Sunday, September 26, 2010

Farewell, but not Goodbye

Dear Readers,

I have truly enjoyed posting my adventures on this blog for the last 2+ years. Since I have been writing this blog I have got praise and perks from readers who liked my writing. I also got words of encouragement from friends and readers. I am really happy you joined me throughout this experience.

However, I shall be leaving this blog for pastures new. Cherie Noire or Black Cherry was an identity I adopted in my teens. A symbol amongst my girlfriends. I'm not a teenager anymore and certain twists of fate have opened my eyes to my destiny.

Many of my posts here were very personal. I am looking to create a more professional identity. That's not to say I won't include personal anecdotes. However, I am interested in talking more about different issues and topics namely marketing, media, journalism, inspiration, motivation and creativity. I will also be adding a portfolio of my published works and private collection of essays and poems. The rest you will have to wait to find out!

So this is farewell, but not goodbye. I will see you all over at tamarachetcuti.com.

Hope you had an awesome summer and that you're getting ready for a new winter.

Much love and gratitude,
Tammy xx

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"There will be, ups and downs, smiles and frowns" - Snoop Dogg

Sometimes you need to slow down. Sometimes you need to pick up the pace.

Summer hasn't been kind, which is usually the case for me. I tend to overwork during the holidays. My golden hours are those spent at the end of June/beginning of July and those last summer weeks of September. After the first week of January until the last week of August I experience what can only be described as 'mental breakdown' season.

It's happened to me now for three summers in a row but the last two were unbearable. I get really exhausted and mentally unstable. Then I get really sick and that's when reality hits me and I take a break. It's always the same pattern. I'm always working really hard or doing nothing at all.

I quit my summer job over a week ago. The gradual realisation that I was going to be set free from the confines of a terrible workplace led me into delusional ecstasy. I started going out everyday and drinking a lot until I crashed and burned. Then I got sick again. I've been falling ill quite often, this last year. I got seasonal allergies and every time the weather slightly changes I develop a cough and a cold and heavy breathing. The weather got cold and windy in anticipation of a Friday 'storm'. My body reacted to the change.

