October 2010 - Issue 10
I E C A L
H N E C O
O G Y
A Maltese man with £68 million worth of phones
R E E N& T
Autumn fashion: Let’s get fierce “I lost five babies” Helping parents overcome miscarriage
CO MP E T
SURROUND SOUND SYSTEMS
Eating out Rock ‘n‘ roll On a sesame seed bun
Beauty parlour in your kitchen
Mirror mirror on the wall Malta’s first shipyards
Down with carbon
Addressing the nation
Do you like what you see?
• Free wood furniture • Solar water heaters • Avoiding wedding disasters • Lippy ladies • Choosing a camera • & more...
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vida.com.mt Issue 10 - October 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. Publisher
The changes we have made to the earth in the past couple of centuries have managed to undo most of the good work Mother Nature had done millions of years before. In just a fraction of the time it took to create all the natural resources we were blessed with we have managed to bring the world to a very dangerous tipping point. The irony is that it all started in good faith every time we made a brilliant discovery we were improving productivity, longevity, comfort or luxury. This was all well and good at the time because people were mainly looking at the short term gains, never once reflecting to see the repercussions of their innovations. Now we have to look at technological advances through a very different light. All possible effects need to be evaluated, because sometimes even the most positive turn in science and technology can have a serious impact a few years down the line. The biggest change we can make, therefore, is to seriously think about the long-term impact of our actions on the world around us. In our interview with George Pullicino we saw a classic example of having to solve a problem after decades of not thinking about it. Maghtab is now costing us tens of millions to neutralise, however some forward-planning could have made life so much easier. It is great to see that the country now seems to have some very exciting plans in place for the future - let us just hope we are just as enthusiastic in implementing them. Enjoy the issue.
Richard Muscat Azzopardi
VIDA IN NOVEMBER... • Wedding Special • Lacey lady • 19 year-old on a mission
Focused Knowledge Ltd Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe Tel: (+356) 2339 2403 Fax: (+356) 2141 9089 Managing Editor Richard Muscat Azzopardi email@example.com News & Features Editor David Vella firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistants Claire Camilleri - email@example.com Sarah Micallef - firstname.lastname@example.org Layout & Design Kevin Abela Alexia Baldacchino email@example.com Advertising Mexelene Davison - firstname.lastname@example.org Maria Pillow - email@example.com Sabrina Wingfield - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (+356) 2339 2333 email@example.com Cover photo Sophia by Pearl Works (see Page 63) It is understood that all material supplied by agents (printed or otherwise) to promote their products is supplied with all necessary permissions for reproduction. Whilst great care and attention has been taken by the editorial team to ensure accuracy of text, advertising and other published matter, we disclaim all responsibility for any omissions and errors. The editor and publisher do not necessarily agree with views expressed in articles, adverts, letters, or other content appearing in this publication. Distributed by:
Living In A Rock And Roll Fantasy Ed Eats
Events in October
Pawlu Borg Bonaci
Keeping it Short
R E E N&
I E C A L
I E C A L
P I E C A L
P I E C A L
P I E C A L
October At The Movies
I E C A L
Ask the Experts
O G Y
Malta’s Medieval Arsenal
H N E C O
National Book Council
Getting Ready For A Books Bonanza
O G Y
R E E N&
Sunsets - Photography
Richard Muscat Azzopardi
H N E C O
R E E N&
Richard Muscat Azzopardi
H N E C O
Down On Carbon
High Voltage Trash
The Environment Minister interviewed
R E E N&
O G Y
Metal To Metal
18 O G Y
Miriam Dalli interviews Lou Bondi
“I Try To Be Fair”
R E E N&
O G Y
Jane Vella interviews Andrew Bonello
R E E N&
H N E C O
Silver Screen Wizard
H N E C O
Our Angels In Heaven
H N E C O
I Like Me
O G Y
Homemade Beauty Remedies
Where’s Your Rubbish Going? Marita Hatherly reports The Malta Photographic Society Not for Profit Don the Pink Ribbon
15411 radiology clinic Vida.indd 1
STAR LETTER Your say
The writer of the Star Letter wins a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*.
Vida. I want to and your staff for well done to you untry ’s name co r ou s ng bri Firstly I’d like to say lly something I feel rea draw attention to vers. dri s bu r ou – wn nal, but do e and unprofessio are they often rud ened a ly pp on t ha t no tha e, nc nt rie ide inc In my expe scary. I refer to an cents. ht 50 rig r ve wn dri do es the also sometim bus and handed the his on t him go e n giv ma A to ed point blank few week s ago. his ticket but refus atment, the The driver gave him ssenger protested at this unfair tre pa uing, the driver change. When the few seconds of arg earing and ibly angry. Af ter a sw vis d rte me ca sta be ise r ve rpr su dri t and to everyone’s od Samaritans pulling him go leapt out of his sea o tw for t no n. Was it offending the ma ! rely have hurt him away, he would su the ex tra time days ago. Due to of le , occurred a coup tering road works un co en er aft Another incident ge gotiate a new passa t, leaving me to walk a good 10 ne to ing try en tak ortcu l agree that cided to take a sh tion. I’m sure you’l the bus driver de reach my destina few can surely to a n of su gs the oin in gd tes wron minu eptable, and the om even acc wh un of is e ur on – vio rs ha ve this be o met great bus dri g that als rin ve ve co ha I . dis ny my ma upon taint the for the next bus, ss in ce ge an pro g ch nin me ee so offered me me sort of scr rt wallet! Is there so new public transpo a t ge to t ou I had forgotten my ab are me we so t as , tha w lism no na a, sio place? A good ide r checks on profes to conduc t regula ser vice, would be d name! ba a d kin ir the ing bus drivers are giv
S. Falzon Mosta
Back pain relief Dear Editor, Congrats on a fabulous mag and some really great articles! I like all sections of Vida, but last month I found ‘Back Up’ so helpful and interesting, I simply had to write. I work at a desk all day, and even though I knew it was somehow responsible for my backache, I just didn’t know how to make it better. Since reading your article I have adjusted my computer to eye level and ordered a chair with arm rests and already feel some relief. I’m also trying really hard to fix my posture – something that I find very difficult but will hopefully be worth it! Thanks again for the advice Vida, and keep the helpful articles coming! Becky Micallef Siggiewi
U2 in Malta? Dear Editor, This summer Vida kept us updated on the best music events happening in Malta. Considering the small size of the country, we do get a very good share of the world’s best musical talent. I always wondered whether we could ever be lucky enough to be included in one of the world tours of the legendary band U2. I have many friends who have had the chance to enjoy live concerts by this band in Italy, UK, or Spain. Some of them simply adore the band, others are not such great fans – however, both exclaim amazement at this band’s massive live performances. Is U2 Live in Malta a mission impossible? Can anyone ever make this dream come true before Bono and company get too old and grumpy? Joseph Mallia Birkirkara
Send your letters, questions to the experts and suggestions to The Editor, VIDA Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. * See page 53 for more info.
Ask The E. Mizzi asked: What is flesh-eating bacteria? Is it true you can get this disease after undergoing major surgery? Flesh eating bacteria belong to a group of bacteria called Clostridia. They are normally found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. These organisms cause an infection called gas gangrene. Clostridia most often cause disease in the setting of trauma or surgery but can also occur spontaneously in the absence of definite risk factors or exposures. However, not all wounds contaminated with Clostridia develop gas gangrene; the death of muscle tissue seems to only develop when sufficient devitalised tissue is present to support the growth of these bacteria. Traumatic gas gangrene and surgical gas gangrene occur through direct inoculation of a wound. With a poor blood supply, the wound has the ideal growing environment for the bacterium Clostridium perfringens, the cause of 80-95% of cases of gas gangrene. However, it is not true that these bacteria eat flesh. The damage that they cause is due to the release of harmful products which are formed while these bacteria grow. One should also note that although the risk of getting this infection after surgery exists, it is very infrequent to occur especially due to the high level of hygiene that is maintained in the operating theatres and by the operating staff and also due to the strong antibiotics that are available which can be administered to prevent or cure this infection. Dr. Malcolm Paul Galea, MD
A.R. asked: I am currently thinking of investing a sum of cash I saved up over the past years. At the moment it is sitting in a current account. Is it worth my while to withdraw the money from a current account and invest it in bonds? Bonds offer a fixed income with a fixed maturity date which is always better than a current account. One can always withdraw his investment at market price, so there can be either gains or losses on the capital. Always be in full control of your capital by seeking liquid markets. Keep your options open to both the local and international markets. Do not get carried away by the interest income. The higher the interest income, the higher the risk. Try to minimise your risks by avoiding the currency risk. Make sure that you are aware of the bond classification within the company. Not all bonds from the same company carry the same risk. Set your exit targets before you invest. Never trade by emotion but by market discipline. You can either have a passive investment strategy (income-oriented) or an active investment strategy (aiming for short term capital gains). Alex Mangion, MA Fin & Inv (Nott); B.Com (Hons) Bnk & Fin; CeFA
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vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
ask the experts
Experts J. Falzon asked: Our notary informed us that the apartment we have just bought is in a registration area and asked us to consult our architect to get some plans. What is the difference between registration and non-registration areas? What are the implications of having property in a registration area? The difference between a registration and a non-registration area is basically that within the former, property can be registered in the name of the official owner whilst within the latter, to date, such registration cannot be carried out, except for governmental entities. If your property is sited within a registration area drawings indicating properly and clearly the common parts/areas and any servitudes are requested. Perit Joseph Attard, B.E.&A. (Hons.) A.&C.E.
A. S. asked: When my father died our notary informed us that to get the inheritance, all his children have to sign the will. One of my brothers is refusing to sign the will, meaning that we are not able to get the inheritance (a sum of money). What is going to happen to the money, which my father kept in a bank account? Is there a time limit for a decision to be taken? How can we resolve this problem? Indeed the bank does require the signature of all the heirs to release the deposited money. In your case, one would need to establish the reason for your brotherâ€™s dissent to authorise the withdrawal. If the reason is that such heir is contesting the will, typically on the grounds that he was not awarded his reserved portion - the right on the estate of the deceased reserved by law in favour of the descendants (and the surviving spouse) of the deceased â€“ the heirâ€™s right to demand such reserved portion is barred by the lapse of 10 years from the day of opening of the succession. If on the other hand, the dissenting heir has actually accepted the inheritance and is capriciously refusing to sign the authorisation for the bank to release the money, the testamentary executor could serve such heir with a judicial letter requesting him to do so, on failure of which an application to the Court of Voluntary Jurisdiction to appoint a curator in his stead would be the remaining remedy. Finally, if it is unclear whether the heir in question has accepted or renounced the inheritance, any interested person may request the Court to compel him to declare, within one month, whether he is accepting or renouncing the inheritance, on failure of which, the inheritance is deemed to be renounced. In any case, it is advisable that the case be discussed with a notary or lawyer who will need to see a copy of the will as the above may be subject to certain dispositions therein or to other relevant factual matters. Dr. Adrian Muscat Azzopardi, B.A., M.A., LL.D
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
I E C A L P
My favourite ‘Fakawi’ cover is… mmmmm... difficult one... but if I had to pick up one right now I would say ‘Xemx’ mixed with Live and Let Die (the reggae bridge fits perfectly) and the Joseph Calleja opera part ‘tidhol kexxun’... then the Queen’s “anywhere the wind blows” (Bohemian Rhapsody) gives it the best ending. Emm… sorry, you said one song ‘hux’?
R E E N& H N E C O
Our music is jump, jump, jump... breathe in, out... jump, jump, jump. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
I want to be a milkman. I am not good at wrapping Pawlu Borg Bonaci presents. I’m not funny when I’ve just woken up or when I’m taking decisions. When I’m not singing or playing guitar I am doing a 1,000 other things. I can play better than Fr. David. Rockestra was… one of the best days of my life – truly magical. Being between the National Orchestra and the best crowd I’ve ever seen in Malta simply blew my mind. Reggae is the colour in music – red, gold and green. Positive vibes!
Where’s your rubbish going?
O G Y
Pawlu is answering Vida’s questions and running late… as usual. The Borg Bonacis are creative, perfectionists, and hardheaded people with a great sense of humour. My band ‘Fakawi’ is 10 years old, fun, crazy, laid back and loud.
KEEPING IT SHORT ...
Marita Hatherly, a Junior College student, writes about the perils of a very dangerous type of waste – our garbage – and warns that unless we separate our refuse before throwing it away, we’re in for some nasty surprises.
n our small islands, space is limited and finding a place where to get rid of our waste is not easy. No place is distant enough to not be in someone else’s neighbourhood, and who would want a landfill in their own backyard?
Playing with Jon Bon Jovi felt like… Hehehe... well I was happy as my sister is a big fan of Bon Jovi. But it happened so fast that I didn’t even realise it happened until it was over. Anyway, I’m not into Bon Jovi, so it was no big deal. I would have preferred to play with Angelina Jolie!
We cannot afford to have more places like the Maghtab waste tip, where, for decades, tonnes of unseparated domestic waste were dumped without any thought as to its effects on future generations. Such waste tips can have very dangerous consequences. They produce hazardous gases and liquids, such as leachate, which comes out of compressed garbage. This harmful substance can penetrate through the ground and contaminate agricultural and natural land. It can also seep down to the underground aquifers, which supply our tap water. Unseparated waste also releases harmful gasses.
The Luqa monument is a statement. Censorship is a pain in the neck. I would love to censor censorship.
The authorities are doing their utmost to control the toxic effects of the unseparated waste we throw away from our homes. However, the ultimate solution is to generate less of this kind of litter, and to send most of it for recycling.
War on terror is terror in itself. Wardens are white and green. They hide in dark places and behind trees. Some take the risk and stay in blind corners. Oqqowww! Love is my religion.
Every locality in Malta and Gozo has bring-in sites, where we can take separated garbage. Waste is placed into four containers - white for paper, blue for plastic, brown for glass and black for metal. It is then collected and taken to the Sant’ Antnin Waste Treatment Plant in Marsascala, where it is sorted by hand and sent for recycling abroad. Another way of separating waste is to place that which can be recycled in the grey or green refuse bags and leave it outside your home on specific days. It is then collected and taken to the waste treatment plant by a special refuse truck. Unless we make use of one of these options, our unseparated garbage will end up at the landfill, where getting rid of it or making sure it does not pollute the environment is much more difficult.
Divorce is a product that should be put on shelves. The best word is freedom. The best world is planet earth - stop abusing it! If I were a girl I would be a lesbian. If I were a politician everyone would be happy! My message to the nation is when you think, think LOVE. One more thing - now that I have the chance - if we, Maltese, want our music, dance, theatre and other art forms to grow strong and creative we need to be more supportive of the local scene. The authorities have to give artists total freedom and space for expression. Most importantly, we need more venues and spaces to perform in! One love.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
For bulkier and hazardous waste which cannot be deposited at the bring-in sites or in the recyclable waste refuse bags, we also have five civic amenity sites at Maghtab, Mriehel, Hal Far, Luqa and Xewkija (Gozo). Here we can dispose of items such as furniture, mattresses, carpets, refrigerators and other white goods, garden waste, spent batteries, neon tubes, used syringes, paint and other hazardous domestic waste. These facilities are open every day between 07:30 and 17:30, including weekends and public holidays.
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NOT FOR PROFIT Don the Pink Ribbon Maltese voluntary organisations The Malta Photographic Society
It all began… in 1961, when Joseph Sammut, a local businessman from Valletta, gathered a group of friends interested in photography. Thanks to the intervention of Fr. Celestino Portelli OSA, an Augustinian monk and one of the co-founders of the Society, the first meetings were held in the corridors of the Priory of St. Augustine in Valletta. In 1966, the Society moved to its present premises further down the same street. Our mission is… to promote an appreciation of all forms of photography, to spread the word that photography is fun, and to help enthusiasts further their photographic skills irrespective of their level of experience or area of interest. We have… over 200 members. Anyone interested in photography can join us – from complete beginners to experienced professional photographers. No one is too young or too old to become a member of our society. Our greatest achievement is… the International Photo Competition which attracted many photographers from all over the world to participate with a very high level of photography. We are… about to start this year’s ‘Starting Photography’ course. It consists of ten weekly sessions delivered by some of the society’s most experienced members. The first course starts on Tuesday, October 5th and costs €80. The price includes the lectures, a CD with all the lecture notes and a practical session at the end of the course. For more information visit our website.
www.maltaphotographicsociety.org | email@example.com T: 21242265 137, Old Bakery Street, Valletta.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
According to statistics provided by Cancer Research UK, in 2007, 125 women per day were diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK alone, making it the most common cancer of all. In order to back up this statement, just think of your circle of acquaintances – chances are you know of someone, or someone who knows someone, who has been afflicted with this disease. This month is the 26th edition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, home to a global health campaign coordinated by a number of major breast cancer charities aimed at increasing awareness and raising funds for cancer research. The campaign also helps those who have been affected by this form of cancer, providing information and support including information on mammograms and screening, detection and different forms of breast cancer as well as practical tips on coping, including recipes using foods best tolerated and easing the symptoms during treatment. The charities behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month have also organised various fundraising events around the world over the years, including Race for the Cure, which has enjoyed variants in over 100 US cities, Germany, Italy, Canada, the UK and other countries. Campaigns such as this are of utmost importance as the funds raised contribute to research into the cure for the disease. In fact, the news is not all bad – survival rates continue to rise, meaning more women are overcoming breast cancer today than ever before. www.nbcam.org
health & beauty
Homemade beauty remedies by Sarah Micallef
e all want to look our best, and for some that might mean costly beauty products and regular trips to the salon. However, there is another easy and fun way to achieve the same benefits. Ever tried natural alternatives to pricey makeup products that will make you look and feel great? Beauty remedies don’t have to cost the earth – just take a peek into your pantries to find the best ingredients for beautifully healthy skin and hair. The study and use of natural ingredients for medicinal purposes dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who used laurel, caraway, and thyme to treat physical ailments. The Ancient Egyptians are also reputed to have used garlic, opium, castor oil, coriander, mint, and other herbs for treatments. Even nowadays, herbs and extracts from food and plants play a large role in modern medicine as well as in cosmetics, so why not go directly to the source? Here are a few easy recipes worth giving a go:
• For wrinkles: Blend two
• For dry hair: Is your hair dry and damaged after summer’s escapades? Simply beat two eggs with a little milk and run through your hair. Leave the mixture in for five minutes and rinse for shiny, vibrant hair. Another tip is to rinse your hair with two tablespoons of malt vinegar after washing – this will make your hair the shiniest it’s ever been!
• For greasy hair: If you’ve
• For puffy, tired eyes: Fresh castor oil massaged into the eyelids can reduce puffiness, whereas thick slices of cucumber or cotton pads soaked in cold milk laid onto the eyes can work wonders – refreshing and revitalising them.
• To remove dead skin cells:
• To soothe sunburn: You’ll need
apricots (chopped and deseeded), two tablespoons of honey, the juice of a lime and a small amount of cold milk to form a smooth paste. Apply to the face and neck, leaving on for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and a little lemon juice for glowing skin! The apricots nourish the skin whilst the lime juice acts as an astringent and tightens your wrinkles.
got to rush out and have no time to shampoo your greasy mop, simply brush a tablespoon of corn flour or talcum powder through your hair – it will soak up the oiliness in no time!
