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Sunday 20 January 2013


Hi everyone

We arrived back in the UK from Malta on Thursday, having spent 12 gorgeous sun-filled days there.  As someone who is super-glued to their computer (in this case my iPad) I did my regular weekly blog while away, occasionally checked emails, and kept up-to-date with the UK weather.  As we all know, being in business means our address is all over the Internet, so I tend to not mention online that I am away until I am back home.  Better to be safe than sorry.

We had a lovely time, the weather was really great and every night we had to have the windows open as it was so warm.  To the Maltese people this is their winter, to us it felt like early summer and as you can imagine the prospect of coming back to snow was a little daunting.  The Maltese people are lovely, very friendly and helpful, but once behind the wheel of a car...............

As we took off from Malta to come home the pilot advised that the temperate was -5 at Gatwick and on arrival it had risen to the heady heat of -2!  As we drove home it got foggier, colder and generally more gloomy looking.  Getting up on Friday morning to a considerable amount of snow was a bit of a shock and it didn't stop snowing all day long (in fact it has been snowing all day today as well).  Such a shock as we were getting acclimatised to warm weather and in fact it was very mild when we left the UK.  It was lovely to get back to our furry gang-of-three though.

Here are the before and after photographs (well not quite, but I am sure you get the idea):

The view from our balcony the day before we flew home

The view from our kitchen door the day after we flew home

We were able to do lots of sight-seeing while there and one of the first amazing sights was this Christmas tree:

Mdina is home to famous glass-makers in Malta and as we arrived just before the end of the Christmas decoration period, we were lucky to see this glass-bauble Christmas tree in Valletta.  All of the baubles were handmade and the tree was over 12 ft high.  It was beautiful and the photograph doesn't do it justice.

I love fish and shellfish so being on an island meant my habit could be fed with an amazing variety of tastes.    In fact I was able to enjoy a different fish-dish every day.  Fishing seems to be a very popular activity in Malta, not always just as a hobby - we were convinced that restaurant owners were out every day catching their day's 'dish of the day'.  One day we went to Marsascala and sat watching the fishermen preparing their boats.  The man in the photograph above rowed out to his fishing boat, prepared his nets and got everything ready for a fishing trip later in the day and then rowed back to have his lunch.

The hotel we stayed in was next door to a restaurant that we first visited over 30 years ago - it is called the Gillieru Restaurant and we were so pleased to find that it was just as good this time around as all those years ago.  It is renowned for its fish dishes so for me it was the place to dine at.  Lucky for us they had a resident cat - I can't do without my cat fix and (sorry Milly) it was a tabby cat and we named him George.  We didn't find out his real name, he was often referred to as 'the cat', but we felt George suited him:

The last time we went to Malta we didn't make it to Gozo, and promised ourselves that this time we would.  We did and were so surprised at how different it is.  Gozo is very different to Malta and to quote a tour guide's leaflet that we read after our visit it 'is very picturesque and has its own unique identify'.  It is a beautiful island, very quiet and peaceful, lovely houses and gardens, with well cared for properties and stunning views from many of the bays.  This photograph is taken from a bay looking out to the island of Comino - another island in the group.

Here are a few more photographs of places we visited in Malta:

However, it wasn't all sunshine.  On Tuesday of our second week we had a massive thunder storm, hailstones, the lot!  Incredible.  As it didn't look like being over quickly, we decided to go to the cinema and chose The Hobbit in 3D - what was really great was that we were the only ones in the cinema.  A picture show just for us - how wonderful.  We did get the chance to take a photograph of this impressive rainbow from our hotel room window though - I think you can just about see on the right hand side its reflection.

Now it is back to normal, although while I have been away I have been doing a little work on my workshops.  Checking newsletter and poster content, which has been carried out by my partner-in-crime (Linda the cake-maker who is managing the refreshments for each workshop).  Now it is time to hit the ground running: make up packs for the workshops, manage the bookings, plus I have orders for birthday cards and Easter cards I also and need to get on with making some cards for Valentine's Day.  In addition to this I have my tax return to finalise and hand over the Mr Tax Man - I always feel relieved when that has been completed.

Thank you everyone  for your responses to my questions in my last blog post. They were very helpful and I have decided I am going to have a display of cards; as suggested it may help people to see what they can make and I will also have tools and some materials for sale, for example scissors, tweezers, card, etc.  

