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VIDEO – Malta with James Villas – The dawn in all its majesty


Last night when I edited this I might have cried a few times. Once because iMovie was being tricky, twice because I managed to solve the problem, thirdly because I feel ever so slightly overwhelmed by my to do list right now, that this holiday footage seems like a dream, fourthly because the world is just so incredibly beautiful, and fifthly because the ending just slotted in, exactly as you see it, best timed ending I ever did. Then I laughed a lot as I sped up the Trunki races, and smiled at time spent with old friends J and C, who live out there. J was our best man.

Our time spent reviewing Villa Kentia in Malta for James Villas was magical, you can see just how magical the villa was in the video. Several times I woke, for some unknown reason, and found myself walking out onto the terrace to look at the view, only to be greeted by the most incredible sunsets and sunrises. David Gray’s Real Love was constantly buzzing round my head, so I wanted to use it somehow.

The dawn in all its majesty
Is stealing me away
The dawn in all its honesty
Is turning me to clay

It’s a song that also reminds me of tough Winter mornings driving to work as the sun rose, before I had kids, before I worked from home. So it was great to find it pop up in a happier context.


I don’t think there is anything I have found that makes me happier than travel. The more we travel as a family, the more I feel like it is the most important legacy I want to leave my kids.  But the cruel blow is that the travelling life is one of huge highs and lows.

And something in the heart of me
Is telling me it’s time
To meet the eye of destiny
And leave it all behind

It’s hard to adjust at times, to ‘leave it all behind’ to go, and to come back.

It was amazing to see friends we don’t see enough of, to celebrate Mr A’s birthday in the sunshine, to eat cake and walk down to the beach, to collect glass, crystal, driftwood and to see the waves crashing. To spend loads of uninterrupted time as a family. To eat and drink and play board games once the kids were tucked up in bed.

I don’t write this blog as a way for my kids to remember stuff particularly, I hope they will be too busy filling their lives with new experiences and taking us with them in spirit, to dwell on the past. But kids, you might like this one, I sped up the Trunki races just for you.

Linking this up with Me and Mine, as I managed to get a picture of us all, and I would very much like to keep up with doing so in 2015. Lovely linky, do check it out!

dear beautiful

More on James Villas, Malta and Gozo

Find out more about James Villas

Find out more about what we did beyond the villa

Read my Top 5 Things in Malta with Kids on Space in Your Case

Tour the stunning doors of Malta and Gozo over on A Residence

Disclosure – our villa stay was provided by James Villas.



  1. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)
    25/11/2014 / 2:42 pm

    *sniff* I seem to have something stuck in my throat *ahem*… what an amazing holiday and even if you don’t write this blog for your kids to read one day I KNOW they won’t be able to help themselves from smiling when they see that video. Awesome x *runs off to find tissue*

  2. Katie @mummydaddyme
    25/11/2014 / 3:10 pm

    Gosh Penny this has made me into a wreck, I am actually crying! What a beautiful video of your holiday- the music choice was perfect and as I said on twitter, that sunset (or sunrise?) at the beginning was absolutely stunning- I have never see anything like that before. The villa looks fabulous and the whole holiday just looks so special.
    This line in your blog ‘I don’t write this blog as a way for my kids to remember stuff particularly, I hope they will be too busy filling their lives with new experiences and taking us with them in spirit, to dwell on the past’ made me so emotional, what you are saying is so right. But i can guarantee that you all will LOVE to look back on this in years to come. x

  3. parentshaped
    25/11/2014 / 3:13 pm

    @Michelle eek I didn’t mean to make other people cry, I blame David 😉 Thanks so much for watching xxx
    @Katie thanks so much, you know you have really inspired me to go back to montage style videos, so thank you, and yes, I think the videos from our holidays are going to be something we will always look back on now xxx

  4. parentshaped
    25/11/2014 / 3:14 pm

    @katie and good point, it was a sunset, but hey, the dawn was pretty incredible too xx

  5. Pinkoddy
    25/11/2014 / 7:34 pm

    I do hope the children do come and visit this.
    Oh my the villa is better than my house!
    haha the trunki races speed up look so much more fun!

  6. 25/11/2014 / 7:49 pm

    WHat a gorgeous video – looks like an amazing holiday, and some truly spectacular skies!

  7. 25/11/2014 / 7:56 pm

    I loved that video – I couldn’t look away when I was watching it. Your holiday really does look magical and you look like such a happy family.

  8. parentshaped
    25/11/2014 / 8:59 pm

    @PinkOddy I totally want to live in a single story minimalist house now

    @Sonya they were out of this world, other worldly

    @Cass I am glad it worked for someone else too, you never know how video transfers to other people so appreciate you saying that 🙂

  9. 25/11/2014 / 8:59 pm

    Just wow Penny an amazing video the place looks magical. Love it!

  10. 25/11/2014 / 9:11 pm

    What a beautiful video – I think videos are such a great way to capture those special family moments. The villa looks incredible, and what a spectacular view!

  11. 25/11/2014 / 11:47 pm

    Oh what a beautiful video and worth all the hassle that iMovie was giving you (I have days like that especially when it comes to editing videos – which I am not very good at doing). Your James Villa looks amazing and Malta has been on our must-visit places for a longtime – we have a great time in a James Villa in France in september – great for self catering families and groups. I also find it hard to let go, in fact I don’t think I have really ever let going of growing up in South Africa, a lovely warm place and moving to here with these cold cold winters but memories are what keep me going 🙂

    Laura x

  12. Becky
    26/11/2014 / 2:01 pm

    oh Penny how beautiful is this you are giving your kids some fabulous memeories

  13. I’m so glad I waited to be able to see the video on full screen – it’s beautiful in so many ways. You all look incredibly happy and the setting is stunning. I love that shot of DS and DH looking down to the sea, especially. Loved the music too :))

  14. Mammasaurus
    26/11/2014 / 3:56 pm

    Oh it all looks lovely – and that villa is a lot larger than I imagined one would be too! Lovely video – I was on Rik spotting alert 😉

  15. 26/11/2014 / 7:55 pm

    Very nice Penny! Love the video and your skills for editing it. The villa looks beautiful and would love to visit Malta sometimes!

  16. 26/11/2014 / 10:48 pm

    Gorgeous post and video – you’re right travel is one of the best things for our kids, not just time spent together but broadening their horizens literally x

  17. MummyNeverSleeps
    27/11/2014 / 2:01 am

    Penny that video was such a joy to watch. I love how simple you kept it yet managed to fit so much in. You’ve captured the carefree, happy nature of childhood. I’m convinced your kids (and you obvs) will cherish it in years to come xx

  18. 28/11/2014 / 6:46 pm

    COR! that Villa looks even more amazing on video! I love watching moments like this back, somehow so much more magical than a photo x

  19. Polly
    28/11/2014 / 7:32 pm

    aw Penny – that video is amazing! Looks so beautiful xx

  20. 08/10/2015 / 10:35 pm

    Welp, now I guess Malta is on my list also. Absolutely beautiful, and that sky, wow.

    It looks like you guys had a great time.

    • parentshaped
      12/10/2015 / 7:15 pm

      It’s a magical place!

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