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ISSUE142∫ AUgUSt2016

“I suffer from depression and anxiety” THE BLIGHT OF BLOATING IpS for A lESS roUblESomE Ummy

lEt’S Al AboUt It Maltese women in Britain UNDERSTANDING BREXIT


INSIDE

August 2016

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FEATURES 12 PrivateEye talk isn’t cheap An open book about anxiety 20 InFocus barmy Brexit Effects on local ladies of leaving the EU

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FASHION 28 ShowStopper read between the lines Stripping down to stripes 38 FashionStory what are they wearing in the heat of summer? Selfies of style 40 FashionStory gran moda A fusion of fashion cultures 42 FashionStory the siren call Necklaces from sea sediment

HEALTH 44 BeautyParlour naked and empowering Natural body scrubs’ all-encompassing appeal 48 InThePink bloating blues Bursting that big balloon of a belly 51 HealthBites 53 PinkShrink coming out Telling your parents you’re gay 54 ParentingTips Down and out Parental depression

REGULARS 9 EditorsNote 10 MailShot 24 WomanKind the Catholic queen Catherine of Braganza 50 ThinkPink health, beauty, food & things 56 GirlTalk don’t feel homesick on holiday It’s all about the right hotel room 60 TableTalk going bananas Wasabi-coated tuna wrapped in banana leaves 62 WomenOnWheels toyotally tweaked Toyota Yaris 63 StarGazer the future is pink Horoscopes 65 SnapShot pushing on the passion Caroline Mattocks

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COVER Photography Noella Agius ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] ∫ Make-up Henry Galea, using 3ina ∫ Hair Ilona @ D-Cut, using Screen Professional Hair Care ∫ Location Giardini Lambrosa ∫ Model Sunshine @ Supernova Model Management, wearing dress; necklace, both Orsay ∫ trainers, Scholl Foothealth Centre.

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EDITORSNOTE

Whenever someone calls me on FaceTime, they can rest assured I won’t only not answer them, but I’ll also cut… literally, in their face. There is no way anyone is going to see what I look like in the privacy of my home – and through an unforgiving phone – when they just need to hear my voice. While I do appreciate the fact that a mobile phone allows you to be ‘in when you’re out’, there’s a limit to how much I will let anyone else ‘in’ too. FaceTime gives me a fright… and anyone on the other end of the line is destined to get one too if I don’t hang up fast. Whenever the camera of my phone accidentally flips to get me, the holder, in shot, I’m always startled at what I behold and literally jump back in shock and horror. There’s something dreadful about one’s image through the lens of a phone… Could it be the lighting? Is it the angle – all chin… nose, or forehead? Be sure your most prominent and least proud feature will be magnified. Or is it just me? Where did that sallow colouring, that trelliswork of lines, those bags [of the under-eye sort not the ones you carry], and the bad hair

appear from? That camera flip is a confidence crusher if ever there was one… Is it only me who looks 10 years older and super scary on my mobile screen? Yes, it must be, given the amount of selfies others take and proudly post. The bottom line could be that I do actually look older and super scary… or maybe not. To be fair on myself, I have come across too many people stopping in their awkward tracks and looking like they’re playing Twister with an invisible friend. I’ve often had to do a double take before I understand why… and then I laugh in silence… and everything, including my poor self-portrait success, falls into place. There they are, craning their necks, extending their arms in some sort of coordination with their contorted bodies and slapping on an exaggerated pout to no one in sight. The only giveaway is that piece of technology in their outstretched palm. From the outside, it can be such a ridiculous sight that I think it’s about time we started photographing the selfie snappers themselves… for the true picture behind the picture. While they are focusing on cropping themselves into that good angle and trimming off that unwanted frizz, which, let’s face it, could require some gawky hand and neck movements, few have any clue – or really care, given that they do it in full view – how bad their overall picture is once they’ve struck the pose and nailed it. So my point is that, while I cringe at what I see in my phone screen, I’m clearly not making the effort most others are, haven’t mastered the art, or I’m too embarrassed to do so after what I’ve seen from the other side of the lens. When I did try, the decent angle came at the cost of either only half an eye, a visibly unnatural, uncomfortable stretch,

or an extra elongated neck, with not necessarily the right lighting there. Maybe there’s such a thing as being ‘selfiegenic’, and I suppose that boils down to the level of vanity – a trait that is finding secret comfort in phones. I’ve busted many people peering subtly into their screens to catch a glimpse of their beauty mid-conversation. Again, they are captured in another weird moment, albeit fleeting, although they never think they are being caught in the act. Observe… how people randomly reach out for their phone… just to look at it… No, it’s not to admire the phone they’ve had for years; or to be sure it’s doing OK. Neither is to check if they have any messages, trust me. And I know this from the distance at which they hold it, and the way they look down into it to be able to frame their whole face, rather than bring it closer to their eyes to read something; the head always makes that minor move so they can see themselves from the other side too. For the record, I’m not bashing vanity here – although when people check themselves out too often when they’re talking to you, it starts to verge on rude. Give me vanity any day over those who let themselves go to the dogs. I too spent a good chunk of my life – before the invention of the merciless mobile[mirror] – constantly being drawn to look at my reflection in shop windows, car windows, or even other people’s sunglasses. It was, indeed, a bad habit, but far kinder and forgiving than my phone. And what’s more, I had the brilliant excuse of ‘window shopping’ so it went by undetected; I didn’t have to do a backward flip and triple somersault to look the way I wanted; and I wasn’t going to be showing my picture to anyone for their approval and my self-validation.

August 7, 2016 ∫ Pink is a monthly magazine ∫ Issue 142 ∫ Executive editor Fiona Galea Debono ∫ Publisher Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Printing Progress Press Ltd ∫ Production Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Contributors Maria Cachia, Andrea Faye Christians, Edward Curmi, Claire Diacono, Henry Galea, Mary Galea Debono, Marisa Grima, Ilona, Jeffrey Muscat, Caroline Paris, Helen Raine, Stephanie Satariano, Virginia, Shelley Von Strunckel ∫ Design Manuel Schembri ∫ Photography Noella Agius, Johnny Carr, Gail Hooper Imagery, Kurt Paris, Bernard Polidano, Benjamin Sammut, Chris Sant Fournier, Mark Soler ∫ Advertising sales Veronica Grech Sant [2559 4706; veronica.grechsant@timesofmalta.com].

THIS PUBLICATION IS BEING DISTRIBUTED AS PART OF:

© 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, without written permission of the publishers, is prohibited.

Pink August 2016 ∫ 9


MAILSHOT

THE LETTER THAT TICKLED PINK ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE ELDERLY Every Sunday, I wait for sunrise and ask myself whether we shall have Pink magazine in The Sunday Times of Malta. My wife and I see who will be the first to read the wonderful, informative articles that only Pink can provide on a lazy Sunday morning. Being in our late 60s and not really sun lovers, going to the beach in the morning is a no-go, so both of us like to read about other peoples’ success in life and how we can age with grace by following the articles in the magazine that offer sound advice to us elderly humans. We like to read about people who left their mark on others’ lives; how our youths look at life and choose their clothing to be smart and stand out from the crowd. The articles stimulate us in our peaceful surroundings at home to start a conversation between us. My wife expresses her perceptions and evaluates people’s experiences in the articles; I, on the other hand, tend to be critical in the way the printed matter is designed, why certain fonts and type sizes were used and how monochrome photographs could have been the main focus of the story. What a beautiful, loving Sunday morning we live through due to such interesting magazine content. What strikes me most is the variety of articles that appeal to the taste of whoever is reading Pink, and the thorough and researched choice of the topics presented. May the future of the magazine see it grow and may we remain in good health to be able to partake of the success of Pink. JOSEPH MUSCAT, FROM GZIRA

The writer of the letter of the month wins a Repetto Eau Florale eau de toilette, courtesy of Chemimart; a facial, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd.

WRITE IN AND WIN We want to hear from you. Send us your feedback on Pink and any stories that may have touched you in some way, and you stand a chance of winning a Sun di Gioia Giorgio Armani eau de parfum, courtesy of Chemimart; a facial, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano makeup products from A.M.Mangion Ltd. Write to Pink, with your contact details, at Allied Newspapers Ltd, 341, Strickland House, St Paul Street, Valletta VLT 1211, or send an e-mail to pink@timesofmalta.com Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity. If prizes are not claimed within two months, they will no longer be available.

THANK YOU, MALTA On holiday in Malta in June, the fascinating feature on Max Factor [The Man Behind the Make-up, BeautyParlour] took me back to 1975 and my first post-graduate job in the PR department of the company's London head office. While reminiscing about press releases, product launches and photo shoots, I couldn't help reflecting that I should have been back home that day, our return having been delayed by a medical emergency. I should like to take this opportunity to praise the outstanding care my husband received at Mater Dei Hospital, the efficiency and empathy of all staff at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Golden Sands and the kindness of friends and strangers extended to us at this difficult time. Thank you, Malta. We look forward to our 11th [hopefully problem-free] visit next year. If my letter is selected for publication, please donate any prizes to a local charity of your choosing. LIZ FARMER, NORTH YORKSHIRE, THE UK

SCARCELY A MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE? Dear Fiona, many thanks, indeed, for putting my letter, Emptying That Big Ashtray, in the ‘star’ position in the most recent issue of Pink [MailShot, July 2016]. It’s very encouraging and I really do hope the 'ashtray drive' will take off and result in cleaner beaches for all. I was also very interested to read your editorial about Andrea Leadsom [EditorsNote, July 2016]. I dread to think what she might have said if her rival had not only been ‘childless’, but also, like myself, ‘husband/partner-less’ too – that she was scarcely a member of the human race?! If only we would all stop thinking in such stereotypical ways about anyone who in any way is different from ourselves; and, instead, appreciate the God-given individuality with which everyone, male or female, is endowed, and the particular strengths, gifts, experience and personality with which, given the right amount of encouragement, they can enrich the human race. HEATHER BROWN, VIA E-MAIL

SORROWFUL FACES There is nothing more attractive in a woman, regardless of age, than a happy face, a smiling face, a welcoming face. As an octogenarian, I am not particularly interested in what models wear. However, I could not help noticing and certainly not admiring the almost sorrowful faces of the two models in the June issue of Pink [Clutter-free Combos, ShowStopper]. The style of the clothes they were modelling I leave to others to judge, but those looks are enough to make one throw away this edition. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many times, I have cut away the articles that are interesting and sent them to my British friends who know Malta well. On occasion, I even send the whole magazine when there are a number of good features, but this one deserves to bite the dust. JACOB RIZZO, FROM QAWRA

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PRIVATEEYE

Feelings of isolation and anxiety cloud Jessica Henry’s life. She may come across as cool, calm and collected, but in truth, she is self-conscious and terrified; at best, she is numb. The mother of three suffers from depression and wants to talk about it. Opening up is the doorway to survival.

