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.