Friday, March 30, 2007

My one and only...

My one and only is black...solid black. Not more than 8 months of age. Her favourite treat is a sizeable bone which she gets every week if she behaves. Her name is Milly Lewis and she's my little lovely dog friend.

I've had Milly since she was just a little black cocker spaniel, the size of my hand. Her parents are English but she was born in Malta. When I visited George Cross, the owner of her parents, I had to choose my dog from a bunch of four little rascals, running around his little flat. Milly was the one hiding in the corner, almost subdued. For some reason or another I felt attached to her from the first minute my eyes met hers. 'That puppy looks nice' I said to myself, 'she seems quiet and composed'. So I took her.

I have now learnt that she is neither quiet nor composed!

The next day I woke up and as I walked towards the kitchen, I found the remains of what a hurricane would do to a room. The kitchen was a complete mess. She managed to eat my cable television remote control together with anything which came her way.

Notwithstanding her naughtiness, I do not regret a single second of having her in my life. Milly is as loving as any human being could be. She sleeps on my pillow and wakes me up in the morning with her kisses. When I'm sad she snuggles on my lap and comforts me as best as she can. When I'm happy, she scampers around and fills my home with joy. Her love is plentiful...and unconditional.

This is my kitchen. It is usually a big mess. But I had to make it look decent in order to show it around the world. The most important part of my kitchen is the fridge, which I try to keep as stocked as possible. I like having friends over, especially on Sunday.

I do not cook. The last time I cooked, not even Milly would taste it. She knows better. So I let others do the cooking while I do the washing up. Eventually.

I have to go as my one and only is barking her head off. She wants to go to sleep. And she never sleeps before I do. Goodnight darling Milly. :)

Speak to you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mirror, mirror on the wall....

I've just plugged in my laptop and started typing. It's so late!!!

I'm late because of one simple reason. I've just come back from the football stadium where Malta played Greece in a Euro 2008 Qualifier match. I was invited by the national football federation to perform 'Vertigo' in the half time recess. The stadium was packed. I sang to approximately 8,000 Maltese fans and 300 Greeks. Both sections seemed to enjoy it.

I must admit I got hooked. Instead of spending 15 minutes at the stadium I ended up watching the whole match. I'm hoarse from cheering our local footballers! Malta lost by one goal. Sheer bad luck. Our national football team is getting better. Better than many thought it would ever would. I'm happy for them. Even though they lost.

You would think that prior to the stadium I spent a busy day going here and there. Well, you're wrong. Very wrong.

I spent the whole day at the studio of one of Malta's finest photographers. Her name is Alexandra Pace. Alexandra took all the photos of my first photo session. Around two weeks ago we decided to organise another photoshoot. Before leaving her studio at around 5pm I just passed a hopeful statement: "Bye Alex...if you manage to get some work done by tonight, I would really appreciate it". I really asked her for the sake of having asked her. I didn't really expect she would have anything ready for me.

I was mistaken.

Shortly after 8:30pm I received a call on my cell phone: "Hi Ol, it's Alexandra. I have two photos ready." I rushed to her house in Attard and picked up the CD.

These are the first two photos from my second photoshoot this year. I've decided to publish them exclusively on this blog. The rest of the photos will be available during the weekend.

Alexandra amazes me each time. She always manages to make me look more beautiful than I actually am!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, if I ever were to meet you, I only hope Alexandra is by my side to make me look more beautiful for your sake! :)

Speak to you again tomorrow...goodnight...I'm almost dozing off by now!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My dress sense...or lack of it :)

I was never too good at choosing clothes. Don't get me wrong. I like wearing trendy outfits and all that. But I'm simply not too good at recognizing what's trendy and what's not. I realised this at my own expense after a number of wardrobe fiascos. And this is precisely why I never choose my clothes on my own anymore, especially if it is for something important.

I had to wake up early today as I had lots of errands planned. A quick shower is followed by choosing a track suit for the day. I love casual wear. It makes me feel comfortable. I'm also not that fussy on brands and stuff. If I like it I usually wear it. Today's track suit was no exception. Nothing too trendy. I actually bought it from a hawker at the Rabat 'monti', which is a sort of open market.

I look at my watch. 9:30am. Off to the supermarket to replenish my empty fridge. As I get into the car, I hear my dog in the background barking in protest at my leaving her alone at home. These protests usually end up with her making a big mess.

I just have to grin and bear it in the circumstances.

I love buying groceries. Especially when there is a lot of choice. The problem is that it is a waste of time which I do not really afford at the moment. With three heavy bags of shopping I leave the super market and head off to Joseph Bonello, my tailor.

Joseph is one of the persons who made a big difference in my life. He has been doing my show dresses for the past four years. I've always liked his work. And he spends hours working on minor details. which make the end product look good.

Shasha, my personal stylist joins us. Shasha is my biggest friend. She's been doing my make up everyday for the past four years. Totally committed and professional. These are the only words I have to say about her.

Joseph Bonello (the tailor) is busy working on my Eurovision dress. It is coming out beatifully. The colours are great and the material is so nice. The material itself (provided by local firm 'Ivory & Co') is designed by Roberto Cavalli. Joseph does not utter a word. He is totally engulfed in this dress. He has dreamt of doing it for a long time and now that he is actually on the job he wants everything to look perfect.

