Sunday, 3 January 2010

January is for eating vegetables.

Happy New Year!

I had a good festive season. Christmas day was passed with the Clown, the Alpha Couple and my sister. The Clown and I spent most of the day in the kitchen, which is where we both love to be. We had a trio of birds: duck stuffed with a partridge (yup, you read that right - death was the least of the indignities suffered by that duck) and a pheasant on the side. This after eating a stuffed ox heart the night before. 'Tis the season to feast.

I generally enjoy new year's eve better than Christmas though, and this year was no different. Perhaps it's because I haven't yet found a new Christmas tradition of great personal significance. I've got the memories of childhood family Christmases, which I treasure. But what do you do when you're older, don't have any children for whom you might want to recreate that childhood Christmas, and have no connection to or interest in either the commercial or religious version of the festival? I'm far from being a dirty hippy, but I love that the season is a celebration of the winter solstice. It's my favourite solstice, a reminder that winter is not so long and the days only get lighter from here. Much better than the summer solstice, which leaves me thinking: WHAT? HOW? It's only just got warm!!! So my plan for next Christmas is to find some way to reconnect to that hope: that the night is never as long as it feels, and even in the depth of darkness there's a promise of the spring to come...

Back to new year's eve, my third in Cardiff, which is impressive considering I only moved here in September. I spent the evening with, well, everyone really. We started at our house with a good riddance ritual and then split into two parties to head into town. I was part of the Second Annual New Year's Ghost Train, an idea the Clown had last year. We dress in white, deck ourselves with strings of lights, and then cycle through town, arriving at the centre in time for the fireworks. Next year: more lights and more elaborate costumes. From town, we headed to a circus party across the river, and then from there (we really shouldn't have been on bicycles by this point) back to the east side of town to yet another party. I was a relative light-weight and packed it in at 4 a.m.

And now it's the first few days of a new year. My body craves exercise (5.5 miles running yesterday) and, as an indication of just how much festive feasting I've been enjoying of late, I've been having odd fantasies about steamed broccoli...

No broccoli tonight, but a break from meat: butternut squash curry and spiced red cabbage on the side.

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