Things I Discovered in Malta.

Published February 15, 2023 by Naomi Rettig

It rains in Malta as well as in Wales.

Bus drivers are not friendly.

Bus drivers don’t even wave to each other when passing like Welsh ones do.

Car drivers toot a lot. Maybe their horn is connected to their brakes.

I don’t like artichokes.

Spa treatments aren’t for me.

There are no sea birds as the locals shoot them all. The sea without gulls is wrong and weird.

I said ‘Bonjus’ to all the cats I met in case they didn’t understand English hello.

The cacti growing wild have leaves bigger than my head.

I get over-excited seeing wild cacti.

People carve their names or initials into cactus leaves. Strange bad people.

Queueing is only something the British and Germans do.

Buses are frequent, but you need to channel your inner rugby player in the scrummage to get on.

Selfish people who turn up late for tours annoy me.

It’s really, really steep getting down to the boats for the Blue Grotto tour.

The Blue Grotto is the most beautiful blue sea.

Health and safety on boat trips in Malta are non-existent.

Stepping heavily into a small boat can make five people scream simultaneously.

The catacombs in Rabat disappointingly don’t have any bones there.

Mdina is beautiful and like being on a film set.

Twenty minutes on a tour of Mdina is not enough time there to soak it all up.

Pea pies are delicious.

It is very steep everywhere. I now have buttocks of steel.

The ratio of cats I saw in Malta is greater than in Jersey.

Shouting ‘that’s me’ and doing jazz hands at the driver waiting at the airport holding your name on a sign is guaranteed to freak him out.

Valetta is a picturesque city, that doesn’t feel like a city.

I’m easily hypnotised by watching the sea wash up jellyfish, then swish back to take them away again.

There is a lot of construction work on high-rise buildings in progress. I’m not sure that’s progress.

It’s a very cosmopolitan country with Arabic, Italian, English, and French influences.

Lots of people smoke there and the beach at Mellieha was littered with cigarette butts.

As a fat lady, I would have been a goddess in ancient Malta as there were hundreds of fat lady statues found in the temples.

There were two wild flamingos at the Ghadira nature reserve that had stopped off on route to Africa.

The national bird of Malta is the blue rock thrush. I never saw one.

While I enjoyed Malta, Jersey still has my heart.

(More detailed travel write-up to follow.)

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Eurovision 2022 Review

Published April 1, 2022 by Naomi Rettig

I think it’s a given this year that Ukraine will win as people will be voting to show their support. Because everyone knows it’s a political popularity concert not a song contest. I’m not a fan of Ukraine’s song this year, I much preferred their entry last year from Go_A. There are many songs I don’t like this year, there are a lot of slow break up songs. With Covid and war going on I don’t want to listen to dreary sad songs, I’m wanting uplifting and bouncy songs I can trampoline to. Here are my scores for all 40 songs, in alphabetical country order.

Albania. Ronela Hajati – ‘Sekret’. Couldn’t take my eyes off her thighs, in a good way, in the video of her live performance. The song is forgettable for me though. The backing dancers are good, they have a matrix/game of thrones vibe. 3/10

Armenia. Rosa Linn – ‘Snap’. Catchy little tune. She has a lovely voice, this song grew on me with the more listens I had. 7/10

Australia. Sheldon Riley – ‘Not the Same’. I found the beaded curtain distracting over his face, it reminded me of Prince in his Symbol era. Finger jewellery was great. Raincoat dress was different. A great voice but the song was dreary. 2/10

Austria. LUM!X ft Pia Maria – ‘Halo’. Bouncy and dancy. This was a grower for me. Fabulous to trampoline to.  8/10

Azerbaijan. Nadir Rustamli – ‘Fade to Black’. Dreary song about a love break up. 2/10.

Belgium. Jeremie Makiese – ‘Miss You’. He has a fabulous voice that makes my spine pulsate and this song is another grower for me. 7/10

Bulgaria. Intelligent Music Project – ‘Intention’. Hooray a rock band. Soft rock. Not as great as I wanted it to be though, a little bit forgettable. Great guitar solo. 6/10

Croatia. Mia Dimsic – ‘Guilty Pleasure’. Nice voice but not a guilty pleasure for me. Distracted by the dancer with excellent core strength. 4/10

Cyprus. Andromache – ‘Ela’. Unremarkable. 2/10.

