One Hit Wonder Wednesday

Summer is definitely here, whether I like it or not…

So I realised that I just had to embrace it, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em and all that…

Few things speaks summer to me as much as this type of music, well maybe apart from Bob Marley.  However I am pretty sure he wasn’t a one hit wonder.

Actually I think I heard this song for the first time when MTV did a count down of One Hit Wonders, and I liked it immediately. I love me some soul with a brass line! Enjoy it!

Talking about soul with a brass line… That takes you so naturally to another artist that I love, Otis Redding! And this is, hands down, my absolute favourite version of Satisfaction!

I first discovered Otis Redding rifling though my parent’s collection of LPs, a treasure trove honestly! I found so many gems there, and among the CDs so that leads me naturally to the next song… I’ve loved this band for a long time, and I first discovered them through my dad. (This is true for a lot of the music I like really) They also have brass involved I realised, so I really am sticking to a theme here. 😉

Last but not least I have to include some of Mr Marley himself… This song always makes me happy!

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Oh happy day!

Yes I do love this movie, not because it is a great movie, but because I am a sucker for a happy ending with songs…

The reason for the video is simple though, today is the 17th of May, that is the day Norway celebrate our constitution. This means the day off, children’s parades all over the country, marching bands, national costumes (bunad), lots of ice-cream etc. etc. This youtube video capture some of it…

It’s been too long since I was home for the 17th of May!!! I really miss it…

More happy news! I got a blog award yesterday, from the lovely Imagine the Spirit! The blog is wonderfully random, which I totally appreciate.

The idea with these awards is that you do something and pass it on… This one requires me to first thank the one who gave it to me by linking back to their blog, then write seven things about myself and then pass it on to 15 newly discovered blogs. First one is already done, I’m sure I can do the second one easily enough, I’ve chosen to only do 5 blogs though, that is because I want to write the reason why each of them is great and it is getting well past my bed time now… 😀

  •  I prefer the sea when it is tumultuous…
  • I am pretty much in love with the nature, light and so much more in Scotland.
  • I love my camera, well that was hardly news…
  • I’m going to Zurich for a colour conference next month, and I am getting the train across the Alps from Italy. Can’t wait to see the view!
  • My favourite season is the next one, or rather I love the change of the seasons. The sudden smell in the air that heralds a new season, there’s nothing quite like it.
  • I’ve been on stage with George Clinton.
  • I collect fonts… (Well if you’ve had a look on my about page I told you I was a geek…)

I would like to pass this award on to:

Anywhere there is an Airport – a blog straddling the Atlantic, I can’t think of anything more versatile… Also because I really enjoy reading it and can relate to a lot of the issues, and I have only moved south within Europe not across an ocean… (Also check out her tips for packing light, we’re talking pro here!)

A thought & Glassa Wine – because the first post that came up when I clicked through the other day was called: Encouragement…Pass it on

delighted –  Lovely photos, eclectic style, wonderful design finds and lots more. Oh and she lives in Edinburgh, ’nuff said!

September Lilies – the most random rambling blog you’ll ever find, trust me on this one…

Street Life [by PP Handoko] – this girl is an amazing photographer! Check this blog out, seriously it is wonderful!

In honour of the 17th of May, I will finish this post with two pictures I took in Norway. This December… Very springlike and all…

bush-in-snow

dry-herbs-in-bowl

Posted in Norway, Thoughts | Tagged | 2 Comments

Weekend Wanderings: Gardens & Grooves

This is a very green post, provided you don’t print it out I guess… Last weekend we went to San Anton Gardens in Attard and this weekend we decided to explore Kennedy Groove a little closer to home. (Yes it really is named after President Kennedy, complete with a quote on a wall and all)

In San Anton Gardens we managed to walk into a “Fancy Poultry and Rabbits” show, I don’t actually have any pictures of poultry or rabbits as well for me the cages was not aesthetically nor morally pleasing. Though to be fair some of these looked really cool, and I am sure that since they are competition birds/rabbits they are treated really well. I can also easily imagine the devastation that would have been unleashed on the gardens if they were all let loose, lets just say that we used to have a flower bed when I grew up. Until our neighbours decided to get hens, before they had learned how to build a chicken coop… Although “fancy poultry” might sound just a little pretentious, there sure was some well crazy looking birds there! The din was also rather deafening, the rabbits were considerably more softly spoken.

