Monthly Archives: August 2012
Last year we had the traumatic experience of losing our beloved fox terrier, Moosie. The house became so quiet and seemed so empty that it was the time we sealed our plans to move abroad. I still miss him every day.
Tony and I have discussed often whether or not we should get another dog. And, we see lots of fox terriers as they are very common in Malta. Each one pulls at our heart strings. We had decided not to adopt another dog as we really aren’t ready, and, we would like to travel which is very hard when you have a dog. The cats are fine on their own (although they don’t like it) but a dog is much more needy of his human companion(s).
Two weeks ago, we went to dinner in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk (Marsa schlock). There I saw the cutest little fox terrier puppy playing with two older dogs. No one around seemed to be his owner. I picked him up and he started licking my face. That was it, I was hooked. I thought he was a stray and I was going to rescue him, but it turns out that the owner was nearby, and said I could have him. Wow! The next day we picked him up.
He is the cutest, and I named him Arfie. He was with me every second of every day. He is very young, only 6 weeks old and is in the teething/nipping stage biting everything—my hands, my nose, my feet, my ears, my flip flops, every shoe he can find, etc. We couldn’t get him to stop nipping even following all of the tricks that we found online.
And, while searching for a remedy online, I discovered that fox terriers, who were bred to hunt foxes, can kill cats. There are cases where the dog seemed to get along fine with the cat until the owners came home to find a slaughtered cat. Once I read that I knew that we had to return him to his former owner. The nipping and biting was showing that he is agressive and we could not take that chance with our beloved pussycats. They must come first.
Fortunately, it was such a brief period that when he got home he fit right back in with the other dogs in the house, one of whom is his mother. I miss him terribly, but I know that I made the right decision.
A few weeks ago we attended a play, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (what an ironic name for a play in Malta in July!). Click here for a synopsis of the story: The Winter’s Tale
It was performed by the Malta Amateur Dramatic Club (MADC) but these actors were definitely no amateurs. The play was 3 hours long with 11 actors playing 35 different roles! Quite a feat!
I have never studied Shakespeare so I didn’t understand most of the dialogue (all in verse), yet I still enjoyed it very much. The synopsis helped me to know what was happening, and it was a simple story line which was easy to follow. I was mesmerized by the actors, the story, and the bucolic setting.
It was an open-air production performed in the beautiful San Anton Gardens—part of a Baroque Palace built in the early 1600′s as a summer home for Grand Master Antoine de Paule, now the official residence of the President of Malta.
The play was performed on the terrace of the gardens using a bare stage, because the director believes that Shakespeare’s words can stand alone. An unusual twist was the costumes—they wore modern clothing rather than the usual period costumes—suits and tuxedos for the men, knee length dresses for the women. Personally, I prefer the clothing of the period, but this did work nicely.
So many wonderful events to experience in Malta, what a joy!
The second festival event that Tony and I attended was a concert version of Porgy & Bess. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, with guest conductorWayne Marshall, was joined by four opera singers–two sopranos, a tenor, and a bass-baritone. Mr. Marshall introduced the program saying that Porgy & Bess is definitely an opera, not a musical. Interesting, yes? As a budding musician, I found it fascinating to watch all of the different musicians play, watching them getting into their music, keeping their tempos, and responding to the animated direction of Mr. Marshall who conducted the entire 2 ½ hour long program without using sheet music.
It was an amazing performance by him, what a joy to watch!
Two evenings later, we attended the opening night of The Malta Jazz Festival. There were three bands, the first one was a Maltese band—The Paul Giordimaina Trio—a bit boring; the second was The Jeremy Pelt Quintet from New York—an excellent band—but a bit too experimental/improvisational for my liking.
He is a jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist who has been around since the ’70’s and he is still a very influential musician. He plays so fast that his hands are a blur, wow! He was incredible.
PS – be sure to check out the Portfolio Gallery under the About Malta tab for lots of new photographs of Malta.