Christmas has been and gone; and 2014 is almost done and dusted.
So far I've enjoyed a very quiet, relaxed Christmas period. Everything has gone along as I’d planned and hoped. The best gift received has been the rain. Since Christmas night gently rain has been falling from the sky above. If it was coming from any other direction I’d blame the garden sprinklers for the sprinkles, but – no – it’s coming from above and beyond.
The precipitation spraying forth from the sky is most welcome, by me, anyway. Not only is it great for the earth, the trees, gardens etc., it’s also a very good excuse for me to be totally slothful with no feelings of guilt as I've lounged about like Lady Muck! Will someone please peel me a grape? No - nobody there? Okay...I'll do it myself.
With the third match in the cricket test between the Aussies and India having commenced on Boxing Day (and they're still at play as I write), as well as the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which also commenced on Boxing Day (the race was completed yesterday and last night), my time has been well spent.
And, of course, being very parochial I have to stick around here close to home so I can fly the flag!
I have never been and will never be a part of the madding hordes who descend like maniacs upon the stores, beating down the doors like wild banshees, males and females alike, to get their greedy hands on the Boxing Day/after Christmas/New Year sales. I honestly do not understand those crowds of people who camp outside the major department stores from the early hours of Boxing Day morning, some as early as 3 am, if not before. When the stores’ doors open, in a panicked state, with the whites of their eyes glaring like LED lights, bright enough to light up a darkened sky and their nostrils flaring, they rush through the barely opened doors, desperate to beat the person beside or behind them to a bargain!
I can’t think of anything worse to do on Boxing Day than to be a part of that kind of madness. I don’t understand people; I don’t I want to. I think they are the same crowd who frequent buffets/smorgasbords and pile their plates up to overflowing as if they’ve never seen food before and are fearful they may never see it again!
I abhor greed in all its forms; it disgusts me!
2014 has raced by at a pace not dissimilar to leaves plummeting to the ground from their host trees when they become victims of gale-force winds. Unfortunately, the year has flown by without the fluidity of falling leaves.
This past year has been a very trying year on so many levels…not only here in Australia, but throughout the world. If there are any signs that things will improve I’m yet to see them. I hope my failure to see is because I’m not looking in the right places.
I never make New Year resolutions. I know myself better than anyone else does; and I know myself better than I do anyone else. That being so, I know I’d break 99.9%, if not all frivolously made resolutions, so I don’t get caught up in the whirl of making them. I guess I do have one resolution each year...that one sole resolve (it never changes) is to keep being myself; I’m the only person I can be.
In the words of Popeye: “I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam.'
I do love spinach, too; but, as yet, I’ve not gained muscles similar to those of Popeye! If I did, they certainly would cause a few eyes to pop!
Not knowing what lays ahead in 2015 the best we can do is be the best we can be.
I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year…a year where the “happy” lasts throughout the whole year not just on the last night of the old year, and on the first day of the new.
My wish; my hopes - even if they seem like pipe dreams - are for 2015 to bring peace throughout the world; for humans everywhere to use their energy for doing good rather than evil.
Why waste energy on hate; why waste energy on trying to destroy freedom? Why waste time; and why oh, why waste lives?
Love the ones you’re with…and love the ones you wish you were with.
May 2015 be a great year for us all.
And, in case you’re still feeling a little peckish after Christmas…here are a couple of recipes to tempt you.
Maple Bacon-Wrapped Scallops: Line baking sheet with foil. Fire up grill/broiler, or preheat oven 190C (350F). Wrap bacon around 20 uncooked sea scallops; secure with toothpicks. Place scallops on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle some pure maple syrup onto the centre of the scallops; try not to get any onto the bacon (don’t stress if you do). Grill for 6mins on each side or until bacon is crisp; or bake 8-10 minutes in oven Don’t over-cook.
Easy-Peasy Phyllo/Fillo Turnovers: Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Lay one sheet of phyllo pastry on work area; lightly coat with cooking spray or melted butter; lay another sheet over top; and repeat with spray or oil; and then repeat the process one more time. Cut pastry lengthwise into thirds. Place 1 piece of Brie cheese and 1/2tspn cranberry sauce or fruit chutney about 1-inch from the bottom of one section of the pastry; fold the dough over top of the cheese and sauce to form a triangle. Continue to fold, maintaining the triangle shape until the end of the pastry is reached. Repeat with the other two strips of pastry. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry, cheese and sauce/chutney. Bake until the turnovers are golden, 12mins to 15mins.
Poinsettia Cocktail: One part champagne; one part vodka and two parts cranberry juice. Make it as a punch if you are serving a crowd. Make ice cubes using cranberry juice with a few frozen cranberries added to it; toss the ice cubes into the punch; or if you prefer, serve it by the glass.
I'm joining friends for drinks and nibbles late afternoon/early evening on New Year's Eve...and then I'll return back home to see the New Year in with my two furry rascals. I always see the New Year in...it just seems to be the thing to do....
|Greetings from Shama for a wonderful 2015|
|And from Remy during a break from his laundry duties|
|CHEERS FROM DOWN UNDER!|