Wendy's Golden Dust

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Victor Calleja

Drive to the northernest part of Malta and stop for a break in Mellieħa where you can relax with a vista of sea, luscious land and a most beautiful village. Mellieħa is one of Malta’s most attractive spots, perched on a hill and cut off from most other villages. 

Many dream of owning a piece of real estate there and for all these dreamers Mellieħa now has a development that captures all that is beautiful in the village and the rest of Malta. I am lucky enough to meet Wendy Steciuk, one of the dreamers who is living her dream by owning one of the apartments in Tas-Sellum.

“The way Mellieha is cut off from the rest of the island yet is such an integral and beautiful part of Malta is echoed in the Tas-Sellum residences, Wendy tells me. “It has all the fascination of Mellieħa with the most amazing views and, while nicely cut off from the rest of the world, is yet just a few minutes away from the centre,” Wendy adds on when we meet for a drink on her terrace. 

I gulp while repeating wow after wow. The place and surroundings are all wow-evokers and the view beyond awesome. The sea is limpid, the isles a few metres away picture-perfect. But even on a wintry day with rough seas I have no doubt the scene is just as picturesque. Wendy loves it all and this shows from her internal glow—even if circumstance has been rough on her these last few weeks. 

Wendy is the perfect hostess—she laughs, she is welcoming, she talks all about her life, her love of Malta and the Maltese and her brush with cancer.  She tells me that she was operated on a few weeks ago—but a more positive and energetic person it is hard to find.

Wendy is Headteacher at a Catholic School in England and, after holding this position for 12 years, she still talks about it with great gusto. She loves the students—and I’m sure they love her as she is a dynamo not just of work but also of good vibes. 

She uses Malta as her home away from home and has been in love with the island, its inhabitants and its ways ever since she came here as a young adult. She stayed at a hotel in Mellieħa and her love affair with the village and the sea has never diminished.

Wendy has friends who visit Malta regularly but a few of them tried convincing her to choose somewhere else for her foray into foreign property. They thought she should go to Spain or France, where there is more space and scope for her to do all she likes. She allowed them to try convincing her but nothing came close to Malta. 

“To me,” Wendy blurts out laughing, “Malta has everything. It is even spiritual, which I like—even if less so than 30 years ago. It is still a place you feel most happy in. I tried the rest of what I thought could entice me but nothing had the Mellieħa magic and the people behind Tas-Sellum just turn even the mundane into magic. The people within the development, from the top man to the handyman are impeccable in their ways. And they treat me just like one of the family.” 

It still makes her feel unbelievably proud to think that, when she bought the apartment, Ray Fenech himself made an appearance during the signing of the deed. “I imagined he would send a substitute but, as Maurice Tabone, one of the directors, was abroad, Ray Fenech himself was there. More magic!”

Wendy is on her way to full recovery and should be given the all-clear after a number of annual check-ups. She plays down the severity of her illness, making me think that I know many people who make a bigger fuss if they sneeze. I leave filled with hope and conviction that Mellieħa and Tas-Sellum will work their own bit of recovery for Wendy.