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The master of strings


Six cocktail recipes to cool your summer

August 2017- Issue 92


Editorial Issue 90 - August 2017 VIDA Magazine is a monthly lifestyle magazine distributed with MaltaToday on the first Sunday of the month. It aims to empower the people to lead a better, healthier and happier life. Publisher

Editor’s note Holiday season is upon us. August is a time for everyone to slow down a little, re-charge, and spend some time with family and friends enjoying the sun, the sea and a little bit of party spirit.

Focused Knowledge Ltd Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe Tel: (+356) 2339 2238 Fax: (+356) 2339 2247

Nothing gets the party going quite like a cocktail, whether you’re sipping them by the pool, as the sun sets and you’re getting ready for dinner – aperitivo style, or late into the night to keep the party going. We have some great cocktail recipes that will be the life of any party.


But summer doesn’t have to be all parties and spend, spend, spend. We are blessed to live on an island where there are plenty of ways to while away the evening without breaking the bank.

Claire Ciantar

August means lots of people are taking holidays, some of which are away from our shores. If you’re planning a trip why not have a look at Marc Casolani’s review of Kings Canyon in Australia. If you want to stay closer to home, while also escaping the torturous temperatures of mid-summer, then check out Dyrhólaey, in Iceland. Mandy Farrugia’s got the scoop. We hope you enjoy this edition of Vida magazine and look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions.

Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Layout, design & illustration

Advertising Tel: (+356) 2339 2232 (+356) 2339 2234

It is understood that all material supplied by agents (printed or otherwise) to promote their products is supplied with all necessary permissions for reproduction. Whilst great care and attention has been taken by the editorial team to ensure accuracy of text, advertising and other published matter, we disclaim all responsibility for any omissions and errors. The editor and publisher do not necessarily agree with views expressed in articles, adverts, letters, or other content appearing in this publication.

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August 2017 Issue 92


Contents Steve Hili is king of the cars

Getting the right shot under the surface

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Marc Casolani is trekking around Kings Canyon


Cheap ways to spend a summer evening


The story behind Santa Marija


Making your office space work for you


The trendy slogan tee


Balenciaga: Shaping today’s fashion industry 24 The rocky cliffs of Iceland’s Dyrhólaey Master of strings, Tony Pace



Decoding food labels


What’s on this August


Celebrating happy hour


This summer’s relationship with animals in film


When to talk to your kids about sexuality


Summer in motorsports


Column STEVE HILI You may have seen him on stage, heard him on the radio, or laughed at his lack of colourcoordination (he’s the one walking down the street with the orange shorts and pink shirt). He is loud, hairy, controversial and… well… different!


Car king

I am not very good with cars. It is not so much the driving that I have a problem with. I am alright at that. And truth be told I am pretty good at doing the other things that you should know how to do in a car. You know, like putting the windows down or turning on the radio. No trouble at all.

Now chivalry (and John) is my middle name. So of course I stopped. ‘Could you help me with my car troubles?’ she asked. Innocently. ‘No. I don’t know anything about cars. I once tried to jump-start a battery but put the positive thingy on the negative bit and created a bang instead.’

The problems occur when I try to do underneath-thebonnet type things. The sort of things my dad could do with his eyes closed.

That is what I should have said. But because I am a man, what I actually said was: ‘Yeah, sure.’ And so I went to look inside this lady’s bonnet (not a euphemism).

The sort of things that society has told us are “manly”. I do not subscribe to any of this “manly” rubbish of course. (‘Good job’ yells out Kat.) But a lot of people do. It seems like it is automatically ingrained in so many minds.

After having stood there for ten minutes with my hands on my hips going ‘hmmmm’, the car-lady (who I later found out was called Claire) asked me what I thought the issue was.

And this was proved recently when I was on my morning jog (this body doesn’t just keep itself) and passed a woman I had never met before, who was standing next to an obviously broken-down car. I nodded at her in the time-honoured greeting and jogged by. But then she called out to me. ‘Excuse me, could you help me?’

‘The issue is, I have no idea how any of this stuff works. I am just looking at an engine and making a “hmmmm” sound.’ Is what I should have said. Instead I said ‘Must be your alternator’. Alternator? ALTERNATOR? I do not know why I said this. At that point in my life I did not even know what an alternator was. (I do now. It is “an electrical generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of alternating current.” Thanks Wikipedia.)

“I have no idea how any of this stuff works” ‘Oh’ she said. ‘Can you just like, change that?’ ‘Erm, sure’ I answered. Again with no reason to do so. And with that I proceeded to stick my arm into the car engine and just yank at things (again, not a euphemism).

And then it dawned on me. I was trying to prove something to myself. I was trying to prove that I could do all the “manly” things that come so easily to the rugged macho human male. Because I am as much of a tough guy as Mr. T or Macgyver. And to prove it I was going to pull something out of a car engine and pretend to know that it was the alternator. Not only that, I was going to look cool whilst doing it. So as I was pulling away (behave) with one hand, I used the other to get my bottle of water from my back pocket. And I took a swig. In the process of drinking from my water bottle, I knocked the bonnet with my head. Making it come crashing down. Onto my still alternator-pulling other hand. Causing me to scream in pain and fall to the ground.

I started to ask myself why I was doing this. I don’t usually do good deeds for no reason at all. And I was pretty sure I didn’t fancy her. (And anyway as a happily married man even if I did fancy her, I would deny it in an article that I know Kat reads.)

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As I lay the street with blood pouring out my hand. Claire looked confused. ‘Maybe you should just call a mechanic? Oh and a doctor whilst you are at it.’

Is what I should have said. And I did.

August 2017 Issue 92



Photography Claire Ciantar has a BA Degree in Communications. She is a model with a passion for design, fashion, sports and photography.

Flat Lay, or should we call it Knolling?

A photographer’s job is to tell a story in just one picture. A portrait tells the story of a person’s life, while a landscape image can tell the story of a place. Whatever the subject composition is paramount when getting your picture to tell a story. A quick browse through Instragram will reveal a trend in composition of objects neatly laid out against stark, neutral backgrounds. These photos are taken from above and arranged in such a way that viewers can see everything at once, allowing the viewer to browse the objects, while keeping the image aesthetically pleasing as whole. This particular way of taking photos is known as knolling. The definition of knolling is "the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organisation". I personally love knolling and have seen some great examples of knolling photography on the web recently.

CHOOSE A COLOUR PALETTE It helps to choose 2-3 unifying colours. This helps provide your image with a consistent theme. Speaking of colours, choose a neutral background, like a basic white, or, depending on your subject, a wood floor, desk, or table. If your content calls for it, pavement or earth can work well, too.

TELLING A STORY Flat lay is compelling because it brings a lot of disparate elements together. But it’s also about the narrative of your image, as conveyed by the things you select, and how you place them. It can be something as simple as “Sunday Brunch” or as expansive as “my trip to Europe,” but your photo should tell a story, and not only showcase a collection of items. 6 Issue 92 August 2017


Empty Space

The best light is a soft, overhead light that’s bright enough to illuminate your image, but doesn’t blow out lighter colours. Avoid the urge to use a high-powered lamp to brighten the image; as long as you have enough light, you can raise the saturation afterward, when editing. Simply go outside, preferably in the morning, before the sun comes out in full force. The ideal weather conditions are a cloudy, overcast day, since you’ll get more neutral, balanced light.

When shooting flat lays, photographers often incorporate one larger item that anchors your image. The goal is for this primary element to unite the other, more disparate parts of your image. Try the opposite – using a blank space to unite your image and make it more interesting.

EDIT YOUR FLAT LAY IN POST After you’ve arranged and snapped pictures of your flat lay array, you’ll want to spiff them up in post-production. You can really add to your image by applying filters that increase your photo’s detail, highlight the colours you’ve chosen, and make the background of your image look more compelling. You can, focus on simple image correction and increase your photo’s brightness to make the colours pop a bit more, or adjust your image’s structure and contrast.


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Photography It turns out that the trend of knolling actually has a surprisingly long history. The first person to knoll was Andrew Kromelow, a janitor at Frank Gehry's furniture store. At the time, Gehry was designing for a popular furniture brand called Knoll, a company that was legendary for creating very angular furniture. At the end of his work days, Kromelow would go through the store and find any tools that had been left out. He would then rearrange the tools on a flat surface so they were at right angles to one another. He called this knolling, because it reminded him of the angles in Florence Knoll's furniture pieces.

So the next time you see your favourite Instagram celebrity, brand, or style blogger showcasing their beautifully laid out products, now you’ll know what to call it and hopefully, you've been inspired to do some knolling on your own.

Knolling soon evolved to encompass anything laid out neatly. It is not restricted to your Instagram feed either. This style of lay out has become popular in magazine spreads that showcase a variety of items in a clean and clear way. Companies are also using this format for promotional purposes and artists in their own work. Some big brands that are particularly fond of this type of photography include GAP and Sephora, as they entice a younger generation to follow their new collections. And knolling today is not just about selling products, but a lifestyle. In addition to the bags, shoes, shirts, or jeans that are neatly laid out, the photographers also include a touch of reality.

