A new year is upon us

Maybe it should be time for reflections and resolutions as the final hour of 2012 is upon us but somehow it is easier to sit back and relax and enjoy “The Gathering”spectacle in Dublin on RTE. Tomorrow we can start thinking about the new year. Tomorrow we can start dreaming our dreams and fretting about our fears.

Me and my Mum at Aldridge Lodge this evening

It has been an a special year for us. We spent a fascinating few weeks in China in June. Shane and Shan got officially wed and so we now have a lovely Chinese daughter-in-law. Baby Shananigans is on the way sometime in February.
Shane with his Dad tonight

In the middle of all this I started this blog and, while I hate cliches like “voyage of discovery”, I’ve learnt a huge amount about Chinese food in the last few few months and I’ve rediscovered a love of cooking. What’s more I’ve got brave about experimenting with ingredients, tastes and flavours and made a host of new friends in the process.
And in Australia, my darling daughter Claire has joined in the fun and developed her own skills in cooking Chinese food… when she is not out enjoying herself….
Claire celebrating Christmas

While in Beijing, Shane’s MaMa, who has never been outside China, has taught herself how to make pizza and is baking fresh bread for Shane every week.
Shan’s MaMa’s New Year’s Eve dinner looks suspiciously like pizza to me!

I’ve found food writers that inspire me like Fuchsia Dunlop, Gok Wan, Ching-he Huang and, very recently, Christine Manfield but I’ve also been supported by Twitter friends Joanne Cronin, Pat Whelan, Miriam Donohoe, Elaine Cassells, Marie McKenna, Mona Wise and Sinead Fox to name just a very few of those who kept me going in the early days.

So thank you to all of you who have egged me on and encouraged me.
To all of my friends, I hope 2013 brings good things to your little corner of the world and peace and happiness to your life. Let’s watch out for one another wherever we are in the world.
Go mbeirímid beo ar an am seo arís – may we all be alive this time next year…. with one or two more among us.
31st December 2012, 11.45 pm