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Jan 2018 | Issue 97



Editorial Issue 96 - December 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

EDITORIAL Blank Canvas. The new year has arrived...and we're back! It's the time to start fresh and act upon those reolutions that have been rolling at the back of our heads for ages. Don't live in regret - learn from your mistakes and move on. As for us...we're committed to delivering good quality content in 2018. We're kicking things off in this issue with an interview with Justine Ellul, a young photographer who's most passionate about street photography, featuring people in candid situations. We also catch up with Jacqui Farrugia, a coeliac on a strict gluten free diet. If you have coeliac deisease or another type of gluten sensitivity and you may thing your days of eating tasty food are over, Jacqui convinces you otherwise. She whips up two of her favourite gluten free recipes for our readers. We hope you enjoy our publications this year, and if you have any feedback - good or bad - we would love to hear your thoughts.

Philippa and Claire

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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.

December 2017 Issue 96


CONTENTS Misinterpretation by Steve Hili

Interview with Photographer Justine Ellul

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Paris Mon Amour


Ditching Fast Fashion for Good


The New Western - Fashion Spread


Wheat-Free VS Gluten Free Diets


Interior Design Features that Hurt Property Value Your Outfit Guide For a Warm Winter A Gluten-Free Life




Protein in a Plant-Based Diet


Valletta 2018 - European Capital of Culture


Making Your New Year's Resolutions Stick


Marvel's The Punisher TV Review


What's On


Another Race Season Bites the Dust Fashion Awards 2017 Hits and Misses

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Humour 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!

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humour About a month ago I was on a morning jog in the middle of Hyde park (this body doesn’t look after itself), when from across a path, a tall blonde woman waved at me. I was quite sure that I had never seen this woman before in my life. In fact, scrap that. I was one hundred percent certain that had I ever seen this woman before in my life, i would have remembered. I would have remembered. I am quite good with faces you see. (I was once told that the secret is to focus on the nose. Not sure if that is true or not, but it does mean that I don’t like meeting people with colds). Now it has to be said that I, have got a bit of a thing for tall, blonde women. Also, (according to my wife) I have the emotional and mental age of a 12-year-old. So, without wanting too, as soon as I saw this attractive blonde stranger wave at me, I stopped and giggled. In a whoathat-pretty (but of course not as pretty as my wife who I know will be reading this) -woman-just-waved-at-me way. Twelve-year-old. Whatever. Of course, giggling in and of itself is not a bad thing. If anything, it is actually a very positive thing to do. Everybody agrees, laughing is good for you. The best medicine there is. Google reckons it "decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infectionfighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease." So there.

I needed to make a decision. Fast. Should I stand my ground? Or run away. Now the obvious advantage that running away has always provided me with is the amount of space that such a tactic generally puts between myself and danger. Being someone who is rubbish at fighting and confrontation, I always consider this course of action to be quite appealing. However, on the other hand, here was a person who had waved at me. Which meant that she had obviously wanted to interact. Maybe Jenny had a secret message for me. Hold on. Maybe she was a spy. Maybe…maybe I was being recruited to become a spy myself! Oh my gosh that must be it. You always hear about this sort of thing -about spy agencies needing to recruit new, smart, tough, sophisticated agents. I must have been on their radar for ages, they knew I jogged in Hyde park and now they were making their move. This was serious business! No wonder my giggling had upset Jenny. (Probably not her real name now I come to think of it, spies always need aliases. I wonder what mine is going to be. I might go for Zack). So, I stood there and waited for Jenny to cross the path, and to induct me. Jenny’s first question was why I had laughed. Or as she put it “laughed at her”. This was it. Contact. Spy world here I come!

This means, that it could be argued, that from my end, I was actually doing a good thing. I was improving my resistance to disease; Making me a healthier person, and thus reducing the burden on the government healthcare system. Making a tangible difference! However, this blonde stranger (who I think might have been called “Jenny” because that was what was embroidered on her hoodie - although it might also be the name a flashy new hoodie-making company; I am not really up to date with that sort of thing) was obviously not as concerned as I was about using laughter as a way of ensuring that the taxpayer’s money goes further when it comes to universal healthcare. And how did I know this? Because all of a sudden, her face changed (in a bad way) and she started crossing the path towards me with a stride that can only be described as ‘threatening’.

‘Because I saw you wave’ I said in my smoothest James Bond voice. Obviously. “I was stretching, you idiot” she said. ‘Not waving?’ “No. Why would I wave at you. I don’t even know you.” ‘Spy stuff’ I whimpered “Wierdo” She muttered as she crossed back to her spot. And that is why I don’t jog in Hyde park anymore.





THE ART OF PHOTOGRPAHY We had the privilege of catching up with Justine Ellul, a 22 year old reading for her B.A. degree in Photography. What started out as a hobby at the age of 15, has transitioned into a freelance career. She is not afraid to approach people and photograph them. We discuss her work, vision and style of photography.

1. WHAT DOES PHOTOGRAPHY MEAN TO YOU? I have always expressed myself through photography. I remember my younger self capturing shots of anything and going back to them to remember certain days or moments. Up to this day, most of my journals consist of photographs that are filled with connections.

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PHOTOGRAPHY 2. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR A PHOTOGRAPHER TO “CONNECT” WITH HIS SUBJECTS TO BRING OUT THEIR TRUE SELF? My photography revolves around people. I’m mostly into candid shots which would need more observing rather than connecting. However, when they’re not candid shots, I always make sure I step into the person’s comfort zone. It is important to understand what the person is not comfortable with and help one express his natural self.

3. SINCE YOU’RE INTO CANDID SHOTS AND STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT THAT? DO YOU NORMALLY ASK FOR PERMISSION TO BE ABLE TO GET CLOSE TO THE SUBJECT? Street photography may be considered as a dangerous one. There are a few countries which don’t even allow it, so as not to violate one’s privacy. I’m one who finds it difficult to ask – and having a huge camera in hand doesn’t help! Furthurmore, I feel that asking for permission beforehand would ruin the moment and making the protagonist self-conscious, thus not giving the same feel overall. Issue 97 January 2018


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Photo: Justine Ellul

PHOTOGRAPHY 4. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE CORE ELEMENTS OF A “STRONG” IMAGE? It all depends on what you’re shooting. Movement, moods, character – there are many things that build an image to be strong. However, I notice that my favourite shots all revolve around eyes – they speak. 5. COLOUR VS. BLACK AND WHITE. WHY ONE OVER THE OTHER, AND IS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESS DIFFERENT? I don’t really have a favourite. I love having portraits in colour, and street photography in black and white, but sometimes they work vice versa – it all depends on the subject. 6. HOW DO YOU FIND SHOOTING LANDSCAPES COMPARED TO SHOOTING PEOPLE? Shooting landscapes has never been my thing. I find it too easy and empty, whilst a person fills up the photograph, creating a story and making the viewer wonder. 7. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN CREATING A “STORY” IN A SOLO IMAGE, COMPARED TO A PHOTO SERIES?

I love creating series as I find them very interesting. Even though the whole process takes up a lot of time, it gets you attached and makes you understand and learn during the whole process. 8. DO YOU CREATE PERSONAL WORK OFTEN? IF SO, ANY PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE? I keep myself busy with photography, shooting something everyday and working on what I would have started months later. As long as I know I’m creating something with photography, I’m happy. I recently exhibited some works I’ve done in a darkroom about domestic violence, in collaboration with four more artists. I am also working on two series involving locals and refugees; yet, they’re pretty much in the early stages. 9. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER WHO’S PICKING UP A CAMERA FOR THE FIRST TIME? Photography is Art, and I believe Art grows within you. If it comes naturally to you, let it lead you and don’t be afraid of it.


COMPETITION Your New Year’s Resolutions! 2017 - that certainly fiew by very quickly! We’ve just rung in the new year and let’s be honest - most of us have already made resolutions we are not going to keep. So why don’t we make ones that we will actually stick to? To eat more pizza perhaps? Tell us in pictures! Send us your entries on 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 on the amount of photos you send in. However, make sure you do not attach more than two photos per email.

Palmyra Building, Naxxar Road, Birkirkara, BKR 9046 T: 2149 7335 T: 2148 2734

Last month's winner was Nicole Cini who captured what the holiday season is all about.

€30 to sp end on photo pri nting material. Prize money m ust be spend in one purchase .


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travel SASHA SHUMARAYEVA is a travel blogger at She loves “slow travel” and living like a local. Travel aside, she loves making videos, living sustainably and she just might be a mermaid.