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t’s midnight. The phone is bleeping away. It’s Jessica Henry, sending long messages, explaining her state of mind at that late hour. She’s apologising profusely for having made the “mistake” of uploading on Facebook her interview photos before the magazine is published. Despite reassurances that it’s not the end of the world, she has entered a state of anxiety and is being sucked deeper into it – notwithstanding the fact that she understands it is a relatively petty issue in the grand scheme of things. The problem is it is beyond her control; nothing can console her and calm her down even though, technically, she has understood that her blunder was not such a big deal. She wants these messages to be published. They are a live example of her condition; Jessica, 27, a mother of three, suffers from mild depression and anxiety, and she wants to open up. Talking about it helps her and she feels it could help others in her same predicament. The late-night messages take the fact that “I worry about everything”, which she talks about in the interview, to a more real level. Rationality mixes with uncontrollable negative emotions as though two mindsets have collided, and one explains what the other is doing, while being unable to stop it on its collision course:

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“This is the perfect example of my anxiety surfacing and being hard to suppress. I do my best all the time not to make any mistakes. I try to be ‘perfect’ and not upset anyone. Mistakes are unavoidable though and you can’t please everyone. I know it’s irrational to feel like that, but when these things happen, my anxiety peaks. I made a mistake uploading the photos, and even though you’ve said it’s alright, I’m going to feel anxious, have obsessive thoughts and beat myself up about it…

“I KNOW IT’S IRRATIONAL TO FEEL LIKE THAT, BUT WHEN THESE THINGS HAPPEN, MY ANXIETY PEAKS. I MADE A MISTAKE UPLOADING THE PHOTOS, AND EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE SAID IT’S ALRIGHT, I’M GOING TO FEEL ANXIOUS, HAVE OBSESSIVE THOUGHTS AND BEAT MYSELF UP ABOUT IT…” “I’ll be going to sleep late tonight because I won’t be able to stop the obsessive thoughts from circling in my head. I’ll have to make myself so exhausted that when I go to bed, I’ll be so tired I’ll have no choice but to fall asleep… “And there’s a physical feeling that accompanies these thoughts. It’s a tightness in my chest; like my heart is aching, but it’s cold at the same time. Every time I take a breath, it makes the feeling increase… It gets more


PRIVATEEYE The state of mind behind the smile: Jessica Henry and her children. Photography Gail Hooper Imagery

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PRIVATEEYE intense every time I think about the thing that makes me anxious…” Jessica’s trying to describe what she says are “symptoms of my disorder” – something she has accepted as part of her life and part of herself. “I will deal with it as it comes and goes… Yes, I can manage it with medication, but it will always be with me, just like someone with diabetes…” It’s now around 12.30am. The conversation is rational and light, but the feelings are alien to logic and heavy. Jessica’s been vocal and open about her condition on Facebook and is more than happy to speak about depression in a magazine she used to feature in as a model and whose cover she has graced on a number of occasions in a somewhat different scenario. Now, she appears in the notas-glamorous role of the young single mother of an eight-year-old she had at 19 from one dad, and a two- and a three-year-old from another, both with problems of their own and out of the picture.

“JESSICA IS MORE THAN HAPPY TO SPEAK ABOUT DEPRESSION IN A MAGAZINE SHE USED TO FEATURE IN AS A MODEL AND WHOSE COVER SHE HAS GRACED ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS IN A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT SCENARIO” But her depression does not stem from her current situation, which is not exactly conducive to the most serene of lives. She looks back and points a finger at the loss of her father at 16, a strained relationship with her mother [which has since improved], leaving home at 17, abusive partners, and a history of depression and alcoholism whichever way you look. She talks about a troubled childhood, separated parents, who remained under the same roof, fighting and financial problems… It’s a viscous cycle that goes back in time and that everyone she gets close to seems to have experienced. With a background of the sort, Jessica is resigned to the fact that she has no way out, but she still wants to break the mould. She wants to control the downward spiral and avoid history repeating itself in her kids, fearing the genetic aspect of depression most. She’s already conscious about anger management and insecurity issues they may have, possibly because she is so attuned to these emotions herself and too quick to perceive them in her children. Jessica is that angelic sort of beauty, but her physical attributes seem to have only served to highlight the shortcomings she claims to have. The asset was turned into a 14 ∫ Pink August 2016

negative and heightened her insecurity instead of boosting her confidence. The more people commented about her looks as a child, the more she felt it meant she was lacking in the personality and intelligence departments. “My mother was a teacher, but I was never academic, couldn’t measure up and felt inadequate. I changed schools and I was bullied. Fear of abandonment has been a big thing for me.” Today, these insecurities are projected onto her children and she worries disproportionately if her skinny boy is teased for being “fat”… It all started after the birth of her first son – a classic case of post-partum depression. But anxiety still persists and Jessica has tried to tackle it with expert help. “It’s good to talk… to people who won’t gossip about you… and who don’t make you feel guilty,” she says. Before being diagnosed, she felt burdened. “I felt lazy, selfish and bad.” Now there’s a name for this. Isolation is a huge problem, she claims. “Depressed people feel so alone; it’s overwhelming. I feel I am the worst person in the world. Not feeling good enough is an inherent emotion.


PRIVATEEYE

“If you open up, you realise you are not the only one. If you’re not open about it, you’re floundering at sea,” she says, returning to the metaphor of the engulfing ocean; the struggle to surface for air; that sinking feeling; and the more serene idea of waves going over her head… and passing. Other signals to take the bull by the horns and seek help have been a lack of motivation and constant exhaustion, despite the fact that her children were sleeping throughout the night and that she wasn’t exerting herself much by day. It just didn’t make sense. Feeling hungry, but having no appetite, and a general lack of interest in looking after herself are other factors that sounded the alarm bells.

“OTHER TRIGGERS TO SEEK HELP HAVE BEEN A LACK OF MOTIVATION AND CONSTANT EXHAUSTION, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HER CHILDREN WERE SLEEPING THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT AND THAT SHE WASN’T EXERTING HERSELF MUCH BY DAY. IT JUST DIDN’T MAKE SENSE” At face value, Jessica appears to be in control and in a good place, talking about her condition with clarity, confidence and almost detachment. Eloquent, coherent and candid, you begin to wonder how dire the straits actually are, apart from the obvious issues of bringing up three young children alone and turbulent relationships with the wrong men towards whom she tends to have a magnetic pull. “I feel like my kids’ older sister, but I am also very strict and can lose my temper, especially since I am on my own. With three, they would walk all over me if I didn’t. I don’t want to spoil them. I always wanted children. We want to raise them better than our own parents did, but I sometimes sound like my mother… Now, I understand her more. 16 ∫ Pink August 2016

“As for the men, I’m an easy target,” she admits. “I’m vulnerable and insecure.” It’s the perfect recipe for manipulative and controlling relationships, she knows. At the same time, Jessica can also be positive and see the silver lining, admitting that while having a kid at 19 was not the ideal, it also prevented her from going down an ugly road and slipping into the party scene, which seemed to be mapped out for a person like her. But the truth is, most of the time, her behaviour is a cover-up; she’s learnt to hide how she is actually feeling and act ‘normal’. “Perfect and normal – why do these words even exist? They are so unattainable,” she laughs. Facebook is a help and a hindrance. On the one hand, it helps fight the isolation, especially because Jessica isn’t that mobile with three young kids and finds forming friendships, especially with women, hard; on the other, she is constantly comparing herself to other mothers and feeling inadequate, questioning her own parenting skills. The self-validation that can come from Facebook can also work against those who are weaker. Jessica is trying her hardest. She knows depression is a part of her life and will accompany her along the way. But she is fighting it and vowed to make changes after her last split. Her plan of action: Being aware and raising awareness, the stigma surrounding depression still lurking. She’s learning to drive, has started martial arts, despite never being athletic, and singing is another way of finding happiness. Music has always been a big part of her life, but lessons as a child didn’t go very far and she has been too introverted to take it further. “I’m actually a shy person by nature,” she claims, trying hard to step out of a shell that seems invisible to others – in itself, part of the problem. “Depression is an illness, not a choice. You can’t just tell depressed people, who are anyway not sad all the time, to ‘cheer up’.” Nevertheless, she does not want to wallow in it. The idea is to gain as much independence as she can and not victimise herself. “I want to show that it is OK to feel like this. I can’t be the only one. I know I am not. It’s not that easy to speak out because no one wants to look weak. But this is not a weakness. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And it’s good not to feel alone. “Depression makes you feel alone, not good enough, inadequate and weak. The more open you are about it, the less power it has over you. If I can help one single person by speaking out… I don’t mind exposing myself.” The bottom line: “If anyone can relate to what I am saying, it may be worth their while to go to a doctor and put their minds at rest,” she advises. Meanwhile, Jessica continues on her turbulent journey to “keep calm”, conscious that she is a “work in progress…” Photography Gail Hooper Imagery

See ParentingTips on page 54 to learn how mental illness differs in parents and what they can do for their children in these situations.


INFOCUS

BARMY BREXIT

HELEN RAINE finds Brexit could leave Maltese in the lurch. She speaks to three women whose future in the UK is now full of uncertainty, wrapped up in lots of red tape…

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ritain’s vote to leave the EU has massive implications not just for Britons, but for the estimated 28,000 Maltese citizens who have been living happily in the UK for years. Dr Kathrina FarrugiaKriel, Marie Claire Saliba and Francesca Falzon are three of those. Kathrina is a senior lecturer in dance studies at the Royal Academy of Dance – she is married and is expecting a baby in November. Francesca is a project manager at a management consultancy firm in central London and is in a long-term relationship. Marie Claire has just moved to the UK to be with her British fiancé. All were dismayed by the Brexit vote and are working to understand why it happened and what it means for them. “It came as a complete shock to me and my friends and colleagues living in London. I think the ‘Stay’ campaign was weak and failed to highlight the benefits of the EU, while the ‘Leave’ campaign based their arguments on lies and appealed to the emotions of the ignorant. However, I think we cannot simply blame the campaigns, as the vote reflected an increase in discontent, among the British, with foreigners,” Francesca says. “Brexit can be compared to a voice for ‘liberation’ from a culture of migration. It was driven by the notion of independence

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and a restoration of cultural identity,” Kathrina says. She felt that pro-Brexit leaders “capitalised on groups of people who were disillusioned with immigration, cultural diversity and… the economy… EU migrants have been criticised for taking the jobs of locals”. This sentiment is misplaced, she feels, pointing out that “as an economic migrant, I have contributed as much as my UK-born colleagues”.

What Will Brexit Bring? The women have different concerns about the possible outcomes of Brexit. Working in a university, Kathrina is concerned about the mentality behind the vote and its implications for society. “Within the higher education context, it is important to retain cultural diversity” so that students and staff can experience

“a mixture of perspectives on the world. Higher education thrives on bringing the best thinkers to the academic community, whether they are Italian, Maltese, French, or Belgian.” Francesca is more worried about the economic fallout. “Sterling fell 10 per cent, house sales in London have collapsed and business sentiment is low,” she says. Kathrina has a particularly interesting take on life as a Maltese in Britain because she took up her graduate teaching assistantship, that lead to her current career, in 2004, the year that Malta joined the EU. It’s a moment she describes as “pivotal”, saying, “prior to that, Maltese citizens had to apply for student or two-year working holiday visas in order to study or gain employment. Both had restrictions and limited our opportunities. Indeed, if Malta hadn’t entered the EU in 2004, I was told my graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Surrey would not have materialised”. All three feel that being in the EU is also a good thing for women. “I think the EU has helped broaden the horizons of people towards women in society, which has led to better opportunities,” Francesca says. For her, the EU brings basic fairness: “The idea is that we have a level playing field across countries and that we avoid a ‘race to the bottom’, where countries use the excuse of


INFOCUS

Marie Claire Saliba

Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel Photography Johnny Carr Francesca Falzon

“IF MALTA HADN’T ENTERED THE EU IN 2004, I WAS TOLD MY GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SURREY WOULD NOT HAVE MATERIALISED”

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INFOCUS competitiveness to forsake basic standards in the workplace and quality of life.” “At a glance, maternity leave and family leave are miles better in the UK [than in Malta],” Marie Claire adds.

“Lives matter, whatever creed, culture, or language we speak. We all have a duty of care.” Professionally, she says her concerns are “largely driven by the potential loss of research funding, a decline in student diversity and a loss of EU academics in the post-Brexit period.

Little Britain While neither Francesca nor Kathrina have experienced xenophobia personally, either before or after the Brexit vote, Kathrina has occasionally seen the racist underbelly of Britain exposed. “There have been episodes of racially motivated acts of protest in South East England. I have heard of cards being posted in letterboxes, saying particular communities should go back to their homeland, and seen TV footage of demonstrations that voice anti-immigration movements,” she says. “Many of my colleagues at work were very upset with the Brexit outcome. It has made sections of communities become closer,” she adds. What has been even more disruptive for her, however, has been the political turmoil in Westminster. “In view of new leadership in Parliament, we continue with our usual routine until we have any further updates, including on when Article 50 will be activated, whether long-term or recently migrated EU citizens will have their status altered and how the economy will evolve. In the meantime, we can talk

“…WHETHER LONG-TERM OR RECENTLY MIGRATED EU CITIZENS WILL HAVE THEIR STATUS ALTERED AND HOW THE ECONOMY WILL EVOLVE. IN THE MEANTIME, WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER AND ENJOY A CUP OF TEA” about the weather and enjoy a cup of tea,” Kathrina says. Marie Claire is appalled by hate crimes that have come in the wake of Brexit. “The worst, in my opinion, was vandalism at a school with a large Polish population. What kind of people threaten children?” She adds: “My non-British colleagues are somewhat concerned, while one British colleague found herself wondering if she looked British enough to avoid harassment on the street. 22 ∫ Pink August 2016

“I have not been harassed… However… it is always made clear that I’m not from here, I’m foreign and will always be.”

