplace fits in the space you have? • Can you have a chimney in your house? • Is it structurally possible? • Will MEPA allow it? • Do you have the necessary fire prevention equipment in the house? • Does a fireplace fit in your lifestyle? • Do you ever have time to sit down, switch it on, and enjoy the warmth of a fireplace? • Do you prefer to go for a smaller fireplace and invest the extra cash in a larger TV?
Switching on is easy – you don’t even need matches. Some come with a remote control. You naturally need a gas supply. Ideally prepare a copper pipe in a wall (or beneath tiles), from the fireplace to a gas cylinder outside.
Green Heat A
fireplace will be slashing your electricity bills, but will it really reduce your carbon footprint? Will you be cutting down pollution? There are two points to consider – energy efficiency and emissions. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces in old houses were not designed with efficiency in mind – in some of them up to 85% of the heat energy created by the fire literally goes up in smoke. Modern fireplaces can be much more efficient if well-designed, and if the proper types of wood are used – soft woods burn faster, and produce more emissions, hard woods take longer to burn and continue releasing heat for a longer time. Gas fireplaces have energy efficiency ratings, just like electric home appliances. Models that do not require a vent are more efficient than the ones that do. Electric fireplaces consume lots of electricity – the greenhouse gases emitted in producing this power makes them the most polluting fireplaces. Gas fireplaces emit a third of the polluting gases produced when switching on an electric fireplace. In Canada, some states banned wood-burning fireplaces – they are considered a major source of air pollution. Others insist that if firewood from sustainably cultivated forests is used, a wood-burning fireplace creates much less pollution than gas and electric ones. A 2003 Australian government report found that if sustainable forests are well managed the carbon dioxide released by fireplaces will be absorbed by the increased number of trees. Ethanol flames emit very little carbon dioxide, not more than we produce when breathing out, making it the most environment-friendly fuel you can use.
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 49
Sales & after sales service
Long & short term
leasing/rentals of generators Whatever you require, be it stand-by or primary power, SDMO is the solution. +356 2239 2235 firstname.lastname@example.org Pitkali Road Attard ATD 2214
Your most efficient provider for Truck
Free Deliveries +356 2339
| + 356 9977 0708
Fapi Motors Showroom, Mdina Road, Attard Malta, Europe
50 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
& Trailer Parts
Have you ever thought of colour printing for your personal projects? With the magicolor 1600W, what are you waiting for! Konica Minolta’s new personal colour printer is the perfect choice for your home office. No matter, whether you use it every day or once in a while, it is always ready to print and gives you the advantage of attractive low colour printing costs. Its chic design and compact build make the magicolor 1600W an attractive addition to even the smallest workspace. Make sure you give it a place within easy reach, for example right on your desktop – thanks to its low acoustic noise you can comfortably work side by side with your colour pal. • 20 ppm B&W printing • 5 ppm colour printing • 1200 X 600 dpi resolution • USB direct printing • Duty Cycle - 35,000 prints per month Office Group Limited (Malta) 238 / 239. Fleur-De-Lys Road Birkirkara BKR 9069. Malta Tel: (356) 2149 3483 (356) 2149 5596
Everybody has different printing needs, and therefore before splashing out it would be wise to know what you are spending your money on. It might be true that the prices of printers have been driven down to the ground, however quality and running costs vary greatly, and sometimes it might be worth spending that extra bit in the beginning to save in the long run. Ink-Jet Vs Laser The two main types of printing technologies available for homes nowadays are ink jet and laser. In general colour ink jet printers start at a much lower price point (as little as €50 in some cases). Laser printers cost more initially but offer cheaper prints. From a usage point of view, ink jets give you better photo prints and laser printers offer speedy text prints. Stand-alone Vs All-in-one The other main choice you need to consider is whether to go for a stand-alone machine or get one integrated with a scanner – which would also double as a copier and fax at times. An integrated machine is bulkier and costs more than a comparable single unit. Running Costs The rule of thumb we like to apply is the less you spend on a printer, the more you’ll spend on each sheet you print. The choice of printer will really vary according to your usage. If you’re churning out pages like there’s no tomorrow, spend a bit more on the machine initially and you’ll be saving loads in the long run. Always enquire about printing costs per sheet and compare accordingly. You’ll spend much more on consumables than on the printer itself, so consider this more than the initial price.
Some typical scenarios: Family with young children
Multifunction ink-jet printer/ scanner/ copier which allows you to enjoy the fun of colour prints and carry out the basic tasks for running a house. Slow and relatively expensive to run, but if you’re printing 100 sheets a month who cares? (from €70)
A bottom-end B&W laser printer for long, text-heavy documents quickly and a multifunction colour printer for covers or pages with colours. (from €120 & €70)
A keen photographer
High end inkjet for the best longlasting prints with natural colours. (from €150)
Multifunction colour laser Printer/ Scanner/ Copier/ Fax for top quality documents and a low cost per page. (from €450)
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 51
Tech & Gadgets
Konica Minolta magicolor 1600W
Recruitment Agency email@example.com | +356 2339 2285 | Begonia, Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214, Malta Work & Training
REF No. 103/10
Budget & Cost Control Executive
REF No. 110/10
Reporting directly to the Chief Financial Officer the ideal candidate will be responsible for the financial management of selected divisions of a group of companies. The selected candidate will be an accountancy graduate with three years experience in accounts and auditing with a sound technical knowledge and analytical skills, together with the ability of working under pressure and meeting deadlines.
