Indulge spring 2014

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the quarterly, quality, life & style magazine




Issue No.8 Spring 2014 €4 - where sold


Make every moment count Special Occasions Package It’s your special day and there will be a million magnificent moments to cherish forever. So make the start of your trip a memorable one with our special occasions package. Make your airport transit like an A-lister in luxury, style and comfort.

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life & style

Contents SPRING 2014 4 Christine X opens our eyes to different artists 8 Take a closer look at the natural history of the Maltese Islands

10 T he post war movies made in Malta described by Jean-Pierre Borg

A note from the Editor There can be nothing nicer than flinging the windows open on a Spring morning and listening to the birds chirping away. I recall the feeling of butterflies in my tummy, 3 years ago when our first issue was out, and look now with pride like a bird feeding her young, watching the brand grow and flourish. With the perfect cup of tea in hand, I head to my sanctuary, my courtyard, to gather my thoughts and potter with my pots. It’s time to plan for a picnic and that means lots of time in the kitchen making everyone’s favourites and experimenting with new ingredients and new gadgets. This issue show us how to gratify the gourmand with deli delights, satisfy the saintly with raw dishes and let the ‘cats have the cream’ with a selection of afternoon tea treats. New artists are uncovered, theatre-land is buzzing and our new gadget boy is in his element choosing the newest and coolest things to make our lives easier. There’s new fashion to covet and crafts to try, as well as places to go, both here and abroad.

12 Martin Azzopardi gets excited about the season’s theatre

16 Monique Chambers makes afternoon tea recipes you can easily whip up

22 Brighten your home for Easter with Maria Muscat’s beautiful decorations

24 How does the weather affect wine? Carole Rondot explains all

27 Carina Camilleri brings us fresh Spring fashion 28 1001 reasons to visit Croatia 31 The modern-day guide to dating 34 Adrian Muscat-Azzopardi takes the lid off convertibles

36 Phil Gibbs asks “Are you brave enough to try Kitesurfing?’’

38 Get the gadget says Chris de Micoli

We still have some cool nights and rainy days ahead (thankfully) so look up some films, try a new sport or if you are looking for love, we help you through the modern etiquette of dating. In the meantime, look around you and capture, absorb and marvel at the life we have on these beautiful islands of ours. Having time is the biggest indulgence, don’t you think?

Monique x +356 99891722 IndulgeMagazineMalta

indulge is brought to you by Compass Rose Marketing & PR, Il-Fanal, 37, Main Street, Gharghur. Cover by Moira Zahra Designed by Hello Jon Distributed by MaltaToday For advertising enquires, please contact To list events, please contact All information is correct at the time of going to press. The editor does not accept liability for the opinions expressed nor the accuracy of the information.



t is very rare that artists begin marketing their work for a high end market. This is exactly what young Kane Cali (b.1983), whom I remember as always highly ambitious, is doing. Currently setting up his glass studio in Malta, he is also heading a ceramics course at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, where he first started his art career and gained his diploma in Art and Design. After receiving his first degree in 3 dimensional design in glass from the University for the Creative Arts in 2010, he was awarded CGS Glass Prize runner up in the national competition at the New Designers 2010, acted as an Artist in Residence at the UCA in Farnham and was immediately accepted at the Royal College of Arts in London, where he obtained his MA. He was also awarded a 2 year membership with the prestigious gallery Contemporary Applied Arts, where only 2 places are given each year. Coming from a background in 3D architectural visualisation he has always found himself fascinated by the ability to emulate reality through the use of CAD (computer aided design) software. From a designer/maker’s point of view, he finds that using such a method for producing work allows for a rapid, yet accurate sense of achievement within the creation process. It can be argued that using such a medium to work with can restrict the creative process. However, he believes that restrictions only exist within the fluency of the user’s ability to translate language. In this case the language is a digital process. The more fluent the user becomes, the fewer the restrictions. In saying that, this process is not without its limitations. CAD generated objects tend to take on a synthetic

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appearance due to the nature of their virtual makeup. This is not to say that limitations are undesirable; he finds that working within limitations allows for a smoother work flow; in many ways, the work is directed by its limited ability to appear flawless. Possibly, the ability to be perfectly precise in itself is the greatest limitation. Driven by the need to identify with notions of reality, he finds himself exploring digital realms and in consequence, brings his findings to fruition within our tangible reality. “Reality born of the Digital Filter ‘’ as he puts it and this is found in past work, the Ripple Landscape, which is made from cast lead crystal. This body of work reflects upon ideas of origin were the ripples act as language; a universal system to which humanity and the universe can relate. The ripple is void of emotion, indifferent to human philosophy, unaltered by the good or the bad. The most intriguing element of this work is that it deals with a faceless force, yet the work makes full use of material qualities in its ability to be identified with its subject. His more recent works are the Insignificance & Beauty collection which are made out of ceramics and cast lead crystal. This work aims to capture simple moments of beauty through recordings of everyday happenings that eventually lead to forms created through the embodiment of ‘insignificant’ moments that came as fast as they left. These days you can find Kane working on expanding his art into the luxury retail and high end homes market for which he is producing designer tiles.


RAPHAEL VELLA Raphael Vella is a well-known artist in the contemporary art scene locally. He is also a curator for various art exhibitions, an art writer and a lecturer at the University of Malta. I find it intriguing how artists managing to juggle their work and with all these on his plate, I wanted to find out how he manages his own. He says that artists have to live with more than one identity, often due to the difficulty of actually making a living off one’s art and although they are different facets of his life, they feed each other as one. He doesn’t spend too much time on one task, except for when a project is still in its infancy, so alternating between tasks and getting back to them the following day is what works best for him. Teaching, or open dialogue with others, constitutes as an inspirational activity in itself, a continuation of his artistic thinking. Like most artists, Raphael tells me of his innate love for art from an early age and that he started exhibiting in his twenties and like most artists, evolved and is now producing art on a whole new level. His interest in a more conceptual approach to art-making, his fascination with texts, and the idea that knowledge in some forms and contexts comes to constitute truth have remained. He doesn’t really want to shock people with his art and he’d prefer if his work made some people reflect about certain things. To him, the idea of participatory art sometimes stresses community ‘action’ too much, at the expense of the quieter ‘participation’ of the viewer who doesn’t ‘react’ physically but mentally. Highlights in his artistic career include his participation at the Venice Biennale and having his solo exhibition at the Modern Art Oxford. As a curator, he finds ‘I Fought the X and the X Won’, an exhibition with works by international artists, at the National Museum of Fine Art in Cluj, Romania and ‘Divergent Thinkers’ in Malta, amongst his best since they were more of creative and rigorous exercises. Exhibitions are complex tasks when it comes to curating and can easily be misunderstood if done badly. Curators need to listen to the artists and need to possess qualities of compromisation, firmness and sensitivity to the requirements of the artworks exhibited. Although he’s written in international publications about art, the collection of critical essays he edited, ‘CrossCurrents’, remains one of his personal favorites and nothing feels better than having his students developing into great teachers or artists. The most recent exhibition he curated, ‘Divergent Thinkers 2’, was running at St James Cavalier in Valletta, in November 2013. He is currently starting work on the 2014 edition which is due to take place around September. He had a limited edition artist’s book that was touring with other artists’ books in the US and UK and this month, March 2014, he will be part of a collective show in Brussels, exhibiting some drawings. More of his work can be found

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Samuel Sultana


amuel Sultana is a 23-year-old French/ Maltese bi-national creative, enthralled by the cacophony known as the ‘world of art’ at a very young age. Samuel’s choices and experiences cultivated a strong vision, producing what he calls ‘blueprints, maps and remnants of this meditation’ which he aims to communicate with the audience, through his canvas works, which, upon selling, means to him that a person wishes to own a piece of that experience and indirectly, a piece of him. Everything tends to affect and inspire Samuel, some things more consciously than others. Occasionally experiences seem to slide by, and then years after re-appear in his work, along with a deeper understanding which he digests and assimilates subconsciously. He doesn’t wait for inspiration as he finds peeks of inspiration occurring during the process, which he manages to capture straight away although spirituality, the cosmos and death lie at the epitome of his investigation. Building on the initial introduction to art through his mother, he was later apprenticed by the local artist Rupert Cefai who gave him the broadest education he hoped for. Seeking to further his education in the UK (at Kingston University, London, for his first degree and at the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, for his Masters in Fine Arts) came after much conversations with numerous

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artists and creatives, and hard work. His studies ‘’ turned out to be a great liberating experience, where I was given immense freedom in a peaceful atmosphere, with excellent guidance from tutors. By the end of this tremendous exploration I had gained a great deal of insight and momentum.’’ Life was not always easy for him following his move to Bristol after completing his studies. Together with four other creatives, now evolved into the group Izaxa which he still works with, he left this stability in order to start a fresh life in art. Bristol offered him the opportunity to be hosted in a number of shows and exhibitions in galleries where he would sell work, keeping him afloat financially but also the down side of times when they resorted to the local Soup Kitchen for survival. The stressful, everyday life issues that took over the focus he wished to dedicate to his work on was among the reasons for his move back to Malta, a long term calculated strategy for what he considers to be success. Samuel is currently working on various projects which include collaboration in a short movie, creating more paintings for his ‘Fluxus’ Collection, which he plans to show at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, creating artworks to send to Paris and launching a private lessons program at his new studio in Zebbug. As a member of the group ‘Izaxa’, a group of six stemming from different backgrounds, ranging from fine arts, audio and photography

to engineering and computer programming, a marriage of practices he finds allows for a multidimensional approach to different concepts and problems otherwise out of reach of any one individual member. Together they formed part of the ‘Divergent Thinkers 2013’ exhibition at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity and are currently working on three separate projects which include one at St. John the Baptist Church in Bristol and possibly with Ziguzajg 2014 and Science in the City 2014. Working over different platforms allows him to be broader in his conception and approach, which allows him to cross over the knowledge gained from different contexts. Samuel‘s current muse is his pigeon ‘Little Miss’ who was offered to him when she was very little and he gets to see evolve from a totally dependent atrophied ball of yellow fluff into a graceful, free flying machine. You can view his works at Christine X Art Gallery, and ‘Christine is usually found at her art gallery together with her girls, selling other artists’ artworks, or curating art exhibitions. She would be found indulging in sweets until she’d realise that she had enough’.





