Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gale Force Winds - Lovely Winter's Day

Some people complain about the cold windy weather, but we are in the middle of winter so what can one expect? We need the rain to feed the ground, we need the wind to churn up the sea and wash the coastline clean. Rough sea is the best natural cleaner there is......remember the Exxon Valdez disaster spilling tons and tons of crude oil along the precious coast line of the Prince William Sound in Alaska? Great fuss was made, and quite rightly so, because of the disaster to wildlife along the coast was horrendous. There was talk of the years and years of cleaning it would need - but in the end it was nature that came to the rescue and over the years it has been stormy seas that has been the most efficient cleaner.

Here in Gozo a drive along my favourite bit of coast line, Panorama Road along the Salt Pans past Qbajjar, gives you one of the most dramatic and beautiful sights there is in stormy weather. Below are a couple of photos. The reef off Qbajjar was a bit of a disappointment today as I thought the waves would be bigger, but it was still a thrill to see it.

                                                                                  CLICK ON PICS TO ENLARGE

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jamie Oliver Gives the Thumbs Up to Maltese Cuisine

Jamie Oliver - pic taken from

There is an article about food in Malta on well known chef, Jamie Oliver's, blog. It seems he was very pleasantly surprised with the type and quality of food he devoured.....though I hasten to add he defintely did not like our national dish - rabbit........but then I suppose that is a sensitive subject. Personally I love it and it is one of the healthiest meats you can eat.

Of course Jamie would have had the best of the best with chefs knowing just who was coming to lunch!

Read the article in full on this LINK - it is well worth a read.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Coney Island Bar - Part of Victoria's (in Gozo) Heritage

Coney Island Bar facade

Door step to Coney Island Bar

The bar itself with Georgia in the background

The lovely British coat of arms having pride of place

The all important table far left

Coffee and tea in a ''tazza'' with ''pastizzi'

John F. Kennedy forever remembered

Most visitors to Victoria in Gozo will walk past this aluminium clad coffee bar entrance without even knowing it is there, or have the slightest welcoming feeling of wanting to enter and savour a bit of refreshment. Unfortunately, if one did decide to walk in and have a coffee/tea/pastizzi, unless you were Maltese speaking the priceless attraction of it all would be lost as it is the very people who own the bar and those people who come and go that make this a regular stop for us.

Coney Island Bar is presumably named after the original owner spent a time in his life working in New York. Many Gozitans have emigrated to America and funnily enough most seem to have settled in New York. That American link is confirmed with the typical 60's tapestry picture of Kennedy set on a backdrop of the White House holding pride of place on the bare formica clad wall.
Although there is such a strong American link to this bar there seems to be just as strong a link to British colonialism. The massive British coat of arms holds pride of place above the lovely display of alcoholic beverages- some looking like they date back to the 60's themselves and are probably worth more to a collector than as a tot in a glass!

This bar opens early in the morning and is usually closed by 11am for the day - though it may stay open till noon on very busy days or until the ''pastizzi'' runs out. ''Pastizzi'' are one of those typical Maltese snacks -deliciously sinful light and crispy puff pastry filled with either rikotta cheese or peas. At 25 euro cents each they make the best and most delicious value for money snack available. Very basic tea and coffee are served in a ''tazza'' (a glass) - the best way to have a tea besides a bone china cup! Don't expect any 'silver service' - you will be handed your coffee or tea still with the t-bag inside, plastic spoon and a carton of milk plonked on to the table and handed around patrons once you have helped yourself.

The wooden benches and tables are the originals though the tables have now got formica tops. Originally they would either have been plain wooden tops or, more likely than not, had lovely Carrera marble tops (wonder what happened to them?)

Over the years we have seen family members gradually depart to eternal life in a better place. The family table is the last one on the left and that is where the most delightful, funny and interesting conversations take place. Usually putting the world to right, debating local hot topics or just pulling one anothers legs. Various local characters and clerics walk in, help themselves to tea or coffee and toss a few coins on the counter. Everyone joins in the conversation and gives their tuppence worth to make the conversation more interesting and usually hilariously funny. I have to point out here that the comical side of these conversations are the sometimes bizarre way they reason things out, certain coarse ways of talking and the relating of funny stories. That together with the actual characters themselves make this a delightful start to our day.

Walk in at 8am and you will be greeted to the mantra of prayers recited each day at the stroke of 8 o'clock  - similar to the mid day Angelus. Anyone in there or walking in automatically joins in and it is only after the recitation is over will your tea or coffee be served. Having said that if you are a ''tourist'' Georgia will happily get up and serve you whilst still reciting the prayers.............and as a ''tourist'' you will most likely be honoured by being served your tea and coffee in a cup!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Taking a Look at 2013 in Windsurfing Pictures

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and for those of you who have come across my blog by chance.
Yesterday decided to put together just a very small handful of some of my windsurfing shots taken throughout 2013.


Windsurfing Malta 2013 from Bunty Cachia on Vimeo.


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