Things I Love Thursday

  • I started following one of the seminar courses for the English Studies undergraduate degree at the University of Luxembourg last week (as a guest student – anyone can apply) and I am in love. I am a good 8 years older than everyone else in the class (who proceed to speak Luxembourgish as soon as the seminar is over) but I’m simply adoring the whole experience (I get to catch a train to the campus, the lecture room walls are painted with whiteboard paint(!!!!!!), and the lecturer’s Power Point presentations are the best ever).
  • My friend Valentina’s TILT posts
  • The best messages from friends back in Malta (“;”)
  • (watching the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy with my bestie while she’s in London and I’m in Luxembourg and seeing each other’s reactions in real time = dreams coming true)
  • Frankenstein
  • I started that 30-day shred fitness challenge thing this week. I am in so much pain. But I also seem to have a modicum of upper-body strength now already (whereas before, I was just a weakling). A great workout.
  • Trains
  • Repeat proofreading clients with the best theses
  • Sunday brunch with lovely Maltese people at a shop that imports English and American things (I BOUGHT SO MUCH CIDER AND CHEDDAR AND POP TARTS)
  • Seeing SO MANY good concerts this past week: Steven Wilson, Sóley, Sufjan Stevens, Summer Heart, Thomas Dybdahl, etc. <3
  • Dancing
  • Starting French lessons again and getting a super teacher (my spoken French is going to improve soooooo much)
  • Watching a good film (Youth)
  • Buying fresh flowers from the market

Sunday Photo Mishmash: that blue sea of mine

Living away from Malta always puts the Mediterranean Sea up on a gigantic pedestal for me. That fixture of everyday life that was almost always there in the corner of my eye as I drove around and lived my life is suddenly no longer there, and it’s quite curious how fundamental it is in relation to my overall happiness. Coming from a little town in the centre of the island of Malta, it wasn’t like I woke up and could see the sea (like a lot of people can), but my insatiable love affair with the Mediterranean started once I left for England to study and was thousands and thousands of kilometres away.

Now I live in a landlocked country without easy direct-flight access to my home country, and I miss the Mediterranean more and more as the days go on. At least I’m lucky enough to be able to visit really regularly, so I always get my fix of the sea whenever I’m back home.

The photo above was taken last Tuesday while on a trip to Gozo with my parents. Other beaches were a little too rough for my parents, but Mġarr ix-Xini never disappoints, and it was perfectly calm and absolutely beautiful. I soaked in every second of the feeling of the water on my skin and the sun on my face and shoulders, and the gorgeous surroundings (including the lovably loud and complain-y old Gozitans that sat by the sea).

Yesterday, I booked another trip to Malta for the end of October, and I’m already aching to leave. It really sounds like I just want to be in Malta as much as possible (which is 100% true…), but I’ve never appreciated Malta more than when I don’t live there. So maybe this is all for the best.

And Autumn has well and truly begun in Luxembourg and it’s already gorgeous – I can wait for the trees to get browner and crunchier.

Happy Sunday! Off to brunch. :)

Things I Love Thursday

  • A beautiful 6-day trip to Malta – I’m feeling all sorts of down in the dumps today, being away from there. The grey, cold, rainy weather in Luxembourg is not helping.
  • Swimming in the sea, swimming in the sea, swimming in the sea
  • Have I mentioned that I love swimming in the sea?
  • Getting some administrative stuff finally done
  • A moonlit swim a few hours before leaving Malta
  • Having a laptop with a long battery life so that I can work, watch all the TV episodes and all the films, listen to all the podcasts, and use Facebook for hours and hours and hours (particularly in Vienna Airport)
  • Having a BBQ at my house for Dave’s family (even though he wasn’t with us)
  • Visiting my cousins and their adorable baby girl
  • A quick swim in the sunshine with a friend
  • Having to ask my Mum to iron my bikini so that it will dry faster because I needed to go swimming again in the same day and needs must
  • A beautiful and super fun wedding
  • Getting to know people a bit more
  • Body heat
  • Rosé wine
  • Being able to speak Maltese/English with such comfort and ease – I’m definitely not taking it for granted any more (as soon as I landed in Luxembourg yesterday I had to have an extensive conversation in French on the bus with a French tourist who had ALL THE QUESTIONS)
  • Getting that annual gynaecologist check-up done (people with vaginas: don’t forget yours!)
  • Seeing a dog at baggage claim at Luxembourg Airport that was so fluffy I almost spontaneously died
  • Realising that this is quite a long TILT
  • Spending time with my two best friends in Malta
  • Seeing off my wonderful bestie Annelise as she set off to London for a year
  • Meeting my friend John’s new shiba puppy. My eyes welled up when I saw him. He is the actual cutest.
  • A long, hearty conversation about feminism
  • My instax camera
  • A short trip to Gozo with my parents
  • The Mediterranean Sea

My Favourite Feelings (my Mum’s)


It’s so fascinating to read my parents’ favourite feelings – I asked them to compile a list of some of their favourite feelings a few weeks ago, and I had no idea what they would come up with. When they sent me their lists by email, I (obviously) cried, because they’re so genuine and beautiful and sweet. They warmed the cockles of my soul. In these lists, there’s nothing groundbreaking or hugely surprising, but it’s not something we often speak about, so it’s truly heartwarming to read a list of some of the things which make my parents happiest. (My Mum has also kept emailing me to add more items to this list… adorable.)

