ISSUE139∫ May2016 PINK ISSUE139∫ May2016
HEAD-TURNING TRENDS AHEAD a peep @ The Pink Fashion Show
Witnessing a parent’s suicide Finding another mother
The ups and downs of a vasectomy THE MALE ALTERNATIVE TO TYING THE TUBES
BUSTING A BRAIN TUMOUR
BUILDING A STRESSLESS LIFE
63 82 52 22
FEATURES 14 PrivateEye on my mind Beginning again after a brain tumour 22 WomensWorld a mother’s place Saved by a replacement parent 28 EyeWitness birth control for boys To laser, or the cut
FASHION 36 ShowStopper stone cold style Before summer colours pop @ The Pink Fashion Show 49 TheUniform and the award goes to What the young fash pack is wearing 52 FashionStory the funny side of fashion Don’t take style too seriously
HEALTH 57 InThePink wear shades while the sun shine How to buy the best sunglasses 68 HealthBites 71 PinkShrink one part of parenting A father’s role in the family 73 ParentingTips kid communication It starts from newborn
REGULARS 11 EditorsNote 12 MailShot 31 WomanKind venus victrix Princess Pauline Borghese 61 ThinkPink health & beauty 77 GirlTalk the paradoxes of travel A holiday after a holiday 82 ThinkPink food, fashion & things 83 TableTalk spice & rice Deconstructed fish curry 85 WomenOnWheels style icon Smart Fortwo 88 SnapShot the business of ballet Sandrina Spiteri-Gonzi 90 StarGazer the future is pink Horoscopes
COVER Photography Tamara Webb ∫ Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] ∫ Hair Cynthia Demanuele from Screen Team Malta ∫ Make-up Chris Attard, using Guerlain ∫ Location Villa Rosa, St Julian’s ∫ Model Nikolett @ Supernovamodel.com, wearing Giorgio Armani dress, €1,299, Rebelli.
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It happens all too often. It’s Sunday, the day of rest. The family outing starts early in excitement. The plan is set, the bags are packed. We get dressed in our Sunday best… Except for me. I am still in my PJs, coffee cup in hand. As the others walk up the blustery alley, scooter and teddy too, I stop at the doorway and wave. Then I rush in to hand over whatever was inevitably left behind, or an additional layer to brave the wind tunnel to the square. I wait until they are out of sight… depending on the weather at my doorstep. Then I ﬁnd myself, on yet another Sunday, sitting at my desk, with enough silence and time I require to write this. But not necessarily the inspiration. The coffee is cold by now – nothing worse than taking that morale-boosting swig and encountering anything but comfort from its taste and temperature. So the next step is to contemplate getting up to make another. It would be a waste of precious time. But I’m wasting precious time anyway thinking about it. And anyway, it would have to be an instant job. [I never wanted to learn how to use my coffee machine, so while I get a good latte macchiato every morning, I can’t even contemplate having another during the rest of the day unless I go out for it – the price you pay for being dependent.] And if I do get up from my desk to make that instant coffee, I may end up wasting even more time searching for a dress online while the water is boiling – and end up reboiling it about ﬁve times in a row as I get carried away scrolling just one more page… and just one more…
I opt to resist the coffee distraction and notice that I’ve already written a decent amount of words about nothing. It’s encouraging. I could go on. Right on cue, the photos of the outing start streaming in. I stop to look and comment and it feels like I’m there too. They made me lose my train of thought, but in truth, there wasn’t one really, and they just gave me something else to say. So to continue this self-absorbed moan that is going nowhere, it feels like this is happening all to often: the working Sunday morning, meeting deadlines that, if missed, would wreak havoc during the upcoming week. I will go down in [family] history as the one who never was… at the weekend; who was never part of party at the Valletta outing; who wasn’t at the swings; but who closed a magazine on time. So let’s talk about that. The big focus of May is The Pink Fashion Show, now an awaited and established event as it enters its sixth edition. When I joined Times of Malta many moons ago, I never thought part of my job would entail organising these events. I’m not an event organiser. I’ve never even had my own party such is my aversion to the run-up of hosting people. My wedding was a headache and a half and now I ﬁnd myself having to organise two headache-and-a-half ‘weddings’ every year. But they come and go, and I know that I’ll be on that family outing next Sunday, newspaper and mag in hand. And I can look at the hard-copy version of the ShowStopper photo shoot on pages 36 and get a taste of the top brands on the Villa Rosa catwalk on May 26, where the plan is to make a splash and paint the town ‘pink’ in keeping also with the venue’s name. There! Now that wasn’t too hard, after all. We’ve clocked up enough words and we can even try and dabble with that coffee machine…
May 22, 2016 ∫ Pink is a monthly magazine ∫ Issue 139 ∫ Executive editor Fiona Galea Debono ∫ Publisher Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Printing Progress Press Ltd ∫ Production Allied Newspapers Ltd ∫ Contributors Alina Anisimova, Chris Attard, Maria Cachia, Claudia Calleja, Andrea Faye Christians, Edward Curmi, Cynthia Demanuele, Claire Diacono, Jerome Gabarretta, Mary Galea Debono, Marisa Grima, Caroline Paris, Helen Raine, Stephanie Satariano, Virginia, Shelley Von Strunckel ∫ Design Manuel Schembri ∫ Photography Chris Sant Fournier, Tamara Webb ∫ Advertising sales Veronica Grech Sant [2559 4706; firstname.lastname@example.org].
THIS PUBLICATION IS BEING DISTRIBUTED AS PART OF:
© 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, without written permission of the publishers, is prohibited.
Pink May 2016 ∫ 11
THE LETTER THAT TICKLED PINK THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES Oh, how I enjoyed reading EditorsNote in the April issue of Pink. What memories! We get The Sunday Times of Malta regularly, along with Pink magazine every so often. I almost always manage to browse through the pages in between my preparing lunch for the family [14 in all], who are here every Sunday. This time round, ‘Sacred Heart’ caught my eye and I just had to read your note right through. I myself did not attend the Convent of the Sacred Heart, but my mother did way back. It was then an allnun boarding school and she was always talking about their ‘adventures’ and how strict the nuns were. I still remember promising myself I would send my girls to the Convent of the Sacred Heart if I had any. Eventually, my two girls were lucky enough to follow their all-round education there. My younger is on the Facebook page you spoke about and both girls still regularly meet up with their own ‘old girls’. In the beginning, there was no organised school transport to Santa Lucia, where we lived at the time. I used to have to wake my younger son up in time to take my elder daughter to Floriana from where she could catch the school bus. How well I remember those days, preparing that yellow striped uniform, yellow shirts, yellow pleated gym skirts and blue tabards for school. How sweet and smart the girls looked, complete in their straw bateau hat! I particularly remember the many times I used to have to go up to the school to watch my young daughters’ class play, or display, which would only last some 15 minutes. I just had to be there, or I would have ended up in big trouble! Your article made us recall and talk about those very missed times once again over lunch. Years have passed now and I am pleased to say I am happy and satisﬁed with the result and have never regretted my choice and decision to send my girls to the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Thank you for the memories! WILHELMINA SAMMUT VIA E-MAIL
The writer of the letter of the month wins a My Burberry eau de parfum, courtesy of Chemimart; a facial, courtesy of Chemimart, Valletta; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up products from A.M.Mangion Ltd
WRITE IN AND WIN We want to hear from you. Send us your feedback on Pink and any stories that may have touched you in some way, and you stand a chance of winning a Sun di Gioia by Giorgio Armani fragrance, courtesy of Chemimart; a beauty treatment, at Chemimart Beauty Clinic, courtesy of Chemimart; PLUS a selection of Deborah Milano make-up pro ducts 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 email@example.com Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity. If prizes are not claimed within two months, they will no longer be available.
STAMINA AND COURAGE I read and anxiously await the publication of your magazine, offering interesting articles. I am always learning from contributions from all walks of life, and this time, in your April edition, I felt that Marie Claire Aquilina in the feature Riding High [OnForm] needs special mention. I do not know why, but we mostly associate cycling with men, and I admire Marie Claire for having the stamina and courage to practise this sport. Her efforts and achievement in winning the Tour ta’ Malta title do not stop here, but she intends embarking on more diﬃcult tasks like mountain cycling. As she well described, to keep improving requires a lot of training and dedication. With perseverance, I am sure she will continue to make a name for herself and for our island. MARY MANGION VIA E-MAIL
ENFORCEMENT DOES NOT EXIST I would like to congratulate your magazine and Moira Delia for the interesting and informative answers regarding dogs’ behaviour [or misbehaviour] towards humans [EyeWitness, November 2015]. I am 70 years old and a dog lover. At one time, or another, I have always had a dog. I must confess all mine were docile and never aggressive towards humans; most of them were hunting dogs, from German Pointers to Labradors and Setters etc… While I agree that educating owners helps, on the other hand, it does not work with those who do not want to learn. Hefty ﬁnes and better law enforcement are required with the latter category. Some months ago, I was attacked by a huge Alsation. Once I was slightly bitten in my left ankle; another time, the same dog made me fall to the ground, luckily without any injuries. May I tell Moira that it is not an easy task to stand still while a 50kg Alsation is trotting towards you. I phoned Animal Welfare and although they were very understanding, they referred me to the police. I ﬁled two reports at the police station and do you know what they did? They warned the dog owner! I have been told that to seek redress, I would have to get a lawyer and go to court. As things stand, may I ask the relevant authorities who decides whether a dog is aggressive or not? After how many attacks is a dog categorised as dangerous [in this case, the same dog has attacked two others]? Who decides if a dog is to be put down, or not? Is it legal to take a dog out without a lead? It seems the only important thing is to carry a plastic bag. Moira was very right when she said that enforcement in Malta does not exist. This must be urgently seen to because it is causing a lot of pain, and in my case, even hallucinations at night. I ask Moira to bring to her TV programme enforcement oﬃcers, doctors and psychologists to educate victims of aggressive dogs. Congratulations on your Pink magazine. I read every issue! TONY MALLIA FROM SIGGIEWI
12 ∫ Pink May 2016
PRIVATEEYE Melanie Cremona Photography Chris Sant Fournier
14 ∫ Pink May 2016
It’s been almost a year since Melanie Cremona had brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma tumour. She tells CLAUDIA CALLEJA how the experience left her with a new perspective on life and an urge to help others by telling her story.
ow many times have you spent the night tossing and turning because a work problem was on your mind? Or had to chew on pills to beat the heartburn ignited by that looming deadline? Like many of us, Melanie Cremona was just like that. Until, in July 2015, she heard two words that changed everything. “Brain tumour. That’s all I could hear when the doctor ﬁrst told me. I didn’t hear the ‘benign’ part,” the 39-year-old says. Her eyes moisten as she relives the moment. Then she smiles and apologises for the emotions. “It’s not easy. I’m a jolly person. But it wasn’t easy,” she says as she runs her ﬁngers below her eyes to wipe away any possible mascara residue. “I feel that speaking about it helps others. I didn’t know what to expect when I was going through it, so I know how much it means to hear the experience of someone who’s been through it,” she says as she rewinds to the very beginning of it all.
The ﬁrst signs In her early 30s, Melanie started suffering from rare, but severe, migraines. Each time, before a migraine kicked in, she’d experience visual aura – a warning sign of the throbbing head pain to follow. Then, about three years ago, the collapsing started. “I’d be at home, then, all of a sudden, I’d ﬁnd myself on the ﬂoor. I’d lose consciousness.
I went to doctors who told me not to worry and that I had low blood pressure,” she says. Unlike her migraines, there were no warning signs before she’d collapse. Even though the collapsing was not preceded or followed by a migraine, she thought they were linked. Doctors reinforced this as, again, they blamed the symptoms on low blood pressure. But when the frequency increased, and she collapsed three times in the span of a month, she decided to dig deeper.
“I’D BE AT HOME, THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, I’D FIND MYSELF ON THE FLOOR. I’D LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS. I WENT TO DOCTORS WHO TOLD ME NOT TO WORRY AND THAT I HAD LOW BLOOD PRESSURE” “I wasn’t very happy with the low blood pressure diagnosis. So I went online and joined a Facebook group for migraines. There was a woman my age who spoke about the same feelings I was having. She had gone to a neurologist and was told she had a meningioma brain tumour,” Melanie recalls.