Mix ¼ cup granulated sugar, a finely chopped tomato and two tablespoons of yoghurt or sour cream in a small bowl. Rinse your face with clean water and apply the mixture, leaving on for around 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat lightly to reveal a smooth layer of new skin.
¼ fresh melon, ½ lemon and a teaspoon of olive oil. Peel and deseed the melon and juice the lemon. Blend the melon and filter its juice through a sieve. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and the olive oil to the melon juice. Apply to sunburnt skin whenever necessary – this lotion can be stored in a closed bottle for later use.
And there you have it – all natural beauty on a budget. Besides the examples mentioned here, there are loads more you can try – have a look on the internet or ask your grandmother for a handy recipe she swears by. Who said beauty can’t be fun? Homemade beauty remedies mean no big price tag, no extra chemicals and the perfect excuse for a girlie night in!
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
I Like Me
by Claire Camilleri
Many people today are suffering with self-acceptance issues. Could this be a result of what we see in the media everyday? Or maybe it is due to those people in our lives who constantly put us down? Whatever the reason, it is no secret that it feels horrible to hate yourself! It is a great shame that so few of us are in fact actually able to say the words “I like me”. This might be because it is hard to say it if we do not really believe it, and unfortunately, many of us do not. Few people are entirely happy with the way they are, however it is only once you accept yourself that you can truly be content. Indeed, a person’s selfesteem is the reflection of what they really think of themselves. Having high self-esteem comes with acceptance and appreciation of who you are, both in relation to physical and psychological attributes. A lack of self love can lead to a number of conditions, including depression, plastic surgery addiction and, most commonly, anorexia – all of which have resulted in serious repercussions in certain cases. Avoiding these by learning to love yourself will make your world a much happier place.
Love the following to love yourself Body: Whether it is due to size, shape, colouring or features,
Family, friends & others: One’s level of self-
something that most people find hard to love is their looks. If the physical aspect that is bothering you is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle (such as being overweight), then my advice would be to seek professional help. Living in self pity without attempting to better the situation will only make you feel incompetent and worse about yourself.
acceptance is determined greatly by whether they feel accepted by the important people in their life. Self-worth is brought about by feeling part of the community you live in. Being accepted by others in turn helps people to accept themselves. So by respecting those around you, you will in turn gain others’ respect.
Personality: One should never change who they are for anyone. However if you feel that a negative aspect of your character may need work, as it is affecting the way people see you, then it is sometimes best to work towards making a change for the better. Everyone has flaws and everyone makes mistakes, but when certain attributes may be harming you as well as those around you, action may need to be taken.
Make an agreement with yourself to accept, love and respect all that you have been granted, even with the things you would like to change. Acceptance will eventually allow change – it helps people to feel okay about themselves, even before any goals are reached. People cannot improve unless they feel good enough about themselves to believe they can improve.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Job: Do work you love and that satisfies you so that you can enjoy the person you are at work. Feeling accomplished at what you do and forming part of your work society promotes self respect. If one is made to feel incompetent at their work place, then how can they feel confident in other aspects of life?
Be pleased with what you are and what you have to offer by concentrating on the more important things in life, like family and love, and your life will be a much happier one.
Everyone has flaws and everyone makes mistakes
Our angels in heaven
When parents lose a baby
“During my pregnancy I used to dream of seeing my twins growing up, practising a sport, going to ballet lessons, and having fun with my husband and I. Suddenly I was rushed to hospital and all those visions disintegrated,” Sally says.
“I felt like an empty tomb. I was even angry at God”
“I was young, and had no idea how to handle grief. I felt I had let my entire family down, especially my husband. I kept thinking I failed as a woman. I felt like an empty tomb. I was even angry at God – I couldn’t understand why this had happened to me and not to someone else.” At the time there were no support services to help parents who had just gone through this trauma. Hospital staff were not equipped or trained to offer them emotional support. Sally was sent home soon after delivering the stillborn twins. She did not even know where her twins were taken. At home she found out that her relatives had decided to clear away all the items she had bought for the babies. “I felt like everyone was trying to erase all memories of my babies, as if they never existed.” To add insult to injury, a few months later, she received a letter from hospital urging her to take her babies to be inoculated. The hospital did not keep records of whether a child had been born dead or alive. So Sally was sent the letter informing her that she ‘failed’ to take her babies to hospital. Eventually she too tried to forget what happened. However, the
Sally* was 20 when she had her first miscarriage. “I was expecting twins – the first babies in our family, my parents’ first grandchildren. After 36 weeks of pregnancy, I had an abruption of the placenta and lost both babies. That’s when the nightmare started.” David Vella meets a mother of seven - including five stillborn babies - and Richard Cassar, from the voluntary organisation that helps parents come to terms with the pain of a miscarriage. words of relatives and friends, albeit well-intended, used to make her feel even worse. “After a miscarriage people try to find something to blame. Some told me it was because I worked during pregnancy, or because I carried out certain physical tasks such as hanging the washing on the line or scrubbing floors. My mother-in-law immediately started urging us to start trying for another child.” Sally admits that such comments were unbearable and made it harder to get over the grief of losing her babies. She felt guilty and dysfunctional. Richard Cassar, Voluntary Services Officer at Mater Dei Hospital and a member of SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society) urges relatives of parents who have a miscarriage to avoid phrases that we commonly use to console bereaved persons. “In such moments, the best way to help is to support the parents simply by being by their side, listening to what they have to say, and not trying to attribute what happened to one thing or another. Any couple can have a miscarriage, regardless of how careful they were during the pregnancy, or whether or not they had similar cases in their family.” He insists that telling parents not to worry because they’ll soon have another pregnancy will not help. It is even worse when relatives try to downplay the loss by comparing it to other situations. “I’ve heard relatives telling parents ‘you’re better off this way, rather than your child growing up to become a drug addict’.” Sally explains that even her relationship with her husband began to suffer. “I was edgy and argued with him for no reason. We started having sexual problems as well, which eventually made it even more difficult when we started trying for a child again. We
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
special feature later discovered that my own anxiety was keeping me from getting pregnant.” A few years later Sally got pregnant again and had her first daughter. “It was not easy. Once you have a miscarriage you can never enjoy a pregnancy again. You’re always walking on eggshells, afraid of waking up and finding out you have problems again.” However, the birth of her first child was a relief to all the family. “We started feeling better. Holding my daughter in my arms took away some of the pain of my first pregnancy.”
dedicated bereavement room. Members of SANDS also offer to take photos, palm- and foot-prints, and a lock of the baby’s hair for the parents to keep. Some people may think that it is best to try and move on. “Parents who try to do this will simply be postponing their grief – it is likely to revisit them later in life,” Richard says, “we have seen fathers who hold back their emotions, who refuse to cry, because they feel they have to ‘be strong’. Instead, they may vent their feelings in other ways, for example through alcohol abuse. This will simply make things worse. The couple has to mourn the loss of their child together, learn to live with this pain, regain self-confidence, and fall in love again.”
Encouraged by the birth of her daughter, Sally and her husband tried for a second child. “We love children and wanted a big family. I was raised in a family of nine.” That’s when she “you can A few weeks after the mother leaves hospital, SANDS started having more problems – in the next few years never enjoy a members invite parents to group support sessions. Here she would have another three miscarriages. “Each one was as heartbreaking as the first miscarriage. You can pregnancy again. they are given the chance to express their feelings in the presence of other couples in the same situation, as never get used to the pain of losing a baby.” You’re always well as being offered advice and one-to-one counselling walking on from psychologists. “Parents need to speak out,” Richard “I was about to give up, but then, with a lot of help explains, “some may be angry at God, others may have from medical professionals, I managed to give birth eggshells.” complaints or doubts about how they, or their dead baby, to my son. I spent days at the Intensive Care Unit after were treated in hospital. Most of them have questions on when giving birth – for some time I was in a critical condition. they can try for another baby. They are also consoled by the support When I regained my health, doctors advised me to stop trying for and advice of parents who lived through this experience before more children. I would have loved to have another child, but it was them.” not to be.” In order to help parents like Sally, in November 1994 a group of volunteers, including parents and hospital staff, launched SANDS Malta to provide free support services to parents of stillborns. Richard, one of the organisation’s founders, explains how this group helps bereaved parents. Today, when a mother has a miscarriage, she and her partner are given a chance to be with their baby in a
Flowers on a white coffin Before SANDS was set up, stillborn babies were placed in the same coffin of the first corpse that left the mortuary. Parents were left feeling that they did not have a child they could mourn – they were not even allowed to give their babies a proper funerary ceremony. Nowadays, babies who die before 22 weeks of pregnancy are kept at the Mater Dei mortuary to be buried together in a burial ceremony at the Addolorata Cemetery, which is held once a year at the end of November. Two graves in this cemetery are purposely reserved and managed by SANDS to be used for stillborn babies. During the ceremony parents get the chance to give their stillborn babies a fitting goodbye. Nurses and staff at Mater Dei Hospital’s maternity wards also join the parents to express their support. The babies are placed in a small white coffin, decorated with flowers painted by the nurses themselves. Rev. Joseph Mizzi, the Director of the Cana Movement, and a number of other priests, accompany the parents during the ceremony. When a baby dies after the 22nd week of pregnancy, the family is invited to hold a private burial ceremony. Sometimes, parents are asked whether they would like to donate their babies’ bodies to the University of Malta to be used for research purposes. If they accept, the university keeps the babies for a few months, before returning them to the mortuary to be buried during the annual ceremony.
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Sally admits that 20 years after losing her babies she still thinks about them everyday. “I can never forget the babies I lost – I can never pretend that I have not been through this difficult experience. The pain will never go away, but with time and with the happiness of my family around me I learnt to live with that memory and get on with my life.” There were 28 stillbirths among 4,180 babies delivered in Malta and Gozo in 2009. Another 17 babies died within 28 days of their birth (neonatal deaths), the National Obstetric Information System (NOIS) of the Department of Health Information and Research reported.
When a relative loses a baby… When a close relative has a miscarriage or loses a newborn baby we would do anything to ease the parents’ pain. Here’s some advice from SANDS: • If you’re the closest relative to the bereaved parents, visit them in hospital and show them you’re there to offer all your support. • If possible, ask to see the baby. It will help parents share their grief. • Offer to help in the practical tasks that the mother and father have to attend to in this situation – help them fill in hospital forms, take care of their other children, or arrange the funeral. • If you talk to the parents about the dead baby, use the name they may have given him/her. • Avoid ‘comforting’ phrases like “you can have another baby soon”. The baby was wanted for him or herself – other children will not replace them. • This is one situation where a hug is worth a thousand words. • You too are grieving the death of a nephew or a grandchild so if you feel like crying, do not be embarrassed to do so. The baby’s parents will find consolation in the fact that they are not the only ones grieving their baby. • It will take months, sometimes even a year, for parents to start recovering from the loss of a baby. Keep listening to what they have to say, even if it seems like they’re constantly repeating the same thing, day after day. Don’t condemn them if they express anger or jealousy at the fact that other parents had their babies without difficulty. • In future pregnancies, the parents will be very nervous. Let them express their anxieties and encourage them all the way.
SANDS is supported by the CANA Movement, a catholic organisation which helps Maltese couples prepare for marriage and strengthen their families. For more information on SANDS and its support groups, contact Richard Cassar by calling 2545 4150 or by email on richard. firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The mother’s name was changed as she wished to remain anonymous.
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interview R E E N&
H N E C O
I E C A L
T O G Y
Silver screen wizard
The Maltese software engineer at Dreamworks and Google
eaving Malta for the UK at the age of two, this technologically inclined individual later took the big step of moving to California, leading him to work with companies such as DreamWorks and Google. Self-confessed technophobe Jane Vella meets Andrew Bonello, in the hope of learning more about the magic formulae that give us the pictures we see at the cinema and the internet software that manages to keep up with the human mind.
“I recall asking myself: ‘What on Earth am I doing here?’”
Before moving to the land of celluloid and dreams, Andrew worked in the UK for about four years as a software engineer. “At one point I decided to switch to a career in visual-effects. And I knew that the best opportunities in that field would be in Southern California,” he says. Andrew admits that leaving his friends and family in England was a big step and felt quite daunting at first.
“When I arrived in Los Angeles, I spent my first month living in corporate apartments. They were the sort of places with a really high turnover,” he explains. “Most of the other residents were wannabe actors and screenwriters, freshly arrived in California from their small hometowns in the mid-Western US. You could hear rehearsals and parties going on right through the night in many of the apartments,” he recalls. “I remember sitting in my apartment, shortly after arriving. I was watching the then-US president give a press conference on TV. It all felt quite alien, and I recall asking myself: ‘What on Earth am I doing here?’” Luckily, once he started working, Andrew’s initial fears disappeared. Working with a visual effects studio involved writing software which uses computer graphics to create visual-effects in movies. “At DreamWorks Animation, I wrote compositing software. Compositors combine partial image elements to make a final frame in the movie,” he explains. “For example, a digital matte-painting would form the background. Another image is overlaid on this, containing the actual characters. The top-most layer might be an image element with smoke, water or particle-effects.”
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Andrew adds that it’s important to combine the images correctly. “The transparency needs to be just right so that the characters and background are visible behind the smoke effects. Think of it as ‘image arithmetic’,” he says. “The software knows the mathematical formula needed to add two images together, subtract one image from another, blend two images together, and so on.”
In another job, Andrew wrote image-processing software to restore classic Hollywood movies once they were scanned onto a computer. “Old films contain a lot of dirt and other imperfections. So the tools would digitally clean the film, eliminate flicker, and reduce the graininess.” Andrew also worked on software for motion-capture. “This is a process you’ve probably seen on TV. An actor wearing a special suit moves around whilst being filmed by a special multi-camera rig. The movements are recorded in 3D on the computer. They are then used to animate digital characters in a movie,” he explains. “This makes the characters’ movement more believable in the finished film.” Andrew admits that seeing the actual finished product at the cinema is very satisfying. “Knowing how much work is involved, and how many people it took to do it is a great feeling. And seeing my name in the credits at the end of the film isn’t a bad bonus, either,” he says, laughing. I ask Andrew how the opportunity with Google came about. “It was through my interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). I worked on the help websites that users visit when they encounter problems or have
Blockbusters featuring Andrew’s wizardry As Visual Effects Compositing Engineer: • Monsters Vs Aliens (2009) • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) • Kung Fu Panda (2008) • Shrek the Third (2007) • Bee Movie (2007) • Madagascar (2005) • X-Men 2 (2003)
© John Miller
Digital Image Processing:
questions about one of Google’s many products,” he explains. “We try to understand user behaviour. This lets us present help articles and recommendations to get them to the information they need as quickly as possible. It’s actually pretty complicated, since the number of users, products and help queries is very large and is, of course, always growing.” When thinking of AI, most of us think of the walking, talking breathing robots we see in films. I ask Andrew if public opinion is far from the truth. As a science-fiction lover, Andrew admits that he’s dreamt of a world where computers have true ‘artificial intelligence’, where robots could do all those tedious household chores for us, letting us concentrate on the more fun parts of life. Realistically technology is still far from this scenario. “Most real-world examples of AI can be classified as ‘narrow’: they deal with one specific problem,” he explains. “The speech recognition tool in your smartphone is pretty good at recognising spoken words and turning them into text. But it won’t do anything else.”
• The Aviator (2004) • Ray (2004) • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
better, and there are lots of services in place to make the employees’ lives easier,” he says. “But there are some downsides too. In a large organisation, your efforts get diluted with a lot of other peoples’ work. This can make it harder to really “get ahead” and obtain full recognition for all your achievements. At a smaller company this barrier is almost non-existent. The success or failure of the company is dependent on just a few key individuals,” he explains. Andrew’s choice in career is time-intensive and very technologyoriented. However, his interests include the violin. “I’ve played the violin at various times in my life since I was about 10 years old,” he says. “Whilst in Los Angeles, I found time to play in a local community orchestra. We rehearsed every week, and gave free concerts about five times a year. It was a lot of work, but ultimately was incredibly rewarding and fun,” he says, smiling. Andrew also admits it was a nice change of scene from the rather intense world of visual-effects.
Having left Malta at a very young age, I wrongly assume that Andrew feels little affinity with our islands. “I’ve visited Malta quite In truth, technology is still some way from creating a machine regularly since leaving, despite sometimes having to travel from a versatile enough to be able to deal with more than one action great distance,” he says. “I can definitely see myself coming or problem at the same time. “Consider driving a car: back one day. The lifestyle is hard to beat. And somehow, while operating a vehicle, your brain is subconsciously Malta still feels like home to me.” processing many pieces of information: the road ahead “seeing my of you; sounds from other vehicles, the radio. For a name in the computer to make sense of all that in real-time is a credits at the mighty feat indeed,” says Andrew. Is there anyone you’d like to intro duce to the end of the film nation through this section? Having worked in large and small companies during Send your suggestions to isn’t a bad his career, Andrew has seen the best (and worst) of both. email@example.com and get in the draw bonus” “Big companies have advantages: benefits tend to be to win a €100 voucher.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
Masterful Mazuma The Maltese man with 150,000 mobile phones a month R E E N&
H N E C O
I E C A L
Some things never change; mobile phones are definitely not one of them. Even the most stubborn Luddite gets a new one every couple of years. One Maltese man recognised the potential of making money out of the disused handsets abandoned in Britain’s forgotten drawers. David Vella meets Charlo Carabott, the entrepreneur who in four years gave Britons over £68 million in exchange for their old mobile phones.
O G Y
The first time I watched an advert for Mazuma Mobile on British television, I was impressed. Let’s face it, we all love an opportunity to make money out of stuff we don’t need. Unfortunately for us, it is not a common occurrence so I wondered who would go to the trouble of spending thousands of pounds on an elaborate advertising campaign to tempt people to trade their old mobile phones for cash. Upon a visit to the company’s website I was met with an even bigger surprise – the brains behind this venture belonged to none other than a Maltese man from Zejtun.
In less than four years it has received over two million phones
Thieves A few months ago, Charlo helped in the setting up of a national system to prevent thieves from using companies like Mazuma to get money for stolen phones. “We wanted to make it as enticing as possible for people to sell phones to us,” Charlo told BBC in July. Mazuma pays up to £200 for certain phones. “However, it became obvious to us that high prices like that could also encourage people to go out and steal handsets.” To solve this problem, when customers register their interest in recycling their phone they are asked to provide an IMEI registration number found on their phone. This number is then cross-checked on a database of stolen phones. If it turns out to be stolen, the company will not take the phone.
