Page 1

Mar 2018 | Issue 99




Julian Alps by Lorella Castillo

Editorial Issue 99 - March 2018 VIDA Magazine is a monthly lifestyle magazine distributed with MaltaToday on the first Sunday of the month. It aims to empower people to lead a better, healthier, and happier life. Publisher


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

Marching On. This March, as we celebrate the spirit of women empowerment and feminine power on Women’s Day, we asked five young women – women who are doing amazing things with their lives - for their message to empower others. We take a glance into the life of Jacqui Farrugia, who is currently battling ovarian cancer diagnosis after being diagnosed late last year. She shares the struggles she’s facing as she enters her fourth cycle of chemotherapy in hopes to raise as much awareness as possible.


Philippa Zammit Claire Ciantar Layout, design & illustration

Claire Ciantar Advertising

We spoke to some other incredible women; Lorella Castillo – a travel photographer who is able to capture the magic of any country she visits, and Rebekah Debono - a certified yoga instructor who tells us how yoga practice helps people embrace their emotions and embody self-love. In addition, we have great news for our food loving readers; Rebecca Camilleri has got you sorted for your next brunch party whilst Fran Farrugia conquers all your cravings by mixing sweet and savoury. Have a fabulous March. The light of a new season is upon us… and we’re excited! Wishing all the incredible ladies a Happy Women’s Day!

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.

Philippa and Claire December 2017 Issue 96


Photo by Lorella Castillo

Photo by Lorella Castillo

CONTENTS Steve Hili's WhatsApp Family Women's Corner

Walking Through the Gates of Istanbul with Mandy Farrugia

4 6


Fashion Spread - Teen Idle


Sweet Meets Savory


The Complete Brunch with Rebecca Camilleri


Inside the Ring with Tucci and Montanaro


What is a Speech Therapist?


Agenzija Sapport - Sharing Lives

Living a More Mindful and Intentional Life

48 52

2018 off to a Fine Start


What's On


Charles & Ron Showcase Gown at Buckingham Palace


Dispatches from the Annual Capital of Cinema

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

58 62

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!



4 Issue 99 March 2018


When I set up my family’s WhatsApp group, it felt like the future had arrived for the Hilis. You see, for years, keeping in contact with each other had been a pretty expensive operation, because we are a family who likes to roam. Over the last decade, members of our clan have actually lived in Cambodia, Namibia, London, Australia and even Mellieha. Calling these far-flung parts of the planet can, of course, be costly. And because of that there were strict rules to be followed. I remember a time when calls from the family would only ever consist of a very quick run through of family and friend news, and would only ever happen once a week – usually on a Sunday night when you had just settled in to start watching a movie that the family phone call had interrupted the week before (it is because of this that I have never watched more than half of “The Aviator”. All my memories of that movie merge into details of some second cousin having had a lovely engagement party or a next-door neighbour being in pain because of a fungal infection.)

Humour But technology started making communication easier. Texting, Skype, Facebook, and finally, the Family WhatsApp group.

At the end of the week, my chat was unmuted, and I was ready to give the family another chance.

When the group was first set up it was as if all restrictions had been lifted. We could communicate with each other all the time. It was great! Holiday pics, family jokes and settling arguments about whether that great-uncle of ours was still alive or not.

But as I had another look at the chat I realised that since my outburst, there had been no more conversations. It was as if, they had all had a good hard look at themselves and realised the folly of their ways. They had decided that the family chat was not meant of innate things such as kawlata recipes, but for proper family business.

But the problem with WhatsApp groups is that some people use them much more than others. And there are some conversations that you have no interest in being part of. One such conversation revolved around the best way to make a kawlata. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good kawlata as much as the next man, but I don’t need a blow-by-blow account of every type of vegetable that you should put in it and what the health benefits of said vegetables are. Especially if all of this is coming through in single word messages that are making my phone buzz like it is a really buzzy queen bee who is trying to break the world record for buzzing whilst also overdosing on medication that has the unfortunate side-effect of making you buzz non-stop. Especially if all this is happening whilst you are trying to write to a deadline.

Then I felt a bit bad. After all, it had been I who had led them into this brave new world of instant communication and then, I had abandoned them. Letting them drift on the seas of technology, without their leader. I sent them a message ‘Hey, how are you all?’ And within seconds I got a message back. “We set up another WhatsApp group without you. You know, for conversations that we don’t think you would want to be part of. “ ‘What?!!’

After passive-aggressively (i.e. with a smiley emoji at the end) suggesting that they take their conversation onto a private chat, I was met with accusations of not wanting to be part of my family’s conversations.

“Could you not message for now? We’re all watching The Aviator. We told you." ‘No you didn’t!’

I was shocked, outraged! So much so I muted the chat for a week. Kind of proving their point in the process.

“Oh. Must have put the invite on the other group.” Issue 99 March 2018




ABOUT WOMEN March is Women’s History Month – a time to celebrate the important women in our history and the pioneers that paved the way for women today. There have been plenty of women who have helped to shape the future for women. On the 8th of March we celebrate International Women's Day - a global day which has been occurring for well over a century - celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is a day where we should be extremely proud of the courageous women we’re surrounded by. But this day is also here to remind us that we should be proud of these women every single day and embrace them even more than we already do. "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says worldrenowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength. It is not about shutting off one side of the two parties. It’s incorporating both. We need equal rights and respect on both sides. NAME: JEANETTE CIANTAR AGE: 32 She is a Legal Attaché, Brexit Delegate at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU, Brussels. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

6 Issue 99 March 2018

What better way to commemorate the 108-year-old tradition than by hearing from some of Malta’s most motivated and successful women? Women that didn’t let anything get in the way of achieving their goals and dreams. We got in touch. Here are some inspiring quotes to read, love and get inspired by. NAME: ALBA CAUCHI AGE: 33 She is the Head of Mission at INTERSOS Greece “ Discover what you like, start to learn what you're good at and what makes you excited, passionate, and adrenalinic, then go for it, pursue it. Gender should not dictate who you want to be and what you want to achieve. Don't let anybody put that doubt in your mind. And while we have a long way to go to achieving global equity and equality, the first step is to affirm within you that while we are all different, whether by gender, status, race, sexuality, or more, none of these factors change the fact that the goals on your horizon are to be fought for. Conceive it, believe it and you can achieve great things, even when and where you least expect them.”


NAME: RACHEL CACHIA She is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of V Squared Media, as well as a TV host of the awardwinning tech programme Gadgets. "I look forward to the day I walk into a boardroom and see more than one woman sitting at the table of highranking executives. From the second we're born, we're brought up to see women as nurturing and emotional, but the same could be said about men. Women are confident and strong decision makers not because we are women but because, like men, we are great at what we do."

NAME: YAZ ZAMMIT STEVENS AGE: 24 She is a professional athlete and the first Maltese weightlifter in history to win the Malta Sportswoman award of the year. “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise”

NAME: NICOLE FARRUGIA AGE: 28 She is currently living in London specialising in product marketing and digital project. She has worked at Google and IKEA. “It’s never too late to make a big change in your life or pursue you dreams. Never use time as an excuse to delay your goals.”

NAME: TARYN MAMO CEFAI AGE: 24 She has become a local personality through her roles both on screen and on stage. Popularly known as the leading lady in the Maltese hit series Strada Stretta, she’s recently ventured into photo-blogging about fashion, beauty and her love for travel. “I have always an eager beaver. As a little girl I questioned the things I didn’t understand and spoke my mind no matter what others thought. I was called bossy. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate, engaged, ambitious and doesn’t mind leading. Never apologise for being you.” Issue 99 March 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


Women and men are alike in many ways. However, there are both biological and behavioural differences between the two genders. It is important to understand these differences so health care can be improved for both genders. There have been several advances in health status and life expectancypeople of both sexes are living longer – but the gender gap continues to grow with women outpacing men. Life expectancy for Maltese women is 84 but only 80 for Maltese men - a gap of four years. Gender is associated with behaviour and lifestyle. Genderrelated differences in lifestyle may affect health status. Obesity and Chronic non-communicable diseases are largely associated with lifestyle risk factors like inadequate diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol use. This is why there has been emphasis on healthier diets, regular exercise, and tobacco control. The results of the 2008 health interview survey showed that Maltese women are less physically active than males, with a 10% difference in the proportion of males having a high level of physical activity when compared to females. However, selfreported obesity and overweight rates are higher amongst males than females with 30.3% of males and 27.3% of females being obese.

8 Issue 99 March 2018

An important determining factor of health and weight status depends on the nutritional intake. Surveys show that fruit and vegetable consumption is generally higher among women. Further studies are currently being carried out to map out the food intake of the Maltese population which can support targeted actions. Women lead a healthier lifestyle, with smoking levels being higher amongst men (31% of males and 20% of females are regular daily smokers). The difference between men and women with regard to alcohol consumption is even greater than in the case of smoking, with the total alcohol per capita consumption in litres of pure alcohol for men being 9.7 and 4.2 for women. Various strategies have been published to tackle lifestyle issues including the non-communicable disease strategy in 2010, the Healthy Weight for Life strategy in 2012, the National Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan in 2014, Cancer plan in 2010 and the recently updated plan in 2017. There are also various ongoing health promotion initiatives by the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate and initiatives within Primary Care through Lifestyle Clinics. These focus on targeting specific gender issues.

women EVEN THOUGH WOMEN TEND TO ENJOY OVERALL BETTER LIFESTYLE RISK FACTORS, THEY ARE STILL ENCOURAGED TO IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH STATUS BY TAKING UP HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ADVICE: 1. Avoid tobacco and seek support to stop smoking. Support is available through the helpline 80073333. 2. Eat well. Stick to a balanced diet by eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, fish, low or non-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds. Eat less red meat, whole-milk dairy products, poultry skin, high-sodium (salty) processed foods, sweets, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates. 3. Stay active. Complete at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, strength exercises two to three times a week and exercises for flexibility and balance according to your needs. This combination of cardio and resistance or weight training helps prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image which is important to a woman's mental health and wellbeing. 4. Maintain a healthy weight. Apart from lowering the

risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, a healthy weight also lowers the risk of many different cancers. 5. Limit alcohol consumption. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one or two drinks a day. 6. Reduce stress. Stress can have significant health consequences such as infertility and a higher risk of depression, anxiety and heart disease. 7. Avoid risky behaviour such as drug abuse and unsafe sex. 8. Reduce exposure to toxins and radiation including exposure to the sun. 9. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. Studies show that people who do not get enough sleep are at greater risk of heart disease and psychological problems. 10. Get regular medical check-ups, screening tests and immunisations. 11. Even though men and women are alike in many ways, typical gender differences do exist and whilst we cannot change our genes, we can adopt a healthy lifestyle to attain better health.

Donate Blood

save a life Blood Donation Centre

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 .

4th March

18th March

Fgura - mobile team – inside the hall underneath Parish Church 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 18th March Qrendi - mobile team – inside Sacred Heart Pastoral Centre from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

25th March Żurrieq - mobile team – inside Government Berġa, infront of Bus Terminus from 8:30am till 1:00pm. 30th March Naxxar - mobile team – inside Divine Mercy Church annex from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

w w w.facebook .com/bloodmalta

30mins is all it takes E: T: 220 66 209 | M: 79 307 307 Issue 99 March 2018



RAISING AWARENESS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST OVARIAN CANCER For years, ovarian cancer has been dubbed as the ‘silent killer’. Jacqui Farrugia, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, wants to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer by sharing her story as a woman affected by the disease. Here, Jacqui Farrugia opens up about her battle with ovarian cancer. How many times have we uttered that worn out cliché; ‘life’s too short’ whenever we yearned for something that always seemed unattainable, or felt guilty for sometimes wanting life’s simple pleasures and somehow, we always justified it by that overused phrase? Anyone?

them although they are not covered by national health.” As if that mattered to us at that time. She said that if we do the tests and the results are normal, I should go for another visit in two weeks’ time. I suppose some people would have just stuck to what the gynae said; that “all looked fine” and just went on with their day.

You only realise its true meaning when you are sitting in front of your surgeon and he tells you that you have the big C. Just like that. How bad and what stage it is, they would know after they perform urgent surgery. All you know is that the day before, you were fine and then the next day, you feel your whole world collapsing around you.

