top 10 books to read
Books, Lists of Love

Top 10 Books on my To-Read List

As a self-confessed book-hoarder, bookworm, and bibliophile, having an out-of-control list of books I want to read is a part of the job. Another thing we book-fiends revel in is talking, writing, and gushing about books until we hear the gentle click of the kettle as it comes to a boil. Enough chit chat – on to the books!

1 | Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I’m utterly obsessed with vikings and Norse mythology, and I think Neil Gaiman is just fantastic. When I hit Waterstones in Newcastle and saw this beautiful hardback edition of a book that merged those two things together, I just had to have it.

2 | Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest

Now this is actually a collection of poems by English spoken-word poet, Kate Tempest. I only really started to appreciate poetry when I was reading for my degree in English, but since then I’ve more than made up for it by making time to read good poetry, especially by writers who are still alive and kicking today.

3 | Event by Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek is a brilliant philosopher who, yes, I discovered at university but want to learn more about. Enter Event. 

4 | The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

After falling hopelessly in love with The Great Gatsby and dealing with the inevitable book-hangover that followed, I’m ready for my next dose of Fitzgerald. Let’s say it – the man has a knack for badass titles.

5 | A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes

A colleague of mine with excellent taste in books recommended this to me, and I’m going to trust her completely on this.

6 | The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Shame on me for not having read this already, I know. I’m sorry, please forgive me. But I’m here now, and I’m ready to enter Discworld.

7 | Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is one of those writers who make you feel like you’re sitting down for a chat with your ridiculously good-humoured friend who’s also casually clever.

8 | East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This one is one of the heavier reads that I challenged myself to read a year ago. Ish. I’ve obviously failed. But I love John Steinbeck and will consider this blog post a promise that I will read it this year. Hold me to it, guys.

9 | Underworld London by Catharine Arnold

I love a bit of history – especially when it’s mixed in with some gritty crime. The full title is Underworld London: Crime and Punishment in the Capital City. Need I say more?

10 | The Elder Edda translated by Andy Orchard

Ah, we end where we began – with norse mythology! The Elder Edda is a collection of anonymous, Old Norse poems alive with the culture and history of the people who created them. It was actually one of the texts that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so it gets my vote twice.

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought in a comment below.

Until next time!

Kelly

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being yourself
Adult Life, Living Abroad, thoughts

What’s a ‘tiffin’ and when will it stop snowing?

As I write this, I’m sitting at Waterstones watching snow drift past the windows overlooking Newcastle city centre. To my left – a red pot of Earl Grey tea (fitting, since I’m so close to Grey’s Monument) and a teacup, with a cherry and walnut chocolate tiffin beside it. What’s a tiffin? I have no real clue, but it’s biscuity and amazing. A few years ago I wanted nothing more than to be in this exact place, just reading a book or doing some research. And now I live here, and I do that – perhaps too often, judging by the number of Waterstones Cafe loyalty cards I fill up. Today, the sky shifts from icy grey to bright blue with sunlight bouncing off the snow – almost blinding. It’s perfect.

It’s perfect because today is one of those days where I remember that I’m doing something I’d dreamt of doing for years before getting the gumption to actually go out and do it. Sometimes, somewhere between the ever-present deadlines, self-induced crises and little worries here and there that come with living alone, I forget how special that is and how much it means to me. So when I crunched through the snow on my way down here today, I felt happy. I feel light. I won’t ramble on about it – just don’t forget to take a moment from time to time to appreciate what you’ve achieved. Just be for a while.

February is at an end and spring is technically just around the corner – although I am curious about when the season will actually show up. Winter seems intent on overstaying its welcome. Yes, spring is synonymous with rebirth (or in my case, awful hayfever), but rather than that, I find that I’ve been thinking about change recently. Small changes, specifically. Changing bits of my day or shifting my habits because it’ll make me feel better in some small way. I mean I’m doing typical things like eating more fruit (ish), maintaining a balanced diet, going to the gym three times a week and all that jazz. I’ve even cut down my coffee intake to a maximum of two cups a day. But I’ve been thinking about one thing in particular: ‘authenticity’.