COMPETITION Let’s Gozo it!


€30 to spend on photo printing material. Prize money must be spent in one purchase.

August is break time for most of us. Some like to go to the beach and laze in the sun, others hop on a flight and travel round the world. The most popular activity is Gozo by far, with flocks of people getting on the ferry and make their way to the island of Calypso for a relaxing week. Any fun activities planned? We want to see what you’re up to on our sister island, whether you’re sipping a cocktail by the pool or roaming the narrow streets of Ċittadella, so send us your entries on

Palmyra Building, Naxxar Road, Birkirkara, BKR 9046

T: 2149 7335 • 2148 2734

Photos can be taken with any camera, as long as they are at least 2 MP (approx 1600 x 1200 pixels). There is no limit to the amount of photos you send in. However, make sure you do not attach more than two photos per email.

August 2017 Issue 92


Travel MARC CASOLANI is a freelance photographer and a chronic traveller. Bitten by the travel bug several years ago he has failed to recover. www.marcandvanexplore.

The trekking around Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon, Australia


An ancient sandstone canyon that soars above dense palm forests is another icon of Australia and was formed over millions of years and has been home to the Luritja people for over 20,000 years. An area found in the Watarrka National Park, that I had the pleasure of exploring very well. Not only by four-wheel drive but also on a series of trekking adventures over a three-day period. Treks that took me above and below megalithic rocks that had all types of formations.

this Mereenie loop was 110km of pure corrugation.

It took me 300km from Mount Zeil to Kings Canyon and 110km of that was dirt track. When dirt tracks see enough traffic above the speed of 5km per hour, they develop periodic, transverse ripples as the wheels bounce on the originally unrippled surface, something which the locals called corrugated roads. This makes driving on these tracks a pretty tough slog and though you get used to driving on dirt roads in the outback,

When driving on intense corrugated roads, the idea is that you keep your tire pressure at 25psi and drive slowly on the turns increasing speed on the straights so that you ‘fly’ on the top part of the ripples. Though this may sound like a good plan, the reality is that red dust that makes its home on the paths migrates into your car and anything that is not properly secured flies around. Issue 92 August 2017

The whole drive felt like my whole vehicle was about to come undone. I mean I only witnessed heaps of tires with their rims still on, discarded along the track and three or four off-road vehicles on their sides. I don’t know what I was worried about. I took it relatively easy though and cruised between 30 and 40km an hour, only getting up to around 70km an hour on the long straights.



Like all offroad tracks, this one was also pretty spectacular and I even decided to split the drive over two days by camping out at Gosse Bluff. This is the site where dinosaurs are said to have met their end when a meteor struck the planet millions of years ago. The Aboriginal community of the area regards this as a sacred place. It was definitely a special experience being in this place and you could really appreciate its size and energy. Being alone here for the whole time just increased this sensation. Driving out of the Mereenie Loop and into the Kings Canyon area is like something out of a Hollywood movie. After all those kilometers of dust and bumps and some amazing wild horses, you end up on a cliff overlooking the giant plains of Watarrka National Park with Kings Canyon in the distance. You then drive around a couple of bends and some 50km later you end up on a flat dirt track, one that allows cruising at 70km per hour. The final part brings you to the Kings Canyon paved road that connects to the road heading to Uluru in the South, which is used mainly by the resort a couple of kilometers away from the canyon. Reaching this place felt like a huge achievement and I was also glad that my Mitsubishi Pajero made it out in one piece. Once you get there you have two choices with regards to accommodation. You can use the resort’s grounds for camping or you can splash out a little and rent a bungalow with Kings Canyon views for a four-star price. Another alternative is taking a risk and finding a hidden location around the canyon that will keep you out of site from the park rangers. If they catch you however you may have to pay a hefty fine. Your best bet at free camping legally would be to hike into the bush and set up camp. There are many entry points into Kings Canyon, three main ones that are equipped with shady areas, toilets and showers, and countless smaller tracks that can be reached with your 4WD. I managed to get my first day’s trek on the south western point with a sunrise start. This was truly something else, cold at first but with clear skies, but warming

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Travel up as the sun climbs over the cliff faces of the canyon. As usual, I was alone for most of this experience until two lovely Australian couples made it up just in time for the sunrise. They were in their early 50s and keen hikers and we bonded instantly. As I do when I take these kind of treks, I prepare a thermos of freshly ground coffee, to enjoy in the most scenic spots on the planet. On this day I enjoyed sharing it with my new friends as we took in the sunrise and shared some stories. The hiking around Kings Canyon is perfect for all levels of hikers, and offers some really good free climbing too. Over three days I covered the whole place above and within the canyon, from the Garden of Eden to the Lost City. Once you start walking through either of these places it becomes instantly clear why they have been called so. Water streams through the canyons gorges and cracks all year round, but in the dry season it is much more contained. This results in some lush vegetation within the canyon but only at certain spots. The most

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Travel incredible parts of this magical place that will stick in my memory were the massive boulders that have been cut out of the rock as a result of inclement weather, the 90 degree sandstone cliff faces and the sheer size of the canyon, which you are only able to appreciate when you see people at the other end, giving it a little perspective. I would definitely recommend leaving a few days to truly experience this place and enjoy what the hiking trails have to offer, but if time is not on your side then the most rewarding trail would be the main trail that takes you from west to east. It’s the most clearly marked trail and if you don’t want to go it alone, there are plenty of guided treks throughout the busy season. Always make sure to stock up on sustainable snacks, loads of water, a lighter and a good torch. Until next time, let the world be your playground.

August 2017 Issue 92


looking back

looking back

RACHEL ZAMMIT CUTAJAR is the editor of Vida and Gourmet Today. She divides her time (not so equally) between indulging in great food and burning it off at the gym.

Patron saints and war time stories, the feast of Santa Marija is widely celebrated throughout the Maltese islands with many villages claiming her as the their patron saint. Why has this feast come to mean so much to the Maltese?

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THE STORY BEHIND THE HOLIDAY OF SANTA MARIJA The peak of the Maltese summer comes in August when everything except the temperature begins to wind down a little. The Maltese have been known to take things a little easier come August, with very little getting done in the way of work over the middle two weeks of the month. The Feast of Santa Marija takes place on August 15th, when the Assumption of Our Lady is celebrated in a number of parishes across Malta and Gozo. But how did Santa Marija come to be such an important feast day for the Maltese? While many people are happy to celebrate these long, lazy days in summer, few are aware of the hardships that led to a national holiday.

The feast of Santa Marija is the celebration of a miracle that saved the Maltese islands from starvation, and ultimate surrender to the Germans, at the end of the Second World War. As the United Kingdom’s only foothold in the Mediterranean, Malta was the only country stopping the Nazi’s invasion of North Africa. With Moussolini’s Italy in such close proximity, the islands were heavily bombed in the months leading up to August of 1942. What this meant for Malta was that both food, fuel and fighting supplies were reaching a critical level, which was by no means an accident. From 1940 to 1942 the Axis conducted a siege where the islands were heavily attacked by sea and air, ensuring supplies could not reach

August 2017 Issue 92


looking back

looking back

story is but a memory, celebrations of the feast became more and more important, with fireworks and Catherine wheels dominating the night skies in many villages as well as religious processions, food stalls, horse races, bands, parades and all-night parties.

celebrations today Santa Marija is one of the most widely celebrated feasts on the island, with many villages claiming her as the patron saint of their own village. If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate, Victoria in Gozo holds a pretty impressive celebration with all the usual religious processions, parades, fireworks and merrymaking. What sets Victoria apart from the rest is the Wirja tal-Biedja u Snajja, the annual exhibition of agriculture and craft.

• Mqabba • Qrendi • Gudja • Ħ’Attard • Għaxaq • Victoria, Gozo • Birkirkara the islands, which would force Malta into surrender when she could no longer fight back or feed her people. This was sure to happen by the end of August 1942. However, Malta was not alone in this fight. Supplies were on their way in a convoy of 14 merchant ships, led by the Ohio, a British-manned, American vessel in Operation Pedestal and was so very nearly successful. When they were just a few days away, the convoy was bombed by bomber planes and submarines. With their hope waning, the Maltese turned to their faith and prayed to Santa Marija for a miracle. On 14th August, three ships sailed into port, though there was no sign of the Ohio. The

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Ohio was carrying a large supply of fuel which was critically low on the island. On the morning of the feast of Santa Marija, on the 15th, the Ohio made its way into the harbour, though she was half underwater, to the cheering of the desperate crowds waving both British and American flags. As the ship entered the harbour on the feast of Santa Marija the Maltese firmly believed it was divine intervention that brought her home and, in effect, saved the people from starvation and surrender to the Germans. Not long after, the ships became known as the Convoy of Santa Marija and while this

Organised by the Agrarian, Industrial and Cultural Society of Gozo, the exhibition is a show of appreciation towards the local agricultural sector and aims at supporting and helping farmers and traditional tradesmen. Exhibits on display include vegetables, livestock, farm machinery, wines, oil, honey, and artisan work. The three-day exhibition officially dates back to 1855, when it was organised in the schoolyard of Vajringa school. However, records show that prior to 1855, a similar exhibition used to be held on the steps leading to the Cittadella.