Back to Fear for the Future When asked about their hopes and fears for the future, Kathrina says she hopes that Brexit will bring the communities in the UK together to closely consider the human lives that construct and sustain the economy.

“I hope the Brexit negotiations will allow for some remnants of connections to the EU to remain and that residency rights will be offered to long-standing contributors to the economy,” she adds. Francesca hopes that the Sterling strengthens. “Brexit certainly adds an element of uncertainty to my future in London,” she points out. Marie Claire’s hope is that “the UK and EU economies will recover from the blow, and that human kindness will outweigh the nastiness that has surfaced. Brexit, for me, means more red tape to live and work in the UK alongside my British fiancé, and a whole host of uncertainty”. None of the women plan on returning to Malta immediately, although Francesca adds that it depends on the outcome of the negotiations. With Theresa May now at the helm as Britain’s second woman Prime Minister, perhaps a pragmatic, female approach will help those negotiations succeed. If not, Marie Claire sums up the consequence of Brexit most succinctly, saying: “I suppose it makes me a bit more likely to return at some point, if living and working [in the UK] becomes too full of red tape and xenophobia. But we’re lucky that way aren’t we? We have somewhere else to go if we want to leave. The Brits don’t!”


WOMANKIND

THE CATHOLIC QUEEN Catherine of Braganza had to suffer her husband’s addiction to women, as well as intolerance of her religion and the fact that she was a foreigner. MARY GALEA DEBONO finds that, despite the obstacles in the Portuguese queen’s life, she showed courage and fortitude and was protected and supported by her philandering king.

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ne can surmise the various thoughts that would have passed through the head of 23-year-old Catherine of Braganza as her ship sailed into Portsmouth harbour on May 13, 1662. Great expectations, curiosity and excitement for her new position would have alternated with apprehension and trepidation at the thought of what lay in store for her – she was about to see in the flesh for the first time the man whose bed she was destined to share “till death do us part”. That man was Charles II, King of England. It was too early to include happiness in her emotions; in fact, she was probably rather sad. She had had to leave her parents, family and friends, aware of the possibility that she might not see them again. She had had to leave Portugal, the country where she was born and where she had lived all her life, and she was expected to start a new one in her adopted kingdom and adapt to cultural differences that were alien to her. Inability to communicate in either English or French did not augur well for an easy integration. Until then, Catherine had lived a sheltered life. Queen Luisa, her mother, had made sure that she was groomed for the role that befitted a princess. The royal palace and the convent close to it, where she had received her education, were her world. Nobody had schooled her or prepared her for such a cataclysmic change.

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her £300,000 – a big sum at that time – as well as the trading posts of Tangier in North Africa and Bombay in India. In return, Portugal would profit from an alliance with England and potentially restore the balance of power vis-à-vis Spain. Charles was also in favour of a Catholic wife. In this he was influenced by his mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, his brother James, then the unpopular heir to the throne, and his sister Minette, who were all Catholic; not to mention his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV of France, the foremost Catholic monarch of the time. When Catherine arrived in Portsmouth, Charles was not there to meet her because he had been held up in London, which was just as well since she had caught a cold and had to take to her bed. The marriage took place one day after his arrival. The Portuguese princess wanted a Catholic ceremony, but the King, mindful of the mood of the public, insisted on following Anglican rites. A compromise was reached; a secret Catholic ceremony in the Queen’s chamber was followed by a public one conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Samuel Pepys, whose diary is an inexhaustible mine of information and commentary, unhesitatingly and self-righteously labelled the Queen a bigot. A kinder critic might have conceded that she was a woman of principles. Catherine was not very beautiful; according to the diarist John Evelyn,

“SHE WAS EXPECTED TO START A NEW LIFE IN HER ADOPTED KINGDOM AND ADAPT TO CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THAT WERE ALIEN TO HER. INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE IN EITHER ENGLISH OR FRENCH DID NOT AUGUR WELL FOR AN EASY INTEGRATION” In 1661, Charles Stuart, a philanderer if ever there was one, decided that the time had come to ensure an heir to the throne, and to achieve that aim, a lawful wife was necessary. There were several eligible candidates, but although love and romance were not part of the deal, the King did have his preferences. A good dowry was very important and Catherine promised to bring with

her teeth were slightly protruding and her complexion was rather sallow. But she was petite and had luxuriant black hair and Charles found her agreeable. To his friend he wrote: “If I have any skill in physiognomy, which I think I have, she must be as good a woman as ever was born… [I] am confident our two humours will agree very well together.”


WOMANKIND However, he admitted that “the marriage was not put to the consummation” on the wedding night. The pretext he gave his friend was that he was too tired and he had been afraid “that the matters would have gone very sleepily”. But to his sister he declared that the reason was because “she had come to her nuptial bed at the wrong time of the month”. Catherine and Charles settled down in Hampton Court, and in the next two weeks, the couple seemed very happy. Charles was gallant as he always was with his women and, aware of her

Finally, it was Catherine who, seeing the futility of her opposition, capitulated. Charles may have seen this as a manifestation of weakness on the part of his wife, but probably, Catherine had accepted the situation not only because she was pragmatic and saw no other way out, but also because she figured out that Charles would grow better disposed towards her. In fact, their relationship improved and he slowly began to show her more courtesy and solicitude, willingly discussing important matters with her.

“IN TIME, WITH HIS NEW MISTRESS, LOUISE DE KEROUALLE, THEIR MARRIAGE BECAME MORE LIKE A MÉNAGE À TRIOS” difficulties, tried to put her at ease. But the idyll was not destined to endure. When Charles received the news that his mistress, Barbara Villiers, had given birth, he immediately abandoned his wife to be with her and his son. Charles knew that the position of his ambitious mistress would have to be tackled sooner or later. When he drew up the list of Catherine’s household officers, Barbara’s name was at the top. Naturally, the Queen did not accept the suggestion. Innocent and virtuous she may have been, but she was also proud and dignified and knew when and how to insist on her rights. Charles tried different approaches to convince her to accept the situation. He cajoled and then threatened – first that he would stop visiting her, then that he would send back to their country the retinue of Portuguese ladies-in-waiting, monks and priests who had arrived with her. One day, during a crowded audience in the Queen’s chamber, Charles arrived with his ostentatious mistress. Catherine burst into tears and fainted; the King left the room, taking his mistress with him. Similar soap-opera scenes were frequent during his reign. The King then changed tactics, promised to be faithful and sent his trusted chancellor to intervene and find a solution. But, as Derek Wilson points out in his book All the King’s Women, Charles had no concept of fidelity, was too addicted to women and Barbara’s hold on him was too strong.

In time, with his new mistress, Louise de Keroualle, their marriage became more like a ménage à trios. This was possible because Louise never sought to upstage the Queen and her behaviour was at all times dignified. Both women knew the boundaries of their sphere of influence. Catherine did what was expected of her; she was in control at Newmarket and Windsor. She hosted dinners, received ambassadors and attended important social functions. Louise presided at Whitehall. Without being in competition with each other, the two became companions, often appearing together and sharing a coach. Catherine learnt to live with her husband’s infidelities and did not make a fuss over his affairs. She abandoned the sober Portuguese style of clothes; she worked towards improving her English; she adapted to court life, which she had previously found so shockingly amoral, and as an alternative form of entertainment, introduced Italian opera and the commedia dell’arte. The only area where she did not make any compromises was in her religious devotions. She had a chapel in St James Palace and there she heard Mass with her retinue. King Charles II

Louise de Keroualle

Catherine of Braganza

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WOMANKIND In so doing, Catherine adopted a lifestyle that freed her from being pestered for political influence with her husband. That side of life and the resulting court intrigues she left to his mistresses, who often found it hard to accept the situation when they fell out of favour, as they inevitably were bound to do, with the King.

bedside. Divorce, retirement to a convent, abduction and exile to one of the Indies plantations were seriously considered by his advisers, but none of these solutions was accepted. The public was critical of the King’s infatuation with women as Restoration drama and satire amply demonstrate, but they were even more intolerant of their

“THEY WERE EVEN MORE INTOLERANT OF THEIR QUEEN FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT SHE WAS FOREIGN AND CATHOLIC TO BOOT” Catherine had one major problem. She could not provide the King with an heir. She tried her best and spent long periods in watering places such as Bath, which had a reputation for curing barrenness. After every miscarriage, she hid her grief and continued to pray for a miracle. The situation was made worse by the fact that Charles had several illegitimate sons. In 1673, she fell dangerously ill and, in her delirium, she believed she was giving birth. The King wept and never left her

Queen for the simple reason that she was foreign and Catholic to boot. Although it is widely accepted that the Protestant ethic is a reflection of the mindset of Northern people, the public antagonism for the Queen’s Catholicism sprang mainly from the perceived threat and fear of a return to having to take orders from someone in Rome – an attitude that is reminiscent of the resentment felt today for being dictated to from Brussels. This public feeling manifested itself in what came to be known as the Popish

Plot. When things were bad in England, as they were in 1678, the suspicion for all the calamities always fell on the Catholics in general and the Jesuits in particular. In the mass hysteria that took hold of the nation, after such catastrophes as the Fire of London, the Queen was accused of hatching a plot to kill her husband and destroy the Protestant religion. These were days of anguish for Catherine, who had to witness so many Catholics executed and so many of her servants sent to prison. She was booed when she went out and Parliament demanded that she be sent back to Portugal. In this atmosphere, Catherine showed courage and fortitude and Charles continued to protect and support her. Charles fell suddenly ill in 1685. On his deathbed, he manifested his wish to die in the faith of the Catholic Church. After his death, Catherine continued to live in Somerset House, but in 1699, she returned to Portugal. She dedicated herself, until her death in 1705, to bringing up her nephew, Prince John, whose mother had died – a responsibility that made up for her previous disappointments.


SHOWSTOPPER

Dress; bag, both Liu Jo ∫ shoes, Scholl Foothealth Centre ∫ Ray-Ban sunglasses, from €98, Eyeland Opticians, Pama.

Photography Noella Agius ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] ∫ Make-up Henry Galea, using 3ina ∫ Hair Ilona @ D-Cut, using Screen Professional Hair Care ∫ Model Sunshine @ Supernova Model Management ∫ Location Giardini Lambrosa

READ BETWEEN THE LINES STICKING TO THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW IN STYLE…

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SHOWSTOPPER

Dress; bag, both Guess ∫ Bvlgari sunglasses, from €180, Optika Opticians.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress; bag, both Karen Millen ∫ shoes, Miss Selfridge ∫ Armani sunglasses, from €140, Vision Opticians.

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SHOWSTOPPER

Jumpsuit; bag; shoes, all Miss Selfridge.

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SHOWSTOPPER Top; skirt, both M&Co.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress, Liu Jo ∫ shoes, Miss Selfridge.

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SHOWSTOPPER Cardigan; trousers, both Karen Millen ∫ bag, Miss Selfridge ∫ citronella fragranced shoes, Scholl Foothealth Centre.

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SHOWSTOPPER Swimsuit; blouse; scarf [worn around head], all Guess ∫ shoes, Scholl Foothealth Centre.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress; necklace, both Blue Shop.

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FASHIONSTORY

What are they wearing in the heat of summer? The stifling summer heat can really curb fashion creativity. But not everyone’s! Fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS asks local ‘up-to-minuters’ to send in selfies that capture some of their current top trends and creates a capsule hot hit list.