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The system is in fact very simple, Charlo explains. Customers don’t even have to pay for posting their mobile phone to Mazuma. “They check the value of their handset model on our website. Then they can register their interest in recycling their phone with us. Once they do this, we send them a Free Post bag, which they use to send us their unwanted phone. We send them the money for the value of the phone as soon as we receive the handset. Non-working phones that cannot be re-used are recycled. The rest are sent on to developing countries for re-use.” Mazuma processes over 150,000 old mobile phones every month. In less than four years it has received over two million phones. Getting cash is the crux of the matter for Mazuma customers. In fact, the word Mazuma is Hebrew slang meaning ‘cash’. However, by sending their unwanted handsets to be re-used or broken down for recycling, people are doing their bit for the environment as well. Almost one million handsets are upgraded every month in the UK alone. Most people do not change their mobile phones because they are faulty but because they want to upgrade to a better one. In turn, research has shown that 48% of the older mobile phones are left lying around people’s homes. “Unused old mobile phones left at home will devaluate to a point where they become almost worthless. At this point, most of these handsets would simply be thrown away,” Charlo says. By sending mobile phones to be sold to someone else, they are allowing other people to make good use of them, essentially saving them from the dump. Mobile phones sent to Mazuma are refurbished and re-sold in developing countries. Charlo tells me that this helps people in these countries develop their communication systems by giving them cheaper access to modern mobile phones. “In the developed world we
special feature From Down Under to the UK Charlo Carabott was born in Malta in 1972, but two years later his parents migrated to Australia. In 1993, at the age of 21, he moved to the UK. He explains that back then the mobile industry was in its infancy, and mobile phones were still very much a tool for businesses. “I was lucky enough to get a job in dealer sales at a company called Euronet. It was a new company which had teamed up with Talkland (now Vodafone) to distribute mobile phones and airtime to retailers across the country and help make mobile phones a popular consumer product.” Charlo loved his job and was promoted to general manager after a few years. In 1998, he moved to Intec, a mobile phone repair centre, as Business Development Director. He was responsible for the setting up of a new company, Intec Distribution, which specialised in refurbished mobile phone distribution.
are fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy new phones or receive them as part of our network subscription free of charge,” Charlo says, “however, in developing countries, large portions of the population are on pay-as-you-go or simply cannot afford to buy a new handset. This is why the demand for second hand phones is so high in those countries.” The company does not only take in mobile phones that can be re-sold. It also offers a freepost service for customers wishing to recycle very old non-value models. These mobile phones, along with faulty handsets that cannot be repaired are broken down to extract their components and re-use them to manufacture other products. This process stops the components from ending up as toxic waste in landfills. “Mazuma has an EU-approved treatment and waste facility which allows us to recycle components and discard waste in an environmentally-responsible manner.”
“In 2003, I figured that if I can successfully build a company for someone else then I should definitely have a go at doing it for myself.” He joined his business partner John Lam to start Ventura Telecom. At first the company purchased large volumes of second hand mobile phones from operators and repair centres and exported them to various countries. “We both worked very hard, often for up to 15 hour days, but it paid off as we managed to turn over £5.3 million in our first year. Three years later, Charlo and his partner decided to start getting second-hand mobile phones directly from the public. That’s when Mazuma Mobile was launched. Since then, they’ve never looked back. In 2009, Mazuma was ranked first among companies offering mobile phone recycling services in the UK. The company has recently launched its services in Australia, where it is also proving to be very successful. Charlo now looks forward to launching his business in a number of other countries too. What about Malta? “You never know,” he smiles.
I ask Mr Carabott about his company’s hilarious TV commercials. The spots featuring some of the UK’s best-known celebrities including the 2009 Britain’s Got Talent finalists Stavros Flatley, aim to explain how easy it is for people to trade in their old mobile phones for cash. “Fun and humour have always been an important aspect of our brand,” Charlo explains, “after all, our customers know that recycling their phone with Mazuma is so easy, they will be laughing all the way to bank!”
Charlo’s Malta Experience
“I still have a lot of family in Zejtun and love to visit Malta whenever I can. I love the island - beautiful people, lovely weather, fantastic food, amazing clear blue sea and a country that oozes character and history. I have fond childhood memories of spending the day with my Uncle Vitor, on his bus doing his run and stopping off for a tea and ‘pastizzi’ break at 1every opportunity!” 200 x 25.pdf 13/09/2010 12:17
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
“I try to be fair”
Lou Bondi on almost everybody
Love to Hate He insists that neutral people can only be found in cemeteries. He states that he is willing to speak about his conflicts of interest if everyone else accepts to do the same. Miriam Dalli catches up with Lou Bondi, the TV presenter and journalist who describes our University as a glorified high school, and adamantly refuses to call his colleague - Joe Azzopardi - Peppi. Does he consider himself impartial? “I think that neutral unbiased people can only be found in cemeteries,” he declares, “I try to be fair. Television shows your true colours, and if you’re not being fair, people will notice.” In fact many people do comment about his apparent bias, I point out. “I have my own views but I try to be fair. I always ask tough questions to both the Nationalist and Labour politicians. However, when people label you, there isn’t “I only read much you can do to change their opinion and the way they Pamela Hansen perceive what you say.”
As soon as I enter his office, his computer’s desktop wallpaper - a photo of Marsalforn bay - catches my eye. Lou Bondi tells me that he’s just returned to work after spending weeks relaxing at Marsalforn in Gozo, the place where he lived as a child. We talk about holidays, music, and relaxation but soon get to work.
In the 1990s Bondi was the founding chairman of Radio 101, the Nationalist Party’s radio station. A few decades later his opinion about political party owned media has changed drastically. Today he believes that when she He complains that the level of journalism in Malta has these organisations are giving a perverse picture of writes about gone down. I ask him how he helped to raise the bar of reality. “Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici was right when local journalism in Malta, but he falls short of commenting. he questioned the need for a political party to own a me” “I don’t like speaking about myself, and I’d rather let others radio station if not to carry out its own propaganda. Back comment about me.” Indeed, Lou Bondi has been criticised by then I argued that in Italy political parties have their own many opinion columnists in local newspapers. Jacques Rene Zammit media. But things did not work quite the same here in Malta,” he and Pamela Hansen are just two of them. “I don’t read them,” is his states. Bondi goes on to say that his only hope is that once political reply. Does he boycott them because they frown upon him, I ask, stations close down there will be a privately-owned station that can “No, I don’t read them because they are dull and boring. I only read be commercially viable. Pamela Hansen when she writes about me,” he declares. Does his media company, Where’s Everybody, want to have it’s own Which columns does he like to read? “I like to read Daphne private station, I ask. “In the past we have discussed the possibility Caruana Galizia, Ranier Fsadni, Austin Bencini and Mark Anthony but we never made a serious attempt at having our own private Falzon.” Of the four commentators mentioned, Daphne Caruana TV station,” he declares, “as things stand today with both political Galiza is by far the most controversial. I ask him whether he parties having their own TV stations I don’t feel that we should have agrees with all that she writes. “There is a big difference between our own TV channel. Political parties can ask the people for funds enjoying the way a person writes and agreeing with what they say,” but a private station cannot do that.”
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17 years on TV
Name: Lou Bondi Birthplace: Victoria, Gozo Age: 54 Feels like: Age is just a number until I look in the mirror Star Sign: No idea Current job: Journalist / Director Dream job: To produce Later, a programme by Jools
Lou Bondi holds a B.A. Honours degree in Sociology from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Social & Political Thought from the University of York, Toronto, Canada. He taught Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Malta for over a decade. Bondi was the CEO of AZAD, the Academy for the Development of a Democratic Environment and the founding chairman of Radio 101. He has produced and presented a series of current affairs programmes on Public Broadcasting Services’ television and radio stations for the last 17 years, making him the longest serving journalist in such a role in the history of Maltese TV.
Favourite Colour: Black Favourite Film: 12 angry men Favourite Song: In my Life – The Beatles Wouldn’t live without: Rachel, and my kids Favourite quote: “Am I screwed up because I have
Bondiplus, which he has been producing on TVM since 2001, has repeatedly won Broadcasting Authority TV Awards and Malta TV Awards.
listened to rock music all my life or have I listened to rock music all my life because I’m screwed up” - Nick Hornby Loved by: Rachel, my kids and all my family. Hated by: Those who don’t know me.
In 1999 Lou Bondi co-founded Where’s Everybody, one of Malta’s largest TV production companies. Over the last few years Lou has chaired consortia which were tasked with the execution of some of the largest national communications and events projects.
I next refer to the reported alleged conflict of interest that his company has in producing current affairs programmes on national television while also managing the public relations and marketing of projects such as the White Rocks project. “I’d be ready to discuss our conflict of interest if everyone else is ready to discuss their own conflict of interest. I would be willing to discuss the fact that a public relations person is chairman of the Institute of Maltese Journalists, or the fact that a “Joe and I newspaper editor features in the TV commercial of live on two a bank that advertises with the same newspaper she different works for.”
he remarks, “I don’t agree with whatever she writes. I think that Daphne is sometimes her own worst enemy. She has a clear mind on certain issues, but then she undermines her own arguments because she knows no limits. Despite this, she has the ability to analyse our society in a brilliant sociological and anthropological manner.” Sociology and philosophy are Bondi’s pet topics. He used to lecture these subjects at the University of Malta. Ten years ago he decided to quit this job. “I used to love lecturing. It was my passion. However, after 12 years I got tired of trying to lecture students who were simply not interested. Plato once said that a good lecturer is one who manages to produce students who debate his ideas. I never had that experience,” he laughs, “our University is simply a glorified high school. Unfortunately, it’s not the place where students debate and challenge ideas.”
I ask Lou Bondi about his partner in business, fellow Where’s Everybody director and TV presenter Joe Azzopardi, better known as Peppi. He tells me he refuses to call him Peppi because he has known him as Joe all his life. I wonder, do the two of them get along well? “No we don’t. Joe and I live on two different planets. Joe does not know how to enjoy himself and I love music and food. Joe enjoys working, and my continuous struggle is to keep him from working non-stop. Joe worries about everything and I’m not one to get worried easily.”
As Bondi’s programme on TVM ‘Bondiplus’ goes on air for yet another year as from this month, the journalist tells me that he is seriously thinking about whether or not it is time to call it a day. I am surprised to hear this, but then he explains: “I’m 54 and the view from my Marsalforn balcony is extremely tempting.”
Who do you love to hate? Who do you want Miriam to interview? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org .mt and get in the draw to win €100.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
In the past Hompesch Steel also considered the possibility of completing the recycling process in Malta, but Malta does not produce enough metal waste to keep a recycling plant running efficiently. Such a plant can only be built on a large area of land, and requires extensive energy consumption to operate. The company has been operating in this business for 50 years. Originally it was more focused on the production of reinforced steel bars for the construction industry. Eventually its directors realised the potential of shifting resources to metal scrapping and invested in advanced machinery to process larger quantities of metal waste. “Today, we continue to do our utmost to send as much metal waste for recycling as we can,” Maurice concludes, “after all, recycling metal is not only a matter of protecting our natural environment - it provides jobs and as an export it also contributes to our economy.”
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I E C A L
“Unfortunately we do not have the human resources or the time to collect metal dumped in the countryside,” Maurice explains, “however, there are many individuals and entities who bring us metal collected during clean ups in fields and other rural areas.”
O G Y
All the metal waste received is divided into two groups. The first is ferrous metals, or those materials that contain iron. All other metals that do not contain iron (non-ferrous) make up the second group. Both types of metal are then cut up into small pieces in the company’s processing plant in Fgura, and then temporarily stored in the same yard. When a large quantity of metal is gathered, the materials are loaded on containers and sent to the company’s partners abroad. Here the metal is treated and recycled – the new material is used in different metal products. These are then exported to various European countries, including Malta.
Maurice Gouder, from Hompesch Steel Co. Ltd, explains how metal recycling companies save tonnes of metal from our landfills. “We receive unwanted metal objects from companies and private individuals. We pay them back in cash according to the weight and condition of the metal brought in. One of our principles is to give people payment that reflects the fair value of the metal they bring us.”
H N E C O
ou enter a massive yard packed with heaps of scrap metal. In one corner, a conveyor belt is carrying small bits of iron and steel to a towering mound of shreds. The processing of old and unwanted metal to be melted and re-used is one of the earliest forms of recycling adopted in Malta.
R E E N&
Metal to metal
Photography by Jacob Sammut Carabez - Pearl Works
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
High voltage trash Our waste reeks of precious electricity
one are the days when we dumped it in the bin and forgot about it. As the toxic ghosts of tonnes of rubbish from the past come to haunt us at the Maghtab and Il-Qortin landfills, every tiny bit of our garbage becomes an issue as hot as our major environmental quest – the search for cleaner, cheaper energy sources. Luckily for us, if these two troubles collide, we may one day get rid of both. Richard Muscat Azzopardi and David Vella interview the Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs George Pullicino. R E E N&
I E C A L
H N E C O
O G Y
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted to charge an electric vehicle is much less than that emitted by conventional vehicles using petrol or diesel. In the meantime, electric vehicle technology is constantly improving. Car manufacturers are now starting to use advanced lithium-ion batteries that give a much longer range and can be recharged in a shorter time.
Your ministry asked a technical committee to come up with a report on the introduction of environment-friendly transport, including electric cars. Why should people opt for electric cars if they still have to use electricity generated by fuel-burning power stations to charge them?
How will government be encouraging drivers to go electric? We currently only have around 30 licensed electric vehicles on Maltese roads. We also have at least another 40 hybrid vehicles, including mine. The Government has already removed all registration tax on the importation of electric vehicles. I am now waiting for the committee to conclude its report on how we can do more to encourage drivers to drive electric cars. The incentives to drive electric vehicles may not necessarily consist of financial grants or subsidies. We can also give electric car drivers additional benefits. For example, electric car owners do not pay for parking in Valletta. I also asked the committee to list the infrastructure that is needed to facilitate the use of electric cars. These may include charging points in public places. Almost 2,000 families applied for the latest government scheme to receive grants for the installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system. Will government be launching a similar scheme next year? When we launched the first grant scheme for the installation of PV systems in domestic households, 300 families applied. Last summer we raised the feed-in tariff for electricity generated by these systems to €0.25 – this clearly achieved the desired effect as the number of applications for this year’s scheme was significantly higher. All applications that are in line with the scheme’s regulations will be accepted. The grants will be funded through the EU’s Structural Funds. Once installed, all these domestic PV systems put together will extend to an area as large as six football fields. Together they will be producing over €1 million worth of electricity every year. In addition, Government will soon be installing another 67,000 square metres of PV systems on public buildings. There are no immediate plans to issue another scheme for the installation of PV systems. In the near future however, the Government may decide to shift Structural Funds originally allocated to other projects to launch another scheme. Alternatively, we can also use national funds to help more families install PV systems. A year ago the Government launched studies to assess the possibility of building the first offshore wind farm in Maltese waters. Has a final decision been taken yet? The wind studies which we started last year to evaluate the weather conditions
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
“These may include charging points in public places”
special report at the Sikka l-Bajda site are now being concluded. This 12-month study will give us information on the electricity that can be generated from wind turbines at this site. The Sikka l-Bajda site is currently a bunkering zone, meaning that the seabed is constantly being disturbed by ships’ anchors. The good thing about erecting wind turbines on this reef is that once the works are completed the whole area can be turned into Malta’s largest marine conservation zone as well as an additional diving site. Scientists have found out that if properly installed, wind masts help an area’s biodiversity to flourish, as they create a sheltered area and give rise to new habitats. We estimate that we can have 18 to 20 wind masts at the Sikka l-Bajda to generate up to 100 Megawatts of electricity. This will make up a large share of the energy which Malta requires to reach the EU’s 2020 target of having 10% of each member state’s energy coming from renewable sources. Some of this renewable energy will come from waste incineration. Where will the new waste incinerator be built? Our technical advisors have proposed a site next to the Delimara Power Station. This would make it easier to feed the electricity produced by the incinerator into the same grid serviced by the power station. Alternatively the incinerator can produce steam that can be used by the power station itself. However we have not taken a final decision yet. We want to carry out a proper Site Selection Exercise before choosing the best location for this project. The Maltese people have bitter experiences of waste incinerators. The emissions of the St. Luke’s Hospital chimney are hard to forget. How can you convince them this experience won’t be repeated? The St. Luke’s Hospital incinerator was anything but an incinerator – all it consisted of was a large open furnace with a chimney. We were wrong to call it an incinerator. After this experience, I can understand why the Maltese people are wary of incinerators. Luckily, incineration today is a completely different concept. Consider the small incinerator we have at the abattoir in Marsa – two thirds of this plant consists of a filtration system to make sure that the burning of waste does not emit toxic or polluting gasses. We have not received any complaints about it since it started operating. EU regulations on incinerators are very strict when it comes to emissions. As long as you have the right technology in place, there is no risk of contaminating the air with hazardous gasses. We have already seen this happening at the Marsa incinerator. Here the emission readings are constantly being recorded and presented online in real time – anyone can access them. Emission levels have never exceeded the maximum levels specified by MEPA, even if these are stricter than those set by the EU. How much domestic waste will be incinerated? Most of us take out our garbage bags without ever considering what happens to them. It is high time we start thinking of the consequences of the waste we generate and how we can get rid of it responsibly. While other EU member states, such as Denmark, incinerate up to 90% of the waste they produce, we opted for another solution to keep incineration to a minimum – we also introduced systems for recycling and bio-digestion. Only waste known as Residue Derived Fuel (RDF), which makes up around 20% of Malta’s domestic waste, will be incinerated. RDF is waste that can neither be processed through bio-digestion in waste treatment plants nor sent for recycling. These items include for example, plastic that has been mixed with food items and cannot be cleaned, or wood stained with oil or other chemicals. Such materials need not be dumped in the engineered landfill because they still contain energy that can be extracted and converted to electricity.
In line with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, by 2020 Malta has to produce 10% of its required energy from renewable sources. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan proposes to reach this target through these sources: Bio-fuel Photovoltaic Systems Offshore wind farms Onshore wind farms Energy from waste Solar water heaters
2.4% 0.69% 3.48% 0.61% 2.5% 0.52%
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
special report Other waste will be converted to energy through bio-digestion. This process will take place at the Sant. Antnin Waste Treatment Facility and in another similar plant which we will be building at Maghtab. The Sant’Antnin plant, which is expected to be fully-completed next month, will be generating enough electricity to meet the demands of up to 1,500 households every year. Moreover, the system will also produce steam which we will be using to heat the nearby swimming pools used by Inspire, the NGO that provides health services to persons with disability. Finally, we will also continue to dump some of our waste in the engineered landfills. However, our target is a zero waste society where the percentage of waste taken to the landfill, if at all, is kept to a minimum. The engineered landfill we have at Ghallis is not a bottomless pit. Sooner or later it will be completely filled as well, and we will have to start looking for a new place to set up another one – when this happens I don’t think there’ll be anyone coming forward to have a new one built in their backyard. Do you think that the Maltese people really understand the importance of separating waste for recycling before disposing of it? We currently have two schemes for waste recycling – Recycle Tuesdays and Bring-In Sites. Both are becoming more popular. When compared to the first seven months of 2009, between January and July the amount of garbage that Maltese households separated to be sent for recycling increased by 34%. This shows that we are managing to convince people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly.
