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Showing posts from December, 2009

More Republic Day Parade

Republic Day Celebrations in Valletta

This past Sunday we got up early - well earlyish and set off to Valletta to the market. I thought I already knew where they held the market, so we got off the bus and went through the entrance gates to the city, heading for Republic Street which is where I 'knew' the market was. The first thing that became evident was the Pulizia presence. We hardly ever see police anywhere, but there were lots of police and then as we came up to St. George's Square there were crowds everywhere, a stage had been set up in the square and we asked what was about to happen. A parade. Great - we love pomp and circumstance, and the next couple of hours was filled with pomp. Having grown as a soldier's daughter I was well used to the parade that followed - and there is video attached. The Maltese Army, whose dress uniform is exactly the same as my father's, were out in force. They were lead by their marching band who were excellent, and then mounted soldiers on beautiful horses, followed…

Church in Cospicua

Fireworks at the Cospicua Procession

Feast Day in Cospicua

Sunday 6th December we had a very long day. We started out in Valetta in the morning and then went over to Cospicua. We were expecting to meet up with cousin Annie and her family and then go over to Maria's house (my other cousin)to surprise her. I knew that their other siblings (my cousins) would all be there, but didn't realise that it would be the Feast day of Cospicua. This day celebrates the day that the Virgin Mary conceived Jesus Christ. It is one of the biggest festas in Malta - more so because Cospicua was 90% destroyed during WWII and their statue of the Virgin Mary, which you will see in the attached videa had to be removed from their parish church for its safe keeping. It was removed to a village called Birkirkara a few miles away which was not such a target for the bombing.(Cospicua was a major target because it was home to the naval dockyards.) The statue survived and the people really do love this statue. About 10 men carried the statue on their shoulders out of…

Valletta Christmas lights

Manoel theater

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A night with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra - and Phil and Wendy

Tony wants me to write something sophisticated, so here goes, we heard overtures from Rossini and Verdi, the overtures of Rossini are gems in their own right, bearing an economy of 'ideation' yet an extraordinary flair for melodic invention ------------ pleeeeeease ------------that sounds like such a bloody croc. Back to what I thought of our night at the theatre. It was a lovely evening, starting with being picked up in a car - not having to walk meant that we - no - I could wear decent clothes and sort of shoes, well I still have to climb over the pulpit at the front of the bowsprit and manoevre around to compensate for the 30kn winds which are moving Moondancer around considerably, so I can't actually wear a dress, but at least something other than hiking boots and jeans. So that's how it started, and then we got to the Theatre and met with our Danish and Dutch friends in the courtyard lobby - (just remember that this theatre dates back to 1732, which makes me feel …

Dead Fish Diver

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Here's a job that most of us would dearly love to have, if we had ever heard of it. We have recently met a gentleman called Morgan, and ex-pat from Sweden. He's probably about 40 and came here 10 years ago.
His first job in Malta was as a diver. In many bays around Malta are Tuna storage containers. The Tuna fishermen bring their catch into these storage nets and they are collected and fed and left there to grow until they are big enough to ship off to Japan who seem to be the world's biggest buyers of very large Tuna. Up to 200 kilos, twice as big as Morgan. So sometimes the Tuna die and if left in these containers will contaminate the live fish, which means that somebody has to take out the dead fish.
That was Morgan's job. Unblievable, he would swim around in very close quarters packed in with hundreds of Tuna. Sometimes he would get cut by their sharp fins. That's not what he does now. He's become a shipwright and he and an Irishman called Ken seem to g…

Time to start experiencing Malta

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Now that we have moved into our new ‘home’, which incidentally is across the dock from George, the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s commodore who never knows who we are, we now have time to look around. The weather is much cooler now which is more conducive to doing just that. Malta is an extremely hot place in the summer months and its difficult to get motivated to do anything except lie down in the boat with a couple of fans blowing full force onto you, afraid to move because as soon as you do the sweat starts flowing.

We’ve been welcomed into a community of Europeans who have made Malta their homes in the winter, coming back to their spots in the marina and then take off traveling around the Med in the summer. They have lots to tell us about Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Italy. Sicily of course is only about 50 miles from here, so we look forward to taking some trips there during the winter months. Though the winds can get really nasty there is also mild weather and some people still cr…

Yea! we have a spot on N dock

We were very lucky to catch the dock guy Chris in the morning on monday. We let him know that we are on the wall still looking for space. We mentioned that we had met a fellow who has just had his boat lifted out for four months. The guy's spot is on the very end of N dock. Chris said, sounds good , go ahead and take it. So we were very happy. The only problem was the wind has picked up and blowing us right on to the wall with not too much room for manuvering. We'll just wait till it dies down. Nancy wakes me up at 3am and say's "look it's so calm right now. Lets go" So we fired up and slid down to our new location. It's nice to have power and water again. The view is not to bad either.