The successful candidate will report to the Chief Financial Officer and assist with all areas of cost control to ensure that all budgets are adhered to in line with company policy and procedures. Previous work experience will be considered an asset. Candidates must be organised, flexible, self motivated and able to work under pressure.
Secretary to the Managing Director
The ideal candidate will be administering the network server and the I.T equipment of a leading company, offering technical support as well as proposing and developing new software and hardware solutions. Applicants must have a degree in I.T. or a Higher National Diploma in ICT, experience in planning and software administration and a good working knowledge of Shireburn systems.
The chosen candidate will be responsible to carry out general administrative duties, have experience in supporting executives, possess strong IT skills and a flexible professional approach to the role. Reporting to the Managing Director, the successful candidate will be expected to work on his/her own initiative.
Quantity & Quality Surveyor
Real Estate Branch Manager
The selected candidate will be responsible for assisting the Site/Project Manager with measurement of works, procurement, cost and quality reporting, managing risk and ensuring the work is completed in a timely and cost effective manner in relation to construction and finishing services. Previous experience in a similar position on large scale projects and excellent negotiation skills are required.
To develop and maintain a branch through a well motivated team, to give efficient leadership, and to comply with the company’s procedures and policies at all times in order to maximise profitability. The chosen candidate has to meet branch targets and budgets set and agreed with the general manager. At least 2 years experience in the real estate services sector is required.
Sales & Letting Associates
Applicants must be University graduates in business management, economics or communications, have good knowledge of spoken and written Italian, English and Maltese, be fluent in the use of MS Office applications, able to work on his/her own initiative and be highly organised and meticulous.
Applicants must possess a flair for sales, an outgoing and pleasant personality, good communication skills and a good standard of education. Good spoken and written Maltese and English are a must and candidates must have their own car. Experience in sales and the property market will be considered an asset.
Business Development Officer
PA to the Chief Financial Officer
The role involves keeping abreast with the industry evolution in the employer’s various lines of business. The ideal candidate should provide comprehensive and in depth analysis of current-state versus future-state in order to support business decision making processes. Applicants must be mature, deliver a high degree of commitment and have business acumen and perseverance in achieving objectives.
The ideal candidate must have excellent technical knowledge and skill in the implementation and management of accounting systems, attention to detail and the ability to provide high quality work with an extremely high degree of accuracy. The chosen candidate will be reporting directly to the CFO, working closely together to ensure the smooth operations of the finance department.
Insurance & Claims Officer
Requirements, roles and responsibilities include assistance in the preparation of management accounts and other ad hoc reports as requested from time to time. The ideal candidate would preferably be reading for an ACCA Degree, be motivated and ready to work flexible hours, show an aptitude to learn and get involved in business administration.
Candidates must be mature, dynamic, and required to expand the company’s insurance department with the aim of attaining a sub agency status from a local reputable insurance company. The position requires knowledge of the various types of insurance business transactions both locally and overseas, and proficiency in obtaining alternative quotes, closing policies, renewals and handling claims.
Applicants must be over 21 years old and possess a valid and clean driving licence. Ideal candidates should have a flair for sales and be able to work on their own initiative. Experience in this field together with good communication skills are considered an asset.
Applicants are expected to be creative with a keen eye for detail, be selfmotivated and confident, commited and of strong character with the right work ethics and values, possess in-depth knowledge of Adobe Suit and with a minimum experience of 3 years in a leading role. The successful candidate will be joining an expanding highly-motivated team.
OrganisatiOns seeking tO recruit:
Send us your specifications. The employee with your ideal qualities is probably already in our database.
Elevate your career to the next level. Send us your CV - we guarantee full confidentiality, no one will know – and we’ll find you the job you always wanted.
These are just some of the vacancies our clients are currently offering. Are you on the People Power database? If you are interested in any of these jobs, or would like to let us find you the job you always wanted, send us your CV and a letter describing your career aspirations to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +356 2339 2285. 52 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
January is a time for new beginnings. Most New Year resolutions are directly or indirectly related to our work - career advancement, more time with family and friends, buying a new car, renovating your home (or any other event requiring increased income,) more free time to pursue a hobby or sport, or simply the need for a new challenge in life. When is it time to start job hunting? It is not an easy decision to take, especially if you have been in your current post for a very long time. Sometimes even if you really dread going to work every morning, you are still comforted by the fact that you are now used to it and can handle even its toughest moments. This reassurance disappears in a new job. However, nothing will keep you from making a leap of faith if there are enough reasons to quit your job. Here are some questions to consider: * Is the sector you are working in headed for a slump? Do you feel that your employer is doing it all wrong no matter how hard you work? Has the recession left you at risk of losing your job? Would you rather be working for your company’s competitors? * Do you feel unchallenged and unmotivated in your current job? Do you feel you’ve done and seen it all? Has your job become a monotonous routine? * Contrarily, is it time to seek an easy-going job? Do you feel burnt out, overworked, and with little time for the good things in life? Has your job become incompatible with a new development in your life? * Are you underpaid and unrewarded? Are other workplaces in the same sector offering greater rewards and better conditions? Do you desperately need more income for a new personal project?