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GETTING CLOSE TO NATURE Guido Bonett shows us how to take the perfect picture “Many will have the idea that nature photography is not possible or very difficult on our islands, but this is a misconception. Natural subjects can be found all around us, if only we look hard enough. Even a small patch of garden will produce opportunities for the attentive photographer, with a multitude of wild flowers

and insects to start off with. When the photographer ventures out into the field, many opportunities will present themselves, with literally hundreds of species of wild flowers, insects and reptiles, small mammals and birds becoming potential subjects.”

Bramble Rubus ulmifolius

Cleopatra Gonepteryx Cleopatra

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia Melancephala

A climber found growing mostly in damp valleys, where its thorn-covered stems form largely impenetrable barriers. It produces edible fruit. A favourite with passerines, micromammals and a variety of insects. Its flowering period is April – October. The extent of bramble is thought to have been more significant in the historic past, when agricultural land cover was less wide spread.

A rather restricted species on the Maltese islands, inhabiting gardens or valleys. The caterpillars feed on buckthorn. The Cleopatra has a wingspan of 6.5cm and has a distinctive slow flight. Some adults hibernate during Winter months. The males differ from the females in having a large orange blotch on the forewings as opposed to the all pale yellow coloration of the female.

Taken with available light. Used tripod and mirror lock because of slow shutter speed.

It is unfortunate that this species never rests with its forewings open, depriving the photographer of the opportunity of recording the large orange blotches found on the males.

A very common resident species, breeding all over the islands, including urban environments and gardens. The sexes differ, with the make sporting a black hood which is lacking in the female. The cup-shaped nest is built with dry grasses and it is normally not more than a meter above the ground. The two to five greenish eggs laid are speckled with brown markings. Both sexes tend to the nest, taking it in turn to feed the fledglings.

• Shutter speed 1/30 • Aperture Value f/9 • ISO Value 200 • Focal Length 180mm • Shooting Mode AP

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• Shutter speed 1/250 • Aperture Value f/8 • ISO Value 200 • Focal Length 180mm • Shooting Mode M

• Shutter speed 1/200 • Aperture Value f5.6 • ISO Value 400 • Focal Length 400mm • Shooting Mode AP Utmost care should be taken when photographing nests, making sure the birds are not disturbed or frightened; otherwise the parents could abandon the nest.


Take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints Painted Frog Discoglossus pictus (opposite)

Most nature photographers start off by exploring the macro world, looking at subjects such as insects, or minute flowers, which the average photographer will be overlooking, and probably trampling without a second thought. A whole new world opens up when viewed through a macro lens.

This is the only indigenous species of frog found in Malta and Gozo. It is relatively common, being found where there is either fresh water flowing or stagnant, as it rocks in pools and also in man-made reservoirs. It grows to circa 7cm and the females lay hundreds of eggs. Tadpoles are vegetarian, becoming predatory when fully grown, with adults feeding principally on insects. The species is not very vocal.

My favourite set-up for macro photography is the Canon EOS 70D camera combined with the 100mm f2.8 dedicated macro lens. The 19 point autofocus system combined with the overall sharpness of this lens helped me produce some of my best work.

This is a juvenile; about 10mm in length and the photo was taken when the grass blades it is resting on were still covered with dew. A ring-flash was used, as can be seen from the reflection in the eye.

A versatile telephoto zoom lens that I use in my nature photography to cover various subjects, from lizards to birds is the Canon EF 100400mm f4.5- f5.6 zoom lens., mostly because of it’s short minimum focusing distance of 1.8m.

• Shutter speed 1/125 • Aperture Value f/16 • ISO Value 200 • Focal Length 100 • Shooting Mode M

This macro lens can also be used to take photos that are not strictly macro, such as portraits of certain animals like lizards, frogs and other fauna. This will show certain features like skin texture, scales and eyes in better detail, and makes the photo more dramatic. The use of a telephoto lens by the nature photographer will be mostly for bird photography and for taking photos of other shy creatures like certain reptiles and mammals.

When it comes to bird photography the combination of the Canon EF 400mm f5.6 fixed lens, and the 20.2 megapixel EOS 70D camera with a capability of shooting 7 frames per second makes life a lot easier. For anyone starting out in photography on a budget I can recommend the Canon Powershot SX50 HS, with a 50X optical zoom, 12.1 megapixels and High Speed Burst mode, together with it’s macro facility that will present the keen beginner with many opportunities in his/her quest in nature photography. Avantech Building, St Julian’s Road, San Gwann SGN 2805 | Tel: 21 488 800

This image was taken with the flash on highlighting the surface reflection and movement of the water. • Shutter speed 1/30 • Aperture Value f/4 • ISO Value 200 • Focal Length 100mm • Shooting Mode AP

All text and images are taken from The Natural History of the Maltese Islands book published by BDL.

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ver the years, Malta has attracted scores of productions to be fully or partly filmed here. As the second effort in this series, this article will continue to trace the history of film-making in Malta, specifically looking into what made Malta attractive to film-makers during the 50s.

Following ‘Tell England’ (1931), no actual films were shot on the island for about 20 years until finally, in August 1952, representatives from Rank and 20th Century Fox were location scouting in Malta. In no time, news of famous film stars arriving at Malta’s airport became the order of the day as local newspapers documented each and every move of these celebrities. Scores filled the streets or perched on their balconies or roofs following the filming activity or patiently waiting for the next take, keen to catch a glimpse of their favourite star. Once again, as was the case with the earlier films of the 20s, it was the collaboration afforded by the Malta based British Forces that effectively attracted film companies to shoot locally. By this time, the Admiralty’s scepticism to the film medium had dissipated completely as is evident by the fact that films allowed ranged from patriotic docu-dramas to comedies. The first film to start shooting in the 50s was coincidentally, one which was set in Malta in 1942, as Axis forces relentlessly bombed the island. In this bleak backdrop, ‘Malta Story’ (1953) follows Lt. Peter Ross (Alec Guinness) who falls in love with Maria, a Maltese girl played by Muriel Pavlow. Rank filmed at Ħagar Qim, Luqa, Mistra, Safi, Senglea, Siġġiewi, Valletta and Vittoriosa. Filming then continued at Pinewood Studios where sets including the Operations Room had been built. A handful of Maltese actors were given supporting roles with Twanny Scalpello landing a short but memorable speaking part as a priest. ‘Malta Story’ remains to date a valid testament of the ordeal experienced by the island during the War.

Concurrently with the filming of ‘Malta Story’, another film crew was shooting a film based on C.S. Forester’s novel ‘Brown on Resolution’. ‘Single-Handed’ (1953) follows the survivor of a sunken British warship, who single-handedly stalls a German cruiser, long enough to ensure its destruction by its pursuers. Standing in for the Galapagos, filming took place at Ras il-Qammieħ and at Dwejra, Gozo where HMS Manxman dressed up as the German raider Essen, was filmed entering the secluded inlet behind Fungus Rock. Divers had to survey the seabed to make sure there was enough clearance since no large ship had ever entered the cove. “Don’t sink our ship,” the British warned, “it would cost you $6,000,000, and you’d have no film”. Jeffrey Hunter who had landed the main role described Malta to his wife as “a spot to be visited by two people in love”. The first colour film to shoot in Malta was ‘They Who Dare’ (1954), a film based on events that took place during WW2 in the Dodecanese, where Special Forces attempted to disrupt the Luftwaffe from threatening Allied forces in Egypt. Filming took place at Għajn Tuffieħa, standing in for a beach on Rhodes, Msida and at HM Dockyard where No1 Dock, standing in for Cairo, is seen bustling with activity as numerous military personnel go about their duties on moored vessels. For ‘The Battle of the River Plate’ (1956), the Grand Harbour became Montevideo, as scenes re-enacting the historical standoff between Allied forces and the German Graf Spee were filmed by the famed Archers. A scene filmed at Mġarr, Gozo stands out for the beauty of this location before the urban sprawl took its toll. The film was selected to premiere at the prestigious 1956 Royal Film Performance in attendance of Queen Elizabeth II. November 1955 saw the arrival of a stellar cast including John Mills and

Richard Attenborough for the comedy ‘The Baby and the Battleship’ (1956). Parlatorio Wharf at HM Dockyard standing in for Naples is practically unrecognisable, as ratings are seen disembarking from HMS Birmingham. With a light-hearted story revolving around the accidental presence of a baby aboard a warship and the frantic efforts of a group of ratings to keep it hidden, the film became one of the ten most popular movies at the British box office in 1956. The final production to use Malta in the 50s was ‘The Silent Enemy’ (1958). Starring Laurence Harvey, the film focused on Lionel Crabb, a decorated war hero who had been responsible to protect British ships at anchor in Gibraltar from Italian saboteurs. The Mediterranean Fleet Clearance Diving Team based here were responsible both for training Harvey as well as to star in the underwater action scenes. This film shoot established Malta as a perfect location for underwater shooting, a reputation which took on and remains valid to this day.

Jean Pierre Borg has for the past years been researching the films that have been fully or partly shot in Malta. For more information, curiosities and trivia about the Maltese film industry, contact him on 79710271, email jeanpierreborg@ or visit the ‘Filmed in Malta’ Facebook page. indulge / Spring 2014 – 11


THEATRE We are right in the middle of the best theatre period, as this time of the year all theatres are buzzing and choices need to be made. I am never tired of going to the Teatru Manoel which is Malta’s National Theatre and a main contributor to the development of culture. Its mission is to entertain, inform and educate, thereby enriching the cultural life of the audience with a genre of entertainment as well as to provide a platform for artists to excel in their talents The Theatre has gone through a lot of changes and is today considered to be a magnificent jewel, existing humbly in the very centre of Valletta. The theatre’s simple exterior belies the majesty that one finds inside. Elaine May and directed by MaryLu Coppini at St James Cavalier. This comedy revolves around a series of phone-in shows on a public access TV hosted by Heidi-Ho, in which a quartet of porn stars that includes Vixen Fox, Jimbo and Frosty Moons responds to phone calls.

