Hello wild artichoke!

In spring, Malta’s countryside is dotted with the violet blooms of wild artichoke (Scientific name: Cynara cardunculus, Maltese name: Qaqoċċ tax-xewk). The plant actually predates man’s arrival on the islands, and has likewise been found in other countries around the Mediterranean for millennia.  Although it adds a striking pop of colour wherever it grows, most…

The Surprising Chemistry of Maltese Balconies

It’s impossible to miss Maltese balconies when in Malta. (Hence their name!) They come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and brighten up our island. But a little-known fact is that, when they first started spreading throughout 19th century Valletta, they were typically painted with a deadly green  paint called Vienna Green. It’s a lucky…

Three lessons from the Azure Window’s demise

  A few days ago,  when my mobile beeped with the following message, “Oh my god, the Azure Window is gone”, my first reaction was to check my calendar. Surely it was still March, and not April 1st? This denial was rudely cut short when all national and international newspapers started proclaiming the same fact….

Dwejra – More than the Azure Window

I arrived in Dwejra as the sun was starting to set; the golden rays gently dappling the rocks, highlighting their craggy surface. Dwejra’s claim to fame is its Azure Window, a natural rock arch rising out of the sea, which has become more recognizable since starring in a little TV series called Game of Thrones.  But…