Carnival and Churches

Carnival float, Nadur, Gozo, February 2017.


A few tourists but mostly Maltese pour into Gozo for Carnival. The usual population is elderly but Carnival is for the young and thirsty. Robert and I must be the only people who didn’t have a drink – but we didn’t stay long. The parade hadn’t started which made it easy to take these pictures demonstrating America’s influence in this small corner of Europe. I mean there wasn’t anything about China, Russia or India. Continue reading Carnival and Churches

Martello Towers

Watch-tower, Gozo, February 2017.

The coastline of the British Isles was defended in the 19th century by Martello towers. One, in Aldeburgh in Suffolk, belongs to the Landmark Trust – you can rent it and stay there. James Joyce stayed in another Martello, in Sandycove near Dublin. Why are they called Martello? Signore Martello was a Venetian architect who was lucky to get away with his life when he betrayed secrets of Venice’s defences to the Turks. He fled to England where his expertise in defensive forts was put to good use against the threat of invasion by Napoleon. Continue reading Martello Towers

Indian Summer and Belisha Beacons

Mohammad Ali Jinnah with the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten and his wife Edwina, in April 1947.

The tortuous and blood-stained road to Indian independence and partition is uncannily like the path taken in other countries. The most important political leaders are Mahatma Gandhi (Inner Temple), Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Lincoln’s Inn) and Jawaharlal Nehru (Harrow, Trinity College Cambridge and Inner Temple) …  and Lord Mountbatten who, like my cousin Richard, went to Lockers Park and, unlike Richard, to the Royal Naval College, Osborne.  Continue reading Indian Summer and Belisha Beacons

Building on Gozo

Ghasri, Gozo, February 2017.

The buildings on Gozo are mostly built in warm, honey-coloured limestone. They often have elaborately carved balconies, columns and pediments although many were only built in the 1980s and 90s. Perhaps this is because there are strict planning laws and to retain Gozo’s reputation as a heritage island? Where does this limestone come from? Continue reading Building on Gozo

Living on Malta

Who wrote this to his wife?

I wish I knew how to flirt with other women, and especially with my wife. I wish I’d sown more wild oats in my youth, and could excite more than I fear I do. I wish I wasn’t in the Navy and had to drag you out to Malta. I wish I had an equal share of the money so that I could give you far handsomer presents than I can really at present honestly manage. In other words, I’d like to feel that I was really worthy of your love. Continue reading Living on Malta