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TRAVEL TO JAPAN . RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION . A MALTESE CRIB AND CONCERT OF SACRED MUSIC IN ROME . A HEALTHY ATTITUDE TOWARDS FOOD . A HEARTY SOUP RECIPE BY NICOLE PISANI FACTS ABOUT DIABETES . INTERVIEW WITH MALTESE DESIGNER ENRIQUE TABONE . INTERVIEW WITH JAPANESE PAINTER NAOYA INOSE . BEAUTY TIPS . MAKE-UP . FASHION . COMPETITIONS

NOVEMBER 2016


Photograph by Alan Carville

Knowing and learning about people’s hobbies-turned-careers makes me smile. Every issue of every magazine I have edited has been inspired by people around me, and this issue is no exception. For one, I remember my meetings with Enrique Tabone over the years, and seeing her take part in art installation shows, make jewellery, prepare creative food and simply grace a room with her beauty. It makes me so happy to see her take the plunge and open her own design studio in Valletta for her designs and jewellery and I will enjoy keeping an eye on her developments. (Page 10). Duška Malešević has also always been good company and I enjoy listening to her ideas, plans and wishes. Finally, her photographs of Malta – which she has been taking over the last 10 years – have been selected to appear in a book called Postcards of Malta. After first seeing them for the first time, prior to commissioning her to exhibit at Malta Design Week, I saw the instant appeal and was hooked. They are un-staged snaps of Malta, raw, as it is. Nothing has been added or taken away. They show Malta for what it is, in a frame. It is a selected view of something Duška has stumbled upon. It may not be beautiful, but it’s Malta. I just hope it’s the first of many more books to come, so we can all have the whole collection at our fingertips. (Page 15) Without people such as Anthony Spagnol from Heritage Malta, whose life’s work is to protect and restore art and artifacts from despair, we would lose priceless creations forever. As he puts it, their work needs to be ‘felt and not seen’, however he and the rest of the team deserve acknowledgement for their valuable contribution to our islands history. Albert Delia pays a visit (page 45). The Japanese are known for their humility. They work diligently, as they were taught and artist Naoya Inose is no exception. He was exposed to creativity from a young age, but, like most children, became lost in the experience of everything new. It wasn’t long, however, before he settled down to attentively learn the craft of drawing and painting, and before long he perfected his talent for a career as an artist. Now he is completing a Master’s degree in Fine Arts in London, and has continued to find his own style. I am quite taken by his paintings, knowing the time and patience that is involved in producing just one small work, and the result is perfect. His imagination is given priority, and he uses his talent with care. I am pleased to be exhibiting his latest collection of paintings in December at my gallery. (Page 60) Without really trying, we have a little Japanese flow in this issue. Our travel writer Dini Martinez reveals the diversity that awaits us in Japan: beaches, skiing, gardens, skyscrapers, tradition... (Page 34). And fashion designer Lara Spiteri steps in to style this issue’s fashion shoot at The Farsons Factory, based around Japanese model Miyuki Vinet. (Page 21) There’s much more inside this issue, so snuggle up and enjoy your day of rest. FIRST will be back again before Christmas – I still can’t quite believe that time passes by so quickly!

EDITOR LILY AGIUS LAGIUS@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT ADVERTISING & ADVERT PLACEMENTS CLAIRE BONDIN GAFA CGAFA@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT DESIGNER CONRAD BONDIN CBONDIN@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT PRODUCTION MANAGER ANDRE CAMILLERI ACAMILLERI@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT ARTWORK COORDINATOR CHRISTINE SPITERI CMIFSUD@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT CONTRIBUTORS ALBERT DELIA, CATHERINE TABONE, COLIN FITZ, DINI MARTINEZ, DORIAN FLORES, ENRIQUE TABONE, JOANNA DELIA, JONATHAN BORG, LARA SPITERI, LINE YOUNG PETERI, MARLENE VASSALLO, MIYUKI VINET, MATTHEW B SPITERI, NAOYA INOSE, ROBERT AGIUS. THANK-YOU TO FARSONS FACTORY AND SARACINO’S CAFE. PUBLISHER STANDARD PUBLICATIONS, STANDARD HOUSE, BIRKIKARA HILL, ST JULIAN’S. TEL: 00356-2134-5888 PRINTER PRINT IT E-MAIL FIRST@INDEPENDENT.COM.MT ONLINE WWW.INDEPENDENT.COM.MT FACEBOOK FIRSTMAGAZINE COVER DETAILS BLACK MILITARY JACKET, ¤109.95, IVORY LACE HIGH NECK TOP, ¤25, MARKS AND SPENCERS. FIRST IS PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH AS A COMPLIMENTARY MAGAZINE WITH THE MALTA INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY AND IS NOT TO BE SOLD SEPARATELY.


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¤37.90 from Accessorize

21

Inside

With designer Enrique Tabone

12 SIR THOMAS BURBERRY

The look of the classic English gentleman

15 POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE

The launch of a new photobook of Malta

50 DEAR CLAIRE

Developing a normal attitude towards food

52 CORN, COD AND CHORIZO SOUP

This issue’s recipe by Nicole Pisani

54 ODDS AND EVENS

Interview with staff at Tipico

21 TANKED

56 LAST WORD

32 BUTTERCUP BUTTERCUP

62 FACTS AND FIGURES

This issue’s fashion shoot Shine on in yellow

With Japanese painter Naoya Inose For Diabetes

34 TRAVEL TO JAPAN

This issue’s travel suggestion

10

40 ASK DR JO

Dr Joanna Delia answers your beauty questions

45 THE INVISIBLE HAND

Heritage and conservation at Villa Bighi

48 CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IN ROME

Sacred music and crib from Malta in Rome

45 8

52

Cape, ¤79, beige trousers, ¤89, 1-2-3 PARIS. Deep Bordeau Converse trainers, ¤89, URBAN JUNGLE. Lola Rose ring, ¤57, Lola Rose bracelet, ¤49, Braccialini bag, ¤293, PORTO. Givenchy sunglasses, ¤378, O’HEA OPTICIANS.

10 FIRST WORD


first word

Enrique Tabone is a 29-year-old artist and designer who will soon be fulfilling her dreams by opening a boutique shop in Valletta, selling her own designs: QUE. Photo by Jonathan Borg

Photo by Jonathan Borg

Enrique’s grandmother Carmen

The most spectacular city in the world is Valletta. The objects I would never part with will eventually disappear from my life.

An indulgence I would never give up is my own home-made, glutenfree bread. (Below)

My favourite space in my house is my studio. The most inspirational person in my life is my grandmother Carmen, because of all the wonderful stories she has told me throughout my life. She is the strongest, most kind-hearted woman I know.

The most unforgettable place I have visited is the Dalì Museum in Spain.

The last place I visited was the Manchester Art Gallery for the Vogue Exhibition.

The last thing I added to my wardrobe is made from bamboo.

The best gift I have received recently made me blush. The last song I listened to is David Bowie’s Valentine’s Day.

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If I could get away for the day it would have to be on my little boat.

The book I am reading is

Toni Sant’s Remembering Rediffusion in Malta.

One thing I never get round to doing and wish to is hot air

My most recent find is Għar Ħasan.

If had no choice but to change my line of work I would love to

The website I will often browse is

make wine in a Tuscan vineyard, even though I can’t really imagine ever changing what I do.

www.wgsn.com, which is excellent for trend reports, making it easy to stay informed and watch the forecasting process unfold.

I would like to learn how to make

The most beautiful building in the world is still

macaroons.

to be built.

ballooning.