If there’s one theme in all my work, it’s about authenticity and self-expression. It’s the idea that some things are, in some real sense, really you – or express what you and others aren’t.  – Bernard Williams (Philosopher)

I don’t exactly mince my words when it comes to saying what I think, and I do try to be myself, but I feel like there’s something nagging at me. I think that moving to a new country, not knowing too many people, it can be easy to say or do things that you don’t necessarily think or want to because in your anxious mind it means winning favour or friendships (even if you’re sbukkata/outspoken like yours truly). It’s totally wrong, of course. Back in Malta, your people know you and have done (for the most part) since primary school. They know how old you were when you disobeyed your parents and got wrecked in Paceville, they know who first broke your heart and how long it took you to get over them, and they know exactly how you like to take your tea or coffee. There’s no complication there, no need to ‘appear’ any certain way. Move abroad, and it becomes tempting to be a little too agreeable because you want certain people to like you. Forget ‘silly’ – it’s stressful and unnecessary and should have been left behind in secondary school. People who are meant to become your friends will become your friends anyway, bullshit or no bullshit. With that in mind, I want to work on being a more authentic version of myself, or more authentically me – whatever way you’d like to word it. It’s a strange thing to try and express, but my guess is that if you understand what I’m trying to say you’ve probably experienced it yourself. I don’t even like using the word ‘try’ up there – if you’re trying to be authentic then I feel like there’s still some kind of artifice involved. I suppose it’s something like being the you that you are when you’re alone in your room folding clothes, or happily walking to Waterstones with snowflakes settling in your hair – and not compromising that for anyone, really. The only person you should be concerned about ‘liking’ you, is you. Isn’t that who you can always depend on in the end? Anyway, that’s just been on my mind recently and I felt like sharing – it’s probably some sort of weird way of holding myself accountable to this commitment to authenticity.

-Kelly

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Adult Life, Living Abroad

Moving Abroad: The First 3 Days (ish)

Well it looks like I actually went through with the whole ‘moving to Newcastle’ thing, huh? It’s barely been three days (as I write this post I’ve been in the city for approximately 2 days and 18 hours), but I’ve been running around taking care of all the bits and pieces that need to be done before I settle in properly – namely:

  1. Completing registration at Newcastle Uni
  2. Registering with a GP
  3. Moving in to my accommodation
  4. Getting a UK number sorted
  5. Hitting IKEA for the first time in my life
    1. Trying not to panic about how big and maze-like IKEA is
  6. Shopping for the things I need to function as a normal adult human
    1. Such exciting items include: washing up liquid, laundry detergent, kitchen utensils, hangers, towels, etc.
moving abroad

It’s a work-in-progress..

There’s still a lot left to do, but I’m pleased with how much I’ve sorted over the past couple of days.

moving abroad

Yes, they do get sun here.

21686498_10154974200263316_5596167746482799429_n

One of my favourite parts of the city.

I was worried that I might struggle to talk to people and make friends here, but that was silly because everyone’s been so friendly. I’ve already been to The Botanist for drinks with some other postgrads, a pub quiz, and an actual night out – my first one in Newcastle. We hit a club called Flares, which was an instant winner because it’s totally committed to serving you the cheesiest music and your guiltiest of pleasures (in my case, that’s probably Despacito’). Not a hint of irony. The rest of the night was filled with indie music at a place I’m struggling to remember the name of, but anywhere that plays four Arctic Monkeys songs in rapid succession gets major brownie points from me.

 

 

 

Today I hit the Societies Fair at Students’ Union, and that was pretty cool. I was drawn to the Feminist Society and Debating Society (eek!), and I might look into the Model United Nations Society (double ‘eek!’). Anyway, what’s next? Tomorrow we’re thinking about hitting Alnwick for the day, and tonight the Mediterranean girl in me is craving pasta, so I’m hunting around for the right restaurant. Stay tuned for more northern updates and ‘toon’ quirks…

-Kelly

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lifestyle blog
Adult Life, thoughts, Travel

So…I’m moving to the UK.

Well I have been quiet for a fair while, haven’t I? Things have been a little hectic, partly because holy shit I’m moving abroad for the first time in my life. And that kind of thing takes time, you know? Existential crises take time.

 

Where am I off to and what’s the plan?

Anyway, I’m moving to a northern city called Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and I’ll be living and working there while I study for an MLitt Philosophy at Newcastle University. Hurrah! For a long time, it’s basically been my dream to do exactly that – but that doesn’t mean it was all sunshine and rainbows once I hit the big, red button.