“it will take over 20 years to tame the fires beneath the surface”
You recently announced that the Maghtab landfill will be ‘family-friendly’ by 2014. What should we expect? We will have a large part of the Maghtab landfill site converted to a public park. It will be one of Malta’s largest parks where people can enjoy some of the best views of the islands. We already have the necessary permits and initial works are expected to begin early next year. We also have similar plans to rehabilitate the landfill at Qortin, Gozo into another park. We spent over €8 million to install a system of pipelines and 400 wells to extract methane and other toxic gasses that are being produced by the waste dumped in the landfill through the years. These gasses are then burnt at a very high temperature to stop them from being emitted into the atmosphere. Each well has two pipes, one for methane, which amounts to 10% of the gasses extracted from the landfill, and another one for the remaining toxic gasses. Methane gas is used to provide the energy required by the mechanism used to burn the toxic gasses. At the Ghallis Engineered Landfill, where we are currently dumping unseparated waste, we have a different situation. Most of the gasses released by this landfill consist of methane. Only a small percentage of the gasses have to be burnt. This means that we will be able to produce much more energy from the engineered landfill. Our estimates show that this facility will be producing enough energy for 4,000 households every year. Will the old landfill at Maghtab still be releasing toxic gasses by the time it is turned into a park? We stopped dumping at the Maghtab landfill in 2004 but the waste tipped there through the years and subsequently covered with construction debris is still fermenting and burning. Expert reports on the landfill show that it will take over 20 years to tame the fires beneath the surface. The wells and the pipeline help to reduce this combustion by reducing the flammable toxic gasses. To make sure no gasses are released in the atmosphere we are now in the process of sealing the whole area with an impermeable material. The only way out for the gasses will be through the wells connected to the incineration system. The park’s landscaping will then be safely built over this protective layer. The full rehabilitation of the two landfills will be costing Malta over €50 million. This shows how important it is for us to plan our waste management wisely. Wrong practices today will cost us millions to fix tomorrow – and the price to pay will not be just a matter of money. Our wellbeing will be affected too.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Glossary Carbon dioxide – this odourless gas produced by burning fuels and waste decomposition contributes to global warming. Feed-in tariff – the rate at which the electricity company pays you for feeding the excess energy produced by your PV system (or other alternative energy system) into the national grid. Hybrid vehicles – a vehicle powered by two energy sources, normally a combustion (petrol/diesel) engine and an electric motor. Lithium-ion batteries – the latest rechargeable batteries for electric cars, made of a very light metal (lithium) that minimises power loss with repeated charging. Methane – a gas produced by decomposing waste, which if released in the atmosphere contributes to global warming, but if harnessed can be used as a fuel in power plants. Photovoltaic (PV) system – a series of panels with cells capable of converting sunlight into electricity. Renewable energy – sources of energy, such as wind and the sun, which occur naturally and constantly, making their supply virtually infinite. Structural Funds – EU funds allocated to help European countries or specific regions catch up with more prosperous member states. Wind turbine – a mast with a propellor which, when rotated by the wind, generates an electric current. Zero waste society – a situation where all the waste generated is recycled or processed in waste-to-energy plants, and none of it is dumped in landfills.
Company news Company News
Focused Knowledge offering custom publishing services Focused Knowledge Limited has recently started offering its services for custom corporate publications. Such publications can be very important tools if handled correctly - the applications vary greatly but Focused Knowledge, the publisher of Vida Magazine, can handle them all. Even though this is not yet a major industry in Malta, it is constantly growing and the company has been receiving enquiries steadily. Corporate publishing involves any medium an organisation might use to communicate with its employees (such as an internal newsletter) or its customers (such as a regular brochure or magazine which companies send out to their clients). Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of publishing, though, Focused Knowledge has made the best of its relationships with printers and other suppliers to ensure a one-stop solution to all their clients’ publishing needs. A client does not even need to know exactly what they want from the publication, because Focused Knowledge will send its experts to discuss the issue and find the best solutions. One of Focused Knowledge’s publishing experts said that “while many underestimate the expertise that goes into corporate publishing, we take every part of the process into consideration. Subtle things such as the font, the kind of paper or colour schemes used all make a difference in achieving
26 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
the desired results - and we take great pride in involving and educating our clients while we’re working on their publications.” He added “we are also proud to say that we will never push a client into taking something they do not want. We can work on the project from concept to execution or else simply help out with certain aspects the client can’t cope with.” Some of the most popular forms of corporate publishing include regular newsletters or magazines - depending on the size of the company, annual publications and celebratory one off-publications that commemorate a milestone in the company’s history. Focused Knowledge is also adept at publishing corporate brochures and profiles.
Complete Publishing Solutions Sometimes you need someone who can handle every aspect of a publication. This is where Focused Knowledge can take over and make use of its professionals to offer a complete product. Writing & PR Focused Knowledge can help you no matter whether you are starting from scratch and want to increase awareness on your products or services or simply need someone to write out your ideas professionally. Design Every line, every colour, every space, says a thousand words about your company, brands, products or services. Effective design is as important as all other aspects of your PR and marketing efforts. Photography From selecting the models, extras and locations to handing over the finished product, Focused Knowledge offers complete photography services. Printing Thanks to strong partnerships with leading printers and related suppliers, a top quality publication is guaranteed.
Pollino’s is Flame Grilled Goodness It’s been just over a month since Pollino’s, located near the cinema complex in St George’s Bay, threw open its doors, and diners are already loving its style and delicious chicken dishes – and that’s not even mentioning the fact that the food is both delicious and extremely healthy. Pollino’s innovative ‘You Chill, while we Grill’ philosophy takes hold as each piece of meat is never friend, but grilled to perfection over a naked flame, sealing in the vibrant flavours of the marinades and ensuring the chicken remains juicy and moist. For this reason, our diners can relax, safe in the knowledge that their food is being prepared to the highest standards before their very eyes, and served piping hot. While the popularity of chicken has certainly been proved at Pollino’s, the eatery also serves up a wide range of other dishes. These include a self-service salad bar offering a selection of fresh vegetables and cold salads, as well as freshly cooked corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, garlic bread, and potato wedges. One unique aspect is the ‘bottomless soft drinks’ where if one chooses; they can have repeated servings of the beverage for the same price.
Cut and Present at Pollino’s
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Nothing beats the taste of our chicken, marinated in herbs and spicy sauces to perfection. Enjoy and mouth watering desserts all served in a great atmosphere. St. George’s Bay, St. Julian’s T: 2137 8800 www.pollinos.net
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vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 27
Focused Knowledge’s services include:
Choosing a camera
Tech & Gadgets
Photography has become much more accessible in the digital age. Gone are the days when you’d need to spend an arm and a leg to buy a camera and then be very careful with the number of photos you took because developing would cost you the leg you were standing on. Sifting through all the options might be scary to start off with, however we aim to make the choice slightly easier here. The first step would be to find out what you really want from your camera. What is the major use you will be making of your camera? There is no use buying a bulky SLR if you are after a camera which you want to be able to take with you on a night out. On the other hand if you’re looking at taking photography slightly more seriously you have to avoid models which are strictly point-andshoot. Before going into the specific types of cameras you can choose from, we need to take a look at some of the main jargon involved:
Megapixels Most camera makers boast gigantic numbers of megapixels as if they were the only thing that mattered in a camera. This might have been the case when we were still happy to get 2 megapixels out of a camera and still thought we needed to print every photo we take. Don’t get me wrong, megapixels are important, however they are not the only measure of a camera’s quality. So what do these numbers signify? Basically the larger the number of megapixels, the larger you can print your photos. For example a 6MP camera should be good enough for prints of up to over 40cm wide! When was the last time you printed at that size? In fact, when was the last time you printed photos at all - in the internet generation most people simply upload their photos on facebook and forget about them. Zoom & Lens width The lens is probably the most important single feature of a camera. It impacts how much information you can let in onto the sensor. The first and most obvious specification is the zoom factor - this is usually displayed like this: 3X, which means you can bring the subject you are shooting up to three times closer. You should only look out for Optical Zoom, because digital zoom reduces quality drastically. Most compact cameras offer anywhere between 3X and 5X. If you want to be able to take photos of objects at a distance (such as wildlife or photos of players in a stadium) you’d want to look at superzooms, which offer anywhere between 10X and 15X zoom. The other factor is finding a camera which has a wider angle zoom. A wide angle allows more to be captured without having to move the camera back physically. The compromise is that at the other end of the zoom (i.e. when zoomed in completely) you will not be bringing images in as close.
Other specifications The specification list for cameras might seem daunting, however there are quite a few other things which will make a difference, depending on your needs. Sometimes it is worth looking for specs which are most important for you because it would be useless to find a camera which is perfect in every respect except the major criterion. Video - does the camera take HD video? If it doesn’t, what are the resolutions it supports, does it also record sound, is the frame-rate decent (at least 30fps)? Do you intend to use its video functions? HD video is very memory-hungry. Start up time - is the camera very slow to start, and will it take ages to react again once you’ve taken a photo? Continuous drive - is the camera good enough to take photos in quick succession? If you intend to photograph action (such as sports) you will need to take this into consideration. (This is measured in shots per second) Battery life - will the camera of your choice give you enough juice for a week-long holiday if you won’t be able to charge the battery in the meantime? Weight & volume - do you absolutely need to carry the camera along with you everywhere you go? If yes you are going to have to forfeit some more advanced features. Water resistance - Nowadays you can find cameras which can take a splash or two, but you can also find ones which can be submerged up to three metres.
28 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
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Not all computers are equal By Steve Saliba, Managing Director at Datax Ltd.
Tech & Gadgets
All persons are supposed to be equal. All computers are supposed to be equal. Both, in fact are not. Some computers, like people, are ‘made’ not to be equal to others. What am I ranting on about you may well ask? Well the truth is that for most people a computer is nothing more than a box which is attached to a keyboard, mouse and monitor. This is in fact where most misconceptions arise. A computer’s efficiency is the sum of its parts or, to be more technical: its components. I always use the analogue of a car as an example. You can buy a formula one car shape but if you put a silly engine in it, it will look good but will not be able to compete. Here we come to the first bridge. Some people prefer to buy branded products. Ready-made ‘ta barra’, to speak the lingo. Like everything in life, this is a good thing and a bad thing. I have seen branded PCs which made me fall over backwards with the silly architecture used. Old fashioned, way out of sync and preposterous parts. And you have just paid a top of the line premium price for the privilege of a ‘branded’ PC. Admittedly buying a branded PC ensures you have a good image, but is this more important than the substance? Some local builders take great pains to ensure that part A goes with Part B, which together make Part C work more efficiently, give a better response and the combination of all three makes the system more reliable and stable. The advantage with a conscientious PC builder is that he/she can actually try out and test the combination of parts to provide a truly exhilarating performance in a PC. Usually ‘branded’ PCs do not take this ‘luxury’ route and would usually settle for more mundane parts which ensure an above average reliability but is no cutting edge product. I have seen this time and time again. Any PC that I have had the pleasure to build has always
and unfailingly knocked the socks off any branded PC. Why? Because I take my time to ensure that the parts that go in the box actually lock and complement each other to provide the best reliability factor and certainly the best throughput (i.e. speed). More importantly, the parts are chosen to ensure a reliable expansion path rather than a dead end approach. Today’s PCs are becoming more and more sophisticated especially the ones that need to output heavy graphics. By this I don’t just mean gaming rigs but all systems for draughtsmen, architects, video editors etc. In other words all those who might be involved with heavy duty graphics. Certainly here the ‘home grown’ PC has the edge over branded models. The technology surrounding graphics cards is moving way too fast nowadays.
processor will push graphics code to the graphics card slower than a faster one. But (believe you me) it is better to have an inferior processor with a good graphics card than the other way round. A naff graphics card will give you a naff output irrespective of what processor you have. I hope that my small expose has displelled the grudge against home grown PCs especially if done by a true professional with his heart in the job.
Large scale ‘brand’ manufacturers would have committed their product line to a specific card. If that card is superseded – as it invariably & quickly is – the production has to remain with the ‘old’ card. As a result, one can easily surmise that the put together PC has an added advantage. The trick (isn’t there always?) r 3 Compu te Speaker is that you have to Surround om fr s System have the knowhow Datax 1st to be able to ‘match’ the pieces in terms of performance and capability. A slow
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Send your answer on email@example.com or to DATAX Competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Rd, Attard, ATD2214 (incl. your name, address, email and mobile number)
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30 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
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vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 33
I Do, Don’t I? Avoiding Wedding Disasters Keep the rings safe. Make sure the ring bearer is trustworthy and avoid missing ring mishaps! Make sure you taste the food beforehand. The last things you want on your big day are hungry guests and terrible food. Order more drinks than you might need. Take the guests’ preferences into consideration – will your grandparents really be into Pina Coladas? Don’t go overboard with the alcohol – you do want to remember your big day don’t you?
Try out wedding hair and makeup beforehand. Your wedding is no time for experimentation! Also, make sure your dress fits well. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable all evening in an illfitting dress – except perhaps, splitting it. Make sure you’ve got a rough idea of how many people will be attending. If you have a large number of maybes, perhaps it’s best to get on the phone and find out. Ensure that you have power backup at your location (generator). Unless you’re after the romantic candle light effect, that is. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, make sure you have an alternative location/gazebo rental just in case it rains! Lastly, be careful who you invite. It’s always best to avoid drama, so don’t invite any disgruntled exes to the party!
Do you have any wedding disaster stories to share? Did you narrowly avoid a serious mishap on your big day? We want to know! Send us your stories, photos and even tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in next month’s Vida Wedding Special and get in the draw to
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Your wedding day is supposed to be the most important (and therefore memorable) day of you and your partner’s lives. But what if it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons? As with every big event, panic and stress sometimes drives disaster, so in order to avoid any major mistakes, here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.
Outfits - Frenchies, 145, Valley Road, B’Kara T: 21440318 Shoes – Soul Embassy Complex, Valletta T: 2702 0127 34 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Lippy Ladies Starting off in Ancient Egypt, lipstick was made using dye from fucus-algin, iodine and bromine mannite – the latter often causing serious illness. Later variants included crushed carmine beetles (as was Cleopatra’s preference) and pearlescence – a substance found in fish scales. As with every other beauty and fashion trend, lipstick experienced highs and lows – termed an ‘incarnation of Satan’ in Medieval Europe, enjoying popularity in 16th
century England (endorsed by Queen Elizabeth I) and falling out of favour (as with everything else that was remotely exciting) in Victorian times. Nowadays many variants of the traditional lipstick are available – from the popular lip gloss (which makes the lips shiny rather than deeply coloured) to lip stain (which ‘stains’ the lips with colour for a longer amount of time than traditional lipstick).
Warm colours: Complexions with warm undertones including Asian, Hispanic and some warm black skin colours look best in colours like salmon, coral and golden brown. Cool colours: Pastel colours suit paler complexions with cool undertones best, as well as pinkish European complexions and black skin with reddish undertones. For added wow factor, go for fuchsia or plum and add some drama to your look. Neutral colours: These are the colours that work well on everyone – ranging from peachy shades to orangey reds and everything in between.
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Health & Beauty
We all know of the myth that lipstick first gained popularity because it made the mouth resemble women’s sexual organs but, whether this is true or not, the development of lipstick is nonetheless interesting to trace.
Down the Drain Home Care
Having a blocked drain must surely rank among one of the most annoying things that can happen at home.
Sometimes the blockage is complete and immediate – in this case there’s nothing much you can do, with the exception of calling a plumber – and praying that you don’t need to access parts of the drain which are buried behind tiling. When the clog is slow and gradual however, the solution is usually much simpler – you can buy a drain cleaner which is poured down the drain and should unblock the clogged section in a matter of minutes. There are drain cleaners of various strengths and capabilities, although we usually recommend starting with the weaker varieties because they might be enough.
Before going ahead and using drain cleaner, you should try physically unblocking the drain with a toilet plunger, and removing the dirt trap beneath sinks and cleaning it out. If this doesn’t sort out the problem, it means the blockage is further down the line. It is crucial to try this out before applying the cleaner because the chemicals will be dangerous if stuck in your drains when you’re disassembling.
The strongest liquid varieties of drain cleaner can only be bought from hardware stores (ironmongers) and are planned for use by professional plumbers, so they should be treated with extreme caution. Their main advantage however, is that they contain very high levels of corrosive materials and are usually very effective – even when domestic cleaners have failed. A last word of advice - you should not wait for your drains to be clogged completely before applying drain cleaner. Pour in a small dose on a regular basis – for example once a month – to keep your drains nice and clean. Also remember that prevention is better than cure so avoid throwing things down the drain whenever possible, especially hair and food debris.
Wear rubber gloves, open all windows and exercise extreme caution when applying drain cleaner!
BE W A
Drain cleaners usually come in powder, liquid or gel formats. Granulated cleaners are ideal for blocked toilets. Different strengths of drain cleaner can be bought from your local supermarket, but the best ones are usually thick (either ones you purchase as gel or ones which turn to foam) and include bleach (to dissolve hair, cosmetics and soaps) and alkali (to soften oils).
BEWARE 36 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
If you have a coloured bath or sink, make sure you don’t splash any drain cleaner outside the drains because it can bleach the colour away!
Free wood furniture!
Here are some tips to get your recycled, eco-friendly furniture projects underway: Get the pallets: Many importers receive their orders on wooden pallets. Some sell them to packaging companies for no more than €5 each. Others discard them. Ideally look for the latter, and you’ll be helping the environment too. Keep your eyes open for pallets when you’re driving through an industrial zone (or, sadly, in the countryside). Avoid the ones made of thin cross planks, or that are soiled. Pull it apart: Pallets are normally made out of unvarnished natural wooden planks. Dismantling them to put their wood to good use is easy if you have the right tools. Use a crowbar (or a mallet and a thin chisel if you don’t have one) to pry the cross planks from the support beams. Be careful not to split the wood around the nails or staples. Remove the nails, and cut away any jagged edges. Get inspired: You don’t have to be a carpenter to design a wooden box for your garden plants or a stool for the box room. If you are short on ideas, go online and look up ‘pallet furniture’. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to build anything from a large playhouse to a table lamp, from a two-seater garden bench to a coffee table. Some can be downloaded free of charge. Get to work: Once you set your mind on what you want to build, start cutting the wood to size. For a smoother finish, use a sander or a planer to smoothen the surfaces that will be visible or that will come in contact with the skin. Some furniture, such as garden chairs, may look better if the wood is left in its natural coarseness. If you are using screws to put your piece together, drill counter sink holes with a bit the same size as the width of the screw head, or with a counter sink bit. This will make sure that the screw heads do not stick out and hurt anyone. Avoid any other sharp edges.
British designer Nina Tolstrup is renowned for her designer furniture made of pallet wood. Her website, www. studiomama.com, features many of her designs and is a great source of pallet furniture ideas. Look up her ‘Crafty Pallet Stool’ and download a free step-by-step guide to make it your first piece of pallet furniture!