LA CLEMENZA DI TITO – BY TEATRU MANOEL March 20th 21st 22nd and 23rd March at the Manoel Theatre Part of the Teatru Manoel BOV Performing Arts Festival, this is an original production of Mozart’s popular opera with the Italian libretto by Caterino Mazzolà. There will a Pre-opera talk at 6.45pm before every performance. Malta Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Damiano Binetti. Directed by Harry Fehr following original ideas by Denise Mulholland. Costume design by Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Set design based on engravings by Gian Battista Piranesi. ADULT ENTERTAINMENT BY MADC 21st 22nd and 23rd March 2014 at St James Cavalier MADC is staging “Adult Entertainment” by

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However a cloud hangs over the porn queen’s usually cheery cable TV show as they are mourning the passing of their employer and mentor, a legendary porn filmmaker, with his brother Guy in attendance Tired of working for others, this motley group of adult video veterans decides to write and shoot their own extravaganza, as an ‘artistic’ porn film! The script doesn’t live up to their expectations so Heidi brings in Gerry her TV cameraman, a ‘Yalie’ who spouts intellectual claptrap who insists that they read the classics to get into the spirit. Before long he’s introduced into the script a line from Marlowe’s “The Jew of Malta” and has everyone reading the classics from Flaubert to Wilder to “Death of a Salesman” and giving them acting assignments in scenes from a Yeats adaptation and “The Beggar’s Opera.” Unexpected ideas develop as the hilarity escalates bringing the play to a raucous and riotous conclusion, as non-intellectuals are exposed to literature! Respected satirist, actress, film director, screenwriter and comedienne

Elaine May brings together a bawdy comedy with serious meanings aimed at the mature mind. Starring in this comedy are: - Isabel Warrington, Stefan Cachia Zammit, Stefan Farrugia, Kate de Cesare, Katherine Brown and Philip Leone Ganado. Live music is composed by Louiselle Vassallo is played by Luca Zerafa. Choreography is by Michela Dimech.

FESTEN – BY MASQUERADE 21st 22nd and 23rd March 2014 at Blue Box M Space CONTROVERSIAL ADAPTATION OF CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FILM TO INAUGURATE BLUE BOX – THE NEW THEATRE SPACE AT M SPACE In FESTEN, Helge, the patriarch of a chain of restaurants, is celebrating his 60th birthday and everyone is coming home for the party including his sons Christian, Michael and his daughter Helene. Missing from the roster of invitees is Christian’s twin sister, Linda, who recently committed suicide. The reason for her action and the repercussions from it, form the basis of the shocking and painful events that transpire during the 24hour period. In the midst of dinner, Christian makes a startling accusation and, even as the disbelieving guests are choosing sides, the play slowly unwraps the truth.


UK director Stephen Oliver leads a renowned cast made up of Manuel Cauchi, Amanda Conroy, Steffan Cheriet Busuttil, Andre Agius, Elektra Anastasi, Bettina Paris, Colin Willis, Tina Rizzo, Francis Nwobodo, Victor Debono, Erin Stuart Tanti, John Marinelli and Antonio Rocco. Booking is now open through www. Please note that FESTEN contains adult content and is not suitable for those under 15 years of age.

DOUBLE FO – BY UNIFAUN THEATRE March 29th and 30th and 4th 5th and 6th of April 2014 at the Manoel Theatre Two one act farces written by Dario Fo and directed by Chris Gatt - In The Virtuous Burglar, a burglar tries to rob from a wealthy house only for the owner to come back and catch him in the act. However, things are not as straightforward as the owner is with his lover and then his real wife turns up. In Marcolfa, old Marcolfa, played by Alan Paris, win the European lottery, attracting the attention of all eligible bachelors around her. This production will have audiences holding their sides with laughter. The cast for both plays are Alan Montanaro, Alan Paris, Philip Stilon, Mikhail Basmadjian, Renato Dimech, Coryse Borg, Magda Van Kuilenburg, Charlotte Grech.

DIVAS – BY YADA March 28th to the 31st at MFCC at Ta Qali DIVAS is YADA’s very-near dance celebration – to be performed at the MFCC from the Friday 28th DIVAS will also be a hedonistic soundscape of women and men DIVAS who sparkle ad infinitum in glitz, class, voice exuberance and regal stage presence. It will be nostalgic, sizzling, endearing, romantic and powerfully gripping. With a majestic cast of over 250 dancers, local and foreign performers, Circus Acts, in new costumes, new repertoire, new technological magic and a myriad of innovations.

Costumes designed by Vassil Petriiski, Adelina Abdilla and Doris Mercieca, lights by Nexos, sound by Waves Enterprises, visuals by Engelbert Grech, make-up by Justin Brincat and choreography by Felix Busuttil, Nina Winter, Daron Galea, Justin Roy Barker and Elaine Falzon.

POST DRAMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PDSD) BY FROLIC IN COLLABORATION WITH MADC 11th to 13th April - MADC Playhouse in St Venera 6 MADC members calling themselves Frolic in collaboration with MADC are giving us a production which involves a series of hilarious sketches about theatre, its actors and everything in between. Behind the actor’s impeccable veneer lies a strange individual who must go through the trials and tribulations of being a thespian. The anxiety of an audition, the fear of being cast as vegetation, dealing with psychotic directors who make Miley Cyrus look like the girl next door are only a few of the troubles that lead to an actor’s diagnosis of Post Dramatic Stress Disorder. This hilarious sketch show will throw you straight into the actor’s theatrical world and reveal the hidden truths behind what it really takes to make it in this tragicomic world. The show is written, directed and performed by the cast which is made up of 6 enthusiastic young individuals, (in alphabetical order) Ema Marie Attard, Sean Borg, Luke Dalli, Vikesh Godhwani, Bettina Paris and Marta Vella. THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF EUROPE (MORE OR LESS) BY MORE OR LESS THEATRE 17th, 19th, 21st and 22nd of April 2014 –St James Cavalier Music Room Already developing a great reputation for hilarious and educational children’s plays, the More or Less group will be offering ‘The Complete

History of Europe at the St James Cavalier Music Room. Starring Malcolm Galea and Joseph Zammit who were recently seen at the Masquerade pantomime playing dame and baddie, this performance takes on the massive task of going through all of Europe’s history from the Bronze Age right up until the current formation of the EU. Apart from being lots of fun, the show also explains to children and grown-ups alike how Europe came to be as it is now.

SHIRLEY VALENTINE WRITTEN BY WILLIE RUSSELL BY MADC 1st to the 4th and 9th to the 11th May 2014 -MADC Playhouse in St Venera Staring Isabel Warrington and directed by Michael Mangion -Shirley’s a middle-aged housewife who finds herself talking to a wall while she prepares her husbands egg’n’chips wondering what happened to her life. But when her best friend wins a vacation for two to Greece, Shirley begins to see the world and herself in a different light.

JIENA NĦOBB INTI TĦOBB – BY TEATRU MANOEL May 24th and 25th at the Manoel Theatre This production was on at the Manoel theatre in February 2014, however due to it’s popularity is being re staged in May. An original Maltese text by Simon Bartolo. A Maltese contemporary theatre work dealing with sexuality. What does it mean to be gay in Malta? What is today’s family? Along with questions on morality, religion, pregnancies and a lot more.

‘ID-DLAM TAĦT IT-TEATRU’ BY MORE OR LESS THEATRE 16th, 17th and 18th May 2014 at the Manoel Theatre Ever since the Manoel Theatre was

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built, there have been rumours about what mysteries may be concealed in the damp darkness beneath the surface. This original play by award winning playwright Malcolm Galea will be exploring this question as it delves into the subterranean depths under the Manoel stage and unearths a dark secret that has been lying dormant for centuries. ‘Id-Dlam taħt it-Teatru’ tells the story of Sabrina, a sixteen-year-old girl whose curiosity and loneliness get the better of her, causing her to stray where she shouldn’t have gone and come face to face with what shouldn’t have existed. Starring an exciting cast including Philip Leone-Ganado, Naomi Said, Andre Agius and Joseph Zammit, this play will capture your imagination and make you see the Manoel Theatre and all of Valletta in a new dark light.




MADC, in collaboration with Michael Corbidge and Susan Tordoff will be holding a 3-hour voice & text workshop, built on The Merchant of Venice.


This physical, practical and dynamic look at the visceral connection to the sounds and words of the play in an open space. Actors will have the opportunity to prepare for ‘Alfresco’ playing working on all of the following…

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW · Posture Building

· Building and Balancing Resonation

· Anchoring

· Forward Placing

· Building and Maximising Rib Capacity

· Muscularity and Clarity

· Diaphragmatic flexibility

· Articulation

· Abdominal Support

· Tuning your Instrument: Emphasis on Pitch, Volume and Resonance

This workshop is open to all MADC members and the public on a first come first serve basis. Check the MADC website for more information.

EDEN CULTURE’S NEW SEASON OF OPERAS AND BALLETS INCLUDES: · Elton John - The Million Dollar Piano - Concert - Performed at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on the 21st March 23710100 (Oscar Zammit Street, Msida (opposite Junior College) 7979 3737



MFCC 99229014


· Marco Spada - Live from the Bolshoi Theatre - Ballet - Sunday 30th March · Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Film - TNT Theatre Britain - 7th and 8th April · The Winter Tale - Live from The Royal Opera House - Ballet - Monday 28th April ST JAMES’ CINEMA SHOWS A DIFFERENT GENRE OF FILMS FROM FOREIGN FILMS TO OPERA TO NT LIVE PERFORMANCE AND OTHERS WITH HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDING: · La Boheme –Puccine- Live Met Opera-Opera-5th and 12th of April · Cosi Fan Tutte- Mozart- Live Met Opera 26TH April and 3rd of May · La Cenerentola – Rossini- Live Met Opera 10th May and 17th May

14 –indulge / Spring 2014

Martin Azzopardi is an actor, fitness instructor and masseur. When not treading the boards or the (tread) mill, he treads water on his boat and loves the sea.

