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ISSUE135∫ JanUary2016


Sexless style



Slurping the most popular psychoactive drug


Exercise alone won’t cut it



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FEATURES 10 LifeStyle chasing a dream Moved by sports 16 PrivateEye against the odds Self-help book from Huntington’s sufferer 25 FoodForThought the coffee snob Caffeine trends

REGULARS FASHION 28 ShowStopper boy meets girl Crossover style 37 TheUniform a white bright night Snapshot of an NYE outfit 38 FashionStory bitter vs sweet Kate Hudson on her iconic calendar

HEALTH 43 OnForm the big fat workout lie? Exercise won’t outweigh an unhealthy diet 46 HealthBites 47 PinkShrink new beginnings Why we don’t – and should – forgive 48 ParentingTips a fresh start Setting children’s realistic resolutions

7 EditorsNote 8 MailShot 20 WomanKind tribute to a first lady Eleanor Roosevelt 50 GirlTalk when loving less is more than enough Find room for your ‘self ’ 51 ThinkPink food & fashion 54 TableTalk don’t miss a beet Beetroot soup with kale 56 WomenOnWheels look at me! Lexus NX 57 StarGazer the future is pink Horoscopes 58 SnapShot expect the unexpected Fox Daniels

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COVER Photography Steven Vella ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [] ∫ Make-up Gabrielle Zammit Grungo ∫ Hair Robert Agius @ Aura Hair & Beauty Salon, B’Kara ∫ models Nicky wearing coat; joggers, both Marks & Spencer ∫ Dyan wearing bomber jacket, Marks & Spencer ∫ joggers, Tommy Hilfiger ∫ beanie, River Island ∫ Elin wearing coat; bag, both Marks & Spencer ∫ trousers, Miss Selfridge. *Most items are on sale.

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My Christmas tree is still standing, rose gold decorations and all, even though the batteries in the lowest string of lights have died out. The real miniature tree is still decorated too and swimming in a pot of water – I’m amazed it has survived the overzealous irrigation. The crib is in the entrance hall, with two Baby Jesus – one crafted at nursery; while the fairy lights remain twisted round the fourposter bed and a flattened stocking hangs off a cupboard knob. The thing is I have no inclination to remove anything and pack it away, marking the end of a season that can be such fun. What a desolate scenario that would be. It started back in early November with the choice of colour schemes etc… And the lighting of the tree and candles around the house and crib, the wearing of Rudolph’s red nose and horns and the blaring carols became an evening ritual that really has reached its sell-by date. Even the street lights and massive tree that took up a whole parking space in the village square were surreptitiously removed without much ado, or emotional attachment, days after we rang in the New Year.

But between laziness and nostalgia – and possibly the dilemma of having to fill the space the burly Christmas tree has taken up and find more for storage for it – I’m hanging onto mine. So with Christmas still present in this household, I can afford some reflections on the feast. The first would be that it must have been dreadful for the families and friends of the victims of the Paris attacks by Islamic militants just before. They have long been forgotten by the rest of us, although we are now even more aware of the acute danger of having a drink in a Paris cafe on a Friday night, and know that nowhere is safe anymore thanks to these terrorists, largely left unchecked by those who should be protecting us… We are fast forgetting other things too, like the actual meaning of Christmas. I was unpleasantly surprised when, wishing to start instilling the right message into a tiny tot, who was to be inundated with gifts and only exposed to the commercial side, I just couldn’t find an Advent calendar that didn’t have a Disney, or some other completely unrelated theme. I can somehow understand that London isn’t the place to look for something like that anymore, though you’d think that the consumer’s paradise would cater for everyone’s ‘tastes’ and that you would find absolutely anything in those mega department stores. [I suppose a newborn baby in a manger – the birth of whom, incidentally, is indirectly the cause of the shopping frenzy – would be pushing it and possibly even offensive.] The decorations in Regent Street went a ‘giant leap’ further – into outer space in fact – and were based on astronomy, if I could make out correctly what they were beyond the sparkle that disguised them as Christmas decorations. I understand they were connected to the launch of some watch shop along the road. More commercial than that! Back home, finding a kids’ book on the Nativity was like finding the actual manger Jesus Christ was born in. It seems leading bookstores don’t stock the story of Mary,

Joseph and Jesus anymore… or maybe it’s so popular it was sold out? Thank goodness for village life, where traditions are still alive, albeit probably just hanging on a thread. In my village alone, there were at least three live cribs and community activities weren’t intent on annihilating the religious aspect of the feast. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite. I barely made it to Mass on and around Christmas. And maybe that’s why I wanted to do my best to drum the real message home. But as a person who believes that our history and culture are very much a part of who we are, and who is concerned that secularism may not be as sexy as it is made out to be, I maintain that while individuals can go about quashing their own traditions, this cannot be a blanket imposition. In a Catholic country, we should find a book on the Nativity and an Advent calendar with a religious theme – and I’m not saying they can be dog-eared and covered in a layer of dust either. Moving on and into 2016, I must admit I am pretty much your classic ‘new beginnings’ sucker, who waits for the Sunday and, having failed, the Monday, but not Tuesday and the rest of the week, to change her ways. It has to be a Sunday… or a Monday… and the Sundays and Mondays roll on. But the pull of the New Year is greater than any ordinary Sunday and Monday to try and change those ingrained, innate, life-long habits. New Year’s Day is never the right time to go healthy – one of the most common resolutions by far – but luckily, it fell on a Friday this year, meaning I had one more weekend of indulgence before that fateful Monday morning. As I said, the New Year pull is stronger and the flow of motivation only turned into a trickle by the end of the week, when circumstances no longer allowed me the flexibility to exercise and eat well. But it was a start, and thank God for New Years for new beginnings, no matter how soon after they end.

January 17, 2016 ∫ Pink is a monthly magazine ∫ Issue 135 ∫ Executive editor Fiona Galea Debono ∫ Publisher Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Printing Progress Press Ltd ∫ Production Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Contributors Robert Agius, Maria Cachia, Claudia Calleja, Andrea Faye Christians, Edward Curmi, Claire Diacono, Anna Marie Galea, Mary Galea Debono, Marisa Grima, Caroline Paris, Helen Raine, Stephanie Satariano, Virginia, Shelley Von Strunckel, Gabrielle Zammit Grungo ∫ Design Manuel Schembri ∫ Photography Chris Sant Fournier, Richard van Loon, Steve Zammit Lupi, Steven Vella ∫ Advertising sales Veronica Grech Sant [2559 4706;].


© 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, without written permission of the publishers, is prohibited.

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I love it when I buy my weekly The Sunday Times of Malta and find Pink magazine included. Most articles are interesting and to pick one is a difficult choice… But this time round, I must say that I enjoyed reading most Time Out For Time-Out [ParentingTips, August 2015]. I’ve got two daughters myself, aged nine and four, who I absolutely adore, but at times, the situation becomes very stressful and it is not always an easy task to handle certain misbehaviour. I myself believe a lot in communication and in teaching my daughters the bad and the good and why, at times, I shout like a soprano [especially my wife in this case]. I try to explain why what they did was wrong and that if they’re good, they will get rewarded. At times, it does work, but often, it’s back to square one. So this article came in handy as Dr Stephanie Satariano’s professional advice is very interesting and helpful. ALEXANDER GAUCI FROM BIRKIRKARA

The writer of the letter of the month wins a Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy fragrance, courtesy of Chemimart; a Juvena lunch packet facial, courtesy of Roseberry; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd.


After reading the article Too Precious for this World [PrivateEye, September 2015], and being myself a mother of two, I decided to jot down some points reflecting on motherhood. Not all mothers are the same. Author and speaker Patsy Clairmont says: “Normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer.” We are all different. She shared that, as women, we may “struggle, fail, start over, and celebrate”. But we are mothers who can love unlike any other person. God created families and gave mothers a unique place in that unit. We can love, give of ourselves, cook, clean, wash clothes, put Band-Aids on scrapes, be the first one up in the morning, or the last one down at night. We juggle a lot of things, including raising children, working at jobs, managing a home, and sometimes finding time for ourselves. Each day is a new beginning of what lies before us. We have the power to do and be all that we are called to be. Nothing can stop us except ourselves. As mothers, we need to find the strength to face each day knowing that God loves us. Well done for this interesting magazine. I always make it a point to keep it handy and read everything down to the last detail. It is very informative. I would also like to thank all the people involved, including those who share their experiences to teach others. Thank you! CECILIA DALLI FROM ATTARD



I found the article by Helen Raine on worms [InThePink, December 2015] very interesting. I have been converting my kitchen scraps into compost for quite some time now. I had heard of using worms, but had never considered the possibility of buying them. Is it possible to get in touch with the author so that I can get advice on how to go about buying worms? Thank you for your kind assistance and I would also like to congratulate you on your magazine. You outdo yourselves with every issue. PAULINE BARTOLO VIA E-MAIL


We want to hear from you. Send us your feedback on Pink and any stories that may have touched you in some way, and you stand a chance of winning a Boucheron Quatre Homme perfume, courtesy of Chemimart; a manicure, courtesy of Roseberry; a John Frieda Luxurious Volume – 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment, courtesy of Charles de Giorgio Ltd; a bottle of Campari and its 2016 limited-edition calendar, featuring Kate Hudson; 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 Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity. If prizes are not claimed within two months, they will no longer be available.