Photos: Dennis Pederson & Stine Raarup
A free designer stool…
Decorate: You can decorate your new furniture by painting it in your favourite colour, or in a style that matches your home décor. Once again, go online and find out how other people across the globe are spicing up their pallet furniture. Chairs and benches will be much more comfortable, and look even better, if you add cushions.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 37
We live in a small island state that imports most of its food items, almost all its household goods, industrial equipment, cosmetics, computers and a trillion other products. All these items are transported on wooden shipping pallets that, more often than not, end up being thrown away or sold at a pittance. It’s time to take out our saws and hammers and turn all this surplus wood into sturdy garden chairs, rustic planters, and creative coffee tables.
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The LetsGoDine.com team know that true dining enthusiasts get sudden cravings so they have come up with the mobile version of the letsgodine site - letsgodine.mobi.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH Honey & Mustard Grilled Chicken Ingredients 80 ml Dijon mustard 60 ml honey 30 ml mayonnaise 5 ml steak sauce 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Directions 1 Preheat the grill for medium heat. 2 In a shallow bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayonnaise, and steak sauce. Set aside a small amount of the honey mustard sauce for basting, and dip the chicken into the remaining sauce to coat. 3 Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken over indirect heat for 18 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until juices run clear. Baste occasionally with the reserved sauce during the last 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning!
LOG ON to LetsGoDine.com and participate during this month’s competition. The winners will be announced on the letsgodine.com
IT’S EASY – Mention one of the opposite
ingredients and you can win a meal voucher for 2 persons from the below restaurants. Terms & Conditions Apply.
Voucher 1 – FREE DINNER for 2 persons at Rickshaw – Corinthia Palace Attard Voucher 2 – FREE DINNER for 2 persons at La Cuccagna Pizza e Pasta restaurant
Voucher 3 – FREE DINNER for 2 persons at Bonaparte restaurant
! N I W & W O LOG ON N
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 43
Food & Drink
Log on NOW...
Dining out Food & Drink
A lovely evening in Marsaxlokk
Vida readers Fabrizio and Carina Paolucci sent us this restaurant review after being highly impressed at a restaurant in Marsaxlokk - Gente di Mare. We visit Malta on a regular basis since we love getting away from all the hustle and bustle in our life in Italy, love the better weather, love the Casinos and most of all enjoy the good food. Despite all the complaints we seem to hear from our Maltese friends, we think that there is a very good level of restaurants on the Island. Recently a couple of friends were visiting us and we decided to take them out to dinner in Marsaxlokk after we heard that this picturesque fishing village is dotted with some amazing seafood restaurants. Our experience was so good that we could not help but sit down and write our experiences to send them over to Vida, which we read every time we’re here and since you led us to a great restaurant. In fact there was no real reason why we chose Gente di Mare, but since we had seen it recommended in Vida’s restaurant pages the name clicked and we walked in. The display of fresh fish which could be seen as soon as we entered helped convince us that we had made the right choice. We were greeted by the Chef (who we assume is the owner too) - Mauro, who led us to a table on the inside of the restaurant since there were a couple of families with children and we were after a quiet meal. We ordered aperitifs and a bottle of Gavi to keep us busy until we chose our food. After ordering our food Mauro presented us with complimentary antipasti - a lovely touch seeing that the choice was a combination of home made onion rings, fish cakes (polpette) and bruschetta. For starters, three of us went for pasta (two spagetti ai Ricci - or Sea urchin - and one Penne Vongole al cartoccio) which was cooked to perfection and all were served in very delicate sauces. The fourth had a fish soup which really brought out all the goodness of the freshly caught fish. Mauro recommended four different types of fish for main courses - two were grilled and two were served “al cartoccio”. Each fish offered its own peculiarities, however it was really hard to choose which was best. The main courses were complemented by a salad, hot vegetables and roast potatoes but there was far too much for us to eat - Italian restaurants do not usually serve so much food. Two of us were courageous enough to finish the meal off with desserts and finally we all ordered a coffee. The coffee did take a bit longer than we would have liked, but this was to be expected since the restaurant had filled up completely by then. Once we requested the bill a free liquor was offered to us - and though this was quickly dispatched, the bill did take some time coming along. We were set back around €35 each, however when you consider the quality of the food it seemed like exceptional value. Our guests really summed up the evening though, they commented that they felt as if they were eating at their local trattoria.
44 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Let the sun cut down your electricity bills
The road ahead is green
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Our qualified engineers offer FREE consultation on any Renewable product
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This is the month in which summer plants are done, making way for preparation for the autumn and winter. All tomatoes, courgettes and similar vegetables are to be taken out. Ideally do not work the old or dying vegetation into the soil. Pull them up and place on a heap to dry, then burn the heap on a calm day. It is true that it is more time consuming, but it reduces disease.
will need to be staked. There are many forms of staking but the quickest and cheapest, unless you want to invest in tomato cages, are simple canes that have been cut and allowed to dry out well (otherwise you will have cane plants interspersed with tomatoes!) Then care for the tomatoes as usual, pruning suckers and training the young plants up the canes.
You are just about in time to plant tomato seedlings for autumn and winter consumption. It is too late however to plant your own seeds. Luckily, there are some very good strains of seedlings on the market. The planting position is very critical here â€“ do not plant tomatoes where you had tomatoes growing last year. If at all possible, plant them close to a South facing wall. If this is not possible, protect them from the cold North/North Westerly winter wind (Tramuntana and Majjistral) with some garden netting. Fertilise the ground well with a composite fertilizer. All tomatoes planted now
Browse the nurseries for other ideas in autumn vegetable produce. Plan your planting to anticipate watering the plants throughout autumn, as dry spells are still very critical in our type of climate. There is still time to plant early potatoes. Brussels sprouts and cabbage will do well and require a minimum of work when the soil is wet. Rocket and spinach can be sown throughout the month, as can parsley and broad beans. Remember to use a balanced fertilizer and to never work the soil when it is too wet, as this damages the topsoil considerably and will make your work much, much harder.
Your business cannot afford black outs.
Beat the power cuts.
Sales & Service
Pitkali Road Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe +356 2339 2235 email@example.com 46 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Long & short term
leasing/rentals of generators
Dhalias are to be carefully taken out by digging a large hole around the main stem, as the roots will have spread out quite a bit. Remove as much soil as possible from the bunch of tubers. Resist the temptation to rinse out the tubers, but eliminate any small tubers that may have been damaged during lifting. Do not separate the tubers from the main stalk, as it is the stalk that will generate new shoots next year. Cut the leaves off so that there remains a three
to four inch stem on the roots. The best method of storing dahlia tubers is in cardboard boxes filled with a few centimeters of sawdust or peat. Cover the tubers with the sawdust or peat, leaving part of the stems out. Sprinkle some water lightly over the box and place in a cool place like the garage. Check the tubers regularly and again around January for signs of shriveling. Add a small amount of water if shriveling has occurred. This is also the appropriate time to transplant chrysanthemums, along with orange/red marigolds and to put a large variety of bulbs into the beds you have chosen. Some flower earlier than others and with careful planning you will have continuous blooming through autumn and winter. The nurseries will give you information about the anticipated time of flowering of each variety.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 47
by Gnome-de-Plume The flower patch will also need some work. Roses should be inspected for any suckers that have grown out from below the graft. It is also time to give them some proper fertilizer in order to strengthen their roots and prepare them for winterâ€™s sleep. This is done by applying a liquid 0-10-10 (Phosphorous and Pot Ash) fertilizer two times per month until mid-November. Use a fertilizer that is diluted quickly, as granular fertilizer will take too long to dissolve and the roses may be getting the fertilizer long after it is necessary or desirable.
Krosse Holdings Limited N/S in Handaq Road, Qormi QRM08 - Malta
Homes & Property
Homes & More
Jason Vella Stone works
Tel: 2144 4862 Fax: 2144 4694 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.krosse.com
Galanz Always belongs to you
Commercial Airconditioners Trade inquiries are welcome
Best prices on the market Reliable after sales service Highly economical & efficient T:
Clima 755 Airconditioners & solar systems. Tel: 2723 4567 email@example.com
48 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
J.Vella Stone Works 19, Main Street, Mosta. Tel: 2141 2216, Mob: 9947 7167 firstname.lastname@example.org
2723 4567 | Email: email@example.com www.clima755.com
Krosse N/S in Handaq Road, Qormi. Tel: 2144 4862 firstname.lastname@example.org
Living Concept Labour Avenue Street, Naxxar. Tel: 2141 6661 email@example.com
2 bedroom apartments Prices starting from â‚Ź109,500 (LM47,000)
3 bedroom apartments Prices starting from â‚Ź125,800 (LM54,000)
Direct from Owners! Call - 7931 1177 (Available for viewings Monday to Saturday)
Homes & Property
Luxuriously finished apartments in Misrah Kola, Attard
Homes & Property 50 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Birguma: APARTMENT comprising of Large K/L/D, 3 Double Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms. €163,800. Ref: 041-ATT-03710. Call James: 99052931
Swatar: MAISONETTE comprising of K/L/D, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Boxroom, Backyard & Optional Garage. €160,726. Ref: 002-ATT-03071. Call James: 99052931
Naxxar: TERRACED HOUSE comprising of K/L/D, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, boxroom, backyard & garage. €319,124 Ref: 002-ATT03155. Call James: 99052931
Lija: spacious and boasts of natural light, 3 bedroom APARTMENT in a block of 4. €155,000. Ref: 068-ATT-04174. Call Lara: 99052920
Mellieha: Beautiful FARMHOUSE built on 6 tumoli of land with unobstructed country views. €2,329, 800. Ref: 068-ATT-04167 Call Lara: 99052920
Zebbug: Unique HOUSE OF CHARACTER set in quiet area and rich with original features. €185,100. Ref: 068-ATT-04114 Call Lara: 99052920.
Homes & Property
Your Perfect Partner
Birkirkara: A highly designed finish larger than usual 4 bedroom TERRACED HOUSE. Bargain price of € 360,000. Ref: 062-SPB-04221. Call Lee: 99052930
San Pawl Ta’Targa - New on the market is this 3 bedroom groundfloor luxuriously finished MAISONETTE in this sought after area. €194,000. Ref: 012-SPB-01311. Call Josephine: 79311117.
Zurrieq - Paradise on earth, ready to move into Farmhouse set on 3 tumoli of land with 3 bedrooms, pool & stables €869,200. Ref: 045-att-03322. Call Josephine: 79311117
Bugibba: Luxury finished larger then usual three double bedroom APARTMENT few metres away from the promenade . 106,072 . Ref 012-SPB-02602 . Call Josephine: 79311177
Naxxar: MAISONETTE having a large open plan K/L/D, 3 bedrooms and bathroom leading all to the good sized back yard . €144,400. Ref: Spb-nhd-065. Call Mario: 99052928
Attard – VILLA comprising of 3 bedrooms, hall, L/D, S, study room,toilet, kitchen, dining & garage.€493,361. Ref: 041-att-04027. Call Dorian: 99052937
Rabat: HOC with a hall, K/L/D, study, 2 bedrooms both with en-suite, storage room, washroom on roof enjoying panoramic views valley. €215,000. Ref:002-att-01568 Call Jon: 99052935.
Bugibba : Newly built with lift , two bedroom APARTMENT with parquet flooring and balconies. €94,500. Ref : 059SPB-03806. Call Josephine: 79311177
Senglea :Rare find unconverted HOUSE OF CHARACTER with yard .Can be easily converted into a sweet home set in a historical city. €51,900. Ref: 028-MSD-02119. Call Josephine: 79311177
Zurrieq - 1st floor MAISONETTE having a massive living room, K/D, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms & a good sized yard.€209,500. Ref: 065-fgr-04127. Call Jon: 99052935.
Marsascala - A ground floor MAISONETTE having a kitchen with appliances including a 42inch TV, K/L/D, 3 bedrooms, 2 yards & garage €202,200. Ref: 066-fgr-04040 Call Jon: 99052935
Fgura: APARTMENT comprising of K/L/D 2 good sized bedrooms, bathroom, and 2 yards that let in ample natural light into apartment. €86,700. Ref: 065fgr-04138. Call Jon 99052935.
Zurrieq – HOC converted to high standards comprising a kitchen, living overlooking terrace, kitchen, 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms. €221,000 Call Jon: 9905 2935
Msida: APARTMENT comprising of a massive open plan K/L/D with front balcony measuring approx. 6 by 10 mtrs 3 bedrooms. €111,000. Ref.no 002-att-02539. Call Jon: 99052935.
Gharghur: three bed apartment main with en suite .It is set on two roads having balconies from each side with country views. €212,000 Ref: 058-spb-04195. Call Mario: 99052928
Attard | St Paul’s Bay | Fgura E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: (+356) 2339 2339 | F: (+356) 2339 2247 | M: (+356) 9999 0008
www.coldwellbankermalta.com vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 51
Property for sale
Valletta - Expertly converted 17th century Palazzo with underlying flatlet. Features ‘Piano Nobile’. 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Can also be let furnished & with garage. Call 9947 1250. €2,800 monthly, negotiable.
Attard - Misrah Kola - Maisonettes/apartments in a block of beautifully laid out residences. Direct from owners. Phone 9930 0527.
Vehicles for sale
Attard - 4 plots on 3 roads (3 corner plots) with MEPA permit for 23 apartments - P.O.R. Call 7905 6660. Mellieha - Large 3 bedroom maisonette. Must be seen. €125,000. Negotiable. Call 9982 7074. Msida - 3 bedroom apartments. Finished. €104,800 (Lm45,000). Call 7905 6660. Rabat – Prime Area 2 bedrooms apartment, Shellform with common part and lift ready. €87,350 ( LM37,500 ). Call 9989 5183. Senglea - 1 bedroom maisonette in senglea near gardiola gardens, brand new fully furnished. €50,000. Call 9944 2993 / 9920 8205. Sicily, Ragusa - 165sqm fully detached unconverted farmhouse with 2991sqm of land €120,000.00 freehold. Call 9949 0515. St Julians ( Limits of San Gwann ) Large , Class 4 Shop. Ideal for office etc. €167,710 ( LM72,000). Call 9989 5183.
Property to let
Mercedes - ML420. V8 Diesel. Full Extras. As new condition. Call 7905 6660.
BMW 320D M Sport - Dec. 2004. €15,000. Immaculate Condition. Call 9949 0515. Land Rover - Series IIA. Ex Army Long wheel base. Power steering. 2.5 Diesel Engine. €2,300 negotiable. 9982 7074 Land Rover - SWB Series IIA converted to Defender - 2.5l TD engine, Coil springs, power steering & brakes, disc brakes. €4,000 negotiable - 9989 5100.
For Sale Car Tyres - For all types of new tyres at competitive prices, express fitting and puncture repairs. Call David for more information - 2131 6058 / 7931 6058.
To book your advert you can: • Send the details and photos you wish to include in the advert, together with a cheque payable to ‘Focused Knowledge Ltd’, by post to:
CLASSIFIEDS, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214.
• Send the advert details and photos by email followed by a cheque sent by post to the same postal address above.
• Visit our offices at Pitkali Road, Attard, and ask for our Sales Team to book your advert and pay in cash or by cheque.
All bookings and payments must reach our offices by no later than 10 August 2010. Bookings that reach our offices after this date will be published in the following issue.
Nikon D50 digital SLR body, 18-55mm & 70-300mm Nikon lenses, battery & charger, bag, 2 close up lenses & shutter release remote. €350 Call 7972 7843 Satellite T.V. – Professional satellite dish installation and repairs of all satellite decoders. Call 9985 6742. Tennis / Squash Grips – Discover for yourself why top pros depend on the non-slip quality of the Tourna Grips. Starting from €2.50. Call 9982 1286.
Private Tuition Maths & Maltese Lessons – Form 1- 5 Students. Maltese for foreigners. 7906 7396 / 7926 5796
Tutor Needed – ECONOMICS. Private tutor wanted for A-level economics student. Must have achieved grade A at A-Level. Please respond. 9985 6082.
Services Models wanted – Male and female models between the ages of 18 and 50 wanted for advertising and fashion magazine shoots. Send recent photos (close up and full body shot) to email@example.com.
Wanted Red, purple and black velvet - Any quantities and in any condition. No fancy prices. Call 7930 3685.
€10 / issue
With 162,000 copies BOOK these classifieds NOW 2339 reach
all Maltese families
Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa is under new management and is currently implementing an EU project known as: Hotel Xlendi Stepping Steady. This project shall enable the Hotel to tackle new niche markets such as Medical Tourism and F.I.T.s. Consequently it has increased employment opportunities and therefore the following posts are available : Food & Beverage Manager Sales Manager Project Manager Assistant G.M. Manager IT & Sales Person Receptionist Nurses Care Workers Hair Dresser Beauty Therapist Chef Assistant Chef Bar Attended Waiters Kitchen Hand / Dishwasher Chamber Maids
52 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Please send all CVs together with covering letters to the address below: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa St Simon Street, Xlendi Bay, Gozo Tel: 21553719 / 27553719 Fax: 21557452 Contact person Josette 99497421
Approx. 15 words
Letting & Sales Associates Our Sales and Letting division is expanding again and to reap the benefits of our success we are looking for individuals who possess: • Good communication skills • Ability to work independently • Strong determination • Own transport • Initiative & be disciplined • Experience in Real Estate
We Offer: • Attractive remuneration packages • Excellent commissions • Equipped offices with a vast database of properties • Ongoing professional training • Back-up of a professional team.
Then send us your CV by e-mail to email@example.com, or by post to The Branch Manager, Coldwell Banker, Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
S N O I T I T COMPE Complete this Sudoku game and send it to us by post or via email. The correct answers will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*.
4 5 9 7 8 6 2 8 6 4
3 6 4 8 1 7
7 3 1 9 5 8 4 6 3 9
Puzzle All competition replies should reach by ourwebsudoku.com offices by Saturday October 16th. Send your entries to Competitions, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.* * See bottom of page 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.
MME International are giving Vida readers 50 free tickets to The Go Malta Music Awards 2010, on November 27th, at the MFCC, Ta’ Qali. To get in the draw to win, answer this question: In which year were the first Malta Music Awards held? 1995 2000 2004
MALTA MUSIC AWARDS
In which page of Vida can you find graffiti?
Here’s another chance of winning the €100 voucher*. Just answer the question above, send us your reply, and enter the draw to win.
Mecca Competition Winner The winner of the Mecca Enterprises Ltd. Competition is Ms Carmen Camilleri. She wins a Maxxon MW200SL Dinghy. Her entry, “Our toy brands are not to be toyed with...” was chosen as the best slogan for Mecca’s toyshop.
The winner of last month’s Vida competitions is Josette Pace, from Victoria. Her sudoku solution was randomly drawn from the competition entries received last month. In the other competition, the correct answer was page 8 – the update on biscuits is the one featuring a bourbon cream.
September’s solution 1 3 2 7 6 9 5 8 4
4 7 8 2 1 5 6 3 9
5 6 9 4 8 3 1 2 7
8 5 7 3 9 6 2 4 1
3 2 1 5 4 7 8 9 6
6 9 4 8 2 1 7 5 3
2 8 3 1 7 4 9 6 5
7 4 6 9 5 2 3 1 8
9 1 5 6 3 8 4 7 2
OTHER COMPETITION WINNERS: Myriam Warrington is the winner of last month’s NNG competition. She won 2 VIP tickets to the Elton John concert held at The Granaries, Floriana, on September 26th.
