And so we rest our year. I’m not one to mull over it, look back on it. No rewinds here, no resolutions. Not this year at least. I might get soppy as I get older and take you on a tear-jerking recap of the year gone. But for now, you’re safe.

To me, a year is just lots of days stuck together with a collective glue; and these stuck-together-days are usually patchy. There are rushed days and slow days, used days and wasted days, great days and grim days, beautiful days and bleh days, rainy days and dry days. Patchy, mixed. Not green or blue, but turquoise. Patchy isn’t plain, it’s interesting. Like a watercolour where the paint have blotched into each other while you weren’t looking. And in that blotchy, turquoise year, if you’ve woken up well most mornings, and gone to sleep in peace most nights, you’ve done well. And all that’s left for you to do is to hug the people who’ve helped you wake up well and sleep in peace; hug them into the year that’s about to begin. I’ve hugged D and I’ve hugged Chotto-ma, really, really tight. And I’ve sent three mighty hugs to my Ma and Baba and my brother. That’s all that matters; the rest is just garnish on the side that nobody eats.

I just have one more hug to go. A two-armed, giant squeeze of a thank-you, no half measures, no garnish. It’s for you; for coming back here to read what I write. To read me. I can’t tell you how enormously grateful I am for that. And for every kind word that you leave behind. You’re part of my turquoise. Consider yourself hugged into my new year.

We’re starting the year in Rome. We fly tomorrow, at the break of dawn, for ten days in a lovely little rented apartment in Trastevere. I’ll bring back bits of Roma, and meet you here after your year has begun. And after your food and wine have settled. I might even have something that will hurry up the settling – a lovely cup of tea, too patchy to be photogenic, but more interesting for it.

Have a wonderful, turquoise 2014, everyone. Love, hugs and home-brewed tea from me, D and Chotto-ma.

Darjeeling tea with orange, rosemary & black pepper


1 1/2 tsp loose leaf Darjeeling tea (1 tea bag if that’s what you have)
3 small clementines (oranges), juiced
A generous pinch of freshly, and coarsely, ground black pepper
Fresh sprigs of rosemary

In a teapot, soak the Darjeeling tea,  one sprig of rosemary and pepper in two cups of hot water for 3 minutes. Mix in the orange juice, stir and pour into cups.
Add sugar to taste. Put a fresh sprig of rosemary into each cup to stir the sugar in.
Drink warm, or chilled. I love both.

17 thoughts on “Patchy

  1. Your blog is my favorite internet find of the year. There is something so wonderfully warm about this space. A happy new year to you and your family. Here's hoping you have a beautiful holiday in Rome.

  2. Roxana, thank you so much for saying such a lovely thing. For me, it's what makes the blog worth writing.
    I hope you have a beautiful end to this year, and wish you and your family a wonderful 2014. Hugs.

  3. May your days be always filled with the warmth of such love. I was trying to write a post yesterday and exactly this is what I had in mind — I no longer make resolutions. I don't look back.
    Happy New year to you three and hugs and love for CM

  4. Thank you for writing so beautifully ! I find myself checking often – always delighted when I find another post to savor. Happy 2014 to you and yours. May it bring lots of luck, laughter and joy.

  5. Happy New Year to you, Deba and Raya..Lucky you, in Rome for the new year !!
    Do give me a buzz when you are back ..we are off to Rome in April and would like to hear your story! 🙂

  6. We think alike! no resolution, so looking back. I like to move ahead and make each day count and some just be as it is. Beautiful post as always and have a great trip 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for the heart warming comment you left on my blog before Christmas. And thank you for letting me get to know your blog. Love this place and your beautiful photos!

  8. Happy new year Pia…big hug back to you and to your beautiful writing, your evocative stories, gorgeous photographs and so much more that draws people to your work again and again. More power to you in the new year. x

  9. Thank you, thank you. I'm lucky to have you come back here.
    A big hug back to you for the new year, and much lovely luck for the gorgeous Beetle & Bottle! xxx

  10. Thank you. Luck, laughter and joy are the things I hold most dear.
    I wish you a wonderful year ahead, and thank you for coming back to read my stories.
    Much love.

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