The (Blind) Panic

There have been many times where I was gripped by this white-hot fear that it was all going to be a terrible mistake – that I’d end up alone, nobody there would like me, and it’ll all just be a massive failure resulting in me returning to Malta with my tail between my legs. The flip-side to that was pure elation at the fact that I finally took the steps I needed to get myself where I want to be; it’s easy to get too comfortable here in Malta. Easy to forget how badly you need to leave.

On wanting to leave Malta

Before some of you reading this hop on the ‘MALTA D BEST’ bandwagon and get on my case for wanting and needing to leave, give me a moment. Malta is a great, beautiful island with centuries of history and some of the nicest people you’ll meet this side of the Mediterranean – but no matter how great your home country might be, I think it’s just so important to live abroad for a while, in different countries if possible. Why? Well I just think it shapes us into generally better, more independent and interesting people. Living with your parents until you’re like 30 isn’t the way to encourage personal growth, just saying.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll move on to one other reason I need to leave: the way this country is being ruined one development, one crane, one bribery at a time. The fact that ‘we’ the people seem so powerless to stop it is maddening.

I’m tired. Tired of the year-round struggle with allergies and throbbing sinus headaches I get because of the dust. I’m tired of the 8+ cranes I see every morning as I make my way to work. I’m tired of the other (countless) cranes spreading across the island like some sort of plague. I’m angry about how the so-called Planning Authority is doing literally nothing to preserve our history or maintain some sort of aesthetic integrity in our cities, towns, and villages. They don’t care and they don’t listen. I’m angry that the government does nothing to stop this rampant over-development of our tiny island – we’re going to run out of space, and you can’t bribe someone into creating more land. I’m tired of the traffic and pollution. I’m tired of how disgusting this supposedly-1st-world EU country looks when you venture beyond the bits we show to those all-important dignitaries. I’m tired of the complete disregard shown to the environment. I could go on, but I think you get it, right? On to more positive things!

Things I’m Excited About

Oh goodie, my favourite part. I’ve been visiting Newcastle ever since I was a child because I have family up north – so I already know what I’m excited to do once I settle in there:

  • Waterstones, Blackwells, and all the other bookshops that are NOT Agenda
  • Cooler weather (I’m a winter person)
  • Sweaters and scarves and wooly socks
  • Hanging out with my English family
  • Newcastle University!
  • Grainger Market – a huge market in Newcastle where you can buy all the fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat you want (and more) at really good prices
  • Trains
  • Castles, lighthouses, ruined monasteries, etc.
  • Amazon Prime Now, not even going to lie
  • Having my own space that’s 100% mine and not in Malta
  • Lush
  • Snow (a little bit)
  • Pub lunches
  • Living right next to a huge park
  • Getting a bicycle

I’m a woman of simple pleasures. Give me a bicycle, a good bookshop, and the university of my dreams and I’m set. Oh, and here’s a picture of a tiny seaside town, just an hour away by bus, at sunset:

 

Anyway, I think I’ve moved past the whole ‘terrified to leave’ stage and into the ‘I’m so excited’ stage! Of course I’ll miss everyone here, but I’m only moving a 3 hour flight away. It’s not Australia.

Have you moved to another country? Do you have any tips for a newbie like myself? Hit me up!  

-Kelly

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sunshine blogger
Uncategorized, Writing

Sunshine Blogger Award & Nominations

lifestyle blogger

Well hello there, you. I know I’ve been relatively quiet recently (life stuff) and this blog post has been a long-ish time coming – Claire (From Claire’s POV) was sweet enough to nominate me for a Sunshine Blogger award! Thank you. I didn’t know this was a thing, but here are the ‘rules’:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post

So here are the answers – better late than never.

1. What inspired you to blog?

I work as a writer full-time and do some freelance work too, so I felt like I needed a space of my own where I could write the things I wanted to write and be my (very) opinionated self online. Did I mention I have a lot of opinions? I do. I also do gifs and memes.

2. If you had to stick to one make-up brand for the rest of life, which would it be and why?

Well this is harder than expected. I think I’ll have to say Kiko! I tried them for the first time in March and I’ve been converted.

3. Which is your favourite blog post?

My own? Hmm. I think I’ll go for the one where I wrote about 10 Things Women in Malta are Sick of Hearing, because f*ck the patriarchy.

4. If you had to be one person – dead or alive – who would it be and what would be the first thing you did as this person?

Is it bad if I said I’d just be myself? It’s comfy in here. Alternately, I wouldn’t mind being Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and slaying audiences with an incredible TED talk.

