Migratory birds and spring hunting in Malta

drawing of a woman holding binoculars in the countryside

The character I have drawn for this article is a bird watcher. In Malta there are many migratory birds she can watch. Migratory birds such as Montagu’s harriers, ospreys or Eleonora’s falcons pass over Malta in Spring when they return to Europe from Africa.

Everywhere in Europe spring hunting is forbidden because it’s a migration and breeding season. Everywhere except in Malta because it has a derogation to permit hunting in Spring, in addition to the other hunting periods.

In Malta turtle dove and quail hunting in Spring is questioned as their populations are declining in Europe. But the pro-hunting lobby is powerful with political supports and very efficient lawyers: I remember that in 2014 Chris Packham, a BBC presenter was questioned for several hours by the police. He was suspected of ‘defamation’ for filming hunters. The worst thing is now the incredible lawsuit against the bird conservation organisation Birdlife Malta. The hunters’ federation is suing Birdlife Malta for ‘illegal possession of protected birds’. Birds that were shot at by hunters and that Birdlife Malta members were trying to rescue!

Fortunately, last year 44,000 Maltese have signed a petition against spring hunting. Thanks to them, a referendum will take place on April 11th. Lobbies do not always rule the roost. I hope the vote against spring hunting will win so that Malta becomes a welcoming haven for migratory birds during their long journey.

drawing of migratory bird flying

For more information, see Spring Hunting out website

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Gina Rodriguez wearing a blue gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

Every year, I watch the outfits on different red carpets. I spot my favorite outfits and I try to spot the most beautiful ethical or vintage outfits too.

At the Academy Awards, I found that actress Gina Rodriguez outfit was a success. The gown was designed by Manon Gabard for Red Carpet Green Dress. The backless cobalt blue long gown is made from organic peace silk*. I especially like that her dress is as gorgeous from behind as from the front.

drawing of Gina Rodriguez wearing a backless cobalt blue long gown at the 2015 Academy Awards

* Peace silk is produced without killing the pupae

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February 2015 favorites

My February 2015 favorites:

* Some advice on how to purge your closet

* Marion Cotillard in a star-studded Valentino outfit at the Independent Spirit Awards


Marion Cotillard wearing star-studded Valentino sweatshirt and long skirt at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards

* Some pictures of the world’s oldest trees

* Some roman mosaics

Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

* Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Fashion show

with three-dimensional flowers that seem to literally bloom on the prints

* Some tips to optimise your wardrobe

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Roman mosaics in Sicily

During my recent stay in Sicily, Italy, I visited a Roman villa called Villa Romana Del Casale. It was a sumptuous villa from the roman period. The owners lived in luxury: the villa had its own private thermae, several reception halls and (common) restrooms as large as a living room. Today, only the bottom part of the walls and the floor mosaics remain.

Even service rooms were decorated, with geometric patterned mosaics. I like this geometrical mosaic that looks like a carpet.


Roman geometric patterned mosaic. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily


(Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

In the reception halls and bedrooms, mosaics show mythological scenes and also daily life scenes: hunting, fishing, sport, children’s games, animals…

Here for example, like in Ben-Hur chariot race sequence, children race in chariots but those are pulled by… birds.


Roman mosaic showing children racing in chariots pulled by birds. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

In another room, this mosaic combines geometrical patterns and medallions featuring fruits.


Roman mosaic combining geometrical patterns and medallions featuring fruits. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

The mosaic artists managed to show details in a very realistic way, such as those figs that make me hungry.


Roman mosaic with geometrical patterns and a medallion featuring figs. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

By the way, what I prefered were the small details of the mosaics. Here some plants that could be part of a decoration catalogue.


Roman mosaic showing potted plants. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

There some fishes.


Roman mosaic showing two fishes. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

And finally a bird. Thanks to the enlargement, you can see more closely the assembly of small colored stone pieces.


Roman mosaic showing a bird. Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily

For more information, see Villa Romana Del Casale website

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January 2015 favorites

My January 2015 favorites:

* The Journey Of a Couture Dress

(a 4 minutes video)

* My new banner

This is a change so that my header suits my blog today. But if you look at them, you will notice that the new banner follow on from the previous one.

ApollineR banner

the old banner

ApollineR banner

the new banner

* A white dress with grey braid at Chanel 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

* Drawings by illustrators in tribute to Charlie Hebdo victims in Paris

* My resolutions for 2015

* A window of a Sicilian palace


A baroque window of Palazzo Biscari in Sicily


A window of Palazzo Biscari

I spotted this window of a baroque palace in Catania, Sicily where I spent a few days. I love the exuberance of this window with columns, child faces, garlands and chubby babies figures known as putti.

* How the Password You Select Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

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White dress with grey braid at Chanel 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

The white jacket with black braid is a Chanel signature. There have been many variations of this cardigan-jacket. This year, the idea has been used for a white short sleeve trapeze dress at Chanel 2014-2015 Fall-Winter Couture Fashion Show. There is a grey vertical line in the middle of the dress. Other horizontal lines emphasize the high waist, borders and pockets. The result is a geometric and minimalist dress that I would gladly wear.

drawing of a white dress with grey braid from Chanel Couture 2014-2015 Fall-Winter collection

You can see all the pictures of this Fashion Show on Style website.

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December 2014 favorites


drawing of a little girl with a broken pencil and a dove

After a sad week marked by attacks in France and in Nigeria, I have on my mind Norway Prime Minister’s speech after 2011 attacks. He said that the answer to violence is even more democracy and even more humanity. Today that’s all I hope for.

I get back to my blog with my December 2014 favorites, those articles that I share because they inspire me, they make me think or they make me smile:

* A red cape coat at Armani Privé 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

* #SlowStreetStyle Lookbook A/W 2014/15


#SlowStreetStyle Lookbook Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 cover

I already mentioned this project in my October favorites. I am very honored to have been chosen to illustrate the cover of the #SlowStreetStyle Lookbook by Consciously Sartorial and So Good So Cute.

* Le Pantruche restaurant in Paris

* #thisgirlcan campaign videos by Sport England that want to encourage girls to get physically active and overcome fear of judgement

The videos show ordinary women playing sport. They have inhibitions, are slow, sweat or lack time but still they have fun! Very inspiring if exercising is one of your New Year’s resolutions.

* A Closet Detox Cheat Sheet

* A guide to make healthy changes

* What is the “true value” of fashion?

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Best Wishes and resolutions for 2015


Best Wishes card illustrated with picture of Valletta, Malta by night


Valletta by night

Last year in my New Year article I shared my 2014 resolutions and theme. One year later, it’s time for a short review.

Respect, the theme I chose for 2014, was very enlightening. Just by asking myself : are my decisions consistent with my theme? I looked at things from a different perspective.

Regarding resolutions, I kept some of them but I abandoned some others (such as exercising and less procrastinating ahem). I think that it’s difficult to focus on several goals at the same time.

Therefore this year I make it simple: I set myself one objective which is also my theme. This year’s theme is action. In other words, I declare war on procrastination ;)

So I wish you a Happy New Year full of exciting projects and realisations :)

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A red cape coat at Armani Privé 2014 Fall Couture Fashion Show

I spotted this outfit at Armani Privé 2014-2015 Fall-Winter Couture Fashion Show. It reminds me of the Little Red Riding Hood because of the cape coat. But a modern Red Riding Hood who wears formal shorts, court shoes, short gloves and a businesswoman bag.

Drawing of a red cape coat from Armani Privé Couture 2014-2015 Fall-Winter collection

You can see all the pictures of this Fashion Show on Style website.

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Le Pantruche restaurant in Paris

Le Pantruche is a gourmet “bistro” (a bistro is an old-style Parisian café) in Paris. I had lunch there last Summer and it was very good.


Smoked fish and avocado starter


Smoked fish and avocado starter

Franck Baranger, le Pantruche chef favours products that are in season and from Paris Region. Here are the pros and cons of the restaurant in my opinion:


Watercress soup with croutons


Watercress soup with croutons

Pros:
+ The most important: the meal was delicious, the dishes were original tasty
+ The pleasant café atmosphere
+ At the end of the meal, I was sated without feeling heavy
+ The restaurant service was very good.
+ The food was fresh and traceable. The waiter was able to tell us exactly where the products came from.


Saithe with artichoke mousse


Saithe with artichoke mousse

Cons:
– The tables are very close. But at the same time it contributes to the convivial atmosphere.
– The restaurant is only open weekdays


Grand Marnier Soufflé with caramel


Grand Marnier Soufflé with caramel

We spent 28€ per person for a starter, a main dish and a dessert. It’s more expensive than a café but cheaper than a gourmet restaurant. My advice: the lunch fixed-price menu is more economical than à la carte dishes. Our waiter translated the menu for English-speaking clients but a dictionary could be useful if you don’t speak French. Also I would advise to book as the restaurant is quite popular.


Roasted figs, gingerbread crumble, almond ice cream


Roasted figs, gingerbread crumble, almond ice cream

My opinion:
I enjoyed the gourmet cuisine, the bistro atmosphere and the fresh products. I would be happy to go back to Le Pantruche if I have the chance.

The address :
Le Pantruche
3, rue Victor Massé
75009 Paris
+33 1 48 78 55 60

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