ZOO GOES SCARY
COMPETITION: Win tickets to Zoo Goes Scary!
Answer the following question and enter the draw to win one of two pairs of tickets to The Go Zoo Goes Scary, on November 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th, in Valletta: What is the theme of Zoo’s upcoming show? Horror Super Heroes Movies
Pollino’s Competition Winners
The winners of last month’s ‘Spot the Chicken’ Competition are: S Hamilton, Marylou Marshall, Rodianne Vella, Marisa Vella, Danika Azzopardi, Lietje Bonello, Michelle Gauci, Josette Farrugia, Antoinette Psaila, Jessica Cilia Custo`, Stefan Attard, Chris Alexander, Jacques Camilleri, Ilona Tagliaferro, Melania Farrugia, Mariella Muscat, Colin Stapley, Juan Dingli, Marisa Cortis, Stephanie Bonello, Clive Chipperfield, Josephine Farrugia, Bernice Gerada, Nicole Sant Fournier and Stephanie Cutajar.
SUGGESTIONS & QUESTIONS COMPETITION Theresa Demanuele, the reader who suggested the special report on parents who have had a miscarriage (See page 11), is the winner of this month’s Suggestions and Questions Competition. Suggestions and questions to the experts (see page 5) published will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher to exchange for any product or service advertised on Vida*. Miriam Dalli and Jane Vella, two of our regular contributors, are waiting for your ideas as well. Let us know who you want them to interview.
Vida vouchers for September’s competitions are valid at: BOV, Clima 755, Coldwell Banker, Datax, Die Ecke, Diva, Fahrenheit Freight Forwarders, Frenchies, Fritz Energy, General Soft Drinks Ltd (GSD), J.Vella Stoneworks, Krosse Holdings Ltd, KTM, La Gatta, Living Concept, MiddleSea Valletta Life, New Look, Pat’s Classics, PC Wizards, Piscopo Gardens, Pollinos, Shoe Mark, Sylvia Bazaar, Ta’ Dernis, Ta Marija Restaurant, Tanaya’s Development, Tat-Tarag, Xaghra hotel, Zoo vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010 53
Only for Kids
As the days get shorter and we begin to feel the chill in the air, the stage is slowly being set for autumn’s holiday on October 31st – Halloween! Whereas being most popular in America and generally not widely celebrated in Malta, the holiday is gaining popularity year after year on our islands, among kids of all ages. We’re not surprised of course, who would pass up the chance to dress up in fun costumes and receive free sweets?
Halloween finds its origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain which means ‘summer’s end’. The word Halloween is a variant of the Scottish ‘All Hallows Eve’, with hallows meaning saints. The ancient Celts believed that the borders between our world and the spirit world become blurred on Samhain, letting spirits pass into our world. The tradition of dressing up in costumes started here in fact – as a way of scaring off harmful spirits.
The fun part for kids (besides the costume) is trick-ortreating. In Malta, trick-or-treating has taken place in some areas over the last few years, but it is still not as widespread as it is abroad. Trick-or-treating is when you dress up in your costume, ring someone’s doorbell and say ‘trick-or-treat’. Whoever answers the door then chooses to either give you a treat (usually a sweet or chocolate) or not. If they don’t, according to tradition, you can play a trick on them (such as toilet-papering their front yard) – but be careful, some people might get angry!
Symbols There are various symbols associated with Halloween, including the jack-o-lantern, black cat, ghost and witch. A jack-o-lantern is made by hollowing out a pumpkin, carving a face into it, and placing a candle or light source inside. This tradition was originally associated with harvest time, and later with Halloween in the 1800s. Witches are associated with Halloween because in ancient times it was thought that supernatural powers were strongest on All Hallows Eve – making witches extra powerful and extra scary! Cats are also superstitiously considered magical, and some were believed to be witches’ familiars, especially black ones.
A traditional game played at some Halloween parties is apple bobbing – a number of apples are placed into a basin of water and people positioned around the basin (with their hands tied behind their backs) try to fish them out using only their teeth. This game is fun to play with your friends but beware; you’ll probably get very wet! Another Halloween tradition associated with apples is the making of candy or taffy apples. This sweet treat is made by rolling the apples in sticky sugar syrup or caramel, thus coating them. It is sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts too. Other fun things to do on Halloween, if you’re not up for trickor-treating, are telling ghost stories and watching horror movies – as long as it’s scary it will work for Halloween!
R W R
C W G
O M O
P W O
G M O
C W V
N M V
Broomstick Jack-o-Lantern Black Cat
K M W
Last month we asked you to send us your collages. Here are some of the entries we received:
Word Search Competition !
Secret Word: Halloween is a holiday in which you wear a _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
Kids Competition Chel
We have hidden the names of 10 symbols associated with Halloween. Find them all, including the secret word and send us the solution by post. The correct answers will enter a draw to win a €100 voucher (see page 53 for more info).
Send your competition replies, together with your name, surname, age and contact details (address, telephone number, email address), to: Kids Competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214 by no later than October 16th 2010.
Show us your Halloween spirit by sending us a scary drawing. Remember, Halloween’s traditional colours are black and orange, and make sure it’s not bigger than A4 sized! Impress us with your petrifying picture and be in with another chance of winning the €100 voucher.
Another chance to win
WINNER! Gianluca Desira Buttigieg, 11, from Sliema is the winner of last month’s competition.
BOV Home Loans At Bank of Valletta we know that whether you are a first time buyer or you’re acquiring your second residence, the purchase of a new home requires careful consideration. In order to facilitate this process, we offer a professional service to assist you in finding the appropriate financial option that best suits your needs and requirements.
Our comprehensive range of home loan options has been developed to suit your individual requirements, such as: • The purchase of a finished property; • The purchase of a property in shell form and relative completion costs; • The purchase of a plot of land, construction and completion costs; • Upgrading to your new dream home, or renovating your present property; • Refinancing of a home loan from another lender. Our choice of attractive offers on Home Loans includes The FirstTime Buyers Package, Fixed Interest Rate Home Loans and High Value Home Loans.
BOV Home Loan Package for first-time buyers Buying a home for the first time is very exciting, but we understand that it can be stressful too. Planning and preparation will help make the whole process easier. In order to make budgeting easier, we have prepared a unique package aimed specifically at offering the following first-time buyers exclusive benefits. • A loan up to €150,000; • Maximum term of up to 40 years; • Advantageous interest rates starting from 1% over the bank’s base rate; • No processing fees • A 50% discount on the Bank’s legal fees; • Additional loan to purchase furniture and appliances.
Fixed Interest rate home loans This Fixed Interest Home Loan offers you the security of knowing that your home loan interest rate will not change during the term of your fixed rate. The Fixed-Interest Rate Home Loan will give you peace of mind by allowing you to plan ahead with the certainty of knowing what your interest rate will be during the fixed rate period.
High Value Home Loans Through our expertise, high quality customised service, and our attractive interest rates, our High Value Home Loan is designed to offer you an attractive deal.
Your next move . . . We invite you to take advantage of our expertise even if you are in the initial phase of your search. We are committed to providing you with a fast and efficient service. Visit your nearest BOV branch where our trained staff is available to discuss your borrowing requirements, and to provide you with all the information you need regarding home loans and other financial options. You will thus be able to reach the best possible solution before you make a commitment. Alternatively, you may contact our Home Loans Office, at 1st Floor, St. Bartholomeo Street, Qormi, or on telephone numbers: 2275 3484, 2275 3486, 2275 3487 or by sending a blank mobile phone SMS message on telephone number 79696975.
Personal Loan and Credit Card facilities are subject to normal bank lending criteria and final approval from your BOV branch. Terms and Conditions apply. Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Zachary Street, Valletta, VLT1130. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is licensed to conduct Investment Services business by the Malta Financial Services Authority
56 vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
motoring R E E N&
H N E C O
I E C A L
T O G Y
Down with Carbon!
As part of our Green Special, Richard Muscat Azzopardi takes a look at the greener motoring alternatives on the market. Studies show that electric vehicles are constantly on the rise - hardly a week goes by without one of the motoring giants announcing a new prototype. A recent study by Eurotax Glass has estimated that by 2020 about 9-13 per cent of all vehicles sold in Europe will be electric. Even though these numbers are very promising, our addiction to fossil fuels seems to be with us for the long term. All is not lost, however. In the last 10 - 15 years car manufacturers have come forward in leaps and bounds. From creating engines which are far more economical and emit much less CO2 to making the hybrid concept more pervasive, car giants from all over the world are making a concerted effort to reduce our carbon footprint. Call me a cynic, but they have a vested interest too - the more fuel they save now, the longer they can sell cars based on existing technology. There is no need to wait any longer though, we selected four very different vehicles which are immediately available locally and took them out for a spin.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
motoring The low emissions, standard combustion engine vehicle.
The Mild Parellel Hybrid.
Life is a flower
Chirpy Cheerful Peugeot 107
The trio of vehicles built by a joint venture between Toyota (Aygo), Peugeot (107) and Citroen (C1) will surely go a long way in helping the planet. By creating an entry level vehicle which is not only low-cost but also very economical to drive, they have given most city drivers a real incentive to change their cars to a more fuel efficient equivalent. If we take the 107’s predecessor we can find that Peugeot managed to shave off at least 30% emissions from the outgoing Peugeot 106.
The Honda Insight was the first car to be launched in the West, however it was quickly overshadowed by the Toyota Prius which had a much better image and a set of seats at the back. With the new Insight, Honda has once again chosen to go for a different formula than Toyota’s. Somewhat along the same lines as the 107 above, Honda thinks that it would be better to have 10 cars saving 10 extra grammes of CO2 than one saving 20. To that end it went for a mild hybrid which means that it can sell the Insight (which is technically in the same class as the VW Golf or Opel Astra) at the same price as its rivals while consuming as much petrol and emitting the same CO2 as a car two steps down.
The 107 is the most “normal” car of the lot we tried out. It does not have too many technologically advanced features, but instead relies on its low weight and highly efficient engine to economise on fuel usage. It will definitely outsell all the other three vehicles combined, so if it you think it might be out of place in this company, think again - this class of vehicle will account for the biggest savings in CO2 overall in the next few years. In addition it looks good and is fun to drive around town, so it is not like you have to make any big sacrifices.
The Insight is a real pleasure to drive, despite playing on your guilt to get you to save even more fuel. Its dashboard features a series of flowers which grow or wilt depending on your driving style. It is really easy to forget you’re driving a hybrid because the insight drives and feels just like a regular Honda - and that is certainly not a bad thing. The cherry on the cake is that this car is also the cheapest hybrid on the market.
Specifications Peugeot 107
Toyota Auris HSD
1.4 ltr Hybrid
1.8 ltr Hybrid
3.5 ltr Hybrid
Manual 5 gear
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
motoring The Parallel Hybrid.
The Luxury Hybrid SUV.
Giants can be kind too
Toyota Auris HSD
Every time you mention a hybrid vehicle to someone who is not a car buff you have to explain the concept. Once you’ve done that their eyes invariably widen and they say - “oh you mean a car like the Prius”. Yes, I mean like the Prius. Toyota has managed to impress itself (and more importantly the Prius) into the public’s collective mind as the leader in hybrid technology - which, to be fair, it is. This notwithstanding, only a fool would overlook the Auris Hybrid when walking into a Toyota showroom.
A gentle luxury-SUV might sound like the oxymoron of the year, however Lexus has really pulled all the plugs with the RX450H. Consider this simple statistic - ten years ago a Lexus RX consumed 195% more fuel than the hybrid version. Even though we can try and convince people that buying a smaller, lighter car will save the planet, you are still going to have people who want to buy large, luxurious vehicles. Lexus accepted this fact and chose to do its bit for the environment by making its gigantic SUV only available as a hybrid.
Even though the Auris might not be the most exciting car to behold, this C-Segment hatchback has brought the price of a full hybrid down to be able to compete with most petrol powered vehicles in the category. The Auris can function for short distances as a proper electric vehicle, and even though range and speeds are quite limited, it is perfect when stuck in traffic jams. In addition to the electric motors driving its wheels, it has all the technological wizardry you’d expect in a car from the future, including a video camera which projects the view behind your rear bumper on the rear-view mirror when you engage the reverse gear!
The beauty of it all is that it is completely unobtrusive. Unless you fiddle around with the settings you can use this vehicle as you would any other. The “H” appended to the model number will give you away, however once inside the car you never feel like you’re making an effort to save the planet - look deeper, though, and you can find all the data stored inside the car’s on-board computer. Even though diametrically opposed to the Peugeot 107, this vehicle will also be doing a lot of good if it can allow luxury car drivers to enjoy their vehicles to the full while doing their bit for the planet.
Parallel Hybrids Vs Mild Parallel Hybrids Even though the Honda Insight and the Toyota Auris use similar technology, the cars approach the problem very differently. The obvious commonality is that both combine electric motors with a petrol engine to drive the vehicle. They also make the best of the vehicle’s inertia (moving energy) to recharge batteries which are significantly larger than those in conventional cars. The Insight is commonly referred to as a mild parallel hybrid - the electric motor is relatively small and is mainly used to assist the petrol engine to perform energy intensive manoeuvres such as accelerating. This saves a significant amount of fuel and allows the car to use a smaller engine.
The Auris, on the other hand, is a classic parallel hybrid. Here the car can drive on 100% electric motor, 100% petrol engine or any combination in between. The car chooses the appropriate ratio depending on myriad factors, including the state of the battery charge, how hard you press the accelerator and the economy setting you’re on.
Next year we should also see another innovation thanks to the Peugeot 3008 - the first diesel hybrid. It promises 99g of CO2 and about 75mpg in a crossover - around 33% savings on current engine lineups.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
Autumn’s Key Pieces by Sarah Micallef
Don’t you just love the smell of the beginning of a new season in the morning? Autumn is finally upon us, and with some exciting things going on in the Fall Runway shows this year, I can hardly wait to get new season-savvy in Autumn’s musthave pieces! Whereas it may be best to save the more wintry items for a little later on in Malta’s persistently warm climate, some Autumn trend tickers are simply perfect for that slight chill in the air. Failsafe options this year are leather and lace, with predominant colours ranging from slate grey, crimson and berry to camel. Stock up on basics and knits, and you’ll find the rest here:
Leather wasn’t just limited to winter this year. Nor was it only for shoes, bags and biker jackets. This summer saw the emergence of the leather shorts trend, and it seems set to carry on over to autumn, with leather accents lending a tough edge to our autumn look. Go for always-chic black or be a little adventurous in coloured leather – have fun!
Aviator Jacket: Make like a fighter pilot in this season’s aviator – top marks for a turned up sheepskin collar! Team with form-fitting peg-leg trousers for maximum fashion points and sleeker silhouettes for an edgier chic.
Fur Gilet: The fur gilet is the perfect mix of comfy and cool, not to mention seriously show stopping. Take Dries Van Noten’s leopard-print fur vest as inspiration and rock that (faux) fur – just make sure it’s belted.
Dusky Nude: Summer’s nude colours are carried over into Autumn, this time round teamed with black for an edgier feminine romance. Anything from a button down silk blouse worn over denim or leggings to a sheer ruffled dress, you can’t go wrong in nude this season.
Updated Maxi: While we can all bid farewell to summer’s popular cut-offs and thigh-skimming skirts, the maxi is definitely here to stay. As seen on Dolce & Gabbana’s runways, the maxi gets restyled for the winter, enjoying knitted fabric, lace detail and lengthened sleeves. What’s more, you can wear your wooly tights underneath when it gets really cold, and onlookers will be none the wiser!
Leopard print is a classic style staple that just keeps on giving, and this year is certainly no exception. The distinctive print can be found on anything. A friendly word of advice for those who may be tempted to take the trend a little too far – don’t. Try to team leopard print with neutral colours such as black to keep it chic and stylish – you don’t want a beastly fashion disaster on your hands do you? Accessorize
New Season Knit: You can never really go wrong with a knitted cardi, but this time round, knits are slouchy and belted for a laid-back yet feminine twist. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to design and colour (with Inca-inspired patterns providing a distinct interest here) but a noteworthy development has been brought to our attention – buttons are falling out of favour!
Ankle Boots: The variety here is quite frankly ridiculous. You can go for worker boots, flats, Cuban heels, platforms, lace-ups, buckled, fur or knitted varieties – we’re simply spoiled for choice with boots! Sure enough, there’s a pair to suit any occasion!
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Take a Bow
I love bows, and consider them as a sort of style signature. For this reason, you can imagine my delight upon seeing the main embellishment on Autumn’s sleek silhouette – that’s right, bows! Add a touch of girlish quirkiness to your image with a bow on your Alice band, handbag or even cheekily sitting on your pumps. Accessorize
Wardrobe Diaries Name: Rachel Agius
Describe your style in 3 words: Casual, comfortable and kooky. Favourite item of clothing: Dark blue shirt with silver pinstripes. Most expensive piece: My purple admiral coat with gold buttons from Dorothy Perkins. Best bargain buy: A shirt from Pull and Bear’s sale that cost me all of €5. That was about three years ago and it’s still going strong! 3 items everyone should own: A pair of Chuck Taylors (authentic or otherwise), a hoodie you’ve had for years and has as many memories attached to it and at least one pair of matching socks. Ultimate fashion rule: Just one item can change your entire look – choose wisely or you could go from Lady Di to Ludacris!
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, on email@example.com, or to Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
The Point, Sliema Photography by Jacob Sammut Carabez - Pearl Works T: 79857733 Model: Adriana Zarb
Hair by Julian’s Ciseau T: 21415368 Makeup by Diandra Mattei using Givenchy T: 79828414
View catalogue on www.ktm.com To place an order email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Outfits & Accessories - La Gatta Couture, Blue Grotto Avenue, Zurrieq T: 21641417 Shoes – Soul Embassy Complex, Valletta T: 2702 0127
Styling by Sarah Micallef - Focused Knowledge T: 23392403 Photography by Jacob Sammut Carabez – Pearl Works T: 79857733 Hair by Styling by Mandy T: 79604497 Makeup by Marian Baker at www.beautifyme.info T: 79374628 Model: Sophia Cefai via PlatinumFace Location: Hompesch Steel, Fgura Top – New Look Jeans & Shoes – Topshop Bracelets – Stradivarius Glasses – model’s own
Jacket, Leggings & Shoes – Topshop Corset & Bracelets – Stradivarius Necklace – RIOT Boutique
Dress & Bangles – RIOT Boutique Boots – Stradivarius
Bodysuit & Bangle – Stradivarius Necklace & Shoes – New Look Jeans – RIOT Boutique Glasses – model’s own
Dress – RIOT Boutique Necklace – New Look Shoes – Topshop
Sunsets Sunsets have fascinated people from the very beginning of humankind. From the illustrations found on pyramids in ancient Egypt to the lonely cowboy riding into the sunset, it is one of the dayâ€™s most obvious punctuation marks.
Compe on titi
You have a month to go out and try to take the nicest sunset shot you can muster. Follow our tips and you should be well on the way, however feel free to experiment further with things we have not mentioned. As long as the photo includes a sunset we shall only care about the end result.
