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ISSUE148∫ FEBRUARY2017

LOVE IS IN THE AIR Starting afresh & joining forces When two families become one

Back to black PLAY SAFE AND SOPHISTICATED

Gigi Hadid SUPERMODEL ON DESIGN SNUFF BOX STYLE Fashion statements from the past

PICKING THAT VALUABLE VINTAGE GIFT

Solo travel for the singletons

A dad’s key role in his daughter’s development THE BLUEPRINT TO FUTURE ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS


INSIDE

February 2017

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16 31

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FEATURES 16 LoveLife blended and bonding Joining family forces 28 ArtyFacts the snuff of dreams History’s hippest accessory

FASHION 36 ShowStopper black is black Unquestionably simple, sophisticated… and safe 46 TrendSetter be my vintage valentine Gifts of yesteryear add real romance

HEALTH 48 HealthBites 50 PinkShrink enduring love? How to make it last 53 ParentingTips daddy-daughter devotion A father’s influence on her future loves

REGULARS 9 EditorsNote 10 MailShot 31 WomanKind I shot the Duce Violet Gibson 51 ThinkPink health & beauty 55 TravelOgue single ticket for Valentine’s day Going solo is a good way to go 57 GirlTalk puppy love Having a dog 63 WomenOnWheels on the scene Renault Scenic 64 SnapShot fun, cool, easy Gigi Hadid 66 StarGazer the future is pink Horoscopes

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COVER Photography Noella Agius ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [marisagrima.com] ∫ Hair Louise and Antoine @ Screen Professional Hair Salon, Bugibba ∫ Make-up Mateja Camilleri ∫ Location Hilton Malta ∫ Model Elenoir @ Supernova Model Management, wearing dress, €87, Oasis ∫ earrings, €89; bracelet, from €55; charms, from €39; rings, from €39, all Pandora ∫ Obaku watch, €160, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

6 ∫ Pink February 2017


EDITORSNOTE I’ve just closed off one rant and I’m hardly over it, so it’s almost embarrassing, if not to say depressing, to pounce promptly onto another. But let me get these gripes off my chest at the start of the year in the hope that they blow over and I can peacefully transition to the rest of it. Will the tedious shopping experience ever improve? No wonder we’re turning to the internet to spend our money. One of the reasons must be the fact that you just click a button and you’ve made your purchase… as opposed to waiting a solid 30 minutes – that’s a disproportionate 25 minutes more than it took you to choose what you wanted – to part with your money and be on your way. So you’re fast; you know what you want; and you have a curfew so you have no choice anyway. But once you’ve gone through the harder decision-making part in a flash, you expect that handing over the cash to someone whose aim is to receive it would be even speedier and is not going to stall the process. Inevitably, it always does. For the last five shopping experiences in a row, I have had to wait at the cash register until the incompetent person behind it figures out how to use it. No one – I repeat, no one – seems to know how to handle their machines, so they normally have to turn to the elusive big boss, who, for some illogical reason, has thrown them in the deep end to the detriment of the customer… and their own business. I’ve been in situations where items have been painstakingly gift wrapped… only to be unwrapped and scanned again, sending my finetuned plans completely off track.

Invariably, the person who holds the key to the problem is busy serving someone else – someone who hasn’t even bothered to come to the shop and isn’t actually buying anything; someone on the phone, who is just asking a series of questions, which are deemed more important and a priority over the person who just wants to pay. Sometimes, it’s even worse than that. At least, in those instances, the sales assistants could be semi justified in thinking they are doing their job because they are engaging with a customer. But the other day, we hit rock bottom in the black hole of absurdity… I was left in a lengthy limbo while a group of employees washed their dirty linen [almost literally] in front of me, going on about the state of their filthy coffee machine and complaining about who should be cleaning it. Needless to say, I cancelled my order. Who would want a coffee after hearing such sordid details? But more than anything, who could be so stupid as to make them public? The fact that I had been ignored and left waiting paled in comparison to the bickering I was hearing. The kid behind the cash was clearly the type who was more concerned about her impeccably caked face, resulting selfies and impressing the off-duty boys, thinking [or wishing] she was slouching on a couch with her mates and doing a post-mortem of the day’s ‘work’. And unless she is made to pull her socks up and have her wits about her, she is destined to be on that couch, wasting her days away – not mine. How many times over the last couple of weeks have I laid everything back down on the counter and walked out in silence, practically unnoticed and not at all missed, while the person on the phone takes precedence…

But having said that, there have also been times when it didn’t make sense to leave empty-handed after going through the mental motions of complex choices. That would have been tantamount to cutting my nose to spite my face. So yes, I have also had to suck it up while sales assistants grapple with the mystery of scanning barcodes and other terrifying technology. Some are clearly sweating blood; but others seem to think it is not their problem if they don’t have a clue what to do; and in both scenarios, I just want to tear my hair out. Do employers actually know what’s happening on the frontline – not behind the scenes, but in the face of their clients? Do they know that this national wave of nonchalance and mediocrity has infiltrated every level of existence and do they know that it’s pushing people away? It really is time to raise the game – also because there’s a lot of competition out there. The shopping experience needs to be turned into a total pleasure and a walk in the park, or it cannot compete with choosing an item from the comfort of a sofa at midnight and having it arrive at your doorstep from the other end of the world the very next day. The-customer-is-always-wrongeven-when-she-is-right mentality is not going to cut it forever. Hello! There’s an alternative. And here’s an example for your upcoming Valentine’s gifts. Check out TrendSetter on page 46 for some original vintage ideas. That… or think ahead if you were planning on nipping out for a lastminute special something. You may know exactly what you want and where to find it, but you could end up wrestling with the idea of leaving empty-handed in the protracted wait to buy it.

February 12, 2017 ∫ Pink is a monthly magazine ∫ Issue 148 ∫ Executive editor Fiona Galea Debono ∫ Publisher Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Printing Progress Press Ltd ∫ Production Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Contributors Maria Cachia, Mateja Camilleri, Edward Curmi, Claire Diacono, Mary Galea Debono, Marisa Grima, Jeffrey Muscat, Caroline Paris, Helen Raine, Stephanie Satariano, Virginia, Shelley Von Strunckel ∫ Design Manuel Schembri ∫ Photography Noella Agius, Matthew Mirabelli, Chris Sant Fournier, Mark Zammit Cordina ∫ Advertising sales Veronica Grech Sant [2559 4706; veronica.grechsant@timesofmalta.com].

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Pink February 2017 ∫ 9


MAILSHOT

THE LETTER THAT TICKLED PINK LIKE TWO MARBLES RATTLING AROUND IN AN EMPTY BOX Dear editor, I loved everything about this latest Pink issue – the articles, the ads, the recipes… and, above all, PinkShrink [Fleeing the Nest, January 2017]. This time, you struck a big chord with me. All my children have flown the nest and the house is so eerily quiet… and I bet it feels lonely and miserable like us parents. The rooms are all neat and tidy; no clutter anywhere. My husband and I are like two marbles rattling around in a big empty box. Late at night, all is silent. Nobody returns home late and tiptoes upstairs anymore. There’s no need for me to wait at the window when it is dark, hoping to see a son’s familiar car coming down the road safely. Hubby and I don’t have to queue anymore outside our own bathroom while hearing the radio blaring from inside. But Dott. Edward Curmi gave such good advice to follow. At least now, there is always the pleasure and surprise [and clamour and noise again too] when our children and their better halves visit. And our biggest consolation is seeing they are leading stable and happy lives and, above all, the realisation that we have reared worthy and stable adults. JOSETTE CHETCUTI, FROM ST PAUL'S BAY

The writer of the letter of the month wins a Braccialini Purple eau de parfum, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd.

READING TO THE END Hi Pink, Lifting Myself Out of an Eating Disorder [InFocus, November 2016] was a story that inspired me to continue reading till the very last bit. I would like to tell you a big well done. It’s a very interesting magazine! MONIQUE BORG, VIA E-MAIL

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 an Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy eau de parfum, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up 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.

A YOUNG SUPER MUM Dear editor, the story that really tugged at my heartstrings in the December issue of Pink was Keep on Swimming [PrivateEye]. I have just lost two of my dearest friends, aged 47 and 40, due to aggressive cancer after battling it with chemotherapy for months on end. So I can only vaguely imagine what this courageous mother, Pira Fenech, can be going through, seeing her own flesh and blood suffering and in pain and with that question about her son’s survival lurking in her mind and left unsaid. It’s no wonder that I have only admiration for this young super mum, who is keeping so strong for the sake of her son Giacomo and her family, while she is going through all this, especially during the Christmas period. May God be with her and her family and bless them all to survive this. Thanks for all the good work, Pink, and keep it up. JOANNE PISANI, FROM BIRKIRKARA

HOW TO BE HAPPY Dear Pink, I truly enjoy reading your publication. My favourite articles in the December issue are both from the health section. These are ParentingTips and PinkShrink. This issue’s article about happiness by Dott. Edward Curmi is, indeed, an eyeopener to all. We cannot blame others for being unhappy, but we need to learn how to develop a number of rituals that can bring out this positive state of mind. This includes kissing our partners before going to work, hugging someone and starting our day with a scrumptious breakfast, among other things. Having a healthy breakfast is also important for our children. As suggested in the article Weight Watching [ParentingTips], we as parents need to make meal times relaxed and fun, so that food can have a positive association for our children. Pink not only makes us happy, but also teaches us how to be happy. PAULINE AZZOPARDI, VIA E-MAIL

THE USE OF ENGLISH IN MALTA I agree with the EditorsNote [January 2017] regarding the use of English in Malta. I think that when people don’t answer you in English when they know you are Maltese, it’s either because they’re lazy to switch languages, or they don’t know how to, which is uncommon as all Maltese know some basic English, or they regard you as a smartass, who wants to show off. Most people in the South don’t have the opportunity to master English, considering there aren’t that many foreigners there, but workers must be prepared to communicate in the international language of the world, which is so beneficial to all, especially schoolleavers. And they should take advantage of being able to practise the language whenever someone speaks to them in English. ALFRED GAUCI TONNA, FROM SLIEMA

10 ∫ Pink February 2017


LOVELIFE

BLENDED AND BONDING

Kristina Chetcuti and Marielouise Caruana Galea talk openly about their respective second chances at love and the building of their big, blended families. Of course, the joining up of two family units can get complicated, they admit, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. And the trick seems to be taking it nice and slow…

ARCHITECT MARIELOUISE CARUANA GALEA IS MARRIED TO DANIEL. THEY SHARE FIVE CHILDREN: TOGETHER THEY HAVE A ONE-MONTH-OLD BABY CALLED MAX; THEN THERE’S DANIEL’S MIA BELLA, 13, BIBIANA ROSE, EIGHT, AND TWO 10-YEAR-OLDS, THEADORA JOSEPHINE AND MICHELA, HUSBAND’S AND WIFE’S RESPECTIVELY.

After your first marriage broke down, would you ever have imagined walking down the aisle again – and adopting a whole ready-made family – or had you lost complete faith and believed you and your daughter would be better off alone?