5. What’s your favourite place in the whole world?

Tough one – tonight I’ll say the Waterstones in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

6. If you had to travel to the past in a particular decade, which would it be and why?

Tudor England. I have no real reason why other than the fact that the dresses look fabulous and I find the history of that period particularly interesting.

7. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Give less of a damn about what people might think because it doesn’t matter. Also ditch the fringe.

8. Name three people you look up to.

Meryl Streep, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood.

9. What is the one thing you never leave home without?

A book.

10. What is your all-time favourite song?

Hotel California by The Eagles.

11. What advice would you give to beginner bloggers?

Don’t worry too much about what your friends will think or do or comment when you share your blog. Just get your blog up and running and produce content that makes you happy.

My Nominations

Christa Boffa, Claire’s Chronicles, Dyna, Kezzie’s Corner, What Sarah Writes, Zeza’s Things, Maltagram, Diva Inside, Splashes of Looks, Grazielle Camilleri, Blue Jeans and Red Lipstick.

My Questions

  1. Why did you start blogging/Youtubing?
  2. What has been your proudest blog-moment so far?
  3. What’s your writing/video process like?
  4. How do you unwind after a stressful day?
  5. What are 3 things you could never leave home without?
  6. What’s your favourite book (or film if you’re not a reader) of all time?
  7. What’s the one song you’ll never get tired of hearing?
  8. Where’s the last place you travelled to?
  9. What’s your favourite season and why?
  10. What’s your favourite quote?
  11. What always cheers you up?

sunshine blogger

That’s it for now!

-Kelly

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david walliams what the fuck
thoughts

4 Things Wrong with this Anti-Gay Marriage Ad (other than the obvious)

I generally try to have lowkey Sundays. You know, sit in the sun. Have some green tea while listening to Spotify and reading Time or The Economist. But sometimes the universe conspires against you to make sure your Sunday just tests you – case in point, the following ‘ad’ that was printed in MaltaToday:

gay marriage in malta

Let’s just take a minute to let this one sink in. Ready? Okay, time to break this down and take a look at what’s wrong with this ad – other than the fact that someone actually felt inclined to make an ‘ad’ like this. 

1 | It’s Total Bullshit

We’ve known each other for a while now, ladies and gents. You know I’m not one to mince my words (as hard as I may try for the sake of propriety). I’m a big reader, and I have to say that it’s truly a rare thing to find such a strong, pungent concentration of murky toilet-water as this. I don’t think this ad homophobic rant is representative of all the Catholics in Malta – just the ones who like to use the faith as something to hide behind while they’re peddling their existing hateful views.

homophobia in malta

Oh, and a word of advice to the wannabe Donald Draper who typed this thing out: saying ‘we respect everyone’ followed with ‘but’ a couple of sentences later is basically a way of saying, “forget everything I just said, it’s time to get to what I actually think. F*ck all of y’all.”

2 | It was Printed

Someone actually received this nonsense and said, “yep, this is something I think my publication should print. I like what this says about my newspaper. This is totally fine. Giving these people a platform for their hate-mongering is exactly the kind of thing I can do to make the world a better place today.”

gay marriage malta

What is wrong with people? Are we that greedy and so hard-up for cash that printing something like this is a fair trade-off? Isn’t there some sort of ethical issue here? Isn’t it irresponsible of a publication like this one to print something that just makes hateful people feel justified in their venomous views? I have a lot of questions.

3 | Marriage is…

Who the actual f*ck gave you zealots the right to decide what marriage is? Why can’t we just celebrate love instead of concerning ourselves with the gender of the people doing the loving? The world can be a dark, dank place, so excuse me if I think we should just be happy about the fact that people still have the hope and romance to believe in a ‘happily forever after’. Marriage is a promise two people make in front of their nearest and dearest. It’s a celebration of love and an oath symbolising that those people standing up in the nice outfits are going to do their damnedest to love each other like Kanye loves Kanye (and maybe even more). Your personal views on what marriage ‘is’ should never be imposed on anyone else. So mind your own business.