Czech Republic. We Are Domi – ‘Lights Off’. Catchy Song and dancy. Distracted by the guitarist playing his guitar with a cello bow and the keyboard player in dungarees looking like he’s just off from a fishing trip. Good trampolining song. 8/10.

Denmark. Reddi – ‘The Show’. Denmark’s Bonnie Tyler taking the lead I think. Good band but the song is not for me. 6/10

Estonia. Stefan – ‘Hope’. Wagon’s roll! This song makes me want to ride a horse in the wild west, and I’m allergic to them. I ‘hope’ this makes it to the final. Good for trampolining to, managed to trot and canter to it. 8/10

Finland. The Rasmus – ‘Jezebel’. Disappointed with the song, it might be a grower with a few more listens. 6/10

France. Alvan and Ahez – ‘Fulenn’. Not what I was expecting from France. Middle eastern hypno-trance? Not my cup of tea. 3/10.

Georgia. Circus Mircus – ‘Lock Me In’. Funky guitars, fun, and groovy. No video available so I haven’t seen them performing so it will be interesting to see them on stage. This morphed from ‘what the..’ to ‘ooh cool’ with a few listens. 8/10.

Germany. Malik Harris – ‘Rockstars’. Not a tune for me, quite wishy-washy and unforgettable. Bring back Jendrik from last year.  2/10

Greece. Amanda Giorgiardi Tenfjord – ‘Die Together’. What a depressing sentiment. ‘If we die together now we will always have each other’. No thanks, I’ll pass. 1/10

Iceland. Systur –‘Med Haekkandi Sol’ – Icelandic cowgirls. Gentle and melodic but not memorable for me. Too slow for trampolining.  3/10

Ireland. Brooke – ‘That’s Rich’. That’s poor actually. Not one of Irelands best entries in my opinion. Dancy but not great. I originally gave this a 3/10 but it upgraded the mark due to good trampolining ability. 4/10

Israel. Michael Ben David – ‘I.M’. He has a great voice, a great look, and I can’t wait to see the staging for this. Song is growing on me. It gives me vibes of The Roop. 7/10.

Italy. Mahmood and Blanco – ‘Brividi’. Dreary love song. 2/10

Latvia. Citi Zeni – ‘Eat your salad’. Wow! Very tongue-in-cheek, fun, and crazy. With lines like ‘bend over and jiggle that peach’, ‘forget the hotdogs my sausage is bigger’, and ‘if you want you man’s tongue longer than a gecko’s’ I can see this being a marmite song. I’m on the loving it side. I can’t take my eyes off the sexy saxophone players white trousers. I didn’t realise I liked men in tight white trousers. Apparently I do. Funky. 9/10

Lithuania. Monika Liu – ‘Sentimentai’. I thought this was the French entry on first hearing his. I’m hypnotised by her sparkly dress. I like it but not greatly. 5/10

Malta. Emma Muscat – ‘I Am What I Am’. I like the sentiment but not the song so much. Nice but doesn’t stick in my head. 5/10

Moldova. Zdob si Zdub and Fratii Advahov – ‘Trenuletul’. Mental. I love Moldavian entries. Hats off to them performing a song about a train journey. It’s a jolly number. They’ve obviously never been on Arriva Trains Wales. Great fun to trampoline to. 7/10

Montenegro. Vladana – ‘Breathe’. I was tempted to stop. Too dreary for me. 2/10

Netherlands. S10 – ‘De Diept’. Another song about a break up. Not for me. Too glum. 2/10

North Macedonia. Andrea – ‘Circles’. The circles under my eyes got darker listening to this. Dreary. 2/10

Norway. Subwoolfer – ‘Give that wolf a banana’. Amazing. My winner. They are dressed as yellow wolves singing about bananas, what could be better?! (Tigers singing about pineapples.) I find myself shouting ‘someone give that wolf a banana’ at inappropriate times. And yes, I have tried to do the dance but I haven’t mastered it yet. It’s even more tricky on a trampoline, there’s been a few near miss incidents in my bedroom. Trampoline wise. 10/10

Poland. Ochman – ‘River’. Depressing. A song about dying and suicide. No I don’t want to take myself off to the river to die, but if I listened to this on repeat I might change my mind.  1/10

Portugal. Maro – ‘Saudade’. Jeez, another break up song. Yawn. 1/10.

