Chocolate, Cakes and Cartoonists!
We are at it again, descending on Malta, enjoying fabulous hospitality and drawing enough cartoons to cover the walls of our conference room, usually 50-60 per day. This is our 6th visit and about 30 of us have made the trip to get some sunshine and avoid the cold n snow for a week (or more). So far we have had a traditional Maltese Banquet, visited two bakeries and made and eaten our own Ftiras (a traditional rectangular pizza-like delight).
After that, we visited an amazing chocolatier, and tried chocolate that I could not believe existed, including a chocolate liqueur which I just had to buy a bottle of. We drew cartoons at both places and filled their walls too. Fabulous prizes were forthcoming and the Times of Malta reporter turned up and gave us a two page spread.
A “tutored wine tasting session” was enjoyed by about 20 of us… A couple of Delicata Wine’s top wine blokes turned up and showed us the fine art of sniffing wine and guzzling large quantities of it. Red, white, rosé, sharp, fruity, oak-aged…we’re all experts on them now. A fabulous selection of Maltese nibbles was provided by the Pergola (“nibbles” in this case meaning “huge amounts of interesting nosh”). It was splendid.
The wine tasting was followed by the now-traditional Musical Soirée, when we were entertained by the astounding musical talents of Noel Ford, Rich Howell, and Mike Argent on guitar; Maestro Mike Hatchard on keyboards and clarinet; Dave McMahon and Mitch Mitchell on vocals; Tim Harries on Ukulele; and the rest of us on kazoo (courtesy of John Stilgoe who brought a big bag of those finely crafted musical instruments for our use). The last notes were played around 1 am.
Tonight we will be dining in the Tosca restaurant where we will be stuffing ourselves with yet another fine selection of Maltese cuisine.
Our days have been mostly spent drawing cartoons, enjoying mentoring sessions and tutorial presentations and drawing even more cartoons. Massive thanks go to Rich and Gill Skipworth, for organising it all, and to the staff at the Pergola Hotel for making us all so welcome.