Everything changes It was July last year. Melanie immediately contacted a neurologist, who asked her to go for an MRI three days later. Within a week, she got the results – it looked like she had a cluster of
Pink May 2016 ∫ 15
blood vessels. More tests were needed. She went for another MRI, this time in colour. The results would be out within a week. “So, a week later, I went for my appointment by myself. I ﬁgured that, if it was urgent, they would have called. I was wrong. I went relaxed. All of a sudden, I’m told I have a brain tumour. I was in shock. All I could hear was the word ‘tumour’,” she says.
“DOCTORS TOLD ME THAT IF I HAD NOT NOTICED THE TUMOUR, I WOULD HAVE HAD A STROKE, OR IT COULD HAVE AFFECTED MY SPINE AND I COULD HAVE BECOME PARALYSED” That day, Melanie was told she had a slow-growing benign meningioma brain tumour, which had formed at the top of her head, below her scalp – on the membrane that covers her brain. As it grew, it had started pressing on her brain, causing her to lose consciousness and collapse. “At the time, I was smoking. After leaving the hospital, I sat in my car and had two cigarettes at one go. Then I started driving. My body was in shock. Then, all of a 16 ∫ Pink May 2016
sudden, I stopped in San Gwann, in the middle of the road. I started crying and screaming so loud. Cars were honking, but I just couldn’t move. Reality started kicking in,” she says. When she ﬁnally calmed down enough to drive, she headed home to tell her boyfriend. “Then I went for a walk near the sea. I just wanted to be by myself. I was in total shock and denial. I asked: Why me?” Over the next few days, Melanie started reading a lot about brain tumours. She wanted to know all she could. She visited the neurologist several other times to plan and prepare for surgery. As the days passed by, she couldn’t eat, or sleep. She was simply waiting.
Under the knife Brain surgery was scheduled for July 28, 2015. Melanie knew she had no choice. “Doctors told me that if I had not noticed the tumour, I would have had a stroke, or it could have affected my spine and I could have become paralysed. I was very, very lucky since I had started looking into migraines from a Facebook page, but the migraines were not connected. “Before the surgery, they tell you so many things. They give you the worst-case scenarios. They told me they’d have to cut a muscle from my face, so it could cave in;
After spending ﬁve days recovering in hospital, it was time to leave and continue the recovery process at home.
Road to recovery “I was a mess. I was very sensitive to light and noise. I was confused – scared of seeing people and cars. I was scared of being alone. I was scared of everything. Friends and family were coming over all the time,” she recalls. The ﬁrst two weeks were the hardest. For some reason, her legs really hurt and she couldn’t walk.
“THEY TOLD ME THEY’D HAVE TO CUT A MUSCLE FROM MY FACE, SO IT COULD CAVE IN; THAT I COULD BECOME PARALYSED. I ACTUALLY HAD TO SIGN FOR THIS” “When you go through such an ordeal, nobody tells you what to expect. It’s not like they tell you: If you have this symptom, go to page 15. I was feeling so many different things and, for every small detail, I was going to the emergency room. “I was an emotional wreck; a total disaster! Physically, I wasn’t feeling myself; I changed a lot; my body changed. And mentally, I was driving myself crazy. I’m not a negative person at all; I usually laugh at myself, but I was in a dark place,” she says.
A new perspective
that I could become paralysed. I actually had to sign for this. The strange thing is that, from all the bad news, I think I cried the most when they told me they’d shave my hair. I felt really silly,” she says. The surgery lasted eight hours. Surgeons cut an incision on the top of her head. “I’m told that, when I was wheeled up from surgery, I started singing to my friends and family, who were all waiting for me. I remember waking up, touching my head and panicking because I felt my hair. I thought something happened and that they couldn’t operate,” she says, adding she was glad to learn they had only shaved a small part along the incision. 18 ∫ Pink May 2016
After about four months, Melanie started going out slowly. The dark cloud started lifting. She started rebuilding herself and regaining control over her life. She also went back to work, where she found lots of support. Talking about her experience helped her. People who were going through similar experiences reached out to her on Facebook. She helped them by telling her story and helping them feel they were not alone. Now, for the next 10 years, Melanie will have to undergo regular tests to ensure that the tumour does not return. “There’s always the fear that it comes back. Before I used to say: Why me? Now I’ve realised that I’m not special. All this changed me. I don’t feel I’m the same person anymore. I take life much easier now. I slowed down at work. “Before, I used to stress a lot about work to the point that my stomach used to hurt just because of a problem. Nowadays, although I do worry sometimes, my health comes ﬁrst. It changes you – in a good way.”
SUMMER VIBES Oysho presents its new spring/summer 2016 swimwear collection in collaboration with international artist Miren Doiz.
ysho is getting artsy once again to present a new collection in which asymmetric cuts and intense colours reflect fashion’s most artistic spirit. Bikinis, trikinis and swimsuits are the stars of Oysho’s new SS16 swimwear collection, in which a selection of special fabrics, updated patterns and vibrant colours come together in perfect harmony. The various items in the new swimwear line feature a wide colour palette including shades of blue, red, green and yellow. Primary colours are used to shape a range of intense and varied tones.
New cuts on swimwear garments flatter the female shape. The fabrics are also breathable and quickdrying. Oysho has created a conceptual artistic line, highlighting the power of colour and the creative experience, designed in collaboration
with acclaimed international artist Miren Doiz. The new Oysho items capture the imagination of this young artist from Navarre as if they were living paintings, giving life to the garments and setting them in an artistic framework. www.oysho.com Pink May 2016 ∫ 19
A MOTHER’S PLACE L
Leanne Bugeja was 13 years old when her mother shot herself. She was the only witness, and in a flash, her whole life turned upside down… Until a family friend stepped in to pick up the pieces and be the mother figure she had lost. HELEN RAINE looks into the utter disorientation and loneliness that can come to define a bereaved daughter and how the right replacement can stem the loss and create stability.
22 ∫ Pink May 2016
eanne Bugeja was 13 years old when her mother killed herself. Her parents had been having problems for years, with her mother feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage. “It happened a week before my 14th birthday, after she had swallowed a few pills the night before due to an argument she had had with my father. She woke up the next morning still under the effects of the pills and shot herself. Unfortunately, I had woken up a couple of minutes before she pulled the trigger and saw it all happen… I was the only witness,” Leanne says. It’s hard to imagine the full extent of the trauma she suffered. Leanne says: “Suddenly, the most important person in my life was taken away from me. Literally from one second to the next, my whole life turned upside down.”
Leanne Bugeja experiencing motherhood…
WOMENSWORLD Childhood memories: Leanne with her mother…
DEFINING MOMENT That sense of utter disorientation, loss and loneliness can come to define a bereaved daughter, no matter how it happens. Novelist Anna Quindlen perhaps puts it best, writing in the Chicago Tribune: “For a long time it was all you needed to know about me, a kind of vest pocket description of my emotional complex. ‘Meet you in the lobby in 10 minutes – I have long brown hair, am on the short side, have on a red coat, and my mother died when I was 19.” Author Hope Edelmann, also a bereaved daughter, clipped that column out of the Tribune and carried it with her for years. She says: “Losing my mother wasn’t just a fact about me. It was the core of my identity, my very state of being.” Those feelings led her to write her book Motherless Daughters. The cataclysmic upheaval that Leanne, Quindlen and Edelmann describe is made worse by the fact that people don’t know how to talk about the lost mothers; they become silent on the subject, as if the daughter might have forgotten. Edelmann says this is “a denial that originates from the place in our psyches where ‘mother’ represents comfort and security… and where the mother-child bond is so primal that
and with who was, eventually, to step in and take her mother’s place.
we equate its severing with a child’s emotional demise. “Because everyone carries into adulthood the child’s fear of being left lost and alone, the motherless child thus symbolises a darker, less fortunate self,” she adds.
with her that she ended up moving in with Tanya, her former partner David Newman and her son Nicky. Things were very difficult with her father at that time. Leanne says: “I blamed the whole tragedy on him, which meant I didn’t want to be in
“I BLAMED THE WHOLE TRAGEDY ON HIM, WHICH MEANT I DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN THE SAME HOUSE AS HIM… AS HE HAD NEVER BEEN AROUND TO RAISE US, HE HAD NO IDEA WHERE TO START FROM AND SUDDENLY FOUND HIMSELF TRYING TO BE DADDY AND MUMMY AT THE SAME TIME.” A mother’s death can equate to the abrupt end of childhood as children like Leanne learn that “dependent relationships can be impermanent, security ephemeral, and family capable of being redefined”. Edelmann says that, as a consequence, “the motherless daughter develops an adult insight while she is still a child, with only juvenile resources to cope”.
FAIRY GODMOTHER Into that swirling mass of emotions stepped Tanya Borg Cardona, Leanne’s godmother and her mother’s best friend. Out of the dozens of people who initially offered help, Tanya was one of only a handful who actually followed through. Gradually, Leanne began spending so much time
the same house as him… As he had never been around to raise us, he had no idea where to start from and suddenly found himself trying to be daddy and mummy at the same time.” Leanne goes on: “That is when the bitterness started and things got more complicated.” But she adds: “I felt so at home and stable surrounded by Tanya, David and Nicky. At the time, nothing would have convinced me to return back to my family home”. Leannne says that this was “partly because of the memories of my mother’s suicide, but also due to the fact that once she was gone, that home didn’t feel like a happy place anymore… I knew where I wanted to be and nobody was going to stop me, even if it meant [my father] disowning me”. Pink May 2016 ∫ 23
WOMENSWORLD Happy [second] family: David, Leanne, Nicky and Tanya.
Tanya’s role as a mother has extended to grandmother to Leanne’s son.
MOTHER AS MIRROR Tanya and her happy family offered a refuge. “I knew that if I left, my life would spiral out of control,” Leanne says. Edelman says this is a common occurrence. “Without a mother figure to guide her, a daughter has to piece together a female self-image on her own. While most girls separate from their mothers during their teen years to create an individual identity and then later try to return as autonomous adults, the motherless daughter moves forward alone.” Tanya offered Leanne a way out of this trap, a chance to react to the image of womanhood that Tanya projected in order to define who Leanne herself was. 24 ∫ Pink May 2016
Edelmann talks about the emotional dance that daughters and mothers perform in adolescence, as the daughter detaches and begins to spend more time with peers, or a romantic partner, but returns to her mother in times of stress. It’s a messy period for the maternal relationship – young girls often view
And David plays granddad… showing “they have stuck around and still play a big part” in Leanne’s adult life.
WOMENSWORLD their mums with a mix of positive and negative emotions, and research suggests that up to 75 per cent of daughters report unfavourable and unflattering views of their mother. They may say negative things about them and the relationship can be full of strife, but it’s a normal part of teenage development. When a mother dies in the middle of that dance, however, Edelmann says, “what would have been a temporary break with a hope of later reconciliation, becomes an irrevocable separation”. Tanya gave Leanne a second chance at those interactions. “At times, I did struggle with the rules and expectations they set and often rebelled as any teenager would,” Leanne says. “Of course, there were many times when I felt anger and resentment… and if I’m honest, I still do sometimes. It depends on the situation. I have characteristics that would be negatively labelled as ‘a Bugeja trait’… and in those moments, I do feel angry and resentful; after all, in essence, I am still the same person I was born as and I do also have my own beliefs and ideas, which might not always sit well [with Tanya] sometimes.” But they came through the storms. “Deep down, I always felt that they brought out the best in me and really showed me that with determination and discipline I could achieve anything. They gave me structure and stability and always made sure I didn’t feel any less important than their own son. At the time, Nicky [who has since passed away] was suffering from leukaemia and they all had a lot on their plates. But they still gave me huge amounts of love and attention just as if I had always been there,” Leanne says. According to Edelmann: “Children who lose a parent need two conditions to thrive; a stable… caregiver to meet their emotional and physical needs, and an open and honest communication about the death and its impact on the family”. Leanne says: “I don’t know where I would be today if Tanya hadn’t been there to fulfil those needs that, truthfully, every child deserves.”
And the love goes on through the generations…
“TANYA, DAVID AND NICKY SHOWED ME THE DYNAMICS OF A HAPPY FAMILY. THEY BROUGHT STABILITY AND STRUCTURE INTO MY LIFE, COMBINED WITH 22 YEARS OF GREAT MEMORIES AND LIFE LESSONS.”