So, this time, it’s my Mum’s turn to list some of her favourite feelings. She worked at a bank for over 40 years, she always looks 100% presentable with a massive smile, and she can haggle her way through anything. Here are some of her favourite feelings:

  • Eating out with my husband and preferably also with my daughter
  • Having picnics with my sisters
  • Visiting elderly acquaintances
  • Organising a BBQ for the family
  • Buying good quality items at bargain prices
  • Making other people happy
  • Helping others
  • Eating healthy food
  • Skype sessions with our daughter – I can never have enough
  • Having Claire home (from Luxembourg)
  • Meeting old friends
  • When the house is clean and tidy
  • Seeing to a lot of errands
  • When it’s bad weather and all the family is at home

Would you like to share some of your favourite feelings? Email me on

Music Mondays: of broken hands that could not be

Time spent in Malta is always magical. That first plunge into the sea, driving around, looking at the skyline… it’s always going to be home – no question.

I’ll be back in Luxembourg on Wednesday, so I’ll be enjoying these last two days (for now) in Malta before I’ll be back in the greyness and the cold. Lots of work and exciting things are in my future in Luxembourg, though, so it’s all good.

This song is more fitting for a Luxembourgish afternoon, I guess, but it’s too beautiful not to post today. Hope everyone has a great Monday (it’s a public holiday in Malta – independence, woo!).

{ Jeff Pianki // Paper Window Dreams }

(The playlist.)

Sunday Photo Mishmash: a kitty, and lots of cake

This week, after a final day in Riga, Latvia (including the most delicious cupcake pit-stop ever) (above), I came to Malta for a few days to attend a beautiful wedding (it was so lovely <3) and to dip my entire body vigorously into the sea over and over and over again. <3 Can you tell that I love the sunshine and the sea and Malta in general? Because I do.

I also absolutely adore my cat, Venus. She is a hilarious being, and I wish I could cuddle her every day.

I also spent a lot of time with my best friends this week, even though one of them left for a trip on Friday (boo!) and the other is leaving for a year (A YEAR) to study in London. At least she’ll be closer to me – look forward to several trips to London in this blog’s future.

We went to Flora’s for some cake on Saturday. It was delicious. Mine was the marshmallow sheep cupcake. So sugary. So good.

Hope everyone has a great week.

The Mid-Year Book Tag


Yes, it’s a little (a lot) past the middle of the year, but let’s take a general glance at the first half of 2015 as a reading year with this “mid-year” book tag.

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2015. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Complex, easy-to-read, brilliant. Eye/mind/life-opening. Beautiful.
  2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2015. I haven’t read any sequels, but I read Crooked House by Agatha Christie, and that’s one of a… “series” of crime novels… I guess?
  3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – a lovely reader and ex-classmate (hi, Kirsten!) messaged me a couple of weeks ago and recommended this book to me. It’s only been out since February, but I’m very excited to read it.
  4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. First & Then by Emma Mills – I’ve watched this YouTuber for years, and her awkwardness and her trials and tribulations with life and getting through education and getting a job have made me see her as a sort of kindred spirit somewhere on the other side of the world. I’m so happy that she’s written a book! I’d love to read it. It comes out in October.
  5. Biggest disappointment. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – ooooooooooooh. It was my first Neil Gaiman. I really wanted to like it. I wanted to love it. I didn’t love it. It was fine, and an OK story, but I was very indifferent to the “brilliant” parts.
  6. Biggest surprise. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I had been meaning to read this for years, and then my beautiful best friend wanted to buy me a book as an extra birthday present, and I chose this one. It has started a love affair with this wonderful author.
  7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you.) Definitely Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She’s up there with my favourite authors of all time now, actually.
  8. Newest fictional crush. I’d say Obinze from Americanah. He sounds like he’s not afraid to feel his feelings.
  9. Newest favourite character. This is turning into a total Adichie love-fest, but it has to be Ifemelu from Americanah. She is everything I want to BE.
  10. Book that made you cry. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – and the crying happened quite close to the beginning of the book, which is strange, because I’m usually sobbing when we’re reaching the classic four-fifths-of-the-way-in climax of a book. This book was beautiful and very touching.
  11. Book that made you happy. Yes Please by Amy Poehler – I heard the audio book of this book, read by Amy Poehler herself, and it was pleasant and made me happy. I could listen to it anywhere – on buses, in bed – and it had quite a few pearls of wisdom that made me smile.
  12. Favourite book-to-film adaptation you saw this year. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – I read the book at the beginning of the year (cried) and watched the film a few days ago (cried).
  13. Favourite review you’ve written this year. (For The Innocent by Francesca Segal): “Ugh, I’m so glad I finished this book. I mostly disliked it. I hate the protagonist, Adam. What an idiot. The book sounded to me like it was written by a man who was up to his ear lobes in male-privilege. I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s about a 2.5 out of 5 stars. It was a very easy, flowing read, and well-written, but the story and the characters – ughhhhhhh, so eye-rollingly frustrating.”
  14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received). Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky – this was part of my birthday present this year from my boyfriend. I essentially read it in a day, and loved every bit of it. And it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen or owned. I love islands, I love stories about islands, I want more.
  15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? (1) They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie – this is the first Christie that is taking me FOREVER to read. I’m about halfway through and really need to finish it ASAP. (2) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – since Adichie has become one of my favourite authors, I need to do a McEwan and read EVERYTHING SHE’S EVER HAD PUBLISHED. (3) A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – currently reading this too, and adoring it. Can’t wait to finish it.

Hope everyone has had a good reading year so far. Please let me know if you have any opinions/recommendations.