Monthly Archives: August 2015


2015 liam at street parade

Truly Magical Moments. I am not even a techno fan… and I don’t like crowds… but I absolutely love the intensity of Zurich’s annual Streetparade.
People of all ages and nationalities are dancing and letting go together. Even 80-year old couples are joining into the party. Old ladies are wearing Hawaiian Leis, their eyes lighting up at seeing their historical city transformed into something not quite from this Earth. For just one day, it becomes an ocean of myriad colors, of glowing bodies vibrating with energy and happiness.
I am feeling intensely alive and so happy that I want to simultaneously holler, cry, yodel, and hop up and down like an over-caffeinated kangaroo. Life is meant to be lived.


1987 on top of zugspitze

When I was sixteen, my dad brought me along for a trip to Berchtesgaden with his lover. During one of our days there, they wanted to have some time to themselves. I welcomed having a day to explore on my own and decided to hike all the way to the top of Zugspitze. I didn’t know the first thing about hiking, pacing myself, proper shoes… and it never occurred to me to research beforehand how long the hike would take.

Late morning, I set off at a brisk pace, inevitably finding myself completely winded after a little less than an hour. Even worse, I was wearing new hiking boots and my feet were hurting as if they were being squeezed in a medieval torturing device. I could feel tenacity rising within me while I caught my breath. Nope, turning around was definitely not an option.
So I pushed on at the same rigorous pace. Half an hour later I felt myself unable to take another step. My lungs were burning and my feet felt as if I had stepped on multiple razor blades. I sat down on a bench and gingerly took off my socks. They seemed to have merged with my feet. Both feet were covered in blisters. Most of those had already been rubbed raw and blood was everywhere.
All the hikers I had overtaken on my way up so far, began catching up with me and gave me odd glances. Thankfully one of them stopped and, in a very practical approach, handed me some disinfectant wipes and plasters.
“You really need to slow down kid.” he said. “Get yourself patched up and then walk slowly enough so you can go the distance. From here it’s at least another four hours to the top.”
So I improvised my first ever field-dressing, gritted my teeth, and went on… step by step, by little slow-paced step.
I reached the summit about five hours later, handed my little Kodak Instamatic to another fellow hiker, and posed for this shot. Absorbing the magnificent landscape all around me with every fibre of my being I knew it had all been worth it. This was a sight and a feeling of sweet exhaustion and accomplishment to remember.


papa and liam

As a child I adored my dad. Come adolescence, he began to seem old to me, a stranger, far removed from my own world. In my eyes he was unable to truly comprehend what happened in my life.

Many years later, when I turned forty, I noticed with astonishment that deep inside I hadn’t changed much from the teenager who had always been so full of positive energy, hopes and dreams.
And I wondered.. had my father always remained a young man inside as well? His character and emotional predispositions might be quite different from mine, but we could have more in common than I ever thought possible.

As small as this epiphany seems, it went a long way in helping me to understand my dad better. He still triggers tidal waves of emotions in me but, our worlds have moved closer together. Instead of being offended at how different our planets are, we have finally arrived — if not on the same star, than at least only a few light years apart instead of thousands.

Writing my book has done wonders as I re-experienced so many key events involving Dad. As I dove deep into my own story, I remembered him vividly and he came alive within me: his warm smile, his calm loyalty, his limitless generosity, his boyish behavior, his tears, the trauma of his marriage, his love affairs, his struggle with depression, his breakfast tomatoes, his passion for swimming, and his kindness in giving me my first razor and a bottle of Cool Water at the start of my hormone therapy, long before I had my gender reassignment surgery.

Now, moving back to within an hours drive of my dad is another huge geographical as well as emotional step towards each other. We meet and we talk. And even if sometimes I still get impatient, I am profoundly happy to have him in my life.

New Beginnings

liam and cats

My apologies for keeping you waiting with my weekly post. Our move from Malta to Zurich has brought all else to a standstill. After weeks of planning, searching and moving from apartment to hotel room to Airbnb, we have found our new home. We have unearthed long forgotten mementos from the bottom of dusty boxes bearing the scents of crumbly autumn leaves. We have bought a comfortable sofa and have enjoyed a few breakfasts on the balcony with our cheeky cats.
My introductory week at work has passed without major incident. It has been challenging, relaxing, and enjoyable, all at the same time.

Today marks our first real day off since cramming our belongings into that Maltese rental car four weeks ago. There will be no shopping, organizing, worrying, or hammering nails into walls today. Instead, we will stare into space and let ourselves sink ever more deeply into the cloud-like cushions of our new couch.