I guess many of you will not be waking up to a white Christmas, so I thought I’d post a selection of winter images, all taken before I started blogging, just over four and a half years ago now. (How time flies!)
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. 🎄🎅🥂
OK, it’s nearly Christmas 🎄🎁, so it must be time to Live It Up and go as Mental As Anything… 😜 🤡 Have a great week!
With Christmas 🎄 looming ever closer, I thought it was time to up the beat a bit and get you into that party mood… 💃🕺
This week we have another 80’s classic, Move Closer by Phyllis Nelson. Although this song failed to reach the charts in the States (why, for heavens sake!?) it topped the UK singles charts in April 1985. So, sit back, relax and enjoy… 🤗
I mentioned earlier in the week that the weather was set to improve and for the past 3 days we’ve had glorious sunshine. The mountains are looking wonderful with their white tops against the blue skies so, in an attempt to capture as many as possible for you, today I went for a walk along the Thyon Ridge. At least this time I remembered to take my showshoes. 😊
The Thyon ski resort isn’t fully open yet, but most of the pistes have been prepared. There were also quite a lot of people ski touring up to Mont Carré (@2,468m or 8,097ft).
I think there’s something uniquely satisfying about the deep sounding ‘creak’ or crunch that you get when walking on fresh snow. I’m not sure if it’s just the sound, or the knowledge that you are the first person to walk on that particular spot for a while, or the fact that you have some grip and are less likely to slip, or maybe it’s all three. Anyway, our car had to visit the garage to have its winter tyres put on, so I went for a walk up and down the river (Borgne). As you will see from the images below, it was a little misty, at least to start with, but I think that adds to the atmosphere. To add to at least my interest, there were a lot of fresh animal tracks around, but no animals to be seen unfortunately.
We have a few days of sunshine forecast, so I hope to bring you some brighter pictures later this week. 😀
The song “Big Fun” has been recorded by a number of groups, including Kool and the Gang and Inner City, but my favourite by far is this one by The Gap Band. It reached no. 4 in the UK charts in January 1987. Like many of my choices, it’s a bit quirky, but most of all soulful and funky. Also, the words “No more work, just a lot of play… having big fun, under the sun” very neatly describe my retirement!
Hope you all have big fun this week! 😀
Below some more photos taken during my recent trip to Malta, which didn’t quite fit into the other 3 categories already posted. This includes a trip to the north east coast and the National Aquarium at Bugibba, which also had a few reptiles. (At least they kept still while being photographed!)
Last but by no means least, as mentioned in my first post, there’s a picture of me presenting a copy of my dad’s book “Bobbing Along”, to the FWA (Fondazzioni Wirt Artna) at their offices in Notre Dame Gate. It contains a whole chapter on his time in Malta and will be added to their archives.
With the Malta Challenge Marathon being off my agenda due to my injury, I had more time to explore than I expected. So I took the ferry over to Gozo to check out some of the places that Jude and I had visited 3 years ago. I knew that the Azure Window had collapsed, but I wasn’t expecting to see the San Blas beach completely covered in seaweed. To show you the contrast I’ve included images from 2016.
As I drove along I was also lucky enough to spot the Ta Pinu National Shrine. The interior and mosaics outside, which appeared to have been done by people from all around the world, were very impressive.
As mentioned in my post yesterday, “The Gut” or Strait Street in Valletta was a place my dad occasionally frequented just after the War. The street is aptly named, as it’s very narrow and it was famous for having many bars. Despite his best efforts, my dad never did manage to have a drink in each one, going from one end to the other. So, during my visit, I had to investigate it further.
I can report that most of the bars are now long gone. I think only 2 remain and I was tempted to “have one for my dad” in Tico Tico’s, but 10:30 in the morning is a little early even for me! The street is now a mix of posh offices (mainly solicitors as the Law Courts are down there too) and derelict, dusty, locked up doorways. But, walking down it even now, you can sense what an atmosphere there must have been with hundreds, if not thousands, of sailors coming ashore. George Cini’s book, Strada Stretta, has interviews with the people who lived and worked there in it’s heyday and is well worth a read, if you have an interest in this historic island.
I’d also read that the “3 Cities” of Senglea (aka Isla), Birgu (Vittoriosa) and Bormla (Cospicua) were well worth a look and so I popped over the Grand Harbour on one of the ferries. The sandstone coloured streets of Vittoriosa were delightful and extremely quiet at this time of the year.