Thursday, 26 March 2020

Armchair travel - Part 1

If you would have told me, just 4 weeks ago, that, by the end of March, millions of people (over 1 billion, actually) would be quarantined, I would have laughed. And yet, here we all are and I am, of course, no longer laughing. Like countless millions, I am stuck indoors, working from home and finding it increasingly difficult to blog since I am using my 'blogging space' as my working space and, after 8 hours rooted to the same spot, my 'blogging space, is feeling less and less like the place I so enjoyed going to. But I don't want to lose the nice rhythm I had established since the beginning of the year and I refuse to let COVID-19 get the better of me.

So today, my post will be short on words but big on photos as I take you on some armchair travels that will remind you of all the beauty and open spaces that are awaiting our return. At the end of this post, I am linking, when possible, to previous posts, so that you can really get lost down this particular rabbit-hole, if you are so inclined.

September 2005
Venice, Italy
My first view ever of La Serenissima. I was 5 months pregnant at the time and I will never forget my first view of this enchanting place, rising like a jewel out of the murky waters of the Adriatic. I still think that the best way to see Venice for the first time is from a boat.
Venice, Italy - Sincerely Loree

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Solidarity in a time of quarantine

Even after all these weeks of hearing about Covid-19 I am still incredulous that it has come to this. It is amazing to me that here we are, in 2020, thinking that all the things we always took for granted would never change. And yet, the reality is that the world has been brought to a standstill by an errant piece of RNA - because that's what this virus is essentially. A strand of RNA that has gone berserk and mutated from something that causes a harmless common cold to this aggressive strain that is the cause of so much death and disruption. It would be funny if it weren't so serious; the stuff that science fiction movies are made of. But unfortunately, it's the reality that we all have to live with for the time being.

Malta is not yet in lock-down but people are being encouraged to practise social distancing and to avoid congregating in large groups. Our office has shut down and we are all working from home so I am keeping busy for the time being. However, I know that there may be plenty of other people who may not be so lucky. I also know that, during uncertain times like these, it is easy to give in to fear and anxiety, to feel overwhelmed by all that is unknown and by the changes to our lifestyles that we may all be required to make in the future. But, to borrow a phrase from the Brits that was very popular during WW2: keep calm and carry on. Let us remember what is important and cling to it and let us re-learn how to make friendships and memories that last. If this pandemic will teach us nothing else, it will teach us that it's the little things that are truly important and that resilience and compassion comes from inside. Let's not forget those in our communities who are struggling or who are afraid and lonely. We can all do our bit to help.
Valletta - Sincerely Loree

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Life lately: a birthday, bookstagram and a hike

February 2020 has officially been declared the driest one on record even though, traditionally, it is considered to be the wettest month of the year. Which means that I was looking out of the bedroom window every morning in the vain hope that the sky would be full of big fat black clouds so that I could wear my winter jackets. But it never happened. So they have been idly hanging in my closet all winter and I am already counting down the days to December. I'm just joking. I'm trying to learn to live in the moment and be thankful for each new day.
So let's take a look at some things I've been doing during February.

2020 reading challenge and #bookstagram
My 2020 reading challenge is coming along nicely. In February I finished two thick books: The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. They are very different books and both excellent in their own way. I continued to struggle with Tess but I refuse to give up and I hope that I will finish it before March is over.
Sincerely Loree

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Ten photos that will make you want to visit Mdina

Perhaps I'm biased because we live so close, but Mdina is definitely one of the few un-spoilt jewels that are still left on this island. Perched on its hill and surrounded by massive high walls and a dry moat, Mdina has managed to retain its 'untouchable' aura for centuries. Thankfully, Mdina has nowhere to expand and all the buildings inside it are protected. Its architecture is a harmonious blend of medieval and Baroque and underneath its streets, an ancient Roman town lies sleeping.

Mdina has a quaintness that rubs off on all those who enter its gates. And it has this propensity to l bewitch you before you even have time to blink. Mdina is one of the last remnants of old Malta. It is what the rest of the island used to look like before it was invaded by contractors and cranes and tractors that, in the name of prosperity and progress, have destroyed the character of this island and robbed it of its soul. 

But Mdina prevails and - as long as somebody doesn't go stark-raving mad and come up with some 'bright' idea to develop it and make it more 'tourist-friendly' - it will continue to charm its visitors while retaining the veil of secrecy and mystery that are such an inherent part of its legacy.

So, without further chatter from me, here are 10 photos that will do the talking instead of me and will, hopefully, make you want to visit Mdina.
Mdina, Malta | Sincerely Loree

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