We had the tests done the next day. In the evening, my husband came home. I was preparing dinner. I remember I was chopping carrots. Such a silly detail. He did not say anything but went to his studio and went on the internet to check the results for the blood tests. I then heard him call the hospital. I heard him say he wished to speak to our gynae as the reading of one of the tests was extraordinarily high. I cannot tell you what went through my head at that moment. I calmly continued chopping methodically, but tears could not stop rolling down my face. That horrible emotion – fear took over immediately.

I swear, I could hear everything he was telling me, but nothing could register. I only felt numb. What I clearly remember though was that he told me I was ‘fortunate’ in my misfortune. I was ‘fortunate’, if I can use this word, because after two and a half years in menopause, I started feeling pre-menstrual symptoms; tender breasts, the usual bloated feeling, lower back pain, the usual tummy spasms and crankiness. I did find it weird, and even weirder when a few days later I had a full blown cycle...same old period pain included. Some said, “Oh, it does happen sometimes during menopause”, others said, “why not check with your GP”. So that same week I visited my GP. Without any hesitation he set up an urgent appointment at the hospital with a gynaecologist. Two days later, we went for the appointment. The gynaecologist carried out a transvaginal scan and also a pap smear. We presented her with my previous scans which were clear from less than a year ago. She sat down and said that there were ‘cysts’ which looked normal - not solid, no fluid in the abdomen, nothing really to worry about. I asked her if I needed any surgery to have these ‘cysts’ removed. “Surgery?” she said. “No, no surgery required”, looking at me like some hypochondriac. She then said, “If you would like to have the CA 125 and CA 19-9 tests for cancer, you can still do

10 Issue 99 March 2018

That is how I found myself in front of the surgeon the following Monday. He went straight to the point, no beating around the bush. The usual drill: radical hysterectomy with biopsies to diagnose the stage of the cancer for further debulking if necessary. This will be followed by six cycles of adjuvant chemo after recovery. Hair will fall out but I can wear foulards and wigs....that it will be a tough and painful journey, and that I will have good days and bad days. I remember so many papers and consent forms were signed. In less than two weeks I underwent surgery, a terribly long surgery since the biopsies showed that the cancer was in the ovary but also metastised in my lymph nodes so they had to debulk further. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer. The days that followed were, I think, the worst days of my life -the anticipation, the fear, the anger...they totally consumed me. Nothing mattered anymore. Everything becomes secondary. All you think about is that you have cancer. You never really are prepared for something like that are you? You start looking around

women you and watch people leading normal lives. It was just before Christmas and I actually felt jealous of people in malls buying gifts and shopping for their Christmas lunches. Begins to bother you; you cannot tolerate people complaining about stupid things. It started getting harder to feel positive. Pressing the fast forward button... going through six weeks of recovery. It was nothing like a previous major surgery I had had where you know that every day you will get better, even if you are in pain. In this case, you know that albeit the terrible pain, you will also have to go through that dreadful chemo. The worst thing you can ever do is Google stories. I console myself with the fact that although the survival rate is one in five, you only read about the bad cases on the internet. Whatever you read drives you even crazier as the survival rate is so low. So I solved that problem and stopped reading. The emotions you go through are indescribable. I had read somewhere that there are five stages of cancer; denial, anger, bargaining, depression or sadness and acceptance. Yes, you go through all of them. Chemo is hard not only physically but also emotionally. From one cycle to another, you sometimes feel you are just existing and not living. However, every chemo is different and every person reacts differently. As I am writing this I am half way there, but I prefer to think that after next week, I will only have two cycles left. You will need all the support you can get. I do not have family here, but it is amazing what real friends and relatives do to help you along. I am so grateful for that. So make sure you are surrounded by all those who love and support you. I have been offered to contribute this article for a purpose. There is already a lot of awareness about breast cancer. Doctors insist that we keep checking our breasts, and doing regular mammograms or ultrasounds. But we hardly hear anything about ovarian cancer awareness. They call Ovarian Cancer, “The Silent Killer”, as there are hardly any symptoms. The symptoms usually appear in late stages. It tends to be an aggressive cancer that can grow in just months. So my plea here is to insist on getting checked if you feel any of the symptoms below. Unfortunately, we tend to dismiss most symptoms as simply annoying ailments. Do not let anyone tell you that you are acting like a hypochondriac. Listen to your body. Not everyone gets a menstrual cycle as a symptom. Again; this was my “fortune in my misfortune”, according to my surgeon. If that did not happen, it would have been far too late just a couple of months later, he had said. As usually happens, I realised in hindsight that i had felt some of these symptoms, but blaimed other conditions that I have - like my hypothyroid, celiac disease, and even menopause itself. I started feeling so tired, to the point of exhaustion, and became constipated in the last month, always feeling full and bloated after eating. But I ignored these symptoms and just made appointments for celiac and thyroid bloodwork to make sure all was okay. But those were just a few of the symptoms.

• • • • • • •

Bloating, persistent indigestion or gas Feeling full quickly after eating Pelvic discomfort or abdominal pain Urinary urgency Changes in bowel habits Back pain Shortness of Breath

As you can see the signs are vague and even doctors can misdiagnose you with IBS for these symptoms. Even the CA-125 blood test (so-called tumor marker) is not an accurate test. Some can still have ovarian cancer if the test reads normal which is 0 to 35 units/ml. Some might run into thousands and it can be because of some infection like PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). So as such, it can just be a slight indicator, which when followed up by a CT scan can help confirm the diagnosis. A Pap Smear does not diagnose Ovarian Cancer either. CERTAIN FACTORS CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF OC • Age - more common between 50 and 60 but there are cases of women who were younger when diagnosed • Smoking • Endometriosis or PCOS (Policystic Ovary Syndrome) • Age when menstruation started. If you started menstruating before the age of 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher • Faulty inherited genes BRCA1/BRCA2, or a family history of the disease, like breast or colorectal cancer • Fertility Treatment On the other hand, you have a lesser risk if you delivered at least one child before the age of 30, if you breastfed your children and if you used oral contraception. The longer these oral contraceptives were taken, the lower the risk. A hysterectomy or a tubal ligation (tying of Fallopain tubes) also lowers the risk. Having a risk factor does not mean you have ovarian cancer, just as not having any of these risk factors means you don’t. You might ask, “So what can I do?” Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, but if you feel any of these symptoms which start to occur almost daily, and are present for more than 2-3 weeks, and you also feel you are running some of the risks above, consult with your doctor. Ask to have a transvaginal ultrasound (TVU), and also if you can have the CA-125 blood test, followed by imaging if it is high. Hopefully this will help to be diagnosed sooner. Very few are diagnosed at stage I or II. I just hope that with this, I can raise some awareness. Maybe I can help someone. I don’t know what is going to happen to me now, or where this journey is taking me. I just prefer not to think about it. Going back to the cliche “life’s too short”, it is out of my book of idioms now, and has been replaced by a simpler one ...”live life”. If you have just been diagnosed, and feel the need to ask questions, talk, or even open up, I will be here to help you in whatever way I can. Do not hesitate. I can be contacted through Facebook. Issue 99 March 2018



Jacket - Marc Cain available Issue 99 12 at Teatro Boutique

March 2018

Valentine's Issue 99 March 2018




AUTENTIQUE Wearing a piece of art which fits you - which becomes part of you. QUE is not only about being a brand, it is about being alive. I am fascinated by customers walking into my shop and picking up a piece made just for them. And so their story begins. Most art adornments by QUE are one of a kind or limited edition. I believe that jewellery should be personal and it can also be portable art that can take with you anywhere as your own public art. What happens to your jewellery pieces when you are not wearing them? Do you put them in a box? Or do you exhibit them in your house? Although I formally studied conventional jewellery making techniques, I moved beyond all that to also incorporate other ways of creating body adornments. Many other artists have created wearable art, including Salvador Dali and Alexander Calder. Each artist brings their own vision to their pieces. The medium for my wearable art is plexiglass, which I also use on my art installations and sculptural structures. It helps in keeping earrings as light as possible, making the wearer feel comfortable enough to carry them on their ears all day. In Malta, this material is normally associated more with shop signage, particularly from the 1970s and 1980s. One of the oldest family-run distributors of plexiglass in Malta is indeed my main supplier of the material.

Collaborations are at the heart of my methods of working. One of my most recent collections was created in collaboration with Edinburgh-based illustrator Moira Zahra, known mainly among readers for her work on Maltese books. Our collaboration started from my asking what would happen if characters she created as a 2D illustration became 3D creations in plexiglass. Around the same time, I also met Mira. I find her very visually inspiring. She is now working with QUE through social media communication. Mira Varakina is a personal and fashion stylist currently based in Malta. She has attended Central Saint Martins in London and has been working on a number of styling related projects in Malta. Mira aims to assist women in becoming a better version of themselves. She prides herself in being able to bring out the best from everyone's individual body shape. Justine Ellul is the latest addition to the QUE team. She is an emerging photographer in the process of developing her own style. She works with natural light and raw beauty, capturing the essence of the instances on which she trains her camera. Through my wearable art pieces, I strive to make the wearer feel whatever it is they they want to feel. To say whatever it is that they want to convey. To be who they are. A piece of art that is an intrinsic part of them.

Blush pink dress - QUE - Fb / - Instagram / - Website 14 Issue 99 March 2018

Hair - Adrian Stankiewicz Makeup by MUA - Nika Kwolino Jewellery - QUE by Enrique Tabone Styling and model - Mira Varakina Photography - Justine Ellul Assistants - Marta Lyson & Joanna Lotko Location - Malta Society of Arts Dress - Max Mara Malta Issue 99 March 2018




Whether you are considering a body contouring treatment such as Liposuction or an ever popular breast augmentation, choosing a clinic that will meet your expectations should not be taken lightly. Providing our clients with the best care possible has always been one of the cornerstones of our clinic’s philosophy.

Our experienced team of plastic surgeons and medical professionals will provide you with the best available solution using state-of-the-art techniques, equipment, and products, to ensure your safety and satisfaction. Natural looking results that complement your individual features are always the prerogative of our specialists.




Any med-aesthetic procedure carries risks. Always seek prior advice from an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Image used for illustration purposes only.

16 Issue 99 March 2018




SKIN CARE 21 340 366 42 Marina Court, Sir Ugo Mifsud Street, Ta’ Xbiex

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.


It is said that the weather affects our moods so much that we have made it a perennial talking point in our most mundane conversations. Inevitably we are drawn to darker hues once winter sets in whereas the onset of a new season, such as spring, and the longing for warmer temperatures that characterise summer, translate into tumultuous bursts of colour. However, colour should not be associated with summer only. When this photo shoot was organised and held, back in the first week of January, winter (in Malta) had yet to unleash its rains and winds, but having all this colour in the outfits felt energising and mood lifting. Incidentally, just a few days ago it has been noted how colour is one huge 'trend' internationally too. If you were not convinced during the winter, now is definitely high time to break into colour.

OUTFIT IDEA #1 – YELLOWS AND BLUES This colour combination pairs the most clichÊd of symbols: the sun and the sky. It also bans any Monday blues! The tones of the yellow and the blue are

harmonious because of the fabrics and shape of the cropped knit. There is a play also on the difference in styles, as the dressier sandals are offset by the velvety socks, and the formality of the skirt is brought down a notch with the embroidered denim jacket. Issue 99 March 2018


fashion OUTFIT #2 – TANS AND RAINBOWS Another skirt, another play on styles. The seriousness of the long blazer-coat is counterbalanced by the playfulness of the top and the trainers. The main colour is a strong tan, but the rainbow-coloured light knit (which is confirmed as one of this season's favourites) adds a few more shades to the mix. In terms of proportions, the length of the blazer-coat meets the skirt at an ideal angle.