My most luxurious habit is staying alive. Until Que Boutique opens in Valletta, you can view Enrique’s work and buy her handmade wearable art on www.que.com.mt and contact her on Facebook or email: enrique@que.com.mt


THOMAS BURBERRY THE LOOK OF THE CLASSIC ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

I

first fell for Burberry when I acquired a jacket from a colleague. She had had it for 25 years, so from the inside you could see it was a bit worn, but on the outside it looked almost brand new. Burberry’s quality and timeless design has been admired and loved by many, particularly when it comes to the timeless trench coat. This has been redesigned many times, in many shapes and fabrics, but it has always oozed style and sophistication. Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry – who was born in Surrey – opened a draper’s shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire, that specialised in men’s outerwear. Wanting some stylish material that was water-resistant, Burberry invented gabardine, a

By Line Young Peteri twill-woven cotton fabric that is still being used today by tailors all over the world for high quality suits and jackets. In 1901, the Burberry equestrian knight logo was designed, bearing the Latin word Prorsum, meaning forward, and registered as a trademark. Many adventurers and explorers wore Burberry clothing on their expeditions, including Roald Amundsen – the first man to reach the South Pole – and Ernest Shackleton, who led a 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica. They both wore Burberry gabardine jackets, as did George Mallory on his ill-fated attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924. In 1937, Burberry sponsored Betty Kirby-Green when she made the fastest flying time to Cape Town from London. The iconic Burberry check was created in the 1920s and used for a lining in its trench coats. It is still one of the most exclusive items of outerwear and is worn by

fashionistas all over the world. And over the years, many famous people, including Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers and Ronald Reagan, were seen in Burberry which just increased the popularity of the British brand. Thomas Burberry died in 1926, four months short of his 89th birthday, and the company he established remained an independent, family-controlled business until 1955, when it was reincorporated. The current CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, joined Burberry as Design Director in 2001. After 160 years, Burberry Group Inc – with its headquarters in London – now has more than 500 stores and franchises in over 50 countries and its distinctive check pattern is recognised around the world. Its main fashion house focuses on ready-to-wear outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses and cosmetics.

From the top, left to right: Thomas Burberry; Burberry continues to innovate; the winter 2016 collection; Audrey Hepburn, 1963; An original Burberry store, Winchester Street in Basingstoke.

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POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE IS A VERITABLE ARCHIVE OF NEGLECTED VISUAL DETAILS AND FLEETING MOMENTS OF REALITY THAT ARE NOW OBSOLETE AND INCREASINGLY FORGOTTEN. THE TRIP

Postcards from

Paradise A book of photographs of Malta entitled Postcards from Paradise by Duška Maleševic´ was launched in Rome last month to an enthusiastic audience. »

Props

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T

hirty-four photographs have been carefully selected to feature in a new photobook – the result of a 10-year photography project. The project, entitled Selekted Malta, was originally launched at Malta Design Week 2014, with hundreds of photographs being displayed in their original printed format before being exhibited as limited edition prints at Lily Agius Gallery. The book was launched on 6 October in Rome, at Libreria del Viaggiatore, under the patronage of Malta’s embassy in Rome and with the support of the Malta Tourism Authority, Italy, with a display of 10 limited edition photographs, and received an honorable mention in the ‘Self-Published/Documentary’ category of the International Photography Awards.

Above: Tobacco merchant Top right: Book cover Below: Valletta bliss; Aurora; Holy boat

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Postcards from Paradise will be launched in Malta on Friday the 18th of November at Architecture Project Lounge, 4 Sappers Street, Valletta at 6 pm. For more information you can contact the author herself by email at malesevic.duska@gmail.com, visit her website duskamalesevic.com, or visit Lily Agius Gallery.


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tanked STYLING: LARA SPITERI PHOTOGRAPHY: MATTHEW B SPITERI HAIR: ROBERT AGIUS, STRANJÈ HAIRDRESSING (ATTARD) MAKE-UP: MARLENE VASSALLO MODEL: MIYUKI VINET LOCATION: SIMONDS FARSONS CISK BREWERY

Soft black velvet jacket, ¤119.95, Black wide leg trousers, ¤59.95, MARKS & SPENCER. Bulatti necklace, ¤203, Ukwenza bracelet, ¤24, PORTO. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, ¤160, O’HEA OPTICIANS. 21


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Black military jacket, ¤109.95, Ivory lace high neck top, ¤25, Black wide leg trousers, ¤59.95, MARKS & SPENCER. Dyrberg Kern ring, ¤42, PORTO. Black shoes, ¤109, 1-2-3 PARIS. Max Mara sunglasses, ¤213, O’HEA OPTICIANS. 23


Patterned dress, ¤155, 1-2-3 PARIS. Lola Rose bracelet, ¤130, Ripani Bag, ¤199, PORTO. Marc Jacobs sunglasses, ¤194, O’HEA OPTICIANS. 24


Betty Barclay animal print dress, Betty Barclay silver top, MEI BOUTIQUE. Blue shoes, ¤109, leather belt, ¤65, 1-2-3 PARIS. Nour earrings, ¤46, Nour ring, ¤39, Chiara P bag, ¤150, PORTO. 25


Berry faux leather skirt, ¤49.95, Jacquard floral top, ¤65, MARKS & SPENCER. Nour earrings, ¤66, PORTO. Christian Dior sunglasses, ¤388, O’HEA OPTICIANS. 26


Grey woollen Betty Barclay coat, Betty Barclay trousers, MEI BOUTIQUE. Nour earrings, 造55, Squadra Blu ring, 造45, Lola Rose ring, 造74, Braccialini bag, 造159, PORTO. 27


OUTLETS FEATURED 1-2-3, Westin Dragonara Resort, St Julian’s. Tel. 21375781; Mei, Westin Dragonara Resort, St Julian’s. Tel. 21376690; O’hea Opticians, 191 The Strand, Gzira. Tel. 21315590; Porto, Portomaso Shopping Complex, St Julian’s. Tel. 21372079; Marks & Spencer, The Strand, Sliema. Tel. 21331745, Palace Square, Valletta. Tel: 21220614; Urban Jungle, Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian’s, Birkirkara, Mosta, Paceville, and Gozo. Tel. 21470204

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Cape, ¤79, 1-2-3 PARIS. Deep Bordeau Converse trainers, ¤89, URBAN JUNGLE. Lola Rose ring, ¤57, Lola Rose bracelet, ¤49, Braccialini bag, ¤293, PORTO. Givenchy sunglasses, ¤378, O’HEA OPTICIANS. 29


#ALDOMOVESME

A

s an international leader in fashion footwear and accessories, ALDO takes a fresh approach to its visual identity through a unique and creative direction for its autumn 2016 campaign. Exploring the concept of movement, this innovative campaign contextualises footwear and accessories in fashion, building aspirational looks that allow customers to be inspired and translate them into their own personal style. ALDO’s new autumn campaign will live across all brand touch-points, including advertising, online, mobile, in-store and through the #ALDOMOVESME social media programme. Movement, as translated through collage, drives the concept for the #ALDOMOVESME winter 2016 campaign. In this bold, fashion-first concept, ALDO sought out top fashion photographer Mikael Jansson and stylist Alex White to bring the campaign to life. “As a footwear brand, we loved the idea of tapping into the concept of progress and movement”, explains Carl Jesper Versfeld, Creative Director for ALDO’s autumn 2016 campaign. “Utilising collage, Mikael and the team were able to bring to life this creative approach while revealing an original campaign composition that is unique to ALDO.” The #ALDOMOVESME campaign builds an exciting momentum for the footwear and accessories leader. As the brand refreshes its visual approach for the autumn 2016 campaign, it also seeks to engage the ALDO community with ‘likeable’ #ALDOcrewinfluencer-driven social content – cumulated by the campaign hashtag #ALDOMOVESME. “The concept of movement corresponds directly with ALDO’s core philosophy: to inspire and move forward”, describes Erwin Hinteregger, Chief Marketing Officer for the ALDO Group. “Our job is to delight and move our consumer – 30

and we believe the autumn campaign will do just that. This new visual look and feel signals our focus on remaining lock-step with our consumers’ needs and desires. When you layer this creative direction with the brand’s innovative digital approach in store and on mobile, we deepen our connection with the consumer.” The visual update also comes at a time when ALDO is innovating more than ever through leading omni-channel initiatives. The brand is taking a consumer-first approach to its digital connectivity in-store and on mobile – with a special focus on content most relevant to customers and enhancing ease of shopping for the latest trends. “It’s important for us at ALDO to keep things personal in our approach to digital innovation – always remaining connected to our consumer,” continues Hinteregger. Coming this autumn, a new ALDO app will provide the consumer with unparalleled autonomy while either shopping virtually or in its retail locations – ultimately leading to a more meaningful interaction with the ALDO brand and sales associates. Whether shopping in one of ALDO’s stores, clicking through the brand’s interactive app/website (aldoshoes.com) or engaging on social media, consumers will be able to immerse themselves in the ALDO brand in a way that is most relevant to them. The autumn 2016 campaign launch is supported by an integrated worldwide marketing campaign across a variety of channels including print, digital, out-of-home and social media extensions.