I felt I had to write in and say what I think about the editorial [EditorsNote, December 2015]. When clothes are made to measure, it is something to be proud of: they should be a better fit! When they are made by professionals, they look good. It is the wrong choice of style and the wrong material for a particular style, or person, that can ruin everything. During fittings, everything should be brought in line with the person’s figure. If something does not suit, change it. I had a friend who used to make her own clothes; and she never had a crooked seam or hem. But then, we do have to use our eyes! Very few people have a perfect figure, so when we buy ready-made clothes, very often we have to adjust them. As for the rest of the magazine, I loved it. I could empathise particularly with the Virginia Monologues [The Final Move, GirlTalk] for I too am a hoarder and find it really hard to throw anything out. And I always end up keeping clothes just in case I can fit into them at some future date. Thank you for a lovely magazine. Looking forward to more features in the New Year. MARY FARRUGIA VIA E-MAIL

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CHASING A DREAM Teenager Helene Pellicano fell in love with tennis when she was four years old. Two years ago, she and her family uprooted themselves to follow her dream and pursue a professional career in the sport overseas. CLAUDIA CALLEJA catches up with her and her family.


elene was a toddler when she first starting absorbing her parents’ enthusiasm as they watched tennis matches on TV. Although she was too young to understand the complexity of the game being played on screen, something about the sport left a lasting impression. She was four years old when she first held a racket – and there was no turning back. “I remember my parents used to watch a lot of sports, including tennis, on TV. Something seemed to attract me towards the sport as I enjoyed watching it, but it’s not that I remember much of the games and players at that age. Then, my parents asked me whether I would like to give it a try and I got really into it,” the 13-yearold recalls. Both her parents, Elaine and Robert, like sports and used to play basketball. So when they realised their daughter was keen on tennis, they encouraged her. Helene started playing at the Gordon Axiak Tennis Academy in Marsa where she immediately took the sport seriously. Within a few years, she was training four to five times a week, around her school hours. It was not always easy, but something she discovered inside her kept her going. “It’s about results, and the willingness to succeed. I did very well in certain tournaments while, in others, I

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could have done better, and it is the thought that I could have done better that keeps me motivated and willing to work harder,” she says, adding that, today, she trains six days a week straight after school. The sport soon evolved from a hobby to a passion. Then when she was seven, she was invited to participate in a friendly junior tournament in Italy with other local players where she did pretty well. Her parents soon started realising their daughter had a talent not to be ignored. “In January 2012, Helene participated in an international tournament in Rome in the Under 10 category where she lost the final to an Italian player. In the summer of 2012, she played in a tournament in Munich, where she won the singles competition. It was there that we started wondering what level she could actually progress to,” her father recalls. In May 2013, they decided that, in the interest of her tennis development, the family would need to move. So in June, Helene, together with her mother, packed her bags and left for San Remo in Italy, while her father, who is based in Malta due to commitments, visits them regularly.

“IT IS THE THOUGHT THAT I COULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED AND WILLING TO WORK HARDER” Their decision to move was soon validated when, in 2014, she played the same tournament in Rome – once again being the losing finalist in the Under 12 category. “It was from then onwards that we realised that


Photography Richard van Loon

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LIFESTYLE Helene could take the sport to another level,” her father says. Moving was not an easy decision for the family. But they were in it together – something Helene is very appreciative of. “It was a tough decision on their part and I cannot but thank them for the support and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they are giving me. My parents felt they had to move abroad to support me in my tennis development… “It was definitely not an easy decision, leaving family, relatives and friends back home. However, from a tennis point of view, the fact that I am currently practising in Italy was an important step in the right direction.

Helene with her cousin, Martina Buhagiar, during a trip to Malta.

One of the main differences is that, in Italy, I find more players to play against,” Helene says, adding that she and her family visit Malta a couple of times a year depending on her schedule. In Italy, Helene found a lot of support from the Bob Brett Tennis Academy, where she is based. “They have supported me fully to adapt to my new life and, for this, I would like to thank all the coaches, especially Fabio Lavazza, my fitness coach Enio Kapana, Adele Muscat, who helps me out in difficult times, and also David Farrugia Sacco, president of the Malta Tennis Federation,” Helene says. Looking back, her father continues, the most important tournament to date that Helene played and won was the Under 14 Tennis Europe Junior Master Tournament, held last October in Reggio Calabria, when she was the first Maltese player to win.

“IT WAS A TOUGH DECISION ON THEIR PART AND I CANNOT BUT THANK THEM FOR THE SUPPORT AND THIS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY THEY ARE GIVING ME” “This tournament pitted the top eight ranked players competing at Tennis Europe level. In addition, Helene also received the Fair Play Award in her category. Another positive result she achieved was second place at the Eddie Herr Tournament, held in November 2014 in Bradenton, Florida, the US, where players from all over the world participated. Having reached the final in this tournament was also a milestone in Helene’s tennis career,” her parents proudly add. Over the years, Helene won a number of singles and doubles titles at international level. This year alone, she took home the singles title in the Under 14 matches during Tennis Europe tournaments in Messina and Pavia, Italy, as well as in Maia, Portugal, and Athens, Greece, apart from the Under 16 singles title in Crema, Italy, and the Under 14 doubles title in Bucharest, Romania, Oetwil, Switzerland, Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Under 16 doubles in Crema. Looking to the future, she would like to continue building on her achievements. “This will only come with hard work and dedication towards the sport… “I have my ups and downs. Sometimes, I feel pressure; other times, I am pretty much calm in the way I need to play. Sometimes, I play well; other times, not so well. Different matches and playing against different players bring mixed emotions during games. “I still have a lot of areas where I feel I can improve,” Helene says, adding that her ultimate dream is to win Wimbledon and be among the world’s top 10 female tennis players. Pink January 2016 ∫ 13



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…against the odds Before Sam Pearson was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and given a deadline on her life, she had started writing a diary, inspired by keeping positive. Now, it has all the more bearing and she wants others to take a leaf out of what has developed into a self-help book. ANNA MARIE GALEA scrolls through the chapters.


ith a seemingly innocuous name like Huntington’s, few could imagine the implications of this dormant condition that afflicts a very small yet significant percentage of the population. In a nutshell, Huntington’s disease is a hereditary, neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to mental decline and other associated behavioural symptoms. Although you’re born with it, it may take years to manifest itself. Due to its low occurrence, research grants for the disease are scant and it is, as yet, incurable. Last year, 18-year-old Sam Pearson discovered she carried the disease and that it would be fully manifested within her system in the next 10 years. Yet astoundingly, this knowledge has not slowed her down, and instead, she has completed what has turned into a self-help book, aimed at helping people deal with issues, big or small. Sam describes this as being her best form of therapy: “Although many people

might think I wrote the book as a reaction to finding out that I had the disease, I actually started it in April of 2014, venting about other things I had been through. “I found out I had the disease the following October, so learning that I was ill didn’t really influence the book in a negative way because I had pretty much finished it when I received the news.” Before she got tested, Sam had always considered her own clumsiness and forgetfulness to be completely normal: “I’ve never had particularly good balance and, sometimes, I’d come across as being a bit absent minded. But to be honest, I just put it down to being a bit of a klutz. When I found out, things started to make a lot more sense,” she says. So what are readers to expect from the book? “To be honest, it started out as a diary. I really didn’t know it was going to end up being read by others so, stylistically, it is deconstructed and pretty much as close to me and the way I am as possible. In fact, I think of it as me in paper form. Pink January 2016 ∫ 17


“Due to its origins, the chapters vary in length and the underlying theme is the fact that although everyone’s life takes a different path, we are all still able to achieve a positive outcome. It is this belief that led to the name of the book: Triumphant Against the Odds.” Although Sam writes from a particular standpoint, she is emphatic about the fact that the book has a universal theme: “I did not start writing this with my sickness in mind and I like to think that this is one of its strengths. “Many things had happened to me before I had the slightest inkling of what was coming my way and I really just wanted to send out a positive message to the world and basically tell people that life isn’t that bad; you always have the opportunity and the potential to be the best version of yourself. Life goes on regardless of who you are, so it’s important to make the best of it.” Sam has clearly taken her own advice as she has started a university course after achieving excellent grades despite her frequent bouts of illness. “When I wrote about the consultation and the whole process of my mother, my brother and myself just sitting in the waiting room to find out, I wanted something positive to come out of it. What came to mind was the fact that no one should wait for an incurable disease to live… “I’m alive, therefore, I must be thankful and make the most of whatever time I have been given. When I found out my disease is incurable, I needed to adjust my way of thinking and, since quantity was no longer an option, I had to focus on quality instead.” Of course, the journey has not been easy. When she found out she was sick, Sam held back from telling her 18 ∫ Pink January 2016

friends and, in fact, some of them pretty much decided to make a swift exit out of her life because they felt they couldn’t deal with having a sick friend who, despite being perfectly fine for the time being, would eventually start fading into a person that neither they nor she herself would recognise.

“HOPEFULLY, MY BOOK WILL HELP GUIDE PEOPLE TO BEING MORE UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHETIC IN REAL LIFE” “At first, I was very upset, but going through tough things is truly the greatest teacher of empathy, and when I took a step back, I realised that not all people are strong enough to deal with certain things and that’s all right too. “Hopefully, my book will help guide people to being more understanding and empathetic in real life.” So what is her advice on handling tough situations? “It’s OK to be angry and upset when you first start dealing with something, but after you’ve done that, you should take the help offered to you and put your pride aside. “Enjoy the years you do have, instead of focusing on what you don’t. I didn’t think I would go to university and have the same kind of experiences as my best friends, but then I realised that what I wanted more than anything was to spend whatever time I’ve been given with those closest to me, sharing experiences with them instead of waiting around at home. “I may not have been given the opportunity to get married and have children… But nowadays, it’s the small things I cherish because, in the end, that’s what makes life beautiful.”


