Monsoon weather in Malta !

Malta is well known for its long hot summers of course, but unless you spend a reasonable amount of time here, including Autumn and Winter, then you may not have seen the tremendous storms that also hit the island.

The last twenty four hours have been a case in point.  Since last night there has been thunder, lightening and torrential rain, causing the usual chaos.  Some areas of the island become completely impassable during the storms, with roads looking like rivers and businesses and homes flooded.

Birkirkara is a particularly badly affected area.  Not surprisingly, Valley Road in Birkirkara is built in a valley and even less surprising is that when the heavy rain comes, the road really does turn into a river – Malta’s only natural water flow!  Cars get washed away and businesses on both sides get flooded, yet the government seems unable or unwilling to sort the problem out.

In reality, the area should have never been built on in the first place, but it is too late now so the only solution is to build decent drainage to take the excess water away.

Something else you will notice when it rains in Malta is that the roads come to a virtual standstill.  Maltese drivers seem incapable of driving in the wet and slow to a crawl.  I guess it is simply down to the fact that it rains so rarely here that they are just not used to it.

Oh well, something else to get used to!  Roll on Summer 🙂

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Christmas is coming!!

This will be our second Christmas in Malta, although we barely noticed the first as we were so busy getting ourselves sorted out after moving from France.
What has struck me this year is how low key everything has been until now.  In the UK, the Christmas adverts would have started at the end of September, if not before, shops would have started stocking Christmas gifts and goodies from early October and the whole thing would be forced on us almost everywhere we go.

In Malta, I noticed the first Christmas decorations for sale today in the Ta Lira shop in Mellieha.and a couple of flyers have come round advertising Christmas and New Years Eve party venues.  Apart from that, you would hardly realise that the big day is just over six weeks away.

I think that is fantastic!!

Other countries have gone so head over heals with the commercial aspect of Christmas that it just annoys me.  I am not a religious person and I do not go to Church, so you could say that really Christmas should not mean anything to me. 

I disagree though.  Yes, of course Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, but for atheists, that really means nothing.  But I do agree with the sentiment – peace and goodwill to all men, the gathering together of families and the sharing of good times.

In Malta, the religious origins of Christmas still play a big part in the time of year and the commercialism has yet to completely take over.

Long may it last.

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How to arrive in Malta!

Malta is a fantastic holiday island and now very easy to get to by air with more flights starting all the time.  However, for me, the best way to arrive would be by ship / boat in to the Grand Harbour.

Arriving by air, you could be at any number of air terminal avross the world.  Admittedly, Malta International Airport is pleasant and easy to use, but surely the view as you enter Grand Harbour has to be one of the best on Malta?

We arrived by boat.  On the ferry, come cruise ship from Genoa.  Sadly, this route is no longer in operation and arriving on the fastcat is not quite the same.

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Time for a stroll

This morning, as usual, I got up early to take Ellie for a walk.  During the summer it has been necessary to go early as by 8am it was getting too hot for her.  She is a Border Collie / Spaniel cross and has a long thick coat, so doesn’t enjoy the midday sun really!!

Anyway, this morning I was expecting it to be cool and put my jeans on and took a light jacket.  By the time we arrived at Xemxija cliffs, I realised I had made a mistake!  The car temperature gauge was saying 25 degrees and it was only just gone 9am.  Time for a change of plan – quick walk and then off to get the bread and newspaper before heading back home.  Sorry Ellie, just a short walk today.

The good thing about this time of year is that you can get beautiful, warm days like today and lovely sunsets to finish the day off, just like this evening.

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A change is in the air – Malta weather

Well, today is the first day that I have considered wearing long trousers since the beginning of May!!  🙂  I have been living in shorts, t-shirt and flip flops for the past six months almost – not the same ones I hasten to add! – and it is only now that the air temp has dropped enough for me to start to feel a chill.

Funnily enough, I was out walking Ellie earlier and saw a couple walking their dogs, but the difference being they had jumpers and coats on. 🙂

This is my first summer in Malta and I have been amazed at how green everything has stayed despite there being virtually no rain for five months.  I was expecting everything to dry up, go brown and die, but in the little park just by our apartment, the bushes have been full of flowers right through summer.  in fact the plants needed more watering in our garden in France than here.

You can tell winter is coming, the cats and dog stay in bed longer and the wife is talking about getting blankets and quilts out.

Roll on summer!!  🙂

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Driving in Malta

Driving in Malta

Since arriving in Malta, I have been continually amazed at the poor standard of driving.  To be frank, it is absolutely appalling!!

An interesting editorial in the motoring section of the Sunday Times of Malta by Matthew Naudi, discusses ways of coping with errant drivers that drive you up the wall when out and about on Malta’s roads.  Instead of gesticulating and swearing at the other driver, who will most likely take no notice anyway, Matthew recommends making up acronyms such as UTDI – Use The Damn Indicators – and saying those instead.  Not sure it would work for me!

Why is the driving so bad here in Malta?  everyday, without fail, someone either cuts me up, pulls out without looking, drives in the outside lane of the few bits of dual carriageway we have or simply has no idea how to use a roundabout.  There is also impatience.  Many a time I have been stuck in a queue, creeping along through Burmarrad, when someone who is obviously far more important than me, comes charging down the outside of the queue and pushes in further up.

Drivers in Malta seem to live in a world of their own, where other people don’t seem to exist.

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I travel every day between Mellieha and Mosta and see all sorts.  Coming down the hill out of Mellieha, there are two hairpin bends on fairly steep slopes.  Not so long ago, at the first bend, the van coming the other way was a bit wide and on my side of the white line – nothing much new there you might say!  however, I then noticed that the driver had both hands holding a piece of paper, presumably an invoice, at eye level and I have no idea how he was steering.  I can only guess with his knees!  There was something else that caught my eye – his head was slightly cocked to one side and then I realised that he was holding his mobile phone on his shoulder with his head!!  Ridiculous.

The problem is that this is not an isolated incident.  Whenever I see a car creeping along or meandering across the road, you can pretty well guarantee that the driver is either on his phone or doing something which he considers far more important than actually driving his vehicle.

What do you think of Maltese drivers?

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Malta – The gem of the Mediterranean

Why Malta?

Apart from why not (!), it is a fantastic holiday destination.  With brilliant summer weather, endless history, friendly people and for us English speakers, no language barrier!  Throw exceptional diving / snorkelling, water sports and swimming and you have a recipe for a great holiday destination.
If you are looking for something quieter and less hectic than Malta a short ferry trip takes you to Gozo, where life proceeds at a much slower pace.

For anyone contemplating a holiday home purchase in Malta or Gozo, there is a lot of choice and some exceptional property to view.  Whatever your budget, there is bound to be something.  Gozo is generally cheaper because of the less commercial aspect and the ferry trip to the main island of Malta.  I’ll be in trouble with Gozitans for saying that!!

Whether you have visited Malta many times or are just thinking about a property here on the island, the logistics of researching, finding, buying and maintaing a property abroad can be very demanding.  Believe me, I’ve been there and done that – and in a foreign language as well in our case!

That is where MHHS can help.  From finding property, taking you around the island, helping sort out the details and then keeping an eye on the property while you are away, we can help you all the way.

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