18 Issue 99 March 2018


OUTFIT #3 – THE DENIM FACTOR First thoughts? Well, the Canadian Tuxedo of course, which has been considered a little bit of a fashion faux pas in the past. The idea here is to tweak the Canadian Tuxedo by (1) making denim a base, (2) wearing the jacket as a top, and (3) breaking the plainness of the denim look by introducing a faux fur cropped jacket. The cobalt blue heels amplify the base colour and make it less casual, in coordination with the lux feel of the jacket. Issue 99 March 2018


fashion OUTFIT #4 – FROM LIGHT TO DARK The last two outfits feature social media influencer Marie Claire Portelli (see the Collaboration section; Marie Claire was also the photographer of the photo shoot). In this outfit combination, we juxtaposed two shades of blue, one for the day and one for the night (or you could wear either way). My look introduces the idea of a belted blazer that can be worn as a dress thanks to its length, but also because of the pair of opaque purple tights whose colour matches the purple stripes of the trainers. Marie Claire is showcasing a very spring-appropriate, fresh look in the form of this wrap dress, which can be dressed up or down depending on the shoes.

OUTFIT #5 – FROM CASUAL TO SMART, AND ALL THINGS STRIPED The common denominator in both outfits is definitely the striped shirt, which is not a colour, but it somehow heralds the beginning of spring, like most shirts do. My look gravitates towards an office-oriented environment, whereas Marie Claire's is ideal for semi-formal / more creative work environments. The idea is that a striped shirt packs a punch for power dressing, whether it is dressed up or down. Its versatility and timelessness make it a staple in any (capsule) wardrobe, because it can go with anything and can be worn at any age.

20 Issue 99 March 2018

fashion THE PHOTO SHOOT Marie Claire and I met at the cosy, homely and recently discovered gem that is Chapel 5 Suites in Naxxar in the most iconic street of the village, St Lucy's Street. Luckily, the weather was favourable that day after a week of rain and wind, which meant that we could use the outdoors to do justice to the venue and its ambience. Set in a renovated house of character, the

Chapel 5 Suites are all individually themed. On meeting at the boutique hotel, we were greeted by the owner and manager Malcolm, who explained the project and renovations, which were carried out with attention to detail, but also with a lot of love for the concept it represents and offers to guests: a home away from home.

THE COLLABORATION + INTERVIEW WITH MARIE CLAIRE PORTELLI 1. WHO IS MARIE CLAIRE? As a social media influencer, I specialise in creating fashion and lifestyle content. I have has also recently graduated in photography. 2. WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED PLATFORM AND HOW DOES IT ALLOW YOU TO EXPRESS YOURSELF? My preferred platform is Instagram because it fits in perfectly with the area of my studies - photography. I love it because as a platform, Instagram allows me to share my content and be inspired by other many talented influencers. 3. WHAT INTERESTS YOU THE MOST ABOUT CONTENT CREATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA? It enables me to do what I want, in my own style. Content creation is endless and can be very fun even though stressful at times; overall, it is very rewarding when you see your feed evolve from an initial mess into a potential work of art! 4. WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE WHEN YOU ARE WORKING ON CONTENT CREATION, E.G. A PHOTO SHOOT? My day begins from the day before the photo shoot, planning outfits and packing everything! The morning of the photo shoot, I wake up at around 8am and get my hair and make up done. I meet up with one of my Instagram influencer friends and we scout different locations every time. We would each have between 4-8 outfits to shoot. By the end of the day my car would look like a sale department after rush hour! It takes 7 hours to shoot everything and we usually use our phones, although we do occasionally bring the camera along with us. We finish at around 5pm as the sun sets and then we go home and spend about 3-4 hours selecting the best photos, editing them, and

planning how to insert them in our feed. 5. MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS A WASTE OF TIME OR THAT IT IS VERY EASY TO CREATE CONTENT – WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BOTH ASPECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA? Social media isn't a waste of time if done right. It is like any other job! Whereas some people enjoy a traditional job, others thrive by doing something that is unconventional yet creative. There is also a huge misconception that it is easy to create content. While it does look easy, in reality it takes time and dedication, as well as heaps of creativity. 6. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 OR 10 YEARS’ TIME? I see myself looking at the content I have now and laughing at the mistakes. I want to get better at social media and content creating, while working on building a stronger following. It is satisfying to see how much we can improve from one year to the next. I look forward to seeing myself excelling and enjoying the adventures that come with it! 7. HOW DO YOU SEE SOCIAL MEDIA EVOLVING IN MALTA? I believe that, as yet, we are not as advanced in Malta as foreign countries are, when it comes to social media. The latter swear by social media and prefer spending money on influencers rather than other marketing material, because they do believe it is more lucrative and easily accessible than a billboard. Social media can help a company grow nationwide and internationally, so it is a powerful tool that connects people to what you want them to see. Eventually, companies will realise this and will work more directly with influencers and bloggers. Issue 99 March 2018




LORELLA'S LENSE We had the had the pleasure of interviewing Lorella Castillo - a 20-year-old girl whose passion lies in photography. Her gorgeous photographs spark an immediate wanderlust in viewers, as they follow along on her travels around the globe. She captures exquisite landscapes and portraits which are instantly recongisable. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER? HOW DID YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNEY BEGIN? Ever since I was a little girl, I grew up in an environment in which the arts and entertainment both played a huge role. Even though I was mostly inspired by my grandfather - a renowned artist - I was more oriented towards photography. It’s of huge importance to me mostly due to family background playing a key role. Being it a hobby, or a full-time career, I somehow always knew that I was destined to be working in the visual arts, which I am doing so at the age of 20. Any kind of art is a universal language one can use to communicate with. It’s truly amazing that when people see your shots, they are able to associate with and understand your style. HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I believe that establishing a unique style is one of the most important factors when it comes to creating any kind of art. If you look at your surroundings and limit yourself to what everyone else sees, then you’ll only be able to capture what everyone else has already captured. It’s all about putting your own personality and vision into your work. My aim is to let people know straight away that the image is mine before they see my name. "You took something not so enjoyable to watch and turned it into a work of art." This was a particular comment I once got from a stranger on the PALUMBO NO.6 DOCK image taken in Malta, which has in fact taught me a lot about my style. I love looking for the seemingly boring stuff with the aim of making it extraordinary - primarily with the use of different techniques, such as using reflections, having close interactions with locals and looking for the little details. I'm a strong believer in planning ahead, knowing exactly how I would be editing my photos at their point of capture. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE GEAR YOU USE FOR YOUR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY? WHAT IS TYPICALLY IN YOUR CAMERA BAG WHILE TRAVELING? The fundamental and most important gear is a pair of eyes and an endless imagination. A lot of people think that if they invest in a better

22 Issue 99 March 2018

camera, they’ll be able to take better photos. A better camera won’t necessarily do a better job when there is an absence of love and thought in your work, but if there is, even the most basic of smart phones with a camera could showcase your creativity. Since this is not just my hobby as a travel photographer, but is also my everyday job, I cannot work with just a smart phone, so besides the eyes and imagination, my bag consists of; 2 Nikon bodies together with a variety of different lenses which all together cover the entire focal range. I also carry around extra batteries, a ton of SD cards, chargers, and a rain cover. MENTION YOUR TOP PLACES TO PHOTOGRAPH SO FAR AND WHY? DO YOU ALSO ENJOY GOING AROUND MALTA AND FINDING ITS OWN INTERESTING AREAS TO PHOTOGRAPH? There are no top places - all of the countries I have visited had their own fascinating spots with their own top factors. My latest trip to the U.S.A and Canada had a lot to offer. One would expect to find me photographing the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon, and the Niagara Falls - which of course I did. However, there were far more interesting topics for me, such as the most astounding unique charisma the people I met had, in the hectic avenues of New York, on Brooklyn Bridge and on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. U.S.A has given me a wide variety of interesting spots to capture, ones which are not synonymous to what Europe has to offer. In the past years, I have fallen hopelessly in love with spots like Russia’s cultural gems, the Scandinavian areas, the Alpine and mountain areas in Northern Europe, the little streets in Italy and the Scottish highlands. Not to mention that our own little country, Malta, is full of fascinating areas! WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER? My love for travel photography originated from my eagerness to experience new parts of the world. I enjoy telling stories of the destinations I visit and look forward to accompany them with visuals,

Palumbo No.6 Dock - Malta

photography ranging from beautiful skylines to everyday locals. If you love to capture anything other than the usual famous tourist attractions, sunsets and flowers, you might look strange to the everyday person. It is when I get the weirdest reactions from people watching me (usually laying on the floor) that I know I will be getting the best pictures. There were times where random passers by have offered to help me look for what they thought I had dropped or lost in a random water puddle; when I would actually be trying to capture a reflection from that same puddle. Getting to know new people, discovering new cultures, and looking for new areas to photograph quenches the element of mystery that fuels my love towards being a travel enthusiast and a photographer at the same time.

WORK WITH SPENDING TIME ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING THE LOCATIONS YOU VISIT? I don’t really manage to create such balance. The thing is, I experience and enjoy the locations I visit by photographing them, and it's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together. I love going out of my way to get the shots I want, usually having to pay extra or travel a few additional miles. The satisfaction I get from my work at the end of such trips makes it all worth the extra hassle.


Brooklyn Bridge

Norwegian Folklore Museum, Oslo, Norway

Lake Bled, Slovenia 24 Issue 99 March 2018

Chrysler Building, East Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City

photography DO YOU BELIEVE THE PHRASE ‘A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS?’ 100%, YES! When words fail, photographs speak. At least, this is the way it works for me. I love that it allows me to express my own thoughts in a uniquely personal way which is the style that I have built throughout my journey. Even if one chooses to photograph a very basic object, such as a pencil, the way it’s photographed tells a whole lot about their style. I hope that in 60 years, when I am old and wrinkly, I will be able to look back at my photos and let the 20-year-old me speak through them.

If you're heading to a part of the world that's new to you, make sure to do your research on the place, the culture, and the people, as this will give you the knowledge which you can use to understand the adventure unfolding before your eyes. Get off of the main roads. Get up early, do not waste time, and look for the perfect light. Don't be afraid to dedicate enough time to what you choose to photograph, the most obvious angles and compositions are not necessarily the best. Prepare for the unexpected, especially on the streets, and don’t get mad when it rains; it offers super reflections!

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES FOR A GOOD TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPH AND WHAT ARE A FEW TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO PURSUE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY? Let's face it - just about anyone can take a nice picture of the Julian Alps on a misty morning, and on a clear day, the bright New York skyline is a spectacular, but effortless objective for everyone who happens to be carrying a camera. A beautiful travel photo - like any great photo - tells a story. It engages a viewer's imagination and has a mysterious power that attracts the eyes. If you truly want to make the most of your travel photography, make the most of your journey and think ahead.

WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR YOU WHEN IT COMES TO TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY? I am planning new trips to Morocco, Brazil, Argentina and Greece in the coming months. Other than these, I will take on any other opportunity to travel for as long as I can. As you would expect a 20-year-old to say, my main priorities and goals in life on this day are mainly focused around combining my two main passions; travelling and photography. Learning and improving in your own field is never enough. Life is short and the world has so much to teach me, and whatever it has to offer, I sure hope I will be able to take it.


C OM PE T IT ION Spring has Sprung! Spring - blossoms start to bloom, the sun is shining, the days start getting longer, and you might even start venturing to the great outdoors. Show us the first signs of Spring you come across! 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.

P a lm yr a B u i l d i n g, N a x x a r R o a d, B i r ki r ka r a , B K R 9 0 4 6 T: 2149 7335 T: 2148 2734

Last month's winner was David Cutajar who captured the Carnival floats in Valletta, during the festivities.

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

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.