Kennedy Groove is a whole different thing, it is basically a utilitarian garden. It is not meant to be ornamental, it is meant to be used. Cue lots of tables, less orderly flower beds and lots of families on weekend and evenings. There are also lots of olive trees that have been gifted from several firms all over the island, it has very good hide and seek potential and that (as we all know) is vital!

San-Anton-Gardens-Attard

This is a place that we might not have found if it had not been for the Mr’s uncle, actually he asked if he could drop us off somewhere after he’s shown us Floriana, and when we mentioned that we never had been to Attard (where he was staying), he told us that we needed to go to San Anton Garden. So we did…

Orange-and-green-flowers

Now when I go and name my blog orange & green you know there will be shots like this… I might have taken this shot anyways, but now I have an (almost) legit excuse…

The-most-important-place

This is the most important place, anywhere really… I appreciate a clear sign to the toilets, spotted this one as soon as we got in. Good signage 😉

Light-on-leaves

I loved how the sunshine made these leaves luminous in a transparent way, I didn’t quite manage to capture its brilliance, but but…

Greenhouse-and-cat

I accidentally managed to capture this cat as it walked past the greenhouse, what caught my eye was how the inside of the greenhouse was a lot duller than the outside. (Yeah I do know that this is not surprising…) I didn’t realise the cat was there until I looked through my pictures afterwards!

Yellow-flower

Gotta feature some flowers, after all this post is about gardens…

Duckling-and-terapin

OK, it’s not my best picture, but these are so cute… That turtle or tortoise or whatever it is, is such a poser!

Stairs-San-Anton-Gardens

Because occasionally a little cliché is all you need…

Spiky-tree

This tree is so cool! I also get a feeling that if you extrapolated this picture you could get some very trendy wallpaper… That does not take away the fact that the tree is badass though!

Pods-in-a-tree

Bokeh! This might also have wallpaper potential come to think of it…

Pagoda-San-Anton-Gardens

This pagoda is a gift from the copper ware manufacturers in Takaoka in Japan, the workmanship is exquisite. 

Blue-door

I loved this detail on this door, actually I am rather enamoured of the whole door. However I didn’t manage to snap a good picture of the whole thing, means I have to return I guess. Which is not exactly a sacrifice as there is a pretty good café just up the street…

Balcony-and-plant

Gotta love how the plants are trying to escape… These are tough little critters though, the provide some much welcome colour in the summer, and we happen to have some in our front yard. Perfect fit as they need exactly 0 amount of care…

Flower-Kennedy-Groove

More flowers! This time from Kennedy Groove, I quite like how the slightly diagonal lines of the stem repeats in the picture…

Plants-and-fence

These straws were such a beautiful colour, very softly purple with a greyish tinge, loving it!

Trees-and-sky

Something about the relative starkness of this landscape appealed to me…

Pink-flowers

So to balance that out I included a pretty pink flower, because sometimes you gotta…

Fountains-Kennedy-Groove

There are lots, as in at least 4, fountains in Kennedy Grove, it is fun to take pictures of water. However I think I need I tripod…

Lamp-post-and-cirrus-stripes

I like lamppost, and I do rather like clouds… These stripy ones, I believe that might be called striated, were really cool. They are cirrus clouds, and there were several of them, apparently this means that we will have a deterioration in the weather later this week.

Rusty-green-door

This rusty door is just to the left when I am running up one of the steepest bit on my standard running route, thus I have looked at it many times, but not had a chance to photograph it. On Saturday I finally got a chance to do so! Gotta love how the random cloth in the gap on the other door and the rust adds an orange element to this photo, you know orange & green… (Why, yes! I do often repeat myself…)

There are a few more photos on my flickr stream from these two sets if anyone are interested.

Just as a last word I am so amazed and grateful to have been featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed, that is such an honour and so many people have dropped by to view my post and left such lovely comments. I am totally gobsmacked and extremely flattered!

Posted in Flowers, Malta, Photography | 4 Comments

Two pictures from Mdina…

I’ve got a post with weekend wanderings pictures coming up tomorrow, however today I’d like to post just 2 pictures from one of my favourite places on this island, Mdina.

There is something about this old capital of Malta, also known as the Silent City. (Only residents are allowed to drive there, it really does change the dynamics of the place)

These pictures are neither my best from this place, not the ones that represent it best. The reason I chose them is that they prove a point. A very simple point, and that is that you can never take the same photograph twice, and something that is boring one day might be brilliant in another light, or with a slight change of angle.