Yes… and no… I never really closed the doors and, somehow, I felt I would have another chance. In fact, I never got rid of Michela’s things and Max is now using them. Somehow, I had subconsciously stored them away for a reason. I always wanted more children, but I couldn’t see it happening – there is a difference between reality and what you feel and think. While my frame of mind was such that I would have liked it to happen, my friends would tell me I was crazy after all that I had been through. How did it happen, and when it did, how sceptical were you to trust and take the plunge? What made 16 ∫ Pink February 2017

you get over the idea that, once bitten, twice shy?

My first marriage lasted four-anda-half years after a 10-year relationship, breaking down in 2007. I met Daniel in 2013 and we got married in 2015. I was 40 years old, and at my wedding, I said that life begins at 40. I was in a good position to move on six years after the breakup, and I definitely recommend that some time passes before moving into another serious relationship. I have always believed that a person has a second chance in everything. Having passed through what I did, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I did not want. At that point, a serious self-analysis has been carried out and you don’t walk blindly into a marriage for the sake of it. I got to know Daniel when he was already separated. He used to invite my daughter to his daughter’s parties

because they are best friends. Occasionally, we would go to a wine bar and pour out our problems to each other. It was the year I got to know my mother had cancer [she has since passed away and so did Daniel lose his mother some 12 years ago] and I found a rock in him, a shoulder to cry on. It wasn’t an easy year for me and he would urge me to go out because he could see I wasn’t in the mood. We would have good friendly chats and that lasted a whole year. Then, one thing led to the other… When I came to my senses and got out of my worries and troubles – I had


LOVELIFE Daniel, Marielouise, Mia Bella, Bibiana Rose, Theadora and Michela.

been blocked for a whole year – I started to see him in a different light. I remember clearly the day it happened. I attended a Christmas do at school, and when I spotted him at the other end of the classroom, something clicked. Was this the same person? That day, I left for London and, somehow, I was struck by the reality that my feelings towards him were changing. On my return, he noticed this and went for it. After a reasonable amount of time passed, he moved in – I believe you should live with a person before you

“HAVING PASSED THROUGH WHAT I DID, I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED AND WHAT I DID NOT WANT. AT THAT POINT, A SERIOUS SELF-ANALYSIS HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT AND YOU DON’T WALK BLINDLY INTO A MARRIAGE FOR THE SAKE OF IT” tie the knot – and we got married one-and-a-half years later. In your case, both parties had baggage. Did this make things easier, or complicate matters? Do you think your past experiences made you more cautious about every move you made, or did you dive headfirst into a second chance at love?

It definitely allowed us to understand each other more. Being with someone who doesn’t have kids is a different story altogether. They don’t necessarily get it. I’ve experienced that too and the priorities were never the same. In our case, the children are the priority. Kids are ’satisfying hard work’ and someone who doesn’t have them cannot understand this. Pink February 2017 ∫ 17


LOVELIFE What effect did the kids have on the development of the relationship and how was getting to know each other’s tackled? How much thought and planning went into getting it right and not upsetting anyone, and what did you most fear in this scenario, for yourself, for Daniel and for the individual children?

Our situation was the reverse. Daniel and I got to know each other thanks to the kids. Michela and Theadora, his middle one, have always been best friends. In fact, she jokes that she should be my favourite stepdaughter as I met her father thanks to her. The fact that we all knew each other before made life easier. Moving in with someone is already a big step and a sign of commitment. Let alone marriage… It’s even bigger when two families are joining up. How did you know that the time was right and ensure that these transitions would be smooth?

involving decisions about where to live, who to uproot and actual changes to the house. What did your big move entail? Tell us about the hassles… and the fun.

Before Daniel moved in, I asked Michela if she was OK with it and she said she wanted “two days to think about it”. She also resisted the marriage at first, pointing out that it would “no longer be about the two of us”. Neither was she exactly over the moon when I told her I was having a baby because she was not going to be the only child anymore. But she adores Max now, and Daniel and his kids. They all get on; they really look out for each other. I don’t think she would have accepted this situation as easily had she not known them before. Yes, we could have just lived together. But I felt he was the right one, and I am also a bit old school. The main reason for getting married is that I was convinced he was the one – otherwise, we would have lived separately and I would have kept the relationship between us – but I also did it to set an example for my daughter. The wedding was held at home, with around 230 guests. Daniel was never married and I had an annulment, so we could get married in the Church.

I can’t say there was a defining moment, given our circumstances. In the year that Daniel and I became friends, I got to know the kids well. When we broke the news that we were a couple, they were very happy.

Moving in, when it involves two families and not just two people, could also be a logistical headache,

In the case of blended families, do you feel that a lot energy is spent on the bigger picture, making sure everyone

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At home, the space was there and I had extra rooms, but since Max’s arrival, I have shifted things around to create a room for him and another for my stepdaughters, who used to sleep in Michela’s before. I had a large room – the largest in the house – which I used for storage, and in the last weeks of my pregnancy, weighing 20kg, I brought in the workmen to turn it into a bedroom. I also transformed the washroom into a chill-out space for when the kids bring over friends. When was the first time you were all together at home? Or was it just a natural progression and you can’t remember that defining moment?

is comfortable with the new arrangements, and less on quality time between the couples? What and who are your priorities and how do you manage to strike a balance and keep everyone – husband, his kids, yours, and the one in common – content?

The focus is definitely on sorting out the big picture and you have to fight to get some time alone. Yes, in that respect, it becomes more complicated. Our time together is definitely limited. What about custody? Does it mean that, in reality, you are rarely ever all together and may find it complicated to be?

In our case, Daniel’s children come over at the weekend and for a few hours twice a week. The legal side of custody is not easy in any instance, but we adapt according to his access. Given all the above, describing your family situation as complicated could be an understatement. But you wouldn’t have it any other way…

It’s quite a farce! When our kids are asked to tell the class something about their family, their teachers almost don’t believe them! Daniel’s daughters also have two half-brothers, apart from Max, but these have


LOVELIFE The crux of it all is that Daniel and I were such good friends before. I believe in a slow process and I think it all boils down to that. I would say, don’t walk into a relationship and then discover if the person is right for you as you get to know him; do your homework before, test the waters, have mature discussions about how you look at things… You’re never going to be 100-per-cent sure, but at least, you’d have done your analysis. Follow your mind and your heart – not just your heart. Blended families are becoming more and more common. But do they still face some sort of stigma?

I faced more stigma as a single parent. The norm is still considered to be one family unit as we know it, with the married couple remaining together forever. In certain environments, I could tell that I was looked at in a particular way – and even as a threat. Unfortunately, this remains society’s view of single parents and I am completely against it. It is actually an admirable status as one parent manages to do everything singlehandedly.

“THE FACT THAT THE KIDS WERE FRIENDS BEFOREHAND MADE IT MUCH EASIER AND I CAN REALLY SAY THE GIRLS ARE LIKE SISTERS. IMAGINE YOUR BEST FRIEND BECOMES YOUR SISTER AT THE AGE OF 10!” nothing to do with their stepsister, of course, who shares one half-brother with them… And the plot could continue to thicken. Yes, it’s complicated, so I joke with them not to bother trying to explain it when they are asked… Forget it! It’s crazy! Having said that, I do realise that it could have been even more complicated. The fact that the kids were friends beforehand made it much easier and I can really say the girls are like sisters. Imagine your best friend becomes your sister at the age of 10! Fortunately, I also have a civil relationship with my ex-husband. It’s all about our daughter Michela, and we don’t argue.

These situations are clearly touch and go. For some, they work out, and for others, it’s a disaster, especially if there are dissenting members of the family. What do you think is the reason why you managed to create a ‘new’ and happy unit, and what is your advice to anyone who is about to, or struggling to do so?

It helped that Michela knew Daniel before we got together; and also the fact that he is very good with kids so she always liked him. He won her over that year we became friends. Actually, he had a lot on his plate back then – winning over both of us. It wasn’t a matter of introducing her to a new man. He worked at it and was intelligent about it.

What do you believe should be the role of the couple vis-à-vis their partner’s children? Second mother/father, friend… something in between? And how do you protect your own?

I definitely made it clear from the start that I am not a replacement of their mother and I’m very cautious about that. I realise my way of disciplining my daughter is different from Daniel’s, so I keep a step back when it comes to his children and do not interfere in the way he brings them up. I do give my opinion, but I respect their ways even though I may not necessarily agree. Daniel and I, for example, have different ways of looking at studying. His approach is more relaxed than mine. He and his children are also vegetarian, so he cooks for them, and we eat our own food. It’s another battle, but we take it in our stride. Max, on the other hand, will be the problem! So where we have a different approach, we’ll have to take a decision and I suppose we will each have to give in a bit. I guess you could say I am more of a friend and I am not authoritative Pink February 2017 ∫ 19


LOVELIFE

“I LIKE FAMILY LIFE AND HAVING SUCH A BIG FAMILY – WITHOUT HAVING HAD TO GIVE BIRTH TO ALL THOSE CHILDREN!” over them – I leave that to their dad. And of course, Michela does notice the difference, but I tell her she is my daughter and I think differently, so she shouldn’t compare. Michela isn’t influenced on the food front, but she is by Daniel’s eldest when it comes to image, dress sense and looking cool. They are similar – both strong characters and impulsive. At first, for this reason, they clashed and we were worried about them. But now, they really get along well too. What do you think has been the impact of having another child together on an already colourful family life?

Having a baby was a conscious decision we took together; it didn’t just happen. And it wasn’t an easy one either. We were already settled in our own ways and were at the point where we could start living, travelling with the children, who are at the right age now, and enjoying going out on the boat, for example – all things we won’t be doing for a while with Max. So beginning all over again was not a simple choice and we knew there 20 ∫ Pink February 2017

would be difficulties, starting from his routine interfering with that of the girls. Nevertheless, it was something we both wanted. What’s the best part of two families uniting and how can someone really make the most of a second chance in love?

I like family life and having such a big family – without having had to give birth to all those children! When we are all together, it is… noisy and chaotic. But I like it! To make the best of it, you first have to believe you can have a second chance and then you also have to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. I believe that both partners would have made mistakes. Keep an open mind, set your priorities and be patient. It’s not always a bed of roses, but as long as there is love and respect… How do you plan to spend your first Valentine’s with a newborn in tow?

I’m not a big believer in the day per se. Every day should be Valentine’s, but yes, we will make it a point to do something. We haven’t organised babysitting yet and we don’t have parents around to help us, but we’ll sort something out, even if it has to be the eve.

ilies, one love: Three surnames, two fam and Greg. a Zak, Kristina, Simon, Pipp


LOVELIfE

PUBLISHING EDITOR AND COLUMNIST KRISTINA CHETCUTI’S PARTNER IS OPPOSITION LEADER SIMON BUSUTTIL. TOGETHER THEY SHARE THREE CHILDREN, SIMON’S GREG, 19, AND ZAK, 16, AND KRISTINA’S PIPPA, 10 – AND A DOG CALLED JIPSIE.

After your first marriage broke down, did you ever see yourself starting another serious relationship, settling down with someone else – and adopting a whole ready-made family, dog included?