The sun started to setting behind the Blue Sultan Ahmet Mosque, as soon as I exited the doors of grand Hagia Sophia. This has to go down as one of my most memorable moments as I stood between some of the world’s most astonishing monuments, admiring the golden hues being casted on the high walls. This religious edifice, is in fact considered as the 8th Marvel of the World and is unquestionably unique. Nonetheless, its interiors are somehow confusing; whilst I was trying to take a few shots, I questioned whether it is a church or a mosque. A fellow tourist, who seemed to be following my steps around Istanbul’s Old District, told me that it has both Christian Orthodox and Islamic influences. Its construction, dating back to the Byzantine Empire; (The Age of the Roman Empire

26 Issue 99 March 2018

in the East,) managed to survive the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and continued its rule for an additional thousand years with this Holy Church of Wisdom standing proudly on the highest point in the city centre. It was only in 1453 that it was eventually converted into a mosque, when this long lasting realm was then conquered and defeated by the Ottoman Empire. In 1935, it was then converted into the museum as we know it today. Since its architectural style and interiors are quite perplexing, it is recommended to go through a brief historical guide prior to the visit. This helps visitors get a better understanding of these long lost empires, and to unravel the historic facts behind these exceptional details.

travel Issue 99 March 2018



From Byzantine rulers, to Ottoman sultans, towards the transition into the Turkish Republic, not forgetting the neighbourhoods of Jews and Armenians, Istanbul has ever since gained its title as ‘a melting pot of cultures’. However, this religious and cultural diversity is not only reflected in city’s monuments, but in the whole city’s atmosphere in general. In fact, the various influences are also revealed tastefully in the local fine cuisine, as well as in the street food culture. The Blue Sultan Ahmet Mosque, is by no means less significant than the older relics, and is also frequented by locals during daily prayer times. Its construction was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I, back in the 17th century, who was meant to reassert Ottoman power after the crushing loss against Persia. Its uniqueness mostly lies in its interiors as this mosque is incredibly

28 Issue 99 March 2018

lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles produced in Iznik city (the ancient Nicaea), in more than fifty different tulip designs. An impressive chandelier hangs right at the centre, above the red velvet carpets where devotees sit during prayer time. The upper levels of the mosque’s interior are dominated by blue paint, hence its most common name; The Blue Mosque, where more than 200 stained glass windows with intricate designs can be spotted. Despite its grandeur and opulence, this must be one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. The prayers whispered in the background make the whole experience even more engaging as you are truly able to absorb the energy when sitting down under the big marble columns.

travel As I was making my way back to the hotel during a particular evening , I got lost walking in and out of the shops with the thousands of coloured glass lamps hanging down from the ceilings just like precious gems. The oriental carpets adorning the floor and the genie in a bottle style lamps, seriously made me feel like walking into one of the ‘Arabian Nights’ tales.

right in the same square where just a year ago buildings rattled, and people lost their lives to one of the most dreadful terror acts ever. Even though in the last few years the city has experienced frequent waves of extremist acts which left the whole world shocked, at present, it seems that Istanbul’s state has been restored, with hundreds of tourists roaming its streets once again.

There are many areas in Istanbul where one can choose to stay. The Golden Horn and Galata areas are ideal for those looking to experience an excellent nightlife and the typical bars of the city. My main interest was the historical area - the Sultanahmet district resulted as the perfect spot. There is a vast selection of accommodation to choose from, starting from budget hostels to the most exclusive boutique hotels with exquisite interiors.

It was time to leave this delightful place - home of tulips and of Sultans’ tales and legends. Whilst I was waiting for my airport transfer at the hotel’s lobby, my eyes fell on some delicious Turkish sweets which were accompanied by a scroll. It recounts a vivid tale evoking an old princess story, or perhaps history?

Nonetheless, it is important to mention that only up until a few centuries ago, tourism was still relatively unknown to this city, except for some hippie backpackers who enjoyed crossing through, towards their route to Middle East. For those, who unlike me do not get easily beaten by a full day of sightseeing, as night falls, there is no better place to be than at the waterfront, right on the Bosphorus strait. Where else, to admire the shore of this beautiful city between two continents; where the west meets the east. I must admit, at first I felt quite uneasy being in Istanbul;

“It is in the midst of the tulip madness, back in April 1728, Sultan Ahmed III’s beautiful daughter Zeynep Sultana is only fifteen. She is stretched out on the blue satin sofa, framed by abundant bouquets of tulips. It’s her most important day, where she is to be married to Mustafa Pasha. She is adorned with beautiful clothing and jewellery. Her earrings resemble the shape of the flowers surrounding. The wedding was grand and lavish and their future even brighter.” This tale left me completely stunned, adding onto my fondness towards this breathtaking metropolis. Absolutely distinct, and unlike any other city I have ever been. Issue 99 March 2018


TEEN IDLE Don’t waste time going unnoticed cause the stripe trend is at its strongest.

Photography: Gary Bugeja Styling: Malcolm Gauci Model: Kylie at Models M Makeup: Jennifer Dimech 30 Issue 99 March 2018

Stradivarius Suit, Top, Accessories New Look Shoes

Stradivarius Jumper, Shirt, Skirt New Look Shoes

Stradivarius Top, Cap Pull&Bear Skirt ALDO brooch

Stradivarius Dress, Knit, Glasses

Pull&Bear Jumper, Dungaree Stradivarius Belt Bag ALDO Sliders

Stradivarius Tee, Jeans, Belt ALDO Sliders

Stradivarius Coat, Skirt, Shirt, Glasses ALDO Brooch

gourmet REBECCA CAMILLERI Eighteen months of positivity and good healthy food, has changed Rebecca’s way of doing things. Her Instagram page, 'munch.abunch' filled with healthy recipes was created for this simple reason… Healthy food does not need to be dull and tasteless. Follow her journey to know more about what made Rebecca who she is today.


We’ve all heard about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but on lazy weekend mornings, it’s all about BRUNCH. When it comes to brunch, the options are endless. You can serve breakfast dishes, lunch dishes, or a combination of both. In doubt whether you’re in the mood for a sweet or savoury dish? Why not have both? Granola, an oat-based, sweetened, baked cereal, has been recommended as a healthy option for all kinds of diets, but in all honesty, it is one of the least healthy ways to start your day. Most storebought granolas have spoonfuls of hidden sugar and oil which makes them loaded with fat and calories. The solution? MAKE YOUR OWN. Making your own refined sugar free granola isn’t hard, time consuming or expensive. These homemade granola recipes below focus on hearty, whole ingredients and contain nothing but natural sweeteners, which make them the perfect snack that the whole family can enjoy!



2 cups jumbo (old-fashioned) oats

2 cups jumbo (old-fashioned) oats

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (agave/maple syrup

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (agave/maple

for a vegan option)

syrup for a vegan option)

¼ cup pine nuts (add after baking)

½ cup pecans, sliced or whole

7 dried apricots, cut into small chunks (add after

½ tablespoon cinnamon


½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ginger

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE & CASHEW GRANOLA 2 cups jumbo (old-fashioned) oats

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (agave/maple syrup

2 cups jumbo (old-fashioned) oats

for a vegan option)

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (agave/maple syrup

• •

¼ cup cacao powder 1

/ 3 cup cashews, chopped or whole

2 tablespoons cacao nibs/ organic dark chocolate chips (add after baking)


FRUIT & NUT GRANOLA Issue 99 March 2018

for a vegan option) •

½ cup almonds, sliced or slivered

½ cup raisins/cranberries/blueberries (add after baking) Issue 99 March 2018



2 cups jumbo (oldfashioned) oats

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (agave/maple syrup for a vegan option)


1. 2.


4. 5.

Preheat the oven. In a mixing bowl, combine oats and honey, making sure that all the oats are evenly covered. Spread the oats on a baking paper and place in the oven for around 10 minutes. When lightly toasted, flip oats and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the oats cool down

6. 7.

before breaking them apart. The texture will harden and the granola will break into crunchy clusters. Store in a jar and enjoy with yogurt or fresh fruit. Get creative! This recipe is super flexible and can be modified by adding more ingredients. Use your favourite nuts and different combos to make it your own flavour!


1 medium sized butternut squash

Plain yoghurt

1 banana

My home-made crunchy honey granola (previous recipe)

100% peanut butter (or any nut butter of choice)



2. 3.

Leaving the skin on, cut the lower end of the butternut squash horizontally, just like a bowl. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and wash well. Place in the oven for



around 30 minutes until soft. Fill it up with yoghurt, add banana slices and top up with peanut butter and granola. Enjoy every delicious bite!


gourmet FRAN FARRUGIA With a great urge for good food and baking, Fran has turned her passion into her very own business venture; BAKED. it all started from her great grandma's medeira recipe, and since then she's been whipping up traditional flavours loved by everyone but with her own personal twist.


Love it or hate it, combining sweet and savoury flavours is a thing and it is here to stay. If you're an indecisive person then you should thank the heavens that this combination exists. Gone are the days of choosing between indulging in something sweet and sugary, or a finger licking salty meal. You can have both! The key is to have a balanced pairing of sweet and savoury. My advice is to experiment with flavours you are familiar with, instead of trying to earn a Michelin star in your own kitchen with some extravagant pairing. Work on your favourite dish and think of ways to make it a tad sweeter or saltier, depending on what you're in the mood for. Although I live, sleep and breathe sweet bakes, I don't really have a sweet tooth - so I'm usually more inclined towards savoury food. Having said that, I'm all about experiments and trying out new things. When it comes to baking in particular, I love making traditional bakes but with a twist - like adding crushed pink peppercorns to a lemon cheesecake. Therefore, sweet and savoury combinations always spike an interest in me. Here are a couple of my favourite pairings: CHOCOLATE AND CHILLI Can't really go wrong with two super tasty ingredients, can you? I recently baked a chocolate mud cake for my grandpa who happens to love chilli, so I decided to smother the cake in chocolate ganache with chilli flakes and the taste was mind blowing. When biting into it we were hit with a smooth chocolatey taste, followed by the spicy undertones of the chilli flakes. I love how subtle, yet effective chilli can be when done right. SALTED RICOTTA WITH HONEY AND PISTACHIOS I first tasted this amazing combination in Rome a couple of years ago, and I've been raving about it ever since. The ricotta and honey combined together offer such a fresh taste without overpowering each other, with the pistachios adding texture to the soft pillowy ricotta and honey. I just love it! SAVOURY CROISSANTS My go-to breakfast when I feel like a treat, is a lightly sugar powdered flaky sweet croissant filled with ham, cheese and egg. A sweet croissant is the perfect vehicle for salty ham and cheese, biting into those tasty sweet and salty layers creating the perfect bite.

42 Issue 99 March 2018

gourmet PORK BELLY COOKED IN SWEET & SOUR I'm always looking for new ways to cook pork belly, but this method has to be my favourite! Roughly chopped pork belly is braised in stout (I used Guinness) along with mirin, brown sugar, onions etc. for around four to five hours. The result is sensational. I like sprinkling the pork belly with sea salt and chopped coriander before serving - offering the best marriage of sweet and savoury flavours! PEACH AND SPECK This combo has got to be my ideal meal when it comes to entertaining and cooking for my friends in summer. I love pairing peach and speck either to make a fresh and hearty

barley salad, or adding mozzarella to the pair to make pizza. I love how peaches burst with flavour as you bite into them, oozing sweet goodness which works harmoniously with the salty speck. STRAWBERRIES WITH CHOCOLATE AND CRUSHED BLACK PEPPER These treats are also ideal for entertaining. Chocolate dipped strawberries are a classic dessert, but have you ever tried adding crushed black pepper to the combo? It adds a certain depth of flavour which is so tantalising on the pallet, contrasting with the sweet juiciness of the strawberry. Delicious! Issue 99 March 2018







Converted townhouse located in village core. Consists of entrance and main hall, sitting room, living area, kitchen/dining area leading to a back yard, storage room, and a guest toilet. A marble staircase leads to 2 bedrooms (main with walk-in wardrobe), and bathroom (on first floor). There is also a third bedroom with space for en-suite, laundry room and 2 roofs with great views. Property was converted to high standards with new electrical and water services, roofs and water reservoir. Freehold.

A corner property boasting authentic features such as wooden beams, arched ceilings, and a stone spiral staircase. Comprises of entrance hall leading to a large mill room, kitchen, guest room, courtyard, study rooms, 3 bedrooms (2 with en-suite), and roof with view of surroundings and beyond. Freehold.

Converted 3 bedroom Townhouse

Ref: 041AT11895

Converted House of Character

Dorian Cremona (+356) 7902 8283


Ref: 041AT11799

Dorian Cremona (+356) 7902 8283




Large and bright, 3 bedroom second floor apartment. Layout comes in the form of an entrance hall, living area, dining room, separate kitchen, bathroom, 3 double bedrooms (main with en-suite) and washroom. The property enjoys full airspace. Highly recommended.

A terraced house on a plot of 200sqm. Consists of an entrance hall, study, living room, dining room, fitted kitchen, guest toilet, 4 bedrooms (main with en-suite), bathroom, front terrace, and front balcony. At roof level one finds a washroom with 2 large roof areas. Interconnected semi-basement 4 car garage with storage room, bedroom, kitchenette with living area, and a backyard are also included in the price. Freehold.

