Facade visual (in)consistency in Malta

In Malta, I have noticed that some owners’ associations don’t attach a lot of importance to the visual consistency of the facade.

an apartment building with mismatched balconies in Malta

Can you find two identical balconies in this building? (click the pictures to enlarge)

unmatching doorbells in Malta

Each one has its own doorbell model

an apartment block with mismatched balconies in Malta

More mismatched balconies (Note that the third floor balcony doesn’t even have a railing!)

Those odd balconies, windows or doorbells could offend your aesthetic sense if you’re more used to symmetry.

apartment buildings with multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta, Malta

Multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta

At the same time, this cacophony is somewhat picturesque. And that way you avoid fighting with the neighbours about the choice of the color when the shutters need to be painted.

apartment buildings with multicoloured shutters and enclosed balconies in Valletta, Malta

Version française

A Maltese house entrance

After drawing some Maltese traditional townhouses, zoom in on the entrance door that is also picturesque with its molded wood panels that are painted the same color as the window frames.
Actually, this is a double-door entrance. I imagine that the second glass door is useful to insulate the house from heat in summer.
A Malta house may have a number or a name or both. Often there is a medallion engraved with the Madonna and Child or a saint to protect the house and its inhabitants.

Illustration of a traditional Maltese townhouse entrance

With the damp, on many houses, the paint on the facade ends up chiping off, stones darken but the doorstep keeps its brightness as it is regularly polished.

Version française

Health food stores in Malta

Organic food is not eveywhere in Malta but you can find organic products in Malta. You just need to look for them in the supermarkets and find the nearest health food store.

In Malta, organic products are usually distinguishable by the european organic logo, white stars in the shape of a leaf on a green background.

some groceries with the european organic logo

So how many times can you see the european organic logo on this picture?

Also it’s good to know that in Malta everything is small. Health food stores are small too. So don’t expect to find everything in one shop.

I have listed the health food stores I know by town and I have located them the best I could on the island’s map.

Click here to see a larger map on google map


Holland & Barrett
Triq Il-Linja


Good Earth
Smart Shopping Complex
Triq in-Naxxar


Holland & Barrett
Triq Hompesch


30 Triq il-Kungress Ewkaristiku

Saint Julian’s

Holland & Barrett
Triq San Gorg

Good Earth
Triq il-Kbira


Casa Natura
117 Triq Il-Kbira

Holland & Barrett
60 Triq It-Tori


Holland & Barrett
5b Triq Il-Merkanti

Victoria (in Gozo)

13 Pjazza San Gorg

This list is not exhaustive. Feel free to add your organic good shops in Malta in the comments section.

drawing of a woman doing the grocery shopping in front of a Maltese health food store

Version française

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

Version française

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta

I have taken a few pictures at Sliema Street Art Festival that took place this weekend at the seaside. There were some bands playing next to the artists. The place was fun and lively.

I like to see artists at work. You can see them using sprays as if they were using paint brushes.

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta: graffiti on a small truck

(click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta: graffiti

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta: greater flamingo graffiti

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta: graffiti in progress

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta : yarn bombing on a palm tree by Julia Rio

yarn bombing on a palm tree by Julia Rio

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta: graffiti on a car

Sliema Street Art Festival in Malta

Version française

Malta traditional townhouses

In Malta, you can find some picturesque streets with old townhouses in Maltese stone. Traditional Maltese houses have similar facades with an arch-topped front door, wooden shutters and an enclosed wooden balcony. There are gardens at the back of the houses. The shutters and the balcony are often painted in vivid colors, which brightens up the street.

drawing of a Sliema street with Maltese traditional townhouses with enclosed balconies

Enclosed wooden balconies (‘gallerija’ in Maltese) were introduced in Malta in the 18th century. I’m not sure what those typical balconies were used for. I imagine they allowed light in while keeping heat out. You could also sit there to look out of the window.

drawing of a Maltese traditional townhouses with enclosed balconies

Another article about Maltese houses on this blog:

A Maltese house entrance

Version française

Malta delegation at the Sochi Winter Olympics

I wanted to draw the Maltese delegation at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics because this delegation is not common. Indeed only one athlete is representing Malta. Her name is Elise Pellegrin and she is a French-Maltese skier. Her grand-father immigrated to France. Thus Elise was born in France and she’s living in the Vosges mountains.

drawing of Elise Pellegrin carrying a Maltese flag at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony

Elise Pellegrin carrying a Maltese flag at the Sochi Olympic Games opening ceremony

It’s the first time Malta takes part in Winter Olympic Games. It must be said that winter sports are not very practice: last time it snowed in Malta was in 1962!

For more information, see Elise Pellegrin facebook page

Version française

Graffiti in a field in Malta

drawing of a graffiti in a field in Malta

It’s unusual to see a graffiti in harmony with its environment. Generally, it looks out of place in order to be noticed.
On the contrary, the graffiti I have depicted is like the caption that describes a picture.
The word “ruins”is tagged on a abandoned building, that indeed threatens to fall into ruin, in the middle of fields in Malta. Its good integration into the landscape may be the reason why it hasn’t been removed yet.

Malta after a rain shower

In Malta from times to times there is a big storm with pouring rain. It doesn’t last long, generally the sun comes back quickly.

The problem is that the drainage and rainwater storage system is not efficient. Indeed, when it rains a lot, sewers overflow and streets become rivers. Cars splash everything in their path until they’re prevented from going further by the flood.

It’s better to stay peacefully at home and wait that all the water drains away into the sea. Otherwise you might get your feet wet, as those tousists taken by surprise.

drawing of Malta flooded after a heavy rain

Another article about Malta weather on this blog::
Maltese cold

Version française