I think I’ve taken these two motives about 100 times, and these two pictures from the last week are the first that I have actually liked. Persistence pays off!

Balconies

Archway

Tomorrow’s post will have a lot of greenery… You’ve been warned…

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A strange turn of events…

Strange and monumental even… I realised today in my lunch break that I actually prefer espresso to a latte/cappuccino. Who’d ever have thought this might happen?

You see I am not a natural coffee drinker, if such a thing even exist. I remember the first coffee I bought at a café, I actually asked the barista which one she would recommend to someone who did not like coffee. Single shot mocha naturally… I will admit to having to lace even such a sweet drink as a mocha with sugar to begin with.

However my palate developed slowly and I moved on from the mocha to the slightly more grown up drink of latte. I was never really a cappuccino fan, there are very few places that make one with decent foam. When well done a cappuccino can be great, but I like smooth foam not that overly aerated looks-like-washing-up-liquid stuff most places serve. However I have an aversion to getting my coffee drink in a glass, sorry it has to be extremely great for it not to look like really dirty dishwater…

I think my coffee awakening was in South Africa, my friend worked as an intern for a coffee roaster/school/café there, and I must say the coffee there was really in another league to anything I had ever tasted before… I was also introduced to the concept of a flat white coffee, I later learned that this one is of antipodean origin, and we all know that those guys know their coffee. (I was blown away at how good the coffee was every place I tried when I was in Australia, also Starbucks have more or less failed there as in Italy, proves that they know the good stuff from the half decent) A flat white is basically a short latte, more coffee and less milk really, so it has more coffee and less milky flavour, very very good thing, and if you get the right barista they often look nothing short of beautiful…

flat-white-coffee-cafe-wellington

However over lent when I did not drink milk (and believe me soy milk is generally not an option on Malta) I started drinking espresso. It took a little getting used to, cue a few scrunched up faces, however I have long ago stopped using sugar in coffee and part of what I enjoy about a good cup of coffee just the taste that leads to those faces. I am however not a fan of an espresso that has been cut too late, when it starts to get acidic it’s a no go for me. What I realised was that whilst a lot of places here have no idea where to cut an espresso for a cappuccino they do make a more than decent espresso. I guess it leaves out the need to multi task, however in my opinion it is as important to have a good espresso base in a coffee drink with milk as in a straight espresso.

I don’t know exactly when my allegiance switched, but I know that now espresso is where it’s at! (Well, until the flat white invades southern Europe that is. It is on its way to conquering the UK, but I can’t see it coming down here anytime soon. Sad face…) I’ve only got one gripe with espresso though, it is in its very nature a quick drink. Leave it too long and it is cold, not good, so you can’t savour it in the same way as a milkier drink. And no, an americano or a filter coffee is not an option, it’s all watered out man!

empty-flat-white-coffee-cafe-wellington

Posted in Coffee, Random, Thoughts | 4 Comments

One Hit Wonder Wednesday, and more…

This is a song that I had totally forgotten until today, and then was really happy to rediscover. I had forgotten how great it was, before it got played to death and lost some of its luster. Now enough time has passed for it to be great again…

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance… 

Yes please! This song totally makes my want to do just that!

I’ve been feeling a little bit in need of a pep talk lately, Caitlin over on The Healthy Tipping Point came to the rescue with this wonderful post, check out her Operation Beautiful site too if you need an extra boost.

However I find that a good pep talk is not complete without a few tunes to back it up, so here’s a few of my favourites.

I loved this song from the first time I heard it, and the video gets the point across beautifully.

Great band, great people, great message, great song!

OK she might be cliché from time to time, but this song is amazing and you believe her!

Rock a little!!!

Listen to the whole song before judging please… This is actually a really positive song!

“    I don’t do anything in order to cause trouble. It just so happens that what I do naturally causes trouble. I’m proud to be a troublemaker.    ”  I love this quote though…

Anyone got any good ideas for more pep talk songs I could add to my list? I am bound to have forgotten some crackers…

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Weekend Wanderings: Floriana

Now I do realise that I am fairly late with this post… But yesterday was one of those days, so I’ve basically written it off, so it didn’t happen which in turn means that today is the first day of a four day work week. Now we’re talking! Oh and that also makes this post, not so late after all…

We were in Floriana with the Mr’s uncle as a guide on Saturday, he (and the Mr’s mother) grew up there, and we got to see so many things that we never would have by ourselves. Or if we had seen it we would not know what it was… He was a total treasure trove of information and knew a lot of people and spoke to more, so it was a great day all in all.