Maxine Pace Beverly Tonna

Kelsey May Connor

Désirée Azzopardi

Tamara Burr

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ashion insiders aren’t always too happy when the hot weather hits; they’re not that keen on storing their leather jackets and faux fur coats. The thing is, unfortunately, summer clothing is often synonymous with an abundance of bad taste – too much flesh being exposed, too many ill-fitting shorts and mini skirts and an overdose of polyester and cheap chiffon. There’s also the fact that the stifling heat tends to put a stop to one’s creativity. Every season, new trends abound, but due to climate differences, not all of them make the trek to our shores. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any stylish people around, sporting some interesting summer-only trends. Maltese style-mavens have become accustomed to our four to five months of summer and insist on turning a few heads despite the heat. And as always, a few new trends have reared theirs. One definite hit has been the floral headband. Various styles have been spotted, some even using fresh flowers, but mainly they are dried/faux. This trend is feeding off the bohemian festival vibe that’s been promoted with international festivals like Coachella. It adds an

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Martina Guillaumier

Becky Montanaro

element of fun and happiness to any outfit. There’s no need to go for a huge one – a subtle touch also has a great effect. Mirrored, coloured sunnies retain their spot as a go-to favourite, while cat-eye shades and round frames continue to make the grade. Then there’s the ubiquitous bodysuit trend. And of course, in summer, there will always be dresses. Let’s be honest; when the temperatures soar, there’s nothing easier to wear than a comfy dress. As far as make-up goes, in summer, it’s always a lot more toned down, but lipsticks, especially matte ones, have been having a really great year.


FASHIONSTORY

Gran Moda Fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS reviews the recent Gran Galà della Moda, where the aim was for fashion cultures to fuse. Carlo Alberto Terranova

Carlo Alberto Terranova

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jazza San Gorg was recently transformed into a dazzling display for the Chamber of Fashion Malta’s Gran Galà della Moda, the aim of which was to fuse Maltese and Italian fashion cultures. Held under the patronage of the Italian Embassy and in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Maltese-Italian Chamber of Commerce, it saw the participation of Italian designers Gianni Molaro and Carlo Alberto Terranova, while Malta’s representative was 23-yearold Gozitan designer Luke Azzopardi. Gianni Molaro Atelier has been established in Italy for many years, while Carlo Alberto Terranova’s name is synonymous with the Sarli

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Fashion House. He recently started up his own brand, New Land Couture. Gianni Molaro presented his most beloved pieces, spanning different collections throughout his 25-year career: creations inspired by African culture, fish and the Japanese manga. Bold, colourful fabrics with vivid prints, creative pieces, displaying excellent craftsmanship, sauntered along the catwalk, making for a dramatic start to the night. Carlo Alberto Terranova’s collection was a display of power, futuristic elements and a play on illusions. Geometric shapes, such as waves and graphic elements, all within a monochrome palette, coexisted alongside more tailored, feminine pieces, while suits and mini dresses


FASHIONSTORY

Luke Azzopardi

Gianni Molaro

Luke Azzopardi Gianni Molaro

Carlo Alberto Terranova

were paired together to suggest 3D effects. His New Land woman is most definitely decisive and strong.

Gianni Molaro, Juliana Scerri Ferrante, Caroline Paris

“A PERFECT DISPLAY OF BEAUTY AND INDIVIDUALISM” For the night, Luke Azzopardi built on his recently-launched collection The Opium Addict. His scent chasers wore pieces that brought together blends of vintage elements with an emphasis on the Victorian silhouette, infused with oriental influences. Stunning, rich fabrics were used throughout, a perfect display of beauty and individualism. For his show, singer Christabelle Borg performed, making the experience all the more unforgettable. The hairstyles by Screen were kept clean and elegant, with all the hair pulled back into a simple chignon, and the make-up by Pupa was also quite minimal with defined eyes to achieve a striking effect. All three designers ended their respective shows with their version

Gianni Molaro

Luke Azzopardi

of a bridal dress. Gianni Molaro’s lace veil was delicate and beautiful, while Luke Azzopardi’s bride seemed to have been whisked away from a time gone by, while retaining an element of freshness at the same time. Carlo Alberto Terranova’s was a blend of dreams and avant-garde couture.

Three hundred guests attended the seated event, but many more filled the pjazza, happy to stand and eager to watch. The long catwalk had the models walking around the lively fountain, flooded in beautiful lighting. The show was filmed by Rai TV and the finale to this fashion/cultural showcase was a baroque costume display, followed by a performance by opera singer Ruth Sammut Casingena. Photography Kurt Paris; Bernard Polidano

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FASHIONSTORY

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FASHIONSTORY

THE SIREN CALL Designer Sam Selby uses sea sediment for her summery, statement pieces.

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esigner Sam Selby is a great lover of the sea and is often seen clearing up beaches and collecting waste while out snorkelling. So it’s not surprising that her latest collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings – bright and bold statement pieces – is crafted from sea sediment in its natural form. Her chosen material for The Sirena Collection is porous and absorbs and holds colours, hence the unique patterns and shades of each piece. No two are alike and it all depends on the physical properties of that one piece of sea sediment. The way it is created will reflect in how it works with colour. “The stones I used are created from waste materials from development. There are strict laws on where and what can be used from our seas,” Sam says.

complement any outfit, from bikinis to evening dresses. Sam is from the UK, and ended up in Malta after having visited a handful of times. Eventually, it became apparent, as she sat at a desk thinking about her next trip, that flying back and forth was not ideal. Her dream was always to live on a beautiful Mediterranean island. And Malta was the chosen one. “I find I am most creative when I am in a happy place. Here, we have beautiful weather, stunning views, culture and heritage. These factors, which surround me on a day-to-day basis, are surely reflected in my work. Malta has so much to offer.” For Sam’s first collection, BoboStar, she worked with different crystal energies and made sure they matched the owner’s. But her creativity does not stop at jewellery

“I FIND I AM MOST CREATIVE WHEN I AM IN A HAPPY PLACE. HERE, WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL WEATHER, STUNNING VIEWS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE” A huge amount of sourcing goes on in the first stages and it could take up to a month before the item is ready to be assembled. In the end, each piece is “a balance of ergonomics and aesthetics”, according to the designer. In her view, for a design to be successful, it has to be both pleasing to the eye and comfortable on the body. In fact, the necklaces sit on, fit and frame the collar bones, accentuating the natural lines of the wearer. The Sirena Collection is set in either sterling silver, or gold-plated silver, creating a statement look to

and she loves all aspects of design, working on anything from lighting solutions to paintings made with dried cacti. Sam recently realised another dream when she featured in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Malta 2016, for which she created the new line – all handmade and against the odds – at the eleventh hour, and the collection was recently shot at MedAsia Playa. Photography Bernard Polidano Styling Dorianne Mamo Make-up Natasha Polidano Model Lorena Jaramillo

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BEAUTYPARLOUR

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BEAUTYPARLOUR

NAKED AND EMPOWERING In her quest for a more natural and holistic approach to well-being, Elizabeth Galea took the leap and left her job in hotel management to launch her own line of body scrubs for women. She tells ANDREA FAYE CHRISTIANS that most ingredients are found in the kitchen. But more importantly, her products are all about accepting and loving the body you have.

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any of us are familiar with the old saying: “Your body is a temple.” It takes many different forms, but the message is the same: taking care of yourself goes hand in hand with feeling good both physically and mentally. However, today, as we become more informed, an increasing number of people are looking for a more natural and holistic approach to their well-being. Elizabeth Galea is one such person, and earlier this year, she took the leap and left her job in hotel management to launch her own line of natural body scrubs, Undressed, which are aimed solely at women. “It all started when I was looking for a natural body scrub with particular ingredients, but was unable to find one, so I decided to make my own. I love baking and many of the ingredients are found in recipes I’d used in the past. They are all things that you could find in the kitchen,” Elizabeth explains. that they are aimed at empowering women. “TOO MANY WOMEN ARE LEFT WITH BODY ISSUES AS Elizabeth believes that too THEY STRIVE TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECTION DEPICTED many women are left with body BY THE MEDIA AND THE MODELLING INDUSTRY. HER issues as they strive to achieve the PRODUCTS ARE ALL ABOUT ACCEPTING AND LOVING perfection depicted by the media THE BODY YOU HAVE” and the modelling industry. Her products are all about accepting The choice of the name Undressed has a number of and loving the body you have. connotations for the brand. The first is that the scrubs Taking the concept a step further, there is no state are made from ‘naked’ ingredients that are free from as vulnerable as the naked state, which is why the name chemicals and in their purest form. But goes beyond, in Undressed is fundamental to the ethos of the brand. Pink August 2016 ∫ 45


BEAUTYPARLOUR All the body scrubs have sugar as a common ingredient. This has a cooling effect and is considered less aggressive than salt-based scrubs. Elizabeth uses four types, namely brown sugar, dark sugar, white sugar cane [which is the most granular] and the gentler caster sugar, depending on the desired effect. Sugar acts as an exfoliant on two levels: first, in the mechanical sense of removing dead skin cells in an abrasive action; and secondly, as a gentle chemical peel due to the presence of glycolic acid. Synthesised Glycolic Acid is one of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids [AHA] that occur naturally in certain foods. It can be used to encourage cell turnover, remove dead skin cells and allow younger skin to surface. All the scrubs also contain coconut oil to moisturise and bioactive organic vitamin E oil complex that is the collective name for a fat soluble group of compounds rich in antioxidants to help reduce intercellular ageing as well as assist in nourishing and regenerating skin.

modest about her achievement. “I think it’s important that they are not too expensive. I don’t want people to view these as a gift, or a luxury item, but rather as something they can use on a regular basis.” Although currently available only on Facebook [Undressed: Natural Personal Care Products], Elizabeth has plans to open a shop in the not-too-distant future. Other more immediate plans include developing more combinations that reflect the seasons, as well as expanding into different products that will all be essentially natural.

“THE PERCEPTION OF ONE’S BODY AND PROMOTING A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH IT REMAINS CLOSE TO HER HEART AND SHE ALSO PLANS TO WORK WITH DAR KENN GHAL SAHHTEK” The benefits of exfoliation have long been extolled and include detoxifying the body and improving skin tone, but above all else, Undressed products are aimed at giving users that special time to pamper themselves. If your skin is healthy and firm, you can use a shower scrub up to three times a week, but if you have more sensitive skin, just once a week is recommended, says Elizabeth. The idea is to use the hands to rub the scrub in a circular motion onto dry skin for a full and lasting coverage and then to rinse with water, using the hands to remove the remaining granules. Immediately before a morning shower is an ideal time. Elizabeth has created nine Undressed body scrubs and nearly all represent enticing food combinations. The ground coffee scrub is great for cellulite and has anti-inflammatory properties, while the rosemary and lavender is calming and soothing. The honey and vanilla and the coconut and oatmeal scrubs both have hydrating and moisturising properties, while the mint scrub is soothing and refreshing and is particularly good for use on the feet. The gingerbread mix of ginger and cinnamon has a detox effect, while the lemon and poppy seed is good for acne and dry skin [the lemons actually come from a family tree], and the chocolate scrub is pure pleasure and smells good enough to eat! The recently introduced cranberry and jasmine is the latest addition and is a gentle exfoliant infused with jasmine essence oil to create a warm and floral fragrance that uplifts and soothes. After just a few months, Elizabeth is amazed at the response to her homemade products, but remains 46 ∫ Pink August 2016

She also has the rather novel idea of one day opening a scrub bar, where people can have fun creating their own scrubs by combining the ingredients of their choice with expert advice on hand. However, the perception of one’s body and promoting a loving relationship with it remains close to her heart and she also plans to work with Dar Kenn Ghal Sahhtek, a residential and semi-residential facility aimed to provide a holistic treatment for patients with eating disorders and weight behavioural problems, such as anorexia, bulimia and obesity. Elizabeth believes it’s important to promote a women’s positive body image movement here as it is recognised as a core factor in the treatment of eating disorders and raising self-esteem. Meanwhile she continues to promote her message of well-being through Undressed and the rather fitting logo: Love the real you.


INTHEPINK

BLOATING BLUES Most women suffer from stomach bloating, either during their monthly cycle, or depending on the food they eat. But for some, it becomes an almost daily occurrence, to the point where strangers can ask them whether they are pregnant. If bloating is blighting your life, HELEN RAINE takes a look at the changes you can make for a less troublesome tummy – and the signs that indicate it could be something more serious.

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any of us suffer from bloating occasionally, as part of our menstrual cycle, or when we eat something that doesn’t agree with us; in fact, 30 per cent of the population report problems with a blown-up tummy. But when the bloating becomes almost constant, or so extreme that strangers ask you when you are ‘having the baby’, it can seriously affect a woman’s body image and confidence, making everything from buying clothes to going to the beach a challenge. Bloating can also be symptomatic of a more serious problem. We take a look at how to deflate that belly balloon and when you need to seek medical advice.

