MARSAXLOKK CELEBRATES ST.JOSEPH

The other day while talking with a friendly local shopkeeper, I was told that there would be a procession in honour of St.Joseph taking place tonight. I thought this would be interesting, and a chance to get a real feel of the Maltese people and their beliefs or traditions. Before I came here I did not know anything about Malta or its people, so time for me to do some observation and learn.

In the evening I set off to the church to see what was happening, there were a few locals already seated, and more people started to arrive. Bit by bit the church filled up and prayers started. I found it interesting to hear Malti (Maltese) being spoken, which is an Arabic language, spoken well it has a nice sound to it. A group of local young girls gathered around the altar and started to sing. It was soon after that I went home for a while to put some warmer clothes on as I was freezing, but having returned the church service was still going on and I decided to wait outside rather than make a disturbance of doors opening and shutting. Anyway there were things to see on the square, I saw more and more people gathering. I decided to sit at one of the tables and order a coffee while waiting.  A little later there was a commotion, someone had parked a van where it should not be as it would be interfering with the procession, two police were making sure the van was gone, but the driver was not happy and gave voice to that. Mothers with children, some quite small, were waiting too, all of us now eager to see the procession coming down the steps of the tastefully lit church, it had become quite dark by now. Finally the massive doors were swung open and some of the priests appeared carrying flags, candles and a cross, followed by a dozen or so men dressed in white robes, and wearing white gloves, carrying the very heavy statue of Jesus being taken down from the cross, I thought that it would have been a statue of St.Joseph.

The crowds filled the whole large square by now, they were quiet, the sound of the church bells loud and beautiful filled the air.  A feeling of devotion hung over the crowd as they walked behind the priests and statues praying as they went, I retreated into the background so as not to be disrespectful, and quietly went on my way home to the apartment.

Processions do not take place much anymore anywhere and it is to see tradition living on, and people living with this sense of timing of the season’s passing. I am glad to have witnessed this evening’s happening. I would say that half of the population of Marsaxlokk, which is said to be 4000, was in that procession tonight.
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LONDON FROM THE WINDOW OF A TAXI CAB

 

It had been a long time since I was in London for any reason, but recently we had the pleasure of being invited to a luncheon with my partner’s brother and cousins, a bit of a reunion you could say, and very pleasant it was. This meant that we would take a taxi ride from the train station to the venue, and sitting in the back of the vehicle I had quite a good view behind me and also from the side windows, so out came my mobile phone and I just snapped away. Not too unhappy about the result I decided to share some of the photos here. All these photos are taken somewhere in the central area. London has so much to see architectural wise, also delightful is to see all the people passing by, normally I am very careful about photographing people, I am always conscious of not wanting to be intrusive, so I was delighted to notice that I got quite a few people in my pictures this time, I find it so interesting, such an amazing diversity of humankind to be seen in this cosmopolitan city.  I was very impressed with the beautiful contemporary architecture of Kings Cross railway station.  Like being underneath a gigantic mushroom inside!
I am also always very interested in the trees that grow in cities, they make all the difference to and add enormously to the beauty of the buildings, even, and perhaps especially in winter.   I am thinking of the boulevards in Paris, the many mulberry trees in Lisbon, the pine trees around Athens, and the plane trees in Antwerp to name but a few.    It is also good to see that trees can still form part of modern city planning, more and more so in fact.

I’ve enjoy the short visit to London and after all it’s only an hour’s flight from Cork!

 

 

MAURITIUS JOURNEY PART 2

The beauty of the island of Mauritius, experienced some years ago when I went to visit a friend of mine from over there, and I was warmly welcomed by all his family and relatives. Situated on the less touristy South side of the island, It was a very interesting journey, with an introduction also to Mauritian foods, cooking, flora and fauna, and golden sand beaches where the women would dance to very cool music.  Very friendly and lively people, many are from Indian descent.   I was and am still very impressed.  I took so many photos some of which I am revisiting these days.

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Fruit tree Mauritius

Some fruit tree, not sure what exactly it is called.

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At the village of Chamarel, the coloured Earths, this natural phenomenon is due to decomposed basalt gullies.  The hot and humid climate helps in the decomposition of the (volcanic rock) basalt into clay.  As a result of total hydrolysis (chemical breakdown of minerals by water, leaving a large composition of iron and aluminium which constitute a ferralitic soil.  the iron sesquioxydes have a red and anthracite colour, whereas the aluminium sesquioxydes have a blue or purplish colour.  It is a most beautiful sight to behold.

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