I received a copy of the first issue of a new magazine called Homemade with love; its the first issue and I haven't yet had a chance to look through it properly, but will do so and feedback on it in my blog post next week.  Has anyone else come across this magazine?  

It's a crafting magazine which seems to have a variety of topics and makes, and this brings me neatly to reminding everyone to visit this week's Handmade Monday bloggers.  As always I am looking forward to reading about the adventures and makes of everyone taking part.

Down to earth now with a bump - no I haven't fallen over in the snow.  Just need to get back to work.  I will be back next weekend with my main post and Milly will be posting her diary on Wednesday of this week.  I hope to start my Friday Guest Blog Spot soon and if you would like to join in, please do get in touch on

Have a good week everyone, take care in the snow and keep warm.



  1. Lovely pics of Malta! So nice to have a break before the work begins.

    1. It is a very interesting place and the lovely sunny days were very welcome

  2. Glad you had a great holiday, we loved Valetta, although only stopped off for a day on the cruise, it's a place we have vowed to return too.

    I know what you mean about not letting people know your away online, no point in leaving yourself wide open to trouble.

    I've not seen the magazine, but it looks most interesting.


    1. Valletta is fascinating. Lots of steps and slopes to access it from the water side - okay on the way down, but not so good on the waynup

  3. I went to Malta for my first foreign holiday years ago at around this time of year and we were told we were mad for swimming outdoors! Your pics are a real trip down memory lane. Such a shame you had to come back to all this white stuff!

  4. Oh wow, what a lovely time of year to have a holiday! It all looks very lovely, although it must've been a shock to the system, coming home! Welcome back anyway!! x

  5. I so need to visit Malta....My Dad spent a lot of his childhood there and I'd love to retrace some of his steps...
    Hope the snow doesn't get too bad for you!!
    S x

  6. Wow! What a climactic contrast!! It must have been such a shock returning to such chilly weather conditions... looks like you have a wonderful time though, what a great idea to go away just after Christmas and miss all the dooming and glooming! x

  7. Can't quite believe that you had that lovely weather whilst we had freezing temperatures. At least you now have lovely photographs to look at to help warm you up! Sounds as if you are going to be busy! Hope you have fun.

  8. Ohhhh Jill, what a lovely looking holiday! I am jealous, but hope you've not had too much of a shock with the snow! Simmi x

  9. Beautiful photos- though I bet the return to our chilly weather was a bit of a shock to the system!

  10. Wow what lovely holiday pics, warm sunshine, good food, great views, relaxing.... no I'm not jealous, honestly!
    I agree with you about not advertising when you are going away. Best safe than sorry.
    Welcome back to snowy weather, have a great week.

    Jan x

  11. Hi Jill,
    Lovely to hear about your holiday. I've never been to Malta, but it is a place I'd like to go. The glass bauble tree looks amazing. You'll have to wrap up doubly warm now you're back to snow! Have a good week!

  12. Gosh, those photos are quite a contrast.

  13. Hi Jill - we went to Malta in Jan 30 yrs ago, and it was gorgeous. We loved Gozo too, so I'm glad to hear it still sounds unspoilt. Hope you get used to being back in UK weather soon! x

  14. Sounds like a lovely break. And that tree is amazing; I would love to see it in person.

  15. Thank you for sharing the pictures of Malta - reminds me of lovely holiday, that we spend walking and exploring the island. I think we went in February and I was just so amazed how warm it felt. Walked accros Comino in half a day and enjoyed the rabbit pie in Valletta.

  16. Lovely photos - the rainbow one is amazing!

  17. Some lovely photos. Looks like you had a fabulous time. Fancy coming back to all this snow!

  18. What a shock it must have been to come back to a snowy UK. The Christmas tree looks beautiful and I was shocked when you said it was created from glass baubles. Glad you had such a lovely time. I bet Milly is glad to have you home.
    Ali x

  19. Lovely to see all those sunny photos, bet you are glad you made it back in time to enjoy the cold here!!!

  20. Your lovely photos warmed me up on a dark,cold evening, and I am not the slightest bit envious! I'm not really! Happy 100th, Jo x

  21. It is a shock coming home to winter isn't it!?

  22. hi Jill - I'm glad you had an amazing time as I'm going there in April and haven't been before or spoken to anyone who's been! The pictures are gorgeous - now I can't wait!! Mich x


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