About the ALDO Group Inc.

Founded in 1972, the ALDO Group is a leading international retailer for fashion footwear and accessories, with over 2,100 stores in 95 countries. ALDO, the group’s flagship brand, delivers fashion to a diverse customer base at prices that make keeping up with seasonal styles a luxury within reach.

ALDO PAMA ı ALDO THE POINT ı ALDO PAOLA ı ALDO VALLETTA ı ALDO GOZO

Taking a fresh approach to its global campaign, ALDO taps into the concept of movement through collage, elevating its visual brand identity for Winter 2016


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Main picture, Betty Barclay from MEI BOUTIQUE; Cashmere pashmina, ¤150, from PALAZZO PARISIO; Silk blouse, ¤99, from 1-2-3 PARIS; Woolen gloves, ¤15.90, from ACCESSORIZE; Aviator sunglasses, ¤280, from O’HEA OPTICIANS; Dress, ¤85, from MARKS & SPENCER; Stamerra bracelet, ¤129, from PORTO; Radley handbag, ¤129, from PORTO. >> See page 28 for outlet directory. 32


Sliema - Valletta - Paola - Paceville - Gozo - Pama Shopping Village T. 21 346 080


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JAPAN A land of contrasts

The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is a country of great contrasts between ancient and ultra-modern, the natural highlights and cutting-edge technologies, the quiet meditative and the hectic loud and its main attractions reflect this fascinating dichotomy. By Dini Martinez

U

ltra-modern versus ancient architecture

When you see the inverted pyramids of the Tokyo Big Sight, you will probably do a double-take because this building seems to defy gravity and common sense. Another landmark that cannot be avoided is Tokyo Sky Tree. At a height of 634 metres, the world’s second-tallest man-made structure is loved by some and loathed by others. On the other side of futuristic townscapes stand several of the oldest and best-preserved temples and shrines of all time. Both of Tokyo’s most visited sanctuaries – Asakusa Kannon temple and Myojin Kanda shrine – host dozens of annual events and festivals. The streets leading to them are full of examples of craftwork and dry-food items. Weekends get especially busy, with fascinating weddings and rituals. Yamadera is one of the most sacred temple complexes. A veritable labyrinth of steps, pathways and stone stairways across a rocky hillside, it was built to last in the 9th century. The island state amazes far and beyond its bustling capital. In Fukushima-ku, the 16-storey Gate Tower Building has a highway passing through it. The Ginkaku-ji temple and gardens in Kyoto represent 15thcentury Japanese architecture at its finest. A

lesser-known example, Fukuoka, where both tea and Buddhism were introduced to Japan, is also quite a laboratory for new architecture. ACROS, a cultural centre, stands out for its ziggurat form and stepped terraces covered in hanging plants, creating the impression of a sci-fi jungle ruin. At ground level, canals criss-cross the central urban area and in the evenings and at weekends, small stalls selling snacks and drinks are set up on the paths beside the water, each an oasis of relaxation and merriment for the hordes of harried sararimen (‘salarymen’).

Meticulously designed versus left-wild Nature The combination of confined space combined with the Zen idea of discovering limitless dimensions in the infinitely small, resulted in the creation of the kanshoniwa, or ‘contemplation gardens’ across the country. Cleverly blending nature and man-made beauty, ponds, banks of irises and moss-covered rocks reflect water and mountains. Methodically contrived Japanese gardens are both tools for meditation and works of art, like a painting that changes with the seasons. And then there are a few areas left untouched, such as the breath-taking mountain scenery of the Northern Alps. It is quite possible to experience Japan’s mountains and superb powder snow on the ski slopes of Hokkaido one day and to test the transparent blue seas of Okinawa’s southernmost Yaeyama Islands the next. Okinawa is also known for the sharp minds and

physical rigour of its very old residents. In fact, it may have the highest proportion of centenarians in the world, with around 50 for every 100,000 people. Few people think of Japan as being an island paradise, but it actually consists of more than 6,800 islands. With pristine beaches, prime dive sites, a refreshingly laidback pace of life and a distinctive local culture, it is sometimes hard to believe that the laid-back Okinawa islands are actually part of Japan.

Expansive cultural range Japanese culture ranges a similarly broad horizon – from ultra-technological and modern to the most ancient of traditions. The country’s vibrant arts scene draws from the traditional arts and crafts as much as contemporary manga, anime artists, J-Pop icons and meta-pop fiction. The fussy aesthetics of the tea ceremony and flower arranging and the years of formal training required to perform certain rituals and ceremonies that punctuate its cultural calendar contrast with its laid-back bars, live music houses and vibrant youth culture and street life. Centuries old and full of pomp and ceremony, an afternoon at one of the six annual 15-day grand sumo wrestling tournaments is cracking good fun. Most of the wrestlers earn nothing, but those who make it to the top can earn up to €25,000 a month. Few people are aware that the sumo practice tournament at Tokyo’s Kokugikan arena in the Ryogoku district is open to the public. »

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Previous page: Okinawa islands Above: Known locally as Sakura, cherry blossoms range in colour from red through to pink and white, as seen here in front of Mount Fuji to steaming hot bowls of cheap ramen and so much inbetween, Japan is a foodie’s paradise. Like it weird? Go for raw horse meat with ginger, poisonous puffer fish or even a shot of fresh breast milk straight from the nipple in one of Tokyo’s lactation bars!

Consumerism and technology in crescendo

Left: At 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in Tokyo. After the Chinese Canton Tower debuted in September 2010, the pinnacle of Skytree was raised by 24 meters in 2011 Above: Yamadera temple, Ski slopes of Hokkaido «Matsuri (festivals) big and small take place yearround all over the country, typified by traditional dancing, music and great street food. One of the best is the Guyo-Odori dance festival in Gujo Hachiman, Honshu. Another sensory highlight for every visitor is the world-famous Japanese cuisine itself. There is a saying that ‘Chinese eat with their stomachs and Japanese eat with their eyes’. Great lengths are gone to in order to create aesthetic appeal but not at the expense of delicious taste. From refined Kyoto cuisine 36

Many anti-nature regimes attract children from an early age. Kiddylands all over Tokyo are stuffed with toys and characters such as ‘Hello Kitty’ and ‘Pokémon’. Disneyland and DisneySea speak for themselves. The Ghibli Museum, which borders an amusement park, showcases the work of the renowned Studio Ghibli, including Miyazaki Hayao’s famous anime. Hollywood special effects and fun rides in Osaka’s theme park, ‘Universal Studios Japan’, replicate its Los Angeles prototype. But consumerism does not end with the little ones. A fascinating new consumer concept is department terminals: train platforms feedings passengers straight into department stores. Accessible station-store interfaces are found in Nihombashi, Ikebukuro and Shibuya in Tokyo. Simply enjoying the ride, you do not have to be a train-spotter to appreciate the superslick shinkansen, which is extremely fast, unerringly efficient and aesthetically a joy to behold. Towering urban redevelopments like Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills have redefined central Tokyo. Fashionable and sleek, this is Japan at its most contemporary. Akihabara in Tokyo is known as ‘Electric Town’ for good reason: the home electronics stores carry the very latest gadgets and technology and the latter penetrates even the most private places. Many hotels, department stores and homes have ‘washlets’ – high-tech toilets that will clean, dry and warm you and sometimes even make noises to cover any embarrassing sounds. As Japan prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games, expect even more futuristic high-tech than ever, such as robots directing you where you need to go, while artificial meteorites streak across the sky. Within all of this, however, there are regular timeless reminders of long-standing and deep-rooted traditions. Nowhere is so full of contrasts, fascinating and utterly unique.


