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

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Waiting for autumn

We're officially one month into the season already but autumn continues to elude us. We've had rain, yes. And a few thunderstorms and days with big grey clouds sailing majestically across the sky. But the temperatures have remained warm - in the mid- to high twenties - and our plants have come alive with flowers, blooming under the double caress of a gentler sun and higher levels of humidity. It should be a blessing. It is a blessing. But I cannot help feeling jealous when I scroll through my Instagram feed and see people wearing cosy sweaters and talking about cashmere and spicy pumpkin lattes in the same breath - not that I drink lattes since I am of the opinion that milk does nothing to enhance the taste of coffee and I only ever drink mine black, without sugar - but people are still walking around in summer clothes and eating ice-creams here. And I am desperately waiting for the weather to break.
Bahar ic-Caghaq ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

I've been away for a while from here and I wish I could say that my absence has been due to some interesting project or exciting social life.  But the truth is, it was mainly laziness and lack of inspiration that kept me away. I've spent a lot of my evenings these past three weeks reading, nursing my little toe that I may or may not have fractured (I never bothered having it checked by a doctor) after I ran into our very solid, wooden coffee table, and thinking guiltily about what I can do to be more active. Inertia has become one of my best friends which is not a good thing. I need to get out of this funk as soon as my toe is well enough for me to be able to wear some sneakers.

To be honest, we did have some minor house projects to work on which may have distracted me a bit. At the end of September we painted our peachy-pink living room a light shade of green. It's very spring-like but I miss our old colour. It used to make me feel like I was bathed in the rosy rays of sunset no matter the weather or the season. But, after 15 years of repainting the room in the same shade, we thought it was time for something different. Except maybe not this different. I'm still in the process of 'shopping our house'  for accessories that will look good against the new wall colour. Next weekend we'll be tackling what used to be the playroom but is now turning into a mini library. I am dreading it, as there are still quite a few toys in it that  no longer get played with but which my son wants to keep. No changes in colour there. I love the neutral beige walls.
Bahar ic-Caghaq ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

After that is done, we will be hanging up our paint brushes until spring as we start to look forward to the end-or-year festivities. With an American in the house, I am sure that, before too long, we will be planning our Thanksgiving menu and then looking forward to Christmas. The stores here removed all the summer paraphernalia like beach umbrellas and deck-chairs and immediately replaced them with Christmas trees and tinsel. I just don't get it.  Christmas is my favourite holiday. It's a special and meaningful time of year. But I hate the over-commercialization of it.

In the meantime, I will continue to impatiently wait for autumn. This year, like every other year, I will look for the subtle changes that remind me that, even though it is slow in coming, it is on its way. The grass is starting to grow and  the vine leaves have turned orange and then brown. The olives are being harvested and I can hear robins, and other birds whose names I don't know, twittering and singing outside our windows. Soon the last remnants of summer will disappear but, clinging tenaciously to these days of light and warmth, a lonely cricket hidden in a garden wall, sadly chirps its final farewell.
Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

P.S. Yes, it's still warm enough to swim.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Five beautiful places in England

I am sure you are all asking yourselves 'are there really only 5 beautiful places in England?' The answer, of course, is NO. But I had to start somewhere. So I've started with 5 of the most pretty places in England that I've seen to date. 

Bath, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

Bath is a gorgeous city that dates back to the Roman occupation of Britain. Its Roman baths are extremely well preserved and one of its major attractions. But Bath's  Georgian architecture is equally famous and the sweeping Royal Crescent is one of its most famous landmarks. The city's Gothic cathedral is medieval in origin with a number of additions and alterations that were made in the Victorian era. Bath has a plethora of small, independent shops, among them unique book shops and antique stores selling some very quirky objects, that are a pleasure to browse through.

Bath, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

More about Bath:
A  Day in Bath
Bath's Best Bookshops

Lyme Regis
Bath, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog
Lyme Regis is a coastal town in Dorset that is famous for the fossils found on its beaches and embedded in the cliffs that for part of the Heritage Coast or, as it is more commonly referred to, England's Jurassic Coast. One of the first major fossil discoveries of an ichthyosaur was made by Mary Anning in 1836. Important discoveries of other creatures such as Plesiosaurs and Dimorphodons followed.
Lyme Regis's harbour wall, known as The Cobb, has featured in Jane Austen's novel 'Persuasion' and in the 1981 film 'The French Lieutenant's Woman', based on the John Fowles novel of the same name.
Lyme Regis is a pretty, colourful town with a good selection of artists' studios and a number of interesting shops selling fossils, rocks and other geological artefacts  - in keeping with its association to Mary Anning and her discoveries.
Bath, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