Photos do not need to have been taken with a professional camera - sometimes your phone camera can be enough. We usually need photos which are at least 2MP (approx 1600X1200 pixels). Please feel free to send in as many photos as you deem necessary, however do not send more than 2 photos per email.
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Send your entries by post on the address below or on email@example.com by not later than November 5th 2010 and you could win â‚Ź100! If posting entries physically and want the prints/ CD returned please include a self-addressed envelope and post to: Photography Competition, Vida Magazine, Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD2214
photography Taking a photo of a sunset is not as simple as pointing your camera at the horizon when the sun is going down and hoping for the best. Keep in mind that you’re shooting on digital, so do not worry if you have to shoot loads of pictures to get the perfect one.
Find the perfect spot (or spots) Ensure that you have a clear view of the horizon (or any foreground you wish to include) on the side the sun goes down. Check this some time before you intend on shooting, because you can very easily miss the opportunity - at this time of the year you can only get around 20 - 30 minutes of photogenic time at the very most.
Timing is King Remember that you have a limited time-frame in which to shoot sunsets - don’t try too early because you can hurt yourself if you look at the sun through the camera while it is still very bright. The best time to shoot is usually as close to the end of the sunset as possible. In a space of five minutes you can shoot constantly with results which vary greatly in a matter of seconds.
Add foreground A sunset over the sea on a clear day is very easy to fall in love with, however it is just as easy to forget. Look for an interesting subject to include as a foreground and your photo will have much more dimension to it. In most cases you will get silhouettes, so keep this in mind when looking for a subject: the outline is the most important feature of your foreground. Another solution is to frame your sunsets with an object in the foreground.
Look forward to cloudy days Clear but cloudy days can be your best friends because you are guaranteed interest and drama from the very first shot. When the sky is completely overcast there is no point in looking for a sunset shot, however if there is a sliver of cloud on the horizon in the direction of the setting sun you can use it to your advantage. When there is a heavier cloud cover you can be on the lookout for rainbows and rays of sunshine peeking through the edge of the sky.
Pay attention to composition Try to experiment with the positioning of the sun in your photos. Unless you’re going for symmetrical rays popping out of the sky, your best bet is to shoot the sun and any interesting foreground off centre. You don’t want water falling off the side of your picture - so make sure to keep your horizons straight.
Now find a few spots, take your camera along, do your very best, practice and most of all remember that the ultimate aim is for you to enjoy yourself. When done, don’t forget to send your best efforts in to Vida’s photography competition (see left).
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
This month’s must-reads Grajjiet Malta Juann Mamo (edited by Mark Vella), Klabb Kotba Maltin. Mark Vella has collected and annotated Juann Mamo’s short stories. This is a unique opportunity to rediscover the author of the famous novel Ulied in-Nanna Venut flAmerka. It is evident that Mamo respects no mediocrity and opens fire against all the institutions including the Church. Although his position is clearly anti-colonial he shows no enthusiasm for the locals’ ignorance and urges them to embrace learning.
Battuti ghħal Inzżul ix-Xemx Albert Marshall, Ivan de Battista and Charles Scerri, Horizons Three poets and an artist come together to analyse life. The introduction to this anthology is by poet and theatre director Mario Azzopardi. Horizons are to be praised for taking up this initiative, as local publishers interested in publishing poetry are becoming a rarity.
Getting ready for a book bonanza! Book publishers in Malta are getting ready for every book lover’s favourite event - the Malta Book Fair – which this year will be held between November 10th and 19th at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. This year’s edition will include several book launches, literary evenings, activities for children and discussions about Maltese books. Entrance is free of charge and school visits are encouraged. The Book Fair attracts over 20,000 visitors every year. It aims to promote Maltese and foreign publications, to bring a wide range of recent publications to the attention of the local public, to encourage reading and to raise awareness on children’s literature, as well as to foster professional contacts among publishers, printers, booksellers and librarians. To help people get to the Mediterranean Conference Centre, a bus-shuttle service will be organised from the Valletta Bus Terminus at a nominal price. The Book Fair is organised by the National Book Council in collaboration with the Department of Libraries. For more information about the Book Fair, watch this space next month! The books pages in Vida are coordinated by the National Book Council. Watch these pages for information from the world of books and reading!
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Il-Malti LXXX1 2010 L-Akkademja tal-Malti and Klabb Kotba Maltin. This edition of Il-Malti published by L-Akkademja tal-Malti and Klabb Kotba Maltin honours a Maltese unsung hero: Guzè Gatt. Gatt dedicated his energy and resources to the world of research. His studies on the first books in Maltese, the letter W, and Richard Taylor are amongst the works included. This book is a must for the Melitensia collector.
The Earliest Church Register in Gozo Horatio Caesar Roger Vella, Self published The book presents a transcription and a study of the earliest church register preserved at the Archives of the Bishop’s Curia in Gozo. This publication is an important reference work for historians. The book also includes an introduction on the historical background of the register focusing on the 1551 Turkish invasion of Gozo.
1.MT Edited by Clare Azzopardi, Merlin Library Ltd. This book gives secondary first formers an innovative way of learning their native language. Clare Azzopardi provides a different language-learning scheme. Users of this textbook are encouraged to keep a portfolio of their writings.
News From Book Land To pop-up or not to pop-up
A research team led by University of Virginia psychologist Medha Tare is arguing that pop-up books “may have their place as entertainment” but are counterproductive to learning. The team came to this controversial conclusion after conducting two experiments. It was noted that the children who looked at a book with photo illustrations only did better than those exposed to the same images in a pop-up book. Their findings were recently published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
Bush’s decisions and Brown’s crisis George W. Bush, the former President of the USA, and Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, will both be releasing new books in the coming months. Bush’s book, ‘Political Decisions’, presents the “14 most critical and historic decisions in the life and public service of the 43rd president of the United States,” Random House Publishers revealed. The former president will be going back to major events that took place during his tenure, including the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and the controversial 2000 presidential election. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will also be trying his luck in the publishing sector with his views on the global economic crisis. “We now live in a world of global trade, global financial flows, global movements of people and instant global communications,”
Brown said, “our economies are connected as never before, and I believe that global economic problems require global solutions and global institutions. In writing my analysis of the financial crisis, I wanted to help explain how we got here, but more importantly to offer some recommendations as to how the next stage of globalisation can be managed so that the economy works for people and not the other way around.”
Dostoevsky’s metro station Russian psychologists expressed concern at the inauguration of a metro station dedicated to the author Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 - 1881) in Moscow. The metro features murals depicting violent scenes from Dostoevsky’s books. Psychologists protested against these scenes, claiming that they may encourage metro commuters to commit suicide. Psychologist Mikhail Vinogradov argued that the murals will make people “afraid to ride the subway.” On the other hand, psychologist Natalia Semyonova defended the murals, saying that she actually uses Dostoevsky’s books to help treat her patients.
Oxford defines vuvuzelas The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English features over 2,000 new entries. They include words such as ‘vuvuzela’, ‘social media’, ‘microblogging’, ‘netbook’, ‘paywall’ and ‘tweet-up’.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
Malta’s medieval arsenal The earliest ship repair facilities on the island by Joyce Guillaumier
The Mediterranean Sea has always been intrinsically tied to the aspirations, hopes, failures and victories of the Maltese people. It is a natural extension of their life on land; a maritime tradition with roots as deep as life itself. Being a small island with limited resources, Malta has always depended on importation for the provision of vital items, including wheat. For centuries, seafaring trades such as piracy, naval and mercantile shipping were a crucial element of our economy. In this scenario, the maintenance and building of ships and other sea crafts becomes even more important for the islanders. We know that Malta’s ship repair and building industry was properly developed when the Knights landed in Malta. The Knights’ arsenal in Malta competed well with the more established ones in other Mediterranean ports. However, historians also affirm that Malta had a boatyard even in medieval times.
Malta’s maritime resources had already started developing
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
During the Arab period (870-1091), Malta did not have an arsenal. When Ibn Hawqal, the Arab geographer, described the island in his 977 book ‘Surat al-Ardh’, he made no reference to the existence of any building related to the storage, repair or building of ships. Three and a half centuries later, the Arab historian Al Himjari stated that Malta “has harbours set up for ships”. This shows that Malta’s maritime resources had already started developing. Once the Arab rule ended and Malta became part of the Kingdom of Aragon, its importance in the Mediterranean increased tremendously. The capital city during the Arab rule was Mdina which is located in the middle of the island without any link to the sea. The Aragonese shifted the seat of power to the Castrum Maris (today known as Fort St. Angelo), in Birgu. Consequentially, its suburbs assumed bigger responsibilities, even if not on the same level as that experienced in 1530, when the Knights arrived in Malta from Rhodes and established their first base in the harbour area. According to Professor Godfrey Wettinger1, a boatyard existed in Birgu as far back as 1374. He refers to late medieval registers indicating the
The medieval ship-shed Historian Joseph Muscat7 explains that the medieval ship-shed in Birgu consisted of one shed with a wooden ceiling. This wooden structure was built of strong wooden beams that supported the roof. The shed had a gabled roof, sloping from the centre. As time went by, security measures were included in its structure, indicating that it started being being used for military purposes. Ship-sheds for boats not used for bellicose purposes did not require any form of security and boat repair was undertaken in open structures.
existence of an arsenal in Malta. Dr Dr Mercieca explains that the Maltese yard Simon Mercieca, from the University may have started off as a ship-shed used the area of Malta’s Department of History, mostly as a storage place for vessels. round Birgu confirms that in medieval Malta In fact, the 1374 registers (mentioned was becoming above) refer to an old hull which lay there were local ship owners who an arsenal needed the services of a dockyard abandoned in this shipyard, describing from time to time2. He adds that it as “an old galley which belonged to of war. the late Hugeni Lanzani, in bad repair and the local notarial records refer to not good for sailing”. Eventually, Dr Mercieca Magnificus Antonius Gactu Desguanes maintains, this shed developed into a ship repair as one of the leading corsairs present in Malta at yard. This in turn necessitated the introduction of the end of the fifteenth century3. Giacomo Bosio, security measures such as walls, doors and locks. the historian of the Order of St John, refers to another pirate, Captain Michele of Malta who was also engaged in this trade during the same period4. Documents dated 1478 indicate that the Birgu ‘darsanale’ necessitated the building of a boundary wall while later manuscripts - 1501, 1502, 1503 Unfortunately we do not know the name or the - inform us that the yard had its own workforce, exact location of this medieval boatyard. Prof. including blacksmiths and stone masons. We Wettinger points out that this yard was used have no precise date as to when the change into a mainly for ship repair and not for large projects, proper arsenal occurred but it is believed that this such as the building of new vessels. Before the happened at the end of the medieval period and arrival of the Knights in 1530, ship building during the first years of the Knights’ rule. was not considered to be as important in Malta as it was in Barcelona, Pisa, Genova, Venice, The building of boundary walls and the need Dubrovnik and Amalfi. These were considered for doors and locks coincided with the advent of to offer the best services available at the time. the North African regency’s frequent raids on According to Prof. Wettinger, new ships required Maltese shores. From 1480 onwards Malta began in Malta were built in Sicily or in any other to experience the rising might of the Ottoman arsenal within the Kingdom of Aragon, to which Empire - after the first Turkish raid on the island, Malta still belonged before Malta was handed over to the Order of St. John. He does not exclude the people immediately felt the need for tighter security measures. Slowly but surely, the area that the early boatyard in Birgu was only used for round Birgu was becoming an arsenal of war. smaller repairs and for constructing smaller boats used for the transportation of wheat5 or for corsair activities6.
According to professors Fiorini, Wettinger and Mallia-Milanes of the University of Malta, the Hospitallers’ first arsenal was on the quay of Birgu, or better still on the ‘molo di San Lorenzo’, named after the church dedicated to St. Lawrence. However it could also have been located next to the tagliata (ditch) which separated the Castrum Maris from Birgu. The ditch existed as far back as 1450, as we can read in Charles Dalli’s ‘Medieval Communal Organisation in an Insular Context’. In the Middle Ages arsenals were built in the shelter of the city walls or under the protection of a castle. Since the only castle in Birgu was the Castrum Maris, Dr Mercieca states that the medieval arsenal was located close to the castle, possibly just underneath the fort. Dr Mercieca identifies the recently-built apartment block facing the Grand Harbour Marina as the site where the medieval arsenal stood. What was left of it was cleared away when the apartments were built. G. Wettinger “The Castrum Maris and its Suburb of Birgu during the Middle Ages”, Birgu A Maltese Maritime City (Malta, 1993), pp31-72 2 S. Mercieca: Mediterranean Seascapes (ed) S. Mercieca p 4 3 Part 1: Notarial documents (No 2, Notary Giacomo Zabbara, R 494/ 1 (11-1V), 1494-1497, S Fiorini (ed) pp20, 78, 80-81. 4 G. Bosio, Dell’Istoria della Sacra et Illustrissima Religione di S. Giovanni Gerosolmitano (Rome, 1630) Vol 2 p 311 5 Notary Archives Valletta, Canciur, R 140/1 f.40 r-v 6 S. Fiorini, Part 1: Zabbara, p20; Part 2: Documents in the State Archives, Palermo (No. 1, Cancelleria Regia, 1259-1400) S. Fiorini (ed) vol. 159, f. 211v-212. 7 Muscat (Malta, 1993, p 5 1
The author would like to thank Dr. Simon Mercieca for his assistance in this feature.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
October at the Movies
By Mark Camilleri
Film of the month
All movies released locally by KRS www.MarksMovieMarks.com
The Social Network In a nutshell
At the very least, if you don’t own a Facebook account, you’ve probably heard about it, read about it in the papers, or seen someone’s photos on it. In less than a decade it has mushroomed into an internet brand as recognisable as Google and YouTube, which of course means that somewhere, someone is extremely rich.
Why we’re hyped
When I first heard that a movie was being made about Facebook, I admit I thought it was some laughable attempt at cashing in on its immense popularity. But it turns out that someone had written a rather sordid book (‘The Accidental Billionaires’) chronicling the campus and boardroom struggles that characterised the birth of Facebook back in 2004. When business-savvy whizz-kids stumble upon a winning formula, and billions are at stake, you can imagine that there will be lots of interest and intrigue when it comes to sharing the pie. And sure enough the film trailers that have been released so far promise a thriller far more gripping than the title would suggest. The tagline is quite eloquent “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”.
Who’s in it?
Another major reason why this film looks promising is the man in the director’s chair. When it was announced that David Fincher was going to call the shots, I for one realised that there must be something in the script that has the makings of a great film. With excellent and adored films such as Fight Club, Seven, and Zodiac under his belt, Fincher also recently showed us how versatile he is by helming the picture-perfect (although rather long) fairytale The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With him attached, the focus then shifted to who would portray the real-life protagonists of this very recent history. Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, Zombieland) looks and sounds the part as Mark Zuckerberg. Listed by Forbes as the world’s youngest billionaire, Zuckerberg was one of the co-founders of Facebook, and currently owns one quarter of the empire, besides running the show. Not bad for a 25 year-old. Andrew Garfield (Doctor Parnassus, the upcoming Never Let Me Go, and the next Spider-man) is Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded back in 2004 but has now left the company, under not-so-happy circumstances. Justin Timberlake (who seems to be doing more acting and less gyrating nowadays) rounds off the main trio as Sean Parker, who used to be the President of the company, and who once upon a time co-founded Napster. They’ve all more or less distanced themselves from the film, claiming things are blown out of proportion – but that was to be expected considering the dirtylaundry aspect of the story. It now remains to be seen whether the vast swathes of people who spend much more than two hours a week on Facebook will want to spend two hours seeing how it was founded, but based on the trailers and the pedigree I’d venture a yes.
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
Other Releases: RED
Agora In a nutshell
In the 4th century AD, a storm was brewing in the Egyptian corner of the Roman Empire, as science and religion slowly started to step on each other’s toes, and Christianity arrived in Pagan Alexandria. In what is being hailed as a Roman epic that focuses more on brains than on brawn, this ambitious project tackles the delicate topic from a historical perspective, and expounds the banalities of religious fundamentalism, of whichever type. Definitely a theme that is just as relevant today as it was back then.
Why we’re hyped
Back in 2008, Malta was involved in the biggest and longest movie production of its colourful filming history, as Egypt was brought to life thanks to tonnes of extras and impossibly huge sets. Now, after a staggered release schedule that saw the film take some time to reach cinemas, we can finally get to see the end result. If you want to see whether Uncle Toni got any screen time after wearing a leather skirt for two weeks, you won’t want to miss this.
Who’s in it?
Respected Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, who gained international fame thanks to The Others, took a rather long break after his latest film The Sea Inside. It turns out he was writing, planning and eventually directing this mammoth story, fleshing out the piece of history with some dramatic fiction. The main role, a headstrong woman of science, went to Rachel Weisz (The Fountain, The Mummy) who has been praised by critics as being the best thing about the film. Max Minghella (Syriana, The Social Network) has a secondary role as her slave, Davus. Despite the lack of any other big names to look out for, we can feast our eyes on loads of local talent, many in speaking roles – including Manuel Cauchi, Charles Thake, Harry Borg, Wesley Ellul, Chris Dingli, Malcolm Galea, Alan Paris, John Montanaro and Edward Caruana Galizia. And don’t forget your Uncle Toni as ‘hairy man in crowd #257’. This should be essential viewing for any Maltese film lover who enjoys a good movie and doesn’t mind a bit of location spotting.
RED stands for ‘Retired, Extremely Dangerous’, which should already give you an indication of the fun potential this film has. Adapted (rather loosely, apparently) from a little-known comic by the same name, the film has a winning formula that should prove hard to resist – Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and the great John Malkovich as ageing, retired covert CIA agents, forced back into the limelight when their cover is blown. The trailer promises lots of silly fun, which seems to be exactly what these veteran stars signed up for. The ensemble cast is rounded off by Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Mr. Holland’s Opus), Brian Cox (25th Hour, Adaptation), Mary-Louise Parker (Angels in America, Fried Green Tomatoes, Weeds) and Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek).