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Ask Dr Jo

Your questions about fine lines, acne scars, open pores, excess hair and pigmentation, answered

M

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y aunt has just had some injections aging gracefully take care of their skin, with a good into her forehead which removed skin regime and sun protection as well as drinking her wrinkles and she looks loads of water on a daily basis. amazing. I am 25years old and I would like to have this treatment I have an oily skin type and I suffer from a lot of open on my forehead only. How young is pores. I do not go out of the house without make-up and too young? most foundations fill in the holes and make them look Most people are happy with the deeper. Please help me!

way they look, irrespective of their age and this is essentially what we want to give patients with cosmetic concerns: happiness! If the quest for happiness needs a little intervention, then in the right hands, with the right advice and the correct precautions, you can only benefit. What you are describing is a treatment which is ideal for wrinkles such as those on the frown lines and crow’s feet. You can decide to have the treatment on one area only, if that is what you want. It is ideally done at the first signs of static lines because then it can prevent them from becoming deeper. If the lines appear earlier than you would have wished, then a good consultation can help you make the right decisions about the age-appropriate treatment required. It is also advisable that people who are concerned with

Open pores are mostly the result of over-productive oil glands that cause the pores to appear enlarged. A good cleansing habit with a product containing salicylic acid will certainly help. If you dream of a more immediate result, a micro-needle roller treatment is ideal for shrinking these pores. With this gadget, the skin is micro-traumatised, causing it to regenerate itself. Repetition is of key importance when it comes to this treatment. There is also a home device that can be used on a daily basis to enhance these results. A chemical peel once or twice a year can also help to refresh your skin and brighten up your complexion.

IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT ANY CHANCE OF MALIGNANCY IS EXCLUDED PRIOR TO ANY AESTHETIC TREATMENT! THESE SPOTS ARE USUALLY EASILY REMOVED WITH THE USE OF LASER, WHICH TARGETS THE COLOUR OF THE PIGMENT AND BURNS OFF THE SPOT.

This is the right time to start laser hair removal treatment to make sure that enough sessions are done before next summer. A consultation and test patch with a doctor who can analyse your skin is always booked before the treatment. Laser hair removal is safe when done by a medical professional. Laser recognises the pigment in the colour of the hair and destroys it and since this pigment is increased in the skin once we expose it to the sun, in the form of a tan, laser treatment on tanned skin is strictly prohibited. On the body it takes eight weeks for the second hair follicle cycle to appear, while on the face it takes six weeks. With each session the volume reduces and the texture of the hair becomes thinner, leaving the skin smooth and soft. As a professional, the only regret I hear expressed by people is that they did not have it done before!

My cousin has had laser hair removal treatments and the results are fantastic. I am interested in starting the treatments, but is it safe to start them now?

I have recently been seeing the word ‘retinol’ on products. What does this product do? Retinol is Vitamin A and its purpose is to make our skin cells replicate faster. Once we reach the age of 25, this renewal process slows down, causing fine lines to appear which eventually become deeper and more permanent. Numerous scientific papers have

confirmed retinol to be the only true anti-aging, topical agent known and therefore it is very smart to include it in our daily regime once we have consulted a specialist. Due to the Maltese sun, it would be better to use products containing retinol in the evening and make sure to apply appropriate sun block in the morning.

I had acne as a teenager and am now left with a lot of scars. I’ve heard that there is a laser technology that can help. Is this true, and what does it entail? The laser technology you are mentioning is Fractional Laser Resurfacing. This is designed to micro-traumatise the skin by drilling tiny, microscopic holes and forcing it to build new columns of cells. In this way both scar depth and skin texture is improved. The treatment offers minimal downtime. Repetition of the treatment is important as each time the maximum resurfacing achieved is in the region of 20 per cent. We therefore usually recommend between three to five sessions, with a six to eight 6-8 weeks gap in-between. The result achieved is considered permanent.

After this summer, my skin has developed pigmentation spots. How can I remove them? The pigmented spots are caused by sun exposure in the same way as some people develop freckles from a young age. It is of the utmost importance that any chance of malignancy is excluded prior to any aesthetic treatment! These spots are usually easily removed with the use of laser, which targets the colour of the pigment and burns off the spot. Initially it will get darker, form a scab which will then be shed, after which it becomes pink and continues healing to become very close to your own skin colour. Sometimes treatment will have to be repeated after three weeks to further lighten the spot. The amazing thing about this technology is that the rest of the skin is unaffected and lasers are very safe when administered by an experienced doctor. For more beauty tips contact Joanna Delia by email, joanna@joannadelia.com


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Joe Vella, Executive Chef at The Hilton, and ambassador for Silhouette eyewear from O’Hea Opticians, takes five minutes out of the kitchen for a Q&A >>> Food is... passion and art

My regular comfort meal is... Maltese bread

To be a chef... you need to be hard-working and creative

The biggest kitchen disaster was when... I was in a show kitchen with 900 guests and the lights went out

The best meal is... shellfish The best recovery meal is... chicken and avocado salad My mother always cooked... minestrone The first time I ever cooked on my own was... when I was

Stranded on a desert island, the five foods I would want with me are... bread, good olive oil, game, berries and a good bottle of wine

If there was no tomorrow, I would choose my last meal to be... game

16 years old

I would love to cook for... Celine Dion

Growing up, I couldn t get enough of... cooking

The most essential item in my kitchen is... a good knife

The most magnificent ingredient is... fresh prawns

Something I cook at home that I never cook in the restaurant is... widow’s soup

School dinners ... should be fruit and yogurt granola in a jar

The best cuisines are... Lebanese, French and Spanish

Photo of Joe Vella, Executive Chef at The Hilton, wearing spectacles from O’Hea Opticians

Five minutes with...

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REGULARISE YOUR PROPERTY

Be in a better position to sell or acquire a bank loan for your property

? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH CERTAIN PROPERTIES TODAY? Certain property owners are not in a position to place on the market or acquire a bank loan for their property due to an illegality which is non sanctionable and may have taken place years back.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO REGULARISE AN ILLEGAL STRUCTURE? STEP 1: An applicant needs to appoint an architect to submit an online application. The application will require the architect to submit certain documentation (site plan, drawings of elevations and sections, photographs and more).

CAN ALL EXISTING DEVELOPMENT BE REGULARISED?

STEP 2: The application is published in the

Applications will only be accepted for irregular buildings and structures within the development boundaries or which in past years benefitted from a Category B concession (within the development boundaries).* The irregular development must not constitute an injury to amenity.**

STEP 3: A report will be drawn up by a

The irregularity must appear in the 2016 aerial photographs taken by the Authority.

* WHAT IS A CATEGORY B CONCESSION? In 2012, owners of illegal buildings were then able to lodge a ‘concession’ application (known as a ‘CTB application’) to be able to obtain water and electricity services or to transfer property. Concessions were limited to specific categories of illegalities prescribed by law. Nevertheless, a concession was not tantamount to a planning permission.