* Are you getting enough on-the-job training? Do you feel that your skills and qualifications are fast becoming outdated? Is it time to find a new workplace that dedicates more resources to staff development? * Has your workplace experienced a drastic change you cannot cope with? Is your new boss or colleague simply unbearable? Has your job description changed and you’re suddenly doing work unrelated to your skills and qualifications? * Is it time for a complete change? Do you feel you’re ready to go for that completely different career you always wished to pursue? Is it time to get back to school and study a new skill or profession?
Do not be afraid of change. If you are hardworking and determined, a new job will bring you challenges that can be turned into achievements you’ll be proud of. Remember that work takes up at least forty hours, or a quarter of our week – why shouldn’t we try and make it a happier time?
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January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 53
Work & Training
Time for a new job?
Fitting Wooden Skirting It comes in different types of solid or laminate wood, each with its own style and colour to match your dĂŠcor. Fitting wooden skirting is quite easy, if you have the right tools:
You will need:
Materials: - Skirting boards - Instant adhesive sealant - Matching wood filler - Wood preserving paint - Wood varnish (for unvarnished skirting boards)
Tools: - Mitre saw or a mitre box and a tenon saw - Sealant gun - Tape measure and pencil - Sandpapers and paint brushes - Spirit level
1. Start by measuring and planning the different lengths of skirting required.
from B to C as shown in Image 2. Measure this same distance at the back of the skirting board starting from the edge of the 45 degree angle just cut, and use a pencil to mark the point where the other angle will have to be cut. Proceed to cut the second joint, as shown in D (Image 2).
2. The next step is to cut the boards. Start with the board for a short wall between two internal corners where only one length of skirting will be required. Using the mitre saw, or the mitre box and a tenon saw, cut a 45 degree angle at one end of the board. Be careful with the direction of the cut - for an internal corner, the 45 degree cut must be aligned as shown in A (Image 1). Before cutting the other joint, measure the distance of the length required,
5. The next step is to paint the boards (if unvarnished). 6. Use the sealant gun to apply a series of adhesive beads to the back of the skirting board, as shown in Image 5.
3. When more than one board is needed for the same wall, use 45-degree cuts at every straight joint as well. This time, make sure that the direction of one cut is opposite the one to which it will be joined (see Image 3).
7. Press the skirting against the wall, using a spirit level to ensure it is horizontally level. 8. Touch up joints and any other scratches with matching wood filler.
4 Illustrations by Kevin Abela
4. For external corners, the same process is used, but the joint is cut as shown in Image 4.
IN NE M W AL TA
Do It Yourself
Wooden skirting is an affordable and stylish solution to any building, especially when you do not find a ceramic alternative that matches your floor tiles.
Modern Art X-pressions presents a new concept of affordable art for your home, using a mixed technique and working with a diversity of materials which include acrylic paint, oil on canvas, wooden objects, metals and ceramics, developing only handmade pieces. Visit www.renefava.com to see the complete collection, or call 21 66 30 58 / 79 800 100 to visit our gallery in Qormi.
54 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
t is the only time of year when you can take your kids out in the streets dressed up in the most absurd clothing and still get away with it. But is it true that in carnival anything goes? How do you choose a costume for your kids? How do you decide what you want to wear for your carnival party? Few actually have enough free time to sew their own costumes, even fewer have the knack for it. With a wide variety of ready-made costumes and accessories available on the market, finding the costume you like, or the one your children want, will not be difficult. The outfit will be worn only once, but that doesn’t mean that any cheap rag will do. Shop around until you find the costume you really like. Sometimes it pays to check out shops that are specialised in carnival costumes and
accessories. They are more likely to have a good quality costume that matches your budget. If your children already have a costume in mind, do try and make their wish come true – after all carnival is their time to horse around and have fun. Every year there are a number of popular TV, cinema or fiction heroes that the children would love to be for a day. Make sure you get a costume of a character that is still hip – costumes of Power Rangers and Tele Tubbies will only have a give-away price because those who considered them heroes are today almost parents themselves. But not all heroes go out of fashion – Robin Hood, Little Red Riding Hood, Spiderman, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and many other epic characters of fairy tales, legends, and comics are timeless.
very popular for younger children and babies. The good thing is that they are thick, and cover the whole body, keeping the little ones warm and cosy during carnival outings. The traditional costumes of another country can also be an option, just like those of warriors and soldiers. If your kids want to dress up as a soldier or a ninja, please do make sure you let them know that it’s not cool to fight and hurt other people. A word of advice – if you want to get a wider choice, start looking for costumes early. This year carnival is celebrated between Friday 12th and Tuesday 16th February. Running around the shops in a frenzy two days before is likely to leave you with a costume two sizes too big, or at worse, empty handed, and with a very upset little boy or girl.
