or, Happy Belated New Year. I am back in Wellington to resume working - flew in today - camping is over for another year. I read 13 books, drank vodka-and-tonics, stayed largely sunsmart and saw lots of family. Perfect. It is the vodka component of that last sentence which gives us our title - the most sublime pun I have ever had the good fortune to experience (courtesy of Mum.)
Above: It's a disco ball. Shaped like a vodka bottle. Suspended from a tent pole. Camping somehow gets camp-er.
Tim bought it for me impulsively (a habit of his I must remember to nurture and encourage) - a litre of the excellent Absolut Vodka, encased in a disco-reflecto-casing that, with a light trained on it (as we did) becomes a working disco ball, and nothing if not an excellent talking point. You could say it made our summer complete. I haven't been feeling so well the last couple of days, (kidney trouble I suspect) but I was still sad to leave the annual camping compound. Thank goodness it is a sunny day in Wellington today; I am reminded why I love the place. If it was the usual grey and windy I would probably just feel resentful. Tim isn't actually here with me, as his sister has just returned from a gap year, so I am armed with DVDs of Sex and The City which I can enjoy wholeheartedly without someone asking for the thirtieth time how Carrie has become a fashion icon.
Above: This is definitely a little behind the times but the colours looked lovely and besides, it's my blog so I can do what I want, continuity be damned! These delicious sweeties were made my my aunt, (except for the berries; her talent has limits) and we ate this alongside the pomegranate cake at Christmas.
Above: Sample camping dinner - pita pockets, minced beef with cumin, garlic and cinnamon, and salad. I haven't been so hungry the last couple of days, what with feeling under the weather and all, but we definitely ate well.
Above: The Non-Cake Maker's Christmas Cake from Nigella's Feast. For a cumbersome title it certainly is an easy and rewarding baking venture. If it looks a trifle lopsided, it's because the paper collar baked into the mixture - I do hate it when recipes ask you to line the sides of the tin, because I inevitably muck it up. I used the rest of the rhubarb fruit mince, and while I haven't tried any cake, it definitely smelled wonderful and seemed like a great idea - just a basic cake mixture, with brown sugar and fruit mince added.
I have with me a bowl of salad, I think I'll call it lunch, and a whole lot of unpacking to do. Can a certain favourite musical of mine be consulted for an ever-reliable quote? Of course - "It's gonna be a happy New Year!"