Paris. That one word says it all. Just thinking of Paris conjures the smell of fresh baguettes and pungent fromages, the vivacious open-air marches, the lights of la tour Eiffel. The distinct Parisian style and attention to detail, parades through every corner of the city - from the beautiful typography on the street signs to the impeccable French cuisine. As cliché as it is, Paris is the city of love and there is nowhere else in the world like it. As one of the top three visited cities in the world, winter is an especially magical time to visit Paris – the tourism off-season when the flights are cheap and there won’t be any long lines into the Louvre! Although it will certainly be chilly, during the winter it rains far less than in spring and the chance of snow is delightful. Bundle up and stroll the winter streets of Paris, indulge in hot chestnuts, gooey crêpes, and vin chaud (hot wine) from street corner to street corner. Parfait, n’est-ce pas? Issue 97 January 2018


travel 3 DAY GUIDE TO EXPLORING PARIS IN THE WINTER DAY 1 GRAB BREAKFAST AT A LOCAL PÂTISSERIE Paris can be expensive. Skip eating out breakfast at a sit down restaurant and head straight to the local pâtisserie. Choose from quiches, éclairs, croissants, baguettes and all other French pastry galore. Save a few for the road and head to a local café for a hot coffee before starting your day. THE LOUVRE Spend a day at the Louvre (or one of the many amazing museums in Paris like the Musée d’Orsay or the Centre Georges Pompidou). LUNCH IN THE CITY CENTRE OF PARIS Treat yourself to a delightful lunch out in the city centre of Paris. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL Don’t miss the famous Notre Dame Cathedral - one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Attend mass or have a stroll around the park. THE MOULIN ROUGE End your day with a Parisian night or even better, enjoy the cabaret at the Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district of Paris. The Moulin Rouge’s fascinating history and iconic architecture, make it a sight not to be missed even if you won’t be attending the show. If you do want to see the cancan, book your tickets to the Moulin Rouge at least three months in advance!

DAY 2 SACRÉ-COEUR The Sacré-Coeur is a popular landmark, located at the highest point of the city in Montmartre. Take in the panoramic views of Paris bathed in morning light and stroll inside the breathtaking church. MONTMARTRE After a day of intense sightseeing, it’s nice to slow it down and spend a day purposely getting lost. Montmartre is the historically bohemian district of Paris where you can spend a nice day watching the artists paint, checking out the museums (don’t miss the Salvador Dalí gallery!), getting a caricature or portrait done, enjoying a hot French onion soup and of course souvenir shopping.

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Travel DAY 3 LES PUCES DE SAINT-OUEN Les Puces is one of Europe’s largest flea markets near Paris that hosts 15 different markets of 2500 stalls bringing together antique dealers, designers, artisans and artists. There’s no better place for treasure hunting than the Les Puces flea market. Start your morning with a crêpe at one of the many stalls selling crêpes and hot wine before getting lost in the labyrinth of stalls. LUNCH AT PARISIAN STREET SIDE RESTAURANT After a morning of treasure hunting, enjoy a long lunch at a traditional Parisian street side restaurant. Since Les Puces is out of the citycentre you will find quality traditional French cuisine at, well, normal prices. THE EIFFEL TOWER Finalement - The Eiffel Tower. By this point, if you’ve never been to Paris you’re itching to see the Eiffel Tower. Go just before sunset and if you’re lucky, you will catch the Eiffel Tower in magic hour light. Starting at sunset, the Eiffel Tower’s lights sparkle for 5 minutes every hour on the hour. STROLL ALONG THE RIVER SEINE Before heading to the Champs-Élysées take a romantic night stroll along the river Seine.

Photos: Jonas Kempter

CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES & ARC DE TRIOMPHE Finish your day shopping along the Champs-Élyséeswhilst taking in the Arc de Triomphe. Don’t miss the flagship Louis Vuitton store. Issue 97 January 2018


decor ESTHER MOCCHEGIANI If it is true that “The joy of dressing is an art”, Ester is definitely able to apply this rule to everything around her, from fashion to interior design. With a Master of Art from the Westminster University in London, for the past few years she has been collaborating with brands like Giorgio Armani, Tiffany, Hermès, Dedar both in Milan and in the UK.


Like every year, when January comes along, all the interior design lovers have got only one big event saved on their calendar: MAISON&OBJET fair in Paris - which begins on 19 January and ends on the 23 January 2018.

In fact, since 1995, MAISON&OBJET has been the world’s foremost event for professionals of lifestyle, interior and design industries. Every edition brings together some 3,000 brands and more than 85,000 unique visitors – of which 50% hail from outside France. By promoting emerging talents, MAISON&OBJET presents the latest sources of inspiration and sheds insight into current and future trends.

creations, but also its “inspirations”. At each edition, the “Inspirations” theme provides an opportunity to investigate a strong new trend that gives an idea of what is to come: “Le thème d’Inspirations est toujours l’occasion de défricher une tendance forte qui préfigure l’air du temps” (cit.MOpresentation2018).

Following last year "Inspirations" theme of “SILENCE” – where the aim was to visually and concretely shape the What will characterise this unique design fair this year is silence through the use of objects and identify it as the not only the revelation of rising talents and original new “silent treatment” and the “remedy to the interminable

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racket of words and images […] we live in”- 2018 instead presents a brand new ‘tendance’ trend, so called “SHOW-ROOM”. Since September 2016, the three Trend Consultants of the MAISON&OBJET Observatory have taken turns in designing the Inspirations Forum to bring the edition’s concept to life- sharing their own personal vision of the collective work carried out all year round. In January 2018, the SHOW-ROOM concept for MAISON&OBJECT will finally be unveiled as the product of the investigative work conducted by NellyRodi’s team of consultants on a

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variety of societal, industry and marketing topics. The concept has been defined according to the impact which the digital revolution has had on our behaviour. To this effect, NellyRody’s agency team has named the concept -Showroomisation trend. With a new generation of hyper-connected and hyper-informed consumers who are reclaiming control and becoming trendsetters themselves, it is no longer the product that makes the consumer, but it is the consumer who makes the product. Whenever they share their hauls and stage their latest purchases, consumers play the parts of art

decor directors, designers and architects - they become a source of inspiration validated by other users. Hence, the SHOW-ROOM trend is the expression of the growing inclination to publicise one’s life, one’s intimacy, one’s world and to show both the stages people create as well as what is behind the scenes. Without even realising it, we experience the showroomisation every day. In fact, in our homes we now tend to feature an increasing amount of showroom elements such as racks, glass partitions, shelving units and walking wardrobes. We are assuming the role of curators - we stage the product, we style it and we present it as a work of art indicating the advent of an ego-based culture. Beside mirrors which will pop out everywhere at MAISON&OBJECT 2018, another example of this latest tendency can be found in the exhibitors’ choice of displaying a variety of decorative elements representing human faces, masks, figures, from lamps to dining plates and rugs, bringing the Facebook experience, tangibly, into the home.

put them on appositely created empty shelves to finally be asked the reason behind their selection. In a few words, the main message of this trend is that the Inspirations 2018 theme is an invitation to question the status quo and make a stand to overcome the “ennui”. It will be your chance to love, to hate, to voice your opinion and to set yourself apart…just like on social networks. So, it is now time for all of us home lovers to go and get a flight ticket to Paris. And, as my partner just suggested… thank God there isn't an IKEA in Malta.

The scenography created at MAISON&OBJECT 2018 has also a dramatic feel - mirrors, spotlights and glass display cases are displayed everywhere in this wide, interactive scenario. As a result, the scene will be more than a static, rigid staging but it will instead be a dynamic place where visitors can pick up one or more objects and Issue 97 January 2018


decor NIKKI ZAMMIT Nikki graduated as an architect and has a passion for both graphic and interior design. She has a logical perspective in her designs and aims to achieve a balance between the visually pleasing and the functional to create an enhanced user experience


If you are renovating your home or designing a new one, it may be beneficial to think of the future sale value of your property. Having a ‘designer finish’ may not necessarily add value to your property but could have a reverse effect. Your taste may be different to that of any potential buyer, and trends change from season to season, let alone from year to year. A stylish design does not attract buyers - they are looking for neutral spaces to which they can give their own personal touch.

then bring a more personal touch to the interior through decorative items such as cushions, curtains and other accessories. These are much easier to change. In this way, any future potential buyers are also provided with a clean backdrop with which to work with, making it easier for them to envision their future home.