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES It’s only as an adult that Leanne has truly been able to appreciate what a monumental thing Tanya did for her. “I realise just how big of a commitment it was for them to allow me into their lives, with all the issues and baggage I carried,” she says. “The support has continued throughout my life, and 22 years on, they still play the roles of mother and father to me. We have our differences and quite a few disagreements… I suppose we are like any other mother and daughter and have the same kind of problems… But at the end of the day, I will always be grateful for the positive impact they have had on my life.” Becoming a parent and partner herself has also given her a different perspective. “I’m now a mother of a four-year-old boy and understand the daily challenges of being a parent. Also being in a relationship for 14 years has shown me that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage – there is a lot of hard work involved and it can only survive if both put in equal amounts of effort.” In Helping Children Cope with the Death of a Parent, author Paddy Greenwell quotes a daughter as saying: “I don’t think a day passes that I do not feel the utter loss and loneliness from my mother’s suicide… it haunts me. They say time is a great healer, but it never erases the depth
of loss and longing for her presence.” Leanne has tried to turn that into a positive. “Nowadays, I try to appreciate everything I have – I know that anything and anyone in my life can be taken away in an instant, so I try to make the best of everything I’m faced with,” she says. “Tanya, David and Nicky showed me the dynamics of a happy family. They brought stability and structure into my life, combined with 22 years of great memories and life lessons. Tanya and David never lose their joy and determination… no matter what life throws at them – that is something I try and live by every day.” Leanne says she would be prepared to do the same if the situation arose. “I would most definitely do the same for another child, even though I know how challenging and emotionally draining it can be. Seeing them grow into happy and confident adults is the best reward.” Her relationship with Tanya continues to be pivotal in her life. “They are family to me. Our relationship is like any other family’s – with the usual ups and downs. I have been living in Switzerland for over 10 years and am not very good at keeping in touch on a regular basis, but whenever I’m in need of support, or a good telling off, I usually turn to Tanya, or David. They are always there to listen and point me in the right direction. “I wouldn’t change anything about my journey so far. It has made me who I am today.” Pink May 2016 ∫ 25
CONTROL FOR BOYS There’s a birth control method that is 99.85 per cent effective, painless for women, uses no hormones and doesn’t even involve a trip to the gynaecologist. As long as your family is complete, vasectomy seems like the perfect solution – but before you book your partner in for the snip, there are a few lessons HELEN RAINE and her husband learned the hard way.
e have two kids and the hubby was very keen to avoid the accidental third baby that several of our friends had recently been blessed with. Vasectomy seemed like the way forward. Over poker and beers with the boys, he was assured by veterans of the op that it was a walk in the park – a 15minute procedure, a couple of days of discomfort and then a lifetime free from procreation. One friend even recommended a surgeon. The op went well and the patient waddled back to the car cowboy-style, looking a bit pale and clutching an orange tube of pain killers. I restrained myself from reminiscing about the trauma of two C-sections. At home, he transferred onto the couch to await his rapid recovery, a packet of frozen peas in place on his privates. And that’s where things went south. The take-home instructions suggested that he should be up and about after a couple of days, albeit wearing tightywhities and perhaps avoiding activities such as biking and horse riding. But ﬁve days in, although the scars were healing well, the pain was still intense. My husband isn’t a ‘man-ﬂu’ kind of a man; I’ve seen him continue to work in tropical heat while suffering from malaria. If he was still marooned on the sofa, then it was bad. We all know that googling any medical symptoms is a bad idea – the 28 ∫ Pink May 2016
simplest of ailments immediately start to resemble imminent death. But when you’re ﬂat on your back with nothing better to do, it’s too tempting. And up popped Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome [PVPS].
PS – You might get PVPS Dr Anthony Ellis describes PVPS as “a variety of distressing and painful symptoms that can develop after vasectomy”. These include long-term chronic scrotal pain, as well as discomfort with sexual intercourse, or after vigorous activity, and pain during or after ejaculation. The statistics on PVPS are alarming; studies suggest that “one to ﬁve per cent of men are severely affected and report pain affecting quality of life”. It’s described as common, but hidden, because men just don’t talk about it – the last decade of internet has ﬁnally exposed the extent of the problem, allowing men to talk anonymously about the issue. Of course, the waiver before the op mentioned something about this, but since the doctor didn’t mention it speciﬁcally, we presumed it was a catch-all phrase and could be ignored. But when my husband was still suffering two weeks after the op, he went back to the hospital. Everything was ﬁne in terms of the surgery. “Hmmm,” said the surgeon. “I hope we’re not seeing the beginning of PVPS.”
EYEWITNESS Not very comforting. PVPS can be chronic and may not ever go away. In some cases, men end up having the vasectomy reversed to alleviate the symptoms – but “the response to surgical intervention is unpredictable”, according to research by Dr Ellis [although it does seem to help around 75 per cent of patients].
Lasers or knives And this is when we discovered the other important fact about vasectomies – there is more than one way to do them. Remember those guys that assured my husband he’d be up and about in a couple of days? They all had the laser method. And the guy that recommended this surgeon? He,
worse than the three lasered friends. It turns out that the World Health Organisation agrees. “Compared with the traditional incisional method, no-scalpel vasectomy results in less bleeding, haematoma and pain during or after the procedure. It takes less operation time and vasectomised men are able to resume sexual activity more quickly,” WHO says. And according to the UK NHS: “the procedure is also thought to be less painful and less likely to cause complications than a conventional vasectomy”. There’s now a large body of evidence to support this conclusion. In addition, the recovery time is considerably quicker for laser
“TO US, THE CHOICE OF SCALPEL OVER LASER IS A NO-BRAINER – LESS TIME OFF WORK, LESS PAIN AND LESS RISK FOR THE SAME RESULT” like my husband, had the scalpel method and, on closer interrogation, had been down and out for at least a fortnight, with ongoing pain for some time after that. In the scalpel method, the vasectomy involves two surgical incisions, one on either side of the scrotum. The surgeon then pulls out the vas deferens [the tubes that carry the sperm] and severs them. With the laser method, developed in 1974 by Chinese doctor Li Shunqiang, there is no need for an incision. A single puncture is made in the scrotum, which does not need stitches, and “the vas deferens tissues and blood vessels are spread aside [with special forceps] from the surgical site rather than cut with a knife. This is less traumatic, and results in less pain and fewer postoperative complications,” according to expert Dr Wayland Hiaso.
When the chips are down… Now a bunch of poker players don’t exactly make for a scientiﬁc study, but anecdotally, it seemed that out of my husband’s friends, the three gentlemen who had the scalpel method had fared much
patients. It’s frustrating, then, that my husband was not informed that he had an alternative. Even if he had to travel to obtain it, he would have been able to make a more informed decision. Six months down the line, you’ll be happy to learn that the fear of PVPS is a distant memory and the peas are permanently back in the freezer. On balance, my husband doesn’t regret the decision to have a vasectomy – it’s fabulous not to worry about having an additional bun in our family oven. But the patient does still complain of occasional pain. To us, the choice of scalpel over laser is a no-brainer – less time off work, less pain and less risk for the same result. And there’s just one other thing – whichever method you choose, don’t forget to get the all-clear that there is no sperm in the semen before you get frisky without using back-up birth control. Our anecdotal friend survey also included several horror stories of men who had vasectomies, but skipped the sperm check before having sex. Their new babies are apparently really cute. Pink May 2016 ∫ 29
Venus Victrix Independent, capricious and lacking discretion, Princess Pauline Borghese gave herself carte blanche to do whatever gave her pleasure. MARY GALEA DEBONO says she is famous not for what she achieved, but because she has been immortalised by a work of art. Without Canova’s masterpiece, her claim to fame would have rested solely on the fact that she was the courtesan, nymphomaniac, little sister of Napoleon – a mere footnote in history.
f the many great works of art exhibited in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, it is perhaps Antonio Canova’s masterpiece Venus Victrix that attracts the greatest number of people. It is a life-size marble statue of a beautiful woman, naked from the waist upwards, reclining languidly on an elaborate divan, with her right arm resting on pillows while her hand supports her head. In her left one, she holds an apple, the symbol of eroticism. Her hauteur, her seductive air and the dare-to-dispute-my-beauty expression as she gazes back at the spectator have been the subject of many a debate. But who is the flesh-and-blood woman behind Canova’s Venus? La Paolina, as the famous statue is also known, is a portrait sculpture of
Princess Pauline Borghese Bonaparte and was commissioned by her husband Prince Camillo Borghese soon after their marriage in 1803. At first, Canova’s idea was to represent Paolina as the chaste goddess Diana, but the princess, aware of her reputation, laughed off the proposal: “Nobody would believe in my chastity,”
capricious, lacking discretion, she gave herself carte blanche to do whatever gave her pleasure. Pauline was born in 1780 in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was the sixth of eight children of Letizia and Charles Marie Bonaparte. Her father died when she was five and her two elder brothers, Joseph and Napoleon, assumed the
“ALLOWING HERSELF TO BE PORTRAYED HALF NAKED, SHE KNEW, WOULD FUEL MORE CRITICISM OF HER LIFESTYLE, BUT SHE WAS NOT THE TYPE TO SPEND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS OVER TRIVIAL MATTERS LIKE REPUTATIONS” she told the sculptor. Allowing herself to be portrayed half naked, she knew, would fuel more criticism of her lifestyle, but she was not the type to spend sleepless nights over trivial matters like reputations. Independent,
role of head of the family. In the summer of 1793, Corsican patriots, angered by remarks made by their brother Lucien, set fire to their house, and it was only the sensational rescue operation from the nearby seashore Pink May 2016 ∫ 31
WOMANKIND by their brother Napoleon, who put them on a French frigate, that made it possible for his mother and siblings to arrive safely as refugees in the south of France. In his role as head of the family, Napoleon expected that all decisions with regards to his siblings had to be approved by him; and these decisions included the choice of husbands for his sisters. When Pauline fell in love with Stanislas Fréron, more than twice her age, her mother did not like the idea. Napoleon wrote to his brother Joseph: “I have no intention of
a far cry from that of Paris and she was often bored. Soon stories about her promiscuous behaviour began to circulate – stories of lesbian affairs and experiments with white and black lovers. There is, of course, some truth in these stories, but one must keep in mind that they were also much embellished and, as Flora Fraser in her book Venus of Empire points out, some were pure fabrications: “Many of the allegations formed part of a later mudslinging campaign by the British…” or were “written after Napoleon’s fall from power and the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne of France”. But at the time, even Napoleon felt the need to caution her: “Make sure all the world is pleased with you and be worthy of your position.” One factor that contributed to make life in Saint-Domingue difficult was yellow fever, which was
Princess Pauline Borghese
letting Fréron marry her. Tell her that and tell him to tell her.” He chose instead Victor Emmanuel Leclerc, who was chief of the Army of Italy, a position of considerable importance. In spite of protestations of eternal love to her first choice, Pauline quickly got over her disappointment. Leclerc was devoted to her, and when they married in June 1797, she appeared to be very happy. The following year, their only son, Dermide, was born. In 1800, Leclerc was dispatched to the island of Saint-Domingue [Haiti] as commander of an expeditionary force to bring some order to this colony seething with discontent. It was Napoleon’s express wish that his wife and son went with him. While Leclerc campaigned, Pauline ruled like a queen. It was a position she enjoyed. But the social life on the island remained 32 ∫ Pink May 2016
Prince Camillo Borghese
widespread. The French succumbed to it in their thousands and the army was decimated as men continued to die within 24 hours of contracting the disease. Leclerc urged Pauline to return to France, but she refused. In a letter to Napoleon, Leclerc wrote: “I have often pressed her to go to France. She has never agreed to do so, saying that she will share my misfortunes and my successes.” Loyalty was not Pauline’s only strong point; courage was another one. As the military situation on the island deteriorated, it became clear that her own situation would
be desperate if the French were defeated. But she remained steadfast in her resolve: “You may be afraid to die, but I am the sister of Bonaparte. I am afraid of nothing.” She extracted a promise from the four sergeants left to defend her that they would kill her and her son should the situation become desperate. Leclerc managed to quell the uprising, but he did not enjoy his victory for long. One morning, as he was attempting to get into his carriage, he found he was unable to move. He took to his bed, and five days later, he was dead. He had contracted the deadly fever. His body was embalmed and sent to France for burial. After Pauline’s return to France, Napoleon was keen to find her a new husband. She was introduced to Prince Camillo Borghese, an extremely wealthy man from a very influential aristocratic Roman family. The Prince was not known for his brilliance; in fact, he was rather dull, but this did not bother her. After all, she herself, although witty, lacked education and culture. He was not Napoleon’s choice, but Pauline liked him, and in August, 1803, less than a year after Leclerc’s death, they were married. On her marriage, she received money, titles, palaces, diamonds and the Borghese jewellery. After their marriage, Prince and Princess Borghese, Dermide, his nurse and a whole retinue of servants made their way to Rome. Camillo was very proud of his beautiful wife; he was less fond of Leclerc’s son. This was obvious from the beginning and it turned out to be tragic for their personal relationship. A few months later, when Pauline decided to take the waters at Bagni di Lucca, the Prince insisted on leaving Dermide with his nurse in Rome. The boy, aged six, developed a fever and died. Pauline, who felt this would not have happened had she been able to take care of him, was inconsolable and never forgave her husband. There was a reason for Pauline’s frequent visits to health resorts. Since the birth of her son, she had continued to suffer from lower abdominal pains and backaches. The doctors who examined her diagnosed an inflammation of her fallopian tubes and this is probably the reason why she never got pregnant again. They suggested taking the waters as a remedy. Later, when her condition worsened and she could hardly walk, they concluded that her pains were brought
about by sexually transmitted diseases, and while suggesting the use of girdles and the application of leeches as remedies, they also cautioned her against multiple sexual partners. But she took no heed of her doctors’ advice. Some even described her as a nymphomaniac. Pauline seems to have liked the idea of being an invalid. She insisted on being carried in litters and chairs, or bodily lifted by her servants wherever she went. Travelling in carriages became an ordeal. During one such trip to Marseille, she insisted on stopping at a meadow, made her servants spread out their cloaks for her to lie on, ordered the prefect to sit down so that she could lean her back against his and asked the general to lie down so that she could use his stomach as a footrest.