QUICK FIXES Slow Food Bloating can be caused by eating too quickly. Our habit of scoffing food while under time pressure means that we don’t chew properly and take in lots of air. Chewing is an important part of digestion – our saliva contains enzymes that start to break down the food before it gets to the stomach. Eating mindfully [trying to pay attention to the flavour and texture of each mouthful] heightens the pleasure we get from food and means that we are less likely to overeat – another classic cause of bloating. You don’t need to ruminate over the entire meal, but aim to make most of it count – some experts recommend chewing each mouthful 20 times. Go Bananas with Ginger Ginger is good for the stomach because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties – pour hot water on fresh slices of ginger to 48 ∫ Pink August 2016

make a tea [eat the ginger afterwards]. Peppermint, fennel, pineapple and probiotic yoghurts are similarly beneficial. Adding more potassium to your diet might also make a difference by reducing water retention; try foods like mangoes, quinoa, bananas and spinach. Get Salt Savvy Dr Mario Caruana, a registered dietitian and nutritionist says: “Salt is related to water retention, which could lead to a feeling of bloating. If no specific medical reason for the water retention is found, a low salt diet might help in reducing the symptoms.” The World Health Organisation recommends adults should consume no more than 2.5g per person. Go Fizz Free Dr Caruana says fizzy or carbonated drinks can be an important cause of bloating, especially if taken in large quantities – they are full of bubbles that will end up as gas in your tummy. Sayonara Sweeteners When people are trying to lose weight, they often turn to artificial sweeteners, but these can cause bloating too. “One type of sweetener called a sugar alcohol/polyol, such as sorbitol mannitol, xylitol and maltitol found in sugar-free mints and chewing gum, can give rise to abdominal bloating,” says Dr Caruana. Swap them for small amounts of agave syrup. Excellent Exercise Exercise helps to keep the digestive system working well, a key part of the bloating picture. In addition, a good workout, such as boot camp and swimming, will help to strengthen abdominal muscles to

deal with the bloat. If you’ve been a couch potato up to now, try going for a walk after eating – it is an excellent way to help digestion and get you some exercise. Stomach Massage Acupuncturists suggest that giving the stomach a gentle rub in a clockwise direction can help with bloating. Unbung Yourself Constipation is an obvious culprit for bloating. Try to keep your digestive system moving with a diet of whole grains, fruit and veggies. Don’t give up Dr Caruana says a common problem is that clients are not consistent with their approach; “for example, they eat more slowly, or take ginger for a few days and then they give up. Dietary changes need to be done for a good few days and even weeks to see if the symptoms improve. Give your bowels time to adjust to any changes”.

AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK… Understanding IBS The most common cause of abdominal bloating is Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS], says Dr Caruana. IBS is a medical term used to describe a collection of gut symptoms in which bloating is the most common. He recommends medical screening for the condition. If you are diagnosed with IBS, Dr Caruana says that a dietician can help to “determine not only what foods may be contributing to your distress, but also what nutritious food choices will help contribute to overall good health without aggravating gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating”. Recently, robust research is directing us to a low FODMAP diet for IBS symptoms,


INTHEPINK he continues. FODMAPs [Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols] are osmotic, meaning they pull water into the intestinal tract, may not be digested well and could be fermented by bacteria there. Dr Caruana explains that the FODMAPs in the diet are fructose [such as fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup], lactose [dairy], fructans [such as wheat, onion, garlic], galactans [such as beans, lentils, legumes] and polyols [sweeteners, stone fruits]. “Restricting these can help to reduce symptoms of bloating in relation to IBS”, he says.

Allergic to Food If you’ve tried most of the solutions above to no avail, you might be allergic to wheat, the lactose in dairy products, or some other food. Dr Caruana explains that lactose [the sugar in milk] can “sometimes cause wind and bloating and IBS-type symptoms”. He suggests using lactose-free cow’s milk, yoghurts and ice cream instead of ordinary versions for two to four weeks. “Using lactose-free products will help maintain your calcium intake. If it makes no difference, then return to using ordinary milk and dairy products. “Cutting wheat may not be the answer; the fibre content in wheat or the quantity consumed needs to be assessed,” he adds. Research shows that for many people, cutting out wheat and dairy has no discernible effect on bloating. “If your symptoms persist after following general lifestyle and dietary advice, try to reintroduce the foods you have cut out. Monitor your progress by keeping a food and symptom diary,” Dr Caruana says. He adds that self-diagnosis “PAPAYA HAS NATURAL may be a mistake. “If a food DIGESTIVE ENZYMES SO allergy is suspected, it is INCLUDE IT IN YOUR DIET IF important to discuss this with YOU CAN – THE SEEDS ARE your doctor and be referred SAID TO BE PARTICULARLY appropriately to a doctor speGOOD AND CAN BE cialising in food allergies and PUREED INTO SMOOTHIES a registered dietitian.”

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE BITTER TASTE”

Dig the Enzymes We all have digestive enzymes naturally, but sometimes, they stop working efficiently. Adding them back into the body can help break down indigestible sugars in beans and vegetables. The problem is that there are dozens of enzymes on the market, so finding the right one for you might be a case of trial and error. They are usually taken at the beginning of a meal. Again, Dr Caruana recommends consulting with a professional before going down this road. “It is important to first see if the person is lactose intolerant. It is useless to recommend a digestive enzyme such as lactase [needed to break down

lactose] if the cause of the bloating is not coming from there,” he says. Alternatively, papaya has natural digestive enzymes so include it in your diet if you can – the seeds are said to be particularly good and can be pureed into smoothies if you don’t like the bitter taste. Hormonal Upheaval In her Menopause and Hormone Book, author Dr Susan Love explains that bloating can be a symptom of menopause, due to big hormonal shifts, primarily fluctuating levels of oestrogen. Hormone replacement therapy may exacerbate this problem. The website 34-menopause-symptoms.com adds that: “The duration and intensity [of bloating] will vary… with some women experiencing bloating for a few days and then not again for a year, or possibly for several months at a time. A woman can wake up with a flat stomach and then have her stomach distend progressively throughout the day, or the bloating may appear within a matter of minutes and be aggravated by eating.” Oestrogen is probably the culprit. The site says it has an effect on the retention of water that occurs naturally as part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. “Women tend to retain more in the days leading up to menstruation as a result of rising oestrogen levels. When oestrogen levels become erratic during perimenopause, so does the incidence of water retention, leading to bloating.” Exercise, diet and alternative medicine can help.

WHEN TO SEEK FURTHER ADVICE “I always advise clients to have a medical screening with their doctor or consultant first as bloating is a common symptom for many medical conditions such as celiac disease, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer and so on”, says Dr Caruana. When medical conditions have been ruled out, he suggests an individualised approach by a registered dietitian to “thoroughly assess the situation and give appropriate dietary advice and direction”. You should see a doctor right away if you are suffering from long-term stomach ache, chronic constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting, rectal pain, or heartburn, weight loss, fever, or blood in the stools and urine, or any other symptoms that are causing you concern. Pink August 2016 ∫ 49


THINKPI HEALH, BEAuY, FOOD & HINS

HOW A LEGEND WAS BORN It was in Florence, in 1919. It is said that, on his return from England, Count Camillo Negroni asked his favourite bar to prepare his usual Americano with seven drops of gin instead of soda. A legend was born and still continues strong today. Ingredients include: 1 part Campari; 1 part Gin; 1 part Cinzano Rosso; a slice of orange. Pour everything directly into a rock glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange. Campari is marketed by Farsons Beverage Imports Co. For trade enquiries, call on 2381 4400.

ESCAPE TO A LUXURIOUS HIDEAWAY Karl Lagerfeld’s limited-edition Ocean View eau de parfum is inspired by the idea of escaping to a luxurious hideaway – a remote paradise all to yourself. Intoxicatingly light and fruity, the fragrance bursts with top notes of pineapple. Karl Lagerfeld fragrances are exclusively distributed by Chemimart [2149 2212].

INSTANTLY HYDRATING, PERFECTING BALM Overwork, stress, fatigue, cold, sun, seasonal changes, air conditioning, plane trips… All of these harsh conditions put skin to the test. And this shows on the face. Skin becomes dry and dull, with an uneven texture and visible pores. It gradually loses its natural beauty and radiance. Women need a ‘magic wand’ that offers an instant beauty effect and hydration; a multipurpose miracle product that makes their lives easier. As attentive to women as ever, Chanel introduces Hydra Beauty Flash: a formula specially developed for strained skin in need of an instantly hydrating perfecting balm. Practical and portable, it gives skin an immediate boost, visibly reduces the appearance of surface irregularities, fine lines, pores and provides an unparalleled glow. It can be used whenever skin needs it, in the place of usual skin care, or at any time of day for a luminous and flawless complexion. Chanel is distributed by Alfred Gera & Sons Ltd.

HIGH STANDARDS IN SKIN CARE Today, standards are high across the board. The day-to-day requirements of today’s woman, who juggles between family and career, are tough. Yet she pursues her own path with single-minded determination and a well-groomed appearance… and her standards are high. The Beauty X Press series by Dr Grandel is a cosmetic line that accompanies the busy lifestyle of modern women. It is the skin care formula for all women who don't have that much time for their daily beauty routine, but won't make any concessions when it comes to cosmetic effects. The compact product line responds quickly and simply to the individual care habits of every woman and guarantees a perfectly styled appearance in a very short time. The active ingredients are chosen as individually and specifically as the skin care requirements they need to fulfil. What unites them, however, is their quick and visible effectiveness. For further details, call on 2141 2673 or 9982 8498.

FINDING THE RIGHT RED Don’t be daunted by red lipstick; it can create instant glamour that will make you look and feel great. The trick is finding the right red for you. Luckily, Max Factor has launched four new red lip shades matched to skin tone. They are four red shades expertly designed and customised to work with individual skin tones; warm, cool and dark, with a final shade, which is universally flattering. So there’s a red for everyone. Inspired by Marilyn MonroeTM and one of her favourite red lipsticks, Max Factor Ruby Red, the collection enables women to ‘be more of the women they are’. For local trade enquiries, call VJ Salomone Marketing on 8007 2387. 50 ∫ Pink August 2016

LATEST MODELS AT GREAT PRICES O’hea Opticians are offering 30 per cent off all the new stock of designer spectacles and sunglasses. Don't miss this opportunity to buy the latest models at such great prices. Pop in and you are sure to find a pair that you will fall in love with from this year’s great collections by Christian Dior, Gucci, Versace, Givenchy, Fendi, Silhouette, Etnia Barcelona, Adidas… The sale is on throughout the month of August. O’hea Opticians is at 191, The Strand, Gzira [2131 5590].

A HAPPY LIFE FOR ANIMALS As part of the company’s year-long calendar of corporate social responsibility initiatives, Casino Malta has partnered with the Malta Society for the Protection and Care of Animals, whose Sponsor a Dog or Cat programme is the most simple and effective way to help rehabilitate and re-home animals. For €52 per animal, Casino Malta has committed to sponsor 50 animals entering the MSPCA Re-Homing Centre, Floriana. In addition to food and medical supplies, this sponsorship programme provides animal bedding, special dietary food, toys, treats, leashes and other supplies that help make an animal’s life at the MSPCA as happy as possible until they find that loving home. To celebrate this partnership with Casino Malta, the MSPCA will give these 50 animals names that are associated with the casino world. Casino Malta has donated €2,500 and is helping to prevent cruelty to animals through education and advocacy. Contact the MSPCA on 2123 4431 to find out how to become an SADC sponsor, or send an e-mail to sadc@spcamalta.org.