That being said, if you intend to live in the place for a substantial amount of time, it is most important that you are happy with the design yourself. The reduction in property value or the extra cost to redo some items is For these reasons, keeping it simple yet elegant with some of the basic design features would be ideal. Having made up for in the enjoyment of the design while you are living in the premises yourself. a neutral base acting as a quasi-blank canvas, you can

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FANCY FLOORS Fitted carpeting is a major offence in the flooring department. While wallto-wall carpeting may provide a cosy atmosphere, most potential buyers are wondering what the floor beneath would look like once the carpet is ripped out. Apart from this, carpets stain and wear out easily and attract allergens. Even if they are maintained, it is highly probable that they will not give that desired spick-and-span impression. Similarly, buyers normally see vinyl flooring as unappealing. It has a certain stigma about it even though it has improved tremendously and is making a comeback. Whatever type of flooring, it would be wise to avoid heavy patterns and bold colours. Keep the future and your potential buyer in mind, and go for neutral colours such as white, beige and grey, which make decorating easier.

BOLD WALLS We all have personal preferences when it comes to painting our homes. However, would you paint your living room in terracotta if it were to devalue your property by a ₏1,000? Distinctive colours may seem like a good idea to make your home stand out, however they could knock off some points with future home owners. As with flooring, neutral colours are the safest bet as they provide a backdrop that does not interfere with the potential buyers visualising their future home. Textures and wall patterns manifested through painting techniques and patterned wallpaper, should also be avoided. They do not fit everyone’s style and are difficult to remove if clients do not envisage them in their future homes. It may benefit you to remove wallpaper and repaint if you intend to put your home up for sale.

CRAZY KITCHENS With the kitchen often being the showpiece area of the home, it is worthwhile to give a good impression here. While installing a high-end kitchen is costly, it might not provide the intended return if it does not suit the potential buyer’s taste. The price bracket of the appliances should be in proportion to that of the property. Having a restaurant-style stove or multidoor fridges may be seen as too extravagant to some who wouldn’t consider these to be assets. The same goes for the rest of the kitchen, however visual elements such as the cabinet doors and handles and the countertop have a higher impact on that first impression. These can influence an opinion and must look clean and well-kept. A stained countertop or scratched cabinet doors instantly affect the buyer’s opinion of the property.

GAUDY BATHROOMS Another room that can make or break the buyer’s opinion of the property is the bathroom. A classic bathroom with timeless fixtures and neutral colours will not go out of style. However, an outdated bathroom can knock off thousands from a selling price. For most buyers, it isn’t a pleasant surprise to find an avocado bathroom or wildly-coloured fixtures. When choosing a bathroom, it is better to go for styles that aren’t too distinctive and keep it simple instead. Funky tiles and fussy fixtures might seem fashionable at the time, but look outdated after just a few of years. When it comes to faucets and accessories, you can be a bit more adventurous as these are less costly to change. A simple look with neutral colours will serve you better overall if you intend to sell.

FASHION interview SHANNON BRIFFA Shannon is a self-taught seamstress who is passionate about finding economical, sustainable and ethical solutions to our fashion-hungry needs. Documenting all on her Facebook page Sew What, she is determined to prove that a little can go a long, fashionable way.


From the moment I discovered the sewing machine at the age of 15, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Fashion. I was so excited when I completed my first dress from a set of old bedsheets and called it ‘Lavender Tea-Party’! Little did I know back then, that this simple act of recycling would define my vision for Sustainable Fashion in Malta in 2018. Like most women, I have always wanted to dress well, and a trip to the shops was the means to that end. When I began sewing, I used my newfound skills to complement my shopping exploits, rather than replace them – I would buy inexpensive clothes, and alter them to my liking. What mattered the most to me was that I could buy a lot of clothing on a small budget. This was my idea of winning! But then my focus took a sharp turn. While doing personal research into the fashion industry and what a career in it would look like, I was devastated to learn about the extent of environmental damage and the human cost of the current fast-fashion industry trade (I recommend a viewing of the documentary ‘The True Cost’). As a person who cares deeply about the environment and human rights, I realised that if I was going to positively contribute to the Maltese fashion scene, I wanted it to have a strong, powerful voice in the name of sustainable and ethical fashion. With sewing skills at my fingertips, I finally took the full step to quit active shopping in 2017. I have now spent a year focusing on ways to create clothing that produces less waste, is sustainable, and kinder to the environment. The clothes I have featured in this spread were made from just 2 pieces of material and fabric cut-offs. The striped skirt and terracotta dress overleaf are one and the same item – a reversible multi-way garment that can be worn as a skirt or a dress, depending on how you loop the rope through the channels. The terracotta shorts and striped key hole dress were created from the leftovers, and the two crop tops (the blush pink beaded number, and the cross-over strap piece) were made from cut-off scraps I collected from the production floor.

Styling: Shannon Briffa - Sew What Photography: Zach Farrugia Makeup: Natalie R Vella Model: Lauren Mizzi 22 Issue 97 January 2018

In addition to making clothing from scratch, I also enjoy upcycling - that is, taking an old item of clothing and giving it a fashionable facelift. This can mean transforming an old dress into a fancy frock, converting unused scarves into kaftans or cover ups, dip-dying a top to give it a hipster edge, or adding a lace collar to what was a previously boring sweater. I have chronicled many of my upcycling projects and original designs on Facebook. The ‘Lavender Tea-Party’ dress now seems prophetic as it foreshadowed what my future fashion direction would be. Through my gift of sewing, I have found a way to marry my convictions with the choices I make when creating a piece of clothing. Now, I feel like I am truly winning. To get in touch with Shannon for one-of-a-kind commissions, donate used clothing for upcycling projects, or just to see what she’s up to lately, find her on her Facebook page ‘Sew What’.

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FASHION STEPHANIE XERRI AGIUS Stephanie started blogging in 2013 and since then, she has also travelled extensively to all continents bar South America and Antarctica. By exploring a variety of territories and lands, she has discovered her love for trekking, adventure sports, and physical training. When she is not en route to someplace exotic, Stephanie is passionate about fashion, channelling it through writing, content creation on her blog, and social media.


The cold winter snap does not have to spell being all bundled up and getting lost in a barrage of frumpy mismatched pieces. Instead, by taking a page out of trendsetters, stylists and street style connoisseurs' book one can be inspired by their wardrobe choices, whilst fulfilling two important winter criteria: staying warm but being stylish nonetheless. A few suggestions are therefore in order to bring comfort and joy to this dreary season. OUTFIT IDEAS 1. Start from the shoes or, more likely, boots. Whether knee high or ankle, the sock boot trend is incredibly sleek but comfortable with block or kitten heels. You need not be restricted to black either.

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FASHION 2. Colour your winter and beat those blues. Lively colours need not be in summer’s domain. Reinvent your colour palette with different colour combinations such as red and pink, or mustard and burgundy. Issue 97 January 2018


FASHION 3. Accessorize your outfit especially those monochromatic or more sombre tones of grey and camel. Statement earrings are the only thing you need really - they are one of this season’s most coveted items.

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FASHION 4. If denim leaves you cold to the touch, choose a woollen skirt and a rich burgundy over-theknee pair of plush suede boots. Better yet, why not try out a coordinated outfit? In that way you will be able to go from business to fun in no time with the right choice of footwear.

5. Use the trick of adding a third piece via a quirky or interesting detail, such as a blanket scarf (that can work overtime as a jacket when belted) or two jackets on top of each other, such as a leather jacket or blazer under a coat. The best layering outfit without feeling you are going to explode is: a thermal vest, a cashmere or soft wool polo neck, a blazer (on denim or a skirt), and a coat.


this unusual trend, choose structured coats that cinch in the waist. •

Thermals are your best friend - from vests to tights, you have a second skin that fits like a glove. This makes layering less heavy and more flattering.

