2011. What a year, WHAT a year, really.
I worked my ass off to prepare for my PhD viva, survived plenty of sleepless nights and passed it (thankfully!). I started my new job and loved it. We travelled to Florence, slurped up scoops of gelato, wolfed down mouthfuls of heavenly pasta and chunks of Florentine steak, and even caught the Scoppio del Carro. A week later, we went on down to Murcia and Cartegena, and spent the weekend watching replays of the royal wedding on TV whilst scoffing down tonnes of jamon iberico. Before we knew it, we were off to Vienna and strolled along the romantic streets, enjoying the sights and each other’s company. We drove up to Oxford to see the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Grand Hall in spring and conquered the trails with fellow friends in the Forest of Dean as autumn morphed stealthily into winter. I scored a reservation at The Fat Duck after more than 160 calls and had the best meal of my life. I even met my pastry hero, Pierre Hermé. This summer, I became a proud aunt to my adorable niece, A, whom I’ve been anxious to meet since we learnt of the good news. Shortly after, I graduated and donned the strawberry shortcake hat that I’ve been ‘dying’ to wear for years (trust me, it ain’t pretty), and was teased mercilessly by my proud parents. I spent my birthday feasting in Paris with two very important people to me, my husband and my good friend, E. As 2011 came to an end, I appeared as the guest pastry chef for my friend’s awesome supperclub in London, Plusixfive and learnt more than I ever could than just cooking for the two of us. 2011 wasn’t a bed of roses of course, there were a couple of heartbreaking moments, that were lifted when my superhero survived a scary bump on the road we call life and hung in there, and for that I’m thankful. There were also times when I’ve struggled with uncertainty and times when I truly felt like throwing in the towel.
All in all, 2011 wouldn’t be 2011 if not for its people. I met new people via this blog and we became fast friends, friends that I wished I had met sooner (but as they say, it’s better late than never), friends whom I have come to rely on to keep my chin up. You know who you are, peeps. My family and friends who have stood by me all these years, my rocks, what else can I say that hasn’t been said about them? Nothing that I have experienced in 2011 would mean anything if not for these very special people in my life. Nothing. So..I just want to say that it’s been an absolutely stunning year because of you, my dear friends and family, and I know that 2012 will be even better than before.
To good things, to those who wait, to all of you, I wish nothing but the best for you.
Happy New Year, everyone!