Costumes of animals are
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 55
ca c e M h t i w l a Enjoy Carniv ock! t s n i s e m u t 100s of cos
Micky & Minnie Mouse | Barney | Winnie the Pooh | Kitty
Disney Princess Belle Ariel Tinkerbelle Barbie Kitty
Transformers Power rangers Ninja Warriors Caribbean Pirates
Venetian Eye Masks Crowns & Tiaras Wands & Wings Hats & Wigs
Theatrical Make up by Jofrika : Germany www.mecca-toys.com
472, Main Str., St.Paulâ€™s Bay 56 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010 Tel: 21 573 278 Mob: 7973 2783
The Venetian Carnival
Costumes available for rent or sale www.mecca-toys.com
472, Main Str., St.Paulâ€™s Bay Tel: 21 573 278 Mob: 7973 2783
Stainless Steel Flower Pots Asia Arts
Homes & Furniture
Gas Fireplace Home Trends
Decorate your plants by potting them in something original...
Spicing Up your Home We donâ€™t always have time or resources for major upgrades in our home, however with a bit of imagination you can make your money go a very long way. Vida Shopping has teamed up with some local suppliers to bring you ideas to spice up your home this January...
Blinds & Drapes
Venetian, Aluminium and wooden blinds with over 100 colours and various materials available, blinds can transform a room and keep them cooler in Nothing warms your summer... living space and bedroom more than a rug... Isfahan Carpets
Asia Arts Sliema/ Taâ€™Xbiex 21 334 564 email@example.com
58 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
Blinds & Drapes Ltd. Bulebel/Zejtun 21 692 885 firstname.lastname@example.org
Giftline Co.Ltd Bahar ic-Caghaq 21 375 606 / 7949 5352 email@example.com
Ethanol Fire Place Living Concept
Homes & Furniture
Comfortable armchairs which invite stares
Who said you canâ€™t marry form and function?
Floating Hood Living Concept Living Concept
Vogue it up with a touch of silver... Gift line
Home Trends San Gwann 21 445 654 firstname.lastname@example.org
Isfahan Bâ€™Kara 9982 2866 email@example.com
Living Concept Naxxar 21 416 661 / 9949 2518
January 2010 | Issue 01 | vida.com.mt 59
Growing broad beans There is still time to grow some broad beans in your garden but hurry before the end of January. Broad beans are a satisfying crop to grow and live happily in a small kitchen garden. You can even plant them in pots, but if doing so do not skimp on the size of the pot. You probably remember your first biology lessons in class when we were taught how to germinate dried beans in a jar and the fun of watching the pod break open and to see the roots and the first leaves develop. The principle is, of course, the same. Dig the soil well and prepare it with organic fertiliser, any all-purpose type will do, with a balanced combination of NPK. Buy dried beans from any agricultural equipment shop or buy imported packets. The latter offer a better germination rate but the actual beans produced are smaller and less tasty, but that is a matter of preference. Place the dried beans in water for not more than half an hour, to start them off. Sow in rows about 60 cm apart and put the beans in at a distance of about 35 to 40 cm from each other. Just push them into the soft soil until they are about 3 cm deep. This will allow them to develop a good root structure. Water well and then only when it does not rain and the soil feels dry when you test it at
Excavation & Demolition
+356 9982 0266 +356 7905 6660
60 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
a depth of two cm. If it does not rain do not forget to water them, especially when the flower buds appear. Weeds will grow between the rows and between the plants. Remember that the weeds are competing with your beans for sustenance, so the more weeding time you put in, the better your results and the quicker you will be able to harvest the beans. It is a good idea to apply a little fertiliser when the first flowers appear. You can just distribute the fertiliser pellets along the rows or hoe them in lightly into the topsoil. This will also help weed reduction. As soon as the first pods seem fully formed do not hesitate to pick them. Cut the pods off, do not pull or twist off, as this may damage the whole plant. The more you cut the more will the plant produce, so cut while they are still tender and juicy. And keep on cutting. Enjoy them on their own, with fresh bread and tomatoes, or with the famous Maltese delicacy â€œful fil-kusksuâ€?.
