Happy New Year! Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re celebrating in style!
We’re celebrating down the south coast of NSW in Tuross Heads with family, friends and plenty of good food and wine; fishing, foraging, sun and sand. There have been feasts galore and on new year’s eve last night, between mouthfuls of briny fresh local oysters and foraged black mussels, we reflected on the year that was 2012 and I remembered having written a post on new year’s day last year reflecting on 2011. I’d mentioned then in that post that the highlights of 2011 for us was the Co-pilot and me getting engaged in New York and having our Chinese tea ceremony. Lowlights were my lung collapse episode and subsequent hospitalisation and now, after a year’s mourning to heal wounds I can admit that my father passed away at the end of 2011 after a long and protracted battle with cancer. It was a very difficult time for me this same time last year with so so much grief and raw emotion to contend with and any mention of him, or well meaning attempts to ask of my well being would rip open wounds and start a fresh cascade of tears. So as a not expressively emotional person, I dealt with it the only way I knew how: very quietly. I wished then for a better 2012 and now upon reflection on the first day of 2013, I can safely say, it’s definitely been a much better year!
For a start, the Co-pilot and I got married in February with close family and friends around us indulging in delicious food – and we now know our unique wedding has inspired others to replicate it in its entirety(!); we had 2 honeymoons – the first, a teaser in Thailand and more recently an entire month away travelling through London, France and Spain; and finally just this month, after two years of searching, we closed out 2012 by finally buying a house! I’ve found that buying a house has been far more sobering and transformative than marriage. I recall turning to the Co-pilot, after the euphoria of the auction had died down and the dawning realisation that we’d bought a house settled in, and saying “I feel like an adult now”. Marriage made me feel young and joyous and in love. Buying a house and now, for the first time being in debt has been more of an aging process. So yes, it’s been a pretty big year for us in major life events.
So, to round out the year of holidays, as mentioned earlier we’re currently spending our holiday break in Tuross Heads and we still have a glorious week ahead of us before we need to return to work. I’ve exulted in the luxury of doing not much but cooking and eating with our friend and family contingent down here, fishing on some days and poking around the seashore and exploring rockpools on others. We’ve foraged oysters and mussels; samphire and pigface off the rocky shoreline, but my favourite find so far is this delightful creature – a blue nudibranch (Glaucus atlanticus), a type of sea slug that floats on the ocean preying on nasty blue bottles. It was small, only about 3cm in length and was waving its arms around languidly in the most mesmerising fashion. In retrospect I’m glad I resisted the urge to touch it with my bare hands as, despite being so delicate and fragile in appearance, it stores the toxin from the blue bottles it preys on in its finger like fronds and can deliver a wallop nastier than blue bottles! I’m fascinated by them now and find myself scanning the sand and rockpools for more specimens.
And last night we kicked off 2013 with fireworks at the local country club, with cheap booze, bleating bad music, heaving sweaty big bodies and far too much unsightly drunken flesh. To cap it off a seriously bloody brawl between the locals (men and women alike) that started next to us and I mean right next to us. We had to quickly scoot out of the way to avoid being collateral damage! So we’ve had a stylish start to the new year already – surely it can only get better from here!
But seriously, I’m very much looking forward to the coming year – we’ll be settling into our new house at the end of this month and I can’t wait to go shopping for furnishings! We’ve been making do with a small apartment and a coffee table cum dining table for years! So we’ll finally have a dining table and have guests over – imagine that!
Thank goodness that 2012 was kinder to us than 2011 and I sincerely hope it was the same for you. Wherever you are, wishing you a fantastic, healthy, happy 2013 with of course, plenty of good food, good wine and interesting travels!by