Eleanor Roosevelt, as chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Tribute to A FIRST LADY

Eleanor Roosevelt is an iconic figure of 20th-century America. MARY GALEA DEBONO delves into her private life and into how she turned the position of First Lady into an institution within the American system.


hen someone referred to Franklin Delany Roosevelt, President of the US from 1933 to 1945, as Franklin D’Eleanor Roosevelt, a hint of mockery was often the intention; it was a veiled insinuation that he depended on his wife’s promptings for his political decisions. But the inclusion of Eleanor’s name can also be interpreted as a tribute to a First Lady, who, during her husband’s presidency, managed to transform the role from that of a glorified hostess of ladies’ luncheon parties and afternoon teas in the Rose Garden of the White House into that of a political partner. Whichever way one looks at it, it undeniably reflects the shift in a personal relationship that, over the years, had metamorphosed from a marriage into a political partnership. Eleanor Roosevelt is an iconic figure of 20th-century America; a part of the American consciousness; a role model for American women. In one Gallup survey, she was voted one of the 10 Most Widely Admired People of the last century. The 35 honorary

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degrees that she received are a proof of the esteem in which she was internationally held during her lifetime. Eleanor and Franklin were distant cousins; the Roosevelts were a wealthy family with a habit of intermarrying. Her uncle was Theodore

Roosevelt, 26th President of the US from 1901 to 1909. In spite of wealth and privilege, Eleanor’s childhood was an unhappy period that left her prone to depression for the rest of her life. Yet throughout, she refused to allow her unhappiness to sour her existence and sought to avoid repeating the mistakes made by those who had managed to make her early years so miserable. Eleanor’s father, Elliott, was an undependable womaniser and, like her uncles, an alcoholic. She was also vaguely aware that there were other scandals – cases of adultery, child molestation and worse – which tainted the adults in her family. Her mother was Anna Hall, a beautiful woman, whose emotional life was shattered when, after the birth of their daughter, her husband lost interest in her and started an affair. Because of her own unhappy situation and disappointed that, unlike her, Eleanor was rather ugly, Anna was incapable of showing her daughter affection and neglected her. While throughout her life, Eleanor continued to romanticise her father and never criticised him, she never felt close to her mother whose approval she never won. As her biographer Blanche Weisen Cook writes: “Her actions were in part an answer to her mother.”

“SHE MANAGED TO TRANSFORM THE ROLE FROM THAT OF A GLORIFIED HOSTESS OF LADIES’ LUNCHEON PARTIES AND AFTERNOON TEAS IN THE ROSE GARDEN OF THE WHITE HOUSE INTO THAT OF A POLITICAL PARTNER” Anna died when she was just 29; Elliott, two years later. It was grandmother Hall who brought up Eleanor. Fearful that the behaviour of her alcoholic uncles was detrimental to her upbringing, when Eleanor was 15, she decided to send her to Allenswood, a feminist and progressive finishing school in England. It was founded by Marie Souvestre, an inspirational woman, who instilled in the girls in her charge a sense of leadership, independence and self-confidence. Under her tutelage, Eleanor learnt to know and accept herself and to think for herself. Souvestre was the woman

WOMANKIND who had the greatest influence on her formative years. Franklin and Eleanor’s courtship began in 1902, but when they decided to get engaged, his mother, Sara, vehemently opposed the union. Sara was a possessive mother for whom the proposed marriage was a threat to her complete hold over her only son. The obvious happiness of the couple galled her and she was determined to separate them. This she did not manage to do, and in 1905, Franklin and Eleanor were married. However, she remained a dark cloud over Eleanor’s first years of marriage.

Franklin Roosevelt and his mother Sara in New York in 1939.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt with their children in 1919.

Sara was devious in her attempts to undermine their relationship. She was a matriarchal figure, who controlled everything, including the planning and furnishing of their house. To her grandchildren she once said: “I am your real mother, Eleanor merely bore you.” Eleanor did her best to please her mother-in-law, but Franklin, a mummy’s boy, steered away from conflict when possible and when impossible took his mother’s side. Six children in 10 years took their toll both physically and emotionally on the young bride, but Franklin’s decision in 1910 to plunge into politics transformed Eleanor’s life. By taking an active part in his campaign and encouraging him, she discovered the meaning of being useful. Her concern with social issues and the enthusiasm she showed in tackling these problems not only brought her closer to the people, who felt that in her they had someone who understood and championed their cause, but also made her an ideal political partner.

Eleanor and Franklin’s personal relationship also improved, aided by the fact that their new position required that they set up house away from the overbearing proximity of the mother-in-law. Unfortunately, this improvement did not last long. Franklin’s lifestyle changed; he started spending late nights carousing with his friends much as her own father had previously done. Left on her own at home, she became silent and depressed. The irreversible blow to their relationship came when, in 1918, on Franklin’s return to the US from Europe, she discovered, as she was unpacking his case, a bundle of love letters sent to him by her friend and social secretary, Lucy Mercer. This was a double betrayal.

end of his political career and he promised that he would not see Lucy again. It was a promise he did not keep. Lucy was always present at the important moments of Franklin’s life. She was invited to the inaugural ceremony when he became President of the US, and he was with her, having his portrait done, when he died at Warm Springs in April 1945. These were bitter blows for Eleanor, but perhaps the moment she felt most let down was when she learnt, years later, that when she was away from the White House and her only daughter, Anna, presided over social evenings, she often invited Lucy to attend. After the discovery of this betrayal, Eleanor felt momentarily shattered,

“THE IRREVERSIBLE BLOW TO THEIR RELATIONSHIP CAME WHEN, IN 1918, ON FRANKLIN’S RETURN TO THE US FROM EUROPE, SHE DISCOVERED, AS SHE WAS UNPACKING HIS CASE, A BUNDLE OF LOVE LETTERS SENT TO HIM BY HER FRIEND AND SOCIAL SECRETARY, LUCY MERCER. THIS WAS A DOUBLE BETRAYAL” But what hurt her most was the realisation that Franklin had carried on this affair in the open and had not done anything to shield her from gossip. She felt humiliated and abandoned. She lost her self-confidence and took refuge in solitude. Realising that this affair was more than a passing crush, Eleanor offered to give Franklin his freedom, but he knew that divorce would mean the

but she refused to become bitter and resolved to recover her self-esteem and carve a new life for herself. Regaining control over her life was a painful journey and one that required an ongoing struggle, but as her biographer writes: “she enlarged her ability to love and trust and found new paths to happiness and fulfillment.” Eleanor continued to be Franklin’s wife, but they lived independent lives, Pink January 2016 ∫ 21

WOMANKIND Eleanor Roosevelt addresses the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on behalf of her husband in 1940.

apart most of the time. After 1920, most of her closest friends were lesbian women with whom she established a meaningful relationship, prompting many to question her own orientation. The debate on the exact relationship with these women, with some of whom she later shared a house on Val-Kill, which Franklin helped her to build, continued to fuel the debate long after her death. In 1921, at the age of 39, Franklin was stricken with polio and lost the use of his legs. During his illness, Eleanor not only devoted herself to nursing him, but she also tried to keep up his morale by reporting to him whatever was happening in the political arena, encouraging him not to abandon his previous interests. While dedicating herself to his convalescence, she had to contend with Sara’s continual criticism of her actions and her manipulation of Anna’s feelings for her mother. After some years learning to come to terms with conducting his life from a wheelchair, Franklin was given the chance to resume his political career. He was offered the opportunity to run for the presidency on the Democratic Party ticket. Eleanor supported and encouraged him and campaigned on his behalf. In 1933, he was elected President of the US. Eleanor was determined that her role at the White House would not be solely that of a supportive wife. Since 1928, she had been teaching and writing. This gave her financial independence and a taste of what she could achieve. Life in the background was unthinkable. Eleanor turned the position of First Lady into “an institution within the American system”. There were several ways by which she achieved this, not least through her impassioned and active involvement in many social issues. She had always possessed an understanding of politics; Franklin knew this and relied on her perspective. She was the first woman to address a national party convention. Her interests ranged from the eradication of poverty to education, improvement of working conditions, the problems of African Americans and championing women’s rights. As First Lady, Eleanor kept in touch with the public by writing a syndicated column, My Day, which was in a way like a modern-day blog, and she personally answered every letter addressed to her as the President’s wife. After Franklin’s death, Eleanor dedicated her life to international politics, with a special interest in human rights. She was one of the first delegates to the United Nations and she chaired the committee that charted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She remained a controversial figure, but she stuck to her beliefs. “Every woman in public life needs to develop a skin as tough as rhinoceros hide,” she once said. Eleanor died on November 7, 1962.




As the explosion of cafes continues, coffee tastings have grown in popularity. HELEN RAINE slurps away from Comfort to Costa, sifting through the bubbling trend of coffee on the go in Malta and sniffing out where she should turn her nose up.


emember when coffee was simple? You just poured hot water over the instant granules and you were done. But for a new breed of coffee ‘connoisseurs’, instant granules are to coffee what Lambrusco is to wine – only acceptable in absolutely dire circumstances.

COLD COMFORT The over-40s might have grown up on Comfort and then Nescafé, but Malta actually has a long history of quality coffee. Pope Clement VIII declared it a Christian drink in 1600, which propelled it into broad usage; the prototype of all those chain coffee shops opened

in Rome in 1645. Soon the Italians had made an art form out of the drink and it wasn’t long before it arrived in Malta. These days, chains like Starbucks sell around four billion cups of coffee annually. We’ll happily part with over €3 for a cup, an impressive markup on the cost of the ingredients. We’ll even wait in a massive queue to order our drink [usually behind someone who is issuing 17 separate instructions about their beverage preparation], then wait some more to pick it up. And seeing a good proportion of the Maltese population rushing about with a takeaway coffee cup permanently attached to a clenched fist is now run of the mill. It sometimes seems like collective insanity.

“POPE CLEMENT VIII DECLARED IT A CHRISTIAN DRINK IN 1600, WHICH PROPELLED IT INTO BROAD USAGE; THE PROTOTYPE OF ALL THOSE CHAIN COFFEE SHOPS OPENED IN ROME IN 1645” Stephanie Ganado, marketing executive for Costa Coffee in Malta, thinks differently. She says that people have learned to appreciate “quality coffee, crafted specially for them by trained baristas”. Pink January 2016 ∫ 25

FOODFORTHOUGHT Costa has its own blend, the Mocha Italia, which is made up of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. Every year, Costa’s coffee masters will slurp their way through hundreds of coffees to choose the right ones for the blend [slurping helps to aerate the coffee and spray it over the palate for maximum flavour]. She suggests drinking an espresso ristretto to appreciate the blend’s “piquant, sweet notes without too much of the bitterness”.