HEALTHBITES

Diabetes By Stephanie Farrugia from the Malta Medical Students Association

eatme

BANANA LEAVES I’m packed with good stuff Banana plants are herbaceous perennials. They are mostly foliage, with stems made of rolled leaf layers up to nine feet long and two feet wide, which unfurl from the stalks. But banana leaves also offer nutritional and medicinal benefits. They contain starch, which is extracted through a fermentation, or cooking process. In some parts of the world, the resulting flour is used for baking and the starch is also cooked into glue. The banana leaf is also good for serving food because of its varied size and because it is considered to be hygienic. It is full of antioxidants, while disposing of the biodegradable leaf is also eco-friendly. Banana leaves can be used for cooking anything from fish to chicken and even certain desserts. Dishes cooked by being wrapped in banana leaves have an unique flavour. As a home remedy, banana-leaf poultices help to heal burns and other skin irritations. They can be used on wounds and sunburn to help cool and soothe. Banana leaves contain allantoin, a natural substance that helps heal the skin. Their juice is an astringent and can help with diarrhoea and ulcers.

25%

of 12-year-olds get less than the recommended nine hours of sleep per night and there is increasing evidence that this impacts learning and memory, according to the new American Academy of Sleep Medicine [AASM] guidelines.

Diabetes Mellitus is a condition where sugar levels in the blood are abnormally high. Under normal conditions, when blood sugar levels increase after a meal, a hormone called insulin is released from cells in the pancreas in response to this elevation. Insulin stimulates the sugar to move from the blood into the body cells, so that the blood sugar levels are brought back to normal. There are three major types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, where nearly all the cells responsible for producing insulin are destroyed by the body itself and thus cannot produce it – a condition that usually presents very early in life; Type 2 diabetes, which has a later age onset, and where the cells produce sufficient amounts of insulin, but this time, the body cells that take up the sugar from the blood are resistant to the effects of insulin on them, known as insulin resistance and caused mainly by obesity; gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy – a condition that arises when blood glucose levels are higher than normal and which the insulin cannot bring back down. The

pre-stage of Type 2 diabetes is known as prediabetes, where patients have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered as diabetes. Initially, diabetes is asymptomatic and is only detected on testing during a regular check-up. Hence, it is important to visit the doctor regularly. Symptoms that occur at a later stage in diabetes include frequent urination, frequent drinking, weight loss, frequent eating, nausea and drowsiness. It is extremely important to seek medical help if you notice these changes. If neglected, diabetes leads to serious complications, including strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, nerve damage and poor vision. A healthy, balanced diet, accompanied by a few minutes of exercise every day, are ideal to reduce the risks of developing diabetes.

IYENGAR YOGA What’s unique about Iyengar yoga? It’s a safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop everyone’s ability and skill, both within each class and from class to class. The sequencing develops strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration and body alignment, with a focus on precision and the holding of poses for longer than other styles of yoga. In Iyengar, you slowly move into a pose, hold it for a minute or so, and then rest for a few breaths before stretching into another. It also involves the use of props, such as blankets, blocks and straps to facilitate learning and to adjust yoga postures to individual needs. It shows ways to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress, adjusting postures for common physical problems and incorporating it into daily life.

MONTHLY MUSE “I was eating bad stuff. Lots of sugar and carbs, junk food all the time. It makes you very irritated.” Avril Lavigne, Canadian singer-songwriter.

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THINKPI HEALH, BEAUY, FOOD & HINS

CELEBRATING SUCCESS MORE THAN JUST A HAIRCARE RANGE The Aussie line-up recently launched in Malta by VJ Salomone Marketing consists of 23 items, with heaps more to join the list soon. The range is already available at leading stores, including Smart Supermarket, GS Superstore, Park Towers Santa Venera, Shopper, Carters, Melita Pharmacy, Remi Hairdressing and via the official VJ Salomone Marketing online shop: shop.vjsm.com.mt. Aussie is about wanting your hair to look good. But it’s also about never letting that get in the way of having a good time. You’ll love the Aussie lineup almost as much as you’ll love your Aussome hair after using it.

SUN CARE TREATMENT With Solenium products containing precious essential oils, plant extracts, trace elements and vitamins, you can continue enjoying a healthy, protected scalp and hair even at the hottest time of year. After-sun shampoo and shower gel with a gentle action, containing no SLES, DEA, or parabens; fat-soluble sunscreens contained in the oil and mask; and a bi-phase action moisturiser with a dry feel form a unique complete line of sun products. Formulas are carefully studied to protect, moisturise and nourish, restoring and re-establishing vitality for the scalp and hair and eliminating all salt and chlorine residues for a soothing, refreshing effect with a pleasant fragrance. The Solenium Sun Care range is available in selected hair salons around Malta. For more information, check out the Facebook page Nubea Malta, or call on 9942 4040.

TRANSPARENT AND AQUATIC FRESHNESS Queen of Seduction is the new feminine perfume of Antonio Banderas that adds up to the King of Seduction Universe. It is an attractive and sensual fragrance, inspired by the power of attraction, for a sophisticated, feminine and characterful woman, a woman up to the level of the king of the seducers. The bottle, with its angled and elegant lines, is in the shape of a jewel. The green watery tone adds freshness to this design, which finds its feminine and sophisticated touch in the gold cap. The fragrance is a wave of transparent and aquatic freshness, highlighted by a brilliant and luminous apple note and sparkling raspberry, which combines with a modern and sophisticated floral heart, where iris, jasmine, and peony reign. A feminine flower bouquet wraps up in a soft note of pink pepper that accentuates its sensuality and glamour. Queen of Seduction is exclusively distributed by Ta’ Xbiex Perfumery Ltd [2133 1553].

Book a flight, pack a bag and fly with the team! This is how success is celebrated at Videoslots.com. What better way can you do so other than by booking a flight, packing a suitcase and heading over to another sunny country? Last month, the whole team was flown out to the vibrant Catalan capital, Barcelona. They were joined by Ulle Skottling, Videoslots.com’s latest star recruit and freshly appointed COO. There’s a sense of belonging in the team and it is easily noticeable when you see them out together.

BRUNETTE REVOLUTION Are you a brunette with hair care dreams? Now, a small beauty wish might come true for you, thanks to John Frieda’s new revolutionary innovation to enhance your hair colour within minutes. This beautifying effect is called: Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper and Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter – two different hair care lines each perfectly designed to enhance a specific shade of colour to help you fall in love with your new brunette immediately. Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper conjures up a dark, deep and flawlessly even shade of brunette for your hair. Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter restores a brighter, vivid brunette with golden reflections. The base of each hair care line is a rinse-off colour beautifying application for long-lasting results, a shampoo and a conditioner designed to intensify the colour level, shade by shade. For further details, contact Charles Degiorgio Ltd on 2560 0500.

A DYNAMIC CHARACTER Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport is a new creation that is symbolic of the spirit and energy of Prada Luna Rossa. Inspired by the challenge of extreme sailing, Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport reveals a dynamic character to redefine lighter eau de toilettes with warmer radiant notes. Built around six timeless ingredients, the opening notes of bergamot and cedrat enrich aromatic lavender and tart ginger at the heart of the fragrance, which melt into aromas of gray amber and cedar, characterising the base of the composition. Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport captures the essence of true innovation, writing the next chapter in a story that speaks of the mastery of competition and the power of nature. It is exclusively distributed by Ta’ Xbiex Perfumery Ltd [2133 1553].

A JOURNEY OF POWERFUL SEDUCTION Inspired by a journey of powerful seduction Boss The Scent For Her exudes a sublime feminine elegance, warmth and seductiveness that unfolds gradually over time. Revealing a rousing aphrodisiac base of roasted cocoa with an unquestionably alluring power, the effect is an intensity that steadily builds to draw the Boss man and Boss woman closer. The top notes of Boss The Scent For Her reflect the first interplay between the fragrance and the act of getting closer. Fruity and floral honeyed peach and freesia meet in an exquisite, head-turning combination, attracting both protagonists with a sophisticated, yet light and delicate power. This fascinating accord sparks the initial attraction between the Boss man and Boss woman – revealing her mysterious side and making him want to discover more. With your purchase of Boss The Scent For Her EDP 100ml, you will receive an exclusive Boss tote bag. For local trade enquiries, call VJ Salomone Marketing on 8007 2387. Ask in store for more details. The offer is valid from authorised outlets until stocks last. 52 ∫ Pink August 2016


PINKSHRINK alive. Playing safe can work for a while, but you may end up growing up with the regret of not having shown your true self. Never stop fighting for what feels right inside and remind yourself that accumulating stress is not a long-term solution.

Tips for parents who need to come to terms with their child ‘coming out’:

Dott. EDWARD CURMI opens the doors for children to tell parents they are gay, and guides mums and dads on how to react. Meanwhile, put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and digest the news…

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oday, gays and lesbians are feeling more comfortable ‘coming out’ to their parents. Parents, in turn, may react to such news in different ways… Some may feel a sense of relief as, finally, they are able to understand better what could have been troubling their child. Others may initially experience mixed emotions, which vary from worry to guilt, or shame. Research is telling us that, most of the time, when children ‘come out’ to their parents, it is beneficial as it strengthens the relationship between them. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case as, sometimes, parents refuse to understand and resort to rejection and even violence. So how should children approach their parents about their sexuality? And how should parents deal with such situations?

Have a contingency plan At times, things may not go as planned. Prepare yourself for different scenarios. Assuming is known to fog our perception of things. Learn to stay optimistic, but realistic at the same time.

Tips for children who intend ‘coming out’ to their parents:

Show them that you are happy When parents realise that their child is happy and healthy, they are able to accept things much more quickly. Reassuring parents that you are in a ‘good place’ is essential for more acceptance and future serenity between all parties in a family.

Get enough support Consider seeking the right support before embarking on a journey to ‘come out’. Having a good support system is definitely a safe bet to stay healthy. Choose to surround yourself with people you can trust and who love you unconditionally.

Choose the right time and place Finding the right time is essential when you need the full attention of others. It is also important to choose a safe and quiet place to discuss a serious matter. Give them time to adjust When someone is taken by surprise, it is best to give them some time to adjust to the situation. Often, parents may ask questions that may sound offensive, but it’s pretty normal. Learn to stay calm and respect the pace that parents need to accept the situation. After all, they are human and they too need time to digest information.

Take the plunge Learn how to take the plunge and risk a little. After all, it only makes us feel more

Buy time Whenever an awkward situation crops up, tell the person you are going to boil a kettle and make a cup of tea. This may sound absurd, but it’s a very effective way of buying a bit of time and recomposing yourself when you don’t know how to react. Be positive Staying positive is a must when children choose to talk about something so personal. Cherish the courage and openness of a child who feels comfortable to share such sensitive information. Always try your best to see the glass half full, rather than half empty, and never stop losing faith in the decisions your child chooses to take in life. Learn more Being a parent is the hardest job in the world and you must never assume that you can afford to stop learning. If your child chooses to come out, learn more about the subject. Rather than jumping to conclusions, take an interest and broaden your mind about the matter. Find the right support Feeling understood and supported is a good coping mechanism when you feel a little confused. Do not bottle up all your frustration and seek the help of someone who can understand you without being judgmental. If needs be, talk to parents who have possibly experienced the same situation. Professional help is always round the corner and may be another solution if you want to learn to understand, adjust and accept life for what it is. Dott. Edward Curmi is a registered clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and author of the book Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being, and its sequel More Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being, available from Agenda Bookshops.

Pink August 2016 ∫ 53


PARENTINGTIPS

DOWN AND OUT There is no questioning that parental mental illness impacts parenting style, resulting in a tendency to lack confidence and compensate for what the child has to go through. Although she paints a bleak picture, educational and child psychologist Dr STEPHANIE SATARIANO says nothing is set in stone and that, with the right help and guidance, the situation can be moved in a positive direction.

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ne in four of us will suffer from a mental illness at any given point in our lives; a statistic, quoted innumerable times, that includes children, teenagers, adults, and yes, even parents. Anyone who has suffered or knows someone who does suffer from mental illness knows that it has a wide impact on their life… It’s an ongoing uphill struggle that is not yet understood.

