The perfect strike -by Paul Baldacchino during Malta Open

1,000km electric car driving experience in Malta. Electromobility Malta project

I have now surpassed 1,000km on the Mitsubishi iMIEV electric car.  I am enjoying the test drive and wherever I go, people keep asking me questions about the car. Invariably, I need to dispel myths about electric cars; that they only last a few km per trip; that they cannot be driven fast enough; cannot be driven in the rain; that batteries have a short life span. None of this is true. The technological breakthroughs by the car manufacturers are taking electric cars to new limits due to advancements in battery and power technologies.  Batteries are now very reliable and long lasting, the autonomy range for each charge keeps increasing and the driving power rivals that of any city car. I did notice a couple of amazed drivers when I overtook them with ease.  The car is capable of 130km per hour, though I have not tested this claim yet...

It takes 6 to 7 hours to fully charge the battery and this usually gave me an autonomy of just over a 100km. The car could easily render 140km autonomy if driven gently under 50km per hour and without passengers, which is not my case since 60% of my trips are with passengers on board and I am usually driving at speeds over 50km per hour, where allowed.  The higher speed will inevitably lead to wastage in braking particularly in urban driving.  In any case, shorter charges are possible if the car simply needs a boost for a trip.

In order to log 1,000 km, the car required approximately 75 hours of charging time, consuming about 2 units per hour.  75 hours charged @ 17c3 (domestic rates tier 2) times 2 units per hour would amount to eur26.  Driving a 1,000km in my petrol Citroen Picasso would require about 82 litres of petrol at a cost of euro118.  Therefore, savings stand at higher than 75%.  As electricity rates go down and fuel prices increase, the savings gap will widen further. I will continue to log the charging time and mileage to confirm the workings over 2,000km.  Bearing in mind that in my case all the electricity consumed came from free solar energy produced from my PV plant, the savings in euro and carbon footprint becomes significant.

The car has an efficient energy recovery system. When the accelerator is released (engine break equivalent) the vehicle will utilise the inertia of the vehicle to turn the motor into a generator which momentarily recharges the battery. This way, all the downhill driving or any deceleration helps to recover energy and will increase the driving range.  The iMIEV has three driving modes, marked D, B and C on the gearshift panel. D mode is for urban driving, tuned to be powerful but energy efficient; B mode increases regenerative braking during downhill driving and will slow the vehicle down whilst recovering energy; C mode is for economic driving on main roads (similar to the 5th gear on a standard car but usable at medium speed).

Key Benefits of electric vehicle:
1. Extremely quite drive.  No vibrations or noise -no driving stress -the music sounds better;
2. Zero-emissions driving. This is noticeable if manoeuvring in garages or alleyways. I charge the car with power generated from my PV panels eliminating pollution (if charging is required from the grid, the CO2 emissions at the power station to charge the car only equate to 30% of the CO2 of a petrol city car);
3. Sufficient driving power - Strong acceleration is achieved through a compact and highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor, which generates high torque at low speeds;
4. Cost cutting.  Even when factoring the cost of electricity, the running costs of the electric car stands at only 1/4 of the cost of petrol.   An owner would also benefit from lower costs for registration, annual road licence and a grant of eur5,000 from the Scrappage Scheme. Servicing costs also plummet since the car has only 4 major working parts compared to over 300 in a typical internal combustion engine. There is no oil sump nor any oil and petrol filters to change.
5. Style.  Driving the silent and innovative electric car is cool and enjoyable. Parking is really easy with a great turning circle.

My next car will be an electric car, the deliberation is simply on the model to go for. 

visit Electromobility Malta on facebook and LIKE the page:!/ElectromobilityMalta?fref=ts

Bowling -Mediterranean Challenge Cup - Malta leading all-time standings

Malta wins an incredible haul of 9 medals in Mediterranean Challenge Cup 2013
-3 GOLD medals: -Justin champion of singles event/ Ladies Doubles Champions/Sue winner of All Events
-6 BRONZE MEDALS: Sue in Singles/ Mixed Doubles/ Tiziana All Events/ Justin in Masters/ Sue in Masters/ Team event
-Mediterranean Challenge Cup -All-time Medal standings 1998-2013:
Gold Silver Bronze
33 21 26
30 24 23
16 20 25
12 13 23
11 9 9
9 16 11
7 5 9
5 11 8
4 7 6
1 2 0
San Marino
0 1 1
0 0 1
Tunisia/ Gibraltar
0 0 0

20th Anniversary SILVIA KING

In memory of SILVIA KING. 20th anniversary.  Silvia was a keen bowler and she looked forward to the GOLD CUP tournament. I regularly cycle near her memorial at Fomm ir-Rih. In 1990, she played one season in my team. At that time I played for Bank of Valletta, winners of Division 1 in 1987.    Her tragic death had shocked the bowling community.  20 years later, we still remember her..     

