As the sun sets on another year, it is always a time of reflection and for looking forward. So often I hear people say “I hope the New Year is a better one”, or “good riddance to this year” as our tendency to take a broad sweeping view leaves us with the disappointing memories of things that make the nightly news – dreadful politics, terrible acts of man and nature, those who we have lost…
But for me, this was a great year. I have had a chance to be at home and spend more time doing what I enjoy. I ran my third half-marathon in May which I was proud to do, despite hobbling around ever since. It might have been my last one! I managed to put my passport to work for three international trips, learned how to make cheese, organized my workshop and dusted off the table saw and set up a second workshop for sewing. But mostly, this was a great year because I was able to catch up with so many friends and family who I see only occasionally (and some very, very rarely).
In June, I joined Bill and the team at WARP (Western Argolid Regional Project) in Greece for about 10 days. I finally had a chance to meet some of the team members who I have heard about over the past 5 years or so, as well as visit with old friends. It was fun to be around an archaeological project, listen to arguments and analysis of research queries and take some field trips to see the survey area. Dimitri also gave me a chance to photograph some of the artifacts which allowed me to see the material coming out of the field. Oh, and there was the day we climbed the cliff face to see a site built high above the fields. It was a tough climb but totally worth it! Then there was a visit to UNESCO World Heritage site of Tiryns, an amazing lunch with Bill in Nafplio and many meals down by the sea in Myloi. Not bad at all.
I’m not even sure where to begin with Barcelona except to say that I would visit again in a heartbeat. There will be future posts about this trip to share some of the wonderful experiences of design, food, heritage, and people. One paragraph cannot do this trip justice. But here is a taste!
I returned from Barcelona with a couple of days to do laundry and pack a new set of clothes to head to Australia to help my mother celebrate her 80th birthday. Five weeks Down Under allowed us to catch up with so many folks and to visit some favorite and some new places. It was a bit of a nostalgia tour which we kicked off on Stradbroke Island with a few days at our old campsite and some whale watching. While much has changed (20 years will do that), it was wonderful to see that so much has not! We also paid a visit to my cousin’s farm in Esk and headed down the coast to northern New South Wales for a couple of days before a visit to Burleigh Heads and the Tweed. Many meals were had at surf clubs and RSL’s – perfect for casual, lingering and sometimes raucous meals! There were also fun catch-ups and lots of laughs with friends from school days and work days as well as a nice family lunch with my brothers to celebrate mum. And my beautiful cousin gave me the gift of a cheesemaking class where we learned to make feta, ricotta, mozzarella, and halloumi!
Of course, with travel comes homecomings and it’s always fun to come home to these goof-balls. These two bring us lots of joy and are spoiled rotten. There are days when I wish I was my dog 🙂
It has been also been a creative year for me – working with wood, sewing, and learning to make cheese. I also took an art history class, have been learning InDesign (ugh!) and have listened to a bunch of podcasts while I work or walk the dogs.
And Bill has given me a stereo set up for my basement workshop so I can listen while I work! He has spoiled me this Christmas/birthday/anniversary season. He has indulged my hobbies and has set me up for a for a great new year, as good as, or even better than this one. I hope that your year has been just as fun and adventurous, and here’s to 2019. Happy New Year!