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The Malta Institute of Professional Photography (MIPP) is organizing Illuminaria Gozo - a photography exhibition in Gozo, exclusively for Gozitan photographers – and your last chance to participate is now! Choose your best (up to three) photos that you have taken in Gozo, and submit them by Thursday, 24th February 2011. That’s the day after tomorrow, so hurry up!!
Don’t let the entry fee put you off, because what you get in return is very valuable indeed: exposure for your photography in the attractive setting of the Banca Giuratale in Victoria; your photo(s) printed and professionally framed; the opportunity to sell your photo(s).
Participation in the exhibition is open to both, members and non-members of the MIPP. But if you aren’t a member, why not think about becoming one? Members don’t only profit from a cheaper entry fee, but also from a lot of attractive activities for photographers that are organised frequently throughout the year by the MIPP. And last but not least, you’ll meet a lot of nice people with the same passion for photography as you!
Click the graphic on the right to download a PDF file with further details and rules of entry for the Illuminaria Gozo exhibition.
Posted on February 22, 2011. Add a comment
One of Gozo’s numerous corroded facades (on the seafront of Xlendi) that have – so far – withstood the passage of time and rough seas…
Passage of Time
Posted on February 20, 2011. Add a comment
For decades I have only ever taken fleeting notice of the name in obituaries, which would feature Malta’s “cancer hospital” as the place where someone had passed away. Thus, for me the name Boffa – not one of those common Maltese surnames that you hear all the time – has always had a sinister ring to it, although it should be stressed that Sir Paul Boffa was anything but a sinister man but Malta’s Prime Minister between 1947 and 1950.
Since the end of November, Sir Paul Boffa Hospital has become the destination of my chemotherapy pilgrimage, approximately three times a month. The hospital was built just before World War II – and indeed, on the inside it does carry that typical dated government department aura. The first thing that usually greets us upon arrival at ca. 8.30 in the morning: brutal traffic and parking chaos, which however is handled very sensibly and in a surprisingly friendly manner by the security and reception staff. Here, all the staff at Boffa deserve to be mentioned and commended, really. All of them are doing sterling work, but what I admire most is how cheerful they remain throughout the morning, no matter the stress level, which is usually on the high side! I guess it takes a very particular dedication to your profession that lets you choose that kind of career and be able to carry a genuine smile for each and every patient – even grumpy ones!
Well, it’s time to come to the actual purpose of this post, which has been a long time coming. On my second trip to Boffa, having conquered parking chaos and about half the length of the long, long corridor leading to the Day Ward, we encountered a “traffic diversion” through the hospital garden as the corridor was being renovated. And discovered what a little gem of a garden that is! It took me several attempts to bring my camera, fully functional (yep, on Christmas Eve I even did that idiotic booboo of bringing it without a CF card!!), be fit enough to use it – and last but not least, find time for it!
My Boffa trip this last Friday (a wonderful spring-like day, too!) was finally the day it came all together. Well, almost, anyway; unfortunately I hadn’t reckoned with facing the morning sun straight-on and I was also missing my wide-angle lens…That I can (and will) bring another time, but I don’t see myself taking photos later in the day. After chemo, as soon as the drip is out it’s always a race back to the ferry. Until now we’ve never managed to leave the hospital with time to spare!
I couldn’t resist to catch a little of the early morning atmosphere on the ferry, I just love the light!
And here’s finally the garden – and its view – at the hospital. There will be a few more photos in the hopefully not too distant future!
Posted on January 9, 2011. 3 comments
Stock-take after one week’s sick leave: my legs appear to be practically trouble-free, as do my arms. Now if the back could decide to stop aching, and my voice came back to normal, I’d be a happy camper! Unbelievably, a nasty little cold has added itself to my trials; I hope it’ll be over soon, especially as every sneeze sends shock-waves through every muscle in my back. But on the whole? I think I am getting better!
