Hold on to your hats! 2016 was a bruiser, and 2017 looks to be even more intense. Brexit. Trump. The horror of all of the wars and the refugee crisis. I don’t feel there is much to celebrate, but as always, life can be bright even in the shadows and we need to focus on that. We need to try and maintain hope for a better future while not losing sight of everything around us, in an effort to make it all better for everyone, not just ourselves. I know you know that, but I need to keep reminding myself. 

I would describe my 2016 as level and focussed, measured and a little steely (although yet, not enough), which is what I had wanted as I wandered into it after a taxing 2015. I travelled as I do, less than what has become normal but still a fair amount. Mainly in Europe, revisiting some old favourites like Rome and Bologna but also some new exciting places Galicia, San Marino, Budapest, Perth and Margaret River. I returned to Canada, and gorgeous Montreal where I had a few days exploring some excellent brunches before returning to Newfoundland and exploring a new part of it, the West and Gros Morne National Park (which I wrote about for The Guardian who asked for my favourite travel discovery of 2016 – I will share more here soon too).

I spent a lot of time in my adopted home London, quietly. I spent much of the summer at home in my garden tending vegetables and an assortment of edible flowers, something that has long been on my mind to do. It was lovely and distracting, a reminder that all things live and thrive and eventually die, and if you aren’t on an intense schedule, it doesn’t matter because your garden is so best get on with it. I tried to squeeze my way slowly out of dark corners that I had found myself in and my garden helped a lot. Working on my book, that second book Project Bacon is ongoing, still in progress but for sure it will be published in 2017. 

London continues to be home, despite everything (and I hope can continue to be, even with all of these anti EU capers). I love flying home, especially on the occasions that we fly over the city itself. And I love to return to my little rental flat. Someday, I hope to return to something bigger and something that is my own. Make it a plan, not a dream, as they say. 

As always I want to thank you for being present, gorgeous and encouraging. I love it when you enjoy and share the recipes. Some of you I feel like I have known for a very long time (this here blog is almost TEN!). I have more plans for this year, some changes, some things will stay the same. Big dreams which I am converting into those plans. Life is as big as you want to be, and sometimes you need it to be small. That too, is ok.

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all the best, happiness where you can find it, and above all your health.  

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Niamh

Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.
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