3 Bedroom Apartment

Ref: 041AT12139


Terraced House

Dorian Cremona (+356) 7902 8283 Issue 99 March 2018

Ref: 04AT11917

Dorian Cremona (+356) 7902 8283






Rare opportunity to acquire a charming seafront apartment, located in the best part of this seaside town. Comprising of an entrance hall, large open plan kitchen/living/dining area with terrace enjoying stunning unobstructed sea-views, main bathroom, huge master bedroom with en-suite and back balcony, and a guestroom.

A 3 bedroom, highly finished penthouse in a small block having unobstructed views of the countryside. Accommodation comprises of a welcoming open hall kitchen/living/dining area, sitting room, 2 large double bedrooms (main with en-suite), another smaller bedroom, guest bathroom, 2 terraces—front offering unobstructed views of the countryside and back with washroom. Fully finished including bathrooms. Freehold. 1 car garage included in price. Joseph Salerno (+356) 7974 7724 Ref: 111AT11986

Seafront Apartment

Ref: 112AT11609

3 bedroom Penthouse with garage

Michael Curmi (+356) 7974 7721





A 400 year old, converted house of character. Layout comes in the form of a living/dining room leading to a separate kitchen and a guest bathroom, office, main bathroom and a large master bedroom on first floor. Second floor includes a spare double bedroom leading to a front terrace which one can easily use as an entertaining area.

A very well-kept 3 bedroom maisonette with a 3 car garage (included in the price) in a quiet area. Layout comes in the form of a spacious sitting/living room with a good sized front terrace, a separate kitchen, 3 bedrooms (main with en-suite), main bathroom and a 23sqm backyard ideal for entertaining guests. Extras include part of the furnishings, security apertures throughout, and 4 air-conditioning units.

Converted House of Character

Ref: 103AT11177

Maisonette with 3 car garage

Charmaine Aquilina (+356) 7974 7725

Ref: 117AT12029

Bernard Maniscalco (+356) 7974 7723

Contact Information

Tel: (+356) 2339 2299 E-Mail: Address: Pitkali Road, Attard, ATD 2214, Malta, EU Issue 99 March 2018




What would it take to get star actors, John Montanaro and Davide Tucci, into a boxing ring together? A script that packs one hell of a punch, that’s what. Teatru Malta - the national theatre company, has given the opportunity for young writer Andre Mangion to set the stage for Maltese theatre’s fight of the year with his original piece , Raymond ‘’Fight’’ Beck. But it’s not all about makeup, and memorising lines for these two thespians. Determined to fit into their roles like a glove , one of the greatest lessons these household names have to learn is that in order to beat their opponent, there is no greater opponent than their very selves.

developed into his real passion over the years - boxing. Normally, audiences are used to boxing being portrayed as a means of escaping from a life of hardship and adversity. But with Dyson things are different - he already has it all so why risk losing it? And in many ways this to me, adds that much more depth to my character.

VIDA sits down with both actors to get the inside scoop directly from the ring, while they gear up for fight night between the 10th and the 18th of March , at St James Cavalier theatre, Valletta.

D: As in most cases, it's all about the script. Andre's writing is very captivating, and real. I could also immediately see the physical and emotional challenges this role brought to the table. Unlike film, bringing such a role to the theatre, especially one as intimate and 'unforgiving' as the St James theatre means there's no cheating depending on the camera angle; there's no getting away easy from it. The fighting, the emotions - every punch is real.

May the best man win. IT’S NO SECRET THAT YOU’VE PLAYED A NUMBER OF PARTS OVER THE YEARS, SO WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES RAYMOND AND DYSON TICK? J: Raymond's troubled past defines who he is today, but he was lucky enough to have the love of his grandmother and the discipline of boxing to help him and his brother remain on the right track. He is tough, not to be messed with; a hard worker and the sole provider for his family. All that matters to Raymond is family and boxing, in that specific order. Raymond is the protagonist who fights with the dedication of someone who has absolutely everything to lose. D: Son of the mayor of Zejtun, Dyson is a professional boxer. He comes from a wealthy family and has always afforded to worry less about his financial stabilityin the face of pursuing what has 46 Issue 99 March 2018

WHY RAYMOND “FIGHT” BECK, WHY SAY YES? J: I was intrigued by the script, and by the character of Raymond and I love the idea of integrating boxing into theatre, and St.James Cavalier is the perfect space for this play.

BOXING AND THEATRE FEEL LIKE POLAR OPPOSITES, DO YOU AGREE? J: I think boxing and theatre are very similar, they are both require hard work, discipline and require perfect concentration and focus at all times in order to be on top of the game. Sports and theatre are great passions of mine, and I love seeing them come together in this way, I think it leaves a lot of space to be creative we are working hard to ensure the audience is blown away. D: I love it. I am personally a very athletically driven individual. I enjoy physical challenges, I love them, I pursue them on a daily basis with my personal coach Daniel Zammit. The similarities are

Theatre undeniably there between the two worlds - the joy which a successful show brings, the sorrow of failure, the struggle in getting it right - this all resonates in both worlds. YOU SEEM LIKE YOU'VE BEEN DOING A LITTLE OF BOTH THE LAST FEW MONTHS, HOW HAS THAT PLAYED OUT? J: I t's actually surprisingly similar - the people at the Fight Factory are great, all offering advice and encouragement, and guidance. They are all totally dedicated and focused when it comes to working out, but we all like joking around and having some good laughs, during breaks. It has also been a real honor to be personally trained by 'Super' Steve Martin, who is a great guy and really patient with us. Same thing goes with rehearsals, a great bunch of people, totally focused, hardworking and disciplined, and great people to be around. It has been great experience for me so far. D: The atmosphere is rough, tough, gritty, blood is everywhere, as are teeth which once made part of someone's mouth, boxers ready to throw you down on the floor with just one stare - this is what I thought it would be - having never stepped into a boxing gym. Turns out the atmosphere is not as rough as I thought -although the fighters definitely are, once they're in fight mode. Every single fighter inside the gym learns the values of discipline and respect, and one gets the feeling of a big family of fighters, who constantly help and support each other. No place for your ego, life struggles and mental stress - this is the place to let it all out and leave it behind.

ANYTHING OUR READERS OUGHT TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING TICKETS TO THE SHOW? J: Can't answer this without giving anything away, so I will leave it to the audience to decide. D: Dyson’s struggle to learn to let go is something I feel a lot of audiences can relate to. NOW REALLY IF RAYMOND AND DYSON WERE ACTUALLY IN A RING TOGETHER WHO WOULD WIN? J: Raymond, no doubt, he has more heart! Now in real life if it was Montanaro vs Tucci ...................? The fable of 'the Tortoise and the hare' comes to mind. D: I would rather leave that question answered by the professionals - however I'd definitely place my bets on Dyson 'Tosa Inu' Cumbo. #TeamDyson The rest of the stellar cast feature big names like Hector Bruno and will be directed by Sean Buhagiar. The production is being held in co-production with Spazju Kreattiv, and Andre Mangion through the support of the Malta Arts Fund. To buy tickets please visit: and/or the Spazju Keattiv booking office at St. James Cavalier, Valletta. Raymond "Fight" Beck is a project supported by Arts Council Malta/ The Malta Arts Fund Project Support Grant, Teatru Malta, Spazzju Kreattiv and Eurosport. Issue 99 March 2018


wellbieng Ruth Attard After finishing her B.A. in English, Ruth is now pursuing her M.A in Translation and Terminology Studies and works on a full-time basis as a content writer for Focused Knowledge. She has a deep love for literature, languages and good food and aims to travel the world.


People around the world are united through their wish to live a full, happy life, whatever walk of life they come from. A not so closely guarded secret to achieving inner peace and happiness is by finding the right balance between caring for yourself and caring for others. A quick look at how you spend your time will let you know where you stand. Working? Check. Exercising? Check. Socialising? Check. Giving back to society? Probably not at the top of most people’s lists. There are a couple of ways in which you could hit that last requirement. You can always give donations to various organisations which do a lot of good in our society, and you can even choose to donate things such as clothes, books, food, and even your hair. If, on the other hand, you wish to have a more active role in your generosity, you can always opt for dedicating time to these organisations as one of their volunteers.


Aġenzija Sapport is one such place where you can devote your time. Starting as the Supported Living Division within the Foundation for Social Welfare Services of the then Ministry for Social Policy in 2001, the goals of the Division were to establish principles, values, and strategies in order to aid people with disability and their families. By 2016, the Division had become an autonomous agency. Everyone at Aġenzija Sapport is intent on offering personalised support, expertise, and advocacy in order to enhance the quality of life of people with disability. To this aim, the Sharing Lives service was launched in April 2017 in order to cater for the companionship and social needs loop holes, which other services offered by the Agency do not cover. Nonetheless, people with disabilities need not be making use of any of these other services in order to become beneficiaries of Sharing Lives.

mission. People over 16 can choose to help by offering their time and their companionship to people with disability. The service works by pairing up volunteers and beneficiaries of the service when they go out on events. Ultimately, the aim is to help people with disabilities enlarge their social circle by meeting new people and making new friends, with whom they bond over the events they attend together. Currently, the number of beneficiaries who make use of this service stands at around seventy, and all of them are adults aged 18 and over.

WHAT IS SHARING LIVES? This service provides a new dimension to the work of the Agency by allowing the public to be a part of their

Needless to say, the volunteers themselves also benefit from this, since they’re also making new friends and experiencing new things. Through this matching, Issue 99 March 2018

wellbeing both sides enrich their lives with the presence of people who share similar likes and dislikes, and most importantly share the same memories. As a result, the people involved build positive, lasting relationships, while always having something to look forward to, avoiding the dreaded dilemma that creeps up on the best of friends: ‘where shall we go this week?’ Sharing Lives offers a variety of cultural and entertaining activities such as outings to the theatre and to pubs, hiking, workouts at the gym, and even excursions to musical events such as Isle of MTV. There is definitely no shortage of fun activities to attend! PHOTOSHOOT EVENT I was lucky enough to be invited to attend one of Sharing Lives’s event. On the day, 10 people with disabilities were chosen to be pampered by a beauty team made up of a hairdresser and makeup artist, and to have their photos taken by a professional photographer. To complete their looks, their outfits were sponsored by a number of stores. The fun started before though, as the lucky ten were allowed to go to the stores and choose their own outfits. As I stood by watching the flurry of activity unfold around me, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone poured their heart into the job at hand, with a lot of smiles, jokes, and lively chatter. Evidently, all those present had a good relationship with each other and this showed in their friendly interactions with each other. Both volunteers and beneficiaries were at ease together and this made for a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The professional staff and volunteers helped ease the models of the day into their role, cracking jokes and giving them compliments to help them relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera. It was definitely an exciting day, and it was a clear indication of how successful the Sharing Lives Service is in helping people with disabilities bond with volunteers, while enjoying themselves and experiencing new things together. Michelle Bonnici, the makeup artist, was the one who approached the Agency and suggested that something along these lines take place so that the beneficiaries get to be pampered, and feel like beautiful models. As the idea flourished, finally coming to fruition, the aims of the Agency were established: to break the stereotypes which tend to follow people with disability, to make the people taking part feel beautiful and pampered, and to show everyone that even people with disabilities can look and feel as beautiful as models.

THE VOLUNTEERS The most important characteristic that volunteers should possess is that they are willing to spend time with persons with disabilities and that they are ready to accept the responsibility that comes with being an important part of their lives. The volunteers mainly split up into two categories: those who attend the events as companions, and those offering a service free of charge. Past volunteers include dance teachers, chefs, musicians, professional photographers, makeup artists, and hairdressers, among others. Those volunteers who are paired up with the beneficiaries, are professionally recruited, trained, and supervised, and also meet them before being paired up with a person with disability. Furthermore, during the events and activities, a professional from the Agency is always present, in order to aid the volunteers and to be on hand for anything that may occur. The volunteers who took part in the Photoshoot event were Michelle Bonnici of Mixa’s Nails and Makeup, Rachel Muscat of Rachel Muscat Photography, and Antoinette Vella of Heads Up Salon. They also offered their services to the beneficiaries free of charge. Other sponsors were River Island, New Look, and Kiabi who provided the models with clothes and accessories, and Hotel Excelsior who provided the venue. Without people who sponsor and volunteer at such events, Sharing Lives wouldn’t be the success it is today, and I urge people to consider offering their time or services to make a change and be a part of something so beautiful and worthwhile. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, all you have to do is visit Aġenzija Sapport’s website: www. and fill in the online application. You can also visit their offices in Santa Venera, or call on 2256 8000 for more details. To show your support and find out more about the Agency’s work, you can also like their page on Facebook. Issue 99 March 2018


wellbeing CHRISTINE CASSAR An avid traveller with a passion from photography, fashion and fitness, and a lover of books and all things related to the Arts. After reading for a BA degree in English, Christine pursued a career in the Media and Marketing sector, and is currently working as a content writer with Focused Knowledge.


