Winter has been far nicer this year then last (it was not just that I was totally stressed out with papers, presentations and teaching practice) but it seemed to be cold, damp and rainy all the time (you so miss central heating when you are wearing a coat and scarf in a lecture). This year it's sunny bright and warm. So weekends have been filled with walks in the countryside picking flowers and contemplating camping.
We even had the romanticised big family meal out in the country last weekend (out door oven shown in picture below)with large metal pans of roasted pork or potatoes, an old uncle with home made peppered goats cheese and wine. There was also an one old auntie or two equipped with after the meal freshly roasted peanuts and walnuts (a Maltese tradition is eating nuts after dinner) and of course one or another of the grandmothers appears with chocolate gateau, and fresh brewed coffee with a touch of cloves. These are moments I think that I will hold in my memory when I think of living in Malta. The kids running wild in the tall grasses and olive groves catching chameleons (who by the way are so very cute .. they move so slowly and really do change colour). Learned something new, (local lore says) you must never put them on something red, I guess it kills them. I was unfortunately wearing red so couldn't let him walk on my arm.
Being the midwesterner girl that I am though I do long for a blizzard, recently one struck the midwest and I admit to having spent a little too long looking longingly at facebook updates of snow covered trees and buried picnic tables. Crazy I know. But it feels very strange to be heading into Christmas time and barely needing a sweater.
(these two photos were taken by Deke Rivers of Madison Wisconsin)