Attard | St Paul’s Bay | Fgura
T: (+356) 2339 2258 | F: (+356) 2339 2247 | M: (+356) 9999 0008 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
ZURRIEQ Paradise on earth. Fully detached FARMHOUSE, 4 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, fromal Lounge/Dining, family living room combined with a lovely Kitchen/Dining, large private pool, well maintained landscape gardens, massive residence, not to be missed. €1,118,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
Marsascala – Highly finished
Birzebbugia – Pre construction
Qajjenza – Finished APARTMENT
Tarxien – Well located, very large, squarish layout, semi finished 3 double bedroom APARTMENTS in a small block of 3. Highly recommended! €123,000. Call David 7926 9614
Attard – Pre construction prices –
Attard (Misrah Kola) – Pre-
Naxxar – Located within village core, brand new, ready to move into, furnished, 3 bedroom APARTMENT, Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 bathrooms, front/back balconies. €139,000. Call David 7926 9614
M’Scala – Very large 3 bedroom
Bahar Ic-Caghaq – Highly finished, walking distance to the coast, ready to move into APARTMENT, inclusive of Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, front/back baclonies. €154,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
Mosta (L-Isperanza Area)
Mellieha – Duplex 3 bedroom MAI-
Naxxar – A beautiful HOUSE OF CHARACTER converted to it’s original state by it’s present owners in a prime area of Naxxar, inclusive of courtyard, 2 double bedrooms with a possibility of a 3rd, arched K/L/D, well & airspace. € 207,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
Attard – True luxury massive APART-
Swatar – Highly finished 2 bedroom PENTHOUSE ready to move into comprising open plan Kitchen/Living/ Dining, front /back terraces. Highly rentable. €128,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
Zurrieq – Well converted HOUSE OF CHARACTER entrance through a large courtyard formal lounge/ dining, laundry room, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, terrace, full airspace. Must be seen! €320,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
Naxxar – An unconverted spacious TOWNHOUSE which may be converted with minimal expense. Entrance hall, living room, K/L/D, 3 double bedroom, 2 bathrooms, laundry room and own airspace. €142,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
Mellieha – Corner bright APART-
MENTS located in a prime area, comprising of Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, washroom and use of roof. €111,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
Rabat – Located in a quant area, overlooking Mdina and surrounding valley, highly finished APARTMENT inclusive of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and large Kitchen/Living/Dining overlooking sunny terrace. €198,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
Mgarr – Top floor MAISONETTE
Bahrija – Top floor MAISONETTE, large Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 car garage, washroom and airspace. €217,000. Call Mario 7937 8077
Mosta – PENTHOUSE with own airspace, finished, 2 bedrooms, washroom, front/back terrace. €120,000. Call Mario 7937 8077
APARTMENT, solid kitchen with appliances, combined living dining, study, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, front/back balconies and a 2 car lock-up garage. €134,000. Call David 7926 9614
– Large 3 bedroom APARTMENT, 2 bathroom, small block of 3, L shape Kitchen/Living/Dining. €147,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
MENT 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, laundry room, large Kitchen/Living/ Dining, front/back terrace, in a block of only 3. Garage optional. €215,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
with full ownership of full roof with sea and country views, comprising of separate K/D/L with fireplace, 3 bedrooms, study, 2 bathrooms and washroom at a give away price of €194,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
SOLITARY MAISONETTE with full ownership of airspace comprising of a large Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 functional fireplaces, washroom on roof level, roof garden and surrounding views. €230,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
NAXXAR Large welcoming HOUSE OF CHARACTER full of charm and old original features with all rooms surrounding a sunny central courtyard, comprising of large hall way, separate K/B, formal L/D, 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, toilet, laundry room and own airspace. €337,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
prices – Highly finished 3 bedroom APARTMENTS, 2 bathrooms, large Kitchen/Living/Dining, front/back balconies. €135,000. Call David 7926 9614
Finished, 3 bedroom APARTMENTS, 2 bathroom, open plan Kitchen/ Living/Dining, front/back balconies. €141,000. Call David 7926 9614
finished APARTMENTS, combined Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 bathrooms, front/back balconies. €179,000. Call David 7926 9614
SONETTE in an elite area with own air space and a 2 car garage. €219,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
close to promenade, separate kitchen/ dining, living, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, balcony. €116,000. Call David 7926 9614
construction prices – Semi finished, 3 bedroom APARTMENTS comprising open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 bathrooms, front/back balconies. €150,000. Call David 7926 9614
ST. PAUL’S BAY One of a kind APARTMENT overlooking St Paul’s Bay Island with guaranteed sea views, marble flooring throughout, 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and massive entertaining space. An excellent property for any one used to luxury living. €740,000. Call Mario 7937 8077
Your Perfect Partner