Mediterranean Cup San Marino 2012 Bowling

Team Malta came out with a good haul of medals from this year's Mediterranean Championships held in San Marino:
  • SILVER Medal - ladies doubles
  • BRONZE Medal - Male doubles
  • SILVER Medal - 4 player Team event
  • GOLD Masters -Sue Abela-Mediterranean Champion 2012 

MTBA annual presentation 'SPICEd up'

MTBA annual presentation was an enjoyable night out.  Bowlers in various categories were presented with trophies to commemorate their success.  I always manage to earn an award! This year I walked away with a team award plus an individual award for my high game of 278 XXXXXXXXX.8/X
We must thank all the donors for supporting the event;  EdenSuperbowl    Master Cellars   SIGMA Paints   Right Deal   SPICE deodorants/shower gel      Deguara Confectionery  RAMIS   Jade Chinese food  Globalair   Sullivan: 360 Foods Imports    Hili Frames   Calleja Ltd   A E Sullivan Ltd: FINA Oils

Friendship Games 2011 - Siracusa

Team Malta declared winners of the Malta vs Sicily bowling event during the Friendship Games 2011.
-Mixed Doubles 1st Malta
-Team event:   1st Malta
-Doubles (M): 1st Sicilia
-Doubles (F): 1st Malta
-All events:  winners MALTA
-All events Male:  1st Neil Sullivan
-All events Ladies: 1st Sue Abela

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011 - New Zealand

The 2011 Rugby world cup is underway in New Zealand. I am supporting SAMOA and WALES.       Link to the official site:

- looking forward to ENGLAND 2015 ...I wanna be there!

off to Bologna - 'Italy senior open' bowling tournament 2011

Its a new challenge... the senior open bowling tournaments.  I am celebrating my 50th birthday in Bologna this week by taking part in my first senior challenge.  About 180 bowlers are expected to compete for the top 34 slots.  I will give them a hard time.  They will surely give me a hard time because I will be playing scratch whilst all older bowlers will get 1 point bonus for each year over 50. Judging by the tempo of the first squads, i will need to play over 220 average scratch to make the finals.
UPDATE - XIH U SOD! - my two entries (valid for qualification):
204-205-254-233-242-204 = 1341
245-197-225-226-233-227 = 1353    Winners: DidoneFrancesco & Hildegard

BARCELONA city experience

Plaça d'Espanya -View from the ARENA-
Barcelona is best known for its football club. The city has much more to offer. It is the heart of the Catalunya region.  The city has a mix of attractions within reach; beaches, monuments, heritage, shopping, sports and lovely countryside beyond the ring of hills surrounding the city. 

The Ramblas is the main tourist hub. A long pedestrian avenue lined with shops, buskers and artists but also abounding with pick pockets and cheats taking the fun away.  There are lots of other attractions.  The old city center has a quaint nostalgic touch. The harbour and the marina offer nice strolls and good cafes. The beaches are 10 minutes from the centre.  Barcelona is steeped in history and architecture and brimming with shops.  You can enjoy some of the best restaurants in Spain. The best ones are away from the centre, just follow the locals instead of the tourists. Other attractions include the Aquarium, a tour of the Nou Camp football stadium and the Olympic city. If its raining, head off to one of the various museums (; do not miss the Picasso Museum and the chocolate museum!
La Sagrada Famiglia
For antiques, head to the old town between the cathedral and Placa del Pi. There’s also an antiques market here every Thursday. Worth a visit.
My favourite spot in Barcelona is at Plaça d'Espanya.  Its near the majestic Montjuic landmark and overlooking one of the city's biggest squares. On a nice sunny day, I recommend a visit to the viewing platform above the ARENA shopping mall (exceptional conversion from ex-bull fighting ring).  
Hate-it or Love-it, the famous Sagrada Famiglia cathedral remains one of the main attractions in the city. Under construction since 1882, the building is truly amazing and original. Must-see. Set aside at least 2 hours for this.
And in the evening?  Start off with a night out at Barcelonetta, an area best known for its sandy beach but which abounds with bars and restaurants. Then move on to clubs dotting the city and the periphery, local advice will surely point to a good choice suiting your mood.

