Well, friends, I am off.
Off for 5 days to do nothing but lay on pristine beaches, swim in crystal clear water, and read. I have been looking forward to this sabbatical for quite some time, as it is much needed!
Want to know more about where I will be? Take this as your warning, you may or may not become very, very jealous.
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea (in its eastern basin), some 93 km (58 mi) south of the Italian island of Sicily across the Malta Channel. The average annual temperature is 74–76 °F, around 82 °F during the day and 69 °F at night. Malta enjoys around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. The average annual sea temperature is 78 °F. Malta is one of the few places in Europe which are “green” all year round. Maltese cuisine is typically Mediterranean in character, based on fresh seasonal locally available produce and seafood. While many dishes are native to the island, some popular Maltese recipes reflect Sicilian and Southern Italian as well as traces of Moorish, Spanish, Berber, French and British influences (such as qassatat).
And now the more important topic…
Traditional Maltese weddings featured the bridal party walking in procession beneath an ornate canopy, from the home of the bride’s family to the parish church, with singers trailing behind serenading the bride and groom. The Maltese word for this custom is il-?ilwa. This custom along with many others has long since disappeared from the Islands, in the face of modern practices. New wives would wear the g?onnella, a traditional item of Maltese clothing. However, it is no longer worn in modern Malta. Today’s couples are married in churches or chapels in the village or town of their choice. The nuptials are usually followed by a lavish wedding reception, often including several hundred guests. Occasionally, couples will try to incorporate elements of the traditional Maltese wedding in their celebration. A resurgent interest in the traditional wedding was evident in May 2007, when thousands of Maltese and tourists attended a traditional Maltese wedding in the style of the 16th century, in the Village of ?urrieq. This included il-?ilwa, which led the bride and groom to a wedding ceremony that took place on the parvis of St. Andrew’s Chapel. The reception that followed featured folklore music (g?ana) and dancing.
And in case you are wondering what it looks like, wonder no longer. I will be here: