Maltese Diary

Back in the office today after a week’s holibags in Malta with Julie, staying at the very pleasant Qawra Palace hotel.

Monday: Arrived Monday
evening, dinner. Discover hotel
entertainment is provided on the stage right outside our balcony:
tonight it’s “Martin Elvis”, (sadly not this one) whose act
neither requires nor deserves much in the way of explanation.

Tuesday: Lazy day by the
pool, taking full advantage of our package deal’s unlimited free drinks and ice cream from the poolside bar. Tonight’s entertainment: an incomprehensible DJ whose output
includes a lot of Elvis records.

Wednesday: Holiday rep
finally shows up so we can book some excursions for the rest of the
week. Wander up into Qawra to check out the grockle
followed by a lazy afternoon by the pool. Tonight’s entertainment: the
aftermath of a brief but entertainingly-torrential Mediterranean
thunderstorm, which cancelled the regularly scheduled programme.

Thursday: Coach tour of
Malta– the church at Mosta with the third-largest dome in Europe (the
other two belong to St Peter’s in the Vatican and Clive Anderson), the
city of Mdina, lunch at a lodge in Buskett forest, and a wander round the market at the fishing village of Marsaxloxx. Scary discovery: half the Maltese seem to have spent part of their adult lives in the UK, which leaves them sounding a lot like
Bastien. Tonight’s entertainment: the same bloke we had on Tuesday,
playing the same records.

Friday: Lazy day by the
pool. Finally get Thursday’s paper to find out what the Scotland

was on Wednesday, as BBC World apparently thought that Engurlund were the only team
playing in the World Cup qualifiers this week. Tonight’s entertainment:
a bloke with a glorified Casiotone and a drum machine, who sings a lot of Elvis

Saturday: Day trip to the
other (and classier) inhabited Maltese island, Gozo– more ornate churches, a couple of audio-visual shows, lunch in a swish hotel
in Marsalforn, and the azure window at Dwejra. Catch the result of the Motherwell

when I get back to the hotel (which somewhat surprised me as I still
thought it was only about Thursday), not to mention the cold that I’m
still sniffing away with. Tonight’s entertainment: two blokes who must
have recently invested in a copy of Big Hits
of The Shadows
and an EFTP amp,
later joined by their sister who sings a lot of Elvis songs.

Sunday: Valetta market,
another church, elevenses at the priest’s gaff, and a boat trip around the Blue Grotto to round off the morning.Lazy afternoon by the pool. Tonight’s entertainment: the same two blokes who have now acquired a copy of Big Hits of The Shadows Volume 2, later joined by their sister who’s sadly failed to similarly expand her library of Elvis songs.

Monday: Up at 3.30am for the transfer to the airport, back in
Dublin by 11.30am. Made gnome-themes 2.8.0 release in the afternoon.
Didn’t listen to any Elvis songs.

(These photos are mine, but you can find lots of others at