Not at all! In fact, it took seven years for someone rather special to come along and convince me otherwise; and I was lucky because he got the thumbs up from my daughter too. When it did happen, how sceptical were you to trust and take the plunge? What made you get over the idea that, once bitten, twice shy?

It was delightfully uncomplicated. I hate being cheesy about these things,

so let me be factual: we were both attracted to each other, we made each other laugh a lot, so we both tried to find the time to meet amid the juggling of work and children. From then on, it sort of unfolded slowly; but it felt right from the beginning. In your case, both parties had a broken marriage in their past – and all the baggage that comes with it. Did the fact that you share similar experiences make things easier, or did it complicate matters? Do you think your past experiences made you more cautious about every move, or did you dive headfirst into a second chance at love?

Our past experience was surreally similar… down to the detail that both our children’s other parents live in Brussels! This, I think, is an advantage, because we understand each other’s complex dynamics. But of course, a painful broken marriage always leaves you scarred and more cautious, and deep down, you always do those little checks and ask yourself: right, what if the relationship doesn’t work out in the end, how much would it hurt? Which is why we were not the type to move in together after two months that we’d met. And which is why we also took our time to introduce the kids into the equation – we were very protective. Pink February 2017 ∫ 21


LOVELIFE In your case, both parties also have children. What effect did the kids have on the development of the relationship and how was getting to know each other’s tackled? How much thought and planning went into getting it right and not upsetting anyone, and what did you most fear in this scenario, for yourself, for Simon and for the individual kids?

As a single parent, you end up watching movies that your children want to watch. So cinema for me meant fairies, talking dogs, talking cars, talking toys and feisty princesses. For Simon, it meant superheroes and Marvel action Something old, something new, something borrowed and something… for everyone.

“AND THEN OF COURSE THERE’S THE LITTLE MATTER THAT IT’S NOT JUST TWO PEOPLE WHO NEED TO ADJUST TO EACH OTHER, BUT FIVE – EACH WITH DIFFERENT CHARACTERS – AND A DOG” movies. Oh, the joy of going to the cinema and watching a proper grownup movie! For the first few months, we just did that: dating stuff and getting to know each other. The kids on both sides were aware we were dating [amid giggling and sniggering], but it was more or less after six months that we introduced them. Pip met Simon at the beach – we took Jipsie swimming; I met Greg at a barbecue and Zak on a boat trip. Each time, it was casually informal – no great ta-da announcements. It was just: “Oh, and this is Simon/Kristina.” And of course, we were all shy. Of course, it was also nerve-racking. What if they dislike me? What if they think I’m out to replace the other parent? What if we won’t get along? Argh! Over that summer, we 22 ∫ Pink February 2017

also introduced the kids to each other. Greg was 16, Zak 13, and Pip was seven. That was easy: they eyed each other curiously, muttered hello, and each went back to what they were doing. Moving in with someone is a big step and a sign of commitment. It’s even bigger when the person you are moving in with is the head of a political party, and even more so when two families are joining up. How did you know that the time was right and ensure that the transition would be smooth?

It is always a huge commitment, and for the both of us, scarred as we are by the past, it is even huger. And then of course there’s the little matter that it’s

not just two people who need to adjust to each other, but five – each with different characters – and a dog. When Simon asked me to move in, we also had to ask ‘the permission’ of the kids. The boys were on board – my cooking helped a bit there I think; and Pip was very enthusiastic because she was going to have Jipsie with her all day long. After that, we started moving in gradually. It may also have been a logistical headache, involving decisions about where to live, who to uproot and actual changes to the house. What did your big move entail? Tell us about the hassles… and the fun.

Where to live was never even debated:


LOVELIFE busy. Each time Simon opened the door in the evening, I’m certain that somewhere deep, deep down he was kicking himself for that “sure”. The workmen have gone now and we’re all enjoying a cosier and brighter home. How did you spend that first day all together at home? Or was it just a natural progression and you can’t remember that defining moment?

I cannot for the life of me remember. It was all very normal; no official ceremony; no Simon lifting me over the threshold and stuff like that. From an all-female household, you entered one inhabited by three men. That must have been a culture shock of sorts. What were the hardest/funniest things to adapt to?

we all had to be in Jipsie’s territory. She’s a Golden Retriever and needs her own little garden space to roam around in during the day when both of us are at work. So Simon’s house it was. Of course, the move meant that we had to change the function of the rooms to add another bedroom. It’s a charming 200-year-old house, which needed some tender loving care and some, how shall I put it… brightening up. I had some, err, ideas to, err, perk the place up, and Simon said: “Sure, go ahead.” So, when we moved in, the painters, with their tanks of white paint, moved in as well, and so did the guys who installed a couple of skylights here and there, and the furniture painters… and well, it was rather, um,

When we were clearing up, preworkmen, I kept opening cupboards, wardrobes, wooden chests, laundry baskets, and a flood of footballs would tumble out. “Ah, yes. Welcome to a house of boys,” Simon would say. You can, therefore, imagine how the men in the house were overwhelmed by the bursts of pink suddenly lying around the house: jackets, clothes, dolls’ outfits, tutus. Pip’s room is the only one in the house were there’s no Juventus memorabilia and it’s properly girly girl. I think the boys’ eyes go all squinty when they have to go in. On the whole, I suppose the biggest change today is the fridge. Before it was a Man Fridge, if you know what I mean. Think survival: only the straightforward food. The contents of the Busuttil Man Fridge usually consisted of a tin of dog food, milk, wine and beer, a tub of margarine, a tin of kunserva, a jar of pesto, another jar of pesto, a jar of pesto with artichokes, an old ice-cream container with leftovers of a rice salad and half the cheese counter of Smart Supermarket. The fridge has now opened its doors to spinach, kale, carrots, broccoli, parsley, celery, butter, organic yoghurt… What has been your own impact in a household of men – and how do they need to adapt to you?

Simon’s answering this question: “Fiona… we’re still getting our heads around it.”

Walking into a ‘ready-made’ family and making sure the two gel probably means it’s never really just about you. You’d need some sort of ‘consent’ from every family member in most things you do [whereas you’d probably just impose these on your own]. How do you cope with that?

I would say it’s more the fine art of compromise. But this has nothing to do with ‘ready-made’ families – it’s how every single family, modern, or traditional, functions. In the case of blended families, do you feel that a lot energy is spent on the bigger picture, making sure everyone is comfortable with the new arrangements, and less on quality time between the couples? What and who are your priorities and how do you manage to strike a balance and keep everyone – partner, his kids, yours, the dog – content?

Not really… I don’t think we spend more time on the bigger picture than traditional families. More or less, we function the same. The priorities are the logistics of running the ship: food, cleaning, laundry, school, studies, work and so on. In our case, the quality time is more of an issue because Simon’s job keeps him away for long hours. For this reason, every now and then, we have date nights. And once in winter and in autumn, we try to go away for three days and we do things we would not do with kids, such as exploring cities on foot, spending lots of time in bookshops and visiting museums. We’re fervent history buffs. Last Christmas in Paris, we spent a whole day at the Musée de l’Armée, only stopping for coffees – it was dark by the time we came out and we headed straight to Shakespeare and Co. on the Rive Gauche, our favourite bookshop in the whole wide world, and spent the rest of the evening browsing. When we travel with kids, it’s more adventurous. Last summer, we rented quads to drive round a remote Greek island. Pip was my pillion passenger and we just chugged along, happily admiring the scenes. We barely saw the Busuttils: they were busy speeding about, the three of them competing with each other to lead the caravan. Pink February 2017 ∫ 23


LOVELIFE Both your former spouses live abroad, and incidentally, in the same country. What impact does that have on sharing custody? And does it mean that, in reality, you are rarely ever all together and may find it complicated to be?

We are somehow tied to Brussels. It always has to be a stopover in our travels. So of course, last March, the bombing of Zaventem airport really shook us to the core. The boys were in Brussels and were meant to be travelling back to Malta the next day. This also means that we are not together all the time. Zak lives in Brussels with his mother and comes down to Malta for the holidays; but that’s when Pip

I always wanted a big family. And Simon always wanted a girl. So it’s a complete jigsaw. The thing is, when your marriage breaks down, you grieve not just for the marriage, but also for the what-couldhave-been, and in my case, it was the big family that I was never going to be able to have. Now the big family is here, and I would absolutely not have it any other way! There’s never a dull moment; it’s not just the kids, but a whole host of their friends. Sometimes, we wake up to find a cousin sleeping on the sofa. Greg’s friends are coming and going, and my daughter and her friends are simply in awe of these ‘cool teenagers’.

“I ALWAYS WANTED A BIG FAMILY. AND SIMON ALWAYS WANTED A GIRL. SO IT’S A COMPLETE JIGSAW. THE THING IS, WHEN YOUR MARRIAGE BREAKS DOWN, YOU GRIEVE NOT JUST FOR THE MARRIAGE, BUT ALSO FOR THE WHATCOULD-HAVE-BEEN, AND IN MY CASE, IT WAS THE BIG FAMILY THAT I WAS NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO HAVE” Would you ever have imagined that things would turn out like this, including the fact that Simon is the leader of the Opposition and politics is yet another member of the family?

Family holidays… bringing everyone together.

often goes to Brussels to her father’s, and her family there. So it can get very complicated: this Christmas, when Greg went up to Brussels, Pip and Zak were in Malta; when they went up, Greg came down. I suppose by now readers are finding it difficult to keep up. I know; it can be very, very complicated. Can you imagine what’s it like planning family events? But on the whole, I would say that the best moments are Sunday afternoons and evenings – that’s when whoever is at home gathers in the living room and we just laze on the sofa, chat, watch football, or Netflix, or read the papers, with Jipsie walking from one to another, nudging us for cuddles and treats. Given all the above, describing your family situation as complicated could be an understatement. But you wouldn’t have it any other way… 24 ∫ Pink February 2017

Goodness me, no, politics is not a member of the family! It’s just part of our way of life. Although it’s a 24/7 job for Simon, we do have a life beyond politics; we just work it round Simon’s role. The truth is that I have been following politics all my life, so it’s not like I was plunged into this obscure world all of a sudden. In fact, I’m sure the common friends who concocted our match were very much aware of this… These situations are clearly touch and go. For some, they work out, and for others, it’s a disaster, especially if there are dissenting members of the family. What do you think is the reason why you managed to create a ‘new’ and happy unit, and what is your advice to anyone who is about to, or struggling to do so?

Good lord, I’m the one who needs advice! It’s very much a trial-and-error situation. And please don’t get the impression that it’s all rosy each and every day – we have our ups and downs, as is the norm. But I think it helped that we did not rush things and we all got used to each other slowly. The only tip, if I may, is to always keep the well-being of the kids as a

priority, and to always make sure that you respect your child’s other parent as someone who is precious to your child. Blended families are becoming more and more common. But do they still face some sort of stigma?

I would tend to say no, although that’s probably because I am not really into other people’s gossip. The realities of today are not what they were 20 or even 10 years ago, but I suppose some people tend to judge a situation which they can’t identify with. The truth is that you never know what it’s like until it happens to you, or to someone close to you. What do you believe should be the role of the couple vis-à-vis their partner’s children? Second mother/father, friend… something in between? And how do you protect your own?

