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.

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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

Attard

Holland & Barrett
Triq Il-Linja
http://hollandandbarrettmalta.com/

Birkirkara

Good Earth
Smart Shopping Complex
Triq in-Naxxar
http://www.goodearth.com.mt/

Fgura

Holland & Barrett
Triq Hompesch
http://hollandandbarrettmalta.com/

Mosta

Shanti
30 Triq il-Kungress Ewkaristiku
http://shanti.com.mt/

Saint Julian’s

Holland & Barrett
Triq San Gorg
http://hollandandbarrettmalta.com/

Good Earth
Triq il-Kbira
Balluta
http://www.goodearth.com.mt/

Sliema

Casa Natura
117 Triq Il-Kbira
http://casanaturamalta.com/

Holland & Barrett
60 Triq It-Tori
http://hollandandbarrettmalta.com/

Valletta

Holland & Barrett
5b Triq Il-Merkanti
http://hollandandbarrettmalta.com/

Victoria (in Gozo)

Organika
13 Pjazza San Gorg
http://www.organika.com.mt/

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

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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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Slow Streetstyle look in black and white

In my October favorites, I wrote about the #SlowStreetStyle Challenge initiated by Consciously Sartorial and So Good So Cute blogs. To take up this challenge, you have to create a complete look using ethical clothes. So here is a black and white look I have imagined with the Winter clothes I have spotted.

drawing of a woman wearing a shaded white to grey jumper, black trousers and white sneakers

Slow streetstyle look: shaded white to grey jumper, black handbag, black trousers and white sneakers

(1) Misericordia jumper in alpaga, shaded white to grey. Ethically made in Peru.

(2) Pampa & Pop leather handbag. Ethically made in Argentina. Tannery wastewater is recycled.

I have recently discovered Pampa & Pop colorful bags. This black handbag is more plain but it still has a fancy printed lining.

(3) Ekyog black trousers. 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane. Ethically made in Madagascar.

(4) Veja white sneakers in eco-tanned leather. Ethically made in Brazil.

In real life I would take Veja black sneakers but here I have chosen the white ones as nobody will step on my drawing’s feet ^^

You can create a look and join the #SlowStreetStyle Challenge until November 30th. Everything is explained on Consciously Sartorial blog.

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Anaïs and her heavy wheelbarrow

Anaïs is the main character of “Anaïs s’en va-t-en guerre” (Anaïs is at war), a French documentary film by Marion Gervais. I like the story of this young woman who dreams of cultivating her own aromatic plants farm in Brittany. She does everything she can to make her dream come true and faces difficulties but she doesn’t give up.

illustration of a young woman who removes som plants from her wheelbarrow

I keep in mind a scene of the film when Anaïs moves all her plants alone. Imagine a frail young woman trying to push a big wheelbarrow full of soil and plants. The wheelbarrow is clearly too heavy for her. So Anaïs takes gently some plants and put them on the floor. She lightens the wheelbarrow until she is able to push it. Then she continues on her way as if nothing had happened. I think it’s a nice metaphor for the way she handles obstacles.

You can watch an extract of “Anaïs s’en va-t-en guerre” (in French) on here. I have seen an interview with the director who said the film may be translated into English in the future. I hope so.

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Public toilets in Paris

Self-cleaning public toilets have only existed since the eighties but now they belong to Paris urban landscape. These ‘sanisettes’, as they are called, are free toilets in a city of pay toilets. To enter one of those big boxes, you must not be claustrophobic. You also have to be patient: what with out-of order toilets and toilets occupied by homeless people, there is often a line of tourists and Parisians for the remaining toilets. When the person before you leaves the WCs, you still have to wait for the cleaning. Finally, it’s your turn. After this memorable experience, you will be able to tell that you peed in a giant can 😉

drawing of public toilets in Paris

Useful link: Where to find self-cleaning public toilets in Paris

Other articles about Paris street furniture on this blog:

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My review of microfiber towel

I discovered the concept of microfiber towel in a an article by Tim Ferris on travelling light

I thought it was a good idea and I bought a microfiber towel to carry with me when I travel.

drawing of a woman wrapped in a microfiber towel in her bathroom

Here is my opinion after testing it:

Pros:
+ My towel is 120 cm by 60 cm. It’s smaller than a bath sheet but it can dry the body and also the hair because it’s very absorbent.
+ It dries faster than a regular towel.
+ It’s much lighter and less bulky than a bath towel.

Cons:
– It’s less fluffy than a terry towel. That’s why I save it for travels and it’s not my everyday towel.
– It looks like my microfiber cleaning cloths. Be careful not to mix them up when you’re half-awake!
– The one I have bought fades in the wash

Eventually my feedback is quite positive. Incidentally I’m not the only one to find this towel useful as it disappeared from my hotel room on my latest trip. Fortunately the hotel paid me back and I bought another microfiber towel.

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Keira Knightley in Chanel wedding dress

Actress Keira Knightley got married in early May in the south of France. She was wearing a strapless tutu dress, a discreet flower garland and ballet shoes.

Her ballerina style reminds me of the wedding gown of Natalie Portman who got married in summer 2012 wearing Rodarte.

drawing of Keira Knightley wearing a Chanel knee length ballerina wedding dress and a Chanel tweed jacket

Keira Knightley looks unconventional with her sunglasses, her hair blowing in the wind and a Chanel tweed jacket you wouldn’t imagine with a wedding dress.

drawing of Keira Knightley wedding hairstyle

Her outfit allows her to move comfortably. She reused a Chanel evening dress she already had. I like the idea of giving a new life to a garment rather than buying an expensive dress you’re going to wear only once. She later said about it: “I’d worn the dress lots. It was my something old. And I liked not making a big deal about it. I just wanted to be in something I had had a great time in, something I would have a great time in again.”

edit on 2014/03/17 : the dress is Chanel and not Rodarte

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