Right. So, here it is, New Year's Eve, and I'm trying to cross as many things off my To-Do List before I dash out of the house in about 40 minutes. Coming home from the trip was...an adjustment! Not the jet lag (that wasn't actually too bad) but realigning ourselves with Real Life. It was a bit hard to come back to rain & early morning bus commutes in the dark, all the while thinking things like:
"This time last week we were standing in front of the David!"
"All this rain, and just a few days ago we were getting sunburned while climbing around Roman ruins in a Tuscan hill town!"
"Dear Bob, why is beer here so expensive? And where is the CHEESE?"
Mysteriously, our friends and associates were not terribly sympathetic. So Mr.Q coped by overloading his schedule with rock & roll, and I threw myself into domestic goddess-hood with great vigor. (A little too much vigor, really, considering the size our freezer isn't.)
I did try to emulate the gorgonzola sauce we had in Florence. It wasn't even close, but it was still tasty!
Of course, there has been mad knitting. My Secret Santa giftee at work is also a Dr.Who fan, so I knit him up a few dishcloths:
That last one really does say Bad Wolf, I promise. I made it all vague and stripey on purpose. Happily, there are a number of knitters on staff now, so he didn't know it was me right away. (Though when he finally clued in to the Dr.Who images, it was a dead giveaway.)
We made an attempt at a few Christmas cards, with a great deal of help from the beasties:
And I went..slightly overboard on the baking this year...I even made marshmallows! Surprisingly easy, and generally a hit. I may have overestimated the need for spritz cookies, though:
(And I iced them all! What was I thinking!)
Speaking of overboard - we booked ourselves onto a Carol Cruise one evening. We got a great deal, and it was way more fun than we'd anticipated, largely due to the unadvertised fun.
It was billed as a "Three Hour Tour", for which we took not a little ribbing from one of my friends. The decorations were paltry and sad, the dinner plates were cold, and the food was mediocre at best. However, our table companions were a blast, and the carolling was great fun - lusty, off key, and awesome.
Until it was cut short by a blown fuse. And then the back-up generator blew its fuse. So we were stuck in the dark. In the middle of the harbour, with all kinds of container ships and other dinner boats. And no lights. Whee! The engines still worked, but we had a good half-hour until we got back to dock. I was so impressed with the staff. Candles were set out in record time, and one of the crew entertained us (I use the word loosely) with her amateur stand-up routine. It was...corny. But she was very enthusiastic. And then our purser, a rough-spoken, burly Maritimer fisherman, gave us a lecture on the life-cycle of Pacific salmon. He was a delightful story-teller, and it was as edifying as it was entertaining.
The rest of the Christmas season was mellow and low-key. Lots of spending time with friends and eating a ridiculous amount of food. (Then there was the cooking up of the ridiculous amounts of leftovers....Food for a small army in our inadequate freezer now!)
Just off to a friend's for New Year's Eve...Mr.Q left early, to escape the seemingly unending housework, I think. I have a notion that it's a good idea to end the year as one means to go into the next one. Not really a superstition, but setting intentions. And I want a year of clean floors and a tidy kitchen! One last small batch of dishes to wash, the garbage to go out, and then I'm out the door.
May 2012 be full of magic and wonderment for all!