Romania. WRS – ‘llamame’. Up tempo, not too bad. I was disappointed I was pronouncing the title wrong and it wasn’t llama me. No one came out dressed up as a llama. 5/10

San Marino. Achille Lauro – ‘Stripper’. After lusting after Damiano last year I seem to be spotting a trend of lusting after young thin Italian men who wear make-up, have tattoos and wear black nail polish. That aside, I love this song 10/10. And that’s for the song not Achille, honest.

Serbia. Konstrakta – ‘In Corpore Sano’. Jeez. Lockdown was obviously hard on some people. She starts off singing about Megan Markle’s hair, then proceeds to lecture about health, while washing her hands constantly on stage. May be triggering for those with O.C.D. It made me want to go wash my hands. Or the dishes to avoid listening anymore. 1/10

Slovenia. Lps – ‘Disko’. A young band who look about twelve years old. They’re probably not. I’m just old. Inoffensive disco number (although I will spell it ‘disko’ from now on) I felt transported back to the seventies and that I should be sailing on The Love Boat. 6/10

Spain. Chanel – ‘SloMo’. Very twerky. I couldn’t take my eyes of her booty and thighs. Upbeat song. Not bad for trampolining to.  6/10.

Sweden. Cornelia Jakobs – ‘Hold me closer’. Another break up song. Sigh. 2/10

Switzerland. Marius Bear – ‘Boys Do Cry’. So do fifty-year-old women listening to this, and not in a good way. Snoozeville. 3/10

Ukraine. Kalush Orchestra – ‘Stefania’. Folk rap. Not my cup of tea. But as said previously I think it will win. 2/10.

United Kingdom. Sam Ryder – ‘Space Man’. I thought it was Matthew Wolfenden from Emmerdale at first. He has a good voice and the song grew on me. Awed by his vocal range. I try to hit those high notes while singing along. There are three dogs in my back garden who answered my call. Someone snap him up for a shampoo advert too, he’s worth it. We will of course come last. 7/10.

Love

Published February 14, 2022 by Naomi Rettig

Love wraps around me like a woolly throw.

Love gives me light when I’m in a shadow.

Love relaxes me, soothing my soul.

Love streams through me and makes me feel whole.

Love lets me see all the beauty around.

Love helps me hear more magnificent sounds.

Love is amazing the more it unwinds.

Love is energy bubbling through minds.

Love is abundant, take all you need.

Love makes life worth living, that’s guaranteed.

I Love That

Published February 14, 2022 by Naomi Rettig

You are like a rose,

Soft petals, and thorns.

And I love that.

You are like a star,

Bright, and far away.

And I love that.

You are like mature cheese,

Crumbly, and strong.

And I love that.

You are like my cat,

Soft fur, and claws.

And I love that.

You are like a broad bean,

Curvy, and hard.

And I love that.

You are in my life,

Good times, and bad.

And I love that.

The Snowdrop

Published January 10, 2022 by Naomi Rettig

Warrior flower, hardy and fearless,

Thrusting up and out into bitter cold.

You look so delicate, porcelain white

With wisps of green gracing your contours.

You are the reconnaissance mission!

The crocus infantry will follow

You into the spring, as will the legions

Of daffodils, bluebells, tulips and pansies.

You lead the way out from the dark bleak months,

Bringing hope and beauty and joy with you.

Dear little fragile snowdrop, thank you

For being a winter warrior.

Self-Important Bauble

Published December 20, 2021 by Naomi Rettig

If I was a Christmas bauble

I’d be as sparkly as I could be.

I’d roll myself in glitter

And launch myself at the tree.

I’d try to aim up really high

So I could be near the star.

I’d try not to land on the nutcracker

As that would be quite bizarre.

I don’t want to hang way too low

As I don’t want to be a cat toy.

