Sincerely, Loree is a lifestyle blog that focuses on travel, books, culture, fashion and slow living on the small Mediterranean island of Malta.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A perfect day

Today was one of those perfect summer days. Yesterday was a public holiday and I took the day off today so I had a super-long weekend. My son has also finished school so we decided to make the most of it and headed to the beach early in the morning. 

We were there by 9.30 am and parking was easy since the airport won't be opening up until tomorrow. We were able to spread our towels without encroaching on anybody else]s space. It was a hot one today but there was a nice breeze at the beach which kept things very pleasant. I spent the first half hour just listening to the waves die gently on the sand and staring at the water. Ir was so soothing that I quickly felt the tight knot in my stomach that I walk around with so often, dissipating. We swam for an hour, dried off and left just before the heat reached it zenith. 

I then spent most of the afternoon lounging on the couch, reading, checking Instagram and enjoying the cool breeze from our ceiling fan. It was one of our best investments: a sleek, modern contraption of stainless steel with wooden blades. Even on a low setting it cools down the room enormously. I've also learnt to close all doors and windows, except for the smallest of cracks, to keep the heat out. Most of the time, it seems to work.
 
Gnejna Bay, Malta - Sincerely Loree
Those of you that have been reading my blog long enough will know that I don't like summer. But I've realised what I really hate is having to work in summer. I didn't hate my day today because I got to swim, which is one of the things I enjoy most in the world, relax and read. I was also able to plan a nice supper without having to rush like a maniac and now I have enough energy to blog - when most days I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm starting to get the distinct impression that work is bad for me :)
Gnejna Bay, Malta - Sincerely Loree

Garden

On the garden front, I have started to follow #mediterraneangardens on Instagram as I would like to introduce plants that easily withstand our long, hot summers but that will also provide some greenery. I am going to try growing oleander by cutting off some shoots and potting them. My dad has had some success doing it this way and I want to try doing it myself. Oleander is a desert plant and is highly adapted to conditions of drought. An added bonus is that they flower nearly all summer long. I still love my roses and hydrangeas but both these species need to be watered regularly. The hydrangeas wilt after a day in the heat and the roses look straggly all summer. So I am planning on mixing hardier plants with a few more delicate varieties.
Hydrangeas - Sincerely Loree

Summer plans

We don't really have any plans this summer. Our trip to Ireland never materialised and my husband had to use up nearly all his vacation leave during the COVID-19 crisis. It certainly looks like we will be staying here and, whereas in big countries it's easy get in the car and get away, here there is nowhere to go - except maybe to Gozo (which is Malta's sister island), but it's really small and gets crowded very easily. Sometimes I toy with the idea of staying in a boutique hotel in Valletta to experience what it's like to wake up in our capital city. We'll see. As I've said, we have no plan, so we'll probably act on the spur of the moment.
Gnejna Bay, Malta - Sincerely Loree

Keeping in touch

Blogging is always harder during the summer months as it takes quite a bit of will-power to sit down for any length of time but I will try to keep at it, even if my posts will get shorter. I am active almost daily on Instagram and you can find me here. I've shunned nearly all other social media platforms but do enjoy puttering around on Goodreads because it's the perfect place to look for new books to read and I now have around 86 books on my 'want to read' list. Oh dear. 

Another great place to look for book recommendations is Jeanne's Brown Paper  Book Club which you can find on Goodreads here, on Pinterest here or on her new website here.

As always, my offer to send anyone that's interested a postcard from Malta is always open. Please drop me a note in the Comments section and I will get in touch with you for your address. Hopefully, it will reach you before the end of summer because snail mail is still slow and the service has been heavily disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions.

That is all for today. I hope you're all enjoying summer by doing the things you love most.

Gnejna Bay, Malta - Sincerely Loree

Leaving you with some classic Lou Reed and his idea of a perfect day.



Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Kitchen tales: Cooking with capers

The caper plant (Capparis spinosa) is a very common sight around the Mediterranean. It is highly adapted to the  Mediterranean climate and withstands temperatures of 40°C easily. Here in Malta, the bushes grow out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, in areas of garigue, from cliff-faces and even out of limestone ramparts and bastions, from where it is often removed to prevent structural damage to the fortifications.



Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Life, lately: it's been, oh, so quiet

It's June (can you believe it?) and things are slowly going back to normal. Yet I don't feel an urge to embrace normality. It's safe in here: a refuge where I can shut out the noise and concentrate on the little things that have sustained us for these past 2.5 months; a place of comfort where every little thing is familiar and loved. Outside these walls, the world seems to be a place of confusion and chaos. But here, it's been,  oh so quiet; and I've been thriving on quiet. Thriving and resting. aligning my often-erratic thoughts into some semblance of order and giving myself the time to just be. I've stopped worrying what I should write about, feeling thankful that I've never tried to fit my blog into a specific niche. Which means I am free to write about almost anything. So today I'll just be sharing some of the things I've been doing during this quiet time that is soon coming to an end.

Quiet moments: walks in the countryside
Chadwick Lakes - Sincerely Loree

May 1st was a holiday and we hiked a trail in the valley beneath our house. We were surrounded by cultivated fields on all around us.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

After the rain

A storm blew in  yesterday. It was totally unexpected and very welcome. All morning, dark grey clouds trailed across the sky. Occasionally, it sprinkled a little. Then, in the late afternoon, a big mass of clouds moved in. We could see them coming in over the sea and the low-lying areas. Slowly, at first and then faster, until it hit us here, on our little hill-top town. And it rained. And it poured. And it even hailed. Thunder growled and lightning flashed. It was amazing and exhilarating. It washed away all the dust, cobwebs and debris leaving everything fresh, clean and sparkling. Sometimes all it takes is some rain for the world to feel like it has been born anew. My plants loved it and I did too. It would be lovely if we could have a storm like that every other week - but that would be hoping for too much.
Orange Hydrangea - Sincerely Loree

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Hello from Humphrey and other silly stories


This is Humphrey - at least, that's what I've named him. My husband painted him on a whim because, well, I love rabbits, and I think they are absolutely  cuddly and adorable. But first, a bit of  back story.

When I was still living at my parents' house I had  a series of dwarf rabbits. I say series because, unfortunately, they do not live for very long and some of them had some rather unfortunate accidents that shortened their life-span even more - but I won't talk about that. I still remember their names: Pippino, Rosie, Pixie, Spinner and a few others. The last one I had was called Billy and I remember seeing his chubby face looking at us from the garden the morning I left the house to get married.
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