How does mental illness differ in parenthood? When you are a parent, the world is not just about you anymore; you have others that are dependent on you, for daily living, needs, wants and love. Although this may be scary for a parent to hear, 54 ∫ Pink August 2016


PARENTINGTIPS

parental mental illness has an effect on their children. There is vast research showing that it has an impact on their attachment relationship with their child, as well as the child’s all-round development; particularly their emotional and social development. Also, parental mental illness impacts their parenting style: there is a tendency to lack confidence and compensate for what the child has to go through; often neglect can occur, as can other forms of abuse. Although this is a bleak picture, nothing is set in stone, and with the right help and guidance, the situation can be moved in a positive direction.

able to provide a safe relationship in which they are more able to deal with difficulties. Video Interaction Guidance is used to support parents who have suffered from mental illness and, therefore, need to strengthen and promote their attachment with their children. Through this intervention, little clips that show a positive interaction with their children are reviewed so as to help the parents recognise what they are doing well to support them, as well as increase their understanding of their children. Talk to your child – In a developmentally appropriate manner, explain to them what is

“MENTAL ILLNESS HAS A STRONG GENETIC COMPONENT, SO THERE IS A CHANCE THAT THEY TOO MAY DEVELOP SUCH DIFFICULTIES IN THE FUTURE; TEACH THEM FROM NOW HOW TO MANAGE IT AND GROW AS A RESULT OF THE DIFFICULT TIMES” So what can parents do in such situations? Look after yourself – Accept that mental illness will have a wide impact on the family dynamics, and get the help you need so that you can build up strength to support your children. Work on your relationship with your partner and seek out any other support systems you have. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children that getting help takes courage. Mental illness has a strong genetic component, so there is a chance that they too may develop such difficulties in the future; teach them from now how to manage it and grow as a result of the difficult times. Attune to your child – Mental illness tends to make a person become withdrawn and/or highly egocentric. They begin to struggle to think of others’ feelings and situations from others’ point of view, including their children’s. These concepts are known in parenting literature as ‘mentalisation’ and ‘mindmindedness’; that is, a parent’s ability to keep their child’s feelings and thoughts in mind and understand that they are separate and different from their own. This, in turn, can impact the parent-child attachment, as well as their parenting style. A key therapeutic step is to develop and strengthen the parentchild relationship. By understanding your children and being tuned in to them, you are

happening. We think that children don’t notice, but they do, and the fear of the unknown can be scarier than the fear of the known. If you’re not sure how to explain it to them, consult a professional. Most importantly, let them know it’s not their fault, and that regardless of how you are feeling, your love for them is unconditional. Get help for your children – Parents know when their children are suffering, but it is hard to admit. Should you notice a change in their behaviour, or development, seeking help is very courageous and also highly important. With children, the earlier they get any help and advice, the less the impact will be on their all-round development. One model of working is through the parent-child relationship, and supporting parenting practices through ongoing advice. Other models include child-focused interventions, such as play, dance and music therapy. There is no clear answer to the best way to respond to such difficulties, and it is usually a trial-and-error approach that targets different areas of the family dynamics. Mental illness is a very fragile and delicate situation that needs to be supported with care. One size does not fit all, but what is true for most is that when you reach out for help in the right places, things do start to look up. Pink August 2016 ∫ 55


GIRLTALK

THE VIRGINIA MONOLOGUES

Don’t feel homesick on holiday T

ravelling is a little bit like having a baby. You forget how painful it is between one trip [baby] and another. Every time I travel, I wonder why I keep putting myself through the ordeal and I marvel at the inevitable three- to six-month recurring itch – an urge that I just have to give into when I find myself booking yet another holiday. Of course, a good hotel can and does make all the difference in the world and can turn your average holiday into a fantastic one. And conversely, a poor hotel [and room], courtesy of ill-advised TripAdvice, can get your holiday off to a very bad start and make you miserable and feeling desperately homesick. You see, you reach an age where you will only leave your house and comforts to go to an equally comfortable – preferably more comfortable – place. Why on earth would you leave all your luxuries behind – your en-suite bathroom, Wi-Fi in your bedroom, your king-size bed, comfortable mattress and plasma TV screen, go through hoops at security, to have to camp and suffer in some three-star hotel with a bathroom the size of your broom cupboard and no room to swing a cat? When you’re googling hotels + Vienna [insert city/ destination of your choice] 56 ∫ Pink August 2016

believe that it’s only three days and, as long as the hotel room is decent and clean, you’re better off spending your money on good food, a new pair of shoes, or a couple of dresses. I’ve been to three-star hotels that deserved 4.5 stars and 4-star hotels that have sent me running for the hills. And whatever people say, you can’t ever really trust someone else’s advice, unless you know them personally. And even then… I attach a great deal of importance to my surroundings, so I don’t just want a good hotel room; I also need to like the hotel. I have to like the lobby and reception area and especially the breakfast area. If it smells of yesterday’s breakfast – rancid butter and old bacon grease – and if it

looks more like a canteen than a pretty dining room, then I’ll probably sulk and choose to eat breakfast in

“YOU SEE, YOU REACH AN AGE WHERE YOU WILL ONLY LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AND COMFORTS TO GO TO AN EQUALLY COMFORTABLE – PREFERABLY MORE COMFORTABLE – PLACE” and you are faced with a sea of hotels, all with seemingly good reviews, the temptation to spend €500 for three nights in lieu of €1,000 is always great. Because a small part of you wants to

a nearby cafe that has chairs and tables I like, and a nice vibe all round. I’m very affected by my immediate surroundings. For me, ‘anything goes’ nowhere.


GIRLTALK And then, of course, there’s the hotel room that doesn’t have to be palatial, but still needs to look the part and make you feel right at home. First off, I have to have a bathtub. I’m a bath person all year round, but am happy to have showers in the bath, or even stand-up showers from time to time… except when I’m abroad.

slightly mad, agonising at the prospect of spending three days standing up inside a shower. I was determined to leave the hotel if I was not given a room with a bath. Mercifully, it was forthcoming and I tell you it was worth the bother. It changed the entire dynamics of the holiday. The room was infinitely superior – even the pictures

“EVEN IF YOU SPEND THREE QUARTERS OF YOUR DAY OUT AND ABOUT AND ONLY USE THE HOTEL AS YOUR RESTING PLACE, YOU STILL WANT TO LOOK FORWARD TO RETURNING. I USUALLY GO FOR A BALANCE AND TEND TO SPEND AT LEAST THREE HOURS OF MY WAKING DAY INSIDE THE HOTEL, POTTERING AROUND” Because holidays are about being on your feet all day long and then being rewarded with a hot soak in a very deep bubble bath at the end of a day spent walking, doing the sites and shopping till you drop. On my last holiday, I was given a room without a bathtub [admittedly, I had forgotten to ask for one specifically in the booking], and I went

on the wall were nicer. And the bathtub was surprisingly much more comfortable than my own back home, which is always a plus. It had the most beautiful view of the mountains and I must have had about three baths a day – morning, afternoon and night. You see, in that sort of environment, having a bath becomes an intricate part of the

holiday, which is why I never really understood people who insist that an expensive and lavish hotel is a waste of time and money because you only use it to sleep in. Even if you spend three quarters of your day out and about and only use the hotel as your resting place, you still want to look forward to returning. I usually go for a balance and tend to spend at least three hours of my waking day inside the hotel, pottering around. I don’t need a television, or a gym, or even a SPA; just nice surroundings and that feeling of chic elegance. I have had my fair share of disappointments and have even cried in some hotels and felt desperately sorry for myself. So I have learned the hard way. I don’t trust all the reviews and am much more discerning. Admittedly, sometimes, you don’t have to pay a lot to get quality, but usually, paying that little bit more pays. The last thing you want to feel while on holiday is homesick. ginantonic@live.com


TABLETALK

GOING INGREDIENTS Serves 4 For the tuna 4 tuna steaks of about 120g each 12 dry banana leaves, or approximately 4 leaves per person 1 tbsp wasabi paste ½ tsp ground bay leaves 1 tbsp olive oil 4 medium potatoes, peeled 1 tbsp coconut oil For the salad ½ avocado, chopped 7 cherries, pitted and chopped Half a grapefruit, cut in segments 150g cucumber, peeled and chopped Salad leaves ½ tsp fig preserve 1 tbsp olive oil Between 1-2 tbsp lime juice, or to taste

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BANANAS MARIA CACHIA cooks her tuna in banana leaves after coating it in wasabi paste. METHOD For the tuna Soak the banana leaves in water for a couple of hours. Pat them dry. Mix the wasabi paste, ground bay leaves and olive oil. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Marinade the tuna for a couple of hours in the wasabi paste. Place a couple of overlapping banana leaves on a flat surface. Put the tuna roughly in the centre. Fold the leaves on top and the tuna onto itself. Take another two leaves and place them at 90 degrees to the leaves already wrapping the tuna. Wrap these on top and the tuna onto itself. The tuna can be cooked directly on redhot charcoal, or on a grill on a BBQ. A 3cm tuna steak will only take about three minutes on each side for medium cooking. The leaves will turn black on charcoal and on a BBQ, but the tuna will be moist inside.

Slice the potatoes with a mandolin. Pat them dry and sauté in a frying pan with the coconut oil over medium heat. The potatoes will need to be cooked in batches, or in multiple frying pans. Turn the potatoes after a minute or so and stack them on one another to form a rough layer. Continue adding layers until you use up a whole potato. The starch in the potatoes will make them stick. Turn the heat to low and cook for a further couple of minutes. Top the potato layers with the tuna, which can be removed from the banana leaves if desired. For the salad In a bowl, blend together the fig preserve, olive oil and lime juice. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Add the avocado, cherries, grapefruit segments, cucumber and salad leaves. Toss gently and serve immediately.


WOMENONWHEELS

TOYOTALLY TWEAKED The new Toyota Yaris has been nipped and tucked, improving the looks of a car with an already impressive list of attributes. ANDREA FAYE CHRISTIANS finds that following its mid-life facelift, it is at once small and spacious… and ideal for Malta’s congested roads.

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hen it comes to reliability and value for money, Toyota is a hard act to follow and the Yaris is just one of many successful cars that have come from this eminent manufacturer. When it was launched a decade ago, it was hailed as a landmark small car and blazed the way for others to follow. However, although there are those who will insist that if it’s not broken, why change it, the fact is the car market is evolving at a phenomenal rate. As a result, Toyota took what was already a very likeable car and tweaked it still further, with the now nipped and tucked new Yaris adding stylish good looks to an already impressive repertoire of attributes. Think of an out-of-shape celebrity being sent to boot camp and given a

62 ∫ Pink August 2016

makeover to emerge trim and rejuvenated and that’s what you’ve got with the new-look Yaris. Yes, the Yaris has unashamedly had a mid-life facelift and the result is a car that most definitely has that wow factor. While most of its rivals have grown in size in recent years, Toyota’s designers kept a watchful eye on its dimensions,

are several options available, with the two-tone colour scheme of the 1.3 litre petrol Yaris Design I was set to drive giving it a distinct sporting look. Having said that, with its sleek lines, this new-generation model looks good in any shade. Inside, the car is an oasis of cool and is nicely finished with a user-friendly Toyota Touch infotainment system. When it comes to space, there is plenty of it, with more than adequate leg and head room, coupled with a decent-sized boot. Out on the road, it is quiet, responsive and nonchalantly adept, giving the impression of being so much more than just a super mini. If there were any criticism, I can think of only one: it lacked a little power in the lower revs for quick acceleration to nip in and out in traffic. However, it was a small con in a long list of pros, and the new Yaris has an understated finesse that makes the overall driving experience pleasant. As well as being easy on the eye, the new Toyota Yaris is also not overly unkind on the pocket and, with a starting price of €14, 200, offers excellent value for money. Not surprisingly, drivers here have had a long love affair with this car. You only have to see how many are out and about on the roads to understand that. But this revamped model definitely cuts a dash. What’s more, its relative small size and manoeuvrability make it ideally suited to Malta, which, incidentally, at the moment, holds the record for the highest number of cars per population in Europe! So let’s cut to the chase and put it another way: If you plan to take the traffic situation here to task, you’d be wise to consider a new Toyota Yaris. Reliable and

“UNLIKE MANY HAS-BEEN CELEBRITIES, IT DOESN’T NEED TO MAKE A COMEBACK AS IT NEVER WENT ANYWHERE” with the new-look car being only marginally larger than its predecessor and remaining true to its original claim to be a spacious, small car. With regards to styling, it is reminiscent of its smaller sibling the Aygo. There

realistically priced, it now benefits from state-of-the-art looks, while remaining a great little car that has reinvented itself. However, unlike many has-been celebrities, it doesn’t need to make a comeback as it never went anywhere!