The exhibition moved to the gardens of Villa Rundle in 1943. The show remains popular among the crowds, with thousands of people visiting every year.

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summer evenings

summer evenings

Cheap Ways to Spend your Summer Evening in Malta It’s easy to spend a lot more money in summer, when everyone is keen on eating out, drinking cocktails, attending parties and boat trips. We’re only halfway through summer and we’re already tired of staring at a pitifully empty bank account. These alternatives help you make the most of these sunny days without breaking the bank.

Rediscover your Outdoor Space Do you have an outdoor space that you have long forgotten? Whether you have a terrace, a large balcony, or part of the roof, utilise it as a BBQ area. It’s a cheaper way to eat with friends and have a chilled night while making the most of space you already have anyway.

Watch the Sunset Walk By the Sea A short, casual walk on the promenade is an excellent way of keeping to your budget this summer. However, the prospect of walking by the sea tends to be boring. How long are you going to walk by the sea without doing anything else? A good solution might be fitness apps to spice up your walk and add some fun to the mix.

Village Feast Summer in Malta brings about an endless list of village feasts occurring in every town and village across Malta and Gozo. Village feasts are great because they’re essentially free entertainment, whether in the form of the village band, colourful fireworks, or a festive village march. At best, the only money you’ll spend is on a festa doughnut, or nougat, the famous Maltese sticky delicacy, and a bottle of cold beer.

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The days are longer in summer, giving you ample time to finish from work and make your way to the beach to view the sunset. Perhaps one of the best places to watch the spectacular sunset in Malta is Għajn Tuffieħa beach, which not only gives you impressive views of the orange sunset hues, but provides a peaceful atmosphere. The only thing missing – a chilled glass of wine or a bottle of beer. If one of your summer goals is to lose weight, you get some exercise up the long flight of stairs. How long will it take you to make it to the top?

Watch the Stars The balmy summer evenings are the best time of the year to appreciate a starlit sky. The difficult part is finding a place that has little to no light, so that the sky is clearly lit up and the twinkling stars can be easily seen. If you download an app such as Sky Map, you can point your mobile at the sky and identify the constellations you’re looking at. Pretty nifty, right?

August 2017 Issue 92


interior design

interior design

MAKE YOUR WORK SPACE WORK FOR YOU The homogenous work cubicles of the 80s are a thing of the past. Today the options are endless for customising the working space to suit the people working in that environment. While your working space at the office is largely up to your boss, organising your workspace at home is entirely up to you. Do you work best in the middle of a bustling scene or do you need peace and quiet? Are you a minimalist or a stuff lover? Do you do your best thinking while gazing out a window or would you rather be on your feet, moving things around? Creating a space that works for you will increase your productivity and make a set amount of work occupy less time, giving you more free time to do whatever it is you like. Here are eight ideas different types of people may choose to customising their work space. One may appeal to you but the trick is not to conform. Do what works for you to hike up your productivity.

THE DAYDREAMER Daydreaming can be considered a distraction, but it is also a sense of inspiration. Embrace your daydreaming

nature rather than trying to supress it. If you have the luxury of a room with a view, set up your workspace close to a window and let your imagination run wild every time you look up from your screen/books. This isn’t always possible, especially if you only have a small area to work with, however it is always possible to set up an inspiration board, hang some interesting wall paper or hang a mirror or a piece of art. Decorationg your work space with plants will add a sense of depth to your area whilst also giving off some extra oxygen for brain food.

Can’t sit still for more than a few minutes? You’re not alone. The trick to getting down to work, if this is your MO, is give yourself several options for places to work. Have a traditional desk which is home to your computer but also have separate spots for reading, making notes or brainstorming – the more variety you can afford the better. Issue 92 August 2017

A standing desk, or even one with standing and sitting options, is another great idea for the active worker. It makes moving around easier and research has shown that standing, as opposed to sitting, at a desk is better for you.

THE SOCIALITE Do you instantly get distracted the moment you are alone, wondering what everyone else is doing? Would you rather work out of a café or a busy spot, than from a solitary office? If this is the case set up a spot you can share with your kids or housemates, or pick a busy room – like the kitchen or the living room – and set up a space there. While this will not work for everyone, having some music playing or even the TV on in the background may increase your productivity if you like to work in a busy environment.




Try having a small round table in the centre of a room, a comfy armchair by the window and some bean bags in the corner to keep yourself fresh.

Whilst some people thrive in a busy working environment, others feel that every sound or person moving around in the room causes a loss in concentration. If this feels like you, you need to create a space that gives you the quiet you need to get the job done. If you can manage your own room, this would be an ideal scenario, however if you have to share, then make sure you find yourself the quiestest corner in the house and be sure that everyone knows that this is your quiet space. If you have a corner in a large room you could separate yourself from the rest of the world with a decorative

folding screen, or open-backed shelving, giving the illusion of a separate, smaller room. If that makes the larger room look cramped, you can always pull back the folding screen when you’re done.

THE MINIMALIST This is an easy set up. Just a beautiful surface and a computer sceen. Try to go for wireless options – keyboard and mouse – to keep clutter down to a minimum. Keep all your papers and files in drawers to keep your surfaces as clear as possible. You need superior organisational skills to make this work but if you can master it, not only will your workspace look incredible but it will also help you keep all your ducks in a row.

THE HOARDER Though some people feel comfortable with clear spaces, others feel like it lacks soul and feel more comfortable when

surrounded by lots of stuff. Organised mess is the name of the game here but you need to have the right amount of space for it. Get yourself a L-shaped desk to spread your stuff around and keep lots of filing drawers and cabinets for anything you may need. Keep some space for personal keepsakes to bring back memories of that holiday in Peru or your sister’s wedding.

THE OFFICE HATER Most office spaces will include a desk and a chair, however this does not need to be the case for everyone. Any table – the dining room table, the kitchen table or even the coffee table in the living room – can be turned into a temporary working space with any chair doing the trick as long you aren’t spending long hours at your “desk” without a break. If you have to have a desk and chair for ergonomic reasons, bring more home into your office space with bright wall paper, cushions, rugs, curtains and lamps. Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

THE VISUAL PERSON For many people visual aids help keep them remember things and keep them organised. If your life works better in pictures have a giant calendar somewhere prominent with different colour codes for different aspects of your life. A giant bulletin board for to-do lists and important things to remember can be truly invaluable. You will need to keep an eye on this to make sure it does not become cluttered. Only keep things that are essential and edit it regularly to avoid it becoming just another item your eyes get used to.

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Stephanie Xerri Agius is a blogger at www. As a frequent jet-setter with her heart set on fashion she loves to combine the two for a super stylish look on every flight.


Any designer who is worth his or her salt knows how essential it is to look back at what has come before, as part of one’s knowledge of the history of fashion. One cannot negate the influence that great masters can have, albeit subconsciously. Others are more directly impacted because their ambition would be to walk in the designers’ footsteps. This does not mean imitating but being inspired by certain styles, cuts, and designs whilst adding a touch of their own. Visiting the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington, London, it occurred to me how undeniable it is that someone like Cristobal Balenciaga has touched so many lives without being their master directly. For this reason, the exhibition chronicles the life story, the impact of Balenciaga on fashion, and his legacy. This piece is a summation of such an event.

THE MAN, THE STORY Balenciaga was born in Spain on 21 January, way back in 1895. The first thing you might be wondering about is: how is it possible that Balenciaga lived such a long time ago, given that his cuts and designs are still considered modern and contemporary to this day? That is part of his impact on fashion, the creation of pieces and cuts that can be considered ageless. Following a tailoring apprenticeship at Casa Gomez in 1907, he founded his own fashion house named C. Balenciaga, a decade later. Among his clientele were Queen Maria Cristina and the Infanta Isabel Alfonsa of Spain (1925). The mid-30s were not a smooth period for Balenciaga because while he was trying to carve out a name for himself, the Spanish Civil War broke out (1936).

24 | Issue 36 | December 2012

At that point in time, he left Spain to open a fashion house in Paris. In 1950, Vogue released a cover with his work, but strangely enough he did not invite press to the first unveiling of his collection. The late 60s saw student riots in Paris

but Balenciaga somehow managed to present his last collection in Paris. During the same year (1968), he designed Air France uniforms for air hostesses but shortly after that he retired, closing down his fashion houses in both Spain and

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Paris. His last public appearance was to attend Coco Chanel’s funeral in 1971. Like Chanel, Balenciaga was someone who has forever impacted fashion. Incidentally, he passed away one year after Chanel. Yet it was only in 1986, fourteen years after the designer’s demise, that the House of Balenciaga re-opened and is still one of the most iconic fashion houses with collections that are highly anticipated.

vision of The Great Master; both elements enable the House of Balenciaga to run seamlessly from one season to another.