Speaking of flattering shapes, if puffer jackets make you look or feel more like a penguin than like one of those off-duty models who pull off

Coats can be both stylish and keep you toasty. The key lies in the percentage of natural fibres as opposed to artificial ones. High street stores offer an enticing range but if you had to choose, a little extra money can make all the difference in giving you more wool percentage, which means a better run for your money. Opt for coats that have at least 70-75% wool over those that are cheaper in price because ultimately, the cheaper ones provide less warmth overall. Issue 97 January 2018


Photography: Gary Bugeja Styling: Malcolm Gauci Model: Shadey at Models M Hair: Neville at NVAD Makeup: Karl Nash

River Island Shirt: €43 River Island Trousers: €60 Mango Body: €25.99 Mango Choker: €19.99



Mango Jacket: €69.99 Mango Jeans: €49.99 New look Belt: €12.99

Mango Coat: €119.99 Stradivarius Top: €12.95 Mango Trousers: €49.99 Bershka Belt: €9.99

Mango Shirt: €59.90 Mango Belt: €15.99 Bershka Scarf: €8.99 Mango Glasses: €19.99

Stradivarius Knit: â‚Ź29.95 Stradivarius Skirt: â‚Ź29.95

River Island Dress: €87 Stradivarius Jacket: €45.99


LIVING A GLUTEN-FREE LIFE The immune system responds to gluten in different ways depending on who you are and your genetic disposition. Coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity are very common and both conditions are treated with a gluten-free diet. However, while awareness of the gluten free diet is at an all-time high, awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity remains fairly low. We caught up with Jacqui Farrugia, who was diagnosed with Coeliac disease in 2012 and now deals with the disease as a reality of her every day life. She explains the differences between celiac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and how living on a gluten free diet is much better than she expected. All you have to do is try! Her passion for cooking led her to set up ‘Senza G – Living without Gluten’ - a website and Facebook Page where she shares experiences, recipes, tips and ideas on how to turn food from boring into adventurous and daring … oh and gluten free obviously!

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COELIAC DISEASE (CD) OR NON-COELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)? CD and NCGS are both gluten related disorders. Coeliac is an Autoimmune Disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. In coeliac disease, gluten causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine. The resulting intestinal damage, called ‘villous atrophy’, specifically damages the villi in the small intestine rendering them unable to absorb vital nutrients from food. This can cause malnutrition and conditions such as infertility, osteoporosis, heart failure, and in rare cases, can potentially lead to cancer. Even minuscule amounts of gluten are dangerous to Coeliacs. On the other hand, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity or more commonly known as gluten sensitivity, is a condition whereby individuals cannot tolerate gluten and experience symptoms similar to those with coeliac disease, however, gluten sensitivity is much less severe.

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The difference between the two is that a gluten sensitive individual experiences a direct reaction to gluten. In other words, the body recognises gluten as an invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside the digestive tract. Gluten sensitivity causes lots of symptoms but does not cause damage. On the other hand, if someone is coeliac, the immune system's response to gluten ingestion actually erodes the villi, rendering them unable to absorb any nutrients. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Some might develop it early in life, whilst some others in adulthood. There are some who have no signs or symptoms whatsoever. This makes diagnosis very difficult. In fact, there are approximately 83% who are undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed with other conditions. The most common symptoms are diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or gas, weight loss/poor weight gain, joint pain, headaches/

gourmet migraines, depression, brain fog, irritability, skin rash, infertility, thin bones, hair loss, anaemia, tingling/numbness, mouth sores and discoloured teeth. My humble advice to those who have any symptoms is to get tested and always listen to your body. ARE THERE ANY CAUSES/IS IT HEREDITARY? It is not really clear what causes coeliac disease but genes play a strong role. Therefore, if a first degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter) is diagnosed with coeliac disease, it is advisable to get tested as well. Coeliac disease can also be 'triggered '. This as such is still an unproven theory, but it is said that severe emotional stress, an operation, some health issue or even pregnancy might trigger the disease. IF YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH CD OR ARE NCGS, WHAT IS THE TREATMENT TO BE FOLLOWED? There is no cure for CD or for NCGS. The treatment is a lifelong adherence to a strict gluten free diet which will allow the immune system to repair itself. Only food and beverage with a gluten content less than 20 parts per million (ppm) is allowed. Today, gluten is almost everywhere so you really have to be careful. You have to read labels, or rather, scrutinise labels. It lurks in places that you would never imagine. It is not just in bread, cakes and cookies- but in so many things like spice mixtures, stock cubes, in some sweets, some chocolates, even toothpaste, makeup and in many frozen products like simple oven chips! You also have to be careful with items such as oats, quinoa or even cornstarch -which in themselves are gluten free. Read the label and if it says 'Packaged or manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten products, steer clear because of the cross contamination from other wheat products being processed in the same plant.

be made. I have experienced that myself a few times. Dining out may not be as much fun any longer so you are safer entertaining at home than dining out. Today we can find so many products available on the market and so many options to eat natural gluten free foods like fresh vegetables, legumes, dairy items, meats, fish etc, that many families would not mind keeping gluten out of their kitchens if a family member is coeliac or gluten sensitive, to help reduce cross contamination. If, however, your kitchen is not completely gluten free, you have to be very careful and have to ensure that you have separate chopping boards, knives, toasters, pots and pans. I know it might sound overwhelming and exaggerated, but unfortunately that is how it has got to be. If you have just been diagnosed, I know it might feel overwhelming at first. Your first reaction would be ‘so what am I going to eat now?’ This was my reaction initially, until I looked at it as a challenge and wanted to prove that gluten free food can be good too! I started experimenting especially with gluten free baking and many ended up in the bin at first, but I did not lose heart. I now have my own website www.senza-G. com with many delicious, mouthwatering recipes which I love to share with others. My favorite words when anyone tries something I cooked or baked; “It’s so good. I can’t believe it’s gluten free!”

Cross contamination can happen in your own home and in restaurant kitchens - sometimes even those same restaurants who claim they serve gluten free dishes. Mistakes can always

I have whipped up two of my favourite recipes; A potato topped, cheese and onion oat pie and a strawberry meringue roulade for dessert. The potato topped, cheese and onion oat pie is an interesting and different kind of pie-filling is mostly made with oats and crushed hazelnuts combined with eggs, onions and cheddar cheese. This is topped with scalloped potatoes, grilled to a lovely golden brown. The strawberry meringue roulade is a gorgeous looking dessert which seems difficult and quite daunting to make, but honestly it is easy peasy! Go on, give it a try!

Potato topped, cheese and onion oat pie

Strawberry Meringue Roulade Issue 97 January 2018



Olive oil

25gr butter

100gr gluten free oats

50gr coarsely chopped hazelnuts

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 large onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

130gr cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp Sriracha Sauce

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

2 medium potatoes, sliced thinly

METHOD 1. 2.



Preheat oven to 180C. Sautè the onion and garlic in some olive oil and butter over low heat until translucent. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and continue cooking until caramalised. Set aside to cool. Spread the oats on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 45mins, adding the ground hazelnuts 5mins before the end of cooking time. Leave to cool. Add the onions and garlic to the oats and hazelnuts, together with the eggs, the grated cheese and the parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add the sauces.




Grease and line a quiche dish with baking paper. Place the potato slices in a concertina fashion on the bottom of the dish. Pour the oat filling on top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook for 30- 40mins. Take out the dish, leave to cool and remove the foil. Place a large serving dish on top and invert the pie onto the serving dish. Gently remove the baking paper. Brush the top of the potatoes with olive oil and place back in the oven and grill until the potatoes are golden. Slice into wedges and serve with salad if desired.


4 large egg whites

1 tsp corn starch

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp white wine vinegar

Fresh Cream (approx 200ml)

Thinly sliced strawberries


2. 3.


Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Start adding the sugar at intervals and keep beating till meringue thickens, add the vanilla essence, the teaspoon of corn starch and the white wine vinegar, and continue beating until meringue is firm. Preheat oven to 160C. Place baking paper on a rectangular baking tin and spread the meringue evenly. Bake for 30mins. It will start to crisp around the sides and the middle will remain slightly soft. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool. In the meantime, beat the fresh cream, adding a few drops of vanilla essence. Slice the strawberries. Make sure the sliced strawberries



7. 8.

are dry. Place another larger piece of baking sheet over the meringue, and quickly turn the meringue over and lay on the counter. Remove the baking tin and then slowly peel off the baking sheet. Now spread the fresh cream over the top of the meringue, but leave a border. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top. With the help of the fresh baking paper, start rolling the meringue from the shorter end. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle heavily with icing sugar. Decorate with sliced strawberries and mint leaves. Optional: Put some fresh cream on top and place strawberries over that.

gourmet 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.


Some people refer to wheat allergy as gluten allergy. However, this is not the case because the actual allergic reaction to wheat involves more components of wheat than just the gluten proteins.