St Ives
St Ives, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

St Ives is a coastal town in Cornwall that has been an artists' haven since 1920 when three Cornish artists set up an artists' colony. Its popularity as a holiday destination since Victorian times may be due to the fact that it enjoys a higher-than-average amount of sunshine, milder winters and warmer summers than the national UK average.
In the older part of St  Ives the streets are  narrow, winding and uneven. Unsurprisingly, artists'studios and art galleries abound. We found it to be a pleasant place to shop and explore and, although the vibrant harbour area with its restaurants and pubs, tends to get rather crowded, there are plenty of streets leading off of it that are practically deserted and ideal for exploring and taking a leisurely stroll.
I tasted my first crayfish sandwich when we visited St Ives and I absolutely loved it.
St Ives, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

More about St Ives:
The Simple Charm of St Ives

Dunster, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog
Dunster is a small village in Somerset that is located right at the edge of Exmoor National Park. This village of colourful houses is situated below Dunster  Castle - a medieval edifice that has existed for at least 1000 years. Dunster used to be an important trade centre for yarn and has a beautifully-intact 17th century yarn market located at the end of the village.
A number of buildings in the village have been converted into pubs, cafeterias or art and crafts shops. Dunster village is quiet and picturesque which makes it a very pleasant place to walk around. Due to its close proximity to Exmoor there are also many hiking trails and locations suitable for picnics. If walks on the beach sound more enticing, the seaside resort of  Minehead is also very close.
Dunster, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

More about Dunster:
Dunster Village and its Castle


Wells, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

Wells is a cathedral city in Somerset. It was named after three wells that are located within its precincts. Wells has been settled since Roman times and a church has existed there since the 8th century. The Gothic cathedral of Saint Andrew, for which Wells is particularly famous, is stunning due to its broad front. In fact, it is outside the norm for Gothic buildings since its breadth exceeds its height. The construction of Wells cathedral began in 1175 and it is considered to be the first true Gothic structure  in Europe.
Vicar's Close, a street close to the cathedral was planned in the 14th century and is said to be the oldest residential street in Europe, with all but one of its original buildings still intact.
Wells is a small place (it is the smallest city in England) and a real pleasure to explore on foot - which makes it easier to pop into its unique shops and cosy cafes.

Wells, England ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

I am sure that in the future I will will write about some more beautiful places in England because there are so many to choose from and, every time we visit, we discover a few more. Each one is unique, in its own particular way. Some, like Batch and Wells, have a history that goes back hundreds of years. Others, like Dunster, seem to be plucked right out of a fairy-tale. The truth is I could never pick a favourite. How about you, dear readers? Is there one in particular that intrigued you more than the others? Do tell.

If you have difficulty commenting in the Comments Box below this post, you may contact me on Instagram here  or on my blog Facebook page here.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Malta in a Minute: The Persian

Everything you need to know about Malta – one minute at a time.

If there's one thing that I love to do when walking around Valletta with a camera, it's hunting out old, wooden shop-fronts. I have no idea what the Persian used to be when it was still in business; whether it was a restaurant, a store that sold exotic spices or a bar whose patrons guzzled their beer while ogling a bevy of beautiful belly dancers. I'm sure I could find out if I asked around but the mystery  makes it all the more alluring.

Here is the Persian in all its rosy glory.

The Persian, Valletta | Sincerely Loree | Lifestyle Blog

Incidentally, it is the only old shop-front in Valletta that I have ever come across that is painted this particular shade of pink. So that's another thing that makes it unique.

In the coming weeks I will dedicate an entire post to Valletta's old shop-fronts but, in the meantime, I wanted to introduce you to one of my absolute favourites. I hope you like it as much as I do.

The Persian
Saint Ursula Street

More Malta in a Minute:
If you have difficulty commenting in the Comments Box below this post, you may contact me on Instagram here  or on my blog Facebook page here.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Mdina: childhood memories of the Silent City

It's funny, the things I remember during quiet moments: the lilt of a voice, a scent, the slant of the light on the streets of an ancient city - it's all it takes for the memories to come flooding back. Even though many years have passed, they are indelible; a part of who I am, like my hair and my hands.
Growing up, Mdina was as much a part of my life as my neighbouring hometown, which is just a stone's throw away. I went to school in Mdina. I took piano lessons in Mdina. I was constantly in and out of there. Inevitably, some of its residents became familiar faces. Some of them I knew by name.
Mdina, Malta ∣ Sincerely Loree ∣ Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 29 August 2019

August round-up and faves

August always seems like the longest and laziest month of the year. Which is not surprising as it is usually the hottest month of summer and, this year, it lived up to its reputation very well. It also seems to have dragged on interminably. I know that some people are not ready to bid summer farewell but I can't wait for rain, cooler weather and grass. I miss the greenery and pretty flowers so much. But we're getting there. Slowly.
August Sunset | Sincerely Loree | Lifestyle Blog

So what have we done this August? Not much. Or perhaps I should say 'nothing at all' - apart from visits to the beach. I've been very laid-back this year and ditched housework in favour of the cool sea-water. I decided that there's nothing wrong with dust on the furniture and a few stray grains of sand on the floor and, by not following my usual routine, I feel quite liberated.

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