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4 | The Other N-Word

And by that I mean ‘natural’ versus ‘unnatural’. My coffee is in desperate need of a re-fill so I’ll make this one super easy to understand:

Natural (adjective)
existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind.
Examples: The Niagara Falls; Widnet il-Baħar; a beautiful sunset; my love for gin and tonic; heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships between living things.
Unnatural (adjective)
not existing in nature; artificial; man-made.
Examples: My make-up’d face as it appears on Instagram; the colour of my nails right now; the institution of marriage; the law; the Eurovision; Kinnie. 
Sorted? Sorted.
giphy (1)
Oh, and on the off-chance that the person who penned this full-page piece of garbage happens to come upon my distinctly unnatural blog, here’s another word I’ve taken the liberty of finding for you:
what does salty mean
Used in a sentence: “Stop being a salty bigot and let people love other people, get married, and have a damn party. Preferably with a considerably strong open bar.”
giphy (4)
Happy Sunday.*
-Kelly
*Only applicable to those who don’t go around chastising politicians while trying to take the moral high ground via a full-page homophobic rant. Grazzi. 
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Funny

10 Things Women in Malta are Sick of Hearing

While I’m pretty sure there are more than 10 things that women on this little bit of the Mediterranean are tired of dealing with, we needed to keep things concise for the sake of practicality. And for the sake of my own sanity.

This post was inspired by some ridiculously sexist comments made by a certain Maltese “blogger” who thought it was a good idea to ridicule a woman for having body hair because, well, she’s a member of the opposition. Yes – body shaming is now a tactic being used by a blogger on our “feminist” government’s payroll. Using our taxes. Anyway, on to the post!

1 | “Women should shave their [insert body part here].”

things women are tired of hearing

Why? Why is someone else’s body hair your concern? Why do you think it’s okay to ridicule or judge a person for making a personal choice about their own body? It’s basically like going to someone’s house and insulting their choice of decor because it’s not to your taste. By all means, do whatever you want with your body, but keep your feelings about other people’s body hair to yourself. It’s plain rude.

2 | “Ladies don’t swear.”

Why the fuck not? Does it clash with your established and antiquated notions of femininity? Does it displease you? Does it reduce my chances of finding a man? WILL I LOSE MY DOWRY? Shit, I seem to have wandered out of the kitchen again. Sincerest fucking apologies.

things women are tired of hearing

3 | “Aw koxxa! Aw gisem!Aw sex! Very nice eh swijt! etc.”

Translation: CATCALLS OF ANY KIND

I wish I knew who invented The Catcall. What do they expect? They call us something gross and we’ll turn around, pink-cheeked and feverish with desire, to say: “Yes! This is the man I have been looking for! Get out of that passenger seat and ravish me, good sir!” THIS. NEVER. HAPPENS. Sometimes, they even slow the  car down and drive  alongside you as you try to ignore them. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

things women are tired of hearing

4 | “U iva, take it as a compliment.”

I’m sorry, what? If being catcalled on my way  to work was a compliment, I’d take it as one. This, however, is harassment. Being told to take that sort of thing as a compliment is the same dangerous mentality that gets drummed into girls when they’re still in primary school: “Oh honey he’s being mean because he likes you!” This is not what we should be teaching girls because it increases the risk of them accepting unacceptable behaviour later on in life. “He’s being mean because he likes you” isn’t that far away from “he hits me because he loves me”. Cut that bullshit.

things women are sick of hearing

5 | “Jaqaw it’s that time of the month?”

Are we still saying this in 2017?

things women are tired of hearing

6 | “You look prettier when you smile!”

And you look cuter when you stop giving me tips on how to be more visually appealing to the masses. If you want me to smile say something funny so I can ugly-laugh and make that snorty noise while I do it. Also this is how my face is by default so I can’t help it.

things women are tired of hearing

7 | “That’s way too much make up, I prefer a more natural look.”

Why didn’t you say so? If that’s what you like, we recommend a nude lip, some BB cream with SPF in it, a hint of blush and a dash of mascara. Oh, you were talking about how you prefer your women? Never mind.

things women are tired of hearing

8 | “You look like a slut./Qisek qaħba.”

I wrote a whole article entitled What Does a Slut look like? recently. If you don’t have time to read that, just refer to the gif below.

mean girls slut

9 | “Well, what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Did you lead him on? Did you say no? Why were you walking home alone?”