** WHAT IS AN INJURY TO AMENITY? An irregular development cannot jeopardise the ‘comfort, convenience, safety, security and utility that may be enjoyed within and around a property or neighbourhood’. When considering an application, decision-makers are therefore required to have regard to privacy distances, safety issues and outlook levels.

22 years years

HOW LONG IS THE SCHEME OPEN FOR? This one time opportunity is open for a 2 years period, extendable for 1 year.

Government Gazette and on the website of the Department of Information. The public is given a 30 day period to submit any statement of opinion related to the application. case officer with a recommendation.

STEP 4: A Planning Commission

comprising of 3 members will decide each application. All decisions are taken in public.

STEP 5: The Planning Commission decision is published in the Government Gazette and on the website of the Department of Information.

STEP 6: The applicant or registered

objectors may appeal if they are aggrieved by the decision.

WHAT FEES ARE DUE? An applicant is obliged to pay a minimum administrative fee of €50 for every application. Additionally every application will be subject to a fee, calculated on the total and combined roofed over area of each floor of the property being regularised. A 25% surcharge on the fee shall be applied should the scheme be extended for a third year. Applications which are related to cases already covered by a Category B concession will automatically have deducted the fee they had paid the Authority when they applied for the concession in previous years. An application refused by the Authority, will be refunded 90% of the fee.

CAN A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT GET INCLUDED IN AN APPLICATION? No. Any proposed development has to be applied for either through the Development Notification Order, the Summary Procedure or the Full Development Process application. This depends on the nature of the proposed development.

WILL REGISTERED INTERESTED PARTIES STILL RETAIN RIGHTS? When the Planning Authority receives an application for a site on which there is an enforcement notice still in force, the Authority will safeguard the interests of all third parties who had submitted a formal complaint for which a notice had been issued. In these cases, the Authority will inform these same third parties of the submitted regularisation application and offer them the option that within a 15 day period, they are to notify the Authority whether to be considered as registered interested parties. Registered interested parties automatically hold the right to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision before the Tribunal.

CAN THE AUTHORITY IMPOSE CONDITIONS? The Authority on issuing a permission will still retain the right to impose any conditions which it may deem necessary, including, the execution of specific works within a specified time-frame. Failing to abide by these conditions will result in the application being dismissed. The Authority also reserves the right to take enforcement action if an application gets refused.

The legal notice together with the schedule of fees may be downloaded from the Authority’s website www.pa.org.mt


THE INVISIBLE HAND Restoration and Conservation. Words by Albert Delia. Photos by Jonathan Borg »

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H

oused in a scheduled national monument, which served as a residence for Napoleon Bonaparte himself and was later chosen by Lord Nelson to serve as a naval hospital, is Heritage Malta’s Conservation Division. As you approach Villa Bighi, the first sight to attract your attention is the work on the country’s new National Interactive Science Centre. On the day of my visit – the last day of September – work on Esplora, the name for this new museum, is in full swing. This is no surprise, considering that the grand opening to the public is scheduled for 28 October. Despite the eye-catching design, I am heading a few more metres further down the road to meet the Conservation Division’s principal restorer. Anthony Spagnol greets me with a smile on the other side of a footbridge over a ditch to the entrance of the Conservation Division’s laboratories. As I walk across, I can’t help but notice that below me lies a vintage red RAF fire truck. Anthony ushers me into to a large, well-lit room that is bursting with paintings in various stages of restoration. From the walls extend large red extractor pipes like giant arms and I am instantly mesmerised. As I stare open-mouthed, Anthony begins explaining what exactly it is that they do in this magical place. The Conservation Division is called on to conserve and restore works of art belonging to the sites falling under Heritage Malta: about 37 temples, palaces and museums, as well as other spaces of significant historical importance. The division is also occasionally tasked with working on – or supervising work on – pieces that although not within Heritage Malta’s collection are deemed to be of sufficient importance to require attention and intervention, for example certain artistic pieces found in churches. Considering the vast number and variety of historical artistic works in Malta, it would seem that the Conservation Division’s task must be never-ending. Anthony answers with a

plain ‘yes’, but assures me that such a volume of work keeps the division challenged and on its toes. When asked from where one starts, he takes me in front of one of the paintings on which they are currently working entitled Sagra Conversazione which depicts the Virgin Mary with a saint on either side of her and behind the figures a gold background. This particular painting is an early renaissance piece; Malta has a wealth of baroque paintings and there are actually quite a few from this era, but renaissance pieces such as this one are rare. At the side of the painting Anthony has just shown me is an upside-down late renaissance piece on a small section of which a conservator is patiently and meticulously working. This work depicts the Sacred Family with the Infant St John the Baptist by Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti, a contemporary of Rafaello. These two paintings have both been conserved and are now undergoing restoration for the new Museum of Fine Arts – MUZA. The reason why these two particular paintings are receiving this kind of detailed attention is precisely because they represent an era and a body of work that people in Malta would not otherwise have a chance of seeing so easily locally. The Conservation directorate is currently in full swing preparing pieces to be housed in the new museum and I realise that I am being given a sneak preview of what to expect from the new site and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Anthony begins to explain some of the finer aspects of conserving and restoring a piece of art. Most pre-renaissance paintings were done on wood, but after this period painting on canvas started becoming the norm, and the composition of paint also began to change. Up to this point in time, tempera paint was in common use –powdered colour pigment mixed with egg yolk, known as tempera grassa, or mixed with animal glue – tempera magra. With this kind of paint not being really suitable for flexible supports, oil-based paints began to take its place. All these factors are instrumental in determining what materials and techniques will be used when conserving and restoring a painting.

The first step when undertaking a conservation and restoration project is the drafting of a detailed report outlining the current state of the item, the technique used in its making and any previous interventions, after which an objective intervention methodology is recommended. Anthony emphasises the absolute importance of conservation and restoration following a thorough scientific methodology. When an item is first received by the conservation directorate, it is documented using various types of photographic techniques, x-rays and material analyses and it is only once all these things have been determined that the conservators discuss amongst 46


themselves the type and extent of the intervention that will be carried out. At this point, Anthony explains the distinct and important variation between conservation and restoration. Conservation entails ensuring that the piece can continue withstanding the test of time, thus eradicating any deterioration factors. Restoration invariably entails mitigating as much as possible the effects of existing damage. This being said, any pictorial reintegration must be carried out subtly, paying respect to the original work and, ideally, hard to distinguish from the original. The work of the restorer should not be obvious to a person observing the finished work: being a

ANTHONY LEAVES ME WITH A PRETTY ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF HIS WORK: “A GOOD RESTORER NEEDS TO BE FELT BUT NOT SEEN”

good restorer is a constant play of delicate balances requiring restraint and a discerning discipline. Whatever work is carried out on a piece, it must be reversible. It is interesting to note that – in the same way that the conservators have undone and redone the conservation work of their predecessors carried out decades ago, they are perfectly at ease with the impermanence of their efforts. In this line of work, it is a cardinal rule that there can be nothing that could block further intervention in the future from being carried out. The ability to retreat is key. Before I leave, Anthony shows me a nautical figurehead that must have

originally graced the bow of a ship. It was found in a bakery and the particular type of damage it has suffered looking remarkable. Anthony notices me looking at the deep scratches on the statue and tells me that it could very well be that the bakers used it for holding their knives. Were the damage the result of some historical event, the restorers would be obliged to leave the marks in place, but this is just the result of vandalism and measures to mitigate it will likely feature in the restoration. Anthony leaves me with a pretty accurate description of his work: “A good restorer needs to be felt but not seen.” 47


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the spirit of

CHRISTMAS Plans are underway to display a Maltese crib in Rome, and also to present a concert of sacred music. We speak to the Director of Culture in Malta, Catherine Tabone

L

et’s start with the crib: can you give us some background to this special initiative?