Your Perfect Partner
Attard | St Paul’s Bay | Fgura
T: (+356) 2339 2258 | F: (+356) 2339 2247 | M: (+356) 9999 0008 E: email@example.com
Fully detached VILLA set in this elite area of Mellieha comprising entrance hall, large open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining overlooking pool area enjoying distant sea views, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, terrace and a 2 car garage. Worth viewing! €675,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
IBRAGG Excellently located corner semi detached VILLA, comprising of entrance hall leading to a sitting/dining room, 3 double bedrooms, ensuite shower, bathroom, study, surrounding garden, swimming pool with a good sized deck area and shower room, gym and a 5 car garage. Property enjoys open valley views. €680,000. Call Pat 9986 9500
Mosta – APARTMENT finished, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining, front/ back balconies. €117,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
Hamrun – APARTMENT finished, large Kitchen/Living/ Dining, 2 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms , front/back balconies. €93,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
Swatar – Highly finished MAISONETTE, comprising Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, boxroom, back yard and 1 car lock-up garage. €160,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
Gzira – APARTMENT finished to high
Attard – One of a kind DUPLEX
Bugibba – Spacious 2 bedroom
B’Kara – Converted HOUSE OF CHARACTER, ready to move into, inclusive of courtyard K/L/D, bedroom and own airspace with washroom. €125,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
Naxxar – Highly finished spacious 3 bedroom APARTMENT, ready to move into with use of roof and washroom. Highly recommended! €138,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
Swatar – A lovely APARTMENT being sold partly furnished inclusive of Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, part of roof and washroom. €145,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
Mosta – Highly finished ground
St Venera – Highly finished ground
Sliema - Unconverted TOWN HOUSE
Mellieha – Large PENTHOUSE
M’Scala – Family size APARTMENT ready to move into, highly finished, inclusive of 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, washroom and an open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining. €221,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
Tarxien – Ground floor MAISONETTE located in a quiet area and ready to move into comprising a large Kitchen/ Living/Dining, 3 double bedrooms , 2 bathrooms and back yard. €160,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
Sliema – Balluta area highly
Rabat – 4 bedroom semi detached VILLA comprising of entrance hall, separate living, kitchen/dining, lounge, 3 bathroom, garden, laundry room , ownership of roof and flatlet with a 2 car garage. €495,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
Zebbug – Impeccable 2 bedrooms
Rabat – Luxuriously finished and furnished 2 bedroom ground floor APARTMENT located in an exclusive area, comprising a massive terrace with open views. €274,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
Attard – Luxuriously finished 3
Burmarrad – Luxuriously furnished
floor MAISONETTE inclusive of a 1 car garage, Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a good size back yard. €181,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
overlooking Mizieb Valley comprising of 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, width corridor, Kitchen/Living/Dining, washroom and front terrace. Garage optional. €256,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
finished 2 bedroom APARTMENT with front and back balcony, gres flooring and 2 bathrooms. Walking distance from the coast and surrounded by all amenities. €128,000. Call Pat 9986 9500
62 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
ST. JULIAN’S Massive impeccably finished double fronted APARTMENT in an elite block, comprising of entrance hall, washroom, cloak room, 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large back yard, open plan K/L/D and front terrace.A 1 car garage compliments this property. €279,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
MAISONETTE, large Kitchen/Living/ Dining, with functional fireplace, terrace, laundry room, boxroom, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, own airspace and roof garden. €199,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
floor MAISONETTE with a large open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large back terrace. €199,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
bedroom APARTMENT set on the first floor in a quiet complex in Attard. €196,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
specification, very large Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry room, roof. €140,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
APARTMENT, 2 bathrooms, open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining, highly finished. €112,000. Call Silvan 9982 8442
with lots of character, comprising entrance hall, K/L/D, guest toilet, back yard, 2 bedrooms, main bathroom, washroom and own roof. Worth viewing! €148,000. Call Josephine 7931 1177
converted HOUSE OF CHARACTER in the heart of Zebbug, comprising a spacious central yard with well and cellar. €306,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
3 bedrooms APARTMENT with back terrace enjoying country views and exclusive use of roof. €195,660. Call Dorian 7920 1874
PEMBROKE TERRACED HOUSE definitely the best price on the market, comprising of a 3 car garage with a 2 bedroom flatlet. Main quarters inclusive of a formal lounge dining, width corridors, beautiful spiral stairway, everyday K/L/D, back yard, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, washroom and ownership of roof with seaviews. €310,000. Call Janice 7935 8130