In honour of World Speech Day, I found the time to sit down with Dayna Clarke - a Senior Speech and Language Therapist at Inspire Malta. She manages her independent practice - Malta Speech Therapy at Anici pharmacy, and Medical centre. Additionally she trained at the world class University of Reading and worked for the prestigious Priory Group before moving to Malta. When she’s not painting scenes of Malta or walking the dog, we managed to catch her for a few moments to find out more about the role, dispel some myths, and learn more about the upcoming world speech therapy day.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY? DO YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO SPEAK PROPERLY? Speech and language therapy is such a diverse field speech and language therapist assess, diagnose, and provide therapy for children and adults with difficulties in the following key areas: understanding of language, spoken language, social skills and behaviour as well as the production of speech itself. This entails working on speech sounds, creating awareness of sounds, phonation (voice), fluency and oral motor skills (The ability to use your tongue and the muscles required for speech and language). We also look at swallowing and feeding difficulties, as well as devices to help people speak. We form a part of a big multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, teachers and LSA’s. Regarding your question, it’s a very common myth that I can teach people how to speak Queen’s English - we actually take a look at the bigger picture of communication as a whole, including non-verbal communication!

50 Issue 99 March 2018

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SPEECH THERAPIST AND A SPEECH PATHOLOGIST? Absolutely nothing! In some parts of the world we tend to use one terminology more than the other. WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB? I work mostly with children and it’s the best feeling in the world when they meet their goals. Some children I have followed continuously for the three years I have been here - you develop a very close relationship with the families you see week in and week out. You always want to do your best for them. No two days are ever the same as a therapist - the same as no two children are the same, it is incredibly varied and never boring! I also get to play games all day long! IT’S QUITE AN UNUSUAL CAREER CHOICE, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A SPEECH THERAPIST? I had never heard of speech therapy until unfortunately one fateful night when I was 17 my father endured a devastating stroke which left him completely paralysed and requiring 24hour care from myself and my family. It was during this time I became aware of the role when I saw a therapist assess him drinking water and decide if it was safe for him to drink or not.


At that time, I had already studied fashion textiles at an art college as well as working as a support worker for learning disabilities - I wasn’t really sure what career path to take. I instantly knew which route I wanted to follow, so went back to college to get the right qualifications for a degree in speech therapy. WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A SPEECH THERAPIST? In the UK, and Malta, you have to follow a four year undergraduate degree in Bsc Speech and Language therapy, it’s a very competitive course so I had to ensure I had plenty of experience prior to applying. After graduating once you have a few years of clinical experience under your belt, but many speech therapists continue studying to specialise further. In the UK I worked for the prestigious Priory Group and gained invaluable experience there, as well as attending regular professional development courses. In Malta there is a fantastic body called the Association of Speech and Language Pathologists (ASLP) who organise lots of events. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO COME TO MALTA? In 2014 I made the leap to Malta after falling in love with the island and its people. It's such a beautiful island and the way of life (and food!) is much better in my eyes than London! I was really fortunate that Inspire Malta took me on and gave me chance to progress, for which I am very grateful for. Later that year I was fortunate enough to be selected for a Masters Research Programme, involving looking at the way that bilingual Maltese care givers speak to their children vs monolingual British caregivers. In 2016, I was awarded a scholarship from the European Society of Swallowing Disorders to continue further Postgraduate work in the area of ‘’dysphagia’’ (swallowing disorders). In 2017, I set up independent practice Malta Speech Therapy based at Anici pharmacy and medical centre in Qormi. In Malta you also have to be fully insured and registered with the health professions council. WOW! YOU HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE HISTORY! WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? I wish to remain supporting individuals at Inspire as well as training and educating others. Inspire have given me a fantastic platform for training others. Last year I was a lecturer on MQF Understanding and Supporting

Children and adults with Diverse Needs-adopting positive approaches. I also plan to continue my Postgraduate work and research in Malta and internationally. I've been really lucky to go to Barcelona and study more there. Furthermore, I set up Malta Speech Therapy in order to support individuals for therapy, as well as raise the awareness of the profession, as many people have no idea what we do! IS IT AN ART OR A SCIENCE? This is a tough question! I would have to say a combination of the two! You have to be highly creative to engage anyone in to therapy and adapt according to the individuals needs on that day. You also need to be very analytical and have a very good medical understanding of neurology and anatomy. My initial degree was a combination of medical lectures, English linguistics, and psychology, but great therapy is an ongoing craft that takes years and years to perfect. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WHAT IS SPEECH THERAPY DAY? In 2004 CPLOL created this European Day in order to increase the awareness of the SLT profession across Europe. It was considered essential to develop public awareness about communication disorders, their effect on human health, the rights of patients with communication disorders and ways to help them. The message of European Day is that communication disorders may gain awareness by sharing knowledge and experience throughout Europe. Here in Malta, The Association of Speech and Language therapists (ASLP Malta) in collaboration with the department of Speech and Language Therapy, are organising a seminar to celebrate European Speech and Language Therapy day on the sixth of March 2018. This seminar will be for professionals and caregivers alike, as well as the Department of Education, The focus this year will be on AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication), it looks set to be very interesting so make sure you book a place! If you have any questions about language development do not hesitate to get In touch with Dayna on WWW. MALTASPEECHTHERAPY.COM or maltaspeechtherapy Issue 99 March 2018



YOGA: LIVING A MORE MINDFUL AND INTENTIONAL LIFE We caught up with Rebekah Debono, a CIBTAC qualified holistic therapist, specialising in aromatherapy, reiki, stress relief meditation & body massage. She is a Yoga Alliance qualified, Yoga Therapy and Alignment teacher & practitioner. As an innovative entrepreneur, Rebekah has cultivated many experiences over the last 12 years as a freelance practitioner. These have magnified into the creation of Rhiyz ( and the Yoga Therapy & Alignment sessions. Quarterly, she also offers all-inclusive holistic yoga retreats and innovative learning programs on occupational/corporate yoga with Dr Mindaugas Lauzikas. WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING ABOUT PRACTICING YOGA AND HOW HAVE YOU LEARNED TO OVERCOME THIS CHALLENGE? Being one who takes challenges into my stride as experiences which teach us lessons, I'm a firm believer that life is a journey with a learning curve, just like yoga and every journey that begins with one step, as an old Chinese proverb hails. The challenges that arise through my personal yoga practice and self development, allow my continual growth and instigate a force of perseverance and willingness to learn, observe, acknowledge and witness changes while adapting in the process. I had a fear of falling when I had just started practicing yoga. I was always worried about breaking my neck. While on my teacher training, my mentor showed me how to fall safely, making it a secure procedure. After that, I just got used to the challenge and it became a habit. The truth is until you do something once or twice, it will always challenge you. But once you adapt to the change, beat the fear, or rise above inhibitions, and find that gap to just do it, you realise how easy it was to overcome. It simply takes time to adjust to the change and to acclimatise yourself to the challenge, but once you master the will, what's to stop you? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT REGARDLESS OF THE DIFFERENCES, ALL THE YOGA METHODS OFFER THE SAME IDEAL UNDERNEATH? Yoga is thought to unite the mind with the body. It is internal, external and innermost or physical, mental and transcendental. Yoga is a science that liberates one’s mind from the resistance of the body and leads it to the soul- the soul is freed and thereafter is left in peace and tranquility. Yoga allows one to taste and feel that liberation. Its regular inclusion is said to rewire one's norms, while regular practice and benefits are believed to facilitate life beyond one’s imagination. Basically, as Iyengar cited in his book; The Tree of Yoga, 'if a bird is kept in a cage, it has no possibility of movement. The moment the cage is opened, the bird flies out and seizes its freedom. We attain the same freedom when the mind is released from the bondage of the body and comes to rest on the lap of the soul.' All yoga practices are founded on the principle of freeing up space in the body and mind. HOW HAS YOUR OWN PRACTICE AND YOGA EVOLVED AS A WHOLE, AND WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE LIKE THESE DAYS? Yoga was introduced to me while I was living in London. It was back

52 Issue 99 March 2018

in 2006 and to be honest I thought it wasn’t for me. Little did I know that in 2012 I would start doing Yoga again and never look back. It happened at a point in my life when I was looking to really free my mind from the shackles of self-criticism and self-judgement. I was overweight when I had started, but with the will to try and engage my body in movements and postures that would allow me to free my mind from the chains I felt tied down to, I quickly became absolutely immersed in it. After just a month, I quickly decided to one day do the teacher training course, which I attained while on my own journey of self-discovery without boundaries, inhibitions and conditioning. My practice continues to evolve as a result of the amazing sessions I host. Through my clients and those who reach out to me, as well as through the continual professional development I invest in at the participation of webinars and teacher training workshops & courses, and also my own personal practice, I am enabled to continue progressing physically, and transcendentally. By engaging in its principles, yoga has taught me how every moment is progressive, and how living in the present gives us access to its fruit. SO WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOURSELF NOW IN TERMS OF THE YOGA METHOD AND WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN THIS METHOD, TO BE YOUR MAIN GUIDE ON THE PATH OF YOGA? WHAT MAKES YOUR FORM OF YOGA UNIQUE? As the essence of the tree is contained in the fruit, so too the

wellbeing Books essence of your practice is contained in its fruit, as Iyengar said in one of his many books. Yoga is primarily for individual growth. It works on everyone's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, development and growth, according to their needs. There is immense equilibrium to be achieved between the philosophical and practical life. I practice all kinds of yoga apart from Arco, though I’m willing to engage in it with no inhibitions. However, I approach yoga as a holistic tool that can enhance the body, uncondition the mind, soothe the monkey mind, and consequently, bring health and harmony to ourselves, and those around us. Treating Yoga as a Holistic Science allows me to work on consciousness, intelligence, senses and the physical body. WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE BENEFITS OF YOGA PRACTICE FROM YOUR OWN TEACHING EXPERIENCE? The benefits of yoga are endless. Apart from feeling taller and more mobile, as well as more serene and relaxed; one can feel the overall harmony of the freed mind and body, while the soul feels peaceful and at ease, with all in synchronicity. Yoga allows the connection of movement with the breath, through conscious movements led by breathing, at a pace that is one’s own, within that comforting space which is created for yourself. Through an intelligently led practice, one reaps immediate consciousness and energy distribution. One begins to truly feel their body, some even for the first time. Sustaining your nervous system causes immediate effect. Coordination and cohesion rolled into a holistic yoga Therapy Alignment practice. HOW CAN YOGA TEACHERS HELP STUDENTS MAKE PROGRESS? Progress comes in an individual form according to the students’ needs. But, at a physical level, intelligent hands leading adjustments, are integral and beautiful part of yoga teaching, and help optimise a session. Guidance facilitates progress in ones practice, however, it’s really important to give the students the opportunity to adjust themselves. Developing ones practice by only listening to the instructors voice as a guide line aids in finding comfort within the space that the students create within their shared practice. My mentors and teachers, Tal Swissa & Arnaud Charter of Luna Alignment Therapy Yoga taught me that as teachers, if we want to emphasise alignment or adjustments for the benefit of the client, we need to start with accurate verbal cues. Later on we can indicate without touch. This will only work when one can actually see the indication. After this we can offer adjustments for the skin - the skin is our biggest sensory organ (as yogis we want to develop the sensitivity of our skin). Finally, if all of that doesn’t seem to work, we might offer a full hands-on adjustment. Within hands onadjustments, it's up to the client to remember this new adjusted position, while feeling comfortable according to their physical capacity. WHAT IS THE TRUE MESSAGE OF YOGA? The true meaning of yoga is within all of its various practices nurturing benefits. There are many techniques that highlight what the true meaning of yoga suggests. However, practicing Meditation, Pranayama (breathing

techniques) and the Asanas (positions), filters within each individual space over time, according to ones ever changing needs. The true meaning of one's yoga practice aligns with what one generates during the practice and thereafter, as well as resting in the reason that one goes to the yoga session they booked, or the space which they prioritise to practice in. I believe the true meaning of yoga is the space it enables you to create within and without. WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF YOGA FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE? The ultimate goal of yoga is very individual and based solely on what one seeks it for. I think when it comes to practice, it's more the intentions set which precedes the purpose of the process within the yoga practice, which lead one from where they need to take their body. Each mindful breath from one posture to another, draw attention to where the body, mind, and soul need it most, in the process allowing all that is not then present, to be acknowledged but not focused on. WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOGA STUDENTS AS WELL AS THE YOGA INSTRUCTORS? Love. Love yourself & your surroundings. Care for yourself and that which surrounds you. Give yourself the time to love yourself and your spaces within and without. Be with yourself and connect with nature around you through the interaction of what motivates you. Cultivate a life of living passion and enthusiasm. Nourishing yourself is the essence to your amazingness. The way you perceive and interact with your surroundings reflects how you feel about yourself. Loving yourself is indicative of your successful life. Love yourself because you can’t give from an empty cup. Love yourself no matter what. You are not a mistake you made or the outfit you wear. You are love and love is you. Emit it, share it, give it, be it, do it for yourself. Love, because it all comes back to you through universal connectedness. Rhiyz onwards & upwards. Issue 99 March 2018



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.