THE DESIGNS Balenciaga is not only known for any cuts or designs. His were among the most ground-breaking and remarkable in fashion at the time. Some designs were unprecedented and rather daring, and his ability and vision lay in the fact that his cuts were well-received and also sought after. From drapes to capes, from fluted sleeves to full-blown structural gowns, one can take any of the pieces and they would still be as valid as they were at that time. To create something unique is already difficult, but to make something that is considered timeless is definitely not commonplace in fashion.

THE LEGACY: HOW BALENCIAGA INFLUENCED TODAY’S DESIGNERS If one is a fashion enthusiast, then it is likely that names such as Givenchy, Oscar

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De La Renta (who recently passed away), and Erdem strike a chord. What might not be that obvious is that these big names have somehow or another been influenced in their own work and vision by none other than The Great Master, as he is known. In the upstairs section of the exhibition, one will witness pieces by the designers mentioned above. There

are notes on how Balenciaga has shaped fashion by being a direct or indirect mentor to such equally important names in the fashion industry. Now, whoever is chosen to be the creative director of House of Balenciaga has quite a heavy crown to bear. On the one hand, the designer-in-charge would bring his or her own vision, whilst staying true to the

Shaping Fashion will be open until February 2018 so there is plenty of time left if one happens to be in London. Anyone who is a passionate fashion follower is encouraged to visit for these reasons. First of all, it is a treat to be up close and personal with pieces created by The Great Master, considering that it would be rather difficult to come across them anywhere else. Such an opportunity might be indeed rare to come by. The most enlightening part would be to make the connection between today’s designers and someone’s work like Balenciaga, and to better understand how fashion is being influenced up to this day. The last reason would be that it sheds light on how fashion is not just something ephemeral

and fleeting; it can be a work of art, powerful enough to be timeless and

indicative of eras, connected somehow to the vestiges of culture and history.

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FEMME LIBRE Time to say it with a tee! One of the boldest trends this season: the slogan t-shirt is here to stay. Pair this trend with your favourite pieces and keep it comfy wherever you go.

Photography: Gary Bugeja Styling: Malcolm Gauci Makeup: Jennifer Dimech Model: Alexia at Models M

Charles & Ron T-shirt: â‚Ź55 Charles & Ron Belt: â‚Ź125 Charles & Ron Skirt

River Island Blazer: €115 River Island T-shirt: €33 Accessories: Stylist’s own

Stradivarius T-shirt: €7.95 New Look Skirt: €24.99 Jewellery: Stylist’s own

Charles & Ron T-shirt: €55 Charles & Ron Belt: €119

Bershka Cropped T-shirt: €5.50 Stradivarius Trousers: €19.95

Stradivarius T-shirt: €7.95 Stradivarius Skirt: €12.99

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Bershka ‘Ramones’ T-shirt: €19.99 Basic long-sleeve T-shirt: Model’s own River Island Trousers: €50


Travel Mandy Farrugia Following her studies in business and languages, she had the opportunity to work and travel for international companies in the tourism industry. Since then, she indulged in her passion for photography, travel writing and scuba diving with lots of destinations yet to discover.


When I headed north to the topmost part of the Atlantic Ocean, for the promise of clearer weather and fewer people, I prepared myself for deserted areas, bleak weather and perhaps also small, unfriendly villages, if any! This pretty much sums up life outside the few urban Icelandic cities. As we headed south for the second time, and drove on the ring road for the first four hours, we could not help but be stunned by every bend on our route, unveiling a scene more dramatic than the next. Arriving at the next main city, Vik, we settled down at the central campsiteand met some adventurous travellers, with whom we discussed our way towards the southernmost rocky cliffs of Dyrhólaey. The weather was calm when we set off from our camp the next day, but it wasn’t long before the highland Arctic conditions kicked in. Walking by the shore was prohibited because of the high waves, which break against the shore with a particularly ferocious force. Contrary to popular belief that geothermal activity and volcanic eruptions make Iceland perilous, Iceland’s most dangerous sites, in reality, are its beaches. The cold water, strong currents, and unpredictable wave patterns have caused a number of fatalities over the past years. An unfortunate event was not our itinerary for the day, so we decided to proceed by hiking up the hills. The higher we climbed, the grander the coast started to appear. A large flat expanse of charcoal grey sand with white waves crashing along its dramatic coast, against a backdrop of rugged cliffs that rose up to 400 feet. The hike to Dyrhólaey from the campsite is an ardourous one, but we managed to reach the peak in no time! The waves looked less dramatic from the top, and from this viewpoint they seemed to be slow- moving, as if caressing these dark sandy shores. Such a desolate, bewitching place! Overlooking this scenery is a lighthouse, perched on the most dominant cliff. This white, squarish, small building, crowned with a gigantic lamp, offered the most unexpected interior. One would assume you would find the typical belongings of a

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August 2017 Issue 92



Travel lighthouse keeper inside, or nothing more than equipment related to lighthouse operation. Surprisingly it opens up into a minimalist yet luxurious residence. Grey parquet flooring leading up to a narrow, winding staircase, reaching the only three bedrooms of this exclusive lodging. I felt like I was walking into one of the movie scenes of Half Light, which tells the story of Demi Moore’s romance with the imaginary lighthouse keeper. And just when I thought I had seen it all, a baby puffin appears at the very edge of this cliff. A penguin-like coloured bird, twisting its tiny neck to look right in my direction. Drawn to its magnetic beauty, I approach closer to the edge. To my surprise it does not move, so I managed to snap some pictures. A fellow photographer who had followed my steps to this cliff whispered behind me; “their beak fades to grey during

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winter but blooms back into a bright orangy colour in spring time.” I am no bird watcher, but there I was, standing with a professional photographer right behind me directing me on how to take the right shot and make the most of that moment. The puffins looked like they enjoyed the attention. Maybe it’s because, when out at sea during autumn and winter, they lead a very solitary life while trying to protect themselves from various potential predators. Their colours blend well with the dark Icelandic seas and this feature protects them from the dangerous birds flying above them as well as the the larger of the fish under the sea. Being usually monogamous, they always return to the same burrows back in late spring. If Iceland is not on your travel list as yet, these wonderful creatures can also be spotted in Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland (Canada), Maine (U.S.A) and the British Isles.

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INTERVIEW Thea Formosa is a content writer who is currently in her 2nd year of an English, Culture and the Media M.A. When she is not busy whipping up articles, she spends her time enjoying some of her favourite things in life: make-up, food and trashy reality tv shows.


In a quiet room on a busy road in Ħamrun, children, teenagers and adults alike all attend guitar lessons taught by the best there is, or so his students say. Tony Pace; guitarist, tutor and jazz radio producer has been teaching different styles of guitar for a very long time, and his passion for music is unceasing. The story of how he went from zero to master of the skill shows just how true the saying goes: ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way.’

Nicholas Payton at The Malta Jazz Festival 2017 (Photo by Andre Micallef)

“I’ve been a music love ever since I can remember. In my youth, the accordion was the most popular instrument but I grew up without a father, and my mother couldn’t afford to buy me any instruments, so I used to get by with what I could.” The end of the 50s saw a worldwide musical revolution and Malta was not exempt; the guitar started gaining ground, becoming more popular on our little island as well. “I bought myself a basic acoustic guitar, nothing special, but it was more than enough to get me started. I started out learning the classical style on my own; in those times there was no one here to teach me professionally, so I paved my own way. A friend of mine used to teach me some tricks here and there and after a while, I started learning with conductor Johnny Micallef. In the 70s they opened the first music school in Malta and they brought teachers from Austria to teach us.” “They wanted me to teach there too, but I refused. How could I teach students something that I had not yet mastered myself? So the school brought down an American teacher and I spent two months with him. I used to learn from him in the morning and watch him teach in the evening; it was an intense but amazing experience. When he left, I started teaching at the School of Music.” Later the British Council sent Tony to the UK to further his musical studies, he tells me how he kept studying both the classic and the electric guitar. He explains how at that time, jazz was not a field that was taught; you learned classical and electrical, and improvised jazz from what you knew and heard. Learning all these different genres, Tony must have a favourite, no? “There are two kinds of music, good music and bad music and my favourite kind is anything which classifies as good. Good creates standards, like the Beatles had done in the 60s with melodies that even transferred onto jazz. In the 60s, free jazz confused people. Jazz did have some rules, but it was a kind of music that you couldn’t learn from books. You start playing on a chord and improvise your way through.”