“SHE INSISTED ON STOPPING AT A MEADOW, MADE HER SERVANTS SPREAD OUT THEIR CLOAKS FOR HER TO LIE ON, ORDERED THE PREFECT TO SIT DOWN SO THAT SHE COULD LEAN HER BACK AGAINST HIS AND ASKED THE GENERAL TO LIE DOWN SO THAT SHE COULD USE HIS STOMACH AS A FOOTREST” She carried with her a bathtub and shower and insisted on bathing in milk. One day, her brother-in-law, at whose house she was staying, had to send his servants to the surrounding villages with milk cans to fill up for her bath. She expected her lady-in-waiting to lie down spread-eagled on the floor so that she could put her feet “round her throat”. Count Metternich said of her: “She was in love with herself alone, and her sole occupation was pleasure.” Although there were those – among them Empress Josephine – who accused Pauline of an incestuous relationship with her famous brother, this is probably a misinterpretation of their close relationship. Pauline was certainly loyal to him till the end, and when he was sent to Elba, she visited him and left the island only after he had left. Pauline’s destiny depended very much on the success or otherwise of her brother, and when she left Elba, she was for a time arrested by the Austrians. She eventually settled in Rome. When Napoleon was imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, she offered to go to see him, but his message to her was: “Let her remain where she is. I would not have her see me insulted like this.” Anxiety over her brother’s fate and personal ill-health took their toll on her; she lost her beauty and her confidence. She wanted to sit to Canova for a more “respectable” statue, but it was too late. Pauline died of liver cancer on June 9, 1825. Before she died, she was briefly reunited with her husband. She is buried in the Borghese family vault at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Pauline is famous not for what she achieved, but because she has been immortalised by a work of art. Without Canova’s masterpiece, her claim to fame would have rested solely on the fact that she was the courtesan little sister of Napoleon – a mere footnote in history. With Venus Victrix, she conquered death.
STONE COLD STYLE
Step inside and steal a look at the trends on the The Pink Fashion Show’s coveted catwalk before the natural settings burst into a splash of summer colour.
Photography Tamara Webb Styling Marisa Grima [www.marisagrima.com] Hair Cynthia Demanuele from Screen Team Malta Make-up Chris Attard from Franks, using Guerlain Model Nikolett @ Supernovamodel.com Location Villa Rosa, St Julian’s
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SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €95; necklace, €22; clutch bag, €44, all Oasis.
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SHOWSTOPPER Dress, €474, Trussardi.
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SHOWSTOPPER Chemise, €55; wrap, €40; shoes, €44, all Boux Avenue.
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Bikini top, €25.99; [bottoms, €19.99]; clutch bag, €45.99; scarf, €24.99, all Oysho.
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Top, €32.50; trousers, €58.50, both M&Co ∫ necklace, stylist’s own.
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SHOWSTOPPER From top to bottom: Fossil, €119; Michael Kors, €249; Daniel Wellington, €169; Just Cavalli, €169, all @ Sunlab and VIP.
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From left: Ipanema and Grendha shoes, €27.99; €19.99; €34.99; €22.99; €37.99, all @ Eurosport.
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Clockwise from top left: Dolce&Gabbana, €214; Givenchy, €378; Givenchy, €233; Dolce&Gabbana, €138, all O’hea Opticians.
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MEDIMPORTTS T.. 214 483139 medeva@go o.net.mt FB Pupa Milano in n Malta Avvailable in selected Phar harmacies, Perfumeries and Beauty uty Salons
And the award goes to… Malta Fashion Week & Awards 2016 may be done and dusted, but fashion blogger and stylist CAROLINE PARIS goes back in time to seek trend inspiration from the nominees. This is what the young fashion set turned up in for the filming of their caption cards. What goes on behind the scenes is setting the scene for summer.
esides bringing along a host of allergies, the constant weather ﬂuctuation throughout spring has most deﬁnitely had repercussions on my daily wardrobe. In my case, two trips in one week to countries with a difference of almost 20 degrees didn’t help matters… I think my body, or perhaps my mind, reached a point where it had diﬃculty gauging the temperature. In fact, I often found myself standing in front of my open wardrobe with a vacant look in my eyes, staring at two items of clothing – a polo neck and a T-shirt. I think that last part says it all. As we prepare for what should be a scorching summer, with, hopefully, less wind, we still need ongoing inspiration. And this time, it’s coming from what some of the members of our local fashion pack were wearing as they prepared for Malta Fashion Week & Awards this month. It is always lovely to spot some bright colours at this time of the year. And it is even better to spot a few of the major trends at play on the local fashion scene. There are some good layering ideas too – notes to keep in mind for possible upcoming chilly summer nights, which are starting to seem like somewhat of a certainty with all this wind. From these seven looks, shot by Kurt Paris at the stunning, rehabilitated Fort St Angelo, I’ve spotted the following trends… Pink May 2016 ∫ 49
“WELL AND TRULY ANYTHING WITH A FRINGE IS A GOOD IDEA” The ﬁrst is coloured hair – woo-hoo! This is still really popular in many different fashion scenes. I’ve also seen the trend worked using multiple colours, with a slight ombre effect too. The second is the fringed suede jacket. Well and truly anything with a fringe is a good idea. Next up is lace-up shoes, which soldier on from last year and remain looking marvellous. I’m also a huge fan of round-framed sunglasses; they’re such a vintage classic and have a certain style that’s a bit je ne sais quoi. And of course, there’s always denim. Will we ever tire of denim? I sincerely hope not. 50 ∫ Pink May 2016
Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali
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FUNNY SIDE OF
FASHION ALINA ANISIMOVA looks at how a sense of satire goes with sense of style.
he most common fashion fear is to be dressed ugly and inappropriately. And yet, the most ridiculous fashion is definitely having a moment right now. Eccentric maxi dresses with an all-over mushroom print; T-shirts with body parts prints; edgy, asymmetrical skirts, decorated with pom-poms; bags shaped as a seahorse; and of course, the ubiquitous logos and funny slogans – these pieces have spread to every single shopping mall and all the fashion corners of the internet. Shoppers around the world are brave enough to pull off these fearless looks. It seems the industry is coming around to the idea of breaking boundaries, making fashion fun and playful. The concept isn’t new. It was Elsa Schiaparelli who brought the subject of this article to mind – you’ve probably heard about the hats shaped as shoes by now. In the 1930s, Schiaparelli introduced the world to her futuristic and innovative collections, inspired by the surrealist movement. In collaboration with Salvador Dali, they created the dress picturing a large lobster. Schiaparelli proved that the fashion industry is, indeed, a serious business, which, however, shouldn’t be perceived to be so serious. Regardless of how fearless her vision was, the idea of satirical fashion has spread far beyond the House of Schiaparelli… “Anti-fashion is fashion.” This catchy motto was coined by the punk youth movement of the 1970s. And just like leather-garbed punkers in their rebellion against conventional clothing, designers Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs broke the ultimate fashion rules and developed the punk aesthetics and attitude. The next great update to the humorous and irreverent side of fashion was brought about by Franco Moschino. He may not have been credited for designing the iconic Chanel suit, but he found a way to create a parody – by recreating the same suit with the slogan: “This is a Waist of Money.”
Just after leaving his job as Versace creative illustrator, with all his playfulness, Moschino decided to create his own brand. He focused on irony, proving that fashion does have a brilliant sense of humour. His designs included classic blazers with prints of fried eggs, jackets with the “Rich Bitch” slogan and hats made of teddy bears. Jeremy Scott has been Moschino creative director since 2013. He has continued what was started long before him – the satire of fashion, which was celebrated in his debut autumn/winter 2014 collection, inspired by McDonald’s and SpongeBob. This season, the Italian house proves it again. A giant chandelier dress, cigarette-pack-shaped handbags, burnt, asymmetrical outfits – these provocative, humorous, yet beautiful creations were part of the autumn/winter 2016 collection showcased at Milan Fashion Week.
“LIKE A SMART JOKE WITH A HIDDEN MEANING, PAIRING CLASSIC OUTFITS WITH RIDICULOUS PIECES IS, INDEED, A PRIVILEGE OF FASHION INTELLECTUALS” The Moschino brand is the personification of pop culture; it shows that fashion and fun are closely related to each other. In fact, both are about intelligence. Like a smart joke with a hidden meaning, pairing classic outfits with ridiculous pieces is, indeed, a privilege of fashion intellectuals. It seems the 1970’s “anti-fashion is fashion” slogan is relevant like never before. Crazy and playful clothes have evolved from avant-garde beginnings to one of the most popular mainstream trends – fun, affordable and easy to find on the high street. Clothing rebellion has been incorporated into the fashion industry, and we are now lucky to have the freedom to dress as we want. Jean Paul Gaultier once said: “In things that are considered ‘in bad taste’ you can always find a certain beauty.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves; we all need that beautiful – but ugly jumper – in our wardrobe, after all. Pink May 2016 ∫ 53
WHILE THE SUN SHINES Optometrist JEROME GABARRETTA reminds us that sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. We need to remember they have a health function too. Here’s how to see through the rubbish and set our sights on maximum protection.
hen buying a pair of sunglasses, the latest trend isn’t the only thing you should be looking out for. Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement; they serve a more important function, protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays. In Malta, we are particularly vulnerable to UV exposure during the hot summer months, so protecting our eyes from these harmful rays must be a priority. Before purchasing a pair of sunglasses, it is important to make an informed decision on whether they provide UV protection. It is important to note that there is no direct relationship between the price of sunglasses and the protection qualities they offer. Having said that, the chances of a cheap pair of sunglasses being 100 per cent UV protective are very slim. Neither is there any link between the colour of their lenses and the amount of UV that is ﬁltered. Although wearing dark sunglasses lenses may give the impression of more protection from UV rays, the harmful effects are even greater if there is no UV ﬁlter. This occurs because the pupils dilate, due to
the dark lenses of the sunglasses, providing a larger window for UV penetration towards the posterior parts of the eye, which causes more damage. An interesting fact is that even most clear contact lenses have a protective coat, which prevents UV from reaching the posterior parts of the eye. However, since the diameter of the lenses is small, they do not protect most anterior structures of the eye. So contact lenses alone are not enough to protect the eye from UV light. “THE PUPILS DILATE, DUE TO THE DARK LENSES OF THE SUNGLASSES, PROVIDING A LARGER WINDOW FOR UV PENETRATION TOWARDS THE POSTERIOR PARTS OF THE EYE, WHICH CAUSES MORE DAMAGE”
Long periods of exposure to sunlight may leave us with several short-term signs and symptoms, such as bloodshot, swollen, dry and photosensitive eyes. However, the most worrying are the longerterm effects that are caused by gradual constant exposure to sunlight throughout our lives.
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INTHEPINK Protecting our children’s eyes from the sun is, therefore, also highly recommended. Parents almost always remember to use sun screen, but often forget about sunglasses. Kids are even more susceptible to damage from UV rays as they spend many hours in the sun during their summer holidays. A large proportion of our lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18. One last important tip: do not let a cloudy day fool you; UV rays are still present so sunglasses are still needed.