MAGIC BULLET Despite the poetic language, you do start to wonder whether the original blend matters all that much when coffee shops then douse their carefully selected coffee with syrups, flavourings and lashings of sugar. Take the Gingerbread Latte, or the Iced Salted Caramel Mocha; they are more dessert than beverage with the latter coming in at 330 calories and 40g [yes 40!] of sugar. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a new craze called ‘bullet coffee’, which is doctored with butter instead of milk and sugar, for a creamy [or, one might argue, cloying] consistency. It’s usually mixed in a blender for a frothy head.

“DRINKING COFFEE IS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE, BOTH FROM A PRODUCT CONSUMPTION STANDPOINT, AND THE SOCIAL, BUSINESS, OR REFLECTIVE OPPORTUNITIES THAT GOING TO A COFFEE SHOP PRESENTS TO PEOPLE” But for Stephanie, these flavours and seasonal variations “add to the product versatility and widen the appeal”. That’s important, because for her, coffee is more than just a drink. “The coffee shop space is a social hub, where people interact and socialise. Drinking coffee is a wonderful experience, both from a product consumption standpoint, and the social, business, or reflective opportunities that going to a coffee shop presents to people.” 26 ∫ Pink January 2016

CAFFEINE CRAZY Well, maybe… but the fact that caffeine is addictive can’t hurt a coffee shop’s bottom line either; throw some of the dark stuff into a frothy, sugary drink and you’re virtually guaranteed to have people coming back for more. Coffee’s active ingredient has been described by scientists as “the world’s most popular psychoactive drug”. If you are both addicted and rich, you might want to try Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee. It’s made from coffee beans that have passed through the digestive system of a civet and been ejected in its faeces to be collected by enterprising coffee makers. Supposedly, the flavour is improved because the civet cat only selects certain berries and partial digestion improves the coffee’s flavour. Finding out whether that’s true will set you back around €550 a kilo. For a cheaper way to release your inner coffee snob, try a tasting session. “We organise coffee seminars and espresso tasting sessions bi-monthly in our stores, where we explain the roasting process and the journey of our coffee beans from crop to cup. We explain how to taste the different elements of an espresso,” Stephanie says. [Sessions are advertised in store, or on social media.]

LOCAL FLAVOUR International chains tend to serve the same blend in Valletta as they do in any other capital city worldwide. Locavores should check out Maltese roasteries for their caffeine fix; roast their own blend from their warehouse in Mriehel; you can buy the final product from their shop in Hamrun. sell from their premises in San Gwann [and they also supply chicory as a coffee substitute]. And just in case you thought our obsession with the process of coffeemaking is newfangled, food researcher Noel Buttigieg has news for you. He told the Times of Malta that according to a 17th-century document found at the National Archives, the perfect cup of coffee required coffee beans, a coffee pot made of copper… and a recitation of the Apostles’ Creed during decantation. Bet that queue at the coffee shop doesn’t seem like such a hardship now…

SHOWSTOPPER Tank top; shirt; jeans, all Marks & Spencer ∫ top [tied round waist], Guess ∫ cap, River Island ∫ sunglasses, stylist’s own.

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SHOWSTOPPER Top, Miss Selfridge ∫ beanie, Oasis ∫ shorts, stylist’s own.

Boy meets


Androgyny is taken to another level and boundaries are blurred in 2016.

Photography Steven Vella Styling Marisa Grima [] Make-up Gabrielle Zammit Grungo Hair Robert Agius @ Aura Hair & Beauty Salon, B’Kara Models Dyan, Nicky and Elin @ *Most items are on sale.

Pink January 2016 ∫ 29

SHOWSTOPPER Nicky wears cardigan; joggers, both Marks & Spencer ∫ trainers, Aldo. Elin wears jacket, Marks & Spencer ∫ scarf, River Island ∫ boots, Aldo ∫ shorts, stylist’s own.

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SHOWSTOPPER Jacket; tie; pocket square, all Marks & Spencer ∫ trousers; beanie, both Tommy Hilfiger ∫ shirt, model’s own.

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SHOWSTOPPER Dress [worn on top of skirt], River Island ∫ skirt, Oasis ∫ trousers, Marks & Spencer ∫ stole; shoes, both Aldo ∫ bag and sunglasses, stylist’s own.

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SHOWSTOPPER Elin wears dress, Guess ∫ trousers; gloves; scarf, all River Island. Dyan wears jumper, River Island ∫ skirt, Marks & Spencer.

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SHOWSTOPPER Nicky wears blouse, Miss Selfridge ∫ jeans, River Island ∫ cape, stylist’s own ∫ trainers, stylist’s own. Dyan wears cardigan; trousers, both Tommy Hilfiger ∫ bag; trainers, both Aldo.

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SHOWSTOPPER Jacket; T-shirt; palazzo pants, all Guess ∫ hat; bag, both Miss Selfridge.

Pink January 2016 ∫ 35


A white bright night Fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS chose to spend New Year’s eve with her husband’s family in Madrid, having dinner while watching a flamenco show. It was probably the first time she wasn’t in some crowd and also the year she didn’t really put that much effort into what to wear, being on holiday and in relaxed mode. But she still made it a point to observe what others did!


e all usher in the New Year in different ways – dancing the night away at a fabulous party, drinking hot wine in a ski resort, at home in comfy clothes, or shouting out the countdown in a crowd in some cold city square. And the way we spend these last hours of the year clearly dictates our wardrobe choices: for some, it remains a big deal and they may agonise over what to

wear, while others choose to forgo the night out and it’s a completely different wardrobe scenario. Here’s what a few of us chose to wear on New Year’s eve… and it’s quite a mix of locations and subsequent outfit choices. Black tie will always be the classic, primary choice for many men, especially those attending gala dinners where it is often the dress code; and dresses in general remain a favourite choice for many women. It’s great to see that some people chose to wear white to a party; we don’t see enough of this and of bright colours in winter. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing black, or the more festive red, it’s good to see different choices being made. NYE is after all the one time in the year when going a bit bolder, a bit more colourful and a bit glitzier than normal is always a good idea. To start off the 2016 edition of TheUniform, let’s raise a glass to individualism in the fashion scene both locally and abroad, and look forward to showcasing more street style in the year ahead. Pink January 2016 ∫ 37


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Bitter vs sweet C


ampari has unveiled the imagery for its iconic 2016 calendar in New York City, entitled The BitterSweet Campaign and starring the charismatic American actress and entrepreneur Kate Hudson. The blonde beauty takes centre stage in the 17th edition in the Campari Calendar collection, dedicated to celebrating its unique, intriguing and versatile bittersweet taste profile. This year’s calendar capitalises on the buzz and excitement of elections, asking people to take a stand, express an opinion, and cast their vote via social media on which aspect of the classic apéritif they identify with more: bitter vs sweet. The growing popularity in bitter flavours in the world of mixology and food also plays a central role in The BitterSweet Campaign. Its two sides are a reflection of Campari’s unmistakable bittersweet taste. Throughout the 13 images, Hudson embodies and personifies these two souls of Campari, playing the role of two different candidates on the campaign trail: one promoting the captivating bitterness platform and the other supporting a more subtle, intriguing sweetness. Each image by acclaimed international fashion photographer Michelangelo di Battista was further brought to life through dramatic sets and a series of stunning outfits by leading designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Versace, Halston, Brian Atwood and Christian Louboutin to name just a few. On starring in the 2016 Campari Calendar, Hudson says: “For me, this project meant much more than producing a good calendar; it was a creative process, telling a great story. It was a fabulous campaign, challenging myself to bring out two different sides to ensure that the pictures told the story in a creative and beautiful way – and that is exactly what we’ve achieved. “As a person, I lean towards the sweeter side, however, my taste buds definitely love bitter. This year’s theme asks people to take a stand for what they believe in. This is a very powerful message.” Di Battista, whose career spans over 20 years, brings this intriguing duality to life in the calendar’s images. His dedication and passion towards his craft have led him to adopt a unique and distinctive style of photography, capturing a mysteriously alluring radiance in his subjects – a style evident in this year’s Campari Calendar.

On his involvement in the 2016 Campari Calendar, di Battista says: “What I loved most about it is the flexibility this year’s theme allowed me. As a photographer, this project has given me the opportunity to use my unique sense of aesthetic and well-defined style, which reflects the Campari brand seamlessly. “Crucially, each image had to stand alone as well as work as a collection. Working with Kate confirmed we both have a strong desire to deliver perfection, or as close to it as possible. It was the perfect partnership and I think we achieved what we set out to do.” The brand is a true icon, continuously renewing itself, says Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz. “It has grown from a local Italian bitter spirit to a world-renowned contemporary global brand and I think this year’s calendar theme, inspired by the iconography and mechanism of an election, really captures this essence. “It is about showing that there are always two sides to every story, person, or product, as is the case for Campari. Kate perfectly personified the two flavours, adding the right amount of theatre and seductiveness, which allowed Michelangelo’s creative genius to shine, giving the calendar the right balance of modern and classic.”

“EACH IMAGE WAS FURTHER BROUGHT TO LIFE THROUGH DRAMATIC SETS AND A SERIES OF STUNNING OUTFITS BY LEADING DESIGNERS, INCLUDING VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, VERSACE, HALSTON, BRIAN ATWOOD AND CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN TO NAME JUST A FEW” For the first time in the calendar’s history, consumers are at the centre of the campaign. The public has been called upon to share its opinion and take a stand by following the campaign through Campari’s social channels, where exclusive content will be released, as well keeping abreast with each side’s performance by using the hashtags #gobitter and #gosweet. A dedicated online platform has also been created for consumers to see the progress of each party, take the BitterSweet test to determine which party they truly belong to, and most importantly, vote and take a stand. The Campari Calendar, of which only 9,999 copies are printed, is not on sale, but internationally distributed to friends of Campari around the world. Pink January 2016 ∫ 39


Tips to achieve the iconic bittersweet looks from the 2016 Campari Calendar: Need to know how to dress for success for an important work meeting? Perhaps you’re after style advice for your next date night? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot of The BitterSweet Campaign, starring Kate Hudson, to bring you some of the industry’s best-kept secrets from leading stylist Sophie Lopez and make-up artist to the stars Violette.