The funny thing about getting sick is that it can be sometimes counted as a blessing. Although I had to cancel plans with friends and stay indoors for two days, it really helped me get back on track:-
  • I've started my 'Little Brown Book'. I love stationery and cannot live without notebooks to organise my life (Fuck iPhone and Blackberry!). In it, I'm detailing my finances on a daily basis. I'm on Day 4 at the moment and it's really helping me keep track of my money. I'm not known to save and my recent no-more-summer-job euphoria led to some unnecessary food and alcohol spending.
  • I finished listening to my Gala Darling's Love and Sequins Chapter 5 audio file about 'Finding Happiness' and took down notes to help me get through my final degree year and the dreary task that is my thesis. Gala Darling is an amazing woman who is very well-read and organised, who gives advice on life, love, fashion, travel, finance and so many other things. In fact, one of her articles inspired the title of my thesis. She has an audio script collection which she calls her book. Every month, she posts a new chapter on her site. You can buy them individually or as a set. She has two more chapters to go if I'm not mistaken. They are truly lovely. I bought another two chapters to do with business and manifesting the life you want to achieve. You may think it is a waste of money but is a good read, includes quotes and sources, provides examples and even gives tasks to put the words to practice. This woman has really changed my life.
  • As soon as I recovered a little I took my little brother out for his birthday. I love my brother so much. He is my 'rock' and I don't think he even realises how important he is to me. He turned 16 yesterday and I took him out to the capital city of Valletta. I bought him two pairs of shoes which he really wanted and then bought us lunch at this cool restaurant called 'Luciano's' in Merchant Street. When we were young, we used to hold many family events here with cousins, aunties and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers! We hadn't been there for a long time but as soon as we entered the memories came flooding in. We sat by a wall full of vintage soft drink bottles and an old guitar. The place is full of old memorabilia of times gone by. The walls are made out of old Maltese stone and the interior is rustic, cosy and inviting. I was surprised when my brother started mentioning particular memories of his childhood that I had indeed forgotten myself. That kind of nostalgia is comforting when you share it with someone who was there with you when it happened. On the way home, the rain started to fall which was fun. But when we got home we were exhausted. I stayed in that Friday night watching 'Desperate Housewives' and listening to the rain fall and feeling happy.
  • I work with a student media organisation called 'Insite'. I think you've heard this one a gazillion times! hehe. Well, those two days indoors got me all pumped up to catch up with some work that I had been holding back. I felt so amazingly productive right after. I almost finished four proposals and I have a few articles and proposals to write but finishing something you kept procrastinating over feels awesome. Now I just need to do the same with my thesis! This week I was talking to a friend of mine and told him I think the reason why I'm so obsessed with organising myself is because I have a very bad habit of procrastination which I have fine-tuned to perfection from a young age. In response, he told me something which really stuck with me: ' You know, they say it takes six weeks to develop a habit. Why don't you set your goals, pick at least one to focus on for six weeks and don't falter on it for not even a day!' It makes sense. If you practice something for a long time it becomes habitual like smoking or learning to drive. I have taken this advice and am actively focusing on achieving it. No more procrastination! God help me.
  • I wrote my daily GOALS routine which I hope become habit by the end of the year. This is how they go: Wake up at 6:00 every day and walk/jog for at least 30 minutes and then end up at the beach for a 7:00 dip! (at least until winter starts), Sleep by 23:00 everyday (I've developed a bad case of insomnia the last month and I need to fight it!), DON'T PROCRASTINATE, Create positivity and hope for family and friends, Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, Practise your driving skills at least three times a week, Do at least 2 hours of university work a day, Drink 3 litres of water a day, Don't obsess over everything, Save money!
  • I went for my driving theory test and passed. Now I start my first driving lesson on Monday (tomorrow). The day I was sick in bed was the only chance I had to study for it.
So that was what I did this week. And on this lovely Sunday morning I started my new routine. I got up at 6:00 and went for a walk. By 7.15 I was at St. George's Bay having a little dip and then sitting down on my beach towel to look at my surroundings. I wasn't the only one there. The usual old couples were there early. Every few minutes a new couple would arrive with folding chairs and sun-hats and join the rest of the group. It's like all the oldies know each other. Must be a daily routine for them. It was nice to watch. Then there was an African guy cleaning the private part of the beach (Intercontinental Beach Club) for the hotel guests. The morning cleaners were just packing up after tidying up the public beach area and a group of Spanish youth were having a good old time splashing about and rushing back to shore now and again to swig from a bottle of Jack. (The sound of crashing waves is extremely therapeutic to me). The water was cold and there were a lot of clouds so the sun couldn't warm me up. I sat there with my towel wrapped around me after coming out of the water. The sea was not so calm so I got to hear the wonderful sounds of the sea. Hardly any cars were driving by and there were only a few souls up that early so it was perfect. Despite my list of goals, I might not keep up the early morning beach swim every single day because it will lose it's appeal. I will do it a couple of times a week after my walk and next time I'll make sure to take a notebook with me. I have been known to come up with amazing ideas, projects or even instantaneous poems in moments like these. I'm a daydreamer so I contemplate a lot. Crashing waves are a great source of inspiration.

And so comes the end of my week and the start of something new, I hope. At the moment I'm just blogging and listening to music but I got inspired and baked my brother a cake and hope to host a little party as soon as all the family is home. I'll get back to partying on Tuesday and am hoping to entice my friends to do something random like go swimming right after a night clubbing and have a breakfast picnic at sunrise on the sand. If there's one thing I learned from Gala Darling is that you should try and do something truly random and magical as often as you can because even though routine is a good thing that increases your productivity, too much of it can wear you down!

And if you follow the advice in the following music video then that won't hurt either:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI

But always remember, know your limitations and be aware of the areas were you can improve. Most of all, be aware of the areas were you excel! Adjust your pace of life accordingly through the highs and lows. Always know your goals as they keep you alive no matter how far-fetched they may be. And start a blog. It's fun! :)

I hope that you all have a lovely Sunday.

Tammy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stressed? Read these summer tips.

The moment I realised summer had truly started was when all the local buses I started to catch had nowhere for me to sit, most passengers before 4pm were tourists, the bus was painfully slow and ready to break down any minute and everyone's body was emitting offensive odours! These are some of the downsides of summer.

Then again there's always a bright side. You can walk your dog at night with your lightest clothes on and feel cool and comfortable under the clear summer skies. You can spend days splashing about in the sea and enjoying outdoor BBQs with family and friends. You can guzzle down litres of ice cold water without getting a brain freeze, slurp ice lollies and get that undeniably relieving feeling when you step into a shop with air conditioning.

Personally, I'm a winter person. I love the cosy moments I can enjoy to escape the cold rather than the cool-off moments I search for because of the heat. However, I appreciate this season for all the good things it brings anyway.