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Tony Pace “I’ve been to jazz gigs outside of Malta that have amazed and impressed me. I’ve even played abroad myself. The first time I left the country to pursue music was to learn more on the subject – The British Council sponsored me with courses for two years. I was also given the opportunity to go to Austria for three years, but I had just gotten married and I had also just started out my career in the army, so I refused.” “We used to listen to local jazz music players such as Oscar Lucas together with others and they were our main source for learning jazz. Guitarists like The Shadows, Duane Eddy and Jim Hall were my

"Jazz did have some rules, but it was a kind of music that you couldn’t learn from books. You start playing on a chord and improvise your way through"

early influences. I used to listen to them at a friend’s house and I read about them as much as I could. In a time where knowledge wasn’t available to me at the touch of a button, I did the best I could. When I travelled to America, I bought an encyclopaedia on jazz. There wasn’t much you could do, you listened, you studied and you read up on their work, it’s the best kind of learning we could get.” “In 1966, I went to play in British nightclubs for about four months. Oscar Lucas and other jazz enthusiasts like me used to go to jazz clubs together to get the full experience. Tony Camilleri, a really good trumpet player, introduced me to a guitarist in the UK who used to play with the best jazz bands there and I took some lessons from him too. I even played in hotels in Ireland and in Brussels with the European institute

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INTERVIEW for a great number of MPs. I played in Mexico with the Minister of Tourism at the time, so I had my fair share of opportunities to get the best kind of exposure.” Tony tells me how a lot of nightclubs between the 60s and 80s prohibited musicians from playing jazz music within their premises, so if jazz was your thing, you were already excluded from most opportunities. “In the last 10 to 20 years, and even with the introduction of The Jazz Music Festival here in Malta, teens are better exposed to the industry; a lot of restaurants specifically started asking musicians to play jazz music. Having said that, the unfortunate thing is that a culture which listens and appreciates music just doesn’t exist here.” “I get angry when I go to The Jazz Festival and find great musicians playing to an audience that does not show them the respect they deserve. They are too busy eating their burgers with their backs towards the musicians, not even listening to the talent they have in front of them! When you listen to jazz, you have to really listen to jazz.”

"I get angry when I go to The Jazz Festival and find great musicians playing to an audience that does not show them the respect they deserve" “You have to be into the subject to be able to learn it well. Just as you’d know everything about a game of football by learning about a player that you admire, you need to learn everything about the composers and the people who play the music that you are passionate about in order to understand what you’re playing.” Inevitably, I had to ask about his own routine. Has Tony called it quits on learning? “One of the things I hate the most when discussing music with people is the dreaded question: “But how are you still studying?” A musician stops studying when he stops playing. To play in restaurants and even to teach, I have to do at least three to four hours a day of practice, sometimes even more. You have to study certain skills, keep your hands going. “

Nowadays, Tony explains, no one really learns the classical style guitar anymore; electric guitar has taken prominence, and he adds that the main problem he finds with his students is that none of them want to study.

And to students who can’t find ten minutes a day to practice? Tony has some sound advice. “Don’t take up an instrument if you can’t find time to practice. 10 minutes… I use 10 minutes just to pray to God for help before I start playing any gig. 10 minutes are trivial.”

“I’ve had a lot of students who went on to study abroad after I’ve taught them. I even had a student who competed for a scholarship at Berkley University in America and came first out of 3,000 competitors - for me that’s great satisfaction; sending my students abroad after they have learned from me gives me inexplicable joy.”

Unfortunately, despite the large amount of people learning to play the guitar here in Malta, Tony explains how not many of them are willing to put in the work required. He rants on about how many times they simply learn the repertoire needed for the exam and stop there. “As a minimum, when you’re learning an instrument, you

Duane Eddy

Tony Pace believes that good music creates standards with melodies, like The Beatles had done in the 60s

need at least between 30 minutes to one hour a day. These should come automatically if you’re studying with a certain kind of dedication; 30 minutes to one hour are trivial, you won’t find any difficulty in finding the time. If a student doesn’t study, he could go to the best university in the world, but it will count for nothing.”

And for those just starting out, Tony advises that “where there is a will, there is a way. Talent doesn’t come about overnight; just remember that the greatest musician in the world started out knowing nothing, just like any novice starting out their musical journey.”

Jim Hall

The Shadows The Shadows, Duane Eddy and Jim Hall are some of Tony Pace’s strongest influences

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August 2017 Issue 92


Health DANIEL PETRE is a nutritionist with the Council for the Professions Complementary to Medicine. He runs his own clinic, Karma Clinic, and has collaborated with the Fortina Spa for over 10 years.


what the serving size indicates, you need to multiply all nutritional contents accordingly.

CALORIES Next is the number of calories per serving, and the calories from fat. The total number of calories is very important if you’re attempting to control your weight. The calories from fat is less important. Much more important is the type of fat.

FAT CONTENT Further down you will find the total fat per serving and the grams of saturated, trans, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Amounts are rounded to the nearest

whole number, so 0.4 gram would be listed as 0 grams, 0.8 gram would be listed as 1 gram. You want to limit your saturated fat to 5 percent or less of your total calories (divide your body weight by 12 to get the total daily limit of saturated fat in grams). As for trans fats, you want to limit intake entirely. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy, so no limitation is needed other than if you are limiting calories. Further down is cholesterol content. This number is largely irrelevant as your blood cholesterol levels depend more on saturated-fat and trans-fat intake than on cholesterol intake. Ignore this one.

Most people know that a good diet means eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer curly fries and doughnuts. But the healthy choice isn’t always so clear when buying packaged foods. Just what does “light” mean anyway? The key is in the food label – those little boxes of numbers, nutrients and ingredients that tell you what’s in the box. Learning how to read a nutrition label is a fundamental skill for making smarter nutrition choices. Processed foods are required by law to contain a package label describing the serving size, how many servings are in a package, and basic nutrition information related to calories, protein, fat, sugars, fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. In addition, processed foods also contain an ingredient list. Together, this information is supposed to help a consumer make an informed decision. But the process of actually doing this is complicated. Here are some tips on how to read and understand the nutrition label. After reading, I think you’ll agree that we need an easier way to determine if a food is “healthier” or not.


Look at ingredient lists: they’re the core of the label. Ingredients are listed in order of weight. You should carefully check ingredients for contents like partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils, as these signify the presence of trans fats. Fortunately, it’s getting easier and easier to find brands that have no hydrogenated fats among the ingredients. Also look for added sugars You want to avoid consuming products with added sugar. When wheat products are listed on the label, make sure that they say whole grains. The label must say “whole,” not just “wheat flour.”


Starting from the top of the label, look at the serving size. These are often unrealistically small. If you eat more than

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Health Solid fats: If the ingredient list contains beef fat, butter, chicken fat, coconut oil, cream, hydrogenated oils, palm kernel oils, pork fat (lard), shortening or stick margarine, then the product contains solid fats. The Dietary Guidelines advise limiting solid fats.

nectar, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar, white granulated sugar, cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice and fruit nectar. In many cases, products contain multiple forms of sugar.



Then there’s carbohydrate content and, unfortunately, current rules do not require labels to distinguish whole grains from processed grains. The label does give information on dietary fibre. As a rule of thumb, men should take in more than 38 grams of total fibre per day and women should take in more than 25 grams of total fibre.

And finally, protein is listed as total protein. Chances are, your protein intake is adequate, and I usually don’t suggest tallying it. At the extreme right of the label you’ll see each nutrient’s percentage of your total daily intake based upon the guess that you take in 2,000 calories a day. Since this amount of calories would be appropriate only for an individual weighing 75kg, this section is quite useless if you don’t happen to weigh 75kg.

SUGAR Sugar is next on the list and less is better. The label does not distinguish between natural and added sugars, so check the ingredients list to spot added sugars – a frequent culprit is high-fructose corn syrup. Added sugars: Ingredients signifying added sugars include anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, confectioner’s powdered sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrin, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, maple syrup, molasses,

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Carefully review the ingredients list. Note that the ingredient list is in decreasing order of substance weight in the product. That is, the ingredients that are listed first are the most abundant in the product. The ingredient list is useful for identifying whether or not the product contains trans-fat, solid fats, added sugars, whole grains and refined grains. Note that although trans-fat is included in the “fat” section of the nutrition label, if the product contains <0.5g per serving, the manufacturer does not need to claim it. However, if a product contains partially hydrogenated oils, then the product contains trans-fat.

Whole grains: If whole grains are the primary food list, then the product is 100% whole grain. The whole grain should be the first or second ingredient. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, rolled oats, whole-grain sorghum, whole-grain triticale, whole-grain barley, whole-grain corn, whole oats/oatmeal, whole rye, whole wheat and wild rice. Refined grains: Refined grains should be “enriched.” If the first ingredient is an enriched grain, then the product is not a whole grain. This is one way to understand whether or not a “wheat bread” is actually whole wheat or a refined product.