These kinds of questions are often hurled at rape victims or victims of some kind of sexual harassment in rapid succession. Unfortunately, this victim-blaming culture and refusal to understand the notion of sexual consent is still going strong in Malta. If a girl gets raped, why is she being asked about what she was wearing? Are there clothes that allow or justify rape? The answer is ‘fuck no’. Rather than ‘don’t get raped’, the message needs to be ‘DON’T RAPE’.

things women are tired of hearing

10 | [Any sort of attempt to control women’s reproductive rights]

Especially when that attempt involves refusing to sell or stock emergency contraception based on bullshit ‘conscientious grounds’.

things women are tired of hearing


-Kelly

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HOW TO HAVE A DEBATE IN MALTA
Adult Life, Funny

How to have a Debate in the (Maltese) Comments Section

I do this strange thing where I ping-pong between either being cripplingly shy, or not being able to stop myself from voicing my opinion on something. That ‘something’ is usually related to gender, women’s rights, racism, civil rights, religion, and whether or not we should be putting pineapple on pizzas. Sometimes, I can’t stop myself from entering the dark, dank abyss that is Malta’s comments section. There are a few publications that actually moderate comments, meaning that some of the downright abusive stuff doesn’t make it through – but sometimes they kind of…delete the civilised, well-structured comments responding to things like ‘your parents should have taken the morning after pill so you wouldn’t exist’ and ‘you’re an idiot’.

how to have a debate judge judy eyeroll

Last week I got well and truly stuck in a debate (I use the term very loosely) on whether or not we should secularise schools – the news article was basically reporting the opinion of a local Muslim leader, one shared by many Maltese people. He said, in a nutshell, that we shouldn’t be teaching one religion at school, using the education system to indoctrinate children into one faith while making those who have been raised in another one to feel somewhat marginalised. It’s a fair sentiment. It makes sense. Educating people about the different religions of the world would, in turn, lead to a more tolerant society and lessen the chances of radicalisation across the board. The fact that he was a Muslim leader, however, sparked some serious xenophobic outrage loosely disguised as religious fervour. Anyway, enough of that – here’s a quick go-to guide on how (not) to have a civilised online debate, with the help of the iconic Judge Judy (because why not?).

1 | Pretend not to be a racist/Islamophobe/xenophobe

(While totally being a racist/xenophobe and launching personal attacks on anyone trying not to be a racist/xenophobe)

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A lot of comments section lurkers love to hide behind the illusion that they’re basing their arguments on some sort of religious moral highground, when in reality they’re just using religion as an excuse to spew venom. If they were the staunch Catholics they were pretending to be, I’m pretty sure they would be less like this, and more ‘love thy neighbour’:

how to have a debate

2 | Use ‘Go bekk to jor kantrij!’ ASAP

(Translation: ‘Go back to your country’ – the ignorant person’s go-to comeback when their close-minded and sometimes hateful views are questioned by someone who might be foreign, but also might just happen to have a different skin tone/ethnic background)

how to have a debate judge judy

It’s not really their business, but I was born in Malta and have lived here all my life. That doesn’t save you from the ‘get off my island’ bullsh*t that seems to be a shared sentiment among our so-called patrijotti, apparently. I was told to pack up and leave Malta if I didn’t agree with their opinions. Great job, guys.

how to have a debate in malta

3 | Be as petty as humanly possible

Losing the argument? No problem. Abandon whatever semblance of a point you were trying to make (MALTA IS A CATHOLIC COUNTRY IT’S IN OUR CONSTITUTION) and start throwing and picking on particular words to launch playground level insults. Example: Using the expression ‘flogging a dead horse’ could result in…

how to have a debate in malta

That’s the way to win, right? (It’s not, you’re being a d*ck.)

how to have a debate judge judy

4 | And then be even more gross and rude

The comments directed at me were quite a mixed bag. I was called, among other things, a prostitute, a ‘weed of society’, a ‘shame to my sex’ just because I was pushing for tolerance and saying that we should keep religious studies at home and at doctrine classes. I don’t have an issue with different opinions – I have a big problem with how so many seem unable to keep things civil, and go for pure venom instead. I was raised to stay as respectful as possible. Others seem to prefer getting personal.

how to have a debate in malta

I wonder if he spelt my name wrong on purpose, or if it was an honest typo. Either way, implying I am a prostitute, are we? Cute. Adding a sprinkle of sexism into the mix to keep things fresh.

how to have a debate judge judy

5 | GET WEIRD

Are you bleeding out on the Comments Section operating table? No worries. Use a dictionary definition of a person’s surname to try and win some dignity. You’ll fail miserably and look like someone with the social skills of a stroppy teenager, but hey, you feel good. Low-grade bullying is awesome, right?

how to have a debate

Now this guy was interesting, because while he thought it was acceptable to hold a full inquiry into my surname and origins, he refuses to use his own name. Unless his name is “Mustaccun”, which I  sincerely hope is not the case.