For those who are busy in the summer like me, I have some words of advice:-

  1. Take a day off! And when I say day off I mean a week or at least a weekend! If you're like me summer means busy, Busy, BUSY!! Usually, my first two weeks of summer are pure bliss where I try and avoid all forms of responsibility and then it goes downhill from there and picks up again for Santa Maria Weekend in Malta and the last three weeks of September. I know you may have a busy life but try and take a minute to say 'TIME OUT! I need some ME time now." This is very hard for me to do but I do try and fit in these moments. If you're always on-the-go and can't always afford nights out or weekends off then at least dedicate a whole 24 hours to yourself. You can book a day at a local spa or try out a new sport. Alternatively, if you can spare a weekend off but can't afford to go abroad then spend it in a top quality hotel in Malta or rent a villa/apartment in Gozo! Seriously, it beats working all the time no matter how much of a workaholic you are.
  2. Go on holiday! This is only for those who can afford it. Surprisingly, I don't like leaving Malta in the summer. There are too many good things going on here. Sometimes I don't understand the people who say there is nothing to do here in the summer. Just look around you. The amount of festivals, shows, parties, beach bbqs, festas going on is enough to last you all year! I think the only reason I would travel in the summer is to go to a foreign festival which I have not had the opportunity to do as of yet. Winter months are my favourite months to travel because you're bound to meet more locals for sure as they travel less and I prefer shopping, sightseeing and partying than spending time doing absolutely nothing. In fact, I prefer sleeping in a shared hostel room than finding a room at some posh hotel! That said, summer travel is great too. Good weather is bound to improve your chances of getting around and visiting different places. Since it's high season too you may be able to visit certain attractions that are not available in the winter too! It doesn't really matter though. If you can afford it travel at every opportunity you can find. A change of scene can really revitalise you. Just make sure you settle any bills, conflicts or your cluttered bedroom before you go abroad so that you return to a clean and clear environment. Nothing ruins a holiday more than finding a spiralling mess you have to sort out when you get back.
  3. Flirt! This need not only apply to the single crowd. Summer means less clothes. Less clothes mean more skin. More skin means more sex. Don't deny it. It's true! I'm not telling you to go out and have loads of sex here. I'm just saying that you should let loose a bit and discover your sensuality. Some people don't feel confident in these months. I'm one of those people. The idea of showing the world yourself in swimwear can be daunting to some individuals. This applies to both men and women. Don't be shy to show some skin. Just choose the right swimwear that doesn't draw attention to your problem areas and make sure you hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. If you have a partner who doesn't feel confident make sure you tell him/her that he looks sexy in that bikini/those swim shorts. He/she will really appreciate it and won't feel so self conscious. Of course, the beach is not the only place to get flirty. There are so many outdoor places to meet someone especially during this World Cup summer. Even if you're not looking for love, a little bit of summer flirting can definitely boost your morale or help you let off some steam after a long week of work. For optimum flirting success, always make sure you're clean and fresh. I take at least three showers a day in the summer! All the sticky and stinky bodies in a club can cause you to hallucinate and hit on the wrong person or even worse, you may put off the right person. And practice some eye contact and funny pick up lines too. Funny pick up lines work because humour is a great way to break the ice! Take advantage of the fewer clothes worn in summer too by 'accidentally' brushing your bare shoulder as you pass by that guy or girl you've had your eyes on. He/she will look back. Turn your head and wink. If you do end up ruffling the sheets though, please use protection!
Enjoy 'Summer Twenty-Ten' my friends.

Much love and sun-tan lotion,

Tammy :)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

And so a new decade begins...

I'm always surprised by the contrasting realities that surface when I stop to analyse another year gone by. The fact that the year that passed seemed so short and at the same time was the outlet for so many different events in my life, baffles me. I will not say it was a bad year because that is what I said for 2008 and yet halfway through that year I finally moved house to a better neighbourhood and won a trip to the MTV Europe Music Awards in Liverpool. I'm not the one to brag but...damn, that was sweet!!

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that no matter the amount of go
od fortune that meets us in a particular year we always somehow manage to overshadow that with the bad moments. The truth is that life isn't perfect and something is bound to go wrong. Of course, if you are a spontaneous spirit who plans ahead but then still changes plans every few weeks, you're more prone to disappointment. Not to mention, being a perfectionist and unintentional diva! Oh, these are not words of low self-esteem, my friends. I'm just discovering my true nature as I grow older.

The bottom line is that a 'good' or 'bad' year should only be taken as a reminder that we never really do get it right no mat
ter how hard we try and that sometimes we're spot on perfect without even trying. Such is the irony of life. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all my friends and family for helping me survive another year. Living ain't easy. There are a lot of things that can get you down. With support and love to share, life is more worthwhile. Happy New Year 2010.

