One of the pleasures of living on a little street at the edge of a village, shoulder to shoulder with traditional farmers – quite aside from them being lovely friendly fellows – is the fresh fruit and vegetables that make their way onto our table. Grown within a few hundred metres of our stove, and often picked on the day, they’re as fresh as can be. It’s also great to be able to see the passing of the seasons on the plate – and this week, as the strawberries tail off, we have tomatoes, as bold red as a post-box; onions and garlic resplendent with flavour; crunchy green peppers, a peppering of potatoes, thick green spinach, an enticing watermelon, and a trio of deep purple aubergines. The latter I have used for a Maltese Kapunata (see below) which we ate alongside locally-caught sea bass, barbequed by The Significant Other in what he is grandly calling ‘The Sky Garden.’

Before you get carried away (as The Significant Other has) and imagine a cascade of green tumbling from the blue sky overhead to the land below, a luscious jungle of leaves and flowers, let me explain. This is not the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or avant-garde eco-architecture in Singapore’s iconic Garden City. No, it’s a few pots on one side of the back balcony! Inspired by the idea of growing food to eat, and with a plan to beautify what has been an organically-barren space, The Significant Other has been planting with a foodie’s fervour. We now have a foliage family between the BBQ and chairs, housed in bright ceramics that evoke the colours of the boats bobbing in Maltese harbours. The selection so far – and it will evolve (that’s the collection rather than the individual specimens) – includes a small olive tree, dangling kumquats that wink a cheery citrus orange from under dark green leaves, a selection of blistering-hot chillies, an oleander with hot pink petals and a miniature fig tree plant with a twisted trunk that looks as if it has been lifted from an ancient rainforest in the Jurassic era. (Not that I know anything much about the plants in the time of the dinosaurs. It sprang to mind because I loved seeing the new film Jurassic World Dominion in Gozo’s Citadel Cinema a few days ago, and watching raptors racing through Valletta’s streets. If you’re coming to visit, watching it is your homework!)

Next up, there’ll be a herb garden on the wall for coriander and basil, possibly parsley and maybe mint. (For rosemary, we can whip outside to Pjazza Praga where it’s growing at the roadside.)

And then watch him get started on the roof space…

Bananas…….