If a person is allergic to wheat it means that he/she is allergic to any of the four types of wheat proteins. Wheat proteins include albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten. Exposure to wheat triggers allergic reactions in the body. This means the body will react in a negative way when consuming wheat or even inhaling wheat flour. On the other hand, if a person is intolerant or allergic to gluten, this means the body doesn't react well to it. Gluten is one of the wheat proteins and the person is unable to digest it properly. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WHEAT-FREE AND GLUTEN-FREE FOODS If you’re coeliac or struggle with gluten intolerance, you most likely know exactly how to spot gluten-free foods. If someone is on a gluten free diet for health issues, it is necessary for them to be on a wheat free diet as all wheat has gluten in it. However, the term “wheat-free” alone is not enough and one should opt for a gluten-free product. This is because gluten can be found in other crops too like barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. On the other hand, if one is allergic to any of the protein in wheat, one needs to opt for wheat-free products. SOURCES OF WHEAT PROTEINS • Most baked items like cookies, muffins, cakes, bread and bread crumbs • Breakfast cereals • Couscous, farina, semolina, Spelt • Pasta (but not all pasta) OTHER HIDDEN SOURCES: • beer • Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein • a lot of sauces • many dips • ketchup • most processed meat

42 Issue 97 January 2018

dairy products


• Wheat (including semolina, durum, spelt, triticale) • Rye • Barley • Oats – They don't contain gluten by composition, but may get cross-contaminated in the facility. Choose oats labelled ‘gluten-free' to be sure. WANT TO GO WHEAT-FREE AND GLUTEN-FREE?


SOME GOOD CHOICES INCLUDE: • Raw fruits and vegetables • Proteins from lean meats, and beans • Grains that do not contain wheat or gluten like rice and quinoa • Baking alternatives like coconut flour, and almond flour If you're not allergic to grains other than wheat, a wheatfree diet is less restrictive. However, whether you are gluten

conduct a full exemination.

intolerant or allergic to wheat, it is best to avoid wheat at all cost. Wheat can wreak havoc on your digestive system - it's a huge source of gut irritation, and can cause silent inflammation. If you take the following steps and find you need to follow a gluten-free diet, it can still fill all your nutritional requirements, but only if done carefully. HOW TO CHECK IF YOU NEED A GLUTEN-FREE OR WHEATFREE DIET 1. Set up an appointment with your family physician to

2. Consult with appropriate specialists, to check for food intolerance or for wheat allergy and a gastroenterologist for coeliac or another gastrointestinal disease. If you have a wheat allergy, you must avoid wheat, but you do not have to avoid gluten from other grains. If you have coeliac disease, you must avoid gluten — even the tiniest amounts. Remember, you must be eating gluten for the diagnosis to be made. 3. If you do not have a wheat allergy or coeliac disease, visit a registered nutritionist to verify that you are following a balanced diet with plenty of nutrient-dense, naturally fiberrich foods and that you are getting adequate physical activity. A healthy diet and lifestyle reduce negative gastrointestinal symptoms and inflammation, boost the immune system, improve brain function and reduce depression and anxiety. If you are overweight, you need to lose weight, as body fat can be toxic. It produces hormones and pro-inflammatory chemicals that regulate metabolism, the immune system, inflammation and the progression of artery hardening. Issue 97 January 2018


gourmet MARTINA CAMILLERI Martina has obtained a B.A Hons degree in Pyschology. She has a strong passion for plant based cooking and nutrition. She strongly believes that, 'we are what we eat' and food affects us on a physical, mental and emotional level. Martina is also the owner of page, 'Food Therapy for a conscious living' where she strives to encourage others to opt for plant based healthy food.


“Vegan? Where do you get your protein from?" This is probably the question that is most frequently asked of vegans or vegetarians. One might not be aware that it is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. In fact, protein is one of the easiest nutrients to find in a plant based diet. WHAT’S PROTEIN? Protein is made up of amino acids; the building blocks of life. Some amino acids can be made by our amazing body, however, there are the nine essential amino acids which our body cannot synthesise. Therefore, these must be consumed through food. Protein is vital for our body in order to repair and regulate all of our muscles, organs and tissues. Some protein takes the form of a carrier (e.g. haemoglobin) or an enzyme (e.g. amylase). PLANT PROTEIN VS MEAT PROTEIN

What one might not be aware of, is the inhumane way animals are being slaughtered on a daily basis, and the large amount of hormones and antibiotics that are given to these animals - which in turn end up in your system. Turning towards meat, pork, lamb, chicken or whey may be the ‘easiest’ thing to cook as it is what you are used to, but these are not necessarily the best options for your body, and also for the environment around us. Meat consumption has a profound effect on our environment due to all the water consumption and land used up. Vegans get an adequate amount of protein just as much as meat eaters do...but how? Foods such a grains, nuts, legumes and pulses are bursting with protein and many other nutrients! That’s my favourite thing about plant protein; it’s a buy one get four free offer - and who doesn’t love a good bargain? What I mean to say is that many sources of protein are not just high in protein, but are often high in fibre, antioxidants and other nutrients. For example, the

44 Issue 97 January 2018

Vegan Ross il-forn

When one first hears the word ‘protein’, I’m pretty sure a piece of meat or poultry comes to mind (unless one is vegan). The idea of consuming animal protein on a daily basis is deeply embedded in our cultural roots, especially as Maltese, where most traditional dishes are meat based. After being vegan for a year, I still struggle to explain to my grandma that I don't eat meat when she tries to convince me that her ”vegetable” soup has no chicken in it.

grain quinoa is high in protein, magnesium, potassium, fibre and vitamin b6, and also contains no cholesterol. Plant based protein is also cheaper to buy and one is still able to cook up a hearty meal with it! I know that many fitness junkies and sports enthusiasts highly rely on their post/pre workout protein shakes and meals, however, some don't shy away from the vegan protein. A few months ago I was lucky enough to sit next to the Olympic


athlete Alyn Camara for 12 hours and got to know he's vegan! He told me how much his sports performance and recovery has improved ever since he turned to a plant based diet. One of my main aims of my food page, ‘Food Therapy - for a conscious living’, is to show and teach others that living a vegan, plant based lifestyle is not limited to only salads and boring foods. There are so many things one can do with lentils, beans, nuts, etc - and it’s great fun to play around with all the different flavours! Start by creating one meatless meal a week and you will realise how easy and cost efficient it is. One of my favourite things to make for my family, who are all meat eaters, is a Vegan ‘Ross fil- Forn’. The first time I made this, no one could believe it had no meat in it! RECIPE FOR VEGAN BOLOGNESE SAUCE • •

Typical homemade tomato sauce, sweetened with dates instead of sugar Brown basmati rice

• Brown lentils • Walnuts • Nutritional yeast • Worcester Sauce (I make my own; recipe from Onegreenplanet) • Ground almonds • Olive oil METHOD Boil the rice as you normally would and the brown lentils in a separate pot. The lentils will take approximately 30 minutes to boil. Once the lentils are done, transfer them to a food processor/ blender and add the walnuts using the ratio of two cups of lentils and one cup of walnuts. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, Worcester Sauce, onion and pulse. Mix the “mince” into the tomato sauce and then mix with the rice. Transfer to your baking dish. Mix together some more walnuts, ground almonds, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and black pepper and blend until you have a crumbly consistency. Top your rice with this “vegan parmesan” and bake at 180 C for approximately 25- 30 minutes. Issue 97 January 2018



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


The new year creates time for reflection of the past year and inspires new challenges. A New Year’s resolution is a promise a person makes in the beginning of the new year in an attempt to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve his/her life. Even though some of us don’t tend to stick to our promises, there is always a resolution floating around at the back of our mind. Resolutions vary and some people have very specific resolutions such as being charitable, more assertive, more environmentally responsible or more health conscious. The health related resolutions usually revolve around one’s lifestyle. Most of the time, people set a time frame in which means they have a set time in which to measure their progress and reach target to work towards in order to achieve their desired goal. However, we need to be aware that New Year’s resolutions have to be realistic, and one cannot expect a big change within a short period of time. Resolutions can be easy to break, but how much the resolution really works depends on willpower and how badly the person wants to achieve his/her goal. A study carried out in Australia found that the most common reason for participants failing to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in ten respondents claimed that they made too many resolutions. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. If a person has decided they need to lose weight, here are some tips which will decrease the chance of failure: Celebrate Small Victories: Every achievement in terms of weight loss and every step forward in that direction should be celebrated to help motivate a person. Small victories help with the achievement of big goals over time. Rewarding yourself for your healthy efforts will reinforce your new habits and inspire you to continue your journey. There are lots of effective and motivating ways to reward oneself such as purchasing a new dress or treating yourself to a new hairdo. Resolving and failing: One needs to make a pact with themselves to make sure the goal can be accomplished