Switch on any Italian television station at Christmas-time and you will find that one of the most frequent and atmospheric shots are of St Peter’s Square, with the Basilica as a backdrop and a life-size crib in the foreground next to the Vatican obelisk. As most readers will know, each year an Italian diocese produces a new crib to be exhibited in this instantly-recognisable space. Established by St Pope John Paul II in 1982, this tradition will see an interesting development this year because, for the first time, the Vatican will be collaborating on this project with a foreign country – and I am delighted to report that this Christmas the crib will be from Malta!

How was the crib chosen? Following a series of positive talks between government, the local Curia, the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Governorate of Vatican City State, the Culture Directorate – in collaboration with Heritage Malta and with the support of the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary and the Archdiocese of Malta – issued a call for the design and build of an artistic crib. The call specified that the structure of the crib was to take due consideration of Maltese cultural landscapes and their indigenous characteristics, including vernacular architecture and traditional crib figures, as well as local flora and fauna. Preference would be given to natural materials and indigenous manufacturing techniques, including papier mâché. The cribs submitted were awarded points according to established criteria and, after a rigorous selection process, the work of Manwel Grech from Gozo was chosen. As specified in the call, the results were transmitted to the Vatican, which confirmed the choice made by the Evaluation Committee appointed by the Minister responsible for Culture. The local evaluation process was managed by government in collaboration with the Maltese Curia.

When will the crib be on display? It will be assembled in St Peter’s Square during the first week of December and will be inaugurated in a traditional ceremony organised by the Events Coordination of the Governorate of Vatican City State on the 9th of the month. It will remain in place until 8 January, after which it will be brought back to Malta for eventual exhibition in a public area during subsequent Christmas periods.

What about the concert? In order to celebrate this special collaboration Top left: Brian Schembri, conductor Left: Manwel Grech, crib artist. Photo by Joe Grech Far left: Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura

between Malta and the Vatican the government, in agreement with the local Curia, is organising a concert of sacred music on Saturday, 17 December at 8 pm at the Papal Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome. The concert will feature Beethoven’s Mass in D major (Opus123), better known as Missa Solemnis, performed by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of acclaimed conductor Brian Schembri. The national orchestra will be joined by four international soloists: soprano Jacquelyn Wagner, mezzo soprano Eva Vogel, tenor Daniel Kirch and bass Gerd Grochowski, as well as by one of Italy’s top choirs, the Coro dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Admittance by the general public to this concert – to which the Holy See’s highest dignitaries, together with Maltese and Italian officials, will be invited – will be free of charge. Attendance by the vulnerable sectors of Roman society is also being encouraged through collaboration with the Holy See, the Comunità di Sant Egidio and Caritas Roma.

Tell us something about the music that will be performed. Chosen after discussions with the Holy See, the Missa Solemnis has a direct relevance to present times. In fact, at its heart, Beethoven conceived this work as an expression of humanity, the divine and nature, also reflecting mankind’s fear of war and our longing for internal – as well as external – peace. In a world ravaged by conflict, the programme aims to highlight the essential role of music in preventing conflict, building peace and reconciling people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. This monumental work will, also, undoubtedly draw attention to the skills of our national orchestra, which has developed into one of Malta’s foremost cultural ambassadors whose work is drawing praise from international reviewers. To quote: “As national assets go, the Malta Philharmonic is a jewel in the crown. Between Brian Schembri, their charismatic principal conductor and artistic director and Sigmund Mifsud, their no-holds-barred executive chairman – a man who turns dreams into reality – they are an orchestra that believes nothing is impossible.” (Ateş Orga – 2015).

How important are these initiatives for the government? Both the crib and the concert will further cement a commitment to culture as Malta’s strongest resource. They also strengthen efforts to promote artistic excellence.

Who is managing these initiatives? Both the work involved in relation to the crib and the concert’s production are entrusted to the Culture Directorate. 49


DEALING WITH A DILEMMA

Dear Claire

Up until two years ago I suffered from eating disorders but have since recovered, found love, got married and have even set up my own online business. I am very satisfied with the progress I have achieved and yet, despite it all, I still feel that I have not managed to develop a normal attitude towards food. I think about food constantly and whenever I feel that I might have strayed away from a healthy diet, I get all worked up.

F

or many of us, food is one of the pleasures of life and eating a most enjoyable social activity. It is mostly appreciated in company, and research shows that there is a direct correlation between who we eat with, and what we eat. It is also affected by cultural expectations and used as a tool to impress in both the personal as well as the business world. And what about food and mood? Once again, studies reveal that the food we choose to eat – or not eat – depends on our mental state and feelings. In times of stress, some people may resort to comfort eating, which usually involves indulging in our favourite food in an attempt to cope with the situation, whereas others lose their appetite completely. But this works both ways. There is an accepted relationship between feeling fine and the food we eat. Depriving our body of certain vitamins and minerals makes us feel weak and leads to a loss of concentration. We are unable to reach our full physical potential, which will inevitably have negative consequences in our work as well as in our social life. In your case, you have battled this love-hate relationship with food and though you have conquered this demon physically, it takes somewhat longer to modify your thought processes. You have succeeded and are serene in all other areas f your life and are now seeking complete closure for this painful chapter in your life. You may be worrying that these looming food obsessions will drag you down that dreadful spiral once again. You are a different person now – still an individual, but also a happy wife and a successful businesswoman. With a few guided modifications, you will slowly push away the dark cloud of fear from your past, enabling you to enjoy the glow of the sun now shining over you. The fact that you are aware of this situation and are seeking help is in itself a very positive step. You are

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very clear about where you stand and what you hope to achieve and it is now time to work on adjusting to and accepting yourself and your body image. The thought of food should not arouse a sense of fear but a passion and joy for life. There is so much to enjoy and think about during the day and food should fall into one of many categories rather than dominate it. Depriving yourself completely of what you consider ‘unhealthy’ food can be counter-productive. Living with constant cravings makes you more vulnerable during times of weakness. I am of the school of thought that believes we should eat anything we like, but in moderation. In practice, it is useless to go on a diet that consists primarily of food you do not like. It will neither last long, nor have the desired effect.On the contrary, it usually induces the individual to binge on enjoyable foods to compensate, thus having the opposite effect. In your case, for starters I would suggest that you use a notebook in which you jot down the times and the situations when you think about food. This will help you become more mindful. Once you get used to doing this, you can go through your notes and try to identify clear triggers that may have led you to these thoughts and, even more importantly, how you coped with them. Each and every one of us has addictions – reinforced by the excuse that we need them to cope. These may range from coffee, to chocolates and sweets to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Once you’ve taken this step, it is time to make some

changes by identifying a pleasant and fun substitute for your unhealthy coping addiction. Be positive and choose something you like. This new habit should be considered fun and not a sacrifice. Every time you think about food, you may choose to go out for a jog or a relaxing walk. Another solution may be to call a friend or relative. In other words, identify an enjoyable activity that you are able to do to get your mind off food – depending where you are. If you are at work, you may opt to make yourself a cup of herbal tea, or look outside the window for a few minutes. It is imperative that you clear your environment of any temptation, so at the outset you should physically remove any food you may find hard to resist. Once the new habit sets in, it should slowly become easier to resist. At this stage, seek support from those around you. Be clear with your husband, friends and/or colleagues so that they refrain from doing anything that could hinder your progress. The process may take a while, and will be challenging at times, but this can be overcome and you will succeed in this as well. The support of those around you, and being accountable to a professional coach, will be a great help to stay the course. With one change at a time, these thoughts will slowly get weaker and weaker up to the point when they will lose significance altogether. But even if there is a situation where you feel that you may have messed up, you will be psychologically strong enough to just refocus and move on.