Since we’ve now reached a point where a smart-looking computeranimated comedy needs something extra to stand-out from the countless others, wild storylines and impressive casts seem to be the most-favoured recipe for success. This has both. Steve Carell, possibly the best comedian of the moment, stars as Gru – the world’s foremost supervillain. Or outgoing foremost supervillain, because after trying to use three orphaned girls in one of his worlddomination plans, he finds his affection for them growing, and he goes a bit soft on the inside. Veteran comics Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) and Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) add to the laughs, and veteraneverything Julie Andrews adds some class.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
I’m rather partial to short names when it comes to films, but I guess Dr. Strangelove was an early example of how it’s bad to generalise. The Guardians of Ga’Hoole is a book series aimed at older children, about a young barn owl and the fantasy world he lives in. I haven’t read them myself, but they seem to be quite a hit, and rising director Zack Synder (300, Watchmen) has directed this computer-animated adaptation of the first three books. I presume they’ll contain less gore than his previous films. Produced down under, the film boasts a stellar Australian voice cast – Geoffrey Rush (Shine, Munich), Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings), David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Australia), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge!), as well as Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Last Station) and Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Blackadder). The special effects were done by the team behind the wonderful Happy Feet, although I doubt the owls will be as spectacular on the dance floor.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
eating & drinking
Living in a rock and roll fantasy Hard Rock Cafe Rating:
Baystreet Complex St. Georgeâ€™s Bay St. Julians
heated discussion went on around me about the virtue of the Black Angus patty over the regular one
The spirits of Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Slash and Paul McCartney silently watched as this tale unfolded. Their spirits were silent, living inside six (or four) silver strings and various combinations of maple, spruce, rosewood and mahogany. The spirits of a few dozen other musicians were also there in a number of forms, from platinum discs to denim jackets. All of these were protected, as is right and fitting, by a glass wall through which they could observe the rowdy group of five unusual suspects who, in turn, admired them back through the glass. The temple I refer to is, as you have most likely guessed by now, Hard Rock Cafe that occupies a fair proportion of the second floor of Bay Street.
The five of us shared a healthy appetite for a decent meal and rock and roll, so the location more or less chose us - a little like the Blues chose Robert Johnson, although there was no swapping of souls in our case. Nor did we have to spend any amount of time at the crossroads at midnight. We were met at the door by a sprightly young man, practically hopping with enthusiasm as he smiled broadly and led us, rather ceremoniously, to a massive round table that could seat us all quite comfortably. Part of the ceremonial costume included a thousand
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
(or so it appeared) little pins. These were attached to three ribbons around his neck and are probably used in some arcane ritual that we thought best not to ask about. Why should we upset the man who would spend the best part of the couple of hours to come in close contact with our food?
Food was what we had turned up for and the menus promised a large enough variety to make the choice quite agonising. The choice of food is what I call premium fast-food, far enough removed from the typical franchise fare to sound genuine while evidently the product of a well-researched formula. All the typical grills are present, from NY strips to ribs with all the burgers in between. The latter was strongly, perhaps a little too forcefully, recommended by a couple who are evidently fans of the place so there was little we could do to avoid them. I quickly picked the mushroom and Swiss cheese while heated discussion went on around me about the virtue of the Black Angus patty over the regular one. The final list included the regular 10 oz Angus, a Hickory Angus, beef fajitas and, for the bovine-conscientious objector, a veggie burger. A moment of panic-stricken concern over food quantity added a last-minute jumbo combo starter to our order and we then sat back with our pints of beer for some heated musical debate. Tempting as it is, I am not able to repeat the contents of the conversation. It would be impossible for me not to take sides and I opt for silence as my only vehicle to impartiality.
eating & drinking
The restaurant is really quite large. The huge space is bedecked with musical memorabilia and seems to be constructed almost entirely out of wood. It is also too brightly lit for my liking. The feeling of being lost in the vast cavern that makes up the dining area can easily be solved with the addition of diner-style booths. Or quite possibly dimmer lighting. The music in the background is quite loud and I mean this in the best possible way. The selection was mostly very enjoyable and I expect music to be loud, possibly louder, at a place that has made its intentions very clear from the outset. If you don’t like rock, walk away. There are countless other places where you can sit in silence or, at the very worst, listen to tinny muzak while you sip at your Soave. The jumbo combo arrives in style, a multi-layered smorgasbord of little finger-foods from onion rings to chicken wings and spring rolls to nuggets. Dipping sauces surround the lot and a flurry of frantic fingers soon whizzed around the central dish, polishing it off before a live Dylan track in the background ended in the wrong key.
lettuce but not gherkins. I added the lot before tucking in. A few bites into the dense packet of juicy flavour was enough to send warning signs from the belly warning system that this would be a challenge. I made it through though, fuelled by the taste and texture. Around me there were grunts of satisfaction, just audible above an AC/DC number. As predicted by the Hard Rock Cafe fan, most of my chips were left in the plate by the time I was done. I nibbled at a couple before the HRC expert told me to stop and leave some room for dessert. Surely you’re joking, Mr Feynman. He insisted though, claiming that the famous franchise had thought of gluttons in my situation by serving tiny desserts in a shot glass. Key Lime Pie for me it is then. And a rock and roll fantasy it was with tangy lime cutting pleasantly through the sticky sweetness.
a flurry of frantic fingers soon whizzed around the central dish
The burgers followed in hot pursuit and I instantly voiced disapproval at the quantity of chips supplied. I was told to bide my time until I’d consumed the burger before dissing the chef’s stinginess with the spuds. Thoughtfully, all of the veg that goes inside the burger is placed immediately adjacent to it on the plate for those who might like
€100 for the five of us was just as sweet but I still rang up my own bill, counting the items off on my fingers. The items on my version were the following: Satisfied smiles and sticky fingers all round; Rock in the background; Guitars on the walls; Cold beer; Fun and informal service. This may not be fine dining but it is a definite recipe for guilty, if nostalgic, pleasure. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed eats. That’s all he does. He accepts no invitations and turns up unannounced to keep this column free from bias. Readers of the column hardly ever agree with him and yet Ed eats on.
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
events Unoriginal Sin
Manoel Theatre - Friday October 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th
Boasting an impressive track record including the record-breaking The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the smash hit comedy The 39 Steps and My First Time, Mellow Drama are back with their latest offering: Unoriginal Sin by David Tristam. The cast consists of John Montanaro, Louiselle Vassallo, Faye Paris, Barry Calvert, Stefan Cheriet Busuttil and Jean-Pierre Agius, with direction by Steve Casaletto. www.mellowdrama.com.mt
Opening Times: 09:00 - 17:00 (last admission 16:30hrs).
Maestri d’Arte Exhibition
Culture & History
Pictures of the Floating World
Gozo Area Exhibition Hall - St Martin’s Quarter - The Citadel – Gozo - August 6th to October 29th
Exhibitions in October
Cittadella Centre for Culture and Arts - St. Ursula Hall - Triq Bieb l-Imdina -The Citadel – Victoria - Gozo September 24th to October 10th Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 13:00.
Anton Agius Paintings Exhibition
Festa Bdiewa f’ Burmarrad (Farmers Festival) – Burmarrad – 19:00 to 23:00 Festubru – Wied il-Lunzjata – Kercem Saturday 2nd A Night With Djedjotronic (BoyNoize Rec) - Tattingers Club Rabat Village Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - Valletta Inkontri - Renzo Spiteri & Joe Friggieri – Vilhena Palace – Mdina – 20:00
Banca Giuratale - Independence Square - Victoria – Gozo - September 25th to October 17th
Festa Bdiewa f’ Burmarrad (Farmers Festival) – Burmarrad – 19:00 to 00:00
Opening Times: Monday to Friday 07:30 to 12:30, Saturday 07:00 to 12:00, Sunday 09:00 to12:00.
Festubru – Wied il-Lunzjata – Kercem
9th National Art Exhibition
Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - Palazzo de La Salle – Valletta – October 1st to 15th Opening Times: Monday – Friday 08:00 to 19:00, Saturday 09:00 to 12:00.
The Conversational Art Salon Evenings
Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - Palazzo de La Salle - Valletta – October 5th, 12th, 26th, November 2nd, 9th, 23rd, 30th and December 7th Opening Times: 18:00 to 20:00.
“365” - Heritage Malta
Malta Maritime Museum - October 8th to 22nd Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 09:00 to 17:00 (last admission at 16:30).
Art Exhibition - Carmelo Theuma
Cittadella Centre for Culture and Arts - St. Ursula Hall -Triq Bieb l-Imdina - The Citadel - Victoria - October 15th to November 4th Opening Times: Monday-Friday 10:00 to 13:00.
Inheritance Photographic Exhibition - Ronnie, Carlo & Sergio Muscat Auberge D’Italie – Valletta - October 19th – November 11th Opening Times: Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:00.
Paintings exhibition - Thomas J.Bournell
Banca Giuratale - Independence Square - Victoria - October 21st to November 21st Opening Times: Monday to Friday 07:30 to 12:30, Saturday 07:00 to 12:00, Sunday 09:00 to 12:00.
EARTH - Ceramic Art Exhibition
Sunday 3rd Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – Parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Sliema - 09:15
Breast Awareness Campaign - Breast Care Support Group - Bay Street Complex - St. Julian’s 7th Malta Military Tattoo – MFCC – Ta Qali – 18:00 Birgu Fest 2010 - Vittoriosa Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 National John Lennon Day Exhibition - Hall of 60A - Strait Street (corner with Old Theatre Street) Valletta 10:00 to 18:00 An Enemy of the People – St. James Cavalier – 20:00 Sunday 10th Village Feast of the Patronage of the B.V Mary – Ghasri - Gozo
Blood Donation Mobile Unit – Mediatrix Square – Zabbar - 08:30 to 13:30
Blood Donation Mobile Unit – next to Pastoral Centre - Gharghur - 08:30 to 13:30
EYE SPY - TICA Cat Show– One Complex – Marsa – 10:00 to 17:00
Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 15:30
National Triathlon Championships – Salina Coast Road (under Coastline Hotel)- 08:00
Tribali Improvised Jam – Masgar – Mtarfa – 16:00 to 00:00
Festa Bdiewa f’ Burmarrad (Farmers Festival) – Burmarrad – 09:30 to 19:00 Festubru – Wied il-Lunzjata – Kercem Monday 4th Open Day for World Animal Day – Island Sanctuary – Delimara – Marsaxlokk – 10:00 to 16:00 Malta Cultural Institute Concert – Grand Exhibition Hall of the Hotel Le Meridien – St. Julians – 19:00 Wednesday 6th Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 Thursday 7th Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 Friday 8th
Opening Times: 10:00 to 21:00.
Birgu Fest 2010 - Vittoriosa
Opening times: Monday to Friday 17:00 to 21:00, Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 to 13:00 and 17:00 to 21:00.
Breast Awareness Campaign - Breast Care Support Group - Bay Street Complex - St. Julian’s
Village Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary – Marsa
Harmonical Expressions - Gilbert Fenech
Village Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary – Gudja and Tarxien
St. James Cavalier – Valletta – October 22nd to December 5th
Sagrestia Vault - Valletta Waterfront - October 29th to November 7th
Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 An Enemy of the People – St. James Cavalier – 20:00
National John Lennon Day Exhibition - Hall of 60A - Strait Street (corner with Old Theatre Street) Valletta 10:00 to 18:00 Birgu Fest 2010 - Vittoriosa 7th Malta Military Tattoo – MFCC – Ta Qali – 18:00 An Enemy of the People – St. James Cavalier – 20:00 Wednesday 13th Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 Bowling tournament – Malta Seniors Open Championships – Eden Super Bowl – St. Julians – 09:00 Thursday 14th Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 Bowling tournament – Malta Seniors Open Championships – Eden Super Bowl St. Julians – 09:00 NT Live – A Disappearing Number – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 20:00 Friday 15th Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30
4th Annual Exhibition - Pastel Society of Malta
Palazzo de la Salle - Valletta - October 29th to November 13th Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:30, 17:00 to 19:00, Saturday November 6th and 13th 09:00 to 12:00, Gilbert Fenech Saturday October 30th closed. 78
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
To include your events in this page email all the required details on email@example.com or call 2339 2274, by Monday October 11th, 2010.
events October 2010
this month Fund Raising
Bowling tournament – Malta Seniors Open Championships – Eden Super Bowl – St. Julians – 09:00 Masters of Dirt – MFCC – Ta Qali – 20:30 – 23:30 Line Dancing for Everyone – Centru Papa Gwanni Pawl II – Attard – 19:30 to 22:30 Saturday 16th Malta Comic Con 2010 – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 10:00 to 18:00 Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30 Carmen by Bizet – Aurora Opera House – Victoria – Gozo – 19:30 Bowling tournament – Malta Seniors Open Championships – Eden Super Bowl – St. Julians – 09:00 Masters of Dirt – MFCC – Ta Qali 19:30 – 22:30 Malti Ghost Busters – St. Vincent de Paule Residence – Luqa – 19:30 Sunday 17th
Kids & Family
NT Live – A Disappearing Number – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 16:00
Friday 29th Richie Hawtin - Eden Arena, St Julians A Celebration of Art Song – Kempinski San Lawrenz Hotel – 19:30 Ritratti Sepja Dahk mill-Passat ta Trevor Zahra – Sir Temi Zammit Hall – Malta University – Tal-Qroqq – 20:00 Saturday 30th Breast Awareness Campaign - Breast Care Support Group – Duke Shopping Centre - Gozo Blood Donation Mobile Unit – close to Domus Romana - Rabat- 08:30 to 13:30
Blood Donation Mobile Unit – Pjazza Ninu Cremona - Iklin - 08:30 to 13:30
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata – Teatru Astra – Victoria - Gozo– 19:30
Voices 2010 Listen to the Music – MCC – Valletta – 19:30
Ritratti Sepja Dahk mill-Passat ta Trevor Zahra – Sir Temi Zammit Hall – Malta University – Tal-Qroqq – 20:00
Vienna of my Dreams – Sagrestia Vault – 19:30 Saturday 23rd 2010 Rolex Middlesea Race – starting from the Grand Harbour - Valletta Sunday 24th Blood Donation Mobile Unit – near football ground - Ghaxaq - 08:30 to 13:30 Al Jolson Malta Gathering – The Royal British Legion – 111, Melita Street – Valletta – 16:00 Bizilla Malta Lace Guild’s Lace Day – Green Rooms – Phoenicia Hotel – Floriana – 10:00 to 16:00
The repertoire includes such songs as Volare, Philadelphia Freedom, Hallelujah, The Show Must Go On, Nessun Dorma and Viva La Vida, plus a few surprises. All ticket sales from the Voices concerts go to charity, and the entire cast is involved on a voluntary basis. Tickets for Voices are on sale at €15, €20 and €25 from the MCC booking office as well as online (against a surcharge of €1 per ticket) from www.voices.org.mt.
Festival Mediterranea - Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata – Teatru Astra – Victoria - Gozo – 19:30
Hamrun Chocolate Festival – ‘Old’ city centre - Hamrun – 18:00
Event of the month
The Hilda Schembri Memorial Lecture - Breast Care Support Group Phoenicia Hotel – Floriana – 19:30
Malta Comic Con 2010 – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 10:00 to 18:00
NT Live – A Disappearing Number – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 19:00
October 6th to 10th and 13th to 17th
Halloween TICA Cat Show – INSPIRE – Marsascala – 15:00 to 18:00
Bowling tournament – Malta Seniors Open Championships – Eden Super Bowl – St. Julians – 09:00
Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
This year’s edition of Voices will be held over ten concerts at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta at 19:30, except for the first Sunday which will be a matinee at 15:30.
Village Feast of Jesus of Nazareth – Xaghra - Gozo
Wagner’s Opera – The Ring of the Rhinegold – Sagrestia Vault – Valletta Waterfront – 16:00
Listen to the Music with Voices
© Darrin Zammit Lupi
Tribali Improvised Jam
Masgar, Mtarfa – October 10th, 16:00 till 00:00
Preparations are currently in full swingTribali’s last improvised jam for this year. The group will be doing live improvised jam sessions on the hour starting around sunset time. Friends of Tribali and other bands will be joining in as well. The event incorporates an Ethnic market, an art exhibition as well as a safe kids’ area which is made possible thanks to MRRA. It will include face painting, three kids’ shows and a yoga class for parent and child. Tickets will be at €10 whilst the VIP area, which includes a glass of wine, appetisers, reserved area, exclusive bar and toilets, is at €15. Visit the band’s website or www.jaggedhouse.com for more information.
Death of a Doornail - MADC – Manoel Theatre – 20:00 Sunday 31st Village Feast of Our Lady of the Girdle - Gudja Village Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary – Sliema Breast Awareness Campaign - the Breast Care Support Group – Duke Shopping Centre - Gozo Halloween TICA Cat Show – INSPIRE – Marsascala – 10:00 to 17:00 Fodera Piano Duo Recital – Augula Mgr Giuseppe Farrugia – St.George’s Basicila – Gozo – 20:00 Richard Wagner’s The Valkyrie – Sagrestia Vault – 16:00 Ritratti Sepja Dahk mill-Passat ta Trevor Zahra – University of Malta – Msida – 20:00 Death of a Doornail by MADC – Manoel Theatre – 20:00 NT Live – A Disappearing Number – St. James Cavalier – Valletta – 19:00
Cana Movement Marriage Preparation Courses Various localities – October to November 2010
Couples getting married in two years’ time are invited to participate in the forthcoming marriage preparation sessions. These courses are held in small groups of six to eight couples. Together with an experienced couple-facilitator, couples discuss communication, conflict and practical aspects of marriage, couple relationship and family planning. For more details call 22039309 or email on info@ canamovement.org. www.canamovement.org
Blood saves lives.
More information may be obtained from: www.blood.gov.mt email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fixed line: 220 66 209 Mobile: 79 307 307
October 2010 | Issue 10 | vida.com.mt
he purchasing of food items from hawkers in open air markets will be under the spotlight in this year’s Food Safety Week, being held in the second week of October.
This campaign is organised by the Environmental Health and the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorates under the patronage of the Food Safety Commission. Educating the consumer on what to expect when buying foods such as fresh fish, vegetables, tinned foods, confectionery and ready-to-eat food (such as cheeselets, dips etc.) from food vendors is also likely to lead hawkers to improve their practices. Open markets are set up in various localities during the week and the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD) has embarked on a program of inspections in all of these markets including those held on the
weekend. The aim of these inspections is to ensure that the food produced, distributed, marketed and consumed meets the highest possible standards of food safety and hygiene. Last year, a total of 337 inspections were performed. The most common deficiencies noted by the Environmental Health officers were lack of hand washing and cleaning facilities, risk of contamination, improper storage of highly perishable foods, lack of traceability and labelling issues. Although there has been an overall improvement and this has also been reflected in a reduction in the number of complaints received from the general public, educating the consumers and surveillance by the EHD remain the two most effective measures to improve food safety and hygiene.
Spreading the Hope
ogos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair is set to visit Malta from September 29th to October 17th. This will be the ship’s
inaugural visit to our islands, upon taking over from the previous ship Logos II, which last visited three years ago.
Logos Hope features the ‘Visitor Experience’ deck that is open for the public to explore. From the Welcome Experience to the International Café and special onboard events including fairs, movie screenings, music and cultural events, there is sure to be something for everyone. Logos Hope also brings an expanded selection of over 7,500 books covering a range of subjects to our shores. Another feature is the brand new Journey of Life exhibition, which invites viewers to consider the choices we all face along life’s journey.
For ticket reservations for any of the events contact Laura Niemi on email@example.com or on 79991575. For more information email on logoshope.malta@ gbaships.org or log on www.logoshope.org/malta
vida.com.mt | Issue 10 | October 2010
The all-volunteer crew and staff include around 400 people representing 45 different nations each offering a unique example of unity in cultural diversity. Logos Hope is operated by GBA Ships e.V. – an international, charitable organisation registered in Germany. In almost 40 years of service, the organisation has welcomed 41 million visitors up the gangways in over 160 countries and territories around the world.
€55.00 CORD .99 BLAZER €32
SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY