1. This gorgeous paella was our New Year's Eve feast. My guy is a whiz at this dish and this time he really loaded up on the seafood. I'd like to say it was a good way to holler in the New Year, but instead -- considering we never made it past 10:15 -- it was a good way to see good-bye to 2013. . .
2. He brought home tulips with the groceries! Tulips, in winter, have to be one of the best promises, no?
3. If you're in Vancouver, you may already know about Mink Chocolates, but if you don't, mmmm-mmmm, you have a treat in store. I picked up some of their delectable, whimsically named bars for Christmas gift-giving. Obviously, one of the recipients was moi! Don't worry, I shared with Pater, although I might have picked up more dark chocolate bars (which are my favourite) than milk chocolate ( which are his). . . .Don't blame me, though, choosing is difficult . . .
4. And you know that savouring great chocolate on a rainy winter evening is even better when it's the accompaniment to a great mystery novel. . . . Even better, for me, is a hardcover copy of the printed book. I do much of my lighter or more disposable reading these days on my Kobo, but for the full aesthetic and kinaesthetic experience, a turn-the-actual-pages, wrist-straining, doorstopper-size hardover is just what my comfy leather armchair demands. . .
5. And just so you don't think it's all food and light reading and flowers around here (a bit sybaritic, right?), I finished these socks and have packaged them up to send off to a musician nephew who's moved to Montreal for the first big adventure of his young life (unless the fact that he's fronted a rock band for the last 4 or 5 years means that he's already better acquainted with adventure than I'll ever be).
So there we are, back in the swing of a Friday's five things again, the year beginning to set its course. It always feels a bit odd to me, this change from one year to another, not just because of the calendar flip, the numbers, but also because of the change in focus. So much energy has gone into the aim toward Christmas over much of my life, and then the last 20 or so years have been built around the rhythm of the academic year that the focus on Christmas break has intensified. Somehow, pushing that all aside, packing away the gift wrap and finishing the leftovers, taking the tree out to the curb for recycling, and then choosing a different focal point (the first daffodil? booking a late-spring vacation? a family Easter gathering?) always feels a bit too arbitrary for me. A tiny bit unfathomable, quite honestly.
But let's get with this new year, yes. And figure out where its paths are leading. And wait to see what patterns emerge for these Five Things Fridays. . . . meanwhile, I have a visit to my hair stylist this morning and a very good friend is coming for a glass of wine this afternoon. Now tell me, what are you up to?