IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
Yes, this is me, way back in 1973, sitting near the harbour in St. Pauls Bay, facing the Gillieru Hotel. My family visited Malta on holidays many times from the late 1960's through the 1970's. I have so many happy memories of my time there.
So, my return in 2016, some 40 years after the last time I visited, was a remarkable experience for me, and I loved every minute of it. I had a brilliant time reconnecting with the places I remembered, as well as a couple of very special ladies who were a massive part of making our holidays to Malta so wonderful.
The tiny Island of Malta, just 316 km2 (122 sq mi) sits in the Mediterranean sea, like an exclamation mark thrown from Sicily, which is itself an afterthought tossed from the toe of Italy. In fact Sicily is a mere two and a half hour ferry ride from this archipelago. For a tiny island, Malta has experienced much in the way of history, fought over many times resulting in differing cultures leaving their mark on the Island.
Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians and Spanish all conquered here. By far the biggest impact though must be The Knights of St. John who ruled from 1530 to 1798, and of course The British, from whom Malta gained Independence in 1964, and whose King, George V awarded the Island The George Cross in recognition of their amazing bravery whilst under siege during World War II. The Grand Harbour of Valetta, a large natural harbour, has many historic tales to tell and the area surrounding it is the most highly populated area on the island.
If you are looking for lush green sweeping vistas and beautiful landscapes, Malta may not be for you. Although beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder. The landscape is usually dry and arid with more stone walls and accompanying cacti than you can shake a stick at. There are rocky outcrops, cliffs, the odd green patch of grape vines and olive tree groves to break the fairly flat brown vistas. Contrast this though with amazing blue skies and azure blue waters that will provide jaw dropping backdrops to your photos, it's hard not to fall in love with Malta. If you are interested in ancient walled cities with quaint narrow streets, underground burial sights, beautiful churches and squares, tranquil fishing villages with colourful boats, a craft village, the odd secluded beach, a Grand Harbour and amazing capital City, then Malta is most definitely for you. The people are the friendliest too! Of course there are also lively towns with bars, great restaurants and nightlife as well. Something for everyone.
Today, although being British by birth, my naturalised American self got to celebrate this holiday of Independence in the Town that I have called home for the last 16 years. The wonderful Town of Leesburg, in Loudoun County Virginia, is a lovely place to be. To celebrate with a parade is a quintessential and integral part of life here, as I am sure it is also in many Towns and of course Cities throughout America on this special day in their history. A reminder too I think of how far we have come, and that if we really try we can work together. At least that is my hope.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!
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A few years ago, I happened across a store in Holland Road Shopping centre, here in Singapore, selling some amazing Mango Wood items, vases, bowls, candle holders and lamps, which I thought were really unusual and unique. But the thing that caught my eye the most, were the red saga seeds that were used as an accent, to add a pop of colour to the displays. I ended up buying a small candle holder, together with some saga seeds, just as I had seen it on display in the store. Over the years a few people have asked me in particular about these Saga Seeds, or "love seeds" as they are also known, wanting to know where I bought them.
Twenty One years ago, when I first came to live in America, to Connecticut in fact, I was assailed by many new sights, sounds, experiences and yes, smells. In the approach to my first Christmas in the USA, I wandered around the malls and grocery stores and my nostrils would fill with an aroma unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It practically made me want to gag, and upon investigation, I discovered the cinnamon scented pinecones that seemed to be so beloved, and seemingly a necessary part of the Christmas decor. It seems American's like Cinnamon a lot, they put it in their apple pies (my Mum could not believe this), and they love it in their Starbucks coffee drinks. Well, to me, at least back then, it was horrible, horrible, horrible!! But flash forward to today, now in Virginia, time has mellowed me, I have learnt to go with the American flow and somewhere along the way, I have come to quite like the pong. Today, I got my first whiff in the grocery store of the Cinnamon scented pinecones and I smiled. Christmas is coming. Still not bringing any home though.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
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WHO IS LYNNY?