Snowy the cat’s on a mission

To seek sparkly things and destroy.

I’d avoid hanging next to a light,

I don’t want to be melted plastic.

I might get thrown in the trash

And that would be far too drastic.

Maybe I should replace the star

At the top of the Christmas tree?

Oh, think of the view from up there.

Yes, at the top is where I should be!

Yule

Published December 20, 2021 by Naomi Rettig

Midwinter is here!

Let’s celebrate Yule!

Collect the best logs

To ignite as fuel,

Watch the flames flicker

In hypnotic motion,

Drink wine from goblets,

A winter potion.

Sing as loud as you can

So the heavens can hear you.

Dip crusty baked bread

Into gooey fondue.

Adorn homes with leaves

Of glorious green.

Take a break, relax

From a fast routine.

Dance as though possessed

With love and joy and hope.

Even try to channel

A disco antelope.

Celebrate your love,

Memories, gratitude,

Humility, hope,

Peace and solitude.

Rejoice in these gifts

Which you have inside

And enjoy yourself

In this blest Yuletide.

The Poppy

Published November 11, 2021 by Naomi Rettig

From my vertical view in this Flanders field

My platoon of poppies accedes to the breeze.

We silently sway to hypnotic hymns,

Remembering the men who fell to their knees.

I wasn’t here to see the soldiers slain,

To hear shots and screams of brutal combat,

To sense the fear, anxiety, and the pain.

Flowers before me were witness to that.

They bloomed out in force despite all the noise,

 A homage to men who were sadly just boys.

They coloured the fields with hues of  red,

A peaceful symbol now to honour the dead.

I’m here today with my brothers in stems

Paying tribute to all those brave lost gems.

Fluttering our petals like flags in the air,

Sending beauty and hope to those who need prayer.

Autumn Beach

Published October 19, 2021 by Naomi Rettig

The wind styling my hair like a punk rocker,

Seagulls shouting to be heard over the waves,

Nature’s colours blending seamlessly

From summer green to autumn gold.

The aroma of the ocean, salty minerals

Woven with wafts of seaweed.

Seaweed pods looking like alien sacs,

Drifting in on the tide to take over the world.

A myriad of sea snails suckered to rocks.

How do they breathe in and out of the water?

The chill of the water tickles my toes,

And I squeal like a child.

I watch the brave swimmers ignoring the cold,

Heads bobbing like Halloween apples in a bowl.

Dogs dash along the beach, excited to play.

Some stay closer to their humans while some run free

Without a worry in the world,

Enjoying shifting sand beneath their paws

And the fast wind on their faces.

Ears flapping, tails wagging.

Listening to chit chat as people pass by,

Imagining their stories in this book of life.

Watching a gardener tending to the plants,

The fishermen bringing in their catch,

The ice-cream seller hoping for a sunny day,

The seagull waiting for the ice-creams to fall,

A dog waiting to fetch an unthrown ball.

The waves tumble over each other in hypnotic rhythm,

They scramble to stay on the beach,

The tide pulls them into the ocean,

Creating mightier, powerful swells.

This is a magical place to get lost in moments.

To recover yourself

When you didn’t know you were hidden.

I really must go now.

But just one,

One, final look out

To sea.

My Internal Organs Have Melted

Published July 23, 2021 by Naomi Rettig

              

If I was rum and raisin ice-cream

I would not be here,

I’d have melted away,

Evaporated, dissolved,

Just my raisins remaining,

Dehydrated, shrivelled.

If I was a mint choc chip ice-cream

I would not be here .

I’d have melted away,

Evaporated, dissolved,

Just my choc chips remaining,  

Disgustingly sticky.

If I was a strawberry ice-cream

I would not be here.

I’d have melted away,

Evaporated, dissolved,

Just little pips remaining,

Insignificantly.

If I was a vanilla ice-cream

I would not be here.

I’d have melted away,

Evaporated, dissolved,

Zero trace remaining.

But I’m not a delicate ice-cream,

I’m a human bean,

And my strong skin holds in

Exhausted sloshy organs.

When I cool will they migrate

Back to their slots once more?

Or will my kidneys

Stay in my toes?