I think about this a lot, because of course, I consider and treat Simon’s boys as my own – but I am all the time aware that I am not, and am constantly on guard not to overstep the line and to step back in situations that are directly parent-child. I dislike the idea of being ‘best friends’ with your children, so for each other’s kids, I would say we think of ourselves as the other grown-up in the house, with a sort of ‘guardian’ role. What do you think would be the impact on an already colourful family life if the new couple ever decided to have their own child?

Oh, I can see where this is going. OK, if we have a baby, we’ll call it Talisker Busuttil. What do you think? What’s the best part of two families uniting and how can someone really make the most of a second chance in love?

Carpe diem and being appreciative of every single moment. Is this your first Valentine’s Day as a new family all under one roof, and how do you plan to spend it?

Zak will be in Brussels. And it’s a school day the next day for Pip. And I think Greg will be busy enough on the night [wink wink]. I’m happy for the two of us to curl up on the sofa with a whisky. However, Simon’s quite the romantic and he’s already hinting at a date night…


ARTYFACTS

dreams

THE SNUFF OF

Fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS puts her historical hat on and reviews an exhibition of snuff boxes, transposing them from the 16th century to the present, and daydreaming about a modern-day use for what were once quite a fashion statement and what could be considered the ultimate accessory.

L

et’s start by establishing some context. First of all, if you don’t actually know what snuff is, I don’t blame you. It fell out of fashion a while back when we realised just how harmful it is. Snuff is basically a smokeless tobacco, made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. Back in the 1500s, this once precious powder also used to be one of the most fashionable social trends, considered a much more refined habit than smoking. The trend was actually set in courts by the royals and nobles, but it filtered down to the common man and all classes of society. The addictive nature of tobacco meant that, of course, it became a matter of habit very quickly. And now that you know what snuff is, here’s why I’m talking about it. One Saturday, I decided to do something a little bit different: I spent a morning getting familiar with a little historic object called a snuff box. Over at the exquisite Palazzo Falson in Mdina, a charming exhibition, Snuff Boxes: From Accessories to Objets d’Art, has been put up in collaboration with Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, and it really makes history come alive, giving great insight into how and why these boxes were used. On display is a varied range of some of the most exquisite models, including some created by Maltese silversmiths. All were sourced from museums, ecclesiastical and never-seenbefore private collections around the island.

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So, onto these curious little boxes… As the name implies, they had the all-important role of holding the snuff. Since the nobles were very passionate about their snuff, they were not keen on spending time apart. This meant they needed to carry it around. It was also customary for them to bring out these boxes and indulge in some snuff while in the company of their friends and at gatherings. The boxes also needed to be small and airtight to ensure that the snuff would remain fresh. In keeping with the elaborate dress code of the time, it stands to reason that they wouldn’t have let the opportunity to own beautiful snuff boxes pass them by. So, the practice of getting them commissioned began and many of the results are true works of art. The snuff box was seen as something akin to a piece of jewellery, and in fact, various materials, including gold, silver and mosaic, were used, with the more elaborate ones being the French gold boxes from the 18th century. Snuff-taking could almost be described as a ‘ceremonial’ process; they had it all down to a fine art – from the way they held the box, to the way they would take the snuff out and nestle it in their hands, ensuring they didn’t spill any. Indeed, they were well trained. Of course, the box itself played a very important role in this whole ‘ceremony’. So popular did snuff become that in many portraits, both male and female, the boxes featured as a prominent accessory. But as popular as snuff was, it was not without its haters.


ARTYFACTS

The practice is, after all, actually quite vulgar: the dark tobacco leaves and the method of inhaling them through the nostrils meant there were often bits of snuff pouring down – not exactly what you’d expect from a woman in all her finery. I, on the other hand, would give my snuff box another use… Whenever I visit exhibitions that relate to costume, I almost always start daydreaming of how to bring the static objects on display to life in today’s world. I hate leaving things in the past. I believe there are uses for most antique objects in the present, even if the original function is no longer an option. In the case of these boxes, each one is more exquisite than the other and my dream would be to acquire one. Now to justify that… If I did, I would wish to show it off, of course, but I don’t use snuff and I don’t plan to anytime soon. I do, however, use make-up and make-up needs to be reapplied, right? So I’d need one as a lipstick holder. It wouldn’t have to be large; I own many small lipsticks. Picture the modern-day snuff box ceremony: stretch your delicate fingers [complete with red nails] into a leather handbag – not a large one that requires you to dig around for things and kill the elegance – and bring out your intricate, perhaps gold, holder. A larger version, on the other hand, would make a good jewellery box, maybe for a string of pearls, or smaller objects like brooches. This would be less of a showpiece though, and its use would be more of a private nature. But back to the past and the exhibition itself… It’s simply fascinating, filling you with curiosity, which you can satisfy thanks to the ample information on how, where and why these boxes were used and also by who.

This rare group portrait of a Maltese noble family from the early 19th century shows the grandmother, Contessa Maria Teresa Ciantar Paleologo, taking a pinch of snuff from a snuff box, reminding us that snuff-taking was a gentile habit that both men and women indulged in.

These are objects that represent a time in history, a whole culture; that tell so many stories. Displayed alongside portraits that feature them and snippets to explain their history, they are showcased in unique ways, including what resembles an antique shopfront of ‘curiosities’ and in the manner a prominent collector would set up his own snuff boxes. Once you’ve taken it all in, conjure up your own modernday fantasy about which one you’re keeping and what you’ll be using it for. Snuff Boxes: From Accessories to Objets d’Art brings together 200 snuff boxes and related artefacts in a show that charts their history. The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday at Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Villegaignon Street, Mdina, from 10am to 4.30pm until February 26. Entrance is free.

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WOMANKIND

IDuce SHOT THE

What if Violet Gibson’s attempt to assassinate Benito Mussolini had succeeded? Would it have changed the course of history in Italy? Would thousands of lives have been spared? Would the narrative of WWII have been different? MARY GALEA DEBONO tells us the story of the woman who could have been remembered as the mentally deranged person, who robbed the nation of a great leader, had she managed to kill the fascist dictator.

I

n April 1945, knowing full well that fascism was in its last throes, Benito Mussolini, together with his mistress, Carla Petacci, made one last attempt to escape to neutral Switzerland. But at Dongo, on Lake Como, they were captured, and the following day, summarily executed by partisans, who then bundled them in a car and transported them like cattle to Milan. In Piazzale Loreto, the earlier scene of a mass execution of partisans, Il Duce and his small party were hung upside down from a rusty beam in a service station, attracting much verbal and physical abuse from passers-by. Mussolini could have been spared this ignominious end had Violet Gibson’s attempt to assassinate him, almost 20 years before, been

successful. Hers was not the only attempt to eliminate the fascist dictator; there had been at least three others. But it was the one that came closest. But who was Violet Gibson? Born in 1876, she was the daughter of Lord Ashbourne, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Her family was influential and her upbringing

Her mother belonged to the then popular Christian Science Church, which Violet flirted with for some time and then rejected. In 1902, like her brother Willie, she became a Catholic. Her parents disapproved intensely of her conversion, which also affected her social life. Whereas prior to her conversion her name appeared regularly in the social columns of the newspapers, after it, she was practically ignored, her name appearing only in a long list of converts under the title “Perverts to Rome”.

“MUSSOLINI COULD HAVE BEEN SPARED THIS IGNOMINIOUS END HAD VIOLET GIBSON’S ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE HIM, ALMOST 20 YEARS BEFORE, BEEN SUCCESSFUL. HERS WAS NOT THE ONLY ATTEMPT TO ELIMINATE THE FASCIST DICTATOR; THERE HAD BEEN AT LEAST THREE OTHERS. BUT IT WAS THE ONE THAT CAME CLOSEST”

privileged, but a string of serious illnesses in her childhood had left their mark on her both physically and mentally, and although naturally gifted, she tended to be also temperamental.

Neither was she lucky in love. In 1908, she got engaged to an artist who unfortunately died a year later. This tragedy, together with the death of her brother and a sister-in-law within a short period, took their Pink February 2017 ∫ 31


WOMANKIND toll on her mental stability. But instead of seeking medical help, Violet adopted a rigid lifestyle. Attracted to the idea of martyrdom, she spent long spells living like a hermit in convents and abbeys. Before the outbreak of WWI, she focused all her energy on organising pacifist propaganda and became increasingly convinced that God had reserved a special role for her. In 1924, she travelled with a nurse/companion to Rome, a city she now considered her spiritual home. She took up residence with the nuns in a convent near the Piazza di Spagna, and from there, she set out every morning to distribute alms to the poor in Trastevere. Violet was sensitive to the atmosphere of suspicion and intolerance that pervaded Rome. The anti-fascist Giacomo Matteotti had been brutally murdered by the fascists, and although more was yet to come, Mussolini was still very popular with the vast majority of Italians, while many foreign governments, including the British, were overtly sympathetic to his ideas. Franco Zeffirelli conveys the atmosphere brilliantly in his film Tea With Mussolini.

The square was brimming with plain-clothes detectives and uniformed policemen, but no one paid any attention to Violet, a fraillooking woman, in a shabby dress and dishevelled hair, who looked much older than her 50 years. She installed herself next to one of the columns and waited. When Mussolini came out of the Palazzo dei Conservatori to walk to his waiting Lancia, she took out her Lebel revolver and fired. Blood spurted out from his face, but the bullet only grazed the bridge of his nose because, luckily for the Duce, at that very precise moment, he turned his head to acknowledge the enthusiastic support of a group of students, who had started singing Giovinezza, the fascist anthem. Violet tried a second shot, but this time, the pistol jammed. She was lynched by the angry crowd and would probably have been killed had not some policemen dragged her to the safety of the palace courtyard. Mussolini remained calm and exhorted the crowd to do the same; such actions, he knew, enhanced his image of the “vulnerable but invincible” man,

For the interrogators, this was proof enough that Violet’s plan had been carefully thought out and not an act carried out on the spur of the moment. When asked about her motive, Violet stated she had been in love with Giovanni Colonna, Duke of Cesarò, but he had married someone else, and since she knew that he was an anti-fascist, she wanted to do something to please him. Mussolini with a plaster over his nose on his way to Libya, following the attempt on his life.

“THE SQUARE WAS BRIMMING WITH PLAIN-CLOTHES DETECTIVES AND UNIFORMED POLICEMEN, BUT NO ONE PAID ANY ATTENTION TO VIOLET, A FRAIL-LOOKING WOMAN, IN A SHABBY DRESS AND DISHEVELLED HAIR, WHO LOOKED MUCH OLDER THAN HER 50 YEARS” Frances Stonor Saunders, in her well-researched book The Woman Who Shot Mussolini, chronicles the events on that fateful April 27, 1926. That morning, Violet had read in a newspaper that the Duce was visiting Palazzo di Littorio, the fascist headquarters, and that was where she was heading when she left her convent/home. But on her way, she noticed there were many people in the streets, who all seemed to be walking in the direction of the Campidoglio. She changed her mind and joined the crowds when she was informed that Mussolini was expected to make an appearance there. 32 ∫ Pink February 2017

capable of surviving against all odds. To prove his point, the next day, it was business as usual – with a huge plaster over his nose, he set out for his trip to Libya. After the assassination attempt, Violent was arrested and interrogated. She remained very calm and gave only brief answers. A search by the nuns, who were in charge of the women’s section in the prison, unearthed, besides the revolver, a stone wrapped in a glove, which, as she admitted later, she intended to use to smash the window of the car should the need arise, and a small piece of paper with the words ‘Palazzo Littorio’ written on it.