For a bitter look • Tailoring is key to achieving a bitter look. Opt for fitted clothing with structure – trouser suits, figure-hugging dresses, button-down shirts and pointed shoes are an easy way to power dress while still utilising pieces from your everyday wardrobe. • Accessorise with graphic pieces of jewellery and try a sleek, slicked back hairstyle, or up-do to tie everything together, creating a fierce and powerful look. • The bitter look is perfect for meetings, or occasions where you will be centre stage and need to dress to feel powerful and in command. Your clothing reflects your identity at first glance so wear something that makes you feel amazing [but also comfortable] and you’ll exude confidence. Incorporate a touch of red to make a real statement. • Wardrobe aside, the bitter look can also be expressed through your make-up. Try experimenting with a liquid, or gel eyeliner – close your eye and follow your lash line, applying a thin line that flicks slightly at the edges. Try to keep the line relatively thin for a versatile look that is seductive yet sensual and takes you seamlessly from day to night. • Lashes are a focal part of a bitter look so be sure to accentuate these to create an air of mysterious elegance. If you have plans for the evening, incorporate a red lip to ‘dress’ your face. If you prefer a more natural look, a touch of blusher can achieve the same effect, injecting a pop of colour to your complexion. Opt for deeper, more berry shades of red in the colder months, or a more vibrant coral shade for spring/summer. [Supporting bitter cocktail: Legend has it that on his return from England in 1919, Count Camillo Negroni asked his favourite bar to prepare his usual Americano with seven drops of gin instead of soda. A legend was born and still continues strong today. Negroni is one of the most famous Italian cocktails in the world.]

For a sweet look: • Think floaty and chiffon; the sweet look is a celebration of all things female and feminine. It should feel relaxed, playful and fun, reminiscent of 1960s fashion. A-line cuts are an easy way to work a sweet look while remaining sophisticated and on trend. Embrace garments with movement, and when it comes to shoes, think opentoed sandals, or peep toes. 40 ∫ Pink January 2016

• The sweet look is extremely versatile and perfect for brunches, dates, a girly dinner, or even a night out. To accessorise, add lots of sparkle; diamonds really are a sweet girl’s best friend. • When applying make-up for a sweet look, think fresh and glowy. Use a light, natural base to ensure the texture of your skin still shines through. Subtlety is key – add a hint of blusher to create a rosy hue. Eyebrows are a focal part of the sweet look – a strong brow adds mystery in the absence of a bold red lip, or smoky eye. If lipstick is your thing, look to cherry, pinky-toned reds. • To take your sweet look from day to night by experimenting with creamy, metallic eyeshadow crayons. Apply all over the lid and blend the edges using your finger. Use a second colour in your crease to add definition, again blending together. Add mascara and you’ll achieve a toned down smoky eye, which adds a foxy vibe yet isn’t overpowering. [Supporting sweet cocktail: Created in 1933, Campari and red vermouth met ice and soda to create the famous Americano. Legend has it that the drink was given the nickname of Primo Carnera, the first Italian to win the heavyweight boxing title in New York.] For more exclusive content, visit; @Campari Twitter channel using #CampariCalendar. Campari is marketed and distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Co. Ltd.


The Big Fat Workout Lie? Eat less and do more exercise. The age-old mantra has been a weight-loss staple for years. But recent research suggests exercise does not help weight loss, although it can help maintain a healthy weight, and diet is the true key to losing weight. As the Maltese obesity epidemic gathers pace, HELEN RAINE explores the evidence.


f you are having a little trouble fastening that button on your trousers after the festive season, then ‘exercising more’ is probably at the top of your New Year’s resolutions. But a startling editorial published in the British Journal for Sports Medicine [BJSM] might stop you in your tracks; exercise is good for you – but it won’t necessarily make you thinner. “Eat less, do more exercise” has been the mantra for effective, longterm weight loss for years. And when it comes to working out, the health

benefits have been proven. The UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges described exercising for 30 minutes five times a week, as “better than many drugs” in the treatment of chronic diseases, cutting heart disease by 40 per cent, bowel cancers by 45 per cent, reducing dementia cases and potentially eliminating type 2 diabetes. You don’t have to be pumping iron at an expensive gym either; a brisk walk, dancing, cycling and even sex all count. There’s just one small problem in this exercise love-a-thon; as

the BJSM report says, you can’t outrun a bad diet. Exercise will do many things for you – but it won’t help you lose weight. What the researchers mean is that while exercise is clearly essential for us to be healthy, is does not counterbalance a diet filled with sugary drinks and nutritionally empty, calorie-laden food. The lead author, Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and long-time critic of the food industry, puts it bluntly in The Washington Post: “Our waistlines aren’t expanding because people aren’t exercising Pink January 2016 ∫ 43

ONFORM intelligently or vigorously enough. You don’t need a new personal trainer, another Insanity workout video, or a more aggressive CrossFit regimen. What you need is the truth, and here it is: exercise – no matter how many gym memberships you buy or how often you wear your Fitbit – won’t make you lose weight.”

BOOM TIME Dr Malhotra points out that while health clubs have boomed worldwide and sales of Fitbits are through the roof, obesity is also continuing to surge. Worldwide, a third of the adult population is obese; in the US, it’s two thirds; and in Malta, 60 per cent of the population are overweight or obese. He scoffs at the idea that our sedentary lifestyles are to blame for this obesity. “In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the Western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed.” Dr Malhotra lays the responsibility for the misconceptions about diet and exercise firmly at the oversized refrigerator door of the food industry. He writes: “Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the food industry’s public relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of the tobacco industry, which successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years, starting from when the first links between smoking and lung cancer were published. This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt and confusing the public.” As evidence, Dr Malhotra notes that in the US, “the food and beverage industry spent more than $175 million on lobbying during President Obama’s first three years in office… targeting proposals like a federal tax on sodas and stricter nutritional guidelines”. 44 ∫ Pink January 2016

POST WORKOUT TREAT CHEAT The result of those mixed messages is that people reward themselves for working out… with more food. A study by the University of Arizona monitored overweight women who began an exercise programme while continuing to eat their usual diet. None of them lost weight, despite exercising more, and some even gained weight. Researchers think that the women rewarded themselves for exercising by eating more treats. Some weight-loss programmes even incorporate this behaviour by giving extra food ‘points’ for exercise – but to negate the calorific intake of a Mars Bar, the average person would need to exercise hard for around an hour. We tend to vastly overestimate how much exercise we do and how many calories it has burned.

UNSPORTING BEHAVIOUR The marketing of energy drinks and power bars as helpful for workouts is a particularly good example of industry cunning. A study by Oxford University researchers found little evidence that these drinks do anything to enhance performance; nonetheless, some claim they have been ‘scientifically developed to help deliver the perfect level of fuel and hydration’ and that they will ‘improve endurance performance’. These brands sponsor rugby teams and marathons among others. Yet in

“SOME WEIGHT-LOSS PROGRAMMES EVEN INCORPORATE THIS BEHAVIOUR BY GIVING EXTRA FOOD ‘POINTS’ FOR EXERCISE – BUT TO NEGATE THE CALORIFIC INTAKE OF A MARS BAR, THE AVERAGE PERSON WOULD NEED TO EXERCISE HARD FOR AROUND AN HOUR. WE TEND TO VASTLY OVERESTIMATE HOW MUCH EXERCISE WE DO AND HOW MANY CALORIES IT HAS BURNED” some cases, 500ml of a drink can have up to 17.5g of sugar and 140 calories, which will go a long way to negating the benefit of your workout; elite athletes might need the extra calories – the rest of us, not so much.

ONFORM Dr Malhotra wants to send a message back to big business: “The ‘health halo’ legitimisation of nutritionally deficient products is… unscientific.” He insists the “celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks and the association of junk food and sport must end”.

approach for reducing all of the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the primary strategy for treating diabetes, with benefits occurring even in the absence of weight loss.” Dr Noakes is not alone in finding that exercise does not outweigh an

“THE TRIM BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE STILL NEED TO WORK OUT… BUT WE CAN’T EXPECT EXERCISE ALONE TO MAKE US THIN. TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BE TRULY HEALTHY, THE SUGAR AND REFINED CARBOHYDRATES HAVE TO GO – WHATEVER THE FOOD INDUSTRY MIGHT SUGGEST” It’s important that the food industry gets that message because it’s not just our waistlines and our health that suffers from the constant promotion of unhealthy drinks and snacks; we pay for obesity through our tax euros too. The Times of Malta notes: “The cost of obesity to the Maltese health service was estimated at €19.5 million for 2008 and likely to rise to between €27 million and €35 million in 2020 if no action is taken. A systemic, sustained portfolio of initiatives aimed at reversing obesity in Malta would represent a saving of about €90 million” – a sum that the Maltese health service can hardly afford to ignore.

SUGAR SUGAR While the food industry might like you to believe that it’s your total calorie intake that counts and that you can ‘work off ’ the calories that you eat, the scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Dr Malhotra quotes the case of Dr Timothy Noakes, a sports and exercise medicine scientist. Despite being a fit marathon runner, Noakes developed type 2 diabetes in his 50s, which he attributed to excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. “Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger. Fat calories induce fullness or satiation,” writes Dr Malhotra. He notes that the prevalence of diabetes increases 11-fold for every 150 additional sugar calories consumed daily, compared with the equivalent amount of calories consumed as fat. Carbs don’t get a free ride either. Dr Malhotra notes: “Recent research indicates that cutting down on dietary carbohydrate is the single most effective

unhealthy diet. Malhotra writes: “The evidence now suggests that up to 40 per cent of those within a normal weight [BMI] range will nonetheless harbour harmful metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity.”