If that fails, repeatedly insist that  you find the person ‘hilarious’, and do your best to belittle the person you’re talking to, because that is totally going to help you win and look like the mature pure-blooded Malteser  bully you are. Prosit, ħaqqek wejfer! (Translation: [Sarcastic] Well done, have a wafer/biscuit) 

how to have a debate in malta

how to have a debate

So there you have it, my internet friends. I really don’t take it personally if you or anyone disagrees with my or anyone else’s views about, well, anything. It’s okay to have different opinions – that’s an incredibly important part of moving forward as a society, and I’d hate to live in a place where everyone had the same thoughts about the same issues. Debating through different points of view is how new ideas are born. 

It’s not, however, okay to be rude, get personal, and insult people for not sharing your opinion. Hiding discriminatory views behind something like religion isn’t just weak, but kinda of insulting to other believers of that faith. It’s not okay to live by the ‘like it or leave Malta’ attitude that so many seem to subscribe to. What gives me hope is that I see a shift in attitudes when I look around my generation and beyond. Some say I’m cynical, but it just gives me hope to see more tolerance and kindness coming through in our society. Be kind to each other. There’s enough hatred around.

-Kelly

Have you ever received insulting/abusive/uncivilised comments in response to a fairly-expressed opinion? How do you handle it? Share in the comments below! 

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uncertainty anxiety
thoughts, Writing

The Two Sides of Uncertainty

uncertainty anxiety

A while ago I wrote a short ‘creative’ piece and uploaded it on Medium, a story-writing and sharing platform. I had some thoughts I wanted to share about uncertainty – is it something restricted to the realms of anxiety and sleepless nights, or is it more than that? Is it something we need, as humans, to feel excited in the anticipation of things to come? Is it both? I have a lot of questions. Read away and feel free to share your own experiences of anxiety and the in-between!

There’s a reason, I think, why places like purgatory and the dentist’s stark, white waiting room fill us with a subtle sense of dread. A reason why, being quite an impatient species, we’d rather keep a band-aid on or rip it off, tiny hairs plucked out screaming, in one swift motion, and a reason why the time between the fight and the break up builds a tempest in your chest before things quieten down once more. [Continue reading]

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restaurants in malta
Food

5 of My Favourite Restaurants in Malta

restaurants in malta

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this to you guys already or not, but here it is just in case – I love food. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better than an incredible plate of fresh, Maltese king prawns so velvety they could melt in your mouth. And let’s not forget the wine. Or the dessert – preferably something luxurious like  pannacotta, dark chocolate fondant, or tiramisu. Okay, I’m getting hungry just writing this so let’s get to the meaty part of this blog post (pun fully intended).

1 | Club Sushi

It would be fair to say that my strong attachment to this little restaurant comes from the fact that my fellow foodie and boyfriend took me here for a fantastic dinner on our first date – but I swear on my plum sake that this is the place to go to for some incredible Japanese (and Korean) deliciousness. Don’t leave without trying the gunkan and the octopus gar age

restaurants in malta

2 | It-Tmun

This one’s only second because I have to catch a ferry over to Gozo for their amazing food and great service. It’s located right next to the harbour, nestled between some boat houses and bars, so close to the sea you could probably fall in if you hit the Merlot a bit too hard (nobody’s judging, don’t worry).

restaurants in malta

3 | Aaron’s Kitchen 

This restaurant doesn’t just serve up some of the most authentic aljotta (Maltese fish soup) and fresh pasta on the island – it’s also located right in the heart of my favourite place in Malta: Valletta.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHz-SRBgne5/?taken-at=1001332125

4 | Il-Pirata

I can’t believe it took me as long as it did to try this place out. Anyway, it was love at first bite, and I’m in a very satisfying relationship with their lobster pasta and mouth-watering beef tagliata. Zero regrets. 

5 | Zen

“But Kelly, you’ve already done sushi here!” is what I hear you saying – but when has there ever been such a thing as “too much sushi”? Exactly. I went to Zen at Portomaso for my first anniversary, and was treated to a table right in front of all the rice-rolling action. Copious amounts of sushi were ordered and served up on an actual BOAT. A boat. Of sushi. I am so done.

restaurants in malta

Do you have any must-try restaurants of your own? Post your recommendations below and help me add more eateries to my list! 

-Kelly

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