For some of her interrogators, this bizarre explanation, together with the fact that she had attempted to commit suicide – the bullet had lodged in her shoulder – and her declared opinion that the Pope should also be eliminated for what she perceived as his anti-socialism, confirmed that she had mental problems. In fact, the two doctors who drew up the report for the magistrate investigating the case concluded that she was suffering from paranoia.


WOMANKIND There were some, however, who were not convinced that Violet’s actions were the result of insanity; she was too rational; too normal in her conversations. Having their own agenda, these believed that more political mileage could be gained if they promoted the idea that she was a tool in the hands of a band of international conspirators, intent on destabilising the country. All the while, the fascist media machine was busy portraying Violet as a sexless woman, ugly, with no aspirations to motherhood, lacking a healthy interest in the opposite sex and a foreigner to boot – in other words, the negative of the stereotypical ideal fascist woman. The family was embarrassed by the whole affair. Lord Ashbourne promptly wrote to the Duce: “The Gibson family regrets the incident and expresses warm sympathy.” They were keen to prove that Violet was mentally unbalanced, and for this purpose, her sister Constance undertook the task of preparing a report about her mental health to be sent to a lawyer for use in a defence based on insanity. Their plan was to have her confined to a lunatic asylum in England. To secure her release, they enlisted also the help of the British ambassador in Rome. What brought matters to a head was the fact that Violet became very ill in prison. She did not eat, lost a lot of weight and was feverish. Mussolini made a deal with the British ambassador, agreeing to allow her to appear before a special

tribunal, instead of being sent to a full trial, on condition that she accepted to remain permanently in a lunatic asylum. After her release, the Gibsons sent a letter of thanks to Mussolini.

move to a Catholic nursing home and wrote letters to various people, begging for help, but her requests continued to be refused. When Violet died in1956, the originals of these letters were all found

“ALL THE WHILE, THE FASCIST MEDIA MACHINE WAS BUSY PORTRAYING VIOLET AS A SEXLESS WOMAN, UGLY, WITH NO ASPIRATIONS TO MOTHERHOOD, LACKING A HEALTHY INTEREST IN THE OPPOSITE SEX AND A FOREIGNER TO BOOT – IN OTHER WORDS, THE NEGATIVE OF THE STEREOTYPICAL IDEAL FASCIST WOMAN” Violet travelled to England, accompanied by her sister Constance and a Thomas Cook courier, and when they arrived at Victoria Station in London, they went straight to Harley Street, where a doctor issued a certificate of committal. That very evening, they took the last train to Northampton, where the family had arranged for her to be placed in St Andrew’s Hospital for Mental Diseases. In this hospital, Violet felt lonely and abandoned by her family. Although she kept herself occupied, reading, playing draughts and chess and listening to the radio, she had no wish to spend the rest of her life there. She remained au courant with the political situation in Italy, and the official position vis-à-vis the fascist dictator having changed drastically, she felt that her action had been amply vindicated. What irked her most about her situation was the all-important fact that she could not practice her religion, which, for her, was also a psychological prop. She wanted to

in her file; none of them had ever been sent. What if Violet’s attempt had succeeded? Would it have changed the course of history in Italy? Would thousands of lives have been spared? Would the narrative of WWII have been different? One can only speculate. Mussolini was at the height of his political career when it happened. Violence and reprisals would surely have followed Violet’s ethically debatable action and she would not have escaped with her life so easily. Mussolini would have instantly become a martyr. Probably, on the Campidoglio next to the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, another one of the Duce, square chin thrust forward in defiance, right arm raised in fascist salute, would have been erected – a shrine to which dignitaries would have continued paying a yearly visit, depositing wreaths and making flowery speeches recalling how a mentally deranged woman had robbed the nation of a great leader.

ONE STEP CLOSER

HSBC Malta has launched its #OneStepCloser campaign, with special offers on home loans, personal loans and a chance for credit card users to win their money back. #OneStepCloser is specially designed to address directly the individual needs of customers and take them forward on the goals they have set for their future. Customers interested in learning more about this campaign and further information can check out hsbc.com.mt/onestepcloser, call on 2380 2000, or visit the nearest branch.

Pink February 2017 ∫ 33


SHOWSTOPPER Jacket, €79.99; shoes, €39.99, both Mango ∫ earrings, €119; chain, from €39; pendant, €129; rings, from €39, all Pandora.

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SHOWSTOPPER T-shirt, €14.99; shirt, €34.99; jeans, €38.99, all Mexx ∫ boots, model’s own.

Black is black

IT’S SAFE, SIMPLE AND SOPHISTICATED. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT! Photography Noella Agius Styling Marisa Grima [marisagrima.com] Hair Louise and Antoine @ Screen Professional Hair Salon, Bugibba Make-up Mateja Camilleri Model Elenoir @ Supernova Model Management Location Hilton Malta

Pink February 2017 ∫ 37


SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €49.99; shoes, €39.99, both Mango ∫ earrings, €99; necklace, from €99; bracelet, from €55; charms, from €39; rings, from €39, all Pandora ∫ Obaku watch, €160, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €280, Karen Millen ∫ earrings, €99; chain, from €39; pendant, €59; bracelet, from €55; rings, from €39, all Pandora ∫ watch, €129, Ice-Watch, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

Pink February 2017 ∫ 39


SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €69.95; beret, €12.95, both Benetton ∫ shoes, €100, Scholl Foothealth Centre ∫ earrings, €85; bracelet, €95; ring, €69, all UNO de 50 @ Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport ∫ watch, €129, Ice-Watch, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

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SHOWSTOPPER Top, €35; trousers, €59.95, both Marks & Spencer.

Pink February 2017 ∫ 41


SHOWSTOPPER Top, €25; skirt, €59.95; bag, €39.95, all Marks & Spencer ∫ shoes, €39.99, Mango ∫ necklaces, from €29; bracelet, €89; rings, from €39, all Pandora ∫ watch, €169, Ice-Watch, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €250; shoes, €190, both Karen Millen ∫ chain, €89; pendant, from €119; bracelet, from €55; rings, from €39, all Pandora ∫ Obaku watch, €240, Classic Jewellers, Hebe and Malta International Airport.

Pink February 2017 ∫ 43


TRENDSETTER

Valentine Be My Vintage

The gifts of yesteryear add real romance to February 14. Etsy.com has virtually cornered the market, but HELEN RAINE has tracked down some other suppliers of vintage valentine kitsch. Here’s how to get your hands on some lovin’ from the 1800s to the 1970s.

Sweets for My Sweet

An antique chocolate box is a bit more beguiling than the cardboard offerings from most shops. Fill it with your beloved’s favourite truffles and they can use it for knick-knacks afterwards. Etsy has a 1930s box with a paper liner and delicate paper lace, which costs €28; you can also find a pretty art deco 1920s box on projetchocolat.com for €260.

Full Metal Heart

If your love has a religious bent, consider an antique Italian Sacred Heart Ex-Voto from the 1800s. Etsy has a selection from Italy and France for around €120. An ex-voto is a votive offering given in fulfillment of a vow – rather fitting for a Valentine’s Day declaration. If you want a more grandiose statement, www.1stdibs.com has a gilded glass ex-voto from the 19th century for €370. 46 ∫ Pink February 2017

Gift of the Mind

On a similar theme, exvotovintage.com has a collection of jewellery made from antique and vintage elements. A portion of every sale goes to a foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research – the founder lost her daughter to the disease and vowed to find a way to fight it. The resulting collection includes leather bracelets, textile cuffs, opulent lockets and pearl drop earrings. There are also gifts for guys, such as an innovative basket weave sterling silver ring, a ‘dopp kit’ [ for male grooming], signet rings and a leather valet tray for jewellery.


TRENDSETTER

Vintage Card

If you want to give a romantic card but find the commercial kind too saccharine, Etsy has a 1920s-1930s die cut gilded valentine card that captures a sense of old-fashioned romance without making you cringe. It’s signed on the back by a previous owner for a touch of authenticity. Ebay is a veritable treasure trove of vintage cards. Choose from “stand-up mechanical cards”, embossed hearts from the 1900s, cherubs with glitter from the 1950s, and even a bizarre woolen card from the 1800s attached to a vintage doorknob.

Vintage Postcard

For something less formal, you could purchase a cupid heart postcard from the 1900s. It’s in very good condition and, intriguingly, although it’s addressed, there’s no stamp or message – perhaps the turn-of-the-century sender failed to screw his courage to the sticking place.

a vintage copy of this classic. It is written like a cookery book, with categories like “starters”, “main course”, “sauces and pickles” and “problems”. With 253 pages of illustrations, there’s something for everyone. There are dozens of vintage copies on Amazon and Etsy, but if the thought of a used one is unappealing, amazon.co.uk has the revised and updated version for around €12.

Vintage Scrabble

If you want to spell out your love, try these cute wooden letter cubes. You can choose VALENTINE, add a name, or go for a whole sentence, depending on your budget. Etsy also has several shops that can mount old scrabble letters in a picture frame, to say whatever you want them to. Link your name with that of your lover, add the kids, or pick a few endearments – they can make it happen.

“FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING EXCEPT A VINTAGE MEDICINE BOTTLE FROM THE 1800S, THIS IS THE PERFECT GIFT”

Vintage Beads

My Vinyl Vintage uses antique beads from Mali to make gorgeous necklaces. The beads are made from Vulcanite, a material used in vinyl records in the 1970s. Locally, they are called “jigida beads” – African women wear them around their waist to help hold their shape. These pink, red and black ones are perfect for the eco-conscious, vintage lovin’ Valentine in your life.

Vintage Book

For children of the 1970s, it seemed like every other bookcase had The Joy of Sex hidden away behind the thrillers and the DIY manuals. Go back to the roots of the sexual revolution with

Valentine’s Meat Juice

For the man who has everything except a vintage medicine bottle from the 1800s, this is the perfect gift. It’s got the word ‘Valentine’s’ in there… and the fact that it’s followed by ‘Meat Juice’ is an added bonus. The formula was developed by Mr Valentine when his wife fell dangerously ill and almost died in 1870. He worked for weeks to extract “nourishment from meat in a drinkable form”, and once he administered the resulting tonic, his wife recovered. The ‘remedy’ went on to become wildly popular as a ‘cure-all’ [allegedly, it was even taken by King George V]. Therefore, lots of these little bottles remain and you can easily find one online. Pink February 2017 ∫ 47


HEALTHBITES

Chilblains By Anastasia Ghio from the Malta Medical Students’ Association

eatme

GRASS-FED YOGHURT I’m packed with good stuff Grass-fed yoghurt comes from cows that have grazed in pasture year-round, rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Grass-feeding improves the quality of yoghurt and makes it richer in omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acid [CLA], a beneficial fatty acid.