COGS IN THE COMMUNITY Christine Debono, Inner Wheel’s president, tells us about the work of the organisation locally. Inner Wheel is an International club made up mainly of wives of Rotarians. Obviously it’s significance was greater when Rotary was mainly a gentleman’s club, however there seems to be no lack of interest in Inner Wheel in the International scene. The objects of Inner Wheel are to promote true friendship and encourage the ideals of personal service and to foster international understanding. Each year when the International President is elected it is her duty and her prerogative to decide on a theme. Similarly the President of each club is entitled to choose which charity she and the members of the club will sponsor throughout the year. The International President at the moment is an Italian lady by the name of Gabriella Adami. Her motto for the year is “We for Women” and on the strength of this I have selected the St Jeanne Antide Foundation based in Tarxien because of their immense contribution to family welfare in their district. One of their subsections deals solely with “Surviving Abuse with Resilience”. Check out SOAR on Facebook. As a rule, Inner Wheel Club - Malta organises two fund raising events throughout each President’s term of office. A dinner or barbecue in July and a card party in November; guests are invited to these events in an effort to swell our coffers. Inner Wheel’s monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa in Attard and are mainly for members. We general start with a meeting which is followed by a speaker and then we all get together over tea. We then have one official event with husbands to celebrate our charter anniversary in March. We are committed to visiting Casa Leone once a month in an effort to entertain the patients and offer them snacks and drinks.

As well as all this, I have committed myself to helping St Jeanne Antide more fully by setting up and running a charity shop in St Julian’s Hill, Balluta. This means that anyone can bring stuff in to the shop and anyone can come by and pick up a bargain. I am calling it a new type of re-cycling. This is giving others the opportunity to use things that we no longer have use for ourselves. Last year, Inner Wheel raised funds for Fr Savio’s Salesian home in Sliema and the year before that we helped “Inspire”. To offer support to Inner Wheel or hear more about the shop, please email or call +356 79444135

indulge / Spring 2014 – 15

y reds of als and

A Benna FRESH Cream Tea

Monique Chambers whips up these treats for a delightful afternoon tea I like the idea of having my cream and milk as fresh as can be, indeed am a bit fanatical about it, so having Benna produced on the doorstep is a bonus. I also like how when whipped, unlike other brands, it holds its texture – it doesn’t melt or separate, which is so necessary for long afternoon tea parties!

Petal pavlova

Blueberry scones

2 egg whites, room temperature

225g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

pinch of salt

115 g caster sugar

55g butter

1 tablespoon crushed dried rose petals

25g caster sugar

½ cup chilled Benna fresh cream Petal pavlova

2 tsps caster sugar Beans of 1 vanilla pod Handful of blueberries Method Preheat the oven to 120°C. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar beating very well after each addition until glossy; be careful not to overbeat. Pipe out mini meringues on a lined sheet and bake for 1 hour. Then switch of the oven, open the door a bit and let them cool down. In a clean bowl, add vanilla beans to the Benna fresh cream and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of sugar; beat till it forms stiff peaks.

Blueberry scones

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Fold in the dried rose petals and berries and then spoon a little cream and sandwich the cooled meringues.

150ml milk 1 egg, beaten, to glaze 50g dried blueberries Blueberry jam Carton of Benna fresh cream Method Heat the oven to 220°C Mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar and then the milk to form a soft dough. Turn on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly. Pat out to palm sized rounds and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a beaten egg and bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack and serve with blueberry jam and fresh whipped Benna. The most practical way of consuming your scone is to split it in half, spread the jam first, then add cream on top. This method is favoured, though in Devon in England, the cream is spread first.


The perfect drink If you are looking for the perfect tea, why not try the range of fine teas by Whittard of Chelsea? They have a range to tempt any tea lover, from traditional breakfast and Earl Greys, to floral infusions and fruit teas. Of course, should you wish to have an alternative to tea, what better tipple than Jacquart Champagne – the Sistina Wine & Co ladies recommend Blanc de Blanc or Rose Mosaquie for special mornings or afternoon celebrations.

Creamy cheesecake For the base 50g butter 6 digestive/hobnob biscuits, crushed

For the filling

For the topping

250g ricotta

1 tbsp blueberry jam, melted

50g icing sugar zest 1 lemon, juice of ½ 1 egg and 1 yolk

If you are lucky enough to get an invitation to tea and want to take a gift that will be truly appreciated by your hostess, have a block of pâté packed, or treat them to some truffles, cheeses, chocolates or biscuits. That means everyone is happy! Or how about some original Whittard patterned blue chintz china? Even just a teacup for your special friend, to remind your hostess of you for many tea parties to come (and surely secure you another invitation!). Sistina Wine & Co is just a stone’s throw away from the Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina at 188, The Strand, Gzira. Get more information by visiting their facebook Page, sistinawineco, or by calling 2131 4161.

blueberries (fresh or rehydrated) to scatter

½ tsp vanilla extract 150ml Benna fresh cream Method Heat oven to 150°C and line 12 muffin tin holes with muffin paper cases. Melt the butter, stir in the biscuit crumbs until well mixed, then press as firmly as you can into the bases of 6 of the cases. Chill them while you make the filling. Beat the ricotta with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk the Benna fresh cream until it just holds its shape, then fold into the cheese mixture. Spoon evenly into the paper cases, then tap the tin on the work surface to flatten the filling. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow to cool completely without opening the oven door. I turn these upside down and then coat the cheesecake ‘base’ with the jam and berries and the remaining slice of baked cream / cheese mix.

How to make the perfect cuppa • Always use a quality brand of tea. • Fill the kettle with fresh water – don’t use previously boiled water – it affects the taste. • Warm the pot. • Don’t stir! Allow your tea to steep to release flavour. • Don’t squeeze the bag! • Milk should be added after the tea has been poured, the same goes for those taking lemon. • Afternoon tea is served at 4pm – though in warmer climates – 5pm is acceptable.

indulge / Spring 2014 – 17


Remember to feed the birds A

courtyard offers the opportunity to create space for entertaining, growing flowers and vegetables, creating a home for nature.

Whatever the size, there are no rules! Use every surface to house plants – you can have a vertical garden which may be decorative or indeed house your herbs. Grow vegetables like courgettes, carrots, chard and lettuces easily in containers. Use household objects as plant pots, mugs, teapots, old shoes even! Make a statement with your pots or cluster them together to make a feature. Create a permanent or movable seating space – why not use pallets – there is lots of inspiration on the internet – and add a fire pit to extend the use of the space to the evenings. Scatter lanterns from Loft to create an ambiance and go wild with plant pots from Mdina Glass and cushions from!

18 –indulge / Spring 2014

Atelier Vierkant introduces this year a series of monolithic forms and shapes, which tend to break fundamentally the boundary between spatial object and useful furniture. Straight, slanted and curved lines dominate the scene where they are designed in and where the void between the fired clay forms defines the impact of the setting. Available on order from Loft Find us on Facebook – LOFT Malta Loft, Triq San Pawl, Naxxar


NO TIME TO COOK? TRY THESE RAW RECIPES Making noodles or spaghetti from vegetables is easy and a lot of fun! I do recommend in the case of courgette (which can be grown in containers), that you cover the noodles in lemon juice to soften slightly. This can be done overnight. (Allow the juice of half a lemon for one courgette).



This recipe should serve two, but you may find yourself having to double up as it is so good and so light, you just want more and more and more!

To make enough for two people you will need: 2 courgettes, spiralised or finely sliced

Prepare 2 courgettes into noodles with your mandolin, spraliser, knife...


Grate 2 carrots

6 Swiss chard stems

Finely slice a small red pepper

A punnet of cherry tomatoes


1 raw beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped A handful of each fresh basil, thyme and oregano

½ cup fresh orange juice

Teaspoon of cinnamon

½ cup coconut cream or small tin of coconut milk


Big bunch of fresh coriander

2-3 cauliflower florets, grated

A couple of Spring onions An inch of peeled and sliced fresh ginger A large dollop of tahini A small red chilli (optional)

1. Add the courgetty spaghetti 2. Whizz the sauce ingredients in a blender and pour on (TIP: put the tomatoes in the blender first) 3. Add the grated cauliflower and some tomatoes and herbs to decorate.

TO SERVE A bag of baby leaf raw spinach Handful of chopped cashews Arrange baby spinach on a plate and add a generous portion of the noodles and pour on the delicious, pungent sauce, top with chopped cashews, devour!

indulge / Spring 2014 – 19


Zammeats Zammeats offer exquisite charcuterie, cheeses and meat. You can taste before you buy and get tips and advice on how to serve their products. Zammeats are located in Arkadia. With jams, preserves and chutneys also available, a picnic hamper is just waiting to be built. All else you need are these recipes and a bottle of wine! We made a gluten-free salami quiche, a fig and ham cigar and rye bread open sandwiches.

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TO MAKE 6 HAM AND FIG CIGARS: Defrost a packet of filo pastry. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Unfold the pastry and cut into two. This will give you 12 squares. You need two per cigar. Arrange 6 piles of two sheets of pastry and paint fig jam onto the uppermost surface leaving about an inch around the edge blank – this you should brush with melted butter or a beaten egg.

For tableware with a flair for design, brimming with originality and quality you can feel, check out HENRI Luxury Gift Boutique, Mdina (next door to Palazzo Falson). Ideal gift ideas for him… for her… or for yourself. Prices for tableware start at €17.50. For more info telephone: 2010 6307

Cover the fig jam area with ham. Start from one edge and roll the pastry up until closed. Trim any excess pastry and brush with a beaten egg. Place on a greased tray and bake for 15 minutes – or until pastry is browned. For a European twist on Pastrami & Rye – take a slice of pumpernickel, cut into bit sized squares, twist a piece of pancetta and top with a pickled gherkin or cocktail olive. Perfect with champagne!