ALLERGENS Check for allergens. Legislation also requires food manufacturers to list all potential food allergens on food packaging. The most common food allergens are fish, shellfish, soybean, wheat, egg, milk, peanuts and tree nuts. This information is usually included near the list of ingredients on the package. For those who follow a gluten-free diet, this is also an easy way to identify if wheat is a product ingredient.

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HAPPY HOUR August holidays mean time off. Time off in the intense heat. The best way to cool down and enjoy the marginally less hot evenings is to knock back a couple of these colourful and refreshing cocktails. Whether enjoying these in the pool, before dinner or well into the night, it’s happy hour at our house!

RED ROY Ingredients ǷǷ 25cl vodka ǷǷ 15cl peach schnapps ǷǷ A dash of strawberry syrup ǷǷ 15cl strawberry puree ǷǷ 10cl sweet and sour mix ǷǷ 10cl pineapple ǷǷ A dash of Martini Rosso Method 1. 2.

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

CAR CRASH Ingredients ǷǷ 50cl Remy Martin VSOP ǷǷ 25cl fresh lemon juice ǷǷ 25cl sweet and sour mix ǷǷ 10cl simple sugar syrup ǷǷ Maraschino cherries and lemon zest to garnish


2. 3.



Combine all the ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice. Drop a Maraschino cherry into the bottom of the glass. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon zest. Issue 92 August 2017

GREEN MARKET COOLER Ingredients ǷǷ 5cl Patrón Silver ǷǷ 1 tbsp simple ginger syrup ǷǷ 1 tbsp lime juice ǷǷ 3-4 mint leaves ǷǷ 2-3 slices cucumber Method 1.

2. 3. 4.

In a highball or collins glass, muddle the cucumber, lime juice and mint. Add the Patrón Silver and fill with ice. Top with sparkling or mineral water and stir well. Garnish with a sprig of mint and cucumber slices.

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4cl oz Patrón Añejo 3cl Patrón XO Café 3cl full fat milk ¼ tsp grated nutmeg


1 part Martini Rosato 1 part Martini prosecco Wedge of orange Mint leaves




1. 2.

2. 3.

In a shaker half filled with ice, combine the Patrón Añejo and the Patrón XO Café. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

3. 4.

Fill a glass with ice. Combine the Martini Rosato with the Martini porsecco. Squeeze the orange wedge into the drink and drop into the glass. Garnish with mint leaves and give it a quick stir.

LICK OF SUNSHINE Ingredients ǷǷ 5cl Malibu ǷǷ 10cl pressed pineapple juice ǷǷ 1 passion fruit Method 1.



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Stir the Malibu and pineapple on ice in a highball glass. Squeeze the passion fruit into the glass and stir to mix. Garnish with half a passion fruit and a wedge of pineapple.

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Magical Indian Nights by Madhavi

Night of Indian dance at Cafe Riche, Birgu at 20:30 by dancer Madhavi. Enjoy the many facets of Indian dance in its rhythms, expressions and hand gestures of the classical Indian dance art of Bharata Natyam, as well as Bollywood dances. A colourful mixture of folk, classical and ornamental elements. AUGUST 11-13

Rock the Rock

Three-day rock and heavy metal music feastival at the National Park, Ta' Qali, featuring local and international acts. Headliners include Mayhem (August 11), Entombed AD (August 12) and Vader (August 13). Rest of the programme features: 12th Ode (Malta), A Broken Design (Malta), Animamortua (Malta), Black State Believers (Malta), Bound To Prevail (Malta), Dead Label (Ireland), Decline The Fall (Malta), Fallen Icon (Malta), Focus (Netherlands), Insurgence (Malta), It Came From The Desert (Malta), Loathe (Malta), Lucifer’s Friend (Germany), Martyrium (Malta), Mayhem (Norway), Milk Mi (Malta), Native (Malta), Noogie’s Crew (Malta), Pyramid Suns (Malta), Ray Wilson’s Genesis (UK), Sahhar (Malta), Super Sponge Trio (Malta), Thy Legion (Malta), True Lie (Italy), Twenty-Six Other-Worlds (Malta) and Victims Of Creation (Malta). Bookings: AUGUST 12, 13

Sickfest '17

Alternative music festival at Tigullio, St Julians at 20:00 featuring local and international performers. Acts include: Psyk (Spain), Neon Islands (UK), Caron Dimonio (Italy), 215 Collective (Malta), Jay Rilez (UK), Ik@Di (France), Nota (Netherlands); More local acts and sets: Ujack, 4ace, Alek Sane, S_Lv - St John, Jean Bubblegum Maria, Janice, Hearts Beating In Time, Rock & Rave, I.You, The Plakard Project, Mailmen Pebble Beach, Ben Vincenti, Geddumu, Ou Est Le Pantie? Bookings: https://shop.trackagescheme. com/event/sickfest-2017/

AUGUST 13, 14

Marnisi Under The Stars - The Marsovin Grape Harvest Feast Evening of wine and music celebrating the start of the grape harvest at the Marsovin Marnisi Estate, Marsaxlokk at 19:30. The Marsovin winery will be celebrating the start of the grape harvest for vintage 2017, while also giving patrons the opportunity to taste the wines produced from the Marnisi Estate in the idyllic setting of the vineyard. Patrons would also be able to admire the vineyard at the peak of its annual lifecycle. For those who wish to have a closer look, a guided vineyard tour will also be held at 19:00 by Marsovin’s wine specialists. Also featuring musical performances from The Travellers and Swing Nuages. AUGUST 14

Fireworks Spectacular & The Tower of Light Fireworks celebration at the Mqabba Bypass from 21:30. Organised by the St Mary Fireworks of Mqabba. Lasting for approximately one hour and a half, the display features Pyromusical Displays synchronised to famous music themes, world-class shapes and effects, Maltese Traditional Fireworks, and the Tower of Light: a 50-metre high steal structure which offers unique choreography and effects. The display will be followed by a Mechanised Catherine Wheel (Irdieden) display near the Village Square.

To commemorate this occasion, NnG Promotions are proud to announce world renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli as special guest for the annual Joseph Calleja Concert – taking place at the Granarier, Floriana at 20:30, with the participation of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and the BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir. Bookings: AUGUST 24-26

Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2017

Annual literary festival organised by Inizjamed and held at Fort St Elmo, Valletta at 19:00. Featuring a selection of local and international writers reading out their work – both in their native languages and accompanied by translations – music, and film screenings. The authors participating in this 12th edition of the festival are Asja Bakić (Bosnia Herzegovina), Mourid Barghouti (Palestine), Lilia Ben Romdhane (Tunisia), Jean Portante (Luxembourg), Zoë Skoulding (Wales), Ma Thida (Myanmar), Arvis Viguls (Latvia), Gjoko Zdraveski (Republic of Macedonia), and John Aquilina, Mark Camilleri, Immanuel Mifsud, and Alfred Sant from Malta.

Mayhem at Rock the Rock

Feasts in August 6th - Peter in Chains, Birżebbuġa, Our Lady of Lourdes, San Ġwann, St. Joseph, Qala, Gozo, Christ Our Saviour, Ħal Lija 10th - St. Laurence, Vittoriosa 13th - San Gaetan, Ħamrun

Joseph Calleja

20th - Our Lady Star of the Sea, Stella Maris Parish, Sliema, St. Leonard, Kirkop, The Assumption of Our Lady, Żebbug, Gozo, Assumption of Our Lady, Mgarr, The Assumption of Our Lady, Dingli, Our Lady of Lourdes, Paola, St. Helen of Constantinople, Birkirkara



Exhibition of photographs, radiographic imaging and thread by David Grima at Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta. The exhibition has an environmental bent, and is supplemented by literary text penned by Clifford Jo Zahra.

27th - St. Bartholomew, Għargħur, St. Joseph, Manikata, Maria Regina, Marsa, Conversion of St. Paul, Hal Safi, St. Julian, St. Julian's, St. Dominic, Vittoriosa, Our Lady of Loreto, Għajnsielem


Joseph Calleja 20th Anniversary Concert

2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of Joseph Calleja’s public debut in the world of opera.

15th - The Assumption of Our Lady, Mqabba, The Assumption of Our Lady, Qrendi, The Assumption of Our Lady, Gudja, The Assumption of Our Lady, Ħ’Attard, The Assumption of Our Lady, Għaxaq, The Assumption of Our Lady, Victoria, Gozo, The Assumption of Our Lady, Birkirkara

Zoe Skoulding at Mediterranean Literature Festival

Skpyk at Sickfest

The VIDA team does its utmost to publish the most updated information in these pages. We cannot, however, take any responsibility for details omitted or changed by third parties after going to print. 52 Issue 92 August 2017

August 2017 Issue 92



FILM Books TEODOR RELJIC Teodor Reljic is culture editor and film critic for MaltaToday, and co-editor of online fiction and pop culture publication Schlock Magazine. His debut novel, 'Two', is published by Merlin Publishers.

