One was seeing both the British coast and the French coast with the channel in between as I flew back in the dark from Malta. It brought back memories from 26 years ago of when I first saw New York in the dark for the first time as I flew over it. The lights on both views looked like myriard of twinkling jewels. Both of these veiws are unforgettable!
'The next exciting piece isn't really true, I was having a senior moment, I have explained later on when I had a lucid moment.'
The other new experience was yesterday. I was opening my three weeks of mail, and I have recieved my first certificate ever! It's for being an Outstanding Volunteer with Age Concern. Now my contribution doesn't seem to have been enough for me to have recieved it. As one of my friends said to me, I'm sure every one gets one. Ok, they might but as it's a first for me and I'm going to treasure it.
This bit's true!!
I have made a bouquets for the Queen, Princess Anne, and made Dr Barnard's son's wedding flowers. 'He was the first surgeon to do a heart transplant.' But I have never never had a cerificate for it. I was taught to be a Florist, now called a 'Floral Desighner,' by my mother at twelve years old, so no certificates in those days!
I've just had a thought, and remembered! This where my being old clicks in!
I went to college when I retired at sixty odd, and had the equivilant of an A level in Creative Writing I have a certificate somewhere? And I won, Letter of The Week, in The Daily Mail, ten years ago, perhaps that doesn't count! But I did win a portable HP printer. As my son said to me that was a waste of time; because at that time I couldn't use a computor. So I sold it! I also won a script writing course with Shoreline Films. I was one of eight Cumbrian women to win it. I had a great time working with the other girls although, I was at least thirty years older than the oldest one there. Now I sound like I'm bragging. Well I am a bit! And I'm still very proud of my new certificate.
I must get back to the most relaxing holiday I have ever had.
When I say relaxing I'm missing out the hair raising driving. The drivers in Malta are in a class of their own. It will give you an idea of what they are like, when I tell you that; as I was being driven back to the airport I was thinking this must be the best driver I've travelled with. Until we went through a tunnel and I saw a flashing red light saying speed limit 40 miles then flashing up his speed which was 54 miles! He was one of the slower drivers, also they cut in on both sides. One driver, on one of the tours I was on, was so fast some one at the front made a comment. He didn't take offence but took both hands off the wheel, as he talked with his hands and told us all what good driver he was.
Why they all need to go so fast, I don't understand because Malta is only around 25 miles long. My advice is, if you are British just because they drive on the right side of the road as we do, and have our type of crossings don't cross, until they have definetely stopped.
Still they are the nicest people you can meet and they have had some hard times. They were bombarded by the enemy, from all sides in WW2 and almost starved to death. It's said they had more bombs dropped onto them than The City of London.
People have asked me, why I found Malta so inspiring. Today I tried to write about what it is I feel about it. Some people here at home have told me that you either love it or hate it. I could only think you could hate it, if all you wanted was long stretches of beaches, and entertainment. It has a night life where young ones can go to and of course we all liked to do that when we were young!
Trying to write about how I feel about it, is difficult. I have jotted so many words down about it today, I felt as if I was trying to write a history book.
So I'm going to try to tell you how I feel personaly. Mdina, 'The Silent City.' As I wandered around the tiny narrow streets, it feels ghost like. Walking through Ta' Qali, felt sad as it's where the head quarters of the Airforce was in WW2. Young pilots fought with great courage and lost their lives to defend this small island. There is an Aviation Museum with old warplanes such as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Gladiaters etc. Many of the young eighteen to twenty odd years old airmen are buried in the Military Cemetery just outside of Ta' Qali.
Valletta, I've found when I close my eyes as I settle down to sleep, I can see the awsome fortifications lit up at night, they are an amazing and beautiful sight. This is the City built in 1566 on Mount Sceberras which is a peninsular flanked by natural Harbours. Malta was always known to us as the Rock and now I know why. 'Every bit of land has had to be hewn out of the rock.'
To get into Valletta, you pass through the City gate, into Freedom Square. This is the City where I walked down Republic Street staring upwards all the time. In the Great Siege Square, I was lucky enough, to see police motor bikes with flashing lights and a huge black car rush in. The President stepped out of the car. I couldn't see him for all the police officers who surrounded him!
The street also has has the Grand Masters Palace and Armoury. St Johns Cathedral, it is the most formidable of all the many churches on the Island. There are many more great buildings on and around Republic Street. They tell me there are so many churches here there is one for every day of the year. Also many more places to see historical buildings and to have fun in. Such as Sliema, St, Julians, Qawra, St, Paul's Bay. I could tell you more but I'm not really good at history. I only know what I felt and I had a great sense of a nation who has so much to be proud of. Also, I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again the, Maltese people are really nice.
I have just finished reading, It's a long way to Malta, by Paddy Cummins, and on pages 82 to 86 he explains the history in a way that you grasp the facts very quickly. He has his story on Kindle.
It's now midnight and time for bed so goodnight, I really need my beauty sleep.