COMMON DAMAGE Exposure to UV rays can lead to significant and lasting damage to our eyes and our vision. The following are most commonly seen: PTERYGIUM: Abnormal benign tissue growth on the white part of the eye known as the sclera, which may or may not affect vision, depending on the size and position in relation to the pupil. Symptoms such as dry and irritated itchy eyes are common. Ocular lubricants may help. CATARACTS: Clouding of the intraocular lens, which usually happens due to ageing. However UV light may accelerate this process significantly. ARMD: Age-related macular degeneration, whereby the cells that give us our central vision are damaged. Growths on the eyelids may spread to the eye and surrounding tissue.
BANNING THE GLARE Polarised lenses provide increased clarity, enhancing the colour and contrast of vision by eliminating the glare from unwanted reflections. This could be especially useful for those who enjoy spending time by the sea, where glare could be a nuisance due to the reflective properties of the waters’ surface. Outdoors enthusiasts would benefit from polarised sunglasses. How do polarised lenses work? Light is made up of waves travelling in different directions. The vertical light is what allows us to see an image, while the horizontal light has a glaring effect on our eyes. In fact, glare is normally present on horizontal surfaces such as water, sand, car windscreens and roads. Polarised lenses contain a special filter that blocks horizontally oriented light waves, allowing for vertically oriented light waves to penetrate only. This effect reduces the intensity of reflected light, reducing the glare.
SWITCHING SUNGLASSES If you are a spectacle wearer and find yourself frequently changing lighting conditions and having to switch between clear spectacles and sighted sunglasses, then photochromatic/transition lenses could be the ideal solution. Jerome Gabarretta is resident optometrist at Optika Specs, Rabat, and Optika Sun & See, St Julian’s.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
COMBATING THOSE FIRST LINES
Idealia Life Serum by Vichy restores skin complexion, tone and balance for women who want to combat those first lines and signs of behavioural ageing, which are caused by pollution, UV light, smoking, stress, fatigue and an unbalanced diet. Thanks to LR2412 and LHA, this facial serum enhances skin quality from the surface down to the deeper layers. In just eight days, Idealia Life Serum evens the complexion and restores the skin’s natural radiance. It’s an ultra-light concentrate, with a non-greasy texture, and can be used on its own, or under Idealia face care. Idealia Life Serum by Vichy is exclusively available in pharmacies. For more information and samples, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and check out Vichy on Facebook.
POWERFUL NEW INGREDIENTS
UNIQUE AND EROTIC JEWEL
In 2015, Nina Ricci laid bare a new feminine dream: L’Extase. This musky floral oriental is an evocation of feminine desire, an eau de parfum infused with eroticism. In 2016, Nina Ricci is extending this intimate, skin-sensitive journey into the heart of the senses with an eau de parfum légère, L’Extase Caresse de Roses. Like a unique and erotic jewel, this new creation awakens an arousing femininity. L’Extase Caresse de Roses is an adornment of roses, where the carnal smoothness of Bulgarian rose essence and Turkish rose absolute whisper to the delicate freshness of peony and violet notes, enhanced with an unsettling and captivating breath of white musk. For further details, contact Ta’ Xbiex Perfumery Ltd on 2133 1553.
The latest additional launches within La Prairie’s Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal collection – Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream SPF 30 and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Serum – feature the extraordinary Swiss Ice Crystal Complex, enriched with powerful new ingredients to ensure resilience and timeless beauty, via an all-in-one colour complexioncorrecting treatment cream and a silky, skin-replenishing serum. Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream SPF 30 is a new generation of treatment; a triple-action product that combines the benefits of skincare, colour and UV protection. The colour complexion-correcting treatment defends and protects as it brightens, evens skin tone, refines the look of pores and gives skin a natural glow. The luxurious oil-free cream instantly beautifies the complexion with a delicate veil of weightless coverage. This new generation of self-adjusting colour-correcting pigments identifies the missing colours in the complexion that create dullness and balances them back immediately. The new formula restores a vibrant, youthful glow for a flawless look. It is available in four exquisite colours that suit a spectrum of skin tones and includes an exclusive complexion brush. Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Serum is an essential first step to defy time and recapture beauty. A silky, skin-replenishing serum, it draws its power from an innovative fusion of advanced Swiss science and nature’s mysteries of resilience and longevity. Instantly hydrated, the soothed skin feels renewed and revived, ready to protect itself from stress, daily assaults of the environment, pollution and even time itself. Fine lines, dryness and dullness seem to disappear. For more information, call A.M.Mangion Ltd on 2397 6000. www.laprairie.com
HEALTH & BEAUTY
DECREASING NEW FAT DEPOSITS
Pupa’s Active Concentrate Anti-Cellulite is a gellike, fast-absorbing concentrate, which acts fast on fat deposits. In just four weeks, a 3cm decrease in thigh circumference is achieved as shown in studies carried out on 70 women aged 18 to 45. Vegetable extracts break down fat and decrease the formation of new fat deposits. The skin becomes more compact, smoother and cellulite is less visible. Application is twice daily for four weeks, followed by a 30-day, treatment-free period. Once daily application may then be resumed. Pupa formulations are dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, paraben free and not tested on animals. They are available in selected pharmacies and perfumeries. Contact Medimports on 2148 3139; or send an e-mail to email@example.com
MADE FOR YOU
Protect your delicate skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios sunscreens contain the highest UVA and UVB protection. The Anthelios face sun care range has adapted its textures for every skin type to protect from sunburn and cell damage. The Dry Touch Gel-Cream is great for normal and combination skin, leaving a dry finish; the Ultra Light Fluid is for oily skin and the Comfort Cream provides extreme comfort for dry skin. To better blend in with your skin tone, these products are also available in a tinted version, while the Dry Touch and Comfort Cream now also come in a convenient tube with a pump. Recommended by dermatologists, Anthelios is also suitable for sensitive, or sun allergy-prone skin. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or check La Roche-Posay on Facebook.
INSTANTLY HYDRATING PERFECTING BALM
Overwork, stress, fatigue, cold, sun, seasonal changes, air conditioning, plane trips… all these put skin to the test. And this shows on the face. Skin becomes dry and dull, with an uneven texture and visible pores. It gradually loses its natural beauty and radiance. Women need a multi-purpose miracle product that makes their lives easier. Chanel introduces Hydra Beauty Flash: a formula specially developed for strained skin in need of an instantly hydrating perfecting balm. Practical and portable, it gives skin an immediate boost, visibly reduces the appearance of surface irregularities, fine lines, pores and provides an unparalleled glow. It can be used whenever the skin needs it at any time of day for a luminous and flawless complexion. Chanel is distributed by Alfred Gera & Sons Ltd.
FOR A FRESH AND RADIANT COMPLEXION
Hologram Blush by Diego Dalla Palma offers a fresh and radiant complexion. The excellent release of colour guarantees an effect that is extremely easy to build up with a luminous finish. The face takes on luminous reflections, keeping the colour pure and vibrant. The texture is fine and weightless with a delicate and silky touch. It gives light and colour without weighing down the facial features. Diego Dalla Palma is exclusively distributed by Chemimart [2149 2212].
An eco-friendly approach*
RESPONSIBLE PHOTOPROTECTION Protect your skin; respect the ocean. Use Sun Care by Eau Thermale Avène. vène Thermal Spring Water is naturally soothing, anti-irritating and rich in components particularly recommended for the most sensitive skin. Avène Thermal Spring Water is at the heart of all its products. Together with the water, Avène Dermatological Laboratories also designs formulae and develops innovative techniques to soothe the most sensitive skin. Suncare products are a matter of public health and environmental concern. At Avène, dermatological laboratories are committed to an eco-friendly approach to offer optimal UVB-UVA protection and work towards preserving marine diversity. They offer a minimum of sun filters for high tolerance; prolonged cell protection; and formulae developed to minimise their impact on the marine environment, free from silicones, which are nonbiodegradable substances. The campaign Skin Protect/Ocean Respect is an example of this approach of twofold ethical responsibility: on the one hand, dermatological expertise, with
64 ∫ Pink May 2016
improved formulae developed with only essential effective ingredients; and on the other hand, environmental commitment. Because your skin needs the very best sun protection… Avène dermatological laboratoires offer products of indisputable efficacy and very good tolerance. The expert formulae are optimised for all skin types. Even the most sensitive can be protected in complete safety. The silicone-free formulae add even more comfort and sensory appeal, with transparent, dry-touch and light, rich, mattifying textures. How do you offer the right balance of efficacy, safety and tolerance to all sensitive skin? Thanks to the SunSitive® protection complex, an exclusive triple combination that includes a minimum of photoprotective actives for optimal tolerance;
pre-tocopherol, a powerful antioxidant and photostable precursor of vitamin E for guaranteed long-lasting Photoprotective anti-free radical protection; system Tinosorb S and Avène Thermal Uvasorb HEB Spring Water with its Parsol 1789 Tinosorb M recognised and unique soothing and antiirritating properties. Anti-free radical action Pre-tocopheryl
Avène Thermal Spring Water
Suncare by Eau Thermale Avène is distirbuted by Pharma.MT Ltd [2133 7008].
Taking the Canestest® Have the confidence to choose the right treatment for you.
aginal infections can make you feel uncomfortable, less conﬁdent and less in control of your body. New Canestest® is a convenient self-test solution that helps you ﬁnd out whether you’re suffering from thrush, Bacterial Vaginosis [BV], or another infection, and also helps you decide which treatment is right for you. With Canestest®, you can test before you treat so you know you’re using the right treatment for your infection. Canestest® is over 90 per cent accurate and it only takes 10 seconds to receive
your diagnosis in the comfort of your home.
How to use Canestest® Unwrap the Canestest® swab and make sure the tip does not come into contact with
anything before you insert it into your vagina. Hold the Canestest® swab by the handle and insert the yellow tip into your vagina, rotate the swab and then remove. After 10 seconds, check the tip of the Canestest® swab to see if the colour has stayed the same or changed to blue/green. If your Canestest® swab did not change colour after 10 seconds, it means you may be suffering from
thrush. If you have symptoms such as an itchy or sore vagina, or thick, white discharge, it’s likely that this is the case. If your Canestest® swab changed colour to blue or green, it means you may have a BV infection. BV infections are usually accompanied by symptoms such as a thin, grey discharge and an unpleasant, ﬁshy smell. Canestest® is available from pharmacies without a prescription.
BREAKING THE BARRIERS Science and technology have traditionally been dominated by men, but more women are finally breaking through the ranks. Engineer and Vodafone Malta manager Lisa Farrugia talks about women in tech.
few weeks ago, engineer and Vodafone Malta manager Lisa Farrugia gave a talk in schools to encourage young girls to consider a career in technology. “Initially, most said maths and science were their favourite subjects,” she says. But by the end of the talk, the girls were asking her how she had not been scared to pursue her career path in technology. “That was shocking to me.” Having studied and worked in engineering and IT all her life, Lisa knows that both in Malta and abroad, the tech industry suffers from a serious 66 ∫ Pink May 2016
shortage of women. “When I ﬁrst joined Vodafone four years ago, the senior leadership team was all men,” she says. The situation has now changed somewhat, with Vodafone Malta having recruited a number of women in key positions, including the CEO, CTO and HR manager. But perceptions are hard to battle, she says. “I guess it starts from when we’re young – technology is perceived as a male-dominated ﬁeld – right up to when we actually work within the industry.” Constant efforts are being made just to get people to recognise that the problem is still there, though perhaps a lot more subtle.
“The inherent ingrained issues are the tough ones. In my years abroad, for instance, I was always the one buying the odd birthday card, or taking the minutes.” Several initiatives have been put into place to battle this. For example, Vodafone Malta offers ﬂexitime to most of its employees, enabling them to work remotely, or to shift hours. It has also run internal campaigns focused on empowering women – Lisa herself won the company’s Woman in Red award for encouraging equality and teamwork. This drive is also borne out by the facts. At 30 years old, Lisa occupies the position of Quality, Information
PINKPROMO Security and PMO [Project Management Oﬃce] manager at Vodafone Malta, effectively leading, managing and advising three teams. Her job is on the strategic side, driving vision and improving processes. Most of her day consists of meetings: with her peers to interlink processes and with internal clients to understand requirements. Having started out as an electrical engineer, she moved to the Netherlands after graduation, where she found a job that combined engineering and IT. Eventually, she moved to the UK to pursue an MSc in business informatics from the University of Reading while working in London. Since then she has been working in IT. “IT is a relatively young industry compared to engineering – there’s so much ground to be broken,” she says. “You’re still deﬁning the processes and best practices so it’s very rewarding – with every step, you have the satisfaction of knowing that nothing was laid out for you.” With Vodafone Malta recently being conﬁrmed once again as the Best Network in Test following an independent study by P3 Communications GmbH, there is no doubt that the company is at the cutting edge. The Vodafone mobile network performed the best during test among all local networks in data services, a category that includes web browsing, ﬁle download, ﬁle upload and You Tube. The test also proved the superior
speech quality of voice service across the islands. It’s the challenge and the complexity that keep Lisa going. “I love learning something new every day. For me, it’s the best thing I could ask for.”
a career-minded woman wants to hear is that she got promoted to reach a quota,” says Lisa. “I think the ideal is to take the gender of the person out of the equation – I want to be judged solely on the quality of my work.”
“YOU’RE STILL DEFINING THE PROCESSES AND BEST PRACTICES SO IT’S VERY REWARDING – WITH EVERY STEP, YOU HAVE THE SATISFACTION OF KNOWING THAT NOTHING WAS LAID OUT FOR YOU” So how did she know she wanted to pursue a career in technology? “I come from a family of engineers – my dad and my uncles on both sides of the family are engineers. I always liked to see how things work.” The female stereotypes have, however, still not caught up, she jokes. “Engineering and IT don’t seem to lend themselves to the popular imagination – like doctors, or lawyers. Perhaps, one day, there’ll be the sexy IT geeks on TV. The day will come.” Perhaps… But perhaps it’s also those quietly successful women, actually working in the ﬁeld, who will make the biggest difference, not only by being inspiring role models, but also by mentoring other young women trying to break into the industry and by demonstrating their competence regardless of their gender. In the end, ‘woman-ness’ should just not be an issue. “The risk is also going the other way – the last thing
Still, a supportive setup helps women to redress the balance they would have to battle with due to social pressures to care for homes and children. For Lisa, what would really make a difference is redressing the imbalance between maternity and paternity leave. She points out that during a recent intern day, the majority were women – but this does not translate into actual ﬁgures in the industry. “Something seems to be happening in the gap between when women graduate and when they start working.” Her own story goes to show that women need not be put off. “Every year at Vodafone, I’ve had a different role. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to prove myself – and I’ve found people willing to take a risk on me, who pushed me to trust myself.” Every day she works to see her vision for her teams pan out. “Hopefully, I’ll get more of those opportunities.”
A Balanced Diet
FRESH TURMERIC I’m packed with good stuff Fresh turmeric is pleasantly mild and does not have a sharp bite. On the other hand, it has a very loud colour. in fact, it was traditionally called indian saffron since its deep yelloworange colour is similar. it has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange ﬂesh, with an interesting taste and aroma. its ﬂavour is peppery, warm and bitter, while its fragrance is mild yet slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related. Turmeric is much smaller than ginger. While it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives mustard its bright yellow colour. Fresh turmeric leaves its mark, with hands easily getting stained yellow, so use gloves when chopping.
My nutritional information Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. it is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary ﬁbre and potassium. it has long been used as a powerful anti-inﬂammatory in both Chinese and indian medicine to treat a wide variety of conditions, including ﬂatulence, jaundice, menstrual diﬃculties, bloody urine, haemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain and colic.
By Stephanie Farrugia from the Malta Medical Students Association
A balanced diet varies from one person to another, depending on how active they are. This means that someone who leads a very active lifestyle, for example does exercise frequently, or practices a sport, would require a different balanced diet from someone who does not. The term 'balanced diet' does not refer to some kind of extreme celebrity diet, where you have to deprive yourself from practically all kinds of food and just munch on lettuce all day, every day. That is far from a balanced diet, and in fact, medically speaking, it is a very unhealthy type of diet. A balanced diet is actually not that hard to follow and it means that you eat all kinds of food, from fruits all the way to fats. However, the key most important thing in maintaining a balanced diet
of men suffer from Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome [PVPS] following a vasectomy, meaning they are severely affected and report pain affecting quality of life. [See story on page 28]
is that each of these different kinds of food are taken in adequate amounts, depending on lifestyle, gender and age. So this means that you can still enjoy that piece of chocolate cake every once in a while; just make sure you do not exaggerate on the amount you take. A balanced diet consists of plenty of fruit and vegetables, which are rich in minerals, antioxidants and water, and moderate amounts of bread, rice, and pasta, which contain carbohydrates needed for our body to generate energy. Meats, ﬁsh, legumes and eggs are all good sources of protein and should be taken in moderate amounts. Milk and dairy products such as cheese and yoghurts should also be taken in moderate amounts, and if possible, the lower-fat-containing varieties should be chosen. Finally, intake of foods rich in fat, salt, or sugar should be limited to a few amounts. Do not forget to include around six to eight glasses of water a day to make sure your body stays well hydrated throughout the day.
How to choose me When purchasing fresh turmeric roots, make sure they are ﬁrm, smooth and free of mould. Fresh turmeric is generally available in two forms: either young, or mature. it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. The fresh rhizomes store well if kept dry in the refrigerator: wipe dry if they are damp; wrap them with a paper towel before placing in a ziplock plastic bag. 68 ∫ Pink May 2016
MONTHLY MUSE “When you go through such an ordeal, nobody tells you what to expect. It’s not like they tell you: If you have this symptom, go to page 15. I was feeling so many different things and, for every small detail, I was going to the emergency room.” Melanie Cremona, who had a benign brain tumour removed. [See story on page 14]
Fathers may feel lost Research shows that, after the birth of their child, fathers have diﬃculty adjusting to their responsibilities as parents. As a result of the change, they may often experience strong feelings of powerlessness, anxiety, guilt and low self-esteem.
HOW CAN WE SUPPORT FATHERS MORE
One part of parenting Fathers, just like mothers, need to be supported and taken into account as they too face the challenges of parenthood. Dott. EDWARD CURMI breaks a lance for them. athers play an important role in the wellbeing of their family. They have a way of providing that is unique and irreplaceable. Just like mothers, they need to be supported and taken into account as they too face the challenges of parenthood.
Fathers may suffer from post-natal depression The latest studies are indicating that at least 13 to 15 per cent of fathers have symptoms of postnatal depression. Interestingly, the chances of fathers feeling depressed increases especially when their partners also suffer from post-natal depression.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FATHERS
Fathers can provide invaluable support Fathers can be of great help both to the mother and the child. More and more studies are showing that when fathers are sensitive, engaging and supportive towards their child, they have a positive impact on the latter’s well-being. Also, recent studies conﬁrm that mothers who suffer from post-natal depression stand a better chance of a speedy recovery when their partners are supportive and caring.
Fathers go through biological changes Studies have conﬁrmed that throughout their partner’s pregnancy, most fathers develop higher levels of prolactin and lower levels of testosterone and cortisol. Such biological changes could possibly be a natural process that allows fathers to adjust and become more sensitive and supportive towards their partners and child.
Both the mother and father need to get constant support. Here are a few ideas that can help parents as they enter this exciting phase in life: Perinatal services need to provide more father-friendly measures Today, most services in hospital, especially the antenatal and post-natal, are catering for and encouraging fathers to attend psycho-educational services. However, this philosophy can even be extended to other services such as miscarriage, IVF and neonatal and perinatal intensive care units. This is just one way of normalising and encouraging fathers to take a more active role in the family. Help them adjust Becoming a parent is not a walk in the park. It is essential to help couples improve their communication with one another. They need to spend quality time together. Teaching them to respect one another and share their experiences can only help them face future challenges. Teach them about the impact they have as a parent and partner More often than not, fathers may feel left out and useless.
Such thoughts and feelings may stem from insecurity. However, the truth of the matter is that the role of a father is crucial to the family as a whole. Help them stay positive Parents need constant support and positive feedback. Friends, family and professionals need to constantly praise and encourage them throughout such a sensitive stage in their life. When parents feel competent and reassured, their self-eﬃcacy increases and this is bound to have a positive effect on their approach around their child. Teach them how to be more sensitive towards the child and mother Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, but in reality, what parents need to learn more is how to interact and especially play with their children. For some mothers and fathers, this comes naturally, but unfortunately, it is not the case with all parents. Today, psychological interventions such as Video Interactive Guidance [VIG] are making a difference by providing tools that can help parents who have serious diﬃculty bonding with their children. This sort of intervention allows fathers and mothers to improve communication while building a healthy attachment with their children. The results of such an approach are pretty impressive, and in return, allow more children to feel safe and cared for in the world. Dott. Edward Curmi is a registered clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and author of the book Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being, and its newly launched sequel More Common Sense: a Better Understanding of Emotional Well-being, available from Agenda Bookshops.
Pink May 2016 ∫ 71
KID COMMUNICATION “Children should be seen and not heard.” These are familiar words, but how do they hold up against current child developmental theories? Educational and child psychologist Dr STEPHANIE SATARIANO finds out, quoting research that shows newborns are not just passive beings; they even have opinions!
ll adults start off as children; all adults have emotions, needs, wants and desires. So do these suddenly develop at a certain age? Or are we born with them? There is a large body of research that has found that we are born with a core set of emotions and basic needs. From the moment we are born, we can feel a range of emotions and these
slowly develop and reﬁne over the ﬁrst few years of life. Furthermore, it is well established that babies are born with an instinctive desire to communicate. We are social beings, and from the moment we enter the world, there is a drive to communicate with those around us. A beautifully crafted study
shows that babies only a few minutes old imitate their parents’ facial expressions, including something as complicated as sticking out their tongue. This tells us that newborns are not just passive beings; they have intrinsic desires and abilities that indicate they have needs and even opinions. And if a newborn is born with such a capacity, what does that say for older children?
“IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT BABIES ARE BORN WITH AN INSTINCTIVE DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE”
Pink May 2016 ∫ 73
PARENTINGTIPS Children are amazing and more capable than most adults realise; they have inner emotions, needs and wants that may differ from their parents’. The truth is that parents have a very diﬃcult job; children take a few years to develop their communication skills, yet their needs and wants start from the moment they are born. Therefore, parents have to engage in mindreading to understand what their children need at every given moment. Such abilities are so important that a mass of literature has developed around them and they been termed ‘mind-mindedness’ and ‘mentalisation’. These concepts, and the theory around them, highlight the importance of the parent developing a concept of the child’s mind in their own mind; so alongside their own emotional states, they will have developed a clear representation and understanding of what they perceive and believe their child is feeling, thinking and needing. This is no easy
task, particularly given that parenting is a tiring and stressful role, and often, being aware of their own needs, feelings and thoughts is a struggle. However, developing such skills is worth the effort. A robust body of research shows that the most important factor in a child’s healthy development is a positive parent-child relationship, characterised by warm, loving interactions in which parents and other
Parenting is a tough and lifelong job; and it is the most important job in the world. Parents are the pillars of their child’s development and well-being; not just when they are solely dependent on them, but also as they grow. Children have an instinctive bond with their parents that never goes away; this bond makes them consistently seek an interaction and relationship with their parents due to
“PARENTS HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT JOB; CHILDREN TAKE A FEW YEARS TO DEVELOP THEIR COMMUNICATION SKILLS, YET THEIR NEEDS AND WANTS START FROM THE MOMENT THEY ARE BORN” caregivers sensitively respond to their child’s cues. At the heart of sensitive parenting is the importance of being in the moment with children, following their lead and being attentive to their cues and behaviour. It involves taking the time to understand their point of view of the situation and the world.
a need to feel safe and secure. It is the parents’ role to ensure that this relationship is sensitive and nurturing, taking on board the needs of their child, so as to support their well-being. Regardless of the child’s age – from newborn until adulthood – parents are parents, a role that is irreplaceable.
Trade Enquiries: Vivian Corporation Tel: 22588600 www.viviancorp.com FB: Rimmel London â€“ Malta
THE VIRGINIA MONOLOGUES
THE TRAVELLING PARADOX
espite the hype and obvious allure, time has taught me that there are numerous paradoxes inherent in travelling overseas. You travel because you need a holiday and because you want to unwind, kick back and relax. But then, as all of us know, holidays are very rarely relaxing. They’re actually hard work and that’s before they’ve even started. Even just planning a holiday can be painstakingly laborious – a chore by any other name. Starting with the flights, hotels, transfers and even the choice of destination – unless, of course, you are content to sit back and leave everything to a travel agent. But there’s also a limit to how much you can leave to the agent. You still have to pack your suitcases, lug them all over the place, deal with airport security and get to your destination, which, let’s face it, ain’t a picnic. And unless you relish the prospect of lying on a beach all day, sipping pina coladas, then sightseeing, getting from A to B and restaurant to restaurant, can be nerve-racking and rather demanding.