WITH A FEW GUIDED MODIFICATIONS, YOU WILL SLOWLY PUSH AWAY THE DARK CLOUD OF FEAR FROM YOUR PAST, ENABLING YOU TO ENJOY THE GLOW OF THE SUN NOW SHINING OVER YOU


CORN, COD AND CHORIZO SOUP

Nicole Pisani shares one of her favourite winter recipes from her book Magic Soup, co-written with Kate Adams. METHOD Place the cod in a bowl, add the turmeric, salt and grated onion and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (you will discard the onion before cooking the cod, but it helps to deepen the flavour). In a heavy-based pan, heat half the butter and add the sweetcorn. Cook gently until tender, adding a little water to make a spreadable consistency if the corn does not have enough residual liquid of its own. Process in batches in a blender, adding the milk until you have reached your desired consistency (we like this soup to be quite thick so that the cod and chorizo can almost sit on top). For a smoother soup, pass through a fine sieve before returning to the pan. Season with salt if required. Heat a small frying pan and add the crumbled chorizo; it has enough of its own fat so you do not need to add any more to the pan. Fry it until slightly crispy, then set aside. Remove the cod from the marinade, scraping off the onion. In a larger frying pan, heat the oil until nice and hot, then fry the cod for about five minutes. Add the remaining butter, turn the fillet over and remove from the heat. You should be able to flake the fish easily into bite-size pieces. Re-heat the corn soup and ladle it into bowls, then divide the cod and chorizo between them and serve.

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SERVES 2 INGREDIENTS 200g cod fillet, in one piece* 1 tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp flaky sea salt ½ onion, grated 40g unsalted butter 250g frozen sweetcorn 300ml whole milk 60g cooking chorizo, crumbled or sliced 1 tbsp light olive oil Flaky sea salt *If you don’t find cod use haddock


Magic Soup by Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams is published in hardback (£18.99; eBook £9.99)

“CORN SOUP IS HEART-WARMING; IT’S SWEET, COMFORTING AND THE KIND OF FOOD THAT CAN TAKE YOU BACK TO YOUR CHILDHOOD. WE’VE MADE IT GROWN UP WITH THE ADDITION OF COD AND CHORIZO. SOMETIMES THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE ALSO COME IN THREES.”

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ODDS & EVENS

Online betting on sports events has become a massive international sector that can be extremely rewarding when administered and enjoyed properly. FIRST spoke to two members of the bookmaking team at German online sports betting company, TIPICO, who explained what the work entails and how the Portomaso Tower-based company takes appropriate measures to ensure that betting operations are fair and free from suspicion. Photo by Jonathan Borg.

Andre Zammit, Trading Manager Hi, Andre. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your place in the bookmaking team. I’m 34, married to Patience and father of two boys – Kieron and Alexander. My first job in gaming was back in 2005 when I was living in the UK and spent six years working for one of the leading UK bookmakers. In 2011, my family and I moved back to Malta and two years later I was approached to join the Tipico team in the role of Live Trading Manager. Currently, I hold the position of Trading Manager: I report directly to the Trading Director and am responsible for a large team spread over three locations: Malta, Croatia and Colombia.

What is the role of the team within this department? The bookmaking department plays a key part in the company’s success. The work varies from team to team, with a substantial amount of time spent on the generating, analysing and concluding of reports, targeting key aspects of the entire operation. The Malta bookmaking team is responsible for the strategy of the sportsbook product; this means that considerable time is also spent on brainstorming and planning, with all Tipico’s stakeholders, to ensure the best possible results.

How is the department structured and what skills are needed for the various tasks? The team here in Malta is divided into three areas: trading, risk & betting intelligence and quantitative research. The skills required vary from role to role but things such as being a sports enthusiast, having a mathematical background or an analytical mind are always considered an asset.

What about the rewards and satisfaction that the department offers? It’s a roller-coaster ride! Joking aside; the rewards are very visible as we deal directly with the raw figures. My colleagues and I see each other as close 54

friends, so when the results are not up to requirements, we all make an extra effort to help one another and when things are going well, we celebrate together!

Charles Polidano, Odds Compiler Specialist

How do you see this department growing in the near future?

Moving on to Charles: what’s your story?

It looks bright! We have taken significant steps to cement Tipico’s place as the leading sportsbook company in Germany and with the team growing year by year, we will continue to excel in providing the best product to our customers.

I’m 32 and Maltese. I’ve always been a sports fanatic and found the gaming sector intriguing. I became in it back in 2006, when my university days were over. Before joining Tipico, I worked for a German international betting company, where I gained extensive knowledge and experience in various roles –from being a live trader to

THE REWARDS ARE VERY VISIBLE AS WE DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE RAW FIGURES. MY COLLEAGUES AND I SEE EACH OTHER AS CLOSE FRIENDS, SO WHEN THE RESULTS ARE NOT UP TO REQUIREMENTS, WE ALL MAKE AN EXTRA EFFORT TO HELP ONE ANOTHER AND WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL, WE CELEBRATE TOGETHER!


deputy head of bookmaking. In 2014, I was approached by Tipico to join the bookmaking team and immediately felt that it was the way forward. I am currently the odds compiling specialist at Tipico, where my main focus is the continuous enhancement of Tipico’s core product.

Back in 2004, Tipico consisted of a few people covering various roles, of which bookmaking was one. Twelve years later, we have an extensive, dedicated sportsbook team, spread over three countries.

It varies, due to the nature of the different teams in the department. However, the working hours range between office hours, afternoons and weekends. Within the gaming sector, it is imperative to cover the busiest hours of the week.

one of the biggest challenges is to always be on top of the competition in terms of offers and innovation. There is so much work and analysis behind our odds at Tipico and usually this has to be done in a limited timeframe. There are times when the sports and the gaming sector is associated with match-fixing. We take matchfixing very seriously. In the Bookmaking department, we have a specialised betting intelligence team and one of its roles is specifically investigating and reporting suspicious betting behaviour on the part of customers and shops. Last year, over 500 games were investigated by the betting intelligence team here at Tipico.

What are some of the biggest challenges faced by the What are the normal operating hours of this Bookmaking department? department? The gaming sector is a fast-paced environment and

How big is the Bookmaking department and how many nationalities work in it? Here in Malta, we have a total of 16 staff with 11 different nationalities: Maltese, Polish, Danish, Macedonian, German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Turkish and Italian. We could easily form an international Tipico Bookmaking football team! It’s a pity that there is a maximum quota of seven foreign players in the Maltese Premier League!

How much has the department grown since Tipico set up its base in Malta?

Find out more about working for Tipico at www.tipico–careers.com Follow us on Social Media:

THE GAMING SECTOR IS A FAST-PACED ENVIRONMENT AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IS TO ALWAYS BE ON TOP OF THE COMPETITION IN TERMS OF OFFERS AND INNOVATION. THERE IS SO MUCH WORK AND ANALYSIS BEHIND OUR ODDS AT TIPICO AND USUALLY THIS HAS TO BE DONE IN A LIMITED TIMEFRAME. 55


WHEN I PAINT I TRY TO RECORD WHAT’S GOING ON IN JAPAN. EVEN THOUGH MY PAINTINGS ARE OF LANDSCAPES, I THINK THEY REFLECT MY OWN SELF, ALMOST LIKE A SELF-PORTRAIT.