DON’T HANG UP YOUR TRAINERS But don’t toss out your trainers just yet. Scarlett McNally, an orthopaedic surgeon, confirms that fitting small amounts of regular exercise into our schedules can make a huge difference to our overall health. “It could be as simple as taking the stairs rather than a lift, kicking a ball about with your children or grandchildren. We’ve got to change what we think of as normal, because what we are seeing in our hospitals… is that normal has become not enough exercise. Too many of my patients are paying the price for that with… years of ill health that could have been avoided by being more active,” she points out. And her colleague Prof. Dame Sue Bailey described exercise as “a miracle cure staring us in the face, one which too many patients and doctors have quite simply forgotten about”. The trim bottom line is that we still need to work out… but we can’t expect exercise alone to make us thin. To lose weight and be truly healthy, the sugar and refined carbohydrates have to go – whatever the food industry might suggest. So before you hit the gym for the New Year’s regime, clear out the postChristmas goodies from your cupboard first, and ditch the disguised drinks for water. Pink January 2016 ∫ 45


Cannabis by Jean Claude Scicluna from the Malta Medical Students Association


Kale I’m packed with good stuff The leaves of the kale plant offer an earthy flavour and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter to the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available. Kale belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts that have gained widespread attention due to their health-promoting, sulphurcontaining phytonutrients. It is easy to grow and there are several varieties, including curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur kale, all of which differ in taste, texture, and appearance. Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in colour. It has a lively, pungent flavour with bitter peppery qualities. The leaves of ornamental kale may be either green, white, or purple and it has a more mellow flavour and tender texture. Dinosaur kale features dark blue-green leaves that have an embossed texture. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste than curly kale.

Among the many interesting and diverse botanical phenomena throughout history, few have set as many headlines, or sparked as much debate as the cannabis plant of which there are three species: the Cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis. Cannabis is one of the oldest psychoactive substances used by man. It contains many compounds, but the chemical responsible for the drug’s effect, the “high” in more common terms, is thought to be THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which binds in brain regions responsible for time perception, pain and pleasure releasing dopamine. This is the body’s natural feel-good chemical. Having said this, the reported effects are very subjective, and range from euphoria and relaxation to stimulating, or slightly sedating. In a medical context, cannabis or ‘medical marijuana’ is used to relieve pain and anxiety, calm down epileptic seizures and soothe nausea. However, due to restrictions on the drug, its use in the medical field is not widespread and the controversy surrounding it also limits what research is done on the drug. This is due to its recreational use, which also bear’s various street names such as pot, weed and Mary Jane, illicit in many countries, including Malta. Short-term side effects include an impaired coordination and thinking ability, while long-term usage of cannabis is linked to a lower IQ, although it is unclear whether this is a direct effect of the drug itself, or due to the stereotypical lifestyle associated with habitual pot smokers.

My nutritional information While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, or cabbage, kale offers some unsurpassed health benefits, with its exceptional nutrient richness.

How to choose me Look for kale with firm, deeply coloured leaves and moist, hardy stems. It should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures cause it to wilt and negatively affect its flavour. The leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a milder flavour than those with larger leaves. To store, place it in a plastic storage bag, removing as much of the air as possible. It will keep for five days if stored in the refrigerator. The longer it is stored, the more bitter it becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.

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ohl use “When I found out my disease is incurable, I needed to adjust my way of thinking, and since quantity was no longer an option, I had to focus on quality instead.” Sam Pearson, 18, diagnosed with Huntington’s disease.

€27 million to €35 million The cost of obesity to the Maltese health service by 2020 if no action is taken. It was estimated to amount to €19.5 million for 2008. A systemic, sustained portfolio of initiatives aimed at reversing obesity in Malta would represent a saving of about €90 million.



begınnings Most of us find it extremely hard to forgive someone who has wronged us. But Dott. EDWARD CURMI says what we fail to realise is that when we learn to forgive, we are freeing ourselves and giving ourselves a chance for a new beginning.


ost people tend to find it hard to forgive others because of a number of misconceptions they build in their heads. Here is a list of some myths that could possibly hold people back from embracing the ‘art’ of forgiveness.

If I forgive, I am weak. Most people seriously believe that when they forgive, they are putting themselves in a weaker position. What they fail to understand is that, more often than not, on the contrary, when they forgive, they are placing themselves in a stronger position. This is because the chances are that they would have opened the doors to better communication, while bridging the gap between any differences.

Forgiveness could be bad for my health. This is possibly the most overrated myth about forgiveness. Ironically, through forgiveness, we are able to de-stress the body and mind from ‘toxicity’. In fact, Prof. Loren Toussaint from Luther College managed to prove that through forgiveness there are a number of mental and physical benefits. Just to mention a few benefits, studies have shown that people who forgive are likely to develop a higher functioning cardiovascular and immune system.

Not forgiving will make me live longer. In yet another study conducted by Prof. Toussaint in 2012, he actually managed to correlate unconditional forgiveness with living longer, compared to those people who forgive conditionally.


Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.

Unfortunately, a number of people assume that when they say sorry, the tension between the two parties ends. But forgiving can never be perceived as a ‘quick fix’ and it can take much more than that to settle differences. Let us just say that forgiveness is a process. It is the not the end of the road, but possibly the first step in the right direction and a chance for a new beginning.

More often than not, people fear that by forgiving someone, they are going to forget what their friend, sibling, parent, partner, or perpetrator did to them. Forgiving is not part and parcel of forgetting whoever and however they wronged you. Sometimes, forgetting is impossible, and people can choose to forgive but not forget so they can learn from the experience.

Forgiveness will make me angrier. Some people interpret forgiveness as a trigger of more injustice to come. This perception is based on the thought that by forgiving someone else, you are ‘letting them off the hook’, which, in the long run, will only make you angrier. History has shown us, time and time again, that the quicker we forgive, the quicker we are able to find serenity, move on and feel liberated from the pain that someone else has caused us.

Although we must bear in mind that forgiveness does not come so easy to most, mastering ways of forgiving by being more compassionate, empathetic and genuine with the people who have hurt us could possibly be one goal worth exploring, especially seeing as most studies have identified a number of benefits from learning how to let go. Dott. Edward Curmi is a registered clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and author of the book Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being.

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A fresh start Educational and child psychologist Dr STEPHANIE SATARIANO says setting New Year’s resolutions with your children is a great opportunity to help them be reflective and understand that they are capable of self-growth and personal development; they are not fixed and ‘unchangeable’. However, like everything else in life, and especially with children, it is not so much what you do, but how you do it.


y now, most of us would have listed our New Year’s resolutions, and are hopefully still going strong in making them a reality. But what about our children? Surely they are too young to even think about these things… Or are they? Actually, setting New Year’s resolutions with your children is a great opportunity to help them begin to be reflective and understand that they are capable of self-growth and personal development; they are not fixed and ‘unchangeable’. It teaches children that they have the power to change and develop themselves to be the person they want to be. This is referred to as a ‘growth mindset’ and has been found to be linked to numerous

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positive outcomes later in life. Also, teaching your children how to develop themselves and turn good intentions into reality is one of the most important lessons they can learn. However, like everything else in life, and especially with children, it is not so much what you do, but how you do it. How many of you have created resolutions that have failed by the end of January? Do you want this


for your children? I wouldn’t think so. We want children to experience success, so there are a number of things to keep in mind when creating New Year’s resolutions with them: • Keep it small, achievable and important to your child. Help them break their resolution into small baby steps; if you do too much at one go, you will get tired and naturally give up. [Yes, it is the same for adults.] It is well-known in the field of psychology that it takes six weeks to create a habit, so bear that in mind. • Keep it simple: a couple of simple changes are more than enough and will help your child feel a sense of achievement rather than a sense of failure.

PARENTINGTIPS • Be resolution role models. The narrative of ‘do as I say not as I do’ is outdated and obsolete; if you want your children to do something, model it. You are the most important people in your child’s life; what you do, they will do.

“PRAISE THEIR SUCCESS RATHER THAN FOCUS ON THEIR FAILURE; NOTE THE DAYS THEY MANAGE RATHER THAN DWELL ON THE DAYS THEY DON’T” • Keep them positive. Rather than create a list of what they shouldn’t do, help them think of a couple of things they want to do. • Discuss with your child. Don’t dictate and put words into their mouth. Do what is important to them; this is an exercise to help them achieve success and learn about self-growth, rather than an exercise to make your life easier. • Make it fun! Draw a picture, create a collage, or write a story to help them visualise and make their resolution a reality.

• Keep it focused. For example, rather than a broad resolution like helping around the house, focus on what they can do, such as help around the house by putting their clothes in the laundry. • Praise their success rather than focus on their failure; note the days they manage rather than dwell on the days they don’t. • Think of ways to help them achieve success by modelling the behaviour, using pictures to remind them, and noticing when people around them do it. Bearing the above in mind, let’s say a child does not want to have a messy room: phrase it positively – ‘keep my room tidy’; and break it down into small steps, such as ‘put your shoes away’ [do this for a few days/weeks], ‘put the clothes in the laundry’, and ‘make the bed’. Each time they manage, praise them, bring it up over dinner, tell other family friends in front of them. Help them feel good! What about if they don’t manage? This is a great opportunity to help them problem solve and adapt the goal to something that is more achievable.