STARGAZER

THE FUTURE IS

PINK ARIES MARCH 20-APRIL 18 It’s the rare Aries who’s bothered by the mistakes of others, even the major ones you’ll encounter during much of September. Instead of seeking a quick fix, invest time in discovering the source of errors and, even more, a solution that would improve on things. While this is informative, better yet, it clears up confusion, often issues you’d no idea existed. The resulting discussions lead to new and exciting territory, personally, with others and professionally, especially as you approach mid-October’s Aries Full Moon.

CANCER JUNE 20-JULY 21 For ages, there’s been talk of substantial changes in your domestic or working life. Now it happens, all at one time. And it’s better than you imagined possible. So when things don’t go according to plan, which is likely, be flexible. This makes it easier to shed once troublesome arrangements and, better yet, ensures you’re free to accept offers as exciting as they are unexpected. Even then, when even better options arise, be ready to rethink existing arrangements and your future goals.

LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 21 After months of difficult situations, the tide’s turning. While September’s still tricky, often events will work out. Thank the fortunate Jupiter, which moves into Libra on September 9. During its stay, until October 2017, life’s about discovery, discussion and growth, often in unexpected and sometimes initially unwelcome forms. For now, be prepared for changes, many unexpected, some seemingly worrying. Despite that, explore every encounter and idea. What seems least likely now could prove miraculous.

CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21-JANUARY 19 While there’s no avoiding the fallout from the tricky planetary action that begins in late August, learn from it and you’ll discover how each twist and turn offers powerful insights, some via existing arrangements, others because of close alliances. What’s more, changes in people, plans, habits, or even your goals encourage you to venture into new territory. Initially, playing it safe may seem practical; take chances and what you discover will excite you in ways that, only recently, you thought impossible.

According to astrologer SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL… TAURUS

APRIL 19-MAY 19 Those who say you’re stubborn or resist change are wrong. But when you’re not involved in decisions, or arrangements aren’t discussed with you, as will be the case during September, it’s another matter. Still, at least explore and be flexible about the unknown, since with lucky Jupiter on your side, what’s least expected could turn out to be amazing. Overcome your doubts about the unknown and explore. You’ll learn from everything and will soon enthusiastically pursue plans you’d once have rejected flat.

LEO JULY 22-AUGUST 21 Life would be easier if you could make, and stick to, a single plan, but during September, it’s not possible. What’s more, what you learn about and who you meet could change everything overnight. Knowing that, begin by letting go of long-standing but no longer rewarding arrangements or alliances. Saying farewell frees you and others to move on, which becomes increasingly important until the month’s end, when things come together suddenly and very magically. After that, there’s no question what’s best.

SCORPIO OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 20 September’s complications are unavoidable, but are also a springboard for growth. So instead of focusing on swift remedies, you’ll seek out and learn from their source, then consider numerous solutions, some seemingly unrealistic, at least initially. Meanwhile, deal with but don’t dwell on errors and confusion. These are obscure, exciting ideas and breakthroughs. Once you’ve spotted these, note how they’re broadening your horizons in close relationships and in your own life. Let the past go and embrace what lies ahead.

AQUARIUS JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18 Usually, you’re not only easygoing about others; you rather enjoy their quirky habits. Yet changes in elements of your life are forcing you to be tough in everything from facts to money. Although things are moving swiftly, decisions and lasting plans should wait until early October when circumstances and your priorities are more settled. Meanwhile, give serious thought to offers that involve study, travel or, possibly, philosophical ideas. These are intriguing now, but could soon become central to your life.

Visit www.shelleyvonstrunckel.com to learn more and order your own chart.

GEMINI MAY 20-JUNE 19 Since you have a low boredom threshold, when events force you to rethink elements of your domestic or working life, you’ll be excited. You’ll both learn and benefit from these, and make some a lasting part of your life. Your biggest problem is those who are not interested, or actually refuse even to discuss anything new. Suggest it, then back off. Meanwhile, untangle certain increasingly burdensome past issues and alliances. Once you’re free of those, it’s likely others will be ready for those changes.

VIRGO AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 21 Sometimes, confusion is just a nuisance. Now, however, disruptive changes and unexpected events bring exciting developments. Since their promise won’t always be clear, explore every idea and offer, and say no to none, at least initially. True, living with the resulting uncertainty will be uncomfortable for you, as a precise Virgo. Still, it allows you to explore new ideas and, equally, get to know those who you meet better. Be patient. By late September, you’ll begin to see things coming together.

SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 21-DECEMBER 20 You’re in a cycle that’s about rethinking everything from long-standing arrangements and alliances to existing and future plans. You analyse past mistakes, discuss current and ongoing problems and learn from it all. You discover some arrangements must go. This exposes your stubborn side but, still, you’ll soon realise saying farewell is a relief. Better yet, changes clear the way for thrilling ideas and offers triggered by your ruler Jupiter’s move on September 9 to accent ways you can broaden your horizons.

PISCES FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 19 During early September, you’ll be wrestling with deep feelings, their influence on plans, yours and those of others. While you’ll resolve some matters swiftly, others will take longer, mostly because circumstances or certain situations are confused. Instead of forcing issues, examine what works in practical terms and what doesn’t. Then when the Pisces Full Moon on September 16 brings situations and feelings to a head, you’ll have all the necessary facts and will be able to focus on potentially life-changing decisions. Pink August 2016 ∫ 63


SNAPSHOT Caroline Mattocks Photography Benjamin Sammut

PUSHING ON THE PASSION Founder member and administrator of the Sharon Sapienza Foundation, Caroline Mattocks has made it her mission to keep her dear friend’s legacy alive. She tells Pink what’s in store for local dancers at the upcoming workshop the foundation is organising this month and about its aim to continue opening the classes to an ever wider base of candidates.

F

ollowing the death of Flamenco choreographer and producer Sharon Sapienza three years ago, you actively and voluntarily joined forces with her parents to set up a foundation in her name. What is your history with Sharon; your drive, motivation and inspiration to keep her spirt alive?

Sharon Sapienza

and traditions, which are synonymous with the Spanish culture. Her main passion was to support young, talented, Spanish artists, as well as promoting culture and Spanish dance, especially Escuela Bolera, which was very close to her heart. One of the most recent projects Sharon had worked on was actually Mu-Danzas Boleras 1812- 2012, which took four years to complete. The first time I was introduced to this performance was in Jerez at the Teatro Villamarta in 2012. I was flabbergasted by this masterpiece as it presented a completely new aspect of dance for me personally. I realised, there and then,

“SHARON INTRODUCED US TO A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF VIBRANCE, PASSION AND TRADITIONS, WHICH ARE SYNONYMOUS WITH THE SPANISH CULTURE. HER MAIN PASSION WAS TO SUPPORT YOUNG, TALENTED, SPANISH ARTISTS, AS WELL AS PROMOTING CULTURE AND SPANISH DANCE, ESPECIALLY ESCUELA BOLERA, WHICH WAS VERY CLOSE TO HER HEART”

Jose Manuel Buzon

I knew Sharon for over 20 years. The first time I met her was at her parents’ home during one of her flamenco workshops, which she used to conduct during her summer holidays in Malta. She immediately struck me as a very beautiful, warm, fun-loving and

talented, young lady. We immediately connected, and being as perceptive as Sharon was, she noted that I had a profound affinity for flamenco dance and the Spanish culture. In fact, as the years progressed, we organised various workshops together in Seville, Spain, for students through reputable flamenco artists that Sharon knew personally of course. Sharon introduced us to a whole new world of vibrance, passion

what true love and dedication one must have to put up such a production. When we were setting up the foundation, it was Sharon’s parents’ wish to try and promote Escuela Bolera as much as possible and this is one of the several objectives we have set out to accomplish. The Sharon Sapienza Foundation aims also to offer opportunities to local Spanish dancers. Is this what Pink August 2016 ∫ 65


SNAPSHOT she would have wanted and how is it being received? Most definitely! Sharon experienced challenges in establishing her own career and finding the right contacts in this highly competitive field, especially in Spain. This was one of the many reasons why the Sharon Sapienza Foundation was created. All the funds generated are reinvested in promising and talented students, who would like to further their studies in Spanish dance. We have started promoting this with the member students and, naturally, it has been very well received. Of course, it all depends on the availability of funds and sponsors.

choreographer at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid. In spite of his busy schedule and because of his past dancing affinity with Sharon, he has promised to do his best to run these courses and, in fact, this will be his third workshop in Malta. Jose will be teaching Spanish dance technique, coupled with the use of castanets. He will also dedicate some time to the Escuela Bolera technique with the advanced students. The foundation is actively working to reintroduce this genre, especially with students who have a sound ballet foundation. This workshop will give the students the opportunity to work towards the

“HAVING A FOREIGN ARTIST AND BEING EXPOSED TO AN OVERSEAS CULTURE GIVES ADDED BONUS AND EXPERTISE, ESPECIALLY IF ONE WISHES TO TAKE ONE’S DANCE CAREER TO A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL” It is often lamented that local dancers do not readily attend dance shows and workshops. Do you feel you have enough candidates taking up the chance to train under established teachers, or would you expect and want more? We believe many local dancers are given a very good standard of dance knowledge by the various talented teachers available in Malta. However, having a foreign artist and being exposed to an overseas culture gives added bonus and expertise, especially if one wishes to take one’s dance career to a professional level. Consequently, the foundation does need the students’ consistent support to enable us to continue providing reputable and experienced artists. The foundation can be considered to be successful if… If we continue promoting Spanish dance technique and Escuela Bolera, as well as stage Sharon’s last masterpiece Mu-Danzas Boleras 1812-2012 on an international level. What can you tell us about Workshop IV and how dancers can benefit from attending it? Workshop IV will be conducted by the renowned artist Jose Manuel Buzon, who is a dance technique teacher and 66 ∫ Pink August 2016

co-ordination of footwork, upper body and the use of castanets. We encourage all Spanish and flamenco dance students to attend any of the three levels on offer. Ballet students are also encouraged to attend the Escuela Bolera technique session, which is being held alongside the advanced level.

there are fixed costs the foundation needs to cover for these initiatives to materialise. We do receive support from the members/administrators, family, friends and other contacts, who knew Sharon personally, and we are indebted to them for their collaboration and contributions. Funding is necessary to allow the foundation to continue its operations and its mission. If Sharon is looking down on you now, what do you think she would be saying? She would definitely say: ‘What a BX Ca!’ She used to say this to me and her parents, and it stands for ‘x’bicca xoghol’, meaning ‘what a job you are facing’! If you could meet and speak to her briefly again, what would you talk to her about? I do believe that Sharon is constantly guiding us, the members/administrators and her parents through the foundation. If I could meet her now, I know we would firstly talk about our families as this was something she wholeheartedly loved and treasured.

This is the fourth workshop that is being organised. How many more do you envisage and do you see the initiative developing into other avenues? What plans do you have in the pipeline? The SSF will continue to provide various workshops with different artists and these will not be limited just to dance. The members and administrators strive to introduce new projects. We are actively working on a new workshop with a reputable artist solely for castanets technique. We are also in collaboration with the Matilde Coral Academy in Seville to provide workshops for the awarded students. Other projects involve Sharon’s last production, where efforts are being directed to stage it on an international level.

What is your most lasting memory of her? Sharon used to love the sea, and whenever she was in Malta, we made it a point to dedicate some time to each other. On her last visit with her dear husband Jose, we had organised a boat trip to Gozo with my partner. It was a magnificent day and an eventful one too. We had a wonderful lunch together in Xlendi and shared some laughs. It was, indeed, very special and clearly imprinted in my memory. On our way back, the sunset was so magical and serene that we had taken photos of the scenery and of us together. It was complete. These were the last treasured moments we shared, and though now heartbreaking to recall, I am somewhat comforted knowing that it was a lovely experience for Sharon as well.

How hard is it to raise the required funds to organise the workshops and scholarships? It is a constant challenge to secure students to attend the workshops as

Workshop IV is being held on August 29, 30 and 31 with a demonstration class on September 1. For more information, send an e-mail to sharonsapienzafoundation@gmail.com; or check out the Facebook page Sharon Sapienza Foundation VO 1129.


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