My Super Secret Revealed

Malta Map“Hey Dechene, you ain’t been writing so much lately. Ain’t seen you on the blog. Something up?”

Indeed there is.

I’m outta here.

Yep, I’m moving. To goddamn Malta. That’s a small island nation in the Mediterranean, close to Sicily, that’s old and warm and, by all accounts, gorgeous.

I will be coming back, however. I still ♥ Regina and all that. We’ll only be gone about eight months.

Y’see, it’s my wife’s sabbatical year. And from September 2 to April 30 we’re going to be living abroad so she can do math research with a bunch of profs over there.

Seriously, Malta is a hotbed of combinatorics. This is a legit math trip.

Me? I’m just along for the ride. And to marshal kids. And drink obscene amounts of coffee.

We’ve actually known about this move for months now but I’ve been having trouble believing the plan’s real. In fact, even though the flight is booked, our accommodation deposit paid, and all the other arrangements made, I’m still kinda convinced that I’ll wake up on September 3, in bed here and not in Europe. So I’ve been keeping the sabbatical plan fairly quiet, only sharing with people we know in meatspace, so as not to jinx it.

That said, even though I’ve kept this Malta trip behind a mental partition, over the last few months, between all the getting our house set up for tenants while we’re away and getting our everything we’re taking prepped to leave, I’ve had little time for blogging. And when I have had free time, well… my heart’s basically been nine-tenths the way to the Mediterranean already.

Twitter’s about the level of writing commitment I’ve been capable of. (You can follow along at @pauldechene)

Anyway, while I’m gone, Prairie Dog will still have regular city hall coverage. It will likely improve, frankly, as there’ll be new, better writers on that beat.

I still plan to watch city council videos while I’m away. Maybe. Planning to. But you know, now that I think about it… Seriously, would you watch Regina city council if you were on an island in the Mediterranean and didn’t have to?

Complicating things, we won’t have easy internet access where we’ll be living. (I consider that a feature not a drawback.) So actually accessing archived council video may be a little complicated.

Once we’re settled and have figured out how to get the kids to school and fed and such, I’ll go to an internet café or library or whatever they have in Malta — web-enabled carrier pigeons? — and check in here with photos.

Have a fun prairie fall, and prairie winter, and prairie spring, Regina. I’ll be skipping all of them.

And to everybody who’s read and enjoyed my six freaking years of city hall coverage in Prairie Dog, thanks for all of your support. I’ll pick up where I left off in eight months.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

15 thoughts on “My Super Secret Revealed”

  1. If you’re an archaeology and/or history buff, there could hardly be a better place to be! Plus, Malta is the only country I know of that’s been awarded the George Cross.
    Best of luck on your move, and enjoy your Mediterranean idyll. (The kids will love it.)

  2. Thanks Barb.

    So the kids in school there all have to wear uniforms. That already has made my daughter pretty happy.

    As for the history and archaeology, I’m hoping to grow from “casual dabbler” to “buff”.

  3. Wow, Malta sounds happening. And then there’s this (sorry):

    Hollywood star couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are set to shoot their next film in the Malta island.

    By The Sea is written by the 39-year-old Maleficent actor, who will also helm the ambitious project. This will be the couple’s second film after their 2005 hit Mr & Mrs Smith, said The Hollywood Reporter.

    The Malta Independent said that set construction is well under way with one structure on the beach nearing completion.

    The filming will run at Malta till November 10 this year. Universal picked up the worldwide rights to the film. – See more at:

  4. Oh good. Looks like we’ll have a nice quiet trip then, as the paparazzi will be occupied chasing Brad and Angelina around, they won’t have time to pester us.

  5. When I was a kid, I thought I’d really like school uniforms because it would give me something harmless to get indignant about and rebel against. And for years I was all like, “You can’t tell me what to look like, Mr Square-in-a-Suit!” Then I realized nobody gave a shit how I dressed — jean jacket with safety pins up the sleeves, a poncho, sweatpants and a Bill Cosby sweater… nothing could shock anyone when you’re living in a world where bank executives have neck tattoos. Rebelling via clothing at that point just seemed tedious and expensive so I can wear whatever I want.

    Turns out I like suits.

  6. As a school-uniform veteran, I can say this: the thing was bug-ugly, but it was cheap, and it was only mandatory (if memory serves) from October until May.

  7. That’ll be a sweet gig, Paul.

    Of course, I’m not going to tell anyone about the research you’ll be doing in the catacombs, concerning the Templar artifacts, and the Shroud of Turin. Nope, not gonna tell.

    Would you like some introductions to the local Illuminati?

  8. Happy Malt-ing in Malta!
    At least you and your family get to experience a different place in the world for several months.
    How many families get such an opportunity?

  9. Top Six reasons you shouldn’t leave: 1. Who will help keep a keen eye on The Fouge, our esteemed council members and the other dastardly devils who inhabit city hall and the city’s school boards? 2. Who will help supervise/chaperone/arm-twist the (as yet to be self-described) curmudgeonly and always-on-the-edge of various trouble-making antics PD editor Whitworth? 3. It’ll be next to impossible to give up your insatiable Whopper habit and take up devouring bushels of Maltesers instead.(Not sure you’re aware that Whoppers are actually a banned substance in Malta, so pack your bags accordingly and check your pockets before you leave Canada.) 4. Think of the dramatically reduced Regina beer consumption and how the city’s economy will wither as a result during your 8-month absence. 5. Regina may not be able to sustain itself with one less witty, wise, jauntily attired, twitter king, bike-riding super dad. 6. Your adorable family is at risk of being mistaken for the Brangelina brood and you really don’t want to spend the next 8 months ducking paparazzi and giggling fans – you get enough of that in Regina and it’ll only get worse in Malta. But, if you INSIST on leaving and enjoying this wonderful opportunity, then I can only wish you all the best during the next 8 months. Once you get settled, I hope we can look forward to your tweets, blog posts and any other communications! (Just don’t forget to come back!)

  10. Enjoy Malta, Paul! Enjoy being away! Enjoy a winter without snow…. without school demolitions…. Have the best year AWAY!!! (will miss seeing you and the kids on the street!!) Enjoy ALL!!!!

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