I have lots and lots of pictures of course, I might add some extra ones to my flickr stream and, if the photo uploader co-operates, facebook. So if you want to see more pictures than I include in here you can have a look there.

One think I need to mention before I post the pictures, this weekend it was the Festa of St Publius in Floriana, that means that the place is decorated, a lot… You’ll see!

Football-and-religion

I just love the juxtaposition of the football decorations and the festa banners… Surely not hard to guess what is the two most important things here…

Pea-twoPea-one

Two peas in a pod, surely… That old man was brilliant, he was so happy!

Facade-Floriana

Clock-tower-St-Publius-Floriana

This is the right hand clock tower in St Publius in Floriana, I’ve included this picture not for it’s greateness, but because you can spot a rope on the clanger in the bell… That is really how they ring them, someone uses the rope to chime. Talking about a great workout!

Processional-capes-vestry-St-Publius

These capes are only used during the Festa and they are all embroidered with gold, and really old. Yeah sorry I’ve forgotten how old… They were hanging out in the vestry when we visited, a rare treat!

Cupola-St-Publius

The roof of the cupola in St Publius, all this was destroyed during the second world war, and had been painstakingly restored since with donations from the public.

St-Publius-statue

This is the statue of St Publius that is carried through the city in the festa, the statue is 200 years this year, and was saved from the bombs during the war due to some thoughtful soul deciding to build a blast wall in front of and behind the niche were it was kept. Thus it is still there there today! It is made out of wood, but it is still rather heavy…

Font-and-door-St-Publius

There was just something about the light here…

Chandelier-St-Publius

Now this rather works in a church, however you would need a really really really large room for it to be good move to have one of these at home…

Facade-Festa-Decorations-decol

Lots of red and green…

Festa-decorations-Floriana

In the main streets it is impossible to get a picture without decorations, so I chose to embrace it…

Jubilee-store-Floriana

I loved this store front, Floriana is one of those places I have a tendency to end up in after all stores have closed, so I have no idea whether this one is still trading or not…

Door-red-paint

No idea if this was accident or art… However now that I took a picture of it, it surely pass as art, right?

Festa-banners-Floriana

Festa banners!

Don't-park-here-seriously-just-don't

Don’t park here… No seriously… Just don’t even think about it…

Changing-lightbulbs-on-a-tall-ship

See that man sitting on the rope at the top of the tall ship? He’s surely got the greatest job ever… Changing the light bulbs on the ropes between the masts…

Balcony-and-shutters

I liked this one, oh and if you were standing on that balcony you would have a lovely view of the Grand Harbour!

Facade-trees

These flats looked really nice, and although large parts of Floriana are a little dilapidated (the population used to be 8000 when the Mr’s family lived there, now it is about 2000), these looked fresh and new and inhabited!

Facades-wih-tv-antennas

Note the forest of TV antennas…

Featured-flower

First featured flower…

Cassar-Garage

Orange and Green store front, that if you have a vivid imagination like me, have an almost (Charles Rennie) Macintoshian feel to it.

Old-Stomping-Ground

The flat where the Mr’s family used to live is in this block of flats. Not many of the apartments are actually inhabited at the moment.

For-sale

This one is for sale…

Our-guide-and-the-door

Here’s the man himself, and the old front door!

Helmet-chimney-cover

See that thing covering the chimney? That is an old German helmet that has been there since the war…

Featured-flower-two

Featured flower number two… This is actually in the botanical gardens, only this was wild not part of the exhibition.

Plants-in-front-of-fountain

The fountain is actually not in the botanical gardens but in another set of gardens below…

Oranges-and-greenery

Orange and Green… Need I say more… 😉

This-is-what-relaxed-looks-like

This is what relaxed looks like…

In totally unrelated news… I went to yoga tonight, and my muscles got some much needed TLC, I also figured out that when you are trying to do a balancing pose in yoga the song below is what should be on your mind… (I have a feeling my yoga instructor might not agree, but that is another matter altogether…)

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