bedroom TOWNHOUSE comprising two roofs with Jacuzzi pool. €169,000. Call Dorian 7920 1874
APARTMENT very central and sold as finished. €135.700. Call Robert 9980 4481
MELLIEHA Luxurious BUNGALOW having a large Kitchen/Living/Dining, 3 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and also 2 independent offices. Complimenting this property is a large sunny BBQ area, swimming pool and a 20 car garage. €489,000. Call Mario 7937 8077
Marsascala – Spacious ground
Gzira – Luxuriously furnished
Gzira – Highly finished 3
Marsascala – Luxuriously 3 bed-
St Venera – 3 bedroom APARTMENT with laundry room and exclusive use of roof. €134,521. Call Pat 9986 9500
Paola – Newly built 3 bedrooms ground floor MAISONETTE with big yard with and bbq area. €150,000. Call Pat 9986 9500
Sliema – 4 bedroom unconverted TOWNHOUSE having 19ft x 70 ft back garden. €419,300. Call Mario 7937 8077
St.Paul’s Bay – First floor APARTMENT off seafront offered completely finished. €300,500. Call Mario 7937 8077
Qormi – Converted HOUSE OF CHARACTER with large mill room, space to build more rooms on the first floor. €184,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
Qormi – Built since 1608 and
San Pawl tat-Targa – Impeccably
St.Julians – three bedroom
Qawra – 3 bedroom APART-
MENT, enjoying 360 country views, combined K/L/D, terrace, 1 car space. €500 monthly. Call Anna 7970 3581
Xemxija – 3 bedroom APARTMENT, comprising a combined Kitchen/Living/Dining area, balconies, sea views, country views, common pool area, 1 car space parking. €550 monthly. Call Anna 7970 3581
Mellieha – DUPLEX PENTHOUSE,
Rabat – spacious 3 bedroom APARTMENT close to the town centre, front terrace, washroom, shared roof €350. Call Anna 7970 3581
Msida – A selection of 1/2 bedroom APARTMENTS close to university. Price starting from. €250. Call Daniel 9923 6398
Gzira – Bright one bedroom
Swieqi – Ground floor 3 bedroom
St. Julian’s – fully furnished 2nd floor 3 bedroom APARTMENT with distant view. €500. Call Daniel 9923 6398
Birguma – Brand NEW modern
floor MAISONETTE with yard and laundry room. €172,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
room ground floor MAISONETTE with large back yard with large laundry room. €158,979. Call Pat 9986 9500
recently renovated HOUSE OF CHARACTER with an internal yard with ample space for pool. €340,180. Call Mario 7937 8077
APARTMENT close to all amenities, comprising a front porch, open plan Kitchen/Living/Dining, 2 bathrooms and a back yard. €580. Call Anna 7970 3581
Unconverted detached FARMHOUSE comprising of 11 rooms set on 6,000 sqm of land with open country views. This property may be converted to anyone’s liking with no difficulty in applying for permits as a residential property €1,479,150. Call Mario 7937 8077
2nd floor 2 bedroom APARTMENT with half ownership of roof. Ideal as a rental investment. €105,000. Call Pat 9986 9500
finished first floor APARTMENT sought in an exclusive area. €195,665. Call Mario 7937 8077
IKLIN Spacious 3 bedrooms VILLA located in peaceful part of Iklin enjoying wonderful views, comprising of entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, 3 bathrooms, laundry room and a massive terrace. €802,236. Call Dorian 7920 1874
Swieqi – Two bedroom
bedroom APARTMENT with 1 car garage optional. €144,304. Call Pat 9986 9500
Unconverted TOWNHOUSE having a 60ftx20ft garden, ideal space for a pool. €325,000. Call Mario 7937 8077
combined Kitchen/Living area, 2 bedrooms, terrace with splendid country views. €430 monthly. Call Daniel 9923 6398
APARTMENT, modern furniture and furnishings located in a very peaceful location, fully equipped €425. Call Daniel 9923 6398
TERRACED HOUSE, comprising of combined K/D area, S/L area, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 4 car lock up garage. €1864 monthly. Call Daniel 9923 6398
SAN PAWL TAT-TARGA Newly built by its present owners a semi detached VILLA intended to include 3 double bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms, formal Lounge/Dining, seperate Kitchen/Breakfast overlooking BBQ area with pool and a 5 car interconnecting garage. €638,400. Call Josephine 7931 1177
Gzira – Very bright and airy 3
B’Kara (Tal-Qattus Area) – Highly finished 3 bedroom, ground floor MAISONETTE with a storage room at street level. €163,000. Call Robert 9980 4481
Property for sale
Attard - Misrah Kola, maisonettes/apartments in a block of beautifully laid out residences. Direct from owners. Phone 9930 0527.
Sliema - Large penthouse at Fontghadir, three bedrooms, seaviews. Large terraces all round. Ideal for entertaining. Optional garage available. Negotiable. Call 9947 1250. €2,000 monthly. Mellieha - 2 bedroom penthouse with spectacular views, fully furnished and airconditioned. Kitchen, living, dining room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two large terraces. Long let. Call 9923 8014. €800 monthly. Negotiable.
Birkirkara - Newly built, finished second floor 3 bedroom Apartment. Phone owner on 9949 2374. €128,150 (Lm55,000).
Mellieha - Spacious 3 bedroom maisonette, yard, 2 bathrooms. Call owner on 9982 7074. €125,780 (Lm53,997). Price negotiable.
Models wanted - Male and female models wanted for advertising and fashion magazine shoots. Send recent photos (close up and full body shot) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mellieha - Unconverted corner town house in village core, with many original features including patterned tiles and wooden beams. Call 9982 7074. €200,000 (Lm85,860).
Junior College/University area. Last remaining 3 bedroom apartments in a block with unobstructed valley views. Finished except for bathrooms/internal doors. Further discounts for sales concluded by end January 2010. Grab a bargain!