Since my first brave walk last Friday I went twice more, and I can clearly say it does feel a little better each time, though anything ever so slightly uphill is a killer. Also, at the peril that people will hate me for this: walking through Gharb is rather uninspiring. Sure, there are still a few enchanting corners, where the view on the surrounding country-side hasn’t been shut off with walls yet. But all in all the village isn’t as pretty as one might expect.
Yesterday I took my nifty 50mm out with me, seeing that dusk was near, but there were very few inspiring views… or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to see them?
Arid land & San Dimitri Chapel
Architecture in Gharb
Shaded alley in Gharb
At the end... light!
“Optimism. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful,
including what is ugly.”
Posted on September 21, 2010. Add a comment
True to my word, off I went for a walk yesterday afternoon. As it was a pretty warm day I waited until 6 pm – and then nearly changed my mind again because it was already so late LOL! But in the end I did make a whole round from Gharb to Ta’ Pinu and back again from the other side. It took me about one hour, and half-way through I was awfully tempted to phone hubby to scrape me off the tarmac of the “new” Ta’ Pinu road (by the time they officially open it, it’s gonna be an old road!!). But on I plodded, nearly breaking out in tears of joy when I finally put the key into my front door again.
Of course I took my camera with me…
At night every muscle in my back kept screaming at me – perhaps I overdid it after so many months of quasi immobility. But I will do it again this afternoon, that’s a promise!
Posted on September 18, 2010. 1 comment
Took these photos last Friday morning on my way to work. The first rainfalls were of course not enough to paint Gozo’s sun-scorched earth green again. But at least the sky has changed somewhat in appearance… I really can’t wait to see other colours than brown and yellow!!
Scorched countryside around Ta' Pinu
Scorched earth & prickly pears
Posted on September 12, 2010. 3 comments
Mushroom cloud over Gharb
About an hour ago, 3 massive explosions shook our house… the picture above shows what we saw from the first floor roof. Yet another fireworks factory has blown up – won’t they ever learn?
Update 8th September 2010…
The final result of this sad event: This morning the Times reported that the 6th victim has died from his injuries. One whole family practically wiped out. May they rest in peace – and may the government finally wake up and do something about the way this dangerous craft is being carried out – before people die who don’t have anything to do with it…
Posted on September 5, 2010. 3 comments
It’s all I can do right now: wondering if I’ll ever return to a “normal” life. I’m not asking much, just sleeping without interruption; waking up refreshed and full of energy; the absence of pain…
This past week has been a particularly bad one. I guess the culprit was my 14 hour duty manager shift last Sunday. That was an exertion from which I just didn’t manage to bounce back, even though I was off the following Monday. The headaches – sometimes better, sometimes worse – are accompanying muscle pains in my left leg, left upper arm, right hip and right chest. Once I sit down, I have trouble getting up again. Walking up the stairs from the kitchen to the bedroom makes me wince, as does lying down to sleep – and getting up again – and my nights are split up in short exhausted bursts of sleep, interrupted by more pain.
This week I’ve contemplated seeing a doctor every single morning, but each time his last words to me rang in my ears, “I really don’t know any more what to do with you.” So I saved myself the aggravation of being seen as a querulous patient who has nothing better to do than getting on his nerves.
After I’ve lived more years in Gozo than in Berlin, I’m finally seriously questioning my wisdom of moving here. I mean, forget about my rants over the years about this island’s little quirks, because they are nothing compared to what I’m experiencing now.
In my work back in Berlin I used to be surrounded by specialists in all areas, and I knew first-hand how people with all sorts of symptoms of “unclear origin” were systematically put through whole batteries of tests until a diagnosis was reached – or eliminated. Sometimes, while writing the medical reports, I would feel sorry for them, wondering whether it was really necessary to subject them to all those tests… Well. I know better now, don’t I? As silly as it may sound, but I don’t think that here in Gozo I stand a chance of getting any better. Right now, I sure wish I could turn back the time to have the chance to be put through the mill. On the other hand, I can’t help doubting that I would have found myself in this situation in the first place. At least as far as I remember, work and leisure were far more balanced in Germany than they are over here…
Quality of life. Ha! Search the internet for chronic pain conditions and that term crops up everywhere as an important factor in the treatment of such syndromes. Funnily enough, being able to live in Gozo for many foreigners is seen as the epitome of superior quality of life. Hell, I used to believe that myself – but I’ve changed my mind.