Tantalise your taste buds with these quick, easy recipes

TO MAKE 6 GLUTEN FREE QUICHES, YOU WILL NEED: 12 slices of fine thickness salami 3 eggs 6 cheese stuffed pimentos from their deli counter Fresh black pepper Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line muffin tins with 2 slices of the salami. Make sure you have a ‘wall’ and the base of the mould is covered. There is no need to pre-grease the tins. Whisk the eggs and add the black pepper. Pour the egg mix carefully into the salami cups. Place one stuffed pimento in each cup, cheese side up. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The egg mix will rise and the salami will go crispy but can very easily burn so do pay attention! Allow to cool and set and serve with leaves.

indulge / Spring 2014 – 21



ext time you’re out for a walk in the countryside, keep your eyes peeled for any dead branches that take your fancy. Remember two things whilst out foraging: [a] the size of the branch determines the amount of décor that goes onto it as well as the size of the container holding it and [b] the shape of the branch can always be altered by some nifty grafting techniques. I opted for a small branch that makes it the ideal size for a dining table centre-piece decorated with handmade pompoms and leather pendants inspired by the far east (East .. Easter .. get it?!). And one last thing before we get technical ... do feel free to tailor your tree to your own tastes if you find this option too girly/ Japanese-y/sparkly.

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YOU’LL NEED • a small (dead) tree branch (do not chop down trees, please!) • some yarn in pastel colours • some thin lengths of ribbon (ideally also in pastel colours) • small pieces of leather or felt (I used old elbow patches and left-over leather off-cuts from other craft projects – coloured paper is also a good option) • random earrings and pendants • a small piece of sturdy cardboard • a ruler, pen, glue, some seed pearls and/or small buttons • needle and thread, paper scissors, small sewing scissors














Step by step



Step by step To make the pompom template, draw two concentric circles of 5cm and 1cm diameter on a piece of cardboard and cut out into a ‘donut’ shape.
 Cut a length of yarn (1.25m per pompom is usually sufficient) and attach to the ‘donut’ with a secure knot.
 Wind the yarn tightly and neatly all around the ‘donut’ (using a yarn needle is optional)
 Cut a separate 10cm piece of the same coloured yarn and proceed to cut the wound yarn along the outer circumference of the ‘donut’ using small scissors. Slide the stray piece of yarn along the cardboard disk and tie it tightly around the centre of the pompom.
 Slowly slide the other half of the pompom out of the ‘donut’
. Trim any of the excess strands and neaten the pompom as much as possible. Repeat till you feel dizzy!
 Then cut the thin pastel coloured ribbons into 10cm strands
. Glue both edges of the ribbon to each other to form a loop. Glue the loop deep into the pompom and press for a while till the glue dries. And there’s your finished pompom!

Transfer the ‘template’ shapes provided onto a piece of cardboard and cut out to use as templates. You may of course invent your own shapes!
 Using a thin pen, follow the template (in this case, an Easter chicklet) to draw its outline onto the wrong side of the leather scrap chosen (felt or paper work as well).
 Flip the template over and trace a mirror image of the same shape. Using the small scissors, cut out both shapes. Glue one side of a length of ribbon (10cm) to the wrong side of one of the shapes. Form a loop by gluing the other edge in place. Then proceed to glue both sides of the chicklet together to form a pendant and trim the edges neatly (if needed). Hold in place (pegs optional) till the glue dries.
 With some patience and perseverance you should end up with an array of pastel- coloured pendants.
 Decorate as you see fit. I threaded some seed pearls to act as eyes for the chicklets and the bunnies and used some random buttons to decorate the eggs. Any left over pieces of ribbon can be woven around the twigs for a more festive look before, finally, placing your tree into the desired container (NB: I used a piece of cloth to anchor the branch in place). All that remains is for you to decorate your tree – I added some pieces of costume jewellery and stray earrings to mine but I’m sure you can come up with countless more options! TIPS:
*a smaller tree in a vintage cup and saucer, anchored in real soil, would make for a novel easter gift.
*a larger and sturdier tree could hold real hand-painted eggs (or, even better, chocolate ones)
*keep away from curious cats!

indulge / Spring 2014 – 23




on’t we always complain about the weather? What about the vines, what is best for them? I hope in this piece to help you to enjoy every season’s weather and consider the effect it is having on the vintage.

Daily brightness is the most important factor; the intensity of light (which is not the sun) is a key component for the photosynthesis, which enables good development of vines: stems, leaves, flowers, good irrigation, processing of sap and finally, sugar development in the grapes. Without enough light, the vines will not develop well through out Spring and come the harvest, the yield will be low and quality of the grapes affected.

Hail The viticulturist nightmare A light hail will damage the leaves and obviously the grapes and an heavy hail can have the strength to affect up to the stems. In Bordeaux in 2013, strong hail has had such an affect on the vines that they may take up to 3 years to recover and give the typical yield expected of the region. Damaged leaves minimise the photosynthesis activity of the plant which will usually result in a higher acidity level and lower sugar content in the grapes which translates to the wine. When the acidity in the grapes is too high the oenologue will need to chaptelise (add

24 –indulge / Spring 2014

sugar) during the fermentation to obtain a well balanced wine. Depending at what stage of development of the grapes the hail happens, it will also affect the protection offered by the leaves to the grapes. Grapes are more vulnerable to diseases and after hail damage, this can more easily spread in the vineyard as damaged parts of grape ‘leak,’ creating an ideal place for bacteria development. Very close to harvest time, hail can ruin a production if too many grapes are damaged / deteriorated and/or create extra work for the viticulturist as he will have to clean each grape from damaged one before pressing.

Wind An important partner In hotter countries like Malta, Sicily, Australia, Chile: the benefits of the wind especially during maturation process of the grapes in the vineyard in the Spring, cools down the grape’s temperature and helps to develop a nice delicate flavour against an over mature fruity taste. During that same maturity period it will help dry the vineyard after rains and avoid too much risk of disease development. During the blooming period, a light breeze helps cross-pollinate the vineyard, however, if too strong, it may result in taking away the flowers, which will lead to a lower yield.


The Sun A required partner Not enough sun will result a lack of natural sugar concentration in the grapes which is needed to create alcohol content during the fermentation process. A lack of sun might result in more acidity and a lack of fruit character in the wine. Australian or South African wines for example, with their high levels of exposure to the sun, have very ripe fruit flavours with lots of tannin, and very high alcohol level. Temperature: what is ideal? The ideal temperature is 25 degrees Celsius by day with cooler nights, which helps the grapes to get a nice fruity character but not over ripen. Temperature difference between the days and nights help the development of skin structures and good tannins and colour.

Frost How dangerous is it? Frost should not affect the vines during winter period, as the vines are sleeping so there is not much sap activity, but still it can damage the roots if it gets too cold –and therefore the development of the vines.

Rain Friend or foe?

In Spring it can damage the buds and destroy them resulting in less crop and so less wine.

In Spring, rain is good for the development of vines and of grapes during their 1st month of growing period. After this, too much humidity can create risk of illness in the vineyard; and close to the harvest, will induce dilution in the grapes which will result in a vintage with less ageing potential and of a generally lower quality. Heavy rain at the stage can also damage the grapes with similar consequences as hail. Not enough rain during Winter months and early Spring will create a low yield by affecting the capacity of the vines to develop and flower, thus bearing less fruit. A lack of rain during the Summer in our hemisphere will generate the need to irrigate to help the grapes to develop.

At the end of maturity season, the last 2 weeks prior harvest, frost can ruin the harvest. Some countries have been inventive – for example, I have seen a helicopter in Chile flying above the vineyard to avoid the air becoming too cold! In Argentina a vineyard had a trench around the estate which would be filled with petrol and be lit up to heat up the circumference atmosphere to protect the grapes. Carole Rondot’s 14 year love affair with wine is only just surpassed by her love of cooking. She enjoys walks with her daughter and her dog, as well as going to art exhibitions.

But there is always a positive side of any weather condition and it’s the same with frost! To make ice wine it’s needed to get concentration of sugar and flavour in the grapes. The harvest will happen when the temperatures drop under -10-12 degrees Celsius. So whatever the weather, enjoy your wine, it has been through quite a process before it meets your lips!

indulge / Spring 2014 – 25





he Charles Grech World of Wines shop at the Blue Harbour complex at the marina in Ta’ Xbiex, is Malta’s first wine boutique offering the most prominent world class wine brands locally available by various dedicated importers, in one venue. The wines of Palladino, Zonin, Masi, Gaja, Frescobaldi, Luce, Antinori, Banfi, Biondi Santi, Donna Chiara and Donnafugata are just a part of extensive Italian portfolio. Bordeaux and Burgundy Grand Cru are being literally cascaded down to many rarely known ‘village’ wine appellations. The choice of Champagne is spread over a large selection of the greatest names with formats of up to 6L (8 bottles). Choose your wine from the vast choice, expand your repertoire with help from the staff and enjoy it there and then in the store. With easy parking, a great view and continuous opening from Monday- Saturday (10am – 7pm) you can browse and taste without pressure. Indeed, the team offers a tasting programme on Friday evenings to those who register their interest with

26 –indulge / Spring 2014




ashion is so baffling – it seriously challenges my way of thinking. Here we are about to start season Spring/Summer 14 while watching shows for Winter 14/15 and hearing from my dear friend Joe that in the next few weeks, at Manolo Blahnik, the quest for Spring Summer 15 will take off.

Embellishment, like you have never seen it before. This is not for the minimalist or faint-hearted. Multi layered sequins and crystals become sculptural and molded into floral patterns and worn with a totally unsubtle approach!

Baffling but super and what a super fashionable summer we are going to have. Let me take you through the major trends. Sportswear has almost become a staple every season but this season the trend was taken up a notch by the likes of Gucci, Pucci & Tom Ford who all used luxe materials such as silk, tech mesh and leather. Wear basketball shorts (only for tall lean legs), sweatshirts and track pants with heels and you are on the right track.


Pleats dominated and almost all designers showed micro-pleats. Designers managed to take this school girl look and turn it into high fashion as seen at Proenza Schouler.


Florals- this trend seems to crop up every other Spring time, but this season’s are not just the pretty flowers we are used to but tough with attitude like the bulbs at Christopher Kane and giant petals at Marni and Dries Van Noten.