At 85 years of age Aldo Laferla never ceases to impress. This was his debut at Racalmuto with his new Porsche. I have a feeling it won't be his last. Round 1 of the 2018 Time Attack Championship on the second weekend in February kicked off what appears to have the makings of a super motor racing year for the Autodromo Valle dei Templi, but also for the rest of the Sicilian and Maltese motor sport scene. It amazes me and amuses me that every year, so many cars are still “not ready” when the racing season starts. Our last race meeting of 2017 was in early December. That gave everybody 2 whole months in which to do whatever work they planned to do in preparation for the 2018 racing season. And yet, so many people were still not ready when entries closed for this first event. I admit that, despite supposedly having all the time in the world now that I am retired, I felt pretty pressed for time this time around too, but that was because I had such an extensive list of modifications, alterations, improvements, and additions to make to my faithful Mini. At the end of each season I like to pull the whole car apart; engine, gearbox, suspension, brakes, and this year quite a bit of effort was put into strengthening the bodyshell, after the car showed signs of fatigue following 16 race meetings in the space of 10 months. The poor girl didn’t do badly at all, and certainly deserved a good “going over” in preparation for the 2018 season. A transmission failure at the end of the season complicated matters somewhat, and meant additional work, time, and 54 Issue 99 March 2018

The Montebello team, Charles and his sons Miguel and Daniel, have been improving their Mitsubishi EVO with every appearance. They are also a real fun crowd. expense, which I must admit I had not planned for. However, that’s motor racing, and considering the reliability record and performance of the car throughout the season, I suppose I certainly shouldn’t be complaining. Indeed the few problems encountered through the 2017 season were all transmission related which I suppose is understandable. When one keeps increasing the power of the engine, and increasing the grip to the road through the use of stickier Dunlop slick tyres and improved suspension components, something in the middle has got to give. That something in the middle is called the transmission, or the drive train. Yes, a couple of failed drive shafts proved frustrating and lost me a couple of good races, but as I said earlier, it’s all part of the game. This year I am starting with a number of improved components in the power department; a serious attempt at making the shell more rigid, and a serious tidying up of the electrics. A visit to the Hal -Far Raceway a week before that first event in Sicily, gave very clear indications that the newly built engine was an improvement over last year’s version. The car felt a lot more rigid in general, and drove in the indicated direction with much less fuss and effort. We seemed to be on the right track. The weekend in Sicily didn’t start off to a positive start, as on our arrival in Pozzallo, we were welcomed by strong winds and heavy rain. Not the ideal ingredients for a four hour drive across

motor sports Sicily to the autodromo, especially at night. This time round we had with us a racer friend who I have known and raced with, and against, for over 50 years.Aldo Laferla is a young at heart 85 year old, and this was also his first experience at Racalmuto. He was driving his new Porsche Cayman S, a beast of a car even in dry and grippy conditions, but a real challenge in anything but optimal conditions, so this was going to be quite a baptism of fire. Fortunately, by lunch time on Saturday, the skies had cleared, the sun was out, and the track was drying fast, so after a brisk drive down the new autostrada to San Leone for lunch, we soon switched to race mode, and were out lapping that glorious 2.6 kilometre track. It didn’t take the old boy too long to settle into a good pace, and his lap times improved with every lap, as expected. Whilst this was Aldo’s first visit to the Autodromo Valle dei Templi, it certainly was not the case with Charles, Miguel, and Daniel Montebello, who have been regulars here for some years, and have together tuned their Mitsubishi EVO to perfection. The car is prepared by Miguel and his father Charles, and Daniel does the driving. They are a great bunch and I happily chose to pit with them most times. Race day: Sunday, dawned fresh, but dry and sunny, and by the 9am start time over 80 cars had turned up to do battle for the first of many Sundays this year. Out on the track the Mini felt quick. Very quick, in a straight line, but the grip was positively lacking. Had the new chassis stiffness upset it’s previously excellent handling? The electronic lap timing wasn’t showing me very encouraging lap times either, but by the end of the day, nor were anybody elses, something we all eventually put down to a raw track. For those not into motor sport, a raw track is a track that has not been used for some time. A track that has not been used for a couple of months, as in this case, will need cleaning from the dust and settlement brought about by lack of use. This was the first race meeting of the season, and therefore the track was very raw and was going to take quite a while to grip up again. It did improve considerably

The Mini improves with every outing, and becomes more fun to drive each month.

by the third session of the day around midday, but became very cold in the afternoon when clouds covered the sky, so we were all back to square one. However, a comparison with other regulars, and a look at other people’s lap times, soon convinced me that the problem was not the car, but the track. Indeed my lap times had deteriorated by just half a second, whereas those of most of the other regulars were over a second off their previous best. Inconclusive? Perhaps. But great fun anyway as always. The Campionato Siciliano di Velocita was supposed to be kicking off on the 4th March. That was before everybody realised that the Italian national elections are being held that weekend, so we will now be starting at the Autodromo MBR near Palermo in May instead. Unfortunately, organisers and circuit owners, as well as various other factions, do not appear to have been able to agree on dates and terms for a real Sicilian championship again this year. So we will just have to choose those events from both circuits, without disrupt people’s calendars too much. This means that our calendar will now look like this: • 13th May – Round 1 – Autodromo MBR, Palermo. • 17th June – Round 2 – Autodromo Valle dei Templi, Racalmuto. • 15th July – Round 3 – Autodromo MBR, Palermo. • 9th September – Round 4 – Autodromo MBR, Palermo. • 18th November – Round 5 – Autodromo Valle dei Templi, Racalmuto. While writing this peice, I was hoping that the next day I would be returning to racing in the local hill climb scene after an absence of over 15 years. However, the weather gods seem to have other plans, as I have just been informed that the event has been postponed by two weeks. Perhaps the time has come when Malta too moves on with the times, and we start racing in the wet, as well as in the dry. The good new road surfaces of the Mellieha bypass road, and the Mtahleb hill are certainly up to it. We just need to take the plunge and DO IT.

Between us, Vincenzo Giambanco, Aldo Laferla and myself make up 228 years.

Daniel Montebello and I were presented with trophies. Issue 99 March 2018


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 68th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival – or 'Berlinale' – provided a typically generous spread of cinematic delights, a selection of which our critic got to sample during his week-long stay at the freezing but glittering city.

56 Issue 99 March 2018

TV REVIEW The Berlin International Film Festival is a key reference point for filmmakers and cineastes worldwide. While in some ways it's one among the clutch of renowned film festivals out there, anecdotally speaking, it enjoys a more powerful cultural clout than, say, the Venice Film Festival – which has glitz and the air of prestige but doesn't quite enjoy the same urgency and relevance. And while Cannes is still seen as “the place to be” for European premieres – in the popular imagination, it's the closest Europe gets to Hollywood – the glamour of the Croisette promenade often overshadows serious discussions on the state of cinema and the particularities of the films being shown. In contrast, Berlin tends to offer a more expansive, democratic and varied take on the festival experience. Not only is it a highly anticipated event for the industry – owing in no small part to its impressive pedigree, dating its inaugural edition back to 1951 – it also boasts an impressive concentration of both the most prestigious and the most up-and-coming.

In such a wonderful but hectic environment, it comes as no surprise that a whirlwind skim of the programme surface was the best I could manage as I descended upon the city. But even this was enough to convince me that, now in its 68th edition, the festival continues to be a veritable 'green lung' for world cinema, offering truly diverse and international experiences for cinemagoers of all stripes. ISLE OF DOGS (DIR. WES ANDERSON) The fey, symmetry-obsessed American director Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore), returns to the world of puppet-based stopmotion animation for the first time since Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), for this cheeky and endearing satirical fable, which opened the Berlinale on the night of 15th February 2018. Actually closer in tone, ambition and approach to The Grand Budapest Hotel than to the localised domestic dramedy that was Fantastic Mr Fox, Anderson's ninth feature is a glorious expose of the director's trademark visual wit, as bolstered by a Japanese aesthetic that helps tell the timeless story of a boy and his dog, with Issue 99 March 2018


TV REVIEW a whimsical-dystopian twist the challenges the tonal balances of which only the likes of Anderson can pull off.

being on his trail, the ruined Feeney (James Frecheville), fresh out of things to lose, goes on the warpath.

Just like 'Budapest' snuck in themes of between-the-wars migration as part of its rollicking farce, so this sweet fable comes with a bitter aftertaste; a reminder of how the powers-that-be all too easily marginalise those who are inconvenient, with wrenching and devastating results. A brave opener for the Berlinale, Isle of Dogs may appear to be little more than a confection, but its hidden depths are worth savouring as much as its many visual wonders.

Ahead of screening, all we had to go on was an image of Frecheville's dour, bearded mug, and the shameful historical context that forms the background of Black 47's story. But what we got was a grisly, though thoroughly satisfying, revenge thriller, paced to perfection and packed with great performances. This is a cult hit waiting to happen, and one imagines that viewers in Ireland – and their various expat compatriots spread out across the diaspora, no doubt at least partly as a result of the same harsh historical epoch – will give it an enthusiastic reception upon general release.

BLACK 47 (DIR. LANCE DAILY) In what is likely to be one of the most explosive breakout films to emerge from this year's Berlinale, Lance Daily's Black 47, recounts the most harrowing year of the Irish potato famine through the lens of a revenge western, creating a folk hero from scratch along the way. In its tale of a beleaguered Irish soldier who returns home after fighting for the crown only to find his entire family in tatters due to the natural devastation of crop failure and the decidedly unnatural callousness of the ruling British aristocracy, Daily has given us something akin to an Irish Django Unchained. Because, despite the conflicted Hannah (Hugo Weaving)

58 Issue 99 March 2018

DAMSEL (DIR. NATHAN AND DAVID ZELLNER) Another film to draw on the aesthetics of the Western, only to pull things in an entirely different direction, is Damsel, Nathan and David Zellner's unpredictable romantic odyssey starring Robert Pattinson as Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer traversing the Old West in a journey to both rescue and marry his sweetheart, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska). He strings along 'Parson Henry' (David Zellner) for the ride, but it quickly becomes apparent that both men have been


liberal with the truth since the beginning. Walking along similar thematic lines as their previous feature – the absurdist fable Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) – the Zellner brothers once again invite us to follow protagonists whose trustworthiness and intelligence is never quite a sure thing. This makes for a wacky experience through and through, though some of the twists give way to very current discussions around gender politics, with Wasikowska delivering among her most assured and fiercest performances to date (and there have been a few of those already).

swapping trope to delve into the still-simmering race conflicts in modern South Africa. Shot entirely as a rough mockumentary mosaic'd together from its protagonists' mobile phone footage, High Fantasy follows a group of South African youngsters on a camping trip to a farm belonging to the family of one of their number, Lexi (played by Francesca Varrie Michel and notably, the only white girl in their group). Barring a mandatory stowaway brought along by Lexi – an imposition by her uncle, who owns the property – the group is a tight-knit one, but when they wake up to discover their bodies have been swapped, latent racial and sexual tensions rise to the surface.