Posted on August 14, 2010. 5 comments
Like Bees to Honey
Like Bees to Honey is the title of Caroline Smailes’s new book – and it’s all about Malta! You may remember Caroline’s sad stories In Search of Adam; and Black Boxes. Well, this one is different; it is a very positive and enchanting tale – but it has all the tell-tale signs of Caroline’s totally unique style. Which I just love! I bought Like Bees to Honey a week ago here in Gozo, couldn’t believe seeing it on sale in Gozo! However, I only started reading a little of the first chapter – and it’s not Caroline’s fault I put it down again. Actually it had drawn me right in, but I still have trouble sitting still for long stretches, which is why for instance this blog post has already taken me two days to write. But what’s even more disconcerting is, reading (even with my glasses on!) makes my headaches worse (for this old bookworm that’s a disaster!). But it is on my immediate to do list, and when I’m done I’ll tell you more!
Incidentally, Caroline was just in Malta on a book tour. She toured several Agenda bookshops, which I found out from the news on TV… What a bummer! I certainly would have made an effort to meet her in Malta, had I only known before. *sigh*
Gotta Go To Gozo
At the last count there were almost five hundred people that call themselves my “friends” on facebook. Yet I can’t seem to get even one tenth of those to vote for the photos I submitted to Arkadia’s photo competition, Gotta Go To Gozo. (However there are a few real friends who put so much effort into helping me that I don’t know how to thank them!!)
It’s a drag, especially as I’m one of the worst sales persons you could imagine, spamming other people just makes me cringe… But unfortunately that’s the way this competition works.
So, I’m not giving up just yet! Perhaps with a little perseverance I’ll reach at least the ‘Top 20′. If you’re on Facebook please do click the above image and vote for it. It’s pain-free and doesn’t cost anything. You can vote for my other photos, too, if you like (see my previous post), but this image has received most votes so far – and it is actually my favourite, so I might as well concentrate my efforts on this one pic… Thank you if you do vote, and don’t worry if you don’t: I wouldn’t know either way!
Today is Sunday; to me that means the calm before the storm. Tomorrow I’ll have to start “functioning” normally again, and I’m rather worried about it. I’ve had two weeks off from work, to go to Munich and then another week to recover from everything, including my earlier ordeals. Only the recovering part hasn’t really worked out as expected. I still have headaches every day and night, though there are a few hours scattered throughout the day that are better than other times. The muscle pains are what really worry me, they just won’t let up and keep waking me every two hours at night. On two occasions I took a couple of Panadols in the middle of the night, which helped a little but not much. Is all this still rebound pain after my painkiller troubles – or is something else at work here?
And then there’s the weight loss; my stomach seems to have shrunk in the past few months. So I’m eating lots of little “meals” throughout the day, even chocolate and other sweets sometimes, but for the life of me I just can’t get back up beyond the 53 kg mark.
After successfully dealing with the earth-shattering realisation that I was addicted to painkillers, I didn’t expect this whole story to drag into August – but that’s what it did, and no end is in sight. I’m really at a loss here…
Posted on August 1, 2010. 2 comments
Yesterday I finally spent a few hours to sort through my photos of Gozo and pick the best ones – to submit to Arkadia’s photography competition! I’m quite late with my submissions (though it is open until September), and there are a lot of (very good!) photos that have had a head start on mine… but I thought I’d try anyway.
I would be very grateful if you’d help me by voting for my photos (the only snag here is that you have to be a Facebook user to vote). Below are the pics I submitted – each is linked to its voting page on gottagotogozo.com, Arkadia’s competition page.
Thank you very much in advance for your support!!
Posted on July 30, 2010. 2 comments