My nutritional information Grass-fed yoghurt is a very good source of iodine, vitamin B12, phosphorus and calcium. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, molybdenum, pantothenic acid, protein, zinc and biotin.

How to select and store The standard to look for on the label is “100 per cent grass-fed.” Shelf life is also especially important for fresh, live culture yoghurt if you want to enjoy optimal health benefits. So check the expiration date of the grass-fed yoghurt to make sure it is still fresh. Avoid yoghurts that have artificial colours, flavourings, or sweeteners. Additionally, while fruit-filled yoghurt can be a delicious treat, be aware that these products often contain excess sugar. Purchase plain yoghurts instead, and add fresh fruits or other foods at home as desired. It’s also worth remembering that making yoghurt is not a difficult process and simple enough to do at home. Store yoghurt in the refrigerator in its original container.

48 ∫ Pink February 2017

Chilblains [or pernio] are cold-induced, burning, or itchy, red swellings on the skin that appear particularly on the extremities, such as the toes, fingers, ears and the tip of the nose. They are the result of poor circulation in response to cold temperatures. When the skin is cold, the surface blood vessels narrow, reducing blood circulation. On exposure to a warmer temperature, the blood vessels become wider. If this shift in temperature occurs too quickly, fluid may leak into the surrounding tissues, presenting as an itchy, swelling part of the affected skin. The situation is made worse when damp or humid conditions coincide. Chilblains can occur in every age group, but are more frequent in children and the elderly. Diabetics and smokers are at risk of developing peripheral vascular diseases, predisposing them to developing chilblains. These diseases cause blood vessels of the lower limb to narrow and harden, contributing to the development of chilblains in the colder seasons.

Despite the unpleasant symptoms presented by chilblains, they are selflimiting, which means they resolve on their own after a few weeks that a person avoids further exposure to cold temperatures. Preventive measures for decreasing the recurrence of chilblains includes keeping the extremities warm to maintain enough blood flow. Other preventive measures include staying active, refraining from smoking and avoiding tight shoes that can restrict blood flow. Once chilblains develop, it is very important not to scratch the sores. Ideally, a topical corticosteroid cream is applied to the affected area to relieve the itching and swelling. Moisturising the skin can help stimulate blood circulation and prevent it from cracking, which could lead to infections. The majority of individuals with chilblains do not need any medical assistance, however, if they fail to resolve, or there is frequent reoccurrence, it would be ideal to seek medical attention.

Tettiera Tea Log Let’s get acquainted with one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts – the mighty tea, which gives that elegant stimulation and alertness, while maintaining a sense of serenity and calmness. Tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. The same shrub gives five different types of teas, namely black, oolong, green, white and pu’erh. The difference is in the preparation process and how the tea leaves are treated. Then of course, there are the tisanes, or as they are widely known, herbal teas, such as rooibos, herbs, spices and floral infusions. Teas have different levels of caffeine, whereas tisanes are caffeine-free. Just like most fruits and vegetables, tea is a natural source of antioxidants. If you really want a fulfilling love affair with tea, then you should get familiar with the wonderful world of loose-leaf teas – the gorgeous hand-picked leaves and buds prepared by artisan farmers. If you are new to tea, start your journey with an oolong or white tea and you will be surprised to discover various flavour notes just like you experience with wine. There is so much to discover and savour until you find the right blend for you. Intrigued yet? Rediscover the tea ritual. tettiera.com

MONTHLY MUSE “There’s a long life ahead of you and it’s going to be beautiful, as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.” Yoko Ono, Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist; second wife and widow of singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles.


PINKSHRINK

Enduring love? Dott. EDWARD CURMI asks what it is that really keeps a couple together in the long term…

A

s children, Disney fairy tales allow us to fantasise about enduring love. In our adolescence, literature and films continue to introduce us to this fantastic world. But as we grow up and start to explore relationships ourselves, we may start to question whether love can really last a lifetime. A number of studies on enduring love have been carried out, and most of them have concluded there is no such thing as ‘the typical couple’. What we know is that enduring love is a complex matter that may not only involve two people, but a number of external factors around the couple. So what is it that really keeps a couple together in the long term? According to psychologist Susan Quilliam, there are four practices that can be adopted to achieve enduring love: Celebrate: make sure to find time to create rituals that mark the passage of time. By cherishing memories through a celebration, a couple can mark an important moment or aspect of validation in their relationship. Invest: find time for each other. Quality time rather than quantity is a safe way of securing everlasting love. It is quite simple, but often neglected. Just try and spend time looking at one another and remember the good times together. Embrace: touch is an essential ingredient for a long-term relationship. Cuddles, hugs and kisses do not necessarily mean sex, so never stop investing in them. Nurture: try and do as many things that will please one another in a relationship. Take care of your partner’s happiness, but never forget to stay in check with your own. It’s a practical way of feeding your relationship in a healthy manner.

Facts about enduring love The flow of power Couples who experience ‘endless’ love have the ability to strike a balance of power. Conflict and especially unhappiness in relationships are often the result of one of the two persons having more or less power than the other. It is pretty easy to understand who has more power – it’s always the one who has more freedom and choices in life. These people need to constantly remind themselves that they are privileged and their compassion towards 50 ∫ Pink February 2017

“TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARTNER’S HAPPINESS, BUT NEVER FORGET TO STAY IN CHECK WITH YOUR OWN” their partners is an essential quality to an enduring love. More often than not, couples who become parents may go through a challenging phase where the flow of power is broken. This may cause a lot of uncertainty and a strong sense of feeling unloved. Understanding such moments and recreating that balance of power are essential if they plan to spend the rest of their lives together. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger Unlike many would think, stressful factors bring out the best in couples. Whether it is a miscarriage, illness, or unemployment, studies are clearly showing that being there for one another in such times can help a couple’s love grow. This is cause for optimism, but studies also confirm that throughout such difficult times, other individuals may also help them strengthen their relationship.


THINKPINK HEALTH & BEAUTY

The smaller things matter As much as we may think that grand gestures of love and kindness are likely to lead to everlasting love, it is quite the opposite. Evidence is showing it’s the daily small acts of kindness and subtle messages of love that make all the difference. A simple ‘thank you’, a smile from across the room, or a favourite chocolate are a few behaviours that can go a long way. These subtle acts are what cement a couple, making them feel cared for. Enjoying hobbies together Another essential ingredient for everlasting love is the ability to share activities that both love. It could be taking dancing lessons, or watching a favourite series every night together. Whatever it is that matters, doing it with a loved one only strengthens the possibility of long-lasting love. Enduring love must be built on happy memories, which come from having fun together. A number of studies are showing us that when a couple has children, it becomes more difficult to spend such quality time together. Making time for each another and investing in fun activities, even if they may sound trivial and frivolous, are part of what makes relationships last forever.

“STUDIES ARE CLEARLY INDICATING THAT EVERLASTING LOVE CAN ONLY STEM FROM SHARED EQUALITY” Sexual intimacy Sexual intimacy has been rated an essential ingredient, especially in men, and even more so, before having children. Parenthood diminishes the value of physical affection in couples. Although this may be a result of both physiological and psychological changes, it is important for a couple to keep the channels of communication open and, where necessary, renegotiate what matters most. Shared equality Studies are clearly indicating that everlasting love can only stem from shared equality, which is based on four emotional pillars that need constant attention. These are: • Attunement: the ability to notice the needs of one another and respond by trying to help the other achieve them. • Shared responsibility: each partner has to be able to pull his/her own weight to maintain the balance in the relationship. • Mutual vulnerability: each person must be willing to be truthful, transparent and ready to learn from the another. Being in a relationship where needs can be expressed in an honest manner, while acknowledging mistakes, is simply priceless. • Influence: both parties need to be willing to listen and, where necessary, change, or be able to accommodate the other. 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.

A TOUCH OF MODERNITY

Icon is the perfect expression of natural refinement, a translation of the luxurious and classic heritage of the Dunhill house, with, what’s more, a touch of modernity. The man who wears Icon is a masculine and sophisticated gentleman. Its composition is aromatic-woody, with an opening of fresh bergamot and neroli absolute. Its heart includes spicy and aromatic notes of black pepper, lavender and cardamom, leaning on a woody base of smoky oud, vetiver, leather and oak moss. Dunhill fragrances are exclusively distributed by Chemimart [2149 2212].

DIVINE POWER

The heroic god and goddess of fragrance return in a mythical storm of renewed intensity. Paco Rabanne’s new fragrances, Invictus Intense eau de toilette and Olympea Intense eau de parfum, offer a darker, penetrating take on their original counterparts, delivering divine power, carnal sensuality and legendary triumph with every spray. They are exclusively distributed by Ta’ Xbiex Perfumery Ltd [2133 1553].

THE 2017 LASER CARD

Over the years, laser hair removal has grown into one of the most popular treatments for both women and men who prefer it to the much more timeconsuming alternatives of shaving and waxing. To cater for those clients who are looking for the most cost-efficient way of getting rid of unwanted body hair, especially larger areas, while still receiving top-notch professionalism, Persona Med-Aesthetic Centre recently introduced its 2017 Laser Card, which entitles users to five hours of laser by highly qualified doctors over the course of a year – and guaranteeing the best price. Enquire now since only a limited amount of Laser Cards are being sold.

A MULTI-VITAMIN FOR THE SKIN

C-Serum stands for cytoserum, a concentrate rich in marine-derived vitamins, 42 trace elements and minerals and 18 amino acids. This essential lightweight liquid is like a multivitamin for the skin that can be used alone or under a day or night cream to boost and lock in moisture, provide potent antioxidant protection and help prevent fine lines and dehydration. It’s a must-have for more luminous skin. Repechage is distributed by Makiba. For trade enquires, call on 2180 6922 or 9944 3761. Pink February 2017 ∫ 51


PARENTINGTIPS

provide her with a strong foundation upon which she can build future romantic relationships?

DADDYDAUGHTER DEVOTION

Recent research shows that fathers play a unique and central role in their children’s lives and all-round development. Educational and child psychologist Dr STEPHANIE SATARIANO goes a step further: early patterns of interaction between dad and daughter can form the blueprint for her future relationships. Fathers can show them how they should be treated.

T

he mother-child bond often takes centre stage, and tends to be the focus of most parenting advice. Fortunately, however, fathers are taking a more pronounced role in parenting, and it is important for them to know that they too play a crucial part in their child’s development. In fact, recent research is showing that fathers play a unique and central role in their children’s lives. For a daughter, the relationship with her father is one of her first with the opposite sex, and many theorists advocate that it is the blueprint of all future relationships. From a young age, girls draw conclusions on men and what to expect from them based on

their observations of the men that play a role in their early lives; which are commonly their fathers. Research has indicated that from as young as four or five, children create templates of gender expectations, which form the basis of their ability to have a relationship with a man.

