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MALTATODAY 2 January 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 2 JANUARY 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? Ourselves! Why are we skinning? Because shedding one's skin as we wave goodbye to 2021 leaves us all the fresher and more energised as we blink our eyes open to greet 2022. But we're still in pandemic mode, shouldn't we be putting on MORE skin to protect ourselves? That, my friend, tells me that you haven't yet learned to think metaphorically. Okay then, what exactly would you like to shed, then? I would like to do it in a shed, for a start. What benefits would that contribute to the experience? Well, it would provide no small amount of peace and focus in which you can shed your skin with uninterrupted, meditative ease. Plus, you don't have to stress too much about any mess you leave behind, as the shed isn't really your home. Are we still speaking metaphorically? I don't know, maybe… You're already drunk on the office wine, aren't you? Office wine? Isn't this getting published after January? What I'm quaffing is leftover Martini, I'll have you know… Can I have a sip? I wouldn't really recommend it. I'm taking this one for the team. So anyway, sheds… Where would you build your shed? I would build it on ODZ. Ah, remember when that made the headlines every other week? Yes, very much our pal James Debono's brand, that. Seems like COVID stole his thunder too. So you'd sneak a shed into ODZ… Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Yes, and it's wise to do it while a pandemic is raging and nobody's looking. Is it really still 'raging' though? I worry that we're not there anymore and that I may get caught after all. What do you mean 'not raging'?! Daily cases have shot up from an average of 50 to over a thousand! Yeah but we've all kind of chilled out now that the majority of us are vaxxed, right? To be fair, a countryside shed would be a fine place in which to quarantine. Little point if you have to wear a mask though. And how will I keep up with my Netflix shows, or my weekly fix of that hard-hitting and totally unbiased discussion show, Pjazza? To be fair, the wisdom of Pjazza is likely written in the stars. Gazing out into the cosmic canvas at night to pinpoint the Stagno-Navarra constellation… nothing but the wind shaking the grass, a hunter oiling up his… gun in the dura nearby and the odd stray but venom free snake tangling itself around my toes… Pure bliss. The pandemic has given us a taste of frugality in tough times. Maltese cottage-core should become a thing, to be fair. Make way for shed-core, dura-core… which would be apropos given how it generally takes us two or three years to catch up with global trends. Do say: "Building a shed requires skill and dedication. Much like shedding one's skin to make way for a fresh outer casing in which to greet a new stage in life. Building a shed on ODZ, however, requires a set of skills that are readily available only to those with Maltese blood. Happy new year." Don't say: "A happy new year to all of our readers, their children, wives, mistresses, toyboys and digital life-assistants. May the spirit of trolling socratic discourse continue to inform your tastes and crucial life decisions in the year ahead." The hidden math behind Christmas movies PAGES 12-13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down JOSANNE CASSAR The world is being divided into those who 'get it' and those who don't PAGE 5 MICHAEL FALZON No shades of grey PAGE 7 No. 68 – Death to 2020 SAVIOUR BALZAN Education: why I worry about children under COVID PAGE 5 EDITORIAL Schools: the key concern in 2022 with Omicron PAGE 2 The golden ratio demonstrates a sweet spot of aesthetic beauty in nature. In film, a standout moment that enforces our understanding or enhances our enjoyment, is classed as a sweet spot

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