"The Art of Feeling Good" Zejtun by ray_d

Zejtun Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 7 photos

Friday 27 August 2004

3 pm. Sun is hot, hotter than a snake's arm-pit. It is still a bad time to be out in the heat and the old cliché of "Only Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" extends right up to 3 pm.

Saint Thomas Bay is at the south end of the island. A minute open bay with a part rocky, part sandy beach.
It is also called "Ir-Ramla taz-Zejtun" in Maltese, or " Zejtun's sandy beach.

Zejtun is the closest large town, as well as my birth-place.
38 years ago no tourist ever went to St Thomas bay. At the time, only I and very few others could be bothered walking the 3 Km to swim in the clear blue-green waters.
That time was different, that time I was 11 years old, marginally talented as a hunter of Octopi and a Sea-urchin specialist.
At that time, for young boys, it was normal to do things without supervision. No one worried on your safety for that 3 Km meandering through fields and cart-tracts in fading darkness of dawn.
Life was simple then!

Hot Bread

At 5 am I would wait for the baker to pull the first batch out of the wood-fired oven. A half penny baught you a kilo loaf. Tucking it under my arm I would , absent-mindedly, pull the soft hot bread from where this loaf was attached to its neighbour and progressively give myself a belly-ache.
A bag, my favourite, made out of sack cloth, held my ragged flipper and "Acuasub" mask that was my pride and joy. A large Tuna Fish-hook wired and brazed to a foot-long steel rod, with the end bent into a handle was my tool; A Wine-bottle cork protected the sharp point.

I suppose we grew up with a large dose of self-sufficiency then. Walking, talking and debating my young life's problems I would hop over a rubble wall for a spring-onion or a tomatoe from another.
A known tree is watched for ripening Pomegranates but the first thunder-storm, which is the day of ripening is far off in September, but one can always hope. The rest of the contents were a can of "Bully Beef" and a small corked bottle of olive oil and another with water.

3 pm

It is 3 pm. the sun was hot but the sea is cool. Sun sparks and sparkles off the corrugations of the breeze-ruffled water. I lie facing the crumbling chalk-cliff. The breeze bounces off the water and courses over my face, tumbles in my ears before falling onto the heat eddies on my back and wrapping around my thigh and legs.
It trickles down to the ankles and soles to furrow between the toes. It leaves the body relaxed and I await the next one, presently, teasing the glinting tips of the playful wavelets.

I am 49 now and I never feel more alive than when I sit at this place, at 3 pm on a hot summer's afternoon.
A hollowed bread with a squashed tomatoe soaked in olive-oil and spring inions for taste.
My catch in my bag hanging in the water for freshness and just feeling the tiny hairs on my face feel the fingers of wind play me.
It is as if I had never left.

There is no reason for feeling good. It just happens.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:a place where memories are made
  • Cons:Transport is not around the corner
  • In a nutshell:beautifully isolated
  • Last visit to Zejtun: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 20, 2004
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Reviews (1)

Comments (13)

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Man, it would be so nice to be there right now. ...With a 6-pack of cold beer, a full pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and nothing but my bathing suit and a towel! Great description here.

  • katamorgana's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2009 at 7:14 AM

    The stone beach is simmilar to the Croatian ones :-)

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    I love this page Ray!! Fantastic opening pic & your words paint beautiful pictures too. In this place, you don't need a restaurant :o) Hugs, Ann xx

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    I like your transformation in Malta. BE WELL HANDSOME!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2006 at 11:59 AM

    Love the personal touch which even extends to something that isn't there. Cheers.

  • romal's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2006 at 1:48 AM

    the restaurant you recommended, Il Re del Pesce has been closed for the past three years....it opened recently under new management but is certainly no longer a place to recommend.....you cant live with others peoples goodwill

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2006 at 2:38 AM

    Malta looks to me like an enchanted fairy-tale place, you must miss it so much! I myself couldn't leave my home for more than 6 months, Bulgaria has my heart. Still I love to see other places through someone else's eyes & then see them myself :)

  • Redlats's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2006 at 4:49 PM

    Sounds idillic. We grew up in an easier world, didn't we? Question: what are recopies?

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2006 at 3:47 PM

    You're right. This is a really nice page. :-)

  • GillianMcLaughlin's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2005 at 9:04 AM

    What a great introduction - it radiates strong feelings of youth and geat memories of growing up. My favourite days growing up were spent by the sea - but the water was much colder. It didn't make the fish any less tasty though, fortunately.

ray_d Used To Live Here!

ray_d

“Determined to age disgracefully”

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