• Develop a secure relationship with your daughter: spend time doing things, just you two, and have fun together. Let her know you care about her and love her with words and signs of affection. • Teach her personal boundaries: fathers are in a good position to teach their daughters the importance of personal space, and the distinction between affection and inappropriate touching. • Celebrate her mind: let her know that her mind is important; show interest in her intellect and academics; have interesting conversations with her about her areas of interest and yours. • Go to her events: enjoy watching her in her hobbies and show respect for her interests; model that you value her talent, efforts and achievements. • Compliment her: we live in a world where girls are often made to feel insecure about their looks; show her you value her, and pass real and meaningful compliments – for example, how she performed in a play, or in a sport, about a nice dress she wore, or a recent haircut. It’s important to be genuine when giving praise/compliments, and make them specific and meaningful. • Treat all woman the way you want her to be treated: this will help her create a template for how she should be treated. Most importantly, treat her mother with respect. Even if you are not together, and you have a negative relationship, try your best to show respect towards her.

“TREAT ALL WOMAN THE WAY YOU WANT HER TO BE TREATED: THIS WILL HELP HER CREATE A TEMPLATE FOR HOW SHE SHOULD BE TREATED” So fathers, yes, you do play a strong part in building your daughter’s future; you hold a powerful role in your daughter’s life. Now, how can you maximise this relationship so as to

• Treat her the way you want her future partner to treat her: the way you interact with her develops her self-worth and sets the bar of how she should be treated. Pink February 2017 ∫ 53


TRAVELOGUE

Single ticket

FOR VALENTINE’S DAY If you’re unattached this Valentine’s, rediscover your spirit of adventure with a solo trip abroad. HELEN RAINE lists five destinations where travelling as a singleton is a great way to go. SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA For a spiritual trip, try walking the last 100km of the Camino de Santiago. From Sarria, it takes around a week. The Galician countryside is wild and green here and you’ll pass ancient Roman bridges and Celtic settlements as you follow

the yellow arrows and scallopshell symbols to Portomarin and Lestedo. From there, you’ll walk in the shade of oak groves to Melide until the Camino Frances [French path] meets the Camino del Norte [North path] just before Arzua. Follow the quiet country road to Rua and the last leg will lead you

“THERE ARE SO MANY WALKERS ON THE TRAIL, YOU’LL HAVE PLENTY OF COMPANY FOR YOUR NIGHT OUT LISTENING TO CELTIC MUSIC AND EATING SOME OF THE BEST FOOD IN THE WORLD IN THIS PILGRIM CITY” to the doors of the famous cathedral, where you can lay your hand in the deep imprint left in a marble column by millions of pilgrims and smell the incense from the botafumeiro [a famous swinging thurible]. There are so many walkers on the trail, you’ll have plenty of company for

your night out listening to Celtic music and eating some of the best food in the world in this pilgrim city, the core of which has been perfectly preserved for centuries.

SEOUL For a complete culture shock that’s still safe and fun, try Seoul, a futuristic city with ancient roots; centuries-old temples crouch beneath gravity-defying modern architecture and old markets serve street food next to high-tech fast-food joints. Homestays are a good way to experience Korea for single travellers – you’ll sleep on a mat on the floor in the company of a local family, or you can book one of the many hostels. Koreans are obsessed with hiking and there are great routes right out of Seoul [via the subway]. If you want to find people to walk with, try meetup.com. At Gyeongbokgung Palace, you can watch the changing of the guard; Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong and N-Seoul Tower are all worth a visit too. The city is easy to

Pink February 2017 ∫ 55


TRAVELOGUE navigate and people are generally friendly and helpful when you approach them.

Mark’s Bar in Soho is perfect for a solo drink too, with big comfy sofas to avoid that perched-alone-at-thebar look.

the 20 islands in that chain – there’ll be plenty of other travellers doing the same.

FIJI

If you turn up as a single traveller in Australia, you won’t stay that way for long [unless you want to]. There’s a well-established backpacker route and you’ll find the same people popping up in a hostel kitchen, on the bus, or on the beach. Many are gap-year students, but there are people from all walks of life around too. If you value your privacy, but still want some communal cheer in the evenings, many of the hostels have single rooms with access to common areas. For an instant bonding experience, take a boat trip around the Whitsundays. Depending on the boat you choose, you’ll share with up to 10 other people and trips usually last three to four days. Days are spent snorkelling over the most vivid reefs in the world, or exploring deserted islets, while in the evenings, you can sit on the deck under stars so bright, they look like spotlights. It’s solo travel made super easy.

LONDON The anonymity of a big city can be very freeing for a singleton – no one gives you a second glance for eating alone in a restaurant – and London also has some great hostels where you can find instant friends if you want them. The YHA just off London’s Oxford Street has one of the best locations, close to shops,

AUSTRALIA Far-flung Fiji is F.U.N. for solo travellers. From horseback riding in the mountains to being the only westerner on a school bus of 50 kids, your sun-drenched, rain-showerspeckled days will be packed with new experiences. Hostels are often located right on the beach, hammocks

“IF YOU TURN UP AS A SINGLE TRAVELLER IN AUSTRALIA, YOU WON’T STAY THAT WAY FOR LONG [UNLESS YOU WANT TO]” restaurants and the bars of Soho; they also organise free activities such as pub crawls and walking tours, which will help you blend in with the crowd. Dorm beds start at a very reasonable €30. For evenings out, try a supper club – their goal is to bring strangers together to eat [grubclub.com] – or go to the theatre [it’s dark and no one’s talking anyway].

slung between palm trees, with world-class snorkelling just off shore. Don’t miss a trip to one of the outer islands [there are 330 of them]: Bounty Island is a good option, being a budget destination with dorm rooms and communal eating. You can also buy the Bula Pass, your key to the Yasawa and Mananuca Islands with hop-on-hop-off transfers to 12 of


GIRLTALK

THE VIRGINIA MONOLOGUES

PUPPY LOVE H

ad I Googled the what-youneed-to-know or what-to-expectwhen-you’re-expecting puppy equivalent, I probably wouldn’t have got myself a dog. I’d have chickened – or ‘puppied’ – out and spent the rest of my life making excuses, repeating the things I’d been saying for years: I would definitely get a dog if I had a garden. But thankfully, I didn’t do any reading, partly because I wasn’t expecting a puppy anytime soon, or anytime at all, and partly because I’m not really the type to read up on things. I usually prefer to wing it. In any case, it happened unexpectedly, overnight, as do all the best things. And it was one of those now-or-never moments where I knew that the universe was presenting me with an opportunity I would probably never get again, and that if I didn’t go for it, I’d spend the rest of my life kicking myself, or even worse, wondering what it would have been like. And this is how I came to be the proud owner of a puppy [minus the garden] on New Year’s Day. One month later, I’ve survived and I’m as happy as Larry.

And despite all the Google warnings, which have remained unheeded, my carpets are still on display and intact and I’ve only succumbed to the most minimal puppy-proofing of my apartment: I’ve basically removed my china elephants from my coffee table and chucked a couple of throws on the sofas and beds. Everything else has remained pretty much as it always was.

down this road. I wanted to believe that you should try to get your puppy used to the sort of home that you are used to instead of changing your life around to accommodate and make life easier for him. So I persevered. It wasn’t easy, or perhaps I should say it isn’t easy. Every

“HAVING A PUPPY IS NOT UNLIKE HAVING A CHILD. IN FACT, IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED – NOT A NEWBORN BUT A CRAWLING TODDLER, WHO IS INFINITELY MORE CHALLENGING, THE FORMER BEING CONFINED TO BARRACKS, OR TO A COT OR PRAM AT ANY RATE” You see, I would hate to live without carpets, or to uglify my surroundings… which is the first thing Google tells you to do, i.e. create barriers, because of course, accidents do and will happen. I refused to go

day is challenging and presents a learning curve of sorts. I don’t think I have ever washed the floor or scrubbed my carpets as much as I have in the last month, but finally, I do see light at the end of the tunnel. Pink February 2017 ∫ 57


GIRLTALK Having a puppy is not unlike having a child. In fact, it is exactly the same as far as I’m concerned – not a newborn but a crawling toddler, who is infinitely more challenging, the former being confined to barracks, or to a cot or pram at any rate.

acknowledge what a good dog he is] and the almost simultaneous misery when he does something wrong – that feeling that you are getting absolutely nowhere and almost ready to give up. Then comes tiptoeing around the house when he’s asleep, reluctant to

The cardinal rule of dog care and something that everyone will tell you is that you are not to give a dog your food and that under no circumstances should you ever feed your dog scraps from the dining table. And yet, I think it’s probably one of those rules that is

“THERE’S ALSO THE DESIRE TO BRING HIM INTO BED WITH YOU, BUT THE CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE THAT IT WILL MEAN YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE” Seventeen years after giving birth to my son, I have found myself going through many of the same motions I had forgotten. First off was the inability to decide on a name. I’ve already changed the puppy’s name twice, and even now, I’m unsure whether the one I chose suits him entirely. I had the same dilemma with my son – I even gave him two names because I wasn’t convinced. Then of course came the fear that he [the puppy] wasn’t eating enough – and naturally, he wasn’t because I had bought the wrong food. But all that has been sorted. Then came the horror of having to vaccinate him and having to wait inside for weeks before we could leave the house, coupled with the sheer exhaustion of trying to entertain him for hours, or having to monitor him every minute of his waking day for fear that he’d eat or swallow something dangerous. The gruelling potty training is not easy – it’s hit and miss and very hard work, and then just when you think he’s got it, it’s right back to square one and just like sliding right down the chute. There’s the absolute joy when he does something right [and you have to make sure to praise him and

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do anything that might make him stir [like opening a packet of biscuits you’re dying to open]; the nightmare of waking up at all hours of the night to check that he is breathing, or waking up at an unearthly hour for a feed and to make sure he’s got enough water in his bowl. There’s also the desire to bring him into bed with you, but the certain knowledge that it will mean you have to do it for the rest of your life. Like I always tell first-time mothers: don’t do anything you don’t want to do forever. The list is endless and I could go on and on and bore you to tears… which is another thing I am going through that is reminiscent of having a baby; the incessant need to take pictures of my new addition and tell everyone about his bowel – and all its movements. But more than that, for me, the parallel was the total absorption; the overwhelming adoration of this little ‘person’ or ‘being’, who wasn’t there the week or even the day before and is suddenly the most important thing in your life to the point that you wonder how you even lived without him. And of course, there’s also the irresistible urge to spoil the little pooch, despite the red flag warnings and everyone’s better judgement.

Enjoy Malta’s most recommended home internet through a reliable fixed service. The Vodafone Home Internet & Telephone package enables you to make unlimited calls to all local landlines as well as unlimited calls to Vodafone mobile numbers. Just plug your user-friendly modem into an electrical socket and enjoy Vodafone’s quality internet and fixed telephony. The service is being offered at €30 a month for existing Vodafone customers and €35 a month for non-Vodafone customers as a limited offer until the end of April. For more information, visit www.vodafone.com.mt/home-internet or call on 16232.