THE EDUCATION OF ANIMALS NOTE: Spoilers for both Spoor and Okja follow In the Polish-Czech co-production Spoor (Pokot), shown at the Valletta Film Festival this summer and directed by the acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland (who also serves as co-writer), Janina (Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka) an animal-loving former engineer living on the Czech-Polish border starts to see her dreadful poacher neighbours disappear one by one, soon after she loses her beloved dogs. In Okja, directed by Bong Joon-ho and released by Netflix earlier this year, a young girl from the Korean wilderness, Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), has her GMO-enhanced ‘superpig’ Okja taken away from her by the corporation that made it in the first place (the ‘Mirando Corporation’, fronted by the creepily upbeat and aching-to-be-hip Lucy Mirando, played with typical aplomb by Tilda Swinton). Being the biggest and most beautiful of its lot, Okja will be paraded around in New York before being sliced up into sausages and other treats. Both films are inspired genre mashups operating to varying degrees of success — with Okja’s maddened but heartfelt modern fable coming up tops by a wide margin — and both have female protagonists on the opposite side of the age spectrum who are made to struggle with the brittle fault-line between the ‘animal’ and the ‘human’.

Two recent films from different parts of the world have thrown our relationship with animals into stark relief... and might just make vegetarians out of anyone who watches them 54 Issue 92 August 2017

In Mija’s case, the girl forces herself out of her comfort zone in a foolhardy mission to America — where she is helped along by the Animal Liberation Front, a group of rag-tag animal rights activists who make Okja’s cause their mission… only to later reveal their true

mission is to use Mija’s best friend as a mole to help them reveal the extent of the Mirando Corporation’s callous exploitation of the natural world. Janina, on the other hand, is the village eccentric — the loony or idiot, if you want to be less generous, and the poachers who ring her existence and make her life a living hell — all the more because they’re aided and abetted by the legal, commercial and clerical strands of her community — are certainly happy to view her as a pitiable nuisance, at best. Holland’s film — co-written by the source novel’s writer Olga Tokarcz uk — muddles some of its narrative and thematic targets along the way, but its most interesting strand is the positioning of Janina herself. Hiding the main secret of the film in plain sight for a long stretch of its running time — it is finally revealed that Janina herself is the mysterious hunter-killer — she is presented as the ultimate unhinged ‘do-gooder’. Lacking perspective and a convincing way to make her case — her unquestioning belief in astrology is likely to alienate her from the bulk of the audience’s sympathies — her questionable mission only gains a truly humane backbone when she lets in some ‘allies’. Indeed, both Mija and Janina gain their small environmental victories by finally leveraging their ambitions with the realities of the world. There are crucial differences between the two, however. While Mija starts off as naive, learning that Okja is only one small part of a wider ‘family’ of superpigs, and whose very origin — and, sadly, fate — is a deeply disturbing matter, Janina’s starting point — and main psychological obstacle throughout — is a generally ‘cracked’ view of

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the world. In some ways, it’s easy to imagine that Mija could easily have become Janina in a future iteration. Somebody whose love of a seemingly innocent natural creature — a love that, crucially, blossoms in an idyllic rural environment — is eventually corrupted into a resentment that gives way to a form of insanity. But it’s also worth noting that both films end on similar beats: with both ‘families’ — Mija, Okja and her grandfather; Janina and her allies in a secluded farmhouse commune — finding some form of solace after having accomplished their respective ‘missions’, to varying degrees of success. Once again, Okja proves itself the more elegant film. The ending is not a pat reward for both the audience and Mija herself. While an inner peace may just radiate from the scene — the oblique benefits of Mija gaining wisdom from the experience, her slowly-curling smile as Okja conspiratorially whispers into her ear — it is also unquestionably dripping with melancholy. She is “sadder and wiser” for having undergone the ordeal of getting Okja back, and of learning that it was all just a tip of a very nasty iceberg. It is a fitting end for a true hero’s journey: a comingof-age story where the sudden onset of ‘age’ is actually felt in Mija’s muted enthusiasm in those final scenes. Spoor is, true to form, clumsier in this regard; rewarding Janina with a commune for her vigilante efforts (and it’s a full-blown commune indeed, as Dyzio and Dobra are shown to have had kids so as to ensure the little society’s propagation). But in both films, what shines through is the necessity of searching for communal solutions to problems caused by individualism. The

do-gooders of both films — Janina, and the Animal Liberation Front — are both shown as deeply flawed. But their efforts yield results precisely because they veer away from the individualistic approach to life we’re all encouraged to participate in. We are trained to believe that the inherent problems of a set up like the Animal Liberation Front are enough to nip such an effort in the bud. And while it’s impossible to condone Janina’s murderous rampage — save for the emotional catharsis it provides to the

viewer in the immediate term — it is the oppressive and fully sanctioned logic of murder for sport that the poachers engage in which have in fact pushed her over the edge. It is then up to her cluster of support — similarly sidelined kindred spirits — to rehabilitate her into a society that offers a better alternative. A society — a commune — whose presentation may come off as being a tad contrived, but which remains a testament to how fiction can be useful in helping us lay down a blueprint for something better.

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56 Issue 92 August 2017

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August 2017 Issue 92


Motor Sports


Available from John Bull Tel: 21571025, 99448738

started competing in local motorsport in 1964 with a Mini Cooper S. He also took part in numerous races in Sicily, including the famous Targa Florio, winning on seven occasions. Now retired, Joe helps Malta's young drivers to compete in Motorsport events in Sicily.


Most news travels fast these days, but bad news travels even faster, and Sicilian motor sport has had its fair share of bad news this season. But perhaps none has hit the headlines like young Ryan Mangion’s recent accident on the Piedimonte Etneo hill climb up the North face of Mount Etna on 25 June. I write this article just days after the event so different versions of what happened are still being touted by the minute. However Ryan is now back in Malta, and has made his first statement explaining what happened to the eager press. Shame they are not always so eager to cover our many motor sport successes. There are a number of associations and federations organising motor sport in Sicily these days, which is certainly a good thing. This particular hill climb was organised by Nando Salerno under his Salerno Corse banner. Nando and I go back a number of years. We have worked well together, and have also had our differences, but there is no negating the fact that he is a superb organiser and promoter. Under the Grimaldi Team Malta banner, a good number of local drivers competed regularly in his well-organised events. Perhaps land marks among those were the first three hill climbs at Cesaro which were all won by Maltese drivers, the hill climb at Adrano, in which Joshua Anastasi won convincingly despite protests from some Sicilian drivers, and the reintroduction of circuit racing at Vittoria and Racalmuto, where again, Maltese drivers always excelled. The Italian National Federation CSAI, now ACI Sport, also organises four or five hill climbs – cronoscalate – in Sicily each year, all forming part of the CIVM (Campionato Italiano di Velocita in Montagna), and again Maltese drivers have made regular appearances there with increasing success.

Top paddock discussion at Milo with CSAI delegate Dr. Serafino La Delfa, Dr. Livio Scaccianoce, and Mini racer Marcello Certisi.

Last Sunday’s event at Piedimonte Etneo marked a return for Salerno Corse to the hill climb scene, and as always the number of entries was most encouraging. Among these there were four Maltese drivers, father and son Jesmond and Ryan Mangion, both running in the E2SH group for silhouette cars, Mark Micallef running his Radical in E2B, and Ian Galea making a return to racing after a 17 year lay off with a Jedi Suzuki in E2M. As is now history, young Ryan had the throttle stick wide open on his monstrously powerful Escort Turbo, stood on the brakes with little effect – you don’t stop 500bhp of grunt easily – and headed for the nearest escape road.

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The famous Val d'Anapo Sortino hill climb returns to the Sicilian calendar.

Young Ryan's accident should be an eye opener to spectators who ignore instructions from race organizers.

August 2017 Issue 92


Motor Sports

Motor Sports

only ultimately make things worse for the sport as a whole. As I write this article, at the end of June, preparations are in full swing for the start of this year’s CSAI hill climb championship in Sicily. This year it looks as though there will be five events. Six were on the calendar but the organisers of the famous Nicolosi Etna have just announced that they are still having problems with the authorities following the fatal accident on the event seven years ago, and that the event will sadly not be held this year. So the season will start with the tricky 7.2 kilometre Val D’Anapo Sortino hill climb, not far from Syracuse, on the 15th and 16th of July. I took part there in 1980, so this will be my return after 37 long years. Just one month later, at the end of August, Chiaramonte Gulfi will be in full swing for the 60th edition of the Salita Monti Iblei. Now this is one I feel a lot more confident about, having participated on the superb 5.4 kilometre hill for seven times already, winning my class on five occasions. It is also a favourite for the Maltese both as drivers and spectators, for it is just an hour’s drive from Pozzallo. The Coppa Monte Erice follows two weeks later, but I will be giving it a miss this year, but one hill climb I certainly don’t plan to miss is the gloriously fast five kilometre Coppa Nissena near Caltanissetta. I curse

myself every time I sit and think “why didn’t I take part in this one earlier?” My first Coppa Nissena was last year, 38 years into my Sicilian hill climb career, and I cannot, for the life of me, think why it took me so long. I am certainly not going to make the same mistake again, and for this 63rd edition this year the plan is to be there, come what may. It is an absolutely superb hill, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough to anyone. And to conclude as always, my fourth visit to the tricky eight kilometre Giarre Montesalice Milo hill climb up the East side of Mount Etna can’t be a bad way to finish the season. I won there on my first attempt in 1980 – it was my first of many wins on Sicilian soil, and I finished second in 1981. I then won again on my return just a couple of years ago in 2015, but these days, wherever I place, at my age it becomes immaterial. The object is to have fun, and at Giarre I always seem to manage to meet up with a load of “old fogies” like myself, who are also still at it, but for who winning is also not such a priority these days. The paddock talk among us is no longer “Where can I go to find a few more bhp”, but “Where’s the closest good restaurant for dinner this evening”. Our priorities certainly change with age.

