Malta. A golden land, with warm blond stone, yellow arid landscape scattered with prickly pears; young men the colour of tanned leather with beautiful yellow/hazel eyes, dark hair and lashes; old grey haired men short of stature and round of belly sitting with their pals watching the world go by; young women who love their eye makeup and long painted nails caring for their children; and old women who sit outside their houses at dusk, waiting for interesting things to happen, gossiping with their wizened friends before going back inside to care for their husbands and children, no matter how old they are.
What a beautiful place.
Between 28 and 32 degrees for a long weekend, this English girl was in heaven. The feeling of the sun warming my bones and joints after a sizzling English summer sitting in an ice cold air con office was bliss. (How old am I?!)
Accommodation of choice was my friends’ house who are fortunate enough to have moved to Malta. They recently moved into a 500 year old farmhouse in a village.
Cool and charming, the house is full of history from the high arched stone ceilings, worn stone floors that almost look like marble, to the disused animal troughs currently used as “hands-off-my-phone” nooks from their two year old.
Their garden, unusual for Malta, not only had an aquamarine pool surrounded by lizards, grasshoppers, swishing palms and stunning bougainvillea covering the dry stone wall, it also had room for sun loungers, patio table and chairs, a dedicated child-proof play area and recently planted herbs all adding a beautiful fragrance to the perfect spot to rest and relax.
I did nothing but sleep and sunbathe, moving from sunbed to lilo. Protected both physically and mentally from the outside world by the high garden walls. It was a safe zone and one I desperately needed after a tough year.
On top of that, my girl-friend is the perfect hostess and although she was looking after two children under two, she exuded warmth and bestowed her caring nature on me to make sure I was ok.
Lunch was made and brought to me; wine and G&Ts were poured; barbecues were cooked in the outdoor cooking fire – what more can a South African and Australian couple want – a bribarbie or barbiebri?!
If you get the chance to try a Maltese tuna sandwich please do – tuna with tomato paste, red onion and some other bits and pieces mixed together on Maltese bread from the “bread man in a van” who comes twice a day and only charges 70 cent for a loaf!
If my girl-friend ever feels the need, she could definitely become a hotelier. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere where I didn’t care if I slept all day. Or maybe that’s true friendship for you?