€104,800 (Lm45,000) Call owner on 7905 6660
Vehicles for sale
For Sale Alloy wheels - Set of four ATP 16-inch alloys. €200. Call 9988 5336
Biker’s jacket - Extra Small. Black and Blue, with full padding. Hardly used. Call 7930 0320 Books - Selection of literature companion books (York Notes, Cliff’s notes and more) and many paperbacks for sale. Prices starting from €1. Call 7945 8118 Kawasaki ZX14 engine (200 BHP) 2007 - Complete with exhaust headers, throttle bodies, all sensors, ECU, wiring harness and fuel pump. Came off motorcycle with only 670km on it. €3,800. Call 9944 8738
Datsun Nissan Sunny, White. In good condition. Always garaged. €1,164. Call 9982 3498
Studio lights - A set of two portable studio lights for photgraphy, including tripod stands, umbrella and soft box, and carrier bag. As new. Email: email@example.com. €400.
Honda Del Sol, 1.5 VTEC. 1995. €6,000. Call 7927 8144
Suzuki Cappuccino Parts - Various parts in good condition. Reasonable prices. Call 9949 0515
Hyundai Sonata, 1992 model. Colour: black, 1.8 diesel engine. Good Running Condition. €800. Contact: 7902 1955.
Tourna Grips - Discover for yourself why top pros depend on the non-slip quality of Tourna Grips. Used on both tennis and squash rackets. Call 99821286.
Land Rover, Series IIA. Ex Army Long wheel base. Power steering. 2.5 Diesel Engine. Garaged in 2009 due to lack of funds, but in very good condition. Needs new silencer. €3800. Negotiable.
St. Paul’s Bay - Modern third floor apartment in a block of three. 2 bathrooms, 3 double bedrooms. Fully furnished. Street level 1 car lock-up garage included. Call 9944 2381. €155,000. Zabbar - Very spacious semi-finished three bedroom apartments in a brand new block, garages also available. Call owner on 9942 5815.
Property to let
Motorcycles, Two models available. KTM 625 2004 €8,200. KTM 250 2006 €5,200. Both in very good condition. Call 7943 9508
Clintalexanders Kung Fu Academy - Private lessons and self-defence. For more information call 9986 8930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renault Megane, Classic 1.9 dTi. Year 2000. 43,000 miles. Full extras. €8,000 o.n.o. Call 9949 0515
ICT and IS solutions - Repairs, upgrades and new installations. Network servers, custom applications and web site design. www.osiriscomputers.com. Call 9945 5248
Photo sessions - Inspired and visionary studio photographic sessions including make-up from a professional and experienced team. Call 7985 7733/7972 7843
CHUN GYMNASTICS Sports Programs, Events & Merchandise Fun, Fitness & Fundamentals
Wanted Valletta - Expertly converted 17th century Palazzo with underlying flatlet. Four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Can also be let furnished & with garage. Call 9947 1250. €2,800 monthly, negotiable.
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.
CLASSIFIEDS, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214. • Send the advert details and photos by e-mail followed by a cheque sent by post to the same postal address above.
email@example.com • Visit our offices at Pitkali Road, Attard, and ask for our Sales Team to book your advert and pay in cash or by cheque.
Red, purple and black velvet - Any quantities and in any condition. No fancy prices. Call 7930 3685.
At Various Convenient Locations Tel: 21423299 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital SLR Camera - Any second hand Canon model considered as long as it is within budget. No lenses required. Email email@example.com with specifications and price.
All bookings and cheques must reach our offices by not later than Friday 8 January 2010. Bookings that reach our offices after the deadline will be published in the following issue.
2 Units = issue
Approx. 60 words or 30 words + image
The Classified pages with the on the islands.
? 4 Units =
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Approx.120 words or 60 words + image
1 Unit =
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Approx. 30 words
s! 162,000 copie Book 2339 2333
Vida vouchers for January’s competitions can be redeemed at: Asia Arts, Bemania, Blinds & Drapes, BOV, C&A Nails Hair & Beauty, Cathedral Optical, Coldwell Banker, Diamond Walnuts, Faceworks, Fahrenheit Freight Forwarders Ltd, Fapi Motors, Frenchies, Fritz Energy, Giftline Co. Ltd, Home Trends, ISC Gymnastics, Isfahan, Living Concept, Mecca Enterprises Group, Monella Vagabonda, Office Group, Piazza Italia, Refill Planet, Renee Fava, Soul, Sullivan Maritime, ZsaZsa 64 vida.com.mt | Issue 01 | January 2010
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Contact our sales team NOW on 2339 2333, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Find your home with a lot more confidence...
...after all we have been selling property for over 100 years
With a list of more than 10,000 properties for sale all over the island and a team of professional property negotiators,
your ideal home is only a phone call away
Attard | St Paulâ€™s Bay | Fgura T: (+356) 2339 2339 | M: (+356) 9999 0008 E: email@example.com
Your Perfect Partner