Celebrating my first win in Sicily at Milo in 1980 with champion Matteo Vasta.

Perhaps it is pertinent here to explain the purpose of escape roads, though their description should speak for itself. The Italian for escape road is very aptly VIA DI FUGA. These escape roads are clearings at vulnerable spots along the hill or track which are kept clear in case of an emergency. Ryan did the right thing. When he realised his brakes were not stopping the car on full throttle, he took to the escape road. Unfortunately a number of spectators had gathered there, despite warnings by the race organisers that spectators were not allowed in the area. The resultant mess has been written about ad nauseam, suffice to say that eight spectators were hit, of which two of them were considered gravely wounded, and taken by helicopter to hospital for immediate attention. The Italian legal system in such cases works on the principle of guilty until proven innocent, so I can imagine what poor Ryan went through after the horrifying experience. I am actually surprised that he was allowed to leave Sicily, though naturally the car has been impounded, subject to the legal enquiry. This brought back memories of my own very first hill climb in Sicily, at Chiaramonte Gulfi in 1978 when Alex

Zammit and I were invited to race an Alfa and a Mini respectively by Sicilian friends. On the Friday morning before the event a terrible head on collision took place between the Fiat 500 of Giuseppe Leone, and the Opel Comodore of Santo Famoso. On the open road Famoso was driving down and Leone was driving up the hill. Leone died on impact, and Famoso’s first reaction was to just disappear from the scene, as otherwise he would have been “thrown in” with no questions asked. A racing accident involving just drivers is one thing, but when spectators are involved the whole thing takes on new proportions. Ryan needs to understand that he did nothing wrong. It was the spectators who were in the wrong place, though naturally one still hopes and prays that they will all recover completely from their injuries with the least delay. As always happens, everybody starts pointing fingers. What I would like to note is that more statements and posts of encouragement and unity among the various factions are needed at such times. This was an unfortunate accident. It could have happened at any event, no matter who the organiser was, so let us all pull together and support the organiser at this sad moment, instead of continuing with our childish pique which can I can't wait to bomb up that super fast hill from Capodarso to Caltanissetta.

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August 2017 Issue 92




is the Superintendent of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta and is active in the field of public health. T: 23266000

Talking to kids about sex may be difficult for some parents, however research has shown that a healthy line of communication in this respect leads to kids growing up as adults with a healthy and positive experience of sex. Communication should start from infancy though the message needs to be tailored to your child’s level of understanding.

Parents today are faced with children asking many questions about anything that crosses their mind. As they grow and access the web they are likely to be in a situation where they may know more than parents and demand factual replies. Answering questions about sex is a responsibility that many parents dread and often try to avoid. For some parents, sex never featured as a topic to be discussed at the dinner table, when they were growing up. Feeling unprepared, parents often shift the role of informing their children about sex and reproduction into education authorities. The health and education division can in no way be the sole educators on sexual health for our children, whilst the subject retains a taboo-like aura at home. The family is pivotal to a person’s life development of feelings, love, relationships and education.

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Sexual health is multidimensional, involving the achievement of positive outcomes such as mutually rewarding interpersonal relationships and desired parenthood as well as the avoidance of negative outcomes such as unwanted pregnancy and STI/HIV infection.

As a fundamental part of its contribution to the development and well-being, school-based sexual health education can play an important role in promoting sexual health and primary prevention of significant sexual health problems. Though sexual development is typically associated with the teen years, in reality the development of an emotional and physical foundation for sexuality starts from a very early age. Indeed sexual development begins in a child's very first years. Infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and young school-aged kids develop an emotional and physical foundation for sexuality as they grow. Growing up is marked in physical milestones such as walking, talking and playing. Similarly they achieve emotional milestones in how they recognise, experience, and feel about their bodies, and how they form attachments and relationships with others. There is evidence that shows that the attachments established in these early years help set the stage for bonding and intimacy at later stages of life.

Parents have the responsibility to support their kids to foster their emotional health development leading to a positive sexual health experience. It is indeed a fact that parents need support to be armed with the facts, getting some sense of what to expect, and being there to answer questions and offer guidance. The guidance needs to be tailor-made to the age of the child. In the case of infants and toddlers, parents express their attachment by physical contact even at the earliest stage when a baby is born. The sensation of being touched and hugged lends to positive physical sensations that are associated with being loved. This forms the early roots of love that later develops into mature sexuality. At such an early age, children explore their bodies and many times they touch their genitals during nappy changes. This is very normal and parents should not stop them from doing it. Parents should not be disapproving or angry as this discovering one’s body is in fact a normal part of life. It is also very natural for baby boys to have frequent erections. Children start developing awareness about gender difference at the age of two to three. It is at this stage that children start developing gender roles. By the age of five, children start asking about different organs of a girl and a boy and where do babies come from. It is best to answer in an honest way and not reply with answers like “found you in the river” or “the stork brought you". In reality kids know that we rarely see storks and do not have rivers in Malta! Being truthful at this stage also encourages your kids to come to parents with their questions in the future. You can say that a man and woman can make a baby and that the baby grows inside the mummy's tummy. If this satisfies your child, you might not need to provide additional information about how the baby is actually made until later. At ages between five and 10 years, children are interested in pregnancy and birth. At this age, if parents are not available to give reliable information, they will turn to their peers, internet or media for information. It is normal for children this age to ask about these topics so if they don’t ask, it may


WHAT DO I SAY? What you say to your kids about sexuality should be dependent on age and ability to understand. Here’s a breakdown of what you should be saying to your kids at what age. As previously discussed, there is no right time to start discussions about sexual health. Whatever you say and whenever you say it there are two important things that all parents should communicate to their children. The first is that they love them and will always love them, and the second is that they do have values and expectations for their children’s behavior, and they include expecting their children to wait to have sex. For primary-school-aged kids • Talk about love, affection and relationships. • Talk about treating others with respect and about expecting to be treated with respect. • When your child is old enough to ask questions, he or she is old enough to receive simple and correct answers. For secondary school-aged kids • • • •

Be very clear. Tell your pre-teen or teen why it is important to make good decisions about sex. Talk to him or her about setting goals for the future. Talk about feelings, relationships, values and waiting to have sex.

For kids after secondary school age • • •

Keep talking. Continue to talk about setting goals. Continue to reinforce your family’s values.

August 2017 Issue 92



well be wise to bring up the conversation at an appropriate time. At this age it is possible to find children sharing "dirty" jokes about sex and body parts. Many times they won’t be able to understand these jokes, so the best way to handle this would be to remain calm and explain that such jokes are inappropriate. You can share simple jokes that they can share with their friend instead of the dirty jokes. We cannot expect children to avoid such jargon if you are saying these yourself so be a good role model for your child. As kids continue to understand and experience their bodies, and the physical changes of puberty emerge, your attitude and acceptance will continue to play an important role in their healthy development. Puberty can be a very confusing time, with lots of physical and emotional changes, and kids need to know what to expect in the months and years ahead, even if they're too shy to ask. Keep a good communication channel, be there for your kids and raise discussion when they don’t. The immediate question which comes to mind is whether raising awareness on sexual health will increase sexual activity or exploration. Many parents wonder if talking about sexuality and reproduction will encourage their children to experiment. Evidence shows that young people, whose parents discuss all aspects of sexuality with them, tend to delay becoming sexually active, compared to those parents who do not discuss this topic. A meta-analysis of 174 studies examining the impact of different types of sexual health promotion interventions found that these programs do not inadvertently increase the frequency of sexual behaviour or number of sexual partners. Parents are encouraged to equip themselves with the necessary information and skills to speak to their children about sexuality at an early age with the appropriate messages according to age. Listen and communicate with children to build a trustful relationship in this area, as this will encourage them to come and talk when they need. So what is the ideal age to begin this discussion with their children on sexual health? There is no right or wrong answer here. Start relations-building from the time a baby is born. Discussions with parents suggest that nine or 10 years old is a good time to start if you haven’t already.

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Issue 92 aug 2017 final