46 Issue 97 January 2018

incrementally with all its difficulties. Do not give up if you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s resolution. It is never too late to start again, as long as you’re determined to try harder. Get support from family and friends: Seeking support from friends and family is one way to go. With their help it is easier to achieve goals and with professional help these can be reached even faster. It’s always easier to attain your weightloss goal if the whole family eats healthier food or goes for a walk together. As role models, parents need to make sure they're demonstrating a healthy attitude. In this way, they are also reinforcing the family bonds, together with a healthy lifestyle. Make a commitment: Focus, energy and time are the essential ingredients. Push yourself so as not to make excuses about the difficulty of staying on track. Take a long term approach: Committing long term usually gives the best results. This takes time and effort but will help one maintain consistency. It is the small incremental steps which are realistic rather than sudden changes in one’s diet or appearance. Enjoy healthy food : The choice is yours to make. Making conscious healthy choices for a balanced diet is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy well-being; both mentally and physically. Avoid the company of people who push food on you: You know yourself better than anybody else and the last thing you need is people who say it’s alright to indulge. Try to avoid going to parties too frequently. Encourage your family and friends to find new ways to be entertained and choose healthier options when dining out.

health Identify problems and find solutions: Efficient planning helps in knowing what situations may be problematic and working towards effective solutions. Try to identify any pitfalls you may have. If it is when you find yourself alone in the kitchen that you opt for the biscuits and the cheese, and you aren’t assertive enough to resist, the best thing you need to do is eliminate them altogether. Stock your kitchen with a variety of healthy food instead and you'll feel satisfied enough anyway. Setting Realistic Goals for a week, a month or a year encourages one to work towards their goal slowly and steadily, instead of taking quantum leaps into it and ending up disappointed. So this year I hope that every person out there making a ‘healthy weight resolution'is doing well and can use these pointers for additional support. For more information and advice on weight loss and services offered, call the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate on 23266000.

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i n G u a r d a m a n g i a o p e n s 7 d ay s a w e e k f r o m 0 8: 0 0 t i l l 18: 0 0 .

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Siġġiewi - Mobile Unit – in Parish Church Square (in front of Local Council) from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Pieta - Mobile Team – in Radio 101 Studios from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Gozo - General Hospital – Inside Outpatients Department from 8:00am till 1:00pm

Gozo - General Hospital – Inside Outpatients Department from 8:00am till 1:00pm

14th January

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Żebbuġ - Mobile Unit – in Parish Church Square from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Mellieha - Mobile Unit – in Parish Church Square from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

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30mins is all it takes E: T: 220 66 209 | M: 79 307 307 Issue 97 January 2018


Valletta PHILIPPA ZAMMIT While working in sales and marketing at Media Today, she has obtained an Honours degree in Communications. With a fancy for entertainment, Philippa loves a sumptuous meal out as well as an exotic cocktail. Nonetheless, she’ll never say no to a cuppa tea and a soppy movie.


Valletta is currently undergoing a renaissance, manifested in physical, social and cultural transitions. The transformation has not been an abrupt one, although it seems that it has been brought about by Malta’s EU presidency in 2017 and Valletta being named the European Capital of Culture for 2018. These have been great catalysts in consolidating a more positive view of the city. Although significant changes have been taking place over the past 20 years, the most visible changes have been happening recently. This causes one to ponder on the reasons for change and question if they will have a lasting effect on the persisting prosperity of the city. Physical changes have been taking place. The first

48 Issue 97 January 2018

category of change, resulting due to the city becoming cleaner, was a surge in people purchasing and, consequently, restoring property in Valletta. The other physical change involves particular projects which bring to life abandoned or previously considered uninteresting places. An example of this is the city gate project. Architect Konrad Buhagiar, co-founder of Architecture Project who collaborated with Renzo Piano on the City Gate project, says that the investment in the Valletta theatre is beneficial because it generates an attraction to people. The City Gate Project is considered by many to be very successful because it respects traditional architecture and makes use of local materials. Modern interventions


are welcome but should be carried out well. “This is a very complicated problem because it is a UNESCO World Heritage site” says Architect Justin Schembri, an architect and civil engineer involved in various ongoing Valletta projects. The starting point of redevelopment is to holistically evaluate the many different values of the space, being historic, technological or social values. “Basically it is balancing the values and coming up with the best solution to preserve the majority of the values. However, within every project there is going to be something that is compromised, it is just the nature of the project and how these things evolve. It is very case specific. It has to be sustainable” says Tabitha Dreyfuss, a restoration architect. The success of the projects isn’t just visual. Their long lasting success can be affected by ease of access and their appeal to the public. “The transport in the city is broken. It is useless having a beautiful and expanding city with an inefficient transport system, which makes it impossible to reach the city” says Perit Justin Schembri. A push in the organisation of public transportation would contribute to the city’s long-lasting revival. Socially, there has been a drastic change within the city. After the British left Malta in the 1960s, Valletta experienced a decline from a livability perspective and a decline of a living city with regards to nightlife,

entertainment and cultural activities says Caldon Mercieca, Research Committee Member from the Valletta 2018 Foundation. Now that it is once again becoming more sought after, Valletta is moving back to its original position as the important capital city, attracting investors to set up businesses and more people visiting the city. “It’s an advantage for us and everyone else who has set up in Valletta” says Rafel Sammut who has recently opened the ‘Pulled Meat Company’ in South Street. One is now spoilt for choice with all the eateries around Valletta. “There are two same concept restaurants in our road, however, more competition is what brings more people” says a chef from a nearby establishment. The authorities are also becoming more lenient and encouraging entertainment. Restaurants and cafés are now allowed to set up tables outside as long as they stick to their allotted area and have also extended their opening hours. Michael Carbone, current owner of Café Society and previous owner of Malata, notes that before Straight Street kicked off around five years ago, Valletta was considered to be a ghost town. “I used to have customers come to the restaurant saying what a beautiful city but pity it is dead at night.”

Valletta’s revival has also led to the opening and redevelopment of multiple boutique hotels. Tourism reacts quickly to investments, thus, more people Issue 97 January 2018


valletta are open to residing in Valletta as a sort of city break, according to Michael Cutajar from the Malta Tourism Authority. There has also been a thorough improvement of Valletta from a cultural perspective. Several projects have taken place which are contributing to the cultural scene in Valletta, such as; the independent contemporary art space Blitz, MUZA, the Valletta Design Cluster and the restoration of ‘is-Suq tal-Belt’. “The idea of the Design Cluster is to be a start-up incubation centre for designers who are starting up a business and aren’t yet established. They can apply to this fund which will incubate them for the first three years” says Tabitha Dreyfuss, former restoration architect of the Valletta Design Cluster. This project consists of the conversion of residences and habitations into new offices which are linked, as well as exhibition space. The private sector is also an actor in the development of the cultural developments happening in Valletta. An example of this is Café Society, a café/bar which offers a space for creative artists. Michael Carbone, the owner of this establishment, says that it has hosted “poetry readings, book launches, live bands, networking events for start-up businesses, so I think we are chipping in to the cultural community”. The Valletta 2018 Foundation is trying to create awareness of the cultural significance of Valletta, however it is important to respect residents who show no interest in partaking in cultural events as these might end up being crowded out of Valletta. Therefore, we must be cautious in order to protect that social dimension in

50 Issue 97 January 2018

particular. It is a necessity that Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture will have a positive effect on everyone and not only artists or people who can afford to live in the city says Caldon Mercieca. Bringing the city back to life is a priority, increasing the value of the city and, in turn, causing gentrification. The rise in the value of property is causing complications as it is now “very difficult for people from Valletta to actually afford their own property” says Caldon Mercieca. Some people have no option but to sell-out to the better off and move out of the capital city. Valletta has experienced great improvements physically, socially and culturally. The economic aspect continues to drive Valletta’s renaissance. Valletta’s potential has been recognised and it is highly likely that developments will continue to take place even following the upcoming events which are considered to be driving this change. V18 has contributed to regenerating the city, but the economy has also been a great contributor. The value of city is continuously increasing. Let’s hope that all aspects of change are considered holistically in order to allow Valletta to continue to strive.


