And all I ask is for a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

Food is a touchy subject for many: for eating and discussing. It requires all the senses to really appreciate it. Food can also provoke an emotional response. If I am feeling homesick, for example, I make a big dish of macaroni and cheese, or champ (complete with loads of butter and spring onions). When I’m feeling lazy, it’s Udon noodles in a broth with whatever veggies I have on hand and a dash of soy sauce, or my summer favourite – linguine with tomato and basil, covered in a fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

So why am I starting my first post for the new year talking about food (apart from it being lunch time)? Because I’m marvelling at what I consider to be happy foods. Cherries (I haven’t bought any, yet), mangoes, lychees, avocado, meringues, marshmallow mice with licorice tails (it’s a South African thing), mashed potato, a good margarita pizza, basil, salsa, good feta, Kalamata olives, and vine ripened tomatoes. In fact, what I’m currently eating for lunch is a happy dish: fresh tomatoes, feta, olives and basil drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper. It can be summed up in a single word: summer.

Happiness in a salad

I’m halfway through my summer holidays, and this is the first time I’ve turned on my computer in ages (let’s hear it for smartphones). I have, surprisingly, been having a break. Up until Thursday, we had the most stunning weather. And there was some entertaining cricket on the box, and a knitting commission (with yarn delivered at the eleventh hour) to complete (all is done, with a bind off and blocking to go). It was fantastic to be in the Bay for longer than a weekend, and with a glut of fruit mince pies to get through.

Highlights from during my summer break (2011 version)

It was the first time I’d been in the new Aquatic Centre at home, and I was determined to get some swimming done. I have a 10-trip, and I will use it when I’m up there. I’m used to a 20m pool now, so those extra 5 metres in the indoor pool really make a difference. But I learnt very quickly that my shoulder still has a long, long way to go. It really didn’t appreciate any sort of freestyle and told me so. Repeatedly. Thus, I had to stick to breaststroke. You know what? It’s not too bad. (And my shoulder doesn’t complain, so that’s a bonus). I swam until my arm wouldn’t move. My number of laps are improving, but a stiff and achy shoulder can be a bit of a bastard. I just need to be more diligent with the swimming and the shoulder this year. It took a serious knock in the last boxing class holding the pads, and it’s just not quite settled. I get the distinct impression that there’s a bit of a reality check as to what I can and can’t do this year with it, I’m trying to avoid that little discussion with myself for now.

And here we are. This year. 2012. A year legends are made of. My resolutions are relatively simple this year.
(in no particular order)

  1. breathe
  2. don’t sweat the small stuff
  3. travel
  4. read
  5. cross a couple of things off that bucket list
  6. swim
  7. box
  8. do more library stuff
  9. spend more time with friends
  10. more music concerts
  11. work on being more spontaneous (there is method to that contradictory madness)

It’s more like a set of guidelines than anything else. There will be knitting (I have some commissions to do, and some WIPs for finish), but I am now on a yarn diet (the exception being commissions, if I do not have the yarn in my stash), and reading is to take precedence this year. I’m looking forward to buying a bookcase and filling it this year: both with my books currently in the Bay, and from my guilt-free trips to the various bookshops around the place that I have been avoiding for fear of buying tomes with nowhere to put them.

As for the 2011 introspections, like the ever-inspiring DrK, I would like to leave last year alone. I did much and learnt more, and I may put together something sort of knitting tally for it, but it’s just a thought at this stage. This is a year of more mindful knitting, more productive reading, and more considered writing.

Let’s see how long it lasts…



  1. food really is very evocative isnt it? i sometimes wish i had less of an emotional relationship with it!! but the fresh produce this summer is pretty impressive, the mangoes and cherries here are lovely. i just need a bit more sun to ripen up my tomatoes, tho i think someone (aka the red wombat) has been eating them straight off the vine. as for new years, i am pretty much done with thinking they mean anything. its just another set of days that will do what they will and i cant control any of it. breathing and not sweating the small things are top of my list too. may 2012 bring some good things your way.

  2. The breathing and not sweating the small things made me grin – just don’t swallow The Little Book of Calm! 🙂 I’ve got heirloom tomatoes growing all over the place in the hope of colourful pastas with just tomatoes and garlic and basil. Is anything better than that?

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