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LAST WORD from

AN ARTIST

28-year-old Japanese painter Naoya Inose talks to FIRST before his exhibition in Malta this December

I am from Kanagawaken in Japan. It is great place to live because it is near the beach and there is even a forest, and it is surrounded by a lot of nature. I moved house so many times when I was child, and after some years I moved to Tokyo which is completely the opposite of Kanagawaken: built up with lots of skyscrapers and no forest at all. My upbringing was probably kind of artistic. I had ADHD as a child and it was a confusing period in my life. I didn’t really play with friends or other children: I played with insects and animals instead. My mum gave me paper and pens and my father, being a film camera director, gave me a lot of books on movie design and illustration, but I was interested in other subjects at school, like philosophy. I started studying art at high school and went on to study it at university. I graduated from Tokyo University of Arts and Music in 2012. Japanese painting focuses a lot on technique and craftsmanship, so I have spent time practicing both the skills and techniques of a painter. Since moving to London I think my paintings and technique have changed. When I was living in Japan I focused a lot on technical aspects and the detail of my paintings, and now I feel freer to express – and focus on – myself. When I paint I try to record what’s going on in Japan. Even though my paintings are of landscapes, I think they reflect my own self, almost like a self-portrait. That’s why I prefer figurative works, because the painting imposes an image or feeling on to the viewer, whereas my abstract works are open to interpretation. Abstract painting for me is free and fluid, as I allow the painting to develop or move in different directions as it goes. The time I spend on each painting depends on the actual painting. The Sun Has Gone Dim took me a month but bigger paintings can take as long as six months. Sometimes it is very frustrating: before I start to paint I have a picture in my head of what I want it to look like, but it never does. Sometimes it actually looks better than I had envisioned it beforehand.

Left: Japanese painter Naoya Inose Above: The Sun’s Gone Dim, oil and acrylic on linen, 38x45cm Right: Cultural Landscape, oil and acrylic on wooden panel, 112x162cm Below: Depth, oil and acrylic on panel, 30.5x40.6cm

Naoya Inose is currently studying for his MA in Fine Arts at the University of London. He has exhibited in London, Malta, Hong Kong, Dubai, Korea, China, Japan and America and will be exhibiting at Art Stage Singapore 2017 in January. Naoya is exhibiting his latest collection of paintings in a collaborative show with artist Julien Vinet (FR), who will be presenting his latest collection of Japanese ink drawings, at Lily Agius Gallery from the 2nd to the 24th December. For more information email info@lilyagiusgallery.com, visit www.lilyagiusgallery.com or call 9929 2488. 57


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LIVING WITH DIABETES Marisa Tabone is an insulin dependent diabetic. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 10 years old. Her story deals with acceptance, education, adaptation and self-discipline.

I

was diagnosed with diabetes 40 years ago when I was 10 years old after falling ill with a sore throat. Although I exhibited all the common symptoms including weight loss and excessive thirst, the doctor failed to realise I was diabetic and instead he prescribed a sugary cough syrup. The result was devastating. I barely survived and spent 15 days in hospital after falling into a coma. The diagnosis was a shock to my parents as no one in the family is diabetic. I accepted the condition straightaway, always with the support of my family since I was still a young girl. A nurse in the diabetes clinic at St Lukes hospital taught me how to inject myself whilst my mother completely changed her way of cooking. Fried food was substituted by grilled or baked food, fresh vegetables and salads were on the table every day. It was a time when there was far less patient information about diabetes. However I can say that over the years there have been great advances in the treatment for diabetes. In fact in 1987, I bought my first blood glucose metre, this resulting in better control of my diabetes. Adolescence was much

tougher for me and so was socialising. In fact when I met my (now) husband on a night out in Paceville and told him I was diabetic, he replied that he had never imagined that was the reason why I drank soda water since no diet drinks were available in those times. My husband has been immensely supportive ever since. My great achievement so far has certainly been my pregnancy. I had a healthy girl at 30 and only stopped working six weeks prior to the birth. During this time I was put on a strict diet, my insulin dosage was adjusted and my blood glucose had to be monitored four times a day. I was also required to visit the hospital’s Diabetes Clinic on a regular basis. I gave birth a week before my due date and did not require a Caesarean since the baby was of a normal size. This was of great satisfaction for me since babies born of diabetics are much larger in birth size, which can be dangerous for both mother and child. As an insulin-dependent diabetic I have greatly benefited from a new type of insulin that allows me to inject myself exactly before a meal instead of 30 minutes prior. I have learnt how to count the carbs I am taking with the help of the hospital dietician, and then inject

myself accordingly. Most importantly, this new insulin has reduced my episodes of hypoglycaemia which occur when the blood glucose drop very low. In view of this I do frequent blood monitoring that is five times a day, before breakfast, before lunch, before I take my cup of tea that is at 5 pm, before supper and before bedtime. I take small meals every three hours consisting of some protein, some vegetables and some carbs, and avoid sweets altogether. I wish to point out that I take sweets with moderation only when my blood glucose goes low. I am also very careful with alcohol and in fact prior to attending a function, I inject myself and take a small meal consisting of protein, vegetables and a bit of carbs. Then at the event itself I nibble some more carbs so that I would be able to take a glass of dry white wine which has less sugar content. What made me live successfully with diabetes are: acceptance and getting to know more about the condition and consequently adapting to diabetic life, self-discipline, never forgetting the condition and letting the people around me know that I am diabetic. Using these techniques I can say that I have managed to live healthily for the past 40 years without any complications.

timeline: diabetes science

Diabetes was already described in ancient Egypt, but the first major stride came about when two Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Herbert Best isolated and purified insulin for the first time in the 1920’s

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diabetes

FACTS THE PREVALENCE OF DIABETES IN MALTA IS JUST UNDER 14 PER CENT. THIS COMPARES WITH

A GLOBAL AVERAGE OF

8.8 PER CENT.

is an auto-immune condition. The onset is usually abrupt, and it is more commonly diagnosed in children and teenagers. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes and accounts for between 90 and 95 per cent of those suffering from the disease. It is related to ageing, family history and life-style, it usually develops later in life and it can be treated with healthy eating, exercise and weight control.

AFRICA HAS THE LOWEST RATE OF DIABETES

WORLDWIDE.

Age is an important risk factor for

TYPE 2 DIABETES,

IN 2015, THERE WERE AN ESTIMATED

which means with an aging population across the Europe Region, it is highly likely to become still more widely spread.

627,000 DEATHS DUE TO DIABETES IN EUROPE, THREEQUARTERS OF WHOM WERE AGED 60 OR OVER.

TYPE 1 DIABETES

GERMANY

has the highest number of people with diabetes in Europe, closely followed by Turkey.

DIABETES.

In Malta,

IN EVERY 1,000 SUFFER FROM DIABETES.

THE RANGE OF PREVALENCE AND HEALTHCARE SPENDING VARIES CONSIDERABLY ACROSS EUROPE. LUXEMBOURG, FOR INSTANCE, SPENDS

¤9,170

PER PERSON WITH DIABETES WHEREAS IN TAJIKISTAN THE FIGURE IS JUST

62

¤110.

THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH DIABETES IN EUROPE IS ESTIMATED TO BE AROUND 60 MILLION, OR ALMOST ONE IN TEN OF ALL 20-79 YEAR OLDS.

It is estimated that, by 2040, this number will have risen by more than 11 MILLION.

21,600

Each year, more children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Europe has the highest number of children with

TYPE 1 DIABETES of all the regions identified by the

IDF.

¤140 BILLION.

Last year, one of the most comprehensive studies undertaken by the INTERNATIONAL DIABETES FEDERATION showed that, on average, more WOMEN than MEN DIED as a result of

ALTHOUGH EUROPE HAS THE SECOND LOWEST RATE OF DIABETES, THERE ARE STILL MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WHERE THE RATE IS RELATIVELY HIGH.

44 people

ESTIMATES INDICATE THAT DIABETES WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR NINE PER CENT OF THE TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON HEALTH IN EUROPE FOR 2015, EXCEEDING

Malta spends an average of ¤1,976 per year a year for each person with diabetes. FOR UNDER 70 YEAR OLDS, MEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO DIE AS A RESULT OF DIABETES THAN WOMEN. MOST PEOPLE OVER 70 YEARS OF AGE HAVE DIABETES, WITH SLIGHTLY MORE WOMEN DYING OF THE DISEASE THAN MEN.

FINLAND, WITH 62.3 NEW CASES EACH YEAR PER

100,000 CHILDREN, HAS THE WORLD’S HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF

TYPE 1 DIABETES.


Profile for The Malta Independent

FIRST Nov 2016  

FIRST Nov 2016  

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