What do a child’s resolutions look like? • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom • I will play with another child, who is playing alone, or looks sad • I will wear my helmet when riding a bike/scooter • I will eat one more vegetable with my dinner, or I will eat one more piece of fruit during the day • I will drink more water/juice [rather than drink less soft drinks] You can even come up with a family resolution – a fun, new thing that all the family can do together. For example, have dinner together, read a story every night before bed, or go for a family walk each weekend. So, in summary, yes, you can introduce your child to the idea of setting a New Year’s resolution, but with caution. Turn it into an opportunity to teach them about self-growth.




ver Christmas and New Year, I noticed an article actively being shared on Facebook and doing the rounds. It was about love not being enough. I wasn’t really curious to read it because it wasn’t news to me. I happen to know that love is not enough. It is something I understood many years ago and a thesis I have often maintained. Love does not conquer all. In fact, love can sometimes be more destructive than constructive, and sometimes, loving someone less is actually ‘more’ and certainly much more conducive to a relationship that will thrive and stand the test of time. Here I am instantly reminded of the Queen song about how ‘too much love will kill you, every time’. Although I believe that song was more about being torn and having ‘two’ much [as opposed to ‘too’ much] love. I didn’t actually read the article, but I can well imagine what it was about. Respect, compatibility, friendship, liking someone – all these things are perhaps more important than ‘loving’ someone in that hopelessly devoted, directionless way. You see, when you love someone, you’re not meant to lose yourself in the process. Although love shouldn’t be selfish, it can’t be a selfless process and only about putting the other person first. You can do that for a while, but I think you can’t keep that up forever and I am inclined to think that a relationship like that can’t ever work out in the long term. It certainly would not be fulfilling or healthy. Not unless one of the parties is completely altruistic and self-effacing and doesn’t really have a sense of self or worth. And even then, most of the time, that sort of love will end in resentment, bitterness and burnout. You have to make room for your ‘self ’.

50 ∫ Pink January 2016

When loving less is more

than enough I was having a chat with a friend of mine the other day about his relationship, which had just ended, and he used an expression I found delicious, and not just because it was a food and dessert-related metaphor. It just struck me as such an apt way of putting it. He said something about the dangers of being with someone who is all over you and loves you in that smothering, sticky, suffocating way; where you end up feeling like you’re covered in treacle. You can substitute treacle with anything suitably sticky or suffocating – tar or PVC for instance. The bottom line is that if loving someone turns you into someone unrecognisable to yourself, but especially, to the other person, or worse still, makes you invisible and them feel suffocated, that is a very bad thing. You can’t lose your identity in the process of loving someone. You can’t throw yourself into a relationship body and soul and abandon yourself, your interests, your dreams, your schedule, your wants, your needs and that which made you attractive to the other per-

son in the first place. That is easily the most off-putting and unattractive thing in the world. Of course we know that relationship patterns change. What starts off as passionate and explosive and I-can’tkeep-my-hands-off-you can’t possibly be kept up long term. A more moderate, modest and consistent love, where passion is forced to take a back seat, works better than ‘fireworks’. Explosive love lands people in trouble. I have sadly found that when you are not remotely jealous of your partner and have no qualms about that part of his life that you are not necessarily a part of, it is usually because you care a little bit less. It is rather unfortunate of course. It would be lovely to be able to love someone passionately as well as unconditionally; to be utterly consumed by love without being remotely consumed by jealousy i.e. to want nothing more than to be with someone all the time and yet to have the generosity and ability to set them free and let them go without worrying or looking over your shoulder. It is definitely achievable, but unless you’re lucky, it usually takes years [and usually a few partners and lots of

THINKPi food & fashio

mistakes] to reach that level of understanding, enlightenment, security and trust. Because it’s ultimately all about security. And although people have to feel secure within themselves, security is definitely something that someone else can give you, or take away from you. And it’s a vicious circle – the more insecure you are, the less security you will receive from the other person. Someone who is always nagging about being left alone will create even more distance and space in the relationship, with the other person trying to run away and find new outlets of escape. And by contrast, the more secure, independent and self-sufficient a person you are, the more attractive you become to the other person, who suddenly doesn’t want any space away from you. It’s a perennial see-saw. It’s all so curious and interesting really. Back to my friend and our chat… He said a few things that made perfect sense. His girlfriend was evidently jealous. And I mean jealous here in the widest possible sense of the word. Oh and jealousy is not an emotion that is reserved to members of the opposite sex – although she was clearly guilty of that too. She was jealous of his ‘time’ away from her… even if he was windsurfing, or visiting his sister. She was also acutely aware of the fact that while she was prepared to put her life on hold, cancel, or rearrange her schedule to spend as much time as possible with him, he was not prepared to do the same. She interpreted this as ‘him loving her less’, or at any rate, as ‘her loving him more’. He was not impressed. You see, if Thursday night happened to be their ‘date night’ and her girlfriends organised a girls’ night on a Thursday, she would choose him over the girls’ night, because in her mind, Thursdays were sacrosanct and nothing or no one should ever come in the way. He, on the other hand, would think nothing of confirming a boys’ night on a Thursday, because in his mind, getting 10 guys to agree on a night once every six months was no mean feat. And he expected her to understand that, in much the same way he would expect her to choose a girls’ night out over their weekly date night. She resented the fact that he expected her to go on the girls’ night almost as much as she resented the fact that he expected her to understand that he would be going on his boys’ night. With this in mind, I found myself giving relationship advice to someone else the other day. He felt his woman was getting cold feet and I found myself telling him that he should not try and convince her otherwise. If she wanted a break, or some space, the last thing he should do was try to stop her. I explained my theory to him, illustrated it with numerous examples and he took my advice. And what do you know… it worked like a charm. Sometimes, the surest way into someone’s heart is to let them out of yours; to set them completely free and not to try to hold them hostage by trying to convince them of how great you are, or how great the relationship could be. Next time someone asks you for space, give it to them and see what happens.

RESTAURANTS AWARDS as they approach their 20th anniversary, The definitive[ly] Good Guide to Restaurants awards ceremony, sponsored by hsBC and held at the interContinental arena Conference Centre, celeTa’ Marija Restaurant owners brated the outstanding achievement of Malta and Gozo’s top survey-rated restaurants as voted by diners who participated in the Malta & Gozo Restaurant survey online. Based on popular vote, only 150 restaurants made it to be included in the 2016 edition of The definitive[ly] Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo and its official portal Medina Restaurant won Best overall Restaurant in Malta for the second year running. The Malta & Gozo Restaurant survey, conducted last september, returned an incredibly high number of responses, with 1,973 participants who dined out on average twice a week, equivalent to a total of 205,192 dining experiences in a year. This year sees 37 new restaurants in the The definitive[ly] Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta & Gozo and The results of the survey can be found in the 2016 edition of The definitive[ly] Good Guide to Restaurants in Malta and Gozo, now available to purchase online for €8 at, which will also entitle you to the guide online and a free hard copy in the post. it is also available at leading stationers and bookshops in Malta and Gozo.

CHARLES & RON VALLETTA FLAGSHIP STORE Charles & Ron are in love… in love with the Mediterranean, in love with their Maltese heritage and in love with Valletta! To show this love, the designers have just opened their second store in Republic street. The flagship shop was designed in collaboration with Grech & Vinci architects and houses the designers runway, ready-to-wear, leather bags and accessory collections. The designers have also just launched their new Charles & Ron denim collection, which is exclusively available at the Valletta store. as Charles & Ron have just been appointed Ca’del Bosco’s brand ambassadors, the party guests were served the exclusive champagne during the opening night. “We are proud that our brand is now well presented in our beautiful capital city,” the duo said. Charles & Ron is a contemporary lifestyle brand, high-end wearable clothing and bags with a distinct Mediterranean flair and a dedication to superior quality. Maltese culture is an integral part of the design ethic and the brand’s vision is to inspire its clients to be part of the instantly recognisable Charles & Ron Mediterranean style. Pink January 2016 ∫ 51


a beet Don’t miss

INGREDIENTS Serves between 4 and 6 1 leek, finely chopped 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 4cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely chopped 2 bay leaves ½ tsp coriander seeds 3 black peppercorns ½ tsp garam masala 1 black cardamom ½ kilo beetroots, peeled and chopped 200ml vegetable stock A pinch of Himalayan salt 100ml coconut milk A handful of kale leaves, thinly sliced 54 ∫ Pink January 2016

For the start of the year, where detoxing is all the rage, MARIA CACHIA selects two of the healthiest vegetables and combines them to concoct her beetroot soup with kale.

METHOD In a spice grinder place the bay leaves, coriander seeds and peppercorns and process until the spices are ground. In a large pot, over low heat, sauté the leek, onion and carrot. Add the ginger, turmeric, the freshly ground spices, the garam masala as well as the black cardamom left whole. After five minutes, or when the onions are translucent, add the chopped beetroots. Cook for a further five minutes and then add the vegetable stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the beetroots are soft. Remove the black cardamom pod before serving or before blending the soup in a food processor. Add 100ml coconut milk and the kale leaves just before serving.


LOOK at ME! The Lexus NX may be positive beefcake on wheels. But this brute also has a soft side, according to ANDREA FAYE CHRISTIANS.


very so often, a car comes along that stands out head and shoulders above the rest. In this case, it is the Lexus NX, which is boldly taking Toyota where it has never been before. These days, any self-respecting premium car manufacturer offers an SUV option and, in this sense, the Lexus is a late entrant into what is still a very popular section of the market. Handsome and delightfully different, the Lexus NX certainly cuts a dash in a crowd and stands enigmatically alone – but would it measure up to expectations? I was about to find out… I’m driving the Toyota Lexus NX 300h F Sport. With a threatening

56 ∫ Pink January 2016

presence and a profusion of angular curves, it would appear that Toyota has succeeded in creating a car that is both radical and sleek. Suffice it to say that the Lexus NX goes beyond the adjective good-looking and is positive beefcake on wheels. But this brute also has a soft side. The fact that it’s a hybrid, powered by a combination of electric and petrol technology, only serves to make me like it more as it is not only easy on the eye, but also on the environment. This is a luxurious car, with a level of finesse that one would expect from a vehicle of this calibre. But there are a few features I particularly liked. The first is its silence. As a hybrid, for the first 30km, the car runs on its electric

seats, adding greater carrying capacity to an already spacious boot. From the point of view of materials chosen, Toyota seems to have really got it right with the mix of granular touch plastic and textured surfaces, combined with a leather-lined dash with bold stitching to maximise the tactile trip. Furthermore, the Lexus NX has seemingly limitless customisable options, giving any prospective owner the capability of making it as individual as they are. Out on the road, the Lexus NX provides an optimal driving experience and is effortlessly able to change roles from a sleek urban cruiser to a sportylooking SUV according to what is required. To put it briefly, it is an absolute joy to drive. Taking everything in its stride, the Lexus NX laps up the kilometres effortlessly out on the open road while behaving impeccably in traffic when it comes to manoeuvrability and responsiveness. Although the Lexus name may conjure up images of a stylish but sedate sedan car, the NX has a distinctive youthful feel about it, making it ideal for drivers who don’t want to sacrifice looks and performance for comfort and reliability. With a starting price of €47,600, it is competitively priced against its ilk. And as well as the Toyota guarantee of standard and durability, you get a lot of technology and a truly unique looking car for your money.