Yorick Bonnici

Charlene Xerri Gatt


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TV REVIEW 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 Punisher is the latest roll-out from the Marvel-Netflix stable, and while it has plenty of generic treats up its (weaponised) sleeve, there is also a mythic core to its blood-soaked story that is worth exploring.

52 Issue 97 January 2018

TV REVIEW There have been several attempts to “make something” out of Marvel Comics's Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) over the years, few of which even succeeded in their immediate goal of telling a satisfying standalone story, let alone launching a fully-fledged franchise. As it happens, the very first of these comic-to-film adaptations ended up being, in retrospect, successful enough “for what it was”: the Dolph Lundgren-starring 1989 film offered a no-nonsense slice of B-movie joy whose pulpy provenance is hard to fault. Its failures, such as they are, derive from lack of ambition rather than an excess of it – which is most certainly an accusation you could lob at 2004's Thomas Jane-starring attempt by director XX... you could in fact lob it with the same conviction and intensity that Frank himself would lob a grenade at a band of gangsters in some disused warehouse. Then came 2008's Punisher: War Zone – with a likeable turn by Ray Stevenson in the titular role but very little else of all that much value, save for a so-bad-it's-good stylistic feel to the whole film which just might – might – save it for future generations. Just what is it that makes such a straightforward premise as The Punisher's – wartime veteran comes back home only to have his family slaughtered by criminals in cold blood, vows equally cold-blooded, homicidal 'punishment' on their entire 'species' – fare so badly in the world of celluloid for so long? For one thing, it's certainly simple-enough to bypass the usual budgetary and CGI-related challenges of the more standard superhero fare in Marvel's (and DC's, while we're at it) roster. In fact, there's a reason why the Lundgren version was one of the first films of its kind. But perhaps this supposed 'simplicity' is actually the root of the problem. The Punisher, created by Gerry Conway, John Romita Sr and Ross Andru, and having his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974), was a byproduct

of his time – a cynical, post-Vietnam and Watergate America whose pop culture subsequently produced the likes of Dirty Harry and Death Wish (Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver stands as arguably a more gilded artistic project growing from the same angry, toxic vein). Disaffection with government was in the air, and so the vigilante taking the law in their own hands was given ample space and oxygen to blossom, then wage (un)holy war on all evildoers. Seen this way, it becomes clear that The Punisher was at least partly influenced by the films coming out during that time, so that transferring that property back into films will inevitably lead to a product that feels somewhat repetitive, if not dead on arrival. NETFLIX MAGIC BULLET Fast-forward a few years later, and it's become clear that Jon Bernthal's take on Frank Castle dodged that particular bullet – while of course, dishing a fair share of his own and also taking a sometimes-implausible few himself – after he first appeared in the second season of Marvel-Netflix's Daredevil, and then got to air his own spinoff show last November. There are several prosaic reasons why The Punisher show was as successful among both fans and critics as it was. Show-run by Steve Lightfoot, it cleaves closer to the betterstructured shows among its peers – such as Luke Cage – while avoiding the pitfalls of the likes of Iron Fist. Updating Frank's military history from Vietnam to Afghanistan is a logical step, but actually inserting it into the tragic inciting incident is a clever twist of the knife; it both caters to anti-interventionist sentiment while giving way to a layer of political intrigue to the overarching story. In this, the dogooder from the inside – Agent Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) – is placed in parallel to Frank and his newfound – and reluctantly-adopted – sidekick David 'Micro' Lieberman Issue 97 January 2018



(Ebon Moss-Bachrach); another victim of the militaryindustrial complex but with a more intellectually-based skill-set that complements Frank's killer instincts and tactics. With space also being given to the fate of returning and alienated veterans – chiefly from the perspective of Frank's former military colleagues Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) and Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore) – with subplots that close in on the main plot, then snake their way into cruel twists, the end result is a show that gives vent to a full emotional spectrum, and a world whose overblown dynamics nonetheless feel lived-in. THE REVENGE OF THE REVENANT But I'd argue that that's only a superficial layer as to why the show truly achieves something special. Beyond the grittiness and realpolitik that it flirts with – which, at the end of the day, makes for a pretty standard 'lone agent/s vs corrupt government' narrative – there is a more mythic layer to Frank's journey that's woven in. Frank and Micro live and plan their strategy from an underground base constructed by the latter – who keeps tabs on his family through CCTV cameras installed around his homestead. The outside world believes both

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men to be dead – and that includes Micro's wife Sarah (Jaime Ray Newman) and their two children. Unexpected circumstances however lead Frank – under the guise of his alter-ego Pete Castiglione – to pay a visit to the Lieberman household. The need to both maintain an consistent lie and keep the family consoled and safe from harm necessitate repeated visits, which result in Frank developing something of a bond with Sarah and the boys, even serving as something of a surrogate father, and husband – at a crucial remove. Acting out this role, Frank is both alive and dead. Billy himself even refers to Frank as a “revenant” at some point, and seeing him emerge from the underworld like a ghost of his former self to meet Sarah, the dynamic is clear. Coupled with the fact that this entire situation brings to mind the family he's lost (not that the haunted Frank needs all that many reminders), which void is felt by Sarah for her husband, the interplay of absences-that-aren'tabsences lend a ghostly pall to this gritty tale of revenge and institutional rot. The spectral dynamics at play here are evenly met with a Gothic dimension following the season's climax... in what ends up being quite the balletic act of tonal variety, and some of the most essential viewing from the MarvelNetflix box of delights.



This month we are giving out a copy of BEST OF ADAM SHARP BY GRAEME SIMSION

Send your entries to

What is the name of Graeme Simsion’s pervious novel:

Last month's winner is ALISON MINTOFF

by no later than 15 January.




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.


Laurence Grixti broke his own record at Racalmuto in December. Two thousand and seventeen will go down in the annals of Maltese motor sport as another vintage year - a year in which Maltese drivers and riders have again excelled in the International arena, making us all so proud to form part of this great brotherhood. I am drafting this article on Wednesday 13 December, a beautiful sunny day, a public holiday for Malta, and a somewhat special day for me too, since on this day 21 long years ago a group of three local cardiology surgeons worked away on me for long hours in a surgical operation that was to give me a new lease of life, and for which I am for ever thankful. It wasn’t easy for me to accept the fact that my busy life had

56 Issue 97 January 2018

changed overnight at the age of 50, and yes, I did go through quite a few months of serious depression. I sold a number of my prized old motorcycles in the process. I even sold my racing car that I had built some years before and with which I raced so successfully in so many events. I thought my useful life was over, but as the years rolled on I started picking up again, and today, 21 long years down the road, I celebrated with friends - a pleasant morning bike ride and a superb lunch. And that’s what life is all about. And I’m back racing again too, which I have to admit is something I never thought I would be doing again. I don’t think I’ll be winning any World championships, but I have thoroughly enjoyed fiddling and playing with my cars and bikes again in recent years. I’ve

motor sports

Fabio Baldacchino's OMS Suzuki on the start line at Gnejna. probably competed in more events in the last three years than I have done in the previous 20. So as far as I’m concerned, all is well with the world. As I write these words, all the 2017 championships have come to an end. Perhaps the greatest success story for Malta was Duncan Micallef’s win in the European Drag racing championships where he was recently crowned Top Fuel European Champion at the FIA’s annual prize giving ceremony in Paris. This is indeed an honour for Malta, and a credit to Duncan and his compact little team. He went about the job with minimal fuss and finished with the maximum result. He has made Malta proud. Other drivers and riders have been successful in the International arena this year too, despite our embarrassing lack of local facilities. It just goes to show that where there’s a will, there’s a way and when someone really sets his mind to do something, there isn’t much that can hold him or her back. I wrote earlier that my morning was spent riding Malta’s country lanes with my wife Carolyn on the pillion seat of my Yamaha FJR, in the company of like-minded friends. When I was asked to lead the ride, my mind went straight to Mtahleb. The famous “hill climb” hill from Migra Ferha to Mtahleb is presently being given a complete resurfacing and tidying up and I wanted to see how much progress has been made, so here was the perfect opportunity. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst the approach

road is still an absolute disaster, the hill itself is looking absolutely superb. The bottom paddock too has been extended and resurfaced, and I understand that the hill will be extended a further 300 metres after the present finish line. And the access road too is on the programme for resurfacing. The gutters and boundary walls still need attention, but I am sure that these two are included in the proposed work schedule, so I cannot wait to see the finished job. I am delighted that with a little bit of goodwill from various parties, the local motorsport calendar doesn’t have any clashing dates with the Sicilian events that Maltese drivers participate in. This means that I hope to be present on the start line for another Mtahleb hill climb of the ICC next March, after almost 30 years. Whilst talking of calendars I cannot help but thank Dr Michelangelo Romano, managing director of the Autodromo Valle dei Templi at Racalmuto, for his immense co-operation. When the Malta Motorsport Federation issued the finalised 2018 Malta motorsport calendar, four local dates (three ICC hill climbs, and a drag race meeting at Hal Far) clashed with important dates for events at Racalmuto. I am delighted to say that Dr Romano got on the phone and rearranged three of those dates within a matter of minutes, and the MDRA changed the other date too. This is what I call co-operation. We could all do with learning a bit about that. So now we have an excellent 2018 motorsport calendar comprising CSAI hill climbs in Italy, circuit racing at Sicily’s two major circuits; Racalmuto and Pergusa, the seven rounds of the Issue 97 January 2018