58 ∫ Pink February 2017

more observed in its breach. I find it hard to imagine anyone resisting the temptation forever. And that’s the funny part… because why would you break a rule that is going to end up giving you grief ? But human beings are strange like that. In the same way that Adam just had to take a bite of that apple, I have found myself unable to resist giving my dog human food. Every day, I come up with an excuse. He’s tried everything, from steak to chicken, crackers, even apples. There is nothing he will refuse and I invariably feel so sorry for him having to eat his dry, boring food. It’s only been a month and I know I’m in for exciting – and very trying – times ahead. But all I can say is that this has been the most fun I’ve had in January in a long time. It’s also therapeutic, especially for someone like me who would think nothing of making people remove their shoes before they set foot in my home. Once you get a dog, you have to kiss your obsessive-compulsive disorder goodbye and say hello to footprints, frayed sofas and chipped furniture. And now please excuse me while I go and change a nappy. ginantonic@live.com


WOMENONWHEELS

Nicole Tanti sports Karen Millen on her ‘scenic’ test drive.

ON THE

SCENE Pink picks ‘the woman in the street’ to test drive the latest cars that hit the road, using straight-talking jargon that steers away from ‘meaningless’ techie specs. In the first of its new series, Nicole Tanti, marketing and social media executive at Retail International, tries out the Renault Scenic from Auto Sales Ltd [Kind’s].

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his was my first experience driving a Renault. I currently drive quite a small car, so upon seeing the Scenic, I was quite overwhelmed. But that eased off as I was taken through the features of the car – and also shown some quirky extras that could be purchased alongside the basic package. I got straight to it and, to warm up, I took the car round the block for a quick test before setting off onto the road. Having driven an automatic car for the past year, I thought it was going to be a task to get into manual mode once again. However, the Scenic surprised me with smooth gears, making driving that little bit easier. Alongside an extremely spacious interior [which, I imagine, would be great for large families, or for those who like to travel abroad with their cars], the drive was great. The dashboard features a top-of-the-range multimedia system,

which automatically links up to your phone, so it’s perfect for the not-so-tech-savvy to set up. The Scenic also offers the latest driver assistance technology, with its active emergency braking system, whereby the vehicle’s brakes are applied if a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected. Lucky for me, this car also comes with automatic lighting and wipers, which crossed one thing off my list of things to learn when testing the car on the road. Although a keyless entry is something I was already accustomed to, it also cleverly locks itself and closes mirrors automatically when stepping out of the car – key in bag and no buttons to be clicked. That certainly wins bonus points with me!

“LUCKY FOR ME, THIS CAR ALSO COMES WITH AUTOMATIC LIGHTING AND WIPERS, WHICH CROSSED ONE THING OFF MY LIST OF THINGS TO LEARN WHEN TESTING THE CAR ON THE ROAD” Working in Valletta means parking is an issue, and I imagine such a large car could be a drawback in that scenario. However, the Scenic would definitely ease – if not completely eradicate – other issues, such as the transportation of materials, with all the extra space you gain from it. It also boasts a clever parking pack that includes a blind spot warning, hands-free parking and 360-degree parking sensors – definitely something all car owners in Malta envy when on the prowl for a spot. The starting price of the Renault Scenic is €23,500. Pink February 2017 ∫ 63


SNAPSHOT

fun, cool, easy What is your favourite piece?

I love the boyfriend jeans.

The spring 2017 TommyXGigi collaborative collection is the second capsule to be co-designed by Tommy Hilfiger and American supermodel Gigi Hadid, the brand’s global womenswear ambassador. She tells Pink she was inspired by the energy of a California summer… 64 ∫ Pink February 2017

W

hat does your second collection with Tommy Hilfiger mean to you? I was

really excited to design a spring collection and celebrate my California upbringing and easy-going style. I’m so honoured that Tommy wanted a second collection from me!

Was your design process different the second time around? I think

getting closer and closer to the design team with each meeting has made for a fun and free-spirited creative environment. I learned the most about time management after my second collection because I could then compare to what I did differently in the first season.


SNAPSHOT

Who do you envision wearing this collection? I think anyone can wear it and mix it with different classic/vintage pieces to get a fun, cool, easy summer look. What do you love about the Tommy Hilfiger brand? Tommy is

interested and inspired by so many things and I think that is shown through the clothing in an all-American way – classic and relatable. How did you work on the collection and design inspiration? I guess my

first inspiration was the energy of a California summer, for the colour palette especially. Then I did pieces that would fit into my spring and summer days. I wanted them to be easy to style on the go.

What has been your favourite experience working with Tommy so far? The TommyXGigi Tour – the

fan support and places I got to see and experience took my breath away every day; I love the Tommy team and my whole team that I got to travel and adventure with.

What is the best style advice you’ve ever received? Carine

Roitfeld once told me: if you don’t know what to wear to a party, wear jeans, a T-shirt and heels. Works every time!

Would you describe yourself as a girl’s girl, or more of a tomboy? I’d

say I’m right in the middle of both.

We know about your love for burgers. What other food do you love? Pasta! Which places are on your travel bucket list? New Zealand, Thailand

and India.

Any make-up tips for a night out?

Less is more.

The look

TommyXGigi celebrates Hadid’s unique take on modern style, fused with Hilfiger’s signature “classic American cool” heritage. Inspired by the Summer of Love, the collaborative capsule puts a West Coast twist on the Tommy Hilfiger brand’s East Coast roots. In a nod to the laidback beach lifestyle, the collection pays homage to California, with badges and patches inspired by the sunshine state.

Follow Trilogy Malta and Tommy Hilfiger on Facebook for updates on when the collection will be hitting home. The TommyXGigi collection can be previewed on tommy.com. Follow updates on social media using #TommyXGigi and @TommyHilfiger.

Pink February 2017 ∫ 65


STARGAZER

THE FUTURE IS

PINK ARIES MARCH 20-APRIL 18 February was all about decisions, some simple, others involving long-term changes, but each crucial in its own way. March is about the practical or financial side of what you’ve already done and, even more, about future plans. The resulting analysis may slow your pace, but will also ensure your time, money, ideas and even affections are being wisely employed. This may not be exciting. Still, deal with these in depth now and you’ll sidestep both unnecessary burdens and potential difficulties in the future.

CANCER JUNE 21-JULY 21 Recently, you’ve faced numerous pivotal decisions about everything from very personal matters to your domestic or working life. While you’re happy with most, some need review, if not serious discussion with others. Tackle these during March’s first week, before you get distracted by more far-reaching ideas. These are exciting but demand you balance existing arrangements with new ventures. It’s worth getting involved with more than is realistic, then allowing experience to say what to keep or what should go.

LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 22 You’re superb at recognising when others need to take over plans or decision-making, which is exactly what you’re facing during March. Still, say what you want, are happy about, or worries you. Just be aware that your words won’t always be acknowledged, at least at the time. In fact, some crucial discussions may not take place until the Libra Full Moon in mid-April. Until then, focus on exploring certain ideas of your own. What you learn and who you meet could be life-changing.

CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21-JANUARY 18 Rarely has your life or your future been in such flux. While ordinarily, as a thorough Capricorn, you’d make and keep to your plans, you’ve already noticed what’s least appealing initially works out best. With the foundation on which plans are based shifting, this will be the case for most of 2017. So, for now, develop a less detailed, and more spontaneous, approach to life. While challenging initially, you’ll soon be amazed how well it’s working and how much fun you’re having. 66 ∫ Pink February 2017

According to astrologer SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL… TAURUS

GEMINI

APRIL 19-MAY 19 After months of enforced or unwelcome changes, or living with decisions made by others, Mars, the planet of action, courage and ego, moves into Taurus on March 10, triggering an exciting if challenging cycle. This lasts until mid-April, and you’ll rethink, then substantially rearrange, many elements of your life, from practical and personal to romantic and professional. This much growth is rare, so it’s worth taking what seem chances. While you can always change your mind later, it’s unlikely you’ll want to.

LEO

MAY 20-JUNE 20 Unless situations are urgent, you not only don’t mind being distracted by new ideas, offers, or even obstacles; what you learn and who you meet as a result can add a magical touch to life. Unfortunately, not everybody is as inquisitive, and certain individuals will be frustrated by March’s changeable circumstances. Work closely with those who are genuinely concerned and, meanwhile, get everybody involved in events, day by day. This leads to teamwork and, in some cases, a vital and previously missing togetherness.

VIRGO

JULY 22-AUGUST 21 Although you thought you’d escaped tedious practical, business, or financial matters, by mid-month they’re urgent. Don’t try to find short cuts. Deal with these in detail and you’ll only need to tackle them once. While time-consuming initially, what you learn will prove profitable in many ways, now and in the future. Better yet, having these settled, you’ll be free to focus on intriguing ideas or opportunities to study or, perhaps, travel, all with exciting company, as March ends and April begins.

SCORPIO

AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 21 Having been born under possibly the most thorough zodiac sign, you enjoy imposing order on every element of your life. But often, March’s surprise twists and, equally, sudden personal changes will defy even your best efforts to plan. Add the emotionally intense Virgo Full Moon on March 12 and you’ll base your review of your life, goals and feelings for others on your feelings, not hard facts. While unsettling, this informative period will shape your decisions now, and during all of 2017.

SAGITTARIUS

OCTOBER 23-NOVEMBER 21 Since late last year, you’ve been wrestling with abrupt or unsettling changes. Yet as they’ve settled in, you’ve realised many were timely and now, you’re recognising some as genuine breakthroughs. Think of this when yet more unexpected events mean rethinking seemingly stable areas of your life. The real challenge is, while you’d usually research, plan and organise such matters beforehand, either things are moving swiftly or others are making decisions for you. Worrying as that seems, the results will be brilliant.

AQUARIUS

NOVEMBER 22-DECEMBER 20 Ordinarily, you’re easygoing about changes, even those that are unexpected or annoying, mostly because even big surprises have proved amazingly rewarding. Yet recent experiences have made you both weary and wary of yet more unsettling events. While disruptive, these are leading to breakthroughs, that is, to ideas, activities, or pursuits you’d never think of yourself. No matter how grumpy you feel, explore these. At minimum, you’ll learn something, but in reality, once you learn more, your mood will be transformed.

PISCES

JANUARY 19-FEBRUARY 17 By no means are you rigid in your thinking. As an Aquarian, you’re more inquisitive than most signs. Yet, because of that, you base plans on your far-reaching knowledge of what’s going on in the world around you and those who would influence your life. However, recently you’ve faced sudden and, often, bizarre changes. Elements of your life and the wider world are changing, often in completely unexpected ways. The sooner you explore these, the more swiftly you’ll realise how exciting they are.

FEBRUARY 18-MARCH 19 Actually, the powerful Pisces eclipsed New Moon on February 26, and the sudden changes and fresh insights it triggers will influence your thinking during March, and your decisions over the coming weeks and months. View both your own plans and arrangements involving others as a bit of an experiment and when the inevitable changes arise, you won’t worry. Even more important, whether it’s your personal or romantic life, work or practicalities, aim high. You’ll be amazed, and thrilled, how well things go.

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


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