Peace,
T

-----------------------------------------

And now for the best of 2009:-


8. M.I.A's style

No woman has inspired me this year as much as this politically-opinionated-colour-clash-urban-chic wearing Sri Lankan native. Well, at least style-wise of course.Despite coming from a culture that has fascinated me since the age of ten, she is THE style icon of 2009 - mos' def! I love everything about her style - from her short wavy toussled hair to her Tetris cube inspired finger nail art. I seriously want a watermelon slice oversized tie-dye t-shirt like the one she is wearing in her BIRD FLU video (click on Bird Flu to watch video). Her style is very personal though and not easy to work with the chic-factor she manages to achieve. So, I'll just sit back in awe or just make me my own watermelon t-shirt!

7. Meeting new people

This may seem like nothing special but every year I look back at the new friends I made and the interesting people I met because meeting new people is always fun. You learn new things about yourself and others that you never really knew. Also, my mum is foreign and I don't really know my cousins from her side. 2009 was the year I started fresh and long lasting contacts with these cousins. I even met some abroad more than once. It's a great feeling meeting family you've never met before but always knew were there.

6. Insite

There's a student media organisation at the University I go to that I had been a fan of for the last four years. I had always wanted to be part of this experience and the chance came to me quite by luck. Now since I've joined I've met such lovely people in the media world and realised by dream of working in a media house. We're not a bunch of professionals but we can boast that we have a 9 year publication, TV crew and programmes, website and the legendary IC Weekend under our belt. Looking forward to further positive results for 2010.

5. Following my dreams

Ahh, this year I just went berserk, went on three vacations in the past 12 months and decided to spend my time and money on things that I've been wanting to do forever! It seems that when I realised I'm approaching 20 and towards the end of my degree I went on a wild dream chase, ticking off my ever growing To-do list. First, it started with choir
class where I got to sing a solo twice. Then, it went on to bellydance lessons and finally Arabic language classes. I don't know what got over me. I think I'm going through a quarter life crisis. (click link) Help?

4. Blur reunited and Pearl Jam back on tour

This news is both good and bad. Good, cause these bands are two of my greatest childhood musical influences. Bad, cause one of them I didn't manage to see on tour and are not going to tour again, while the other I seriously doubt I will manage to see on tour next year. Due to the above-men
tioned quarter life crisis I am now broke till the end of my degree. Yes, that is June 2011!!! FML.

3. Falling in Love

You would think that this would take the number one spot. Keep reading...

2. Visiting Amsterdam and Dublin

This was the best holiday ever with around 60 friends
from all over Europe in a boathouse in a harbour in Amsterdam including an exclusive private party sponsored by Sony Ericsson in a central night club, coffee shop adventures, a 13 hour pitstop in Dublin with a bunch of young and hot newly graduated Austrian engineers and a night drinking Guinness in the famous Temple Bar. Pure Bliss.


1. And the number one spot goes to...

Seeing MUSE live at the O2 arena in London!! Just effin unbelievable. I can't even describe the feeling. Sold out arena, state o
f the art lights and graphics show, Matt Bellamy playing the piano, Chris and Dom doing their thang, the largest mosh pits I've ever seen and a free after party at Matter Club featuring Hadouken. Need I say more?

And the worst of 2009:-



3. Michael Jackson Gone

The media have coined this year as the '
Year of the Dead Celebrity'. I don't think that's a very nice te
rm to use but it pretty much sums up the bizarre chain of deaths that have been occuring since Heath Ledger's death in January 2008 and the most recent deaths of Brittany Murphy and The Rev who died a week from each other. However, the one departure I took personally was Michael Jackson's. His death came at a difficult time for me and totally took me by surprise. Not to mention the mean jokes everyone was telling me since they knew I was a fan. I think the loveliest feeling was seeing all his fans sticking together in solidarity. I can't remember the hours I spent following news reports and ceremonies in his honour. It was a sad moment. He was only 50. True icons never die. May his music live forever.

2. Major burnout

I've come to the conclusion that once every year I crack. Halfway through 2009 I decided that I'd had enough of life and will lock myself away from society. First off, I've spent a record amount of money on my personal health problems in one year like never before. Then I was working three jobs and studying all summer for two resits. Finally, I realised that the man I fell in love with was not the man I thought he was. Which leads to the number one spot...


1. Breaking up

It sucks. And not because I love being in a relationship. Actually, I'm very happy being able to do what I do and putting myself first. Not because I'm selfish. But I'm very self aware of my influence on the people and world around me. I like to socialise and do my bit for society. I like to travel, meet new people and party. I am very ambitious and career oriented. Still, it sucked big time because I could not admit that I had fallen out of love. In fact, I only totally got over it a month ago. It takes a real woman to admit that, even though I'm the one who called it a day. Oh well, you live a learn.