Metallics popped up for daytime by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Proenza Schouler and Balmain. Wear silk lame, gilt brocade and chain mail fabrics before sunset and you’re ready to go. The colour, which dominated the most, was by far - blush pink. This season it is a mix of pastel, blush and icy shades; at it’s best at Miu Miu.

Carina is a self taught stylist and fashion event organiser. She owns Malta’s leading modelling agency Models. soon to be re branded to Models M. She loves dogs especially Cody, her 9 year old mongrel. “I indulge in designer clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery, I’m a complete fashion-addict!“


Last but first on my wish list is the pop-art trend. Dresses are adorned with faces, splashes of paint and more and are worthy of being in a museum. Be inspired by Prada and Jil Sander and let the artist in you flourish.

indulge / Spring 2014 – 27




ver since a few years ago, when our cruise ship entered the port of Dubrovnik cruising past hundreds of tiny islands in crystal-clear waters, I just knew I had to return to explore those islands! Little did I know that there are over 1000 of them on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, although several of them are uninhabited. But still, they looked idyllic and I wanted to go back. Surprised to be offered a bargainpriced flight in August and never one to miss a bargain, before I knew it, I was on a direct flight to Dubrovnik. I had overlooked the “charter” part, which meant flying at an ungodly hour, but it was a small price to pay (literally) and in under two hours we were there, without the hassle of connecting flights and ferries, which were the other alternatives. Dubrovnik, called the Pearl of the Adriatic, is truly a visual jewel and not surprisingly has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But this was peak season, when thousands of day-tripping tourists are disgorged into the narrow streets of the old walled city each day for a guided walking tour. Having been one of those day-trippers already, we decided

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to head straight out of Dubrovnik on arrival, north to Split, in the hope of bumping into Goran Ivanišević in his home town. Almost a 5-hour bus journey was not my idea of fun, but the alternatives were by ferry, which would take twice as long or to hire a car one way. With winding roads for the best part of the trip, my history of travel sickness, and the opportunity for some decent shuteye after such an early start, the bus won! Pills were swallowed and despite the cheesy music on the radio, a combination of 90’s songs, Eurovision hits and traditional Croatian music, I was out for the count. Next thing I knew, we had arrived in Split, the hub for ferries to the islands.

Split’s Riva rivals no other The Riva, Split’s palm-lined seafront promenade, runs the length of the old town, with magnificent views across the harbour and waterfront cafés perfect for people watching. No wonder the Emperor Diocletian chose to build his lavish retirement palace here in the late third century AD! Today the city centre is built around the remains of the Palace,

also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a unique mix of architecture in a maze of narrow stone-paved streets, filled with interesting arty shops in the basement and leading into Peristyle, Split’s own Covent Garden equivalent. We burnt off some calories climbing the steep steps of the belfry of St Dominius Cathedral to photograph the spectacular views, then gave our knees time to recover sipping freshly squeezed lemonade on the red-cushioned steps of Peristyle. Before heading off to the islands, we jumped on a little passenger shuttle boat packed with locals and managed a quick visit to Trogir, a mainland connected island encased in 15th century walls with a preserved medieval pedestrianised small old town, also a UNESCO site. We’re glad we did, with its charming narrow streets and its impressive Cathedral of St Lawrence, it reminded us of Mdina with an added bonus of a seaside promenade.

Island Hopping With so many islands to choose from, we decided to base ourselves on Hvar, after all, single-again Tom Cruise was in town. Hvar’s glitzy harbour seems to be giving St Tropez a


run for its money in terms of the A-list celebrity count! Once an important port in the Venetian empire, today a beautiful sprawling island: a long stretch of pine groves, lavender fields and vineyards and a buzzing town with pedigree super yachts jostling for space in the harbour. With my camera at the ready, the arrival from Split into the medieval harbour of Hvar Town was simply spectacular, with its charming Venetian honey-coloured architecture tumbling down to a picture-postcard perfect bay. I hadn’t bargained for the town’s entirely traffic-free centre meaning having to lug your suitcase across the marina (I should have packed less), past the old Arsenal (now a theatre) across the old stone piazza dominated by St Stephen’s Cathedral (I definitely should have packed less) up to the meeting point for our apartment. Next time I’m joining the fashionable sailing set and staying on a super yacht in the marina! But you don’t have to have your own yacht or be rich and famous to enjoy the charms of Hvar and its nearby islands. It’s worth taking a day trip to the island of Vis, the farthest of the Dalmatian islands, which is currently

undiscovered, but soon to be a soughtafter tourist destination. Choose one that includes a stop for the glowing Blue Cave on the island of Biševo, with it’s tiny entrance similar to the Blue Grotto in Capri, with a much more impressive blue inside. Hvar’s Old Town, with its imposing fortress, is often deserted during the day as people head for the beaches. We wandered freely in the medieval maze of narrow lanes and seriously steep steps rising up from the harbour, full of boutiques, restaurants, jewellery shops and art galleries after swimming on the Pakleni island of St Klement, a 20 minute boat ride across from Hvar marina. With villas and bungalows scattered amongst lush tropical gardens, and the stunning bay of Palmižana beach, it’s not surprising that this was a favourite for Beyoncé last year. Heading further down the coast, on our way back to Dubrovnik, was Korčula island, allegedly the birthplace of navigator Marco Polo, and well worth a visit. Dubbed the mini Dubrovnik, it has a medieval old town with striking architecture squeezed onto a peninsula. Its street

plan resembles a leaf, with lanes carefully orientated to make the most of the maestral summer breezes. The panoramic views at sunset at the top of St Mark’s Cathedral were awesome, well worth the knee pain to get there, just a pity that they don’t have a cocktail bar up there too! But there is so much more to Korčula Island than the town of Korčula, and we don’t regret exploring the rest of the island by car (easily done in a day) especially the stunning Pupnatska Luka beach and the wine tasting (Plavac and Posip varieties) at the Toreta wine museum in the Smokviča area. They also make a rich Limoncello, but it has a long way to go to match the Italian equivalent and is probably best served on vanilla ice cream. With temperatures in their 30’s, the delicious Croatian ice cream (slado) was too tempting to resist and became a daily ritual. Beautifully displayed in slado parlours, and with the discovery that one scoop is a generous portion of almost two scoops, the only problem was deciding which flavour to have! Our last port of call: Dubrovnik, to do the things I missed as a daytripper. Killing time until the late

indulge / Spring 2014 – 29


afternoon with a lavish lunch and a spot of shopping, to walk along the ancient stone city walls for views of the red-tiled roofs of the old town, when the day-trippers had left the city. Finishing off the week with a trip up to Mount Srđ by cable car, recently re-opened after being badly damaged during the siege of the 1990s, to see panoramic views of the city at sunset, before heading back to the airport. Coastal Croatian cuisine is a delightful blend of local specialities with Greek and Italian influences.

Don’t leave without tasting • Black gnocchi with black truffles at Dalmatino’s in Hvar • Octopus salad at Filippi’s, newly opened on Korčula’s Zakerjan (walkway) • Dalmatian “tapas” in a local Konoba (tavern) of their local produce of goat’s cheese, air-dried ham pršut, fish paste and aubergines, washed down with local wines • The to-die-for Croatian ice cream.

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DATING Perceptions of online dating are rapidly changing and internet dating sites will soon be the number one mainstream way to find romantic interests. According to a recent report on online dating and relationships released in America, one in 10 Americans have turned to online dating via Web or mobile apps, and out of the 66% who have moved on to in-real-life dates, 23% have gone the distance and have entered into longterm relationships and yes, successful marriages. A UK study reported that a third of new relationships begin online and on average, nine million Britons log on to dating sites in their quest to find a significant other,

So you add your name, your age, your picture. A few things about you that are hopefully a bit more original than “I enjoy long walks on the beach” or “I like travelling” or “People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I absolutely love pizza!” These are a few typical things that would appear on the profile of someone who decided to give online dating a shot and signed up for one of the many websites that aims to find you your “soul mate.” Recently, online dating has been exponentially growing in popularity among daters of all ages. Social networking has fuelled the trend and many people are turning to internet dating sites to find friends, romance, love and connections. In fact, international studies have shown that online dating has become the second most popular form of matchmaking, second to meeting through mutual friends. Internet dating gives people the opportunity to meet others outside of their immediate surroundings and social circles. When you are young or fresh out of university it is easy to meet people because there are many singles all around you. However, you might just see the same people overand-over. Online dating allows you to cast a much wider net. Some people are more comfortable with dating

online, since some of them might be shy and have a fear of face to face rejection, whilst busy life schedules has been another major push for people to move to chat rooms and professional dating services to find their life partner. The online dating industry has been steadily growing, even during the global recession and economic slowdown, an industry which research firm Mintel estimates will be worth £150 million by 2014. So what’s all this SOCIAL STIGMA about? It’s difficult to imagine how we managed pre-Internet. Yet while many trust the web for everything from shoe-shopping to vacation research, for many it is still tough to fathom the relatively rapid acceptance of online dating. Though the perception of dating online has been changing, there are still some people that are embarrassed to be attached to finding romance via website dating services. Although many are now beginning to warm up to the idea, there is still some misguided beliefs that online daters are desperate and undesirable. That is just a myth and if you actually had to go online and see, these days everyone from corporate people, young professionals, separated people and divorcees, as well as a growing more mature market are finding love and companionship online.

If we had to be honest, most of us would actually know someone who has used online dating, and really and truly at this point, you’d have to hide under a rock to avoid hearing of an acquaintance’s attempt at digital dating. So is the social stigma really a reality today? I think we will find this preconception privy to the minority as opposed to the majority of society. SUCCESS IN INTERNET DATING For those considering diving into online dating, you should know that not everyone gets a great first time. You need to be smart and, as with every other online exchange, exercise extreme precaution. Local dating site, offers the following tips: There are some issues attached with online dating that people should be wary of Honesty: Some people may simply use this opportunity to fool others by not disclosing their true selves or situations. Distorted Perception: Some people may fill out their profiles completely wrong in order to attract people they think might not otherwise want to get to know them. Addictive: Some people have been known to create more than one profile and connect with more than one partner simultaneously, just to have fun with his/her varying online personality. In the past, when seeking someone to date (and perhaps eventually marry), you had four options. You could just wait, hoping that your daily activities will serendipitously introduce you to someone.