MOTOR SPORTS very popular Racalmuto Time Attack championship now in its eighth year, the full MDRA drag racing calendar, the full ICC hill climb calendar, the Mdina Grand Prix and others. And there are hardly any clashes. Thanks again to all those who co-operated. Now let’s hope none of the clubs decide to change dates half way through the season. I was planning to do two events in December to finish off a very successful season of racing but the Mini’s differential cried “enough” on the last lap of the last race of the Racalmuto Gran Premio di Velocita at the end of November, leaving me as a nail biting spectator at both the Gnejna hill climb of the ICC and the last round of the Time Attack championship at Racalmuto. However, “kull deni hudu b’gid” as the Maltese saying goes, and that was exactly what happened at Gnejna. I spent most of the day in the bottom paddock at Gnejna talking to drivers, helpers and spectators alike, and formed a bit of an opinion as to why entries for recent hill climbs have dropped so dramatically. The organisation of the event was excellent. The electronic timing worked faultlessly throughout the day. The venue is not brilliant but beggars can’t be choosers, so what are the drivers complaining about? An over simplification would be to describe it as too much red tape. I am sure that there will be many that disagree with me, but facts are facts. If I spoke to ten drivers, eight of them had the exact same things to say. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the committee of the club and

Nothing beats a motorcycle ride on a lovely winter's morning. the federation made a similar exercise, rather than bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem will go away. We now have fully certified Maltese motorsport officials - fully certified by the FIA. The authorities need to listen to them and in turn they need to listen to the members. I’m sure that with a bit of dialogue and good will, most of the present problems relating to local motorsport can be ironed out to everybody’s benefit. But then I suppose I have always been a bit of an optimist!


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motor sports

Malta's European Drag Racing Chsmpion Duncan Micallef in action.







Screening of the Swedish film Cloudboy at the cinema of Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta at 19:30 (January 10) and 20:30 (January 26). The film is a comingof-age story that follows the life of Niilas, a twelve year old boy who undertakes a journey to visit his mother and halfsiblings in rural northern Sweden. The film forms part of Spazju Kreattiv's Children and Young Audience Programme. Tickets are at €7; €6 for members on presentation of the Cinema Membership Card; Ticket Prices for Children and Youth (till age 17) €5. Bookings: http://www. JANUARY 13-27

Valletta International Baroque Festival

Since its launch in 2013, the Valletta International Baroque Festival has treated audiences to a unique event featuring some of the best ensembles on the baroque music scene. Taking as its main venue one of the oldest working theatres in the world, Teatru Manoel, this prestigious two-week festival also plays out within many wonderful baroque and historical venues, such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Grandmaster’s Palace. This year’s musical programme has once again secured some of the best contemporary exponents of Baroque music from the international and local sphere to contribute to

Burmarrad Nature Walk

the celebration of Malta’s capital. Bookings and more information: http:// JANUARY 13

Take Your Show to the Edinburgh Fringe

Seminar organised by Ideas Alive at Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta at 10:30. The seminar will be giving practical tips about the process of taking your theatrical performance to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It will feature talks by Steve Hili and Malclom Galea, both of whom have performed and produced shows at the fringe on numerous occasions. Cost of participation is only €40. For more details and to apply please contact send an email to Ann@ JANUARY 13

Carl Lautier + Daniel Blade + Monochrome + Matte Night of electronic music at The Playground, St Julian's at 22:00. Headlined by Carl Lautier and also featuring Daniel Blade, Monochrome and Matte. JANUARY 13

Beheaded + Blasphemer Landmark local death metal band Beheaded return for a live gig after a four-year absence at The Garage,

Zebbug. They will be joined by Italian band Blasphemer. Beheaded will be officially launching their latest album 'Beast Incarnate', which will be on sale on the night. DJ Hades will be on the decks throughout the night. Tickets are at €10. Bookings: product/beheaded-mt-blasphemerita-live-ticket. JANUARY 20

Valletta 2018 Opening Ceremony

Valletta 2018's Opening Week draws crowds to the heart of Valletta with music and entertainment, street artists and performers spreading word of the Opening around the capital’s streets, exhibitions set in diverse venues around the city, open days that rediscover Valletta’s fascinating historical spaces, community storytelling events centred around the city’s residents and the spaces they use, and much more. It will encompass Valletta’s four main squares – St George’s Square, St John’s Square, Castille Square, and the area around the Triton Fountain – where the Catalan theatrical group, La Fura dels Baus, blurs the line between audience and performer with outdoor acrobatics, while ŻfinMalta offer contemporary dance performances. The event will feature digital projections, video art and choral symphony lend the capital a wondrous and magical atmosphere. It will also feature travelling bands and performers take the festivities to the streets. More information: visit http:// JANUARY 20

Happy End

Screening of Michael Haneke's latest drama at the cinema of Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta at 20:30. Entrance is at €7 for the general public and €6 for cinema members. Bookings: JANUARY 20

Goldstein (Live Debut) – Kingdoms of Dusk – Lady 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. 60 Issue 97 January 2018



Metal concert at The Garage, Zebbug. Featuring the bands Goldstein (in their live debut), Kingdoms of Dusk and Lady Lizard. Doors open at 21:00. Entrance is at €5. JANUARY 27

Burmarrad Nature Walk & Eco Farm Visit Circular nature walk starting and finishing at Burmarrad, organised by Birdlife Malta. Visitors will be guided to Vincent's Eco-Farm in Mġarr en route to sample food and wine. Eco products will be available to purchase. The meeting point will be Santa Margerita Chapel in Burmarrad (near Sherries Estates). Meeting time is at 08:30 sharp. This is an easy/moderate walk suitable for all ages. Participation is open to BirdLife Malta members only for a minimal fee of €6 and will be limited to 50 participants on a first come, first served basis.

Happy End


Dark Winter Meeting

Heavy metal music festival at The Garage, Zebbug starting at 16:00. Featuring HATE, Nox Vorago, Abrupt Demise, Cold Raven, Infernal Angels, Rapture and Chaotic Remains. Tickets are at €20. Bookings: http:// tickets/dark-winter-meetingeticket-2018/.



City of Shadows – Book Launch

Book launch of John Naudi's historical fiction novel City of Shadows at the Malta Society of Arts, Republic Street, Valletta. 'Malta, late 19th Century. Valletta, the capital city, is in turmoil. A series of grisly murders leads London Constable, Archibald Whitlock, to travel to Malta and assist with the investigation. Meanwhile, Don Lorenzo answers the Lord’s call to protect the flock, while troubled woman Rita Formosa wanders the tangled web of Strada Stretta. Danger lurks in the dark, constricted lanes of the city and time slowly runs out as each tries to unlock the secret that is haunting Valletta.' Doors open at 18:00. Issue 97 January 2018







This year’s London-based Fashion Awards were held in partnership with Swarovski on December 4. The star-studded event was hosted by Karlie Kloss and Jack Whitehall at London's Royal Albert Hall. The event honoured the best in fashion from all over the world and was filled with some of the most stylish personalities and not so stylish personalities. Whilst most of them nailed their look, others totally missed the mark and their look left a lot to be desired.










IT CAN ASSIST IN CHILDBIRTH Blackberries help relieve labour pain as they contain high levels of Vitamin K, which acts as a muscle relaxant

Immerse yourself in a land of fruit.


Cal from Fat 9

Sodium 1mg


Total Fat 1g


Total Carbohydrates 15g


Saturated Fat 0g


Dietary Fiber 8g


Trans fat 0g


Sugars 7g


Cholesterol 0 mg


Protein 2g



January 2018  
January 2018