OUR IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURHOOD IN VICTORIA

It is now two weeks ago that we arrived in Victoria – Ir Rabat, and we are living in a spaceous flat in the shadow of the Citadella – we are not quite in the oldest part of the town with its little, narrow and beautiful streets, but we are close enough to hear, loud and clear, the bells of Santa Marija, the Citadella’s cathedral, this is something I value very much. Both my father and grandfather were bell ringers back in Belgium. The houses in the street here are architecturally interesting, typically built in the Maltese style with its closed balconies, some made of wood like you see in Malta, some made out of stone which you see more on Gozo. I have read that these balconies provided women, who may not have been walking out so often in the past, with the possibility of watching the world go by providing food for talk later on in the day! Personally I find these balconies a very attractive feature. Where we live it is not so quiet, but that does not matter, I want to see life here and experience it. I want to draw it and photograph it, and I want to interact with people, with the Gozitans. A class that I was hoping to attend, in lace making, fell through yesterday, I was disappointed – I even brought my bobbins with which I used to practice making Flemish lace with me. So now I need to try and find other ways to interact and meet the local people. I talk with shopkeepers, librarians, and anybody I meet and seems open to talk – I think that is a start anyway. As with my container garden I need to be patient with this too.
Everyday I take a long walk, not only to buy fresh produce from a vegetable stalls, or to get fish, but also to visit the library, a local museum, or just to get the feel of the town, there is so much to see and take in, I keep discovering new things; buildings, streets, interesting architecture, churches and other aspects of life in Victoria. It sure is interesting. And there is so much to read up on the history of the place, luckily the local library has a good variety of books on the subject.

dscf8177

 

SOME THOUGHTS

 

From inert fossils and lichens, to the very much alive and energetic lizards, bees and ants, and a huge range of other creatures, the flowers, trees, the amazing rocks and limestone buildings, the land here has such riches to offer for the eye and the mind.  It will take me a while to analyse it all.  I have taken so many photos while here, and I still have so much in mind to write about.  I am still finding out about the agriculture, the organic and permaculture on Gozo.  I’m also reading up about the local bees, the honey, the production of local wines, the economy of the land.  I have met local people on buses and in shops and we have had great chats, I have also visited the libraries and talked with people at an art exhibition.  I find the Gozitans very approachable, they are friendly people and welcoming to strangers.