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You could beg your friends and acquaintances to introduce you to someone, hoping that they know you well enough to introduce you to someone you would actually click with.


You could also lurk around bars and clubs, but the ineffectiveness of this method has become a cliche in itself, especially in the ‘jungle’ that Paceville itself as become – hardly conducive to romance! Finally, you could join an activity group or start a new hobby. This method seems like a great idea until you actually try it and realise that, even through the best-attended group activities, you are not likely to find more than a handful of possible suitors with acceptable ages and levels of attractiveness. Fortunately we don’t live in the past. We have the Internet, a vast romantic market, at our convenient disposal. In addition to saving your time, you are no longer relegated to the handful of people within your extended social network. So the long and the short of it is that online dating and social networking are here to stay, and no, it no longer just belongs to the realm of the unpopular few, one could actually say it is fast becoming the norm!, a local dating site, launched in Malta last year was designed to create a more engaging experience then typically offered by most online dating sites. Carobtreelane makes it possible for users to interact with each other according to their personal interests and does so in a fun and relaxed setting. Renewing the original idea of Internet dating profile matching, the growing website uses a map with virtual locations that can be added to a person’s favourite place to be. These preferred virtual venues makes it easy to recognise people’s personal preferences and simplifies the matchmaking process, besides offering users a fun and different way of interacting with the site.

The Perfect Selfie Camera is a locally made camera app that uses voice recognition to snap a photo. How it works is with certain tag words such as “click”,”now”,”pic”,”pictur e”,”cheese”, “selfie”,”photo”, and “self”, the Perfect Selfie Camera snaps the selfie. This Android app allows users to take a selfie using the back camera that has a higher resolution and flash. The voice trigger also enables the user taking a photo to stand further than just an arm’s length away from the camera, and through voice recognition enables users to take that selfie shot. The Perfect Selfie Camera app is free. It was made by Maltese programmer Yonas Leguesse and was launched last month. With zero marketing or sales, in only one month through word of mouth the app has had over 3000 downloads. Check it out and support the local initiative.

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trait Street in Valletta is world renowned for its buzzing nightlife, dating back to the British period. While the street was dormant for a few years, a bunch of young entrepreneurs is breathing life back into the magical capital city with new places to go for 30 plus set. Tico Tico is at the very heart of Strait Street and indeed was the last to close and the first to reopen. Owners Clint Debono and Mark Zammit have sympathetically restored the bar and furnished it with an eclectic mix of old and cherished furnishings, along with posters from the famous City Lights cinema and related artworks and accessories. Keeping the feeling of Strait Street and what it symbolises is key to the growing success of the venue. Tourists visit and comment on the décor, the food and mingle with locals taking their own memories home.



Open for lunch every day of the week, Tico Tico is the ‘in’ crowd’s place to be and be seen. From 11am, have a coffee and a chat, make plans for lunch, stay for cocktails and even dinner. With indoor seating and place outside for the sprawling crowd, meeting old friends and new friends is par for the course. With aperitivo’s and after-work drinks growing in popularity, every evening is busy; but continuously open till late every day (except Monday), Tico Tico welcomes you as if you have been a regular for its whole lifetime. While it would be tempting to try and replicate the formula and extend the space, the owners believe on keeping it s nostalgic feel and its quirky, un-manufactured feel, letting its own character shine through. Keep up to date with events and book a table on their facebook page or just wander along and join in the continuous party. Open daily 11am till late. Monday evening closed.

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his country is blessed with glorious weather for the vast majority of the year. As I write this article in what is commonly referred to as gloomy February, the sun is shining in all its splendor and the warm breeze has resulted in families going out of their houses en masse to enjoy the weather outside. And if cars mean anything to you, this is the perfect country to own and enjoy a convertible all year round. Ironically, the days when you cannot enjoy a convertible are when it is too hot, but on those days simply drop the top at night and enjoy the magic. I’ve spent a few years with a convertible as a daily. For four years I drove a MK1 Mazda MX5, and I eventually moved on to a Honda S2000. Both are lightweight, front engine, rear wheel drive sports cars and both cars are easy to enjoy ‘top down’. There is something about dropping a top that is hard to describe in words. Those who know me will

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know that I’m no authority on ‘wind blowing in your hair’ experiences but the convertible experience is more than this. It is a sense of freedom in a way. A sense of being more at one with the road. And a way to wind down after a day at the office on your drive back home. I do not drive motorbikes but I always imagine that the closest you can get to the sense of freedom which a bike gives you is to drive a convertible. Convertibles have always been popular with car enthusiasts and traditionally a convertible was associated with sports cars. Iconic classic sports cars such as the E-type, MGB, Triumph Spitfire and Lotus Elan were considered to be the ultimate convertibles to own and over the decades the demand for convertibles grew and the prices went down. As convertibles grew in popularity, they became available across most budgets and today, numerous car companies

offer a convertible version of some of their models. Volkswagen with the Golf Cabriolet in the early eighties and Mazda a decade later with the MX5 brought convertibles to the masses and most brands now offer their iconic cars in convertible versions. The Porsche 911 for example, is one of the most iconic coupes ever made yet almost all variants of the 911 are also available in a convertible version. Porsche went on to build the Boxster in 1996, which three generations on is still considered by many to be one of the best handling convertibles you can buy. Today, we are spoilt for choice and after having ticked the boxes on what type of car you need (or want) you can almost certainly find a variant that is topless. From Smarts to hatch-backs, two to four seaters, jeeps, saloons and coupes all can be found as convertibles, such is the demand for both SUV’s and convertibles. Sports cars, family cars, off roaders, SUV’s: there’s no longer an excuse not to.


TYPES OF ROOF Different car manufacturers offer different mechanisms on convertible cars. The main distinction is between hardtops and soft-tops (fabric, rag-top). Soft-tops generally require that you manually unlatch a buckle to get them open or closed. Most hardtops are fully automated and will retract at the touch of a button while soft-tops are either automated or ‘dropped’ manually. Certain tops can be lowered while driving up to a certain speed, while others only operate when the car is stationary. The trade-off with hardtops is that they tend to eat space from the luggage boot, and they are also heavier than a soft top. The advantages offered by a hardtop are that the car still retains its lines aesthetically and that it is easier to maintain and clean especially if you do not have a garage. Hardtops are generally more secure and also offer more visibility when the car is closed. The advantages of a soft-top on the other hand, especially if it is not automated, are that it is super fast to drop, it generally doesn’t take any space from the luggage boot, it has less to go wrong in general and it is lighter. Soft tops are also being designed with multiple layers to insulate the car from noise and elements when the car is closed. One potential draw-back on soft-tops is that not everyone will be happy taking it to an automated car-wash. I, for one, have read quite a few horror stories on car-forums in this respect and would think twice before taking my soft-top under those psychedelic, aggressively spinning, soap spitting thistles unless absolutely necessary.

SPACE Space is an important factor to be considered when buying any car really – but in a convertible it is especially important because the roof might be sharing your limited precious space with your shopping while the top is down. This can prove to be a deal breaker for some, especially those wanting to go on road-trips with the car or those who need to carry push-chairs, prams, baby-seats, shopping bags etc. My advice is to ask the car dealer to put the roof down whenever you’re buying a convertible whether this is new or second hand. When buying used, apart from visualising the space (or the lack of it) when the roof is down, you are also ensuring that the mechanism is fault-free. Especially when buying a two-seater, also thoroughly check out the storage space available inside the car for phones, sunglasses, keys, cigarettes, maps etc etc. There is nothing more frustrating than travelling with objects running around the passenger foot-well for lack of alternative storage space.

CONVENIENCE The most obvious issue is the general lack of rear doors in four seater convertibles. Most cars today though offer seatbelts that move out of the way for rear passengers, as well as seats that move back and forwards automatically. Also look out for features which are super useful on convertibles such as wind deflectors, heated and cooled seats, powerful blowers, speakers behind the seats or in the head-rests and sun-reflective leather and interiors. A wind-deflector is not to be underestimated, as wind turbulence can be frustrating in the cabin while driving with the top down. Some car manufacturers (Mercedes offers the ‘air-scarf’) also offer heated air blowers which are channeled to the neck and shoulders and in the Winter this can come in super handy. Also make sure the car is really a four-seater and that the rear-seats are sufficient for the intended use of the car. Generally, the seats will be good for children but might not be intended to carry adults on long journeys.

Adrian Muscat Azzopardi is a car enthusiast with a weakness for light-weight British sports cars. In his spare time he indulges in buying, racing and writing about cars and particularly enjoys road trips to Sicily where he takes part in various competitive motor sport events. Feel free to join Facebook. com/MaltaCarForum where members can discuss literally anything car related and follow his blog.

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Phil Gibbs is a qualified rugby referee, cricket umpire, and weight-training instructor. He plays for Malta Marauders Veterans rugby team.

LET’S GO FLY A KITE Phil Gibbs explores the sport of kitesurfing

What is kitesurfing? Kitesurfing is similar to windsurfing or surfing, but with more freedom. Kitesurfing allows you to surf in, over, and out of waves, and do tricks. Kitesurfers can go upwind, much like windsurfing. However, riders can kitesurf in as little as 7-8 mph of wind with the proper skills and equipment, and at 10 mph some kitesurfers can start jumping, whereas windsurfing in under 15 mph of is usually no fun. Secondly, windsurfers need waves to get them into the air, but kitesurfers can jump to a good height off flat water. However, in higher winds, kite-surfing will not generate the speeds reached by windsurfers, and could be more dangerous.

What’s the difference between kitesurfing and kiteboarding? At first, the terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing were one and the same thing, However, for the last few years the two terms are now being used distinguish two separate disciplines. Kiteboarding now refers to everything except wave riding, and includes freestyle, wakestyle, speed and racing, whereas riding waves with a kite is kitesurfing

What do I need to get started? The two basic items are the kite and the board. You will also need a kite control device (lines and a bar), harness, life jacket and helmet. A wetsuit will also be needed in colder climes.