People joke that they usually need a short break after a holiday, but it’s not really funny, or that big a joke. I know that I always do. So much so that even when I only intend going on a four-day break, I usually take a whole week off from work and leave it free of appointments. That way, I get a couple of days off afterwards and can unpack, settle down and get back in the swing of things in peace. “IN MUCH THE SAME WAY THAT CLUTTERED FRIDGES, PACKED WITH EXPIRED JARS, OFTEN YIELD NOTHING BY WAY OF A DECENT MEAL, DRAWERS AND SHELVES CRAMMED WITH LAST YEAR’S POLO NECKS AND OUTDATED, 20-YEAR-OLD SKIRTS YOU REALLY DON’T EVER WANT TO WEAR, EVER AGAIN, CAN NEVER MAKE FOR A HEALTHY WARDROBE”
What is the point of coming back to a sea of unread e-mails, urgent meetings and rush, rush, rush? It completely neutralises and ruins whatever fun you have had on holiday. So yes, I always make it a point to finish off my holiday at home. And it’s usually the most relaxing part. There are other paradoxes that may not be immediately obvious, but which I have often marvelled at. My favourite one is the what-to-wear clothes paradox. Because let’s face Pink May 2016 ∫ 77
GIRLTALK it, most of us are used to staring at a wardrobe full of clothes every day of our lives and never really knowing what to wear on any given day, and then invariably choosing to wear the same three or four items. When you have to pack clothes for a week, which clothes to take is always a small dilemma. And yet, it isn’t really. Because you will settle for three or four of your favourite tops, a couple of bottoms and mixing and matching within the limits of a very select few items. And the strangest part is that, even then, you will probably wear half of the stuff you’ve brought along. While some of that is down to the fact that you will buy new stuff on holiday, it goes deeper. I think the moral of the story is that we don’t really need all that many clothes in our wardrobes to get by. Once you’ve got the basics, it’s very easy to look good with minimal effort. And I always find that less is more in this department. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that the reason most people look good on holiday is quite simply because they have only packed a few of their most prized possessions; that they don’t have to compete and contend with all that wardrobe clutter, which gets in the way of you looking your best. In the same way that blood clots block blood circulation, too many bloody clothes can disrupt a person’s dress sense. In much the same way that cluttered fridges, packed with expired jars, often yield nothing by way of a decent meal, drawers and shelves crammed with last year’s polo necks
and outdated, 20-year-old skirts you really don’t ever want to wear, ever again, can never make for a healthy wardrobe. It’s funny how living in the past is never a good thing and can override the future, even when it comes to your wardrobe. And of course, when you go on holiday, you’d never dream of packing the skirt that has been sitting in your wardrobe since circa 1998, or the thick polo neck you are keeping on the off-chance that, next year, the temperature will suddenly drop to 10 below zero… Which is why when you’re lying down in your hotel room, thinking of what you should wear, and you open the door to your mirrored, sliding, perfectly non-stick Hülsta wardrobe, you never risk coming face to face with the useless and worn out items you’ve been wanting to throw away for years. On the contrary, the bare minimum minimalism has a wonderfully freeing and liberating effect and probably accounts for the reason why people feel they want to shop when on holiday. Because there’s so much empty space in their wardrobes! It has often been said that to own more than the minimum is to burden yourself with extra worry. We apparently wear 20 per cent of our wardrobe 80 per cent of the time. The rest is either unflattering, uncomfortable, or worn out. The clothes we take on holiday are usually the flattering ones – the stylish ones with the most presence and value, which are easier to co-ordinate. That is why we tend to look better on holiday and always feel so much lighter, even though we eat more – another paradox if ever there was one. And there you have it.
THINKPI FOOD, FASHION & HINS
FINEST QUALITY BISCUITS Devon has been established since 1982 and today offers an extensive range of chocolate-coated, cream-ﬁlled, semisweet biscuits, cookies and crackers. In 2005, Devon added the Healthline range, which offers sugar-free products and water crackers with omega3 and omega-6. Recently, it launched Cereal Bars under the Healthline range, with Original, Forest Fruits and Chocolate ﬂavours. Devon is the market leader on the Maltese islands, offering 36 products. These are manufactured by Consolidated Biscuit Co. Ltd, which is BRC-certiﬁed – internationally recognised as one of the most effective safety control systems in the food industry. www.cbiscuits.com
CONTROLLING ASTHMA Asthma is a common and treatable disease, which can impact heavily on quality of life. Medical experts now agree that the level of asthma control is key to determining the best asthma treatment required. In Europe, at least 50 per cent of patients have poor control of their asthma, despite the availability of treatments to help manage it. For World Asthma Day 2016, held on May 3, GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] Malta launched a new and improved website to provide asthma sufferers and their doctors with a useful score to help them determine the level of treatment required. The Asthma Control Test has been conceived by asthma experts and scientiﬁcally tested on hundreds of asthmatic sufferers. Its features include compatibility with any digital device with internet access, reduced test time, printable results, and availability for both children and adults. GSK contributed to the development of the test and Maltese patients are encouraged to take it. www.asthmacontroltest.com
UNLEASH THE WILD SIDE Magnum, the ﬁrst name in pleasure, has announced the much anticipated return of its most indulgent range, Magnum Doubles. This year’s selection comes roaring back with more splendour than ever before and taps right into current sensation trends. Adding to its premium collection is a decadent new Peanut Butter ﬂavour, which joins the hugely popular Double Chocolate and Double Caramel ﬂavours in the range. Each ﬂavour is created for those moments of pure luxury, inspired directly by that part within every personality that seeks to make each moment of indulgence count. Magnum invites ice cream fans to unleash their wild side, release their inner beast and ‘Dare to go Double’ by awakening their senses with a combination of ﬂavours and textures. Follow the oﬃcial Magnum page at Facebook.com/MagnumMalta to explore your wild side!
NEGRONI WEEK Negroni Week, presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, will take place from June 6 to12, when once again, bars around the world will mix their favourite Negroni variations and collectively donate a portion of proceeds from each one sold to charity. Join Negroni Week in Malta by visiting Facebook.com/camparimalta for a full list of localities and participating bars, where you will be able to donate to Hospice Malta. And, of course, be sure to enjoy a great Negroni! Campari is marketed and distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Co. Ltd [2381 4400].
MEET HENRY NO WASHING LEFT BEHIND The days of forgetting to put garments in the wash are over thanks to Samsung’s innovative new AddWash washing machine, which makes it easy to add laundry in mid-cycle. We’ve all been there: we’ve just set the weekly wash to go, and then ﬁnd a sock, or a few towels lying on the bathroom ﬂoor. Samsung has come up with a unique and painless solution to tackle this annoying problem. It has an extra door located on the upper part, which makes it possible to add any missed pieces of clothing – and even extra detergent, or fabric softener – at any point during the wash cycle. This is yet another example of Samsung’s innovation that makes people’s lives easier. Discover the new Samsung AddWash at any SoundMachine outlet in B’Kara, Qormi, Paola, Fgura, Mosta and Victoria, Gozo. www.soundmachine.com.mt
The Henry London story began with two young and successful fashion designers, exploring London’s many vintage districts, searching for inspiration. On one such visit to the famous Portobello Road street market in London’s Notting Hill, one of them came across an old, beautifully styled, classic, Swiss wristwatch, which had the words ‘Henry, August 1965’ enigmatically engraved on the case back. Although suffering the ravages of time, the watch still typiﬁed the craftsmanship and quality of a bygone age. She just had to wear it. Meeting up with her partner later that day, he loved the watch every bit as much as she did. Again, he was inspired by the attention to detail only found in high-end, luxury watches. He just had to wear it. With both of them wanting to wear this priceless possession, the couple started to think about the possibilities of reinventing Henry’s watch for today’s generation… The brand is available from Sunlab and VIP shops.
COOL DESIGNS & EXCLUSIVE PRINTS GOCCO’s 2016 spring/summer collection is in store. The Spanish kids’ clothing brand this season continues with its evolution towards cool designs with exclusive prints and a wide range of garments inspired by the most emblematic neighbourhoods of New York City. It ranges from the Hamptons collection, inspired by holidays and long, fun days, to Tribeca, made up of garments that give off a hippy, boho vibe, and also to the neutral tones that can be found in Soho, a line in which natural, earthy colours like greys, taupe and beige predominate. No summer would be complete without the swimwear line, including bottoms, bikinis and swimsuits with sailor and geometric prints. GOCCO in High Street, Sliema, is open from Monday to Saturday between 9.30am and 7pm. Call on 2767 6711; check out the GOCCO Facebook page. 82 ∫ Pink May 2016
TABLETALK METHOD Steam the rice in a rice cooker. For the curry In a hot and dry pan, dry roast for about 30 seconds the bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, coriander, Nigella seeds and cinnamon. Remove the cardamom seeds from their pod. Place the roasted spices and seeds in a spice grinder and process until smooth. Drizzle some coconut oil in a medium to hot pan and sauté the spices until fragrant. Add the spring onion, garlic and ginger and lower the temperature. Sauté for approximately ﬁve minutes, or until the spring onion is cooked through. Add the creamed coconut. Add the ﬁsh stock and let the curry simmer for about 15 minutes. Blend the curry with a handheld blender, adding more stock if necessary to adjust consistency.
INGREDIENTS Serves 4
SPICE & RICE MARIA CACHIA deconstructs her fish curry.
300g short grain rice such as Japanese rice, or wholegrain short grain rice 3 bay leaves 2 whole cloves 6 peppercorns 5 green cardamom pods ½ tsp coriander seeds ½ tsp Nigella seeds 4cm piece cinnamon bark 2 tbsp coconut oil 4 spring onions, ﬁnely chopped 2 cloves garlic, ﬁnely chopped ½ tsp freshly grated ginger 50g creamed coconut 100ml ﬁsh stock 4 zucchini 1 tsp freshly grated turmeric 700g fresh sea bass, or any other ﬁrm ﬁsh, ﬁlleted
For the zucchini Remove both ends of the zucchini and grate them into strands using a spiraliser. In a hot pan, drizzle a tablespoon of coconut oil, add the turmeric and the zucchini. Cook for ﬁve minutes. For the ﬁsh In a hot pan, cook the ﬁsh, skin side down, for a minute, season, turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Cooking time depends on ﬁsh type and thickness. To assemble the curry, place a few tablespoons of the sauce at the base. Add the cooked rice on top. Using a fork, twist a few strands of zucchini and gently place on top of the rice, a few strands at a time. Place the ﬁsh on top of the zucchini. Pink May 2016 ∫ 83
Style icon This microcar is not only the Smartest, but also the smallest cabriolet on the market. ANDREA FAYE CHRISTIANS is pleased to meet the newest kid on the block.
he Smart car has been a trailblazer in the microcar scene since its launch in the late 1990s. Now, however, it can add the fact that it is the smallest cabriolet on the market to its long list of accomplishments. The name Smart comes from an early collaboration between Swatch and Mercedes. As a corporate brand, it uses the name combined with the letter c to signify compact and an arrow to represent forward thinking. It is certainly all these things and this latest development is a fun option on a car that is ideally suited to suburban Malta. Indeed, should the sun become too hot, or should it start to rain, the hood can close in just 12 seconds, with no compromise on space as it has been designed to fold into itself. Smart does everything well and the design of this cabriolet is no exception.