---------------------------------

Monday, August 3, 2009

NEW ALBUMS for 2009


So many months back I released some information on the new albums and tours by Green Day and U2. The two seem to have got quite the hype going on and are both on tour at the moment. Both started working on the albums in 2006 so fans had got quite excited after three years!! Generally, reviews have been positive but not as great as anticipated. Green Day's '21st Century Breakdown' is a continuation of their last album 'American Idiot' and is a concept album. As much as I love my concept albums, I'm not feeling this one 100%. The songs are enjoyable but not as great as American Idiot. That's a hard album to match. Still, Green Day remain that punk rock band that everyone loves to love. So, whatever they do, it's bound to be liked. As for U2's 'No Line on the Horizon', I can't say the album is as EPIC as Bono said it would be but it's got a familiar charm to it which only they can create. We'll see how the albums fair towards the end of the summer...

And now for some good news which you have undoubtedly already heard about. MUSE are back and they're bigger than ever!! The guys have long announced their tour dates for the winter and have been updating fans continuously through Twitter. The album is called 'The Resistance' and tickets to many venues are already sold out. The first official track to be announced was 'United States of Eurasia' and is absolutely mental!! To be honest, this is the best news for me this year seeing as I'm a huge MUSE fan and missed them at the Wembley back in 2007. I will be seeing the guys LIVE at the 02 Arena in November and can't wait to review them. Be sure to check in for that one. Reviews have been mixed. Some fans fear that the band may be tryin to copy Queen especially in the USOE track while others enjoy the change in style. Personally, I think USOE is a beautifully sweeping track, which although reminds me of Queen, still has the signature Muse piano, waltz, ballad notes. Also, the addition of Arabic influences is stunning!! I can't wait to listen to the rest of the album! :D

Will be back soon with updates on who, what and where is in this year ;)

Peace,

Tammy xx

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Cherry's BACK!!


Did you miss me?

Well, I sure did! ;-)

Blogging is a great way to keep your writing skills fresh and it broadens your knowledge. When I'm blogging, I'm researching writing material and learning new things at the same time. Also, I'm teaching and entertaining the reader. That's why I love it so much.

Before I get on track with my summer updates I'd like to apologise for the lengthy delay. I always wanted to keep the blog content here regular. This blog is almost 10 months old and it's really opened up my world. I have received a lot of positive attention through my articles and hope to keep doing so. The readers who always looked forward to my publications were definitely dissapointed when things took a sudden halt! But, circumstances in life mean you can't always keep the ball rolling. I had big plans for this blog and will strive to continue trying to reach that potential. However, whatever I'm occupying my time with, it is always something productive to society. I hope you appreciate my efforts and have a great summer!


NOW FOR THE JUICY MATERIAL!

One of the most anticipated events this summer is definitely the arrival of hip hop artist IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE - an event hosted by No Bling Show (http://www.myspace.com/noblingshow).



For all those who are not into Hip Hop, you would still do your favour attending this event. Immortal is an eye-opener in times of delusion. His songs are mostly political and his method of storytelling with rap is impeccable. You can't NOT appreciate this guy's message and delivery.

He describes himself as a 'political guerilla' and has been influencing people to be active in political issues since 2001 when he released his first album REVOLUTIONARY Vol. 1. The album contains the underground classic 'Dance With The Devil'. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dRgYd5Mxs0

The event will be supported by the winner of No Bling Show's MC Battle or the 'best party of the century' as quoted by Jon. hehe. The guy's called Rumbull and he's a mean rapper in the native tongue. Rapping in Maltese is not the easiest of tasks...

Other acts still have to be announced.


Date: 5th July 2009

Time: 8pm

Location: Pembroke Ground (to be confirmed)

Price: 20euro normal tickets, 30euro VIP (includes a private meet n greet for 100 fans and Immortal will sign your merchandise and pose for pictures)

Contact: 79007775 or 99403621
Email:
xnaqsek@noblingshow.com



SEE YA THERE!!!

Peace out!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Student Protest UPDATE 1


It seems that since I've posted the blog below the UMASA has decided to lift directives and Government will resume negotiations.

Let's hope it's not too late to restore our exam timetable back to normal and carry on with our lives.

Let the sunshine in for 2009! ;-)

Read more on http://insiteronline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=370:umasa-lifts-directives&catid=1:news&Itemid=1