How much does it cost to start kite-surfing, and do I need to pay for lessons? You will need to invest from 800 – 2,500 euros to get started, depending on the quality of the equipment and whether you buy new or second-hand items. In addition, you should pay for a few lessons to learn the basics of how to control the kite before venturing out on the water on your own. Without good initial instruction, kitesurfing can be dangerous for beginners. If you have lessons, a trainer kite will be used to learn with. These kites are typically very small and generate minimal power, promoting safety to the beginner. The other benefit of having lessons is that it will guide you on the right type of board and kite to buy, which could avoid you wasting money on the wrong gear.

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What basic skills will I need to learn? USING THE WIND Your initial training on the beach with a trainer kite will teach you to understand and use the ‘wind window’, which is the 180-degree arc in the sky that the kite flies in. You will also learn that the ideal wind for beginners is crossonshore, when the wind blows towards the shore at about a 45 degree angle, and the ideal wind speed is 18 to 23 knots. A crossonshore breeze is usually smooth air-flow with little turbulence, and if you can’t relaunch your kite, you’ll get blown back to the beach. As you gain experience, you can progress to cross-shore winds parallel to the beach, and even onshore winds when you have mastered the skill of riding upwind. BODY DRAGGING

Mai Techaphan /

As kite-surfers do not use leg leashes due to the danger of being hit by a ‘slingshot’ board, an essential skill needed to retrieve a lost board when you fall off is body dragging. This means flying the kite close to the water while keeping your head down, one arm forward and legs together. This turns your body into a rudder so you can manoeuvre towards your lost board.

How many different types of kite are there?


Leading Edge Inflatables (LEIs) are kites that have built-in bladders that need to be pumped up before use. The inflated bladders make a frame that gives the kite shape. The inflatable frame keeps the kite afloat if it hits the water. Some kites do not have bladders, but have two skins of kite material as opposed to one, and form an airfoil shape similar to an aeroplane’s wing.

Once you have retrieved your board, you will need to point it about 45 degrees downwind toward the kite and, while keeping the kite hovering at the neutral noon position, carefully slip your feet into the board’s foot straps. Aim the board slightly downwind, and then dive the kite hard while driving your weight through your hips, legs and feet. Once you’re standing upright, dive the kite again to accelerate and get your board planing.

A wide variety of kites are now available to suit the various kite-surfing styles, including C-kites, Bow kites, Delta kites, Hybrid kites, Foil kites and specialised light wind kites.

How about board choice? There are also a range of boards to choose from. There are two basic types – directional and bi-directional. Directionals look like surfboards, and are are designed to be ridden in one direction. To turn, the rider jibes like a windsurfer. Bi-directionals can be ridden in both directions, similar to a snowboard. These boards can be jibed without changing foot position.

How do I control the kite? The kite bar is the control system for your kite. You use it to speed up and slow down, turn and jump. They also include a safety release system. The kite bar is linked to the kite by lines. 2-line bars are easier to set up and best for the beginner since there’s less chance of tangling. However, 4-line bars are the most common. These have two centre lines attached to a chicken loop at the bar end and the kite’s leading edge at the other. These are used for depowering by changing the angle of attack of the kite. The two outside lines attach each wing-tip of the kite to the respective end of the bar., and are used to power up the kite and turn it.

RIDING UPWIND riding upwind takes you back to the beach at the same spot you entered the water. To do this, you will need to fly the kite low and maintain even power. Edge your board against the kite, lean back, then twist your body in the direction you want to tack. Push down on your back foot to keep your edge from slipping down-wind, looking over your shoulder in the direction you want to go.

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THE INTERNET OF THINGS Chris De Micoli studied at Oxford Brookes and since then has embraced a jack-of-all-trades career, from a Project Manager to a Freelance Marketer. He indulges by travelling and “buying useless, stupid and yet wholly awesome gadgets”


his year CES, the annual geek fest and gadget show in Las Vegas, saw some serious refinements in technology, from wearable tech and toys, to driverless cars. But these little tidbits are not the topic of discussion. The year 2013 was highlighted by the tech movement dubbed “The Internet of Things” which is going to be a game changer.

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole....and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”

The IoT is a scenario where ‘things’ have identifiers and can transmit data to each other. By ‘things’, we mean people, objects and animals. This would happen without the requirement of person to person interaction – which means ‘things’ will be able to sync up and communicate with each other without us pesky humans getting involved. Essentially it’s a movement where a device, appliance or wearable tech has an IP address that can transmit data. Effectively what this means is that your smart phone/ tablet is going to represent you in the digital world and will be your source of communication to other things. The aim is to have people seamlessly retrieve information, data and functionality without a computer or human interaction. However the IoT is not just about the gathering of data but also about the analysis and use of data and it’s scope of far reaching implications for big data, security and cloud computing.

So IoT has been a long time coming, and big companies are taking it seriously. In February of this year Google spent $3.2 billion on the acquisition of Nest. In 2011 Nest shook the industry with a Learning Thermostat with the ability to control a person’s home’s climate from anywhere. The Learning Thermostat would optimise the home system, learn from the different temperature changes, and help save the user money. Then in 2013, Nest produced Protect, a smoke detector which like the Learning Thermostat is smartphone connected, and has a whole array of uses from sending a message when it’s low on battery or an emergency has been detected, to a friendly warning to where danger is and if, say, some toast is burning, one can simply wave to silence the alarm.

The phrase “The Internet of Things” was coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, a British tech pioneer. Ashton believes that the IoT has the potential to change the world, just like the internet did, even go above and beyond. To people like Ashton, this is the next evolutionary step in the digital world – something that Nikola Tesla, the patron saint of modern electricity/ geeks, had touched upon in 1926 in an interview with Colliers magazine,

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In order to fully appreciate the scope of the IoT, IBM’s Smarter Planet team created a video with a great explanation and an ideal day in the life of the IoT. Users would wake up in the morning to a smart alarm clock which is synced to a person’s diary, or knows their travel plans and can calculate the time they need to get up. The heating system would kick in thirty minutes before the alarm goes off, ensuring warm rooms and hot water. While bathing there could be audio announcements regarding temperature outside – let’s say it snowed; so the user would know that the windshield of their car would

have activated to melt the snow, also calculating the travel time, adjusting due to the snow and traffic conditions, and so on. A smart coffee machine at work would have a fresh cup brewed as soon as you walked in - or after work as your device communicates to the smart home appliances; food will start to get warmed up, heating would go on as well as laundry and whatever else you might think of, depending on your routine. This is what the IoT is; all these connected devices communicating to each other automatically, from a smart home, to a smart car, to a smart office. It’s almost as if the life of the user has grown a central nervous system. But it goes beyond even that. Think about the scope for connected advertising and marketing, traffic management systems, waste management systems, smart electricity grids, smart water systems and a whole array of industrial uses. However there are a couple foreseeable downsides. When the standards of the internet were established, there weren’t any big companies with a vested interest and influence – however in today’s competitive market we might very well end up with big money companies *cough* Google and Apple *cough* trying to unlevel the playing field in their favour – meaning that there might not be universal connectivity. Jean-Louis Gassee, former Apple Executive referred to this situation as a ‘basket of remotes’. In any case no matter which way you slice it – change is on the offing at a consumer level – and to drive the point home, the Indulge Tech Team will be popping in from time to time with relevant IoT apps and products highlighting this new interconnected world that’s coming, and soon.

LL II VV EE II NN TT HH EE FF UU TT UU RR EE PARROT FLOWER POWER Parrot, the company well-known for their AR Drone has branched out into the home sensor market with their Flower Power wireless plant monitoring system. With an indoor/outdoor design resembling a plastic stalk and using Bluetooth 4.0 for communication, the system can monitor the amount of sunlight your plant is receiving, its temperature, humidity and soil salinity levels and send this data about its growing conditions back to your smartphone or tablet. Retailing at €52.97 and available from

MIMO BABY MONITOR The Mimo Baby is a connected onesie that monitors a baby’s vital signs. Instead of merely sending the data to your smartphone, it can display the readings on the outside of an LED coffee cup instead, even pulsing to match your child’s respiratory patterns. The Mimo app enables parents to do three things; see their baby’s data in real-time, set alerts to let them know if anything changes, and to view trend and analytics about their baby’s sleep. Retailing at $ 199.99, available from

KOLIBREE TOOTHBRUSH Kolibree’s connected toothbrush is the most advanced and comprehensive solution out there to make sure you stay ahead of the curve. Simply download the free mobile app, connect via Bluetooth and every brushing is recorded. The data about how you brushed automatically synchronises to your smartphone telling you whether you brushed long enough and reached the hard-to-reach but important parts of your teeth and gums. Kolibree rewards your progress and cheers you on when you are improving, allocating points to kids to encourage them to improve their brushing habits. While Kolibree does not proclaim to solve periodontal disease or suggest that it can keep cavities or gingivitis at bay, the better you take care of your teeth, the more likely it is that you can and will avoid serious problems. Price ranges from $99 - $200 and available from

WHIRLPOOL 20|20 – YOUR FUTURE IN FOCUS The kitchen of tomorrow is coming up fast. IKEA’s Future Laboratory envisions that by 2040 there will be mood kitchens with adjusted lighting and music, dining recommendations, self-cleaning appliances, hologram celebrity chefs and 3D food printing. Until then, everyone at CES was wowed with Whirlpool’s 20|20 vision of a future kitchen. The Whirlpool brand explored a connected kitchen where appliances anticipate and understand needs of families; from their Interactive Cooktop to Connected Appliances. Whirlpool brand’s future-forward interactive cooktop is a multi-purpose digital cooking surface, serving as the kitchen’s cooking and informational hub that allows consumers to check weather updates for out-of-town guests, manage their social calendar, search for exotic new ingredients and make a delicious dinner—all on one surface that can be activated with the touch of a finger or the sound of a voice. Check it out for yourselves

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