HIGH FANTASY (DIR. JENNA BASS) Sliding comfortably into the 'Generation' section of the Berlinale programme – dedicated to films for kids and young adults – Jenna Bass's original, dynamic and affecting micro-budget dramedy uses a body-

With a slim running time that matches its generational tendency towards streaming TV and brief video clips, High Fantasy movies with breathless energy despite it being set in one location and consisting almost entirely of frenetic conversations among teenagers.


This month we are giving out a copy of READY PLAYER ONE BY ERNEST CLINE

Send your entries to

Who is directing the Movie adaptation of this novel?

Last month's winner is JOHN MIFSUD

by no later than 15 April. Issue 99 March 2018




En Folkefiende – An Enemy of the People

Unifaun Theatre production of Brad Birch's adaptation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People at Blue Box, M Space, Msida at 20:00. Directed by Toni Attard. Cast includes Mikhail Basmadjian, Anthony Ellul, Simone Spiteri, Antonella Axisa, Victor Debono, Philip Leone Ganado, Jean Marc Agius Cafa and Raquel Theuma. Bookings: http://bluebox. MARCH 10

Brightclub meets Theatre

Get Your Act Together is joining forces with the festival team behind Science in the City, and will be presenting the first ever collaboration in Bright Club Meets Theatre. This combination of theatre reading and science stand up comedy will be taking place at The Royal British Legion Bar, Melita Street, Valletta from 17:00 onwards. The night will incorporate a mixture of science comedy and theatre readings in this first-of-its-kind event. Entrance to the play readings is free of charge. Tickets cost €9 for the Big Van Comedy Show at 8pm. Anyone watching the science comedy show after having watched the readings, may do so at a discounted price of €7. MARCH 9-APRIL 21

Except for Access Only

compositions from previous albums and folk Romani songs, the repertoire also covers new songs composed by the lead singer, guitarist and bandleader, Desiderius Dužda. Ida Kelarova opens her heart to the audience, investing her legendary voice into this passionate performance. The locallybased Organic Choir will open for the show and collaborating with Ida Kelarova’s Jazz Famelija later in the set. Kelarova will also present a short workshop based around her ‘Everyone Can Sing’ concept. This performance will be taking place at the Don Bosco Oratory Theatre in Victoria, Gozo. MARCH 11

University of Malta Ring-Road Races The seventh edition of the annual road running event, in aid of Hospice Malta. The University races date back to as early as the 80s, when University students would gather on the ring road for a showdown of the fittest. Fast-forward 30 years or so, and the races have come a long way. Last year was the biggest event yet and managed to raise €3,150 for Hospice Malta. This year the organisers have already raised almost €1,500 and are definitely planning to break the standing record. As always, there are a lot of surprises in store. MARCH 16

Kewn Records Showcase 001 Musical launch event for the newly-minted Kewn Records label at The Garage, Zebbug.

Featuring the bands BILA, Krishna, and Heart of Darkness. Entrance is €7. Doors open at 21:00. MARCH 17-19


Original musical written and directed by Denise Mulholland, with music and lyrics by Luke Saydon held at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta and performed by Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre (TMYT). Gus Nightingale is a little boy from a very famous musical family, but when his mother dies, all music is banned from his house. After he is dreadfully humiliated by The Maestro, Gus decides the safest option is to stop speaking and singing - in effect to HUSH! One day, Gus passes the old music shop and finds it open. Inside, he finds a girl called Clementine Pickles. Clementine shows Gus how it is possible to play beautiful music even on broken instruments but as Gus is leaving, an evil stranger enters the shop, locks Clementine in a cello case, steals her voice & a precious baton! This evil stranger uses the baton to extract sounds from everyone and everything, leaving the world a completely silent place. A hush has fallen. A plan unfolds. A voice is forgotten...Show times: 18:00 (March 17); 15:00 and 18:00 (March 18); 10:00 and 12:00 (March 19). The event is organised in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation.

Exhibition by artist-architect Tom Van Maldaren at Malta Contemporary Art, Valletta. Malderen presents a series of objects that due to denominations of scale, materiality, and context sit somewhere between sculptural objects and architectural models - at a juncture between the field of architecture and that of art. While many of the reflections that have made their way in the exhibition can be traced back to architecture, they feel equally relevant and stimulating when brought into an art context. Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday (13:00 – 18:00); Saturday 10:00 – 13:00. MARCH 10

Ida Kelarova’s Jazz Famelija

Ida Kelarova invites the best of Czech and Slovak musicians to collaborate on this music formation that links Romani harmonies and Latin-American rhythms to the sound of a jazz band. Besides classical

Jasmin B. Frelih

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 99 March 2018


Campus Book Festival

Annual edition of the Campus Book Festival at the University of Malta, TalQroqq. The publishers and distributors participating in the festival are BDL, EDE Books, Faraxa Books, Horizons, Midsea Books, Pjattaforma and Sensiela Kotba Soċjalisti (SKS). These publishers and distributors will be selling their books at their stand, and will be organising their own book launch events. The special guest this year is Jasmin B. Frelih, the Slovenian author whose novel Na/Pol (In/ Half) earned him the European Prize for Literature in 2016. He will be joining us on Campus for special events scheduled on each of the three days, with a creative writing workshop on March 21, a discussion with Maltese writer and poet Immanuel Mifsud on Slovenian literature on March 22, and a interview with Noel Tanti on March 23. On Friday afternoon, Inizjamed will be contributing an Open Mic session featuring Frelih. The festival will close on Friday night with live music by Cryptic Street and Fuzzhoneys. Opening times and dates are: March 21 and 22 (09:00–16:00); March 23 March (09:00 till late). The Festival is open to all, free of charge.


Giacomo Sferlazzo



Concert at Maori Bar, Valletta at 19:30. Three and a half years after taking part in the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, singer-songwriter and activist Giacomo Sferlazzo returns to Malta. Performed dozens of times in Italy and across Europe, LAMPEMUSA sings and narrates the history of an island all too often misrepresented and misunderstood - stories of colonisation, fishing and the sponge trade, deforestation, past and contemporary migrations, 1980s Libyan missiles, militarisation and resistance... and the stories of revolutionaries Peppino and Vittorio, blue-eyed Alì, and of Adelina, the last midwife to have lived on Lampedusa. For the past generation, nobody is born on the island any more. Entrance is against a donation to Askavusa Lampedusa. MARCH 24

Zion Opening Party

Opening party of Zion Reggae Bar, St Thomas Bay, Marsascala from 20:30. A night of strictly reggae, Earthrocker, Freedom Fighters, DJ Onns & Johshanty will be spinning sweet reggae tunes for those on the dancefloor.

Brightclub Meets Theatre Issue 99 March 2018


fashion ESTER MOCCHEGIANI If it is true that “The joy of dressing is an art”, Ester is definitely able to apply this rule to everything around herfrom fashion to interior design. With a Master of Arts 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.


Artisans and designers showcase unique creations at Buckingham Palace.

Fashion and Commonwealth. Talents and sustainability. In occasion of the London Fashion week, Buckingham Palace opened its doors to an incredible event, which for the first time has seen Commonwealth’s 53 countries united together in the name of green fashion. The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is a Commonwealth-backed initiative showcasing the wealth of design and artisan fashion talents who share their passion for sustainability. The project includes an exhibition which will be open to the public at the Australia House in London on Tuesday 6th March 2018. All the collections can be viewed on a dedicated platform that Google Arts & Culture have created for this initiative. This platform brings together the extraordinary collaboration stories that led to the creation of the collections, as well as offering a directory full of extra educational resources such as information and materials on the people and brands involved in the exchange.

Eco-Age and has been developed in partnership with Swarovsky, The Woolmark Company, MATCHESFASHION.COM, and NEST in order to demonstrate that fashion provides a common language, creates networks, and connections. It also wants to address some of the pressing issues of our time, like ethical production, supply chains, gender equality, and poverty reduction. Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age, says: “This is a project rich in partnerships and creative co-design. For example, one of our very talented designers from India is paired with an artisan group in Tuvalu. As someone who is passionate about joining the threads of global fashion and creating real partnerships you can imagine how exciting it is for us to be involved.” Among the top celebrity guests who attended the Buckingham Palace special reception were; Anna Wintour - director of Vogue USA, model Naomi Campbell, Edward Enninful, director of Vogue UK, and Duchess of Cambridge - Kate Middleton, along with the Royal Family.

Among the selected talents it is easy to spot designers like Burberry and Stella McCartney representing the UK, Karen Walker representing New Zealand, Bibi Russell for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is a milestone Bangladesh, and last but not least couturiers Charles & in the journey embraced by the fashion industry, Ron representing Malta. to adopt a more sustainable approach and create international collaborations that support it. In fact, the A brief with the Green Carpet Challenge® (GCC®) desire of “going green” whilst creating international Principles of Sustainable Excellence was sent to each collaborations, is a fundamental approach all maitre partnership and asked to create a fashion “look” couturiers and fashion houses should adopt nowadays highlighting the creative skills and the design ethos of to safeguard our planet and to ensure a better future for each partner. The GCC’s sustainability principles were: the younger generations. It is important to unlock the transparency, fair work, and the preservation of natural potential of those artisans of fashion as they can show resources of the environment and animal welfare. All the world how beautiful creations can also be produced participating partners must comply with them. by respecting cultural traditions and using local materials and techniques. Local for global: this is the newest The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is managed by fashion trend to follow, this is the way forward.

62 Issue 99 March 2018

India X Tuvalu


Sierra Leone X Ghana + The Gambia

The Bahamas X Barbados



Charles & Ron Showcase Gown at Buckingham Palace’s Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

Eminent local couturiers Charles & Ron were welcomed to Buckingham Palace in London to present one of their gowns as part of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange. Held in the presence of royalty and top international celebrities, the event showcased a wealth of design and artisan fashion talent from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries. Speaking the morning after the event, Charles & Ron said: “We are absolutely reeling from this incredible experience. It was wonderful to be inside Buckingham Palace and to see our dress exhibited among such beautiful fashion from all over the world. The highlight was our meeting with The Countess of Wessex, Sophie Wessex, who hosted the evening, as well as being praised for our design by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and American Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles.” For the exchange, Charles & Ron created a look made from Woolmark-certified wool crepe, with a full, floor-length skirt embellished with beaded appliqué Maltese door-knockers. The coordinating blouse featured Maltese lace, while a Maltese handtooled leather belt completed the look. The piece also represents

64 Issue 99 March 2018

a collaboration between Charles & Ron and Mumbai-based designer Khushboo, who oversaw the beading and embellishment of the Maltese door-knockers through her network of local artisans. “One of the key objectives of last night’s exchange was the partnership between designers and artisans from Commonwealth countries, and it also shone a spotlight on the artisans' work,” Charles & Ron continue. “We were proud to collaborate with Khushboo, who we regularly support through internships and by helping their charity venture – a Library Café in Mumbai.” While in London, Charles & Ron chose to stay at the five-star Corinthia Hotel London, which supported their visit. The designers’ relationship with Corinthia is underlined by the fact that the duo runs an exclusive boutique from the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard, Malta. “The Corinthia Palace has actually been our base for a number of years now and we share a wonderful synergy with the whole Corinthia brand and its ethos. We are very grateful for the constant support shown to us by Corinthia, both in Malta and internationally,” Charles & Ron conclude.

RUN YOUR CAR ON THIS! We're not nuts! Coconut oil can fuel your car with as much energy as diesel would.

Immerse yourself in a land of fruit. Using raw coconut oil without modifying your car engine can lead to long-term damage.


Cal from Fat 243

Sodium 16mg


Total Fat 27g


Total Carbohydrates 12g


Saturated Fat 24g


Dietary Fiber 7g


Trans Fat 0g


Sugars 5g

Cholesterol 0 mg


Protein 3g



March 2018  
March 2018