It has always had a futuristic feel, and word has it a robot called Tanja, with sensors in her head and neck, was used to make sure everything was just right. I have to admit that made me smile and I’d like to think she was fashionably dressed and wearing designer sunglasses when she was put through the
the 2016 new Smart Fortwo has had a facelift, I must admit to being a bit unsure of the whole front grill look as it is rather reminiscent of a grinning Pokerman character. However, there are some other changes that merit a mention. Most notably, this new model is also a tad wider and slightly stockier than its siblings, but the length is still there, making it ideal for parking sideways, if needs be – much to the annoyance of local traﬃc wardens. There are four versions of the Smart Fortwo. The four Ps come in the form of the Pure, Passion, Prime and Proxy. I’m driving the Prime version, and despite it being a particularly blustery day, with the windows up, it is an overall pleasant driving experience and there is a deﬁnite improvement on earlier models. This really is a fun car, designed speciﬁcally with an urban lifestyle in mind. Consequently, long speedy stretches are really not its strongpoint – anyone expecting this of a Smart would be disappointed. But to be fair, it is still a nippy city car that is eager to please. It has always had a strong appeal to the younger market, with its obvious drawback being that it is a two seater. But it can also be a great second car simply because of its size and manoeuvrability. When it comes to the Smart, people seem to fall into two camps – those who love them and those who loathe them. However, many of the gripes
“WORD HAS IT A ROBOT CALLED TANJA, WITH SENSORS IN HER HEAD AND NECK, WAS USED TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WAS JUST RIGHT” wind test. Havings said that, there’s no need to be sexist here. Tanja could easily have been Tom as there are plenty of men who drive Smarts – its sheer practicality and incredible turning capabilities make it appeal to both sexes. On the subject of looks, there have been a number of changes. The new car is deﬁnitely perky. While the bonnet of
associated with it do seem to have been addressed with this new model. Starting at €18,800, it may not be the cheapest around, but along with being a brand, it is a style icon too. And if this appeals, then it is undoubtedly a good choice. Almost two decades on, the Smart still remains the most instantly recognisable microcar on the market. Pink May 2016 ∫ 85
THE BUSINESS OF BALLET Ballet teacher Sandrina Spiteri-Gonzi, founder and artistic director of Ballet Intensive International, has studied the links between professional dancers and creative entrepreneurs to investigate how skills acquired through dance training can be transferable to creative entrepreneurship.
ost kids in Malta do ballet as an extracurricular activity, not full time. Come the age of O levels etc…, they tend to drop out to focus on their studies. What is your message to children – and their parents – on these lines? Yes, it can be frustrating as a teacher, to see students in class diminish during exam time; more so to see them drop out entirely, especially if they are talented. However, ballet is not for everyone, it’s extremely challenging and diﬃcult and it is impossible to do it without a burning passion. I know how easy it is to get burnt out and want to give up. You’ve got to keep pushing, you’ve got to believe in yourself and you’ve got to be ready to push your body and mind to its limits. It is also really important to try and ﬁnd a healthy balance – spending hours on one thing can be counterproductive. What added dimension did your university degree in Dance Studies give you and your ballet training? And how do your further studies in business and entrepreneurship come into play? My dance degree helped me to strengthen my knowledge in dance theory and practice and develop other areas such as contemporary and choreography, allowing for more exploration and creativity. It has also been a stepping stone academically as it enabled me to start a Master’s degree in creativity and entrepreneurship. This has opened other doors for me and has broadened my knowledge in a lot of useful areas, such as business innovation, leadership, start-ups and branding. While it is perhaps not the conventional route, I feel the blend of the two areas has been beneﬁcial. My thesis, 88 ∫ Pink May 2016
for example, is a study of 10 international professional dancers who are also entrepreneurs. It studies the links between professional dancers and creative entrepreneurs and further aims to investigate how skills acquired through dance training can be transferable to creative entrepreneurship. This has been very interesting for me and I have learnt so much from it. What made you set up the Ballet Intensive International in 2014, and how hard is it to bring over guest teachers from top ballet companies? I am lucky as my vocational training abroad gave me the opportunity to live and learn alongside today’s generation of emerging classical dancers, so in this regard, I form part of the dance community overseas and it has been easier for me to source these wonderful guest teachers. The reason why I left Malta 10 years ago was to pursue ballet professionally, so I always knew that there was a lack of pre-professional ballet training on the island. I decided to found Ballet Intensive International after returning to Malta recently and teaching in a number of different schools. I wanted to share my expe-
SNAPSHOT riences with young aspiring dancers and do something to improve the opportunities for classical ballet on the island. Ballet Intensive International aims to expose dancers in Malta to pre-professional training and give young aspiring dancers the opportunity to learn from professional dancers from the world’s leading ballet companies. What’s the most important thing students get out of this two-week course? Ballet Intensive International gives young dancers the chance to work with professional dancers from the world’s most renowned ballet companies. So far, our guest teachers have included Laurretta Summerscales, principal at English National Ballet, Tierney Heap, ﬁrst artist at The Royal Ballet, Sasha Mukhamedov, soloist at Dutch National Ballet, and Mari Kawanishi, artist at Staatsballett Berlin. This year, guest teachers include Yasmine Naghdi, soloist at The Royal Ballet, and Ruth Brill, ﬁrst artist at Birmingham Royal Ballet. Having the chance to learn from these exceptional artists is really the most beneﬁcial aspect of the programme. How would you describe opportunities for dancers in Malta? Things are changing. We now have a National Dance Company and also a Junior Dance Company that has just been launched. We have both a Dance Studies undergraduate and a Master’s degree at University of Malta. This was not the case ﬁve years ago. However, overall, opportunities for classical ballet dancers in Malta are still limited. Even if dancers are hoping to join modern or contemporary companies, a good classical training is so important, and a lot of the time, they have to travel overseas to get it. The ballet training offered in Malta at the moment is solely based on educational learning, with examinations and graded syllabus. Most dancers are doing ballet as a hobby and those students who wish to take up ballet more seriously are not catered for much.
“MOST DANCERS ARE DOING BALLET AS A HOBBY AND THOSE STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TAKE UP BALLET MORE SERIOUSLY ARE NOT CATERED FOR MUC” How does ballet affect the rest of your lifestyle? How dedicated do you need to be and how much do you feel you have to give up to get far in this ﬁeld? When you are dancing at a professional level, ballet, speciﬁcally, really does take over your entire life. It is a vocation and it is not possible to make it to the top unless you completely dedicate yourself to the art form. It is an extremely competitive profession. It is a risk you need to take. I, for example, left Malta at 13 to go to a vocational school in the
UK. Academics stopped at 16 and we trained from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Forget boyfriends and parties! You’ve got to make sacriﬁces from a young age; you’ve got to be extremely disciplined. Who is the most inspirational dancer you have ever met? Who is your mentor? For me, one of the nicest things about starting Ballet Intensive International is the fact that I get to reconnect with old friends with whom I trained at Elmhurst and the English National Ballet School. They are all such an inspiration and it is great to see them teach dancers in Malta. It is amazing
to see them again, almost 10 years later, and to see the amazing things they have accomplished; to see that they have achieved their dreams of becoming professional dancers. I truly know how hard it is to get to where they are – it’s incredible. They remind me that if you work hard, you can achieve; you can be successful. I don’t have a mentor as such, but I always try to surround myself with people who share similar goals; people who I respect and who I can learn from. I think that is really important.
What has your ballet training given you and what has it taken away? My ballet training has given me a number of skills that I have been able to transfer to both personal and business ventures. It has taught me to constantly strive for excellence, how to handle criticism effectively, how to cope under pressure and it has given me my artistic and creative ﬂair, which has helped me to have a competitive edge in my business ventures. I have deﬁnitely sacriﬁced a lot for dance, especially when I was younger. However, it has all been worth it and I would not have it any other way. The third Ballet Intensive International is being held from July 25 to August 5 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. www.balletintensiveinternational.com
Pink May 2016 ∫ 89
THE FUTURE IS
PINK ARIES MARCH 20-APRIL 18 Few things irritate you more than dealing with those who are secretive and, worse, who you know are manipulating arrangements that will, ultimately, inﬂuence your life. Yet, annoying as this is, your instincts are correctly telling you their intentions are good. Knowing that, instead of battling to regain control, busy yourself dealing with the dull but increasingly pressing practical matters you never seem to have time for. Tackle them now and once others’ efforts bear fruit, you’ll be free to enjoy the beneﬁts.
CANCER JUNE 20-JULY 21 As June begins, it may seem that, every day, some element of your life is coming undone. Yet, deep down, you sense these changes are clearing away clutter, in some cases practical, in others, involving relationships, and in yet others, emotional. That’s true. Observe what’s going on and learn about what doesn’t work in your life and, more important, what does. While this is merely interesting now, by early July, the resulting insights will clarify the life-changing decisions you’ll be making then.
LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 21 Usually, you’re the one who’s encouraging others, from family and friends to colleagues, to pursue both personal and more worldly goals and objectives. As much as you enjoy this, you sometimes need somebody to talk to. But now, with promising ideas or offers appearing, you’re seeking trusted and wise guidance. Choose those individuals carefully, seeking those whose judgment you’re conﬁdent is reliable. By late June, you’ll be making decisions, some life-changing, and you’ll be thankful for the clarity these individuals offer.
CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21-JANUARY 19 Letting go of existing arrangements, personal, or professional, isn’t easy. You’re in a process of growth and change, which means saying farewell to certain familiar, and possibly reassuring, elements of your life. Intriguingly, it seems you’re already aware of what’s next, yet are awaiting some sort of guarantee. You’ll get it, but must ﬁrst break away from those restrictive habits, or alliances. Facing doubts? Think of times in the past when you made similar changes and they worked brilliantly. They will now too. 90 ∫ Pink May 2016
According to astrologer SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL… TAURUS
APRIL 19-MAY 19 Sometimes, minor obstacles are no more than that. Now, however, they’re an invitation to explore new ideas, or consider potential changes that you’ve already dismissed, possibly more than once. As a Taurus and an earth sign, you’re cautious. While often this is wise, at the moment you’re unwittingly preventing progress in your own life, work, or relationships. These developments are encouraging you to at least explore these. Once you learn more about them, you’ll wonder why you hesitated for even a moment.
MAY 20-JUNE 19 As an inquisitive Gemini, you thrive on change. If life is dull, you’ll shake things up. However you won’t be at all happy about sudden events that force you to rethink your daily routine or career. This is partly because you feel you’ve lost control. But also, these developments are taking you into new and unfamiliar territory. Instead of avoiding what’s arisen, explore. You’ll soon realise that if you’re willing to be more ﬂexible, you’ll beneﬁt in wonderful ways, now and in the future.
JULY 22-AUGUST 21 The sudden changes and obstacles you encounter during June’s ﬁrst half are annoying. But each is about reshaping circumstances, or accenting situations that need a rethink, if not substantial changes. Although initially this will seem a nuisance, within days, you’ll be so fascinated with the people and ideas you’re encountering, you’ll forget about those diﬃculties. The next step is letting go of several longstanding arrangements. Here too, if you struggle initially, once they’re gone, you’ll feel an amazing new freedom.
AUGUST 22-SEPTEMBER 21 Once you understand that June is a changeable month, instead of making plans and anticipating they’ll proceed as expected, you’ll adopt a far more easygoing approach, both to arrangements and your own objectives. Initially, this might seem a compromise. When you realise you’re free to go along with frequent, and often exciting, changes, however, you’ll be thrilled. Better yet, you’re able to venture into new territory in terms of your activities, and even more, the ideas you pursue and people you meet.
OCTOBER 22-NOVEMBER 20 Ordinarily, you’d deal with the setbacks indicated by June’s planetary setup by focusing on keeping things as they are. However, each obstacle is offering you an opportunity to rethink existing arrangements, or undo misunderstandings, or problems from the past. True, this could mean making sudden changes, or moving into unfamiliar territory. Risky as that seems, your instincts will reassure you how wise this is. Still, taking that ﬁrst step is the challenge. After that, things will get easier by the day.
NOVEMBER 21-DECEMBER 20 As June begins, you’re facing obstacles in the form of objections by certain unimaginative individuals to your ideas and, equally, both existing plans and newer ventures going wrong. Instead of battling these, learn from each. Ask others why they’re concerned and, equally, probe the source of problems. This won’t just be informative; the resulting insights are preparing you for the amazing cycle of growth and opportunity that begins with the Sagittarius Full Moon on June 20 and just gets better by the day.
JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18 Being a clever air sign, when new ideas or offers arise, you’ll ask lots of questions, think things through, discuss your ideas with those you respect, and only then, consider making decisions. Yet with early June’s complex planetary setup, you’ll face lots of confusion, but ﬁnd few of the solid facts you’re seeking. Worse, moving ahead would mean saying farewell to familiar activities, friends, or work. Yet by late in the month, amazing offers will give you good reason to do exactly that.
FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 19 Sometimes, obstacles are no more than that – problems to be overcome. However, those you encounter during June are about confronting either unresolved past issues, some of which are making you feel guilty, while a few are about giving serious thought to timely changes. Much of what’s being discussed is exciting, yet you’re anxious about those who you’d be leaving behind. Actually, that’s the point. Certain situations and individuals have held you back for too long. Now it’s your turn to come ﬁrst.
Visit www.shelleyvonstrunckel.com to learn more and order your own chart.