When coming away for a month it is important to sort out a support system to enable the holiday to be enjoyed. Apart from anything else I don't own thirty pairs of knickers so I found a launderette and Monday morning is devoted to laundry. My Geordie Gramma would be proud of me, Monday was always washday. This launderette in Gzira is a short walk away and has very large machines which take up to a twelve kilo load, it costs 14 Euros to wash and dry a full load and takes about two and a half hours in total. I have been soaking "whites" in the kitchen sink every other night and then handwashing before hanging on the line on our balcony the following morning. By the time we return from our activities the laundry us usually dry. The launderette has a very useful table covered with books and customers are invited to swap one for one and that is brilliant because we are beginning to run out of reading material. The launderette is used by the yachties and whilst I was there yesterday twenty two service washes were handed in from the boats. We now have plenty of clean clothes which is just as well because we have a lot planned to do in the next week and need them.
Monday is also supermarket day so I trudged round there and stocked up on toothpaste and butter and stuff so we are set there for another week. I bought some bread there yesterday too and tonic water but for the rest of the shopping I buy from the little shops and/or produce vans parked on corners. I need to get some tomatoes today to make a bruschetta topping for some of the bread toasted this evening when we get back. We have been incredibly lucky and have tickets to visit the Hypogeum this afternoon - normally there is a two to three month waiting list and only sixty people per day are permitted to visit on guided tours lasting an hour and a half.
We went out for supper on Sunday evening and I had the best pizza I have ever tasted. Very thin dough with the barest smear of tomato and then a seafood topping over real mozzarella cheese. The seafood was evenly distributed, there were plump prawns, mussels still in their shells, flakes of tuna, little bits of anchovy and then capers and thinly sliced black olives. Every mouthful was a sheer delight but it was so large that I could only eat half of it. The waiter put the rest in a pizza box and I had it last night for supper - still delicious. I did ask the waiter if next time we could order one pizza between the two of us and he acquiesced immediately. At eight euros that will be a cheap meal - even with the addition of drinks - and a delightful one. If anyone is planning on being in the Gzira/Sliema area the bistro is called Pomodoro and not far from the ferries. Highly recommended.
I have discovered a soft drink called Kinnie - not quite like anything I have previously encountered. It is fizzy, looks like cola but tastes like weak Oxford Marmalade. It is made using the local oranges and herbs and quite delicious and refreshing. The company that makes Kinnie is called Farsons and they are also responsible for the Cisk lager I tried the other day. I suspect they may well be the largest employer locally, we drove past the factory on the North tour last week and it is massive.