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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Friday, 30 January 2015

Two years

The end of January is upon us already. Two years ago we celebrated Republic Day in Delhi on the 26th and a couple of days later jumped onto a plane to Australia. There could not be a greater contrast of past and present lives, brought home acutely by seeing President Obama enjoying the Republic Day Parade in Delhi as we did on the same day two years ago. It was a fitful farewell to such a great sub continent.

On the 1st of Feb we will have been here two years. It’s a cliché to say where has all the time gone and even more so to ask myself what I have to show for it.

Am I over the honeymoon yet?
I enjoy the light in the country ( naturally and artificially) as on the first day I arrived.

I love the sense of community and civic pride. My neighbour Russell took my bins out last night thinking that having only returned a week or so ago from abroad, I may have gotten out of the habit.
There is simplicity to the way people enjoy their lives, a stroll along the beach, a few sausages or prawns on the Barbie and some cold beer. Not much standing on ceremony here even if Abbott gives Prince Philip a knighthood- a retrogressive step certainly for Ozzie politics and a bit of a demotion for the Prince no doubt.

There is an Aussie side which I love to hear about and even better experience. The cockroach races held in Brisbane on Australia Day, a place for even these reviled creatures on this continent.

34th Annual Australia Day Cockroach Races

The watermelon ski contests in the Chinchilla Melon Festival, their love of old things, be they cars or buildings and their care of heritage. Their increasing awareness of their aboriginal roots and what those communities have to offer. The cutting edge art and embracing culture like it was a daily vitamin. 

To be within half an hour of the ocean is bliss, to feel that sea breeze and to stroll along empty, pristine beaches an immeasurable gift. Wandering into the hinterland is equally enriching knowing the age of these rainforests and what surprises are to be found under the trees and rocks, the streams and the waterfalls.

I have yet to explore the outback, the red rock, the immense open plains and the endless vistas and I look forward to them all. What I give back? Feeling a part of my community and offering what insights I can. Blogs of beauty, quirkiness and reflection. Never enough but a sharing of sorts which I do whole-heartedly and engagingly.

I went to the market yesterday and picked up some tuber roses. A shot of scent from our past lives in Kenya and India. I gave the woman the wrong money and she corrected me – I said I had been away and needed to re acquaint myself with the money and she asked where I had been. I said I was in the UK, to which she replied, well welcome home. It felt warm and wonderful.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

An itinerant fate

This is probably the longest time I have not blogged and it was not wholly intentional. I had hoped to blog about my time in Europe and my travels here and there but I found that I had little time to keep this up because I was too busy socializing and let me explain –not so much the party girl, as the girl with a cup of tea and some time.

And that is what I want to blog about today – the sheer joy of connecting with people not just on FB but across the table and in the living room and even in muddy fields. My travels took me back to the family, to my adored boys who have all shown me, in their own particular way, how much it has meant to them to have us for a short while by their side and to this I can add an amusing – well I am not really surprised, I have time to do the washing, cooking, ironing while they come in and out of hectic jobs and long days. To see family and celebrate weddings and significant birthdays in ways which are memorable and meaningful.

The chance to follow the daily news, to listen, as I wake, to Radio 4, to settle down at the weekend with the papers and a cup of good coffee. To take a walk on the Heath and see owners proudly walking their dogs, and pine for my Tara. To remember what it is like for winter to set in, with few hours of sunlight and that drawing in of the body and the spirit.

And also being able, because true friendships are a bit like that, to pick up where we left off, and I can truly say I have done that this time at the cost of blog entries, where lives intertwined for longer or shorter periods of time and where the words flowed once more as if we were in situ. So I have been back to my University, to Kenya and to Geneva and to Delhi with friends who are now in the depths of Sussex or other parts of the English countryside. I have walked with my women of the IWCN, my women’s club in Geneva, and visited venerable writers and commentators, old, old friends who are still getting the maximum out of life at every juncture. I have traversed fields with mud and cows and counted buzzards on the motorways of France and I have felt throughout the joy of knowing that my life has been enriched at every turn I packed and unpacked my home.