Tomorrow I might have the first fitting. Hope that all goes well. I'm losing weight right now due to a new fitness programme. Both Shasha and Joseph are worried that I might lose too much weight. I'm not that worried myself. It's never happened before.

As I prepare to leave, my mobile phone rings. It's Gerard James Borg (Vertigo's author), as excited as ever, phoning to check how the dress is coming up. He was also involved in its design with Shasha, Joseph (the tailor) and Joseph from Toni and Guy.

Thank God that my dress sense does not qualify me to suggest any sort of dress design. At least that problem is being taken care of by others. I just wear it.

Have to go as I'm going to be late for a choreography meeting.

Speak to you tomorrow. :)


Monday, March 26, 2007

My coldest shower...

I'm writing today's blog lying cosily in bed with Milly (my adorable cocker spaniel) sleeping softly by my side. She's making funny snoring noises, probably dreaming away in doggie land.

My bed feels warm and welcoming. Malta has been going through a cold spell. Cold by Maltese standards. It's never actually cold here.

I had not really known the definition of cold up till a few weeks ago. Now, I dare say I really know what cold means. And I don't like it at all.

Filming for my music video started three weeks ago. I knew it was going to be difficult from the start. The director decided to film all the scenes at night. He told me it would take five nights. It took seven. And I couldn't really hurl any abuse at him. One reason. He's my boyfriend.

I met Mark whilst working as an apprentice producer at a local television station in Malta. That was nine years ago. And we've been together since. We clicked almost immediately. Maybe it's because we both have erratic lifestyles. Both of us have grown up in the television world.

And working in television is not really a job. It's a lifestyle. You cannot work in television. You have to live it.

Mark decided to direct my music video. He did not give in easily. He hates mixing work with his personal life. But he did. I knew he would. And I also knew he would not spare me any pain just because it was me.

If it needed to be done, than it had to be done. That was how he greeted me at 4am, one cold night as I was standing beneath a bridge waiting to be drenched with water from a waiting hose. (photo)

We were starting to film the rain scene. Everytime I happen to catch a glimpse of the video, cold shivers go through my spine whenever the rain scene comes into view.

'Standby, water hose', I heard Mark shouting to the crew. 'Action'. This word was followed by urgent scuttling somewhere above me and suddenly I was surrounded by 'rain'. As the first drops hit me, I didn't feel that cold. Maybe it was the adrenaline.

The cold was to come later. I wrapped myself in clothing as much as I could. But being damp in cold weather feels terrible. Four long hours later, the shoot was ready. I do not even remember going home. I was tired out and numb.

Three weeks later and the video is out. Most of you have probably seen it. I was so happy when 'Where's Everybody' (the company which produced the video) screened it for the first time on National Television. All the sacrifice everyone went through was rewarded with a nice showing. And I'm really happy for the guys at WE, especially PJ, Pablo, Angie, Lou, Peppi, Charles Ahar and Joe Cremona.

I'm also happy that I had the chance to work with Mark. He's difficult to work with, mind you. But he loves doing what he does and it shows.

Speak to you tomorrow! :)

btw anyone wanting to see the video can do so by clicking here

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Somewhere, beyond the sea...

I have just realised that I could never marry 'Popeye', Olivia need not worry.

I was always aware that I am no sailor, but yesterday's evening's experience on the sea was terrible. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick again.

I've had a busy weekend going all over Malta for this and that. Saturday evening was planned to end in Gozo, Malta's sister island. I had been invited to sing at a charity event.

I love Gozo. It is so peaceful and unspoilt. The Gozitans are lovely to be with and I have always dreamt of spending my last days on this heavenly island.

Places like 'Dwejra' (shown in photo), 'Xlendi', the 'Ta' Pinu' Church and loads of others make Gozo a must visit place for anyone coming to Malta.

However, yesterday's trip to Gozo was not as pleasurable as I thought it would have been. The sea was quite rough and for some reason or another I experienced my first real bout of sea-sickness.

Now those of you who have travelled to Gozo know that it is just a short 20 minute ferry trip away. So don't think I went through the Perfect Storm or anything similar. But believe me...I found myself praying for land and for something solid beneath my feet.

I have thus concluded that I was never meant to be a sailor and I probably would never have married Popeye.

Thank God that I can reach Helsinki by plane! :)

Speak to you again tomorrow...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My first blog!

As I walked out of the Malta Song for Europe venue little more than a month and a half ago, I still had not really realised what had hit me.

Were I to say that I did not expect to win would be a case of being economical with the truth. But believe me...I did not expect 30,000 votes. I am still in awe at the result.

I have now realised what hit me. Big time.

It has been a hectic roller coaster ride all these past six weeks. Enjoyable but none the least hectic. My cocker spaniel 'Milly' has had to live with my mother for the first time since coming into my life. Missing her has been terrible. Sometimes I really feel like taking a week long well deserved sleep. But I simply do not have the time!

It has been a constant rush from one airport to the other. From one television studio to the next performance arena. Whilst in Malta I've had to deal with the stage performance, the choreography, the backing vocals, the dress.

But as I sit quietly in front of my laptop, writing my first blog, I have realised that I love doing this and wouldn't dream of living my life differently.

I just hope that we get a good result. And when I say 'we' I mean it. I am surrounded by the best people I've met in my whole life.

And all this makes every effort and sacrifice worth while. Speak to you tomorrow! :)