Annual stocktake, looking forward… plus a bit of nostalgia

I saw in the New Year with friends down in Queenscliff, a pretty town situated on one of the two peninsulas that guard Port Phillip Bay. We cooked a feast, lit two sets of ornate candelabras*, and did a kind of ‘stocktake’ on the year that was. Questions included:

  • Film of the year
  • Soundtrack of your year (either the music you listened to, or the music that best depicts or describes your year)
  • Item of clothing acquired this year and worn most often (we all had something to nominate here, no hesitation)
  • Favourite recipe of the year
  • Happiest moment (for me this was SB returning to Rome for a further 22 romantic hours with me, back in January, after I managed to get myself on a flight leaving one day later. Oh, the joy!)
  • Biggest surprise or unexpected outcome (responses here included Obama’s win – would any of us have predicted that, two years ago? – and Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation. We wouldn’t have predicted that in the Howard years either…)
  • Word/phrase/expression of the year (in the media or from your own mouth)
  • Words that sum up your year (we all seemed to offer words like ‘challenging’ and ‘crap’)
  • Biggest lesson learned

There were more… these are the ones I can think of now. Perhaps it is the research frame of mind that makes me enjoy looking back over things in this way and trying to put them in context. Or perhaps it is my determination to put all of the frustration and sadness that marked much of 2008 for me away once and for all. I am designating 2009 as my Year of Plenty. Plenty of what, I am not sure yet. Hopefully plenty of good things. That is the plan, anyway. Yee-ha!

But I can’t resist looking back either. This time last year… that is my current favourite phrase, because this time last year I was travelling, and having the most wonderful time. This time last year I was in Italy, in Lecce to be exact, the beautiful ornate Baroque city in Puglia in the heel of the boot that is Italia. Before that, I ‘d caught up with old friends from the European Mozart Academy in Paris, we’d given a concert in Armenia, I’d been back to Bosnia for the first time in nine years and celebrated a genuine White Christmas there. It seems longer than a year ago. It seems like another life ago. A different person almost.

But that’s the person I want to get back again. We are all at our best when we are travelling, perhaps. Nothing really troubles you.

So here are a couple of photos from this time last year. And if you visit the posts in the ‘Travel’ category you’ll find many more.



* We sang Neil Diamond songs too. It was the only CD anyone had remembered to bring. We worked out ‘Solitary Man’ on the guitar (me) and bass guitar (Nina). And sang away without shame. Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong decade. At least we sang with a sense of irony.


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