Commonwealth Bowling Championships Malaysia -SILVER FOR MALTA

JUBILIANT Neil -silver medalist
MEN SINGLES: Gold-Malaysia; Silver-Malta; Bronze-South Africa;
WOMEN SINGLES: Gold-Malaysia; Silver-Singapore; Bronze-Malaysia; 7th Malta (Sue Abela)
WOMEN DOUBLES: Gold Singapore; Silver ENG; Bronze Malaysia; Malta 6th
MEN DOUBLES;  Gold-ENG; Silver-AUST; Bronze-Malaysia;  Malta 6th
MIXED DOUBLES: Gold-ENG; Silver-Malaysia; Bronze-AUST; MaltaB 5th
TEAM EVENT: Gold-Singapore; Silver-Malaysia; Bronze-India; Malta 6th
Full results at:

2011 MTBA presentation -2010 Bowling achievements

I enjoyed the MTBA presentation and the event turned out to be quite entertaining.  The raffle prizes were perhaps the best selection in recent years. I did not win anything at the raffle but I did carry away 3 memorable trophies to commemorate achievements;
 -774 scratch series (279-257-238)
 -279 scratch game (xxx9/
 - National league Champions 1st Place

These 3 awards are significant for me as they were won after 2 consecutve serious injuries requiring months of rehabilitation.  Thank you MSV and other sponsors/donors. 

Cycling during Christmas holidays

Spot the castle!
I finally managed to overhaul the bike's breaking system. Its been a couple of months off the bike and I was rearing to go.  The weather was too tempting. A splendid sunny day on 28th December is a bonus for bikers.
Winter and spring are the best months for cycling in the Maltese countryside.  Throughout winter I will pray for rain on Mondays and for sunny weekends...  Bowling season kicks off on 13th January.  Meanwhile, I'll put in some mileage and enjoy our mild winter.

best wishes to all readers

Doctor says I should cut down on bowling.... nah!

Enjoy the Christmas bowling break!  Meanwhile
 we are researching gossip for 2011 league...



RUGBY INTERNATIONAL  Kordin Hibs Ground Saturday, 6th November.   Support TEAM MALTA and buy Malta Rugby Shirt and team merchandise at:
Malta 26- Latvia 33

update: October 2011: Latvia 0 - Malta 28


Team RAMIS smash the Maltese national record for 4-Man team series...AGAIN!  One week after becoming the first Maltese team to top the 2700 barrier, mighty RAMIS rewrote the record books again by smashing through the 2800 barrier.  The old record was held by FINA since 2004 and stood at 2697.  RAMIS, played a hi score of 2850 series.
RAMIS played 937, 986 and 927 games to become the first team ever to play 3 games over 900.   The record team formation was made up of:
-KENNETH ARPA  (244-254-258 = 756)
-RANKIN CAMILLERI  (214 - 247- 216 = 677)
-JOHN BALANI  (200 - 228 - 217 = 646)
-PAUL BALDACCHINO  (279-257-236 = 772)
Pablo's 772 series is the highest ever played in DIV 1.

RAMIS hold a team league average of 835 per game. And that is yet another record!  Read official report here:      and here:


The Pyrenees straddle south west France from the Atlantic to the Med.  I started my adventure  at the foot of the mountain chain. Carcassone boasts an incredible fortified citadel guarding the pyrennean approaches.  It has the perfect setting for medieval films. 
Divided by valleys, cloaked by pines and crested with snow for much of the year, the Pyrennes harbour wildlife and offer spectacular scenery.
 The mountaintop tiny nation of Andorra stands on the east end of the Pyrenees mountain chain,  perched along mountaintops and picturesque valleys.  Famous as a skiing resort, it is also enchanting in summer. 

Four days in the Luchon Valley rewarded us with stunning views and waterfalls. The area offers some fantastic walking treks to various points of truly exceptional beauty (along the route of the Tour de France): 
- Lac D'Oo
- Superbagneres
- Hospice de France
- Bordes du Lys
- Genos
- Arreau

A short uphill drive from Luchon will take you to the Spanish border and then down to the picturesque Spanish Aran Valley, boasting nice views along rivers, lakes and small towns competing for the best cuisine.
At the Central Pyrenees await other majestic scenery.  Many Maltese will know this area for the town of Lourdes which attracts thousands of Maltese each year to visit the shrine.  If you  are in the area, make it a point to spend a day visiting the Pont d'espagne.  Do not settle for a 2 hour tourist bus visit to the outskirts. Take your walking shoes and spend the entire day, walk all the way to the waterfalls and beyond. Another full day excursion should be set aside for Gavarnie.  Walk to and beyond Lac de Gaube. Do not forget your camera and spare batteries and memory card... you may need all of them in a desperate attempt to capture the beauty.
After a week of long walks along the mountain treks and the Parc National des Pyrenees, relax and dine at Biarritz on the Atlantic beaches or head a couple of hours south to the fabulous Spanish border resort of San Sebastian.  Set aside not less than 10 days to truly enjoy this trip and I recommend that you lodge at Gites (family-run, French houses of character offering excellent local cuisine).  Then spoil yourself at a good resort in San Sebastian and dance the night away...

Pablo bowls a 299 game at the EDENBOWL

Almost the perfect game...XXXXXXXXX.XX9  = 299.    This season I also twice bowled 279 games.  So far I have twice notched a 300 game, both occasions during training sessions (in July 2005 and again in March 2008). Now to get one during League!   WATCH VIDEO at Neil's website


Pablo  -772 Series- Bowler of the week
and  highest series ever played in a
4man team encounter
For updates on bowling league -click on subtitle at top of page; MALTA Bowling LEAGUES

RAMIS.........120 - CHAMPIONS 2010
FINA..........108 106
  • mighty RAMIS set new record 2829 team scratch series
  • Pablo plays a 772 series, highest series in 2010
  • TURU's play team record of 2573..and lose 8
  • Ryan Grech shoots his first 700+

Back on 'TREK' ... again!

After an abstension of almost 4 months off the road, I have finally tested my TREK bike again!  Following my crash of last March which left me with a broken wrist, I ensured that wheels and shock absorbers are still in good condition by testing the mountain bike on the Pembroke Ranges, particularly the slopes between White Rocks and the AMF shooting range. 
The bike is in good shape but the rider needs some tuning in....

Malta Bowling National Championships 2010

The 2010 National championships (singles) took off on 1st July.  The nationals are played on short and long patterns and this requires skill and the ability to move lines throughout the series as conditions shift. Final results: 1st: Neil Sullivan;  2nd: Kenneth Arpa;  3rd: Paul Baldacchino
Ladies Champion: Sue Abela

recovering from another injury!

After merely recovering from the trauma of tearing my anterior cruciate ligament during 5-a-side football, I find myself nursing another serious injury with a multi-fracture of my left wrist (bowling with the right!).  I have to carry a strange looking appendage to my wrist with pins secured deep in my bone structure.  Please don't bump into me...
I fell off my mountain bike going downhill at over 40km/h when an erratic driver forced me to break suddenly at a corner.  Despite my experience in handling the bike, I was cheated by a spread of gravel and i spun off!
I am planning a recovery training programme as I aim to do well in the Malta national bowling championships commencing 1st July*. I will need to work hard to regain body coordination and fitness in just 2 months.  I will be back on my bike as soon as I develop sufficient muscle power to safely pull on the brakes.  Maybe riding under 25km/h....for the first week.
*UPDATE: eventually, I managed 3rd place in the National Championships!

MALTA Bowling Summer League 2010

RAMIS - Malta National Champions
Top 10 averages for the 2010 league:
1.Neil Sullivan
2. Ray Falzon
3. Kenneth Arpa
4. Dennis Mercieca
5. Paul Baldacchino
6. Justin C Scicluna
7. Mark Spiteri
8. Sue Abela
9. Rankin
10. Joe Cassar
RAMIS.........116  -Champions  -Runners Up
Calamatta Cuschieri Co.34

RUGBY: Malta 25 - Sweden 23

Malta Rugby Team keeps marching on... Beating Sweden 25 to 23... 2nd win against Sweden. (photo by Domenic Aquilina). WELL DONE MALTA.

MALTA vs LATVIA  24th April -Malta wins: 27-10
MALTA vs LATVIA November  Malta lose: 26 -33

Buy Malta Rugby Merchandise here:

Back on 'Trek'

I am finally cycling again! In September, I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and am still recovering. I have resumed bowling and now I can take to the road again on my TREK bike. Before my accident I had managed to reach 50km in my outings and was hoping to start joining other cyclists on group rides of 80km and to cycle in sicily.
I now need to decide whether to undergo surgery or live with it and build up the supporting muscles. 