“COUPLE THAT WITH A STEERING WHEEL THAT DROPS INTO POSITION WHEN YOU START THE CAR AND AN INDIVIDUAL MEMORY FACILITY THAT ADJUSTS TO THE DRIVER’S SEAT TO SUIT EACH DRIVER AND IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO SEE THAT TOYOTA IS ONTO A WINNER HERE” motor. Couple that with a steering wheel that drops into position when you start the car and an individual memory facility that adjusts to the driver’s seat to suit each driver and it’s not difficult to see that Toyota is onto a winner here. The interior is spacious, with plenty of rear leg room and fold-down rear

For those who insist that size does matter, then you would do well to consider the Toyota Lexus NX: this medium-sized compact SUV really does seem to have it all. Indeed, it screams “look at me” and is a fun mix of technology and sophistication, making it a great car to be driven in and to drive.



PINK ARIES MARCH 20-APRIL 18 Your decisions may be urgent, but others are struggling with theirs and, annoyingly, yours must wait until things are settled. While in early February, this is infuriating, you’ll soon be grateful for those delays. They give you time to meet interesting people and explore new ideas, some as unfamiliar as they are exciting. Ironically, you also discover undetected financial, or business issues. Here, too, dealing with these is instructive… enough that, when you’re finally making those plans, they’re well thought out.

CANCER JUNE 20-JULY 21 Once you understand February is about broadening your horizons, and especially exploring unfamiliar territory, you’ll stop worrying about getting things organised. Both you and those closest, at home or at work, have lots to learn. Add the changes promised by March’s two eclipses, which accent your perspective and the structure of your life, and instead of trying to shore up existing arrangements, you’ll realise it’s time to rethink things. Never was there a better time to venture into the new and unknown.

LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 21 February divides neatly into two parts. First, you’ll focus on the structure of your life, both activities out in the world and matters closer to home. Settling some will be easy and a relief. Others prove complicated, if not aggravating. Yet, once they’re dealt with, you’ll feel a real sense of victory. On February 17, your ruler Venus moves to accent love and life’s pleasures. While there’s tidying up to be done here too, it’s also about celebrating what you’ve achieved.

CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21-JANUARY 19 Nobody would blame you for questioning the motivation of those who come to you with ideas or offers that are too good to be true. However, you’re in a cycle of powerful and profitable growth. Although you’re an industrious Capricorn, this is about allowing others to contribute to your life. Their ideas are taking you into unfamiliar yet promising territory. Eventually, you’ll want the facts. For now, your focus is broadening your horizons in terms of plans and projects and, even more, people.

According to astrologer SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL… TAURUS

APRIL 19-MAY 19 Sudden changes, or others’ decisions, influence you and may seem worrying. Actually, these are introducing you to new ideas, or better yet, involve timely if unsettling progress. The real problem is that your reaction is based on past experience. Things have changed and so must your attitude. The New Moon on February 8 is a turning point. After that, you’ll focus on asking questions. What you discover won’t just be exciting; it will add a new zest to life.

LEO JULY 22-AUGUST 21 Because late January’s Leo Full Moon triggered shakeups in circumstances, but even more in your feelings about various individuals, you begin February in an unsettled mood. Actually, this is timely, mostly because it prompts you to discuss issues you’ve been ignoring. Even more, you’re forced to consider changes that, only recently, you dreaded. The more you learn, the more positive your attitude becomes. It’s as if you’re assembling pieces of a puzzle. The picture will appear gradually, but ultimately, it will be thrilling.

SCORPIO OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 20 You must be forthright about your plans and even the complex feelings you rarely discuss. Acknowledge that, and everything else will make sense. In early January, the courageous Mars moved into Scorpio, triggering this dynamic cycle. By the time it departs on March 6, you’ll have had numerous frank exchanges with others and you’ll have been forced to review past decisions and your feelings about various complex situations. The resulting insights will transform your life.

AQUARIUS JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18 As February begins, you’ll be battling for certain ideas and against other plans, but with little success. Actually, that’s good. Add what you learn from these to the insights triggered by the Aquarius New Moon on February 8, and your world will look very different and probably a lot more exciting. You’ll feel seriously optimistic. Still, the full picture will emerge gradually, which means decisions about your future may not be finalised until later in the month. It will be worth the wait.

Visit to learn more and order your own chart.

GEMINI MAY 20-JUNE 19 There’s been considerable confusion in your life recently. Finally, things quiet down, enabling you to reflect on what you’ve learnt and, equally, to explore how events have altered the circumstances you’re dealing with. This leads to exciting discussions and discoveries. Others may be in a hurry to reorganise arrangements. Gently but firmly, tell them you want to learn more and suggest they join you in this journey of discovery. With eclipses in March triggering yet more changes, ensure any plans are flexible.

VIRGO AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 21 One of your strengths is you never make a plan, commitment, or change without knowing exactly what’s involved. But as will already be clear as February begins, with so much in transition, arrangements must be tentative. Actually, that’s best. This gives you time to review what works and what doesn’t, and to rethink your priorities. There’s no better preparation for the pivotal, and emotionally intense Virgo Full Moon on February 22. After that, your perspective is likely to be very different indeed.

SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 21-DECEMBER 20 The good news is brilliant ideas, offers and encounters are ushering exciting possibilities into your life. The not so good news is, promising as these are, even the simplest of arrangements will remain unsettled until early March’s eclipsed New Moon. This triggers sudden and seemingly impossible changes in circumstances. Knowing this, therefore, focus on exploration and, if you must make plans, ensure they’re flexible. Most of all, aim high. Allow nothing and nobody to hold you back from pursuing your dreams.

PISCES FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 19 One of your greatest gifts is your ability to persuade even those who are set against particular ideas or ventures that they are wise. However, recent dramatic developments have undermined those plans. Actually, you’re happy to explore potential changes, but certain individuals are in a hurry to settle plans. Get them involved in exploring new concepts with you, and soon they’ll be enthusiastic about finding better ways to live, work, or love. While, obviously, this will be demanding, it will strengthen those valuable relationships. Pink January 2016 ∫ 57

SNAPSHOT for this? Tongue in cheek, cartoon, manga, poster, pop are many of the adjectives used to try to describe my work, but it never really fits in completely. It’s distinct and recognisable, which is my signature. It has nothing to do with the definition of a caricature. My audience is made up of the young and young-minded collectors, who are on the lookout for something new.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED Artist Fox Daniels has landed in Gozo. She claims the local art scene is so vibrant and active that it would make even a mega city like Hong Kong blush. The satirical touch in her work continues in her words… hat made you move to Malta from Hong Kong and how has the island inspired your art? I’ve lived in


many countries, following where my work offered new challenges, until I reached the need to find a true homeland, which ticked all the boxes. Gozo won the finals. It’s hard to describe what is so special about this island. The atmosphere here is extraordinary to work in. The minute I set foot in my light-flooded studio, I start…

How would you describe the art scene here and what would you change? The local

art scene is vibrant and active, offering excellent opportunities to express and experience art, which would make even a mega city like Hong Kong blush. You paint what you “perceive in society”. What exactly do you perceive in society? Each

painting is accompanied by its 58 ∫ Pink January 2016

own intricate story, so you can find out which topic brought it to life. I like to read philosophical, psychological and classic literature. Most human traits described centuries ago are as current as social media. Human satire never fails to entertain, particularly in the higher echelons of society. I paint what Oscar Wilde would write about if he was still around. Your art is playful, posterand cartoon-like and seemingly based on caricatures. Who is the target audience

You are represented in galleries in Sweden and Hong Kong. Over the last two years here, do you already have a local following, or is the Maltese audience too conservative when it comes to paintings? On the contrary,

I feel the Maltese audience is very sophisticated, yet they are not afraid to push the boundaries within the current set limitations of the art establishment. For now, I have reached the limit of my production to satisfy the demand of those two galleries. I still produce my paintings singlehandedly.

Hollywood is the subject of one of your works. And others are named after other places. Why? What is your message? Hollywood, Paris,

Ibiza, Monaco etc… are part of my latest series Amazing Grace, which zooms in on the type of women I found the most fascinating within the environment of those destinations. They all share the same thing: the love to be feminine and understand the subtle, or not so subtle, power they have over men. My women are confident within their imperfections and that is what makes a woman attractive,

especially in the long run. I know because I am one of them. Can we expect a Malta? Why


If you were to do a selfportrait, how would you portray yourself? I have

already indulged in that trait of artist vanity with the paining called Me, Myself and Art in which I remain faithful to my signature in that the expected is not expected.

Are you always in the right state of mind to paint, or do you have to be in the mood?

Like most busy women, I have other things that require my attention. But when I have an idea for a new painting, the world comes to a halt and I start working on it. In this I make no compromise. Bright, colourful and quirky are your paintings. Where would you most like to see one hanging? In whose house? Or which museum? Where do they fit well? In

the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at the St Petersburg home of Roman Abramovich and his wife Dasha Zhukova. They are the biggest contemporary art collectors in the world. Do you see yourself going dark? Dark has been done to

death – pun intended. Why would I? I have never been mainstream.

What do you do when you are not working with your easel and brush? I like to cook

for omnivores.

Finally – and you probably get asked this often – where did the name Fox come from? They would’ve called

me Tiger, but I have no talent for golf.

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