The French Riviera - Nice

One of the best corners of the Med must be the French Riviera. My 4th trip for this year found me at Nice, the 'gem' of the Riviera, France's 5th largest city with its marvellous promenade and the quaint old quarters. The absence of direct flights renders it less attractive to Maltese travellers though I did spot a Maltese couple will always find Maltese at shopping zones.

The city centre and the hotels are just a short ride away from the airport. Vieille Ville is the historic part of Nice, a medieval village with narrow streets curving between old buildings with red-tile roofs, small restaurants and open-markets. Nice is famous for the mythical Promenade des Anglais with its shingles beach, hundreds of joggers and an endless stream of cyclists.

Shopping is another attraction, a fat wallet is recommended... Rue Paradis and Rue de Suède are home to the most famous fashion studios; Rue Masséna has the enormous Galeries Lafayette, second in size only to its Parisian branch. Avenue Jean-Médecin and Rue de Verdun are filled with the outlets of popular chains. In Nice, fashion shopping is much more than just a process of walking from one shop to's a meticulously planned spectacle requiring a visit to every important attraction in the city centre.
Art and antiques fans will be delighted with the little artistic studios and curiosities shops situated along the narrow streets around the Old Town Cathedral.  At night, I was looking for a nice place to spend the evening over a glass of beer and I got entertained at Vieux-Nice, in the Old Town, a labyrinth of vibrant pubs and bars with street performers and tempting ice cream parlours.
A stay at Nice can be twinned with visits to other famous spots along the French Riviera. These include, Saint Troppez, Cannes, Villefranche and the famous Monte Carlo at Monaco, home to F1 and Princess Grace.
Nice has a delightful countryside. For the nature lovers, I recommend day trips to Ardeche region, Cevennes National Park and Lake St Croix. If you have hired a car, drive up to Dentelles de Montmirail for spectacular views from these small mountains. For longer stays, you may include a trip to Corsica, a destination that still eludes me... next year?? hmmm...


3 new National records established in one day!  
As part of our highly mobile journalistic cover of bowling events, PABLOG made a flash visit to TRAPANI in time to see a fantastic MALTA TEAM trash TEAM SICILY. Jokingly, the Sicilian coach put up a white flag and shouted c'arrendiamo!   Total team series was a new record for Trios at 4098. Kenneth Arpa also set a new National record in the 6 game category with 1519 pins (253.2 average): 247 266 238 289 234 245.  UPDATE: record broken in June 2013


I love travelling and discovering new places, new people and new experiences. However, every other year I get the urge to return to bella sicilia. Sicily is quite close to Malta and well connected by daily flights and sea routes. 
Alcantara gorge - Sicily

There are some magical spots in Sicily such as ERICE; SEGESTA; ETNA; TINDARIS; ALCANTARA; NEBRODI; TAORMINA & ENNA.
Our favourite place to stay in Sicily is VILLA ULIVETO on the hills above the 'Gole Alcantara' which is a unique gorge with Crystal clear waters flowing on lava rocks. Villa Uliveto is run by Felice and Erminia and it is a lodge perched on a hill overlooking ETNA and the interesting town of FRANCAVILLA. It is peaceful and ideal for those that like to escape from it all and relax in a context of greenery, nature and fantastic views.
For more information on Villa Uliveto,follow this link:

Felice and Erminia will help you make the best out of your holiday and give you advise on itineraries, walking trails and the best local restaurants.

Living in Malta -1

- mild temperatures most of the year
- everywhere is a short ride away
- swimming 6 months a year
- solidarity
- original Renzo Piano plans for Valletta
- Comino in Spring
- views from Upper Barrakka gardens
- Mdina
- keen and motivated sport communities (Bowling/ Cycling/ Sailing/ Golf/ Rugby...)
- cyling along victoria lines & west side of the island
- beating Italy in Bowling

- heatwaves in August
- more greenery please
- inadequate cycling lanes
- slow drivers obstructing traffic
- bottles in the Triton rather than coins as in the Trevi
- speed cameras in the safest stretches rather than in black spots
- too many Maltese obsessed with politics
- not enough Maltese obsessed with active participation in sports
- retail prices
- flow of traffic obstructed